30 January 2016

Project 366 2016 #4

Week 4 of Project 366 2016 and we head towards the end of January.
I am now looking forward to the lighter evenings.

Project 366 2015 day 24 - Rugby boots // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2015 day 25 - Race number // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 26 - Earl Grey // 76sunflowers
Project 366 day 27 - Tea break // 76sunflowers
Project 366 day 28 - The Simple Things // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 29 - Evening workout // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 30 - Better Extreme Trampolining // 76sunflowers

26 January 2016

A Year With My Camera {DSLR - Aperture}

At the beginning of the month I made a 40 things to do before 40 list with no.32 being; use my DSLR properly. My blogging friend, Ali, promptly sent me in the direction of A Year With My Camera on Emma Davies' photography blog. Having received Emma's weekly emails and lurked a bit on the Facebook group, trying not to feel overwhelmed by some of the photography on there, I thought I had better get on with it!

I got my DSLR back in September 2014 and played around with it straight away but clearly did not know what I was doing. I googled a bit and found some tutorials and fiddled with the settings but never had much structure in my self teaching. Hopefully, with Emma's workshops, I will now get to know my DSLR much better and actually have some understanding about how it works.

This week the focus was on aperture; a setting I have used before as I love getting those 'blurry in the background' images - I know that's not technical speak but you know exactly what I mean! Ideally I wanted a bright sunny day for this but the weather wasn't playing ball so I made do with what I had. I had a go outdoors taking photos on the highest and lowest aperture settings at that given time.

A Year With My Camera {DSLR - Aperture} // 76sunflowers
A Year With My Camera {DSLR - Aperture} // 76sunflowers

25 January 2016

Musing on a Monday {Pick & Mix}

Musing on Monday {Pick & Mix}

Isn't pick & mix great? The way you can choose the sweets you really like and avoid those you don't? Wouldn't it be great if we could fill our paper bag of life with the best bits? If only it was that simple.

In an ideal world our bag of sweets would contain our favourite picks but occasionally a piece of confectionary may fall in we don't really like.

23 January 2016

Project 366 2016 #3

Week 3 of Project 366 2016 brought the cold, the sun and the rain.

Project 366 2015 day 17 - Cold and wet rugby // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 18 - A grey Blue Monday // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 19 - Blue skies and an 8.5 mile run // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 20 - Cold morning // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 21 - Evening run // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 22 - PR postcard // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2015 day 23 - Reybridge // 76sunflowers

22 January 2016

Camp Bestival - Looking back and looking forwards

I sat quietly at home earlier in the week and the sun was shining. It was blooming cold out but the brightness of the ball of fire in the sky made me think of Summer time and one of my most favourite things - Camp Bestival! As soon as I start to think about that magical place down in Lulworth my head becomes full of happy memories.


Last year at Camp Bestival saw us going as a family unit for the first time since 2011. This allowed me to go off and 'find myself' but, more importantly, gave us some much needed time together away from the strains and stresses of day to day life. With a myriad of things to do for families and children we once again planned more than we could actually manage but left feeling satisfied and content.
Some of our favourite things included...

19 January 2016

Running Diary {Running down Memory Lane}

Running Diary {Running down Memory Lane} // 76sunflowers

Today I tentatively headed out for my next run on my half marathon plan.
Tentatively because this was hopefully going to be the furthest I have run.
Tentatively because last week my knee set me back at 7 miles.
Tentatively because it was freezing cold out and a little slippy in places underfoot.

I layered up well following some advice from, a fantastic Facebook page, Run Mummy Run. With two base layers, a running vest, long running tights, a buff round my neck, knitted hat on my head, cosy socks, runners laced up and running gloves on I was good to go.

18 January 2016

Musing on a Monday {Smell the strawberries & blow out the candle}

Musing on a Monday {Smell the strawberries & blow out the candle}

Saturday morning and following a chain of events I found myself in the kitchen crying - as you sometimes do when you're a 39 year old highly strung and emotional female. The children were upstairs, but they still managed to hear me. My girl came down, tiptoed up behind me, wrapped her arms around me and squeezed me tight.
She quietly said to me;

"Mummy, to stop crying you should smell the strawberries and blow out the candle."

16 January 2016

Project 366 2016 #2

Week 2 of Project 366 2016 and the drag through January is on.
Luckily we have had some sunny days to brighten it up.

Project 366 #2

Project 366 2016  day 10 - Mini me // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016  day 11 - Misty fields // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016  day 12 - Morning run // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016  day 13 - Blank diary // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016  day 14 - Cosy socks // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016  day 15 - Home before the sunset // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016  day 16 - Icy car // 76sunflowers

12 January 2016

Running Diary {A Setback in the Plan}

Running Diary {A Setback in the Plan} // 76sunflowers

Today I headed out on my second 8 mile run for my half marathon training. I recently tweaked my training plan, for the final ten weeks preparation up to the big day on March 13th, leaving some room for adapting and adding in an extra run as and when. This week I added in an extra run by nipping out for a steady 3 mile run yesterday - this followed on from: last Tuesday 8 miles, Friday 3 miles intervals and Saturday 5 miles. The previous weeks have seen some good runs with no niggles in my left knee for a long time now - I have had IT band issues for which I have worked on with specific stretches and exercise - with steady progression in mileage and holding back on trying to increase speed at the same time. I was basically doing everything right.
Then it all went a bit wrong today.

11 January 2016

Musing on a Monday {Changing Rooms and Growing Up}

Musing on a Monday {Changing Rooms & Growing Up}

Quite some time ago I made some home decorating plans; February 2015 I was going to paint the children's rooms and buy a high bed so they could finally fulfil their plan of changing rooms. Now, I have been known to make lots of plans when it comes to our home and they rarely come into fruition. My compact, shabby chic kitchen that I tried to transform back in 2012 is much the same, albeit a bit shabbier and less chic. The walls around our home still display the same colours that I painted them with back in 2005 when we first moved in; but with the addition of smudges and fingerprints from little people that have increased in size over the passing years. The carpets have changed but much remains the same.

9 January 2016

Project 366 2016 #1

And so we begin.
I'm back for my third year of Project 365.
Well, Project 366 as 2016 is a leap year. 
Project 366 2016 day 1 - Running reward jar // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 2 - Kennet and Avon canal // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 3 - Victoria Sponge // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 4 - Jillian Michaels 30 day shred // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 5 - Daffodils // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 6 - Bedtime reading // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 7 - Creationary // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 8 - Friday 5k // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 9 - Amy Winehouse // 76sunflowers

6 January 2016

40 things to do before 40

40 things to do before 40 // 76sunflowers

I woke up on January 1st panicking about two things; this year I am 40 and next year my baby girl starts Secondary School.
There is nothing I can do about either of them - although the girl keeps mentioning wanting to be home schooled but that it is not a realistic option.
I cannot hold back time but I can enjoy it. So, somewhat predictably, and maybe a bit late in the day seeing as there are only 248 days left until I hit the big four zero, I have created a 40 things to do before 40 list.
As tempting as it was to add Go to New England, Move house, Leave my job I have tried to keep it achievable and realistic!

5 January 2016

Running Diary {Half Marathon Plan}

Half Marathon Plan - 10 weeks to go
Whilst sat relaxing with a cuppa and Facebook on the weekend a link appeared from the Bath Half Marathon reminding me of the fact that it is now ten weeks away. Spitting my tea out just a little I had a momentary wave of anxiety pass over me.
Ten weeks?!
How will I be ready in TEN WEEKS??
Luckily, I have been planning this for a while.
I like to plan - it drives the husband mad but without a plan I am lost.
My fridge has been covered with monthly planners all colour coded with gel pens and sharpies and swiftly edited when a run or workout didn't happen or changed days. I went through a phase of awarding myself little sticky gold and silver stars when getting myself ready for my 10k Race for Life last summer - maybe I should find those again?
But, the plan seems to be doing its job, although I have been doing three runs a week rather than four and the Christmas holiday replaced my living room DVD workouts with an increased Prosecco and sausage roll intake. So, I thought I should now tweak my '10 weeks to go' plan.

4 January 2016

Musing on a Monday {It's oh so quiet}

It is 11 o'clock as I sit and type my latest Musing on a Monday entry - and my first post of 2016 - and the realisation of the empty, quiet house has just hit me. The alarm awoke me from my less than restful sleep at 7 a.m. and it was time to get back into the weekly routine of school and work following 16 mornings of blissful waking up as and when we liked. Ironically, following a very wet and grey Christmas break, the sun is shining - perfect weather for a family day out. Typical. Once I had awoken the reluctant girl, and the, "I actually want to be back to school as I get to see my friends again," boy, packed lunches, made breakfast and went through the morning motions of the school run I was back in an empty house. I did a 30 day shred workout, washed up, unloaded the washing machine, loaded the tumble dryer, made a cup of tea, sat and wrote a list of what I need to do today but constantly the quietness enveloped me just a little too much. There was a time I craved this, needed it, could only survive with it but today I want my house full of the chatter of the children, the mess they make, the hugs available on tap.
Maybe I'm in denial; trying to hold back the time as my back to school day looms, peeking it's unwelcoming head around the corner.
Maybe I'm freaking out about the passing of time in general; I hit 40 this year, something that I am actually struggling with although I keep telling myself it's just a number and the world will keep on turning when that momentous day comes and goes.
Maybe I'm being selfish.
Maybe I need to re-evaluate my outlook again.
© 76 sunflowers

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