30 June 2015

Embrace happy and Race for Life

Embrace Happy & Race for Life // 76sunflowers

Back in March I was lucky enough to briefly meet and listen to the inspiring words of Karin from Embrace Happy. As a result I take part in the daily #3goodthings focus on Instagram and I am pleased to report it is having a positive effect on my outlook, attitude and general well being. Alongside the #3goodthings, I have blown the dust off my running shoes and have consistently been lacing those bad boys up for regular running and training. With some fantastic online support from Run Mummy Run, I'm on a mission to run a Race for Life 10k in less than three weeks; some days I get worried about this as I haven't reached that distance yet and I have a constant fear of injury again. But, with my Embrace Happy hat on, I attempt to stay as positive as I can.
Today, with the heat wave sweeping in, I set my alarm early and was out the door at 0623 in order to beat the warmth - it was still stinking hot but I'm glad I am sitting here in the garden typing this now and not running in the current heat at 1030. On my way round my 6k route I got a bit negative with myself, panicking about the aforementioned Race for Life, so I started to chant in my head;

You are fit, you are healthy so keep your arse moving.

Not particularly poetic I know but it worked. I dug in and kept going thinking along the way about the reasons that I am training for Race for Life and just how freaking grateful I am that I can run and I can get up everyday and I can do this.
When my race pack came through I thought about what I could write on my bib, I RACE FOR LIFE FOR... How amazing that I don't have a list of names to put on there. There is one person close to me currently recovering from an operation that removed a cancer infected kidney. Now he awaits scans and ultimately chemotherapy to hopefully eradicate the lot.
So I race for him.
And all those that have lost their battles, all those currently fighting and all those survivors.

A huge thank you to the lovely people that have sponsored me on my Just Giving page here.

x x x

27 June 2015

Project 365 2015 #26

Where the heck did that last week go?!

Project 365 #26

Project 365 2015 day 172 - The Gherkin // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 173 - Mirror photo // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 174 - Running puddle // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 175 - Salad bath // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 176 - Evening sun // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 177 - CDs in the woods // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 178 - Kite flying // 76sunflowers

Day 172
Time to leave London. We headed out and took in the sites and I got my first glimpse of the Gherkin!
Day 173
Today I was a lady that lunches with the lovely Ali and the lovely Aly! I love this mirror in Ali's back garden.
Day 174
Mixed feelings with my run today - it was great to be out but my planned 8k was cut short when my knee niggles flared up at 6k. Am now resting the running and focussing on core strength and yoga. Very frustrating.
Day 175
A late evening snap in the garden and the salad bath is coming on well.
Day 176
I spent some time in the garden with my girl tonight; she practised her cartwheels and I chilled on the patio.
Day 177
I went on a lovely walk today to the woods with lots of little people - we used CDs to observe the tree canopy and it was remarkably calming.
Day 178
This afternoon following a morning of chores - and reading the papers in the garden - we headed up to the Westbury White Horse with the cafetiere and kites for a bit of downtime. What else do you need?!

x x x



23 June 2015

A weekend in Hackney

A weekend in Hackney, a much needed break.
Children safely left in Gloucestershire we jumped aboard the VDub and took the M4 eastbound to the big smoke. What followed was just under 48 hours of chilling out with many miles walked and many photos snapped.

Never give up on a dream.... // 76sunflowers

En route, some happy mail all the way from New Zealand set the weekend off to a perfect start.

Vintage van in hackney // 76sunflowers
A late evening stroll to explore the immediate area where we discovered side streets and hidden squares housing vintage vans and cars.Hackney Empire // 76sunflowers
Volcano Coffee Works, Hackney // 76sunflowers
Volcano Coffee Works, Hackney // 76sunflowers
London Fields, Hackney // 76sunflowers
London Fields, Hackney // 76sunflowers
Saturday, and we headed out past the famous Hackney Empire beginning our day of exploring with a quiet drink at Volcano Coffee Works, nestled all EastEnders like beneath the railway arches. We wandered across London Fields with its beautiful wild flower meadow - a peaceful haven within a hive of activity all around us; runners, dog walkers, cyclists, families, fitness bootcamps, yogis - definitely my kind of park.
Graffiti in Hackney // 76sunflowers
Broadway Market, Hackney // 76sunflowers
Broadway Market, Hackney // 76sunflowers
Regent's Canal  // 76sunflowers
Shoreditch // 76sunflowers
Our wandering took us past graffiti lined streets into the heart of Broadway Market with its stalls of organic meat, fruit and vegetables, vintage clothes, vinyl, cakes, breads and cheeses. A great place to spend some time going at a slow pace, perusing the stalls, sampling some food, listening to the top class buskers and standing back to people watch. The market leads to the Regent's Canal where the towpaths were crammed with walkers, cyclists and runners vying for space to move. As we headed west the crowds thinned out and we left the canal towpath to explore Hoxton and Shoreditch, not realising quite how close we were to the sights of London, we retraced our steps back to Hackney where we cosied up in the Picturehouse Bar before the rain poured down - and spotted Ed Miliband propping up the bar.
The Gherkin // 76sunflowers
Tower Bridge // 76sunflowers
St Paul's Cathedral // 76sunflowers
London Eye // 76sunflowers
Nelson's Column // 76sunflowersAs always, when spending time away, the weekend flew by and we had to head for home. Sunday saw us take a detour through the heart of London to take in some classic sights; the Gherkin, Tower Bridge, St Paul's, the London Eye and Nelson's Column were all eagerly snapped through the windscreen or precariously through the open side window as we whizzed along the busy streets and headed out to find the M4 to take us back west.
Plans are now underway to take the children for a few days of sightseeing and park exploring whilst I definitely feel the need for another childfree trip to walk all the way into London and explore more markets, shops and hidden areas.
x x x

21 June 2015

Project 365 2015 #25

Week 25 of Project 365 2015 came around rather quickly with the promise of a rare weekend away!

Project 365 #25

Project 365 2015 day 165 - 37th birthday // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 166 - RMR Sparkle Medal // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 167 - Californian poppies // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 168 - Before I met you // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 169 - Barefoot and flowers // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 170 - Hackney // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 171 - Shoreditch graffiti // 76sunflowers

Day 165
A day late we lit the candles on hubby's 37th birthday cake.
Day 166
Happy mail in the form of my RMR 5k Sparkle Virtual Run medal! These keep my running going.
Day 167
Such a beautiful day today. Running was tough in the heat so I recuperated in the garden with a book and a cuppa. I spotted the Californian poppies amongst our wild flowers.
Day 168
Back to work Wednesday was followed up with the dreaded Wednesday night 30 day shred. That tired me out so I went to bed early with my latest library book, Before I Met You.
Day 169
Thursday night run and I followed it up with my usual ritual of walking down the garden barefoot - we have so many pretty flowers out now.
Day 170
Friday and a rare weekend away without the children! Tonight we dropped them off at a friend's house and headed off to Hackney - I loved this old car for a range of reasons!
Day 171
Today we just walked and walked through parks, markets and along the Regent's Canal which took us into Shoreditch where, despite the dodgy grammar, I spotted this rather lovely graffiti.

x x x

13 June 2015

Project 265 2015 #24

Another week passes and summer comes and goes on week 24 of Project 365 2015.

Project 365 #24

Project 365 2015 day 158 - Reading in the sun // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 159 - My kind of Monday // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 160 - Meadow // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 161 - VW Transporter // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 162 - Race for Life  // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 163 - Birthday cake // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 164 - RMR 5k virtual race // 76sunflowers
Day 158
What a beautiful sunny Sunday it was today! My girl was still at her friend's house, the husband was at work, so it was just me and my boy. We decided to chill in the garden with some Fantastic Mr Fox - and a Jenny Colgan for me.
Day 159
Another lovely one today - sunshine, washing on the line, jobs done. I headed into the garden with my book again.
Day 160
A bit cooler today - I was actually glad as it meant an 8k run was ticked off on the star chart. On the walk back from school we saw the buttercups had taken over the horse field giving it a lovely meadow look.
Day 161
The husband has a new toy in the form of a VW Transporter. I'm dreading having to drive it!
Day 162
My 10k Race for Life pack arrived today. I can do this!
Day 163
Prepping for the husband's birthday tonight so cake making was on the list of the many things to do.
Day 164
A rather damp 5k run this morning for the RMR 5k Sparkle virtual race. It felt good though!
x x x


9 June 2015

Finding a little slice of inner peace {Camp Bestival 2015}

THE HIDEAWAY Wellness Retreat & Spa

I have been taking the kiddos to Camp Bestival every year since 2010 and we are always finding new things; the play park under cover of darkness hidden in the depths of the woods, making a hula hoop, relaxing in the sun whilst creating our very own flower crowns. The list goes on. New explorations are also helped by the fact each year the children are older, obviously, and they want to do different things. I'm using that age thing a little bit to my advantage this year as I am planning on finding myself some 'me time' - the fact that the husband is coming for the first time since 2011, so I am not sole responsible adult for the kiddos, will hopefully help make this possibility a reality.

So, what to do?

The Hideaway may have the answer... a welcoming space to step out of the melee and to relax, rejuvenate and transform.

Here are my plans which, much like The Hideaway states, are...dedicated to finding a little slice of inner peace.

Nature Runs

Nick Michell Nature Runs at Camp Bestival

I have booked myself in to go running at this year's Camp Bestival. Not your usual festival activity and I don't think I have seen it on any 'Top Ten things to do at Camp Bestival' lists. But, that is the amazing thing about festivals, no matter how many times you have been there is always something new to explore.

An opportunity to fire up the neurons and get your mojo flowing with like minded souls running through the beautiful countryside with Nick Michell, Wellness Coach.
We'll look at how to run with efficiency and grace and explore the concept of mindful running, whereby we will practise the idea of being truly present as well as the connection between ourselves and nature.
We'll finish with a full body stretch to set you up for the fun and frolics of the day ahead.
The run is suitable for all ages and abilities and is structured so that no one gets left in the woods.
Be prepared to get dirty and possibly slightly damp.

Bearing in my mind my current running style is to go all out accompanied by some heavy breathing the efficiency and grace element sounds perfect.


You may well know that as well as running I love a bit of Yoga. So far my practise has consisted of my yoga mat being rolled out in the lounge, occasionally on the patio, with Erin Motz - lovely by the way, check her out - on the iPad to guide me through. Now my confidence has grown, and I'm a little bit more bendy than I used to be, I love the idea of being out in the fresh air on the rolling fields of Camp Bestival with the wind whipping through the flags overhead. So, I will definitely be booking myself in for a session.

Yoga at Camp Bestival
The Daydream Yurt

Daydream Turt - Camp Bestival
...experience our sensory story session....create your own magical jar of 'Dream Me'

Well, that just sounds like bliss.

By the end of the weekend I hope to be looking a little bit like this...

Chilling - Camp Bestival
...and will have found some fulfilment.
To see what else is going on at this year's festival check out the website.
For more information on tickets click here.
x x x

Images credit: Camp Bestival & Uber Wellbeing
Disclaimer: I am receiving family Camp Bestival 2015 tickets in return for previews and reviews of this year's festival. As always, views and opinions are my own.


6 June 2015

Project 365 2015 #23

So it was back to school and back to work woes for week 23 of Project 365 2015. Still, being a fully fledged member of #embracehappy I was being positive.

Project 365 #23

Project 365 2015 day 151 - Barefoot in the grass // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 152 - Happy Rainy June // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 153 - Peonies // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 154 - Silver stars // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 155 - Forward fold // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 156 - Pizza // 76sunflowers
Project 365 2015 day 157 - Hook a duck // 76sunflowers

Day 151
Lazy Sunday! There seems to be a pattern there. A day at home with the children whilst the husband went to work but once he was back I was off out through the front door with my running kit on for a steady 4k round the block. When I got back I decided to do some yoga on the patio then walked barefoot on the grass - such a wonderful simple experience.
Day 152
Monday but the children were still home due to a teacher training day. My girl had a friend over so I could chill - with some colouring in of all things. The weather outside was terrible considering it was the 1st of June.
Day 153
The weather wasn't much better today so the kiddos got a ride into school. I got my haircut then promptly wrecked it by zooming out for my fastest 5k so far. Out front I spotted the raindrops on the peonies. These are strong peonies that survived a scaffolding base board being shoved on them a few weeks ago!
Day 154
Back to work day but staying positive. My reward stars on my 10k training chart are working - so far!
Day 155
A 5k was ticked off the training plan tonight followed by another yoga session on the patio. This is my garden as seen whilst doing a forward fold, in case you were wondering.
Day 156
I apologise for the photo of my tea - it is Friday, I am tired, I have not been that inspired! Hence the frozen pizza.
Day 157
It's that time of year again - hook a duck at the Summer Fayre!

x x x
© 76 sunflowers

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