Saturday 29 September 2018

Not Much Sense and Sensibility

My daughter and I decided back in the school holidays that we needed our own YouTube channel for our double act! We created Not Much Sense and Sensibility but it took until today to get around to actual filming and editing our first video and setting up the social media to go with it. We have:

We had a lot of fun filming and editing the video as you can tell when you watch it:

What we need now are questions to answer or challenges to undertake! We are also planning on doing some out and about filming. Watch this space and please interact with us...

Thursday 27 September 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: A mixed bag #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

This is the last week of hosting by Michelle as I will be back in the hot seat for October - note to self be organised! She has done a grand job of keeping us joining in and sharing the love linky love. I hope everyone continues to join in as the number of bloggers taking part is a reason to be cheerful in itself! Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) YouTube

I always get a real boost on my stats after a big fell race and the English Schools' Fell Running Championships was no exception! It makes the hard work worth while when I see that I have had over 1,000 views in 2 days. Of course it would be even nicer if this meant I had earned money from it but hey ho!

YouTube views Becky Willoughby

2) Proud Mum

The downside of videoing the races is that I generally don't see my son finish them! Luckily for me Woodentops are often there to capture moments like this when my son dug deep to beat the boy wearing number 34:

fell running English Schools fell race

3) Cute Puppy

You would have to have a heart of stone to not have a smile on your face when meeting this gorgeous 14 week old spaniel:

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Review Saal Digital Wall Decor

Sponsored Post

Saal Digital Wall Decor Review

I was sent a voucher by Saal Digital to test out their Wall Decors. Having previously checked out a photobook from the company I was hoping that the Wall Decors would prove to be as good. 

The software needed for me to create a Wall Decor was already installed on my laptop so all I had to do was choose the size of decor I wanted and which images to use. There were 7 kinds of wall decor to choose from and I opted for the photo canvas style. 

Then I had to work out which size to go for. The prices for each size were clearly set out so I knew what I was going to pay for. It was really easy to design and create the canvases using the software. There was a warning to remind me to allow for the bleed around the edges of the canvases. 

I managed to get three different small wall decors for under £50. Two were 20 cm by 20 cm and one was 20 cm by 30 cm. Once they were designed and saved I just had to process my shopping basket and pay the shipping (£5.95). 

It was amazing how quickly they arrived having been shipped from Germany. I liked the fact they arrived well packaged but without any excess surplus packaging:

Saal Digital Wall Decor

This little video gives you an idea of what I thought of my wall decor (annoyingly my unboxing video vanished into cyberspace...):

Here is a close up detail of the back of the frame showing how solid they are once the supplied wedges have been inserted:

Monday 24 September 2018

English Schools' Fell Running Championships 2018

English Schools Fell Running Championships 2018

Yesterday my son represented his school in the English Schools' Fell Running Championship at Giggleswick School. The course was similar to the Kendal Winter League Route so we only had to walk up to the other fell to check out the route to the top:


I then set myself up near the stream crossing to video the races as I know it makes the most interesting moments (yes I was hoping for a face plant or two!). My son made sure his leap wasn't a comedy moment with this massive jump:

fell running

Here is the video of his Year 7 race as they tackled the stream:

Thursday 20 September 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Coraline and more #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Miraculously I am joining in with Michelle on the actual morning of the linky this week! I am recovering from a cold and feeling so much better than I have since Friday night.... That is a big reason to be cheerful but here are my smaller ones:

1) Coraline

My daughter had the part of Coraline in her school's Torchlight entry. She was easy to spot with her bright yellow jacket:

This is a taste of the energy on her float as they had been going for 1.5 hours by this point and were nearly finished:

2) Star of the Week

As a teacher I would hope that all the children in a class would at some point get the Star of the Week. However for my son to get it on the first full week of school must mean he has done something to impress his form tutor:

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Kendal Torchlight 2018

On Friday night it was the annual Kendal Torchlight carnival parade. We met on Aynam Rd to watch as my daughter was taking part. The parade this year had a theme of books and included vintage cars, music, lights and amazing costumes.

This collage is a taster of some of the parade and then the video shows what went past us on the road:

Having missed my daughter as she was on the other side of her float we ran down the road to the bridge and watched the parade returning (we only missed a few floats):

The video for this section will follow!

Monday 17 September 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Better late than never! #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Due to work commitments and then being ill I am very late with my reasons to be cheerful this week! Its a good job that Michelle is a kind host. There were lots of reasons for me to be cheerful:

1) Lakes Alive

We joined in with a drumming parade and then some light and music installations on Kendal Castle. Its great living in a town that embraces culture in the great outdoors:

2) Return to parkrun

I have been missing in action from our local parkrun for months due to family commitments. It was wonderful to be back (although I will be missing a few again!):

3) Proud mum

My son had his first top 3 finish in a fell race for 3 years at the Great Westmorland Trail Race. A great boost for his confidence as well as making me proud:

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Pembroke Castle

As part of our second week in Pembrokeshire we visited Pembroke Castle. Most of the group from the first week had had lots of fun there so we were keen to go ourselves. It was grey and windswept day but the courtyard of the castle was colourful and brightened up the day:

Pembroke Castle

There was plenty to do to keep us occupied including wax works depicting scenes from the castle's history:

Pembroke Castle

The castle dates back to 1093 when it was built by Arnulf de Montgomery. Since then famous residents have included William Marshal (Earl of Pembroke) and Henry Tudor the future Henry VII. The key figures are all round the castle as cutouts with information buttons:

Monday 10 September 2018

Back to School and Starting Secondary

My son has now been at secondary school for a week so we are both getting into routines and learning the system at this school:


He came home with his 2 week timetable stuck into his planner that he must show me every day so I can check his homework:

I have written this up onto a chalkboard and hung it on the stairs so that we can both see what lessons he has each day:

Sunday 9 September 2018

Great Westmorland Trail Race 2018

As the Great Westmorland Trail Race was part of my son's junior club championship we fired up the Sat Nav and went for a drive into the Yorkshire Dales. After an accidental detour via Kirkby Stephen we reached the village of Crosby Garrett which was the start line for the races organised by Howgill Harriers:

Once my son had registered we attempted to walk the course... After a slightly heated discussion with my son I was proved right that the juniors headed out under the railway viaduct before heading up the fell. It was a there and back again route so I found a spot to film the first race and sent my son back to the start:

To save time and marshals they combined the under 9 and under 13 races by setting the younger runners off first with an advanced start line. The turning points for the races were at different points so some of the under 9s were coming back down before all the under 13s had passed me:

Friday 7 September 2018

Fit Before 50 #FitB4Fifty

Well I have realised that I have just over 2 years before I hit my next decade and I have still failed to get into a healthy shape! Having battled with my weight for most of my adult life and it feels that for the last 8 years I have lost the same stone repeatedly over and over again... Oops! So now I need to get it right and keep it off so that I am a lot fitter and healthier before I hit my half century. 

Obviously its not going to be a quick fix as I proved in the past that it doesn't work as it doesn't stay off. It needs to be sustained and embedded into my lifestyle to get it off and keep it off for good. This mean that I have to look at both strands of healthy living:


Most of what I have done in the past has concentrated on exercise which works until for whatever reason I stop exercising (this has been through injury, heat, the needs of my children or work pressure). Then I come unstuck as my diet is not up to scratch... Therefore I need to put a lot more effort into that strand...

My son realised yesterday that one reason I don't eat as healthily as I could because of his limited food choices. He struggles to eat things off this list. He has told me that I need to force him once a week to eat one of my more healthy meals! Wish me luck with that one... but it may be that he is mature enough to cope now.

So what do I need to do to improve my diet?

  • eat more vegetables and fruit
  • eat more whole grains
  • reduce fat and sugar intake
  • eat more fish and lean meats
  • eat less processed foods

Of course I need to carry on exercising and keeping it consistent. This needs to include both cardio and strength exercises. My son is back into cycling now so we can do that together. Running I can do various lengths of run to mix it up a bit. I also need to do core strengthening such as yoga or pilates. At the moment I can't afford classes or gym membership so it will all be done at home or for free.

If anyone has any tips or wants to keep me on track then please shout! I am also up for working with brands as a partnership to get me in shape.

Thursday 6 September 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Back to School #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

The host for this month is the lovely Michelle who started this linky so many years ago! She is in charge for the rest of the month so please do pop over to her blog. I look forward to reading and sharing your posts but meanwhile here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Weekend away with my daughter

It has been such a manic summer with various family members going in different combinations for a range of breaks. With my daughter now working part time it took until this last weekend for her and I to get away for her bridge weekend. We had 5 hours each way in the car together to sing and chat, watch out we are going to be doing a mum/daughter YouTube channel! We also caught up with her half sister on the way back as she is at Coventry University.

cards mini bridge

2) Back to School Memories

My Timehop threw up some ancient photos of my brother and I heading off for new schools. Sharing photos on social media may be a new thing but my mum was good at capturing the moment on film back in the 1970s. How can our knobbly knees not raise a smile:

1970s school uniform

3) Off to Secondary

My son has had his first few days at Secondary school and so far so good! This is his third day and he finally remembered his new spectacles so he can read from the back of the classroom. Someone has commented that he looks like a young Michael Caine:

Wednesday 5 September 2018

Heatherton World of Activities

The biggest day out on our trip to Pembrokeshire was to Heatherton World of Activities. We had enjoyed this trip last year and had wished that we could do more, we also needed to budget for going with both groups of holiday makers! It proved to be an incentive to get my son out of bed for 2 weeks on the trot to do car boot sales to raised enough money for our credits - you pay to play. We were able to buy a decent amount of shared credits and this is some of the fun that we had:

8 Track Slot Racing

This is so much more fun when you have a group to race against so perfect on our break. Even I got to have a go, although I swear I always get the slowest car!

Bumper Boats

I really need to have a go on these next year as my son and the other children had a wonderful time crashing into each other!

Mini Landrovers

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Junior Bridge Weekend

My daughter was invited to a training weekend with the English Bridge Union. As it was down in Hertfordshire I went down with her to act as chauffeur and keep her company. We arrived just in time for tea and she made friends with 3 other teenagers whilst queuing for our hot dogs & chips! Then it was time for her first training session:

Then there was a tournament followed by Speed Ball Bridge until after midnight! The girls were sharing one lodge, the boys in another and a few of us parents squeezed into scout sized bunks in a third lodge:


At least I had the triple layer of bunks to myself and I could make use of my ancient Guide blanket: