24 September 2016

Project 366 2016 #38

Week 38 of Project 366 for 2016 saw a change of seasons with the Autumn Equinox and signs of Autumn all around.

Project 366 2016 day 262 - Yoga books // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 263 - Doc Martens // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 264 - Vegan Tofu coconut curry // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 265 - iPad book // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 266 - Autumn Equinox yoga // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 267 - Sunrise // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 268 - Lacock allotments // 76sunflowers

Day 262
A long drive home from Leeds today and on my return I had an exciting package of books awaiting me.
Day 263
Time to break my Doc Martens in a little more on the walk to school.
Day 264
I'm trying to eat less meat and animal products and today my vegan Tofu coconut curry went down well with the children - the husband needs more convincing! It also helped to try and shift a bit of head cold I've got going on.
Day 265
Last week I didn't get on well at all reading a book on my iPad but I discovered it was the book and not the screen that was the issue. Tonight was an early night with Coming up Roses.
Day 266
Yoga night tonight and it's the Autumn Equinox. My amazing teacher had made us a hot delicious cacao elixir for us and had gifts of incense.
Day 267
The drive to work today, and the wait at the traffic lights, was brightened up by the sunrise.
Day 268
Today was one of those lovely family days; we had an explore of a local town and ended up wandering around the allotments at Lacock Abbey where I spotted my first pumpkin of 2016. It definitely feels like Autumn now.

x x x

18 September 2016

Project 366 2016 #37

Week 37 of Project 366 2016 saw me happily turn 40!

Project 366 2016 day 255 - 40 today! // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 256 - On Roundhay tickets // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 257 - Farm shop pigs // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 258 - iPad book // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 259 - Secondary art // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 260 - September in bloom // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 261 - James at On Roundhay // 76sunflowers

Day 255
40 today! Following yesterday's busy day I had a perfect chilled day and was thoroughly spoilt throughout.
Day 256
A 4.5 mile run into town to pick up my On Roundhay tickets ready for the weekend.
Day 257
The husband took me out for a morning cuppa at a local farm shop where we had a wander past the pigs.
Day 258
Early to bed with a downloaded book on the iPad for a change - I definitely prefer the traditional paper book.
Day 259
A visit to one of our local secondary schools tonight ahead of decisions to be made next month - my girl enjoyed the art provision.
Day 260
The late Summer sunshine is helping my birthday plant from last year return to full bloom.
Day 261
A long drive up to Leeds today; but it was worth it to see Wolf Alice, Primal Scream and, my favourite, James at the On Roundhay festival.

x x x

11 September 2016

Project 366 2016 #36

Week 36 of Project 366 2016 saw a return to school and work - and the big 40 getting closer and closer!
Project 366 2016 day 248 - Food & River Festival // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 249 - Running again // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 250 - Sunflower // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 251 - Yoga leggings // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 252 - H A P P Y // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 253 - Diamond earrings // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 254 - Last day of 39 // 76sunflowers

Day 248
We had a wander into town today for the annual River and Food Festival where we watched friends play in their band and I enjoyed some rather lovely vegan noodles.
Day 249
The children went back to school today so I blew the dust off my runners and took myself out for a gentle 5k. It was my first run in four weeks and it felt good - but I'm taking it easy.
Day 250
Some last minute prep for work tomorrow and some chilled out time at home. I'm hoping the sunflowers in the garden will last until my 40th - which is very soon!
Day 251
Back to work day was made easier with a quick walk from work to pick up a package of yoga leggings. You can never have too many pairs.
Day 252
Sunshine in the garden and the husband has been busy making some H A P P Y letters.
Day 253
Relief today as I found my diamond earrings - a gift over 12 years ago from the husband. The other day I managed to re-jiggle an earring through my ears that I thought had healed over. Now my girl wants hers pierced but that can wait.
Day 254
Last day of being 39! I had a lush day of yoga, a civilised Afternoon Tea, Prosecco and an evening curry. 40, I'm ready for you!
x x x

5 September 2016

Finding Happiness on the Road to 40 {Musing on a Monday}

I sat here this morning, in my quiet house alone, feeling a bit lost with the children back at school. So I did the only thing that I knew would clear my head, and feel like I have returned to the back to school normality, and went for a run. I blew the cobwebs off my runners - not worn for 4 weeks - laced them up and headed out for a gentle 5k to ease me back into it. Following the Norwich 10k I decided to rest from running, transferred my September half marathon place and spent the time, not worrying about training and fitness, but making summer memories with my family. And it was a good one. 
The Road to 40 // 76sunflowers
Now, as my thoughts turn to the reality that we are well and truly in September, comes the realisation that my 40th is just around the corner - it's so close I can see it smiling at me. But I am ready for it. This time last year I was more than just a little freaked out about turning 39 but I turned that worry into something positive. Come the new year I made a list; a fun stress free list of 40 things to do before 40. It was a list of ideas; things that were achievable and things that if I didn't do them it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Here's how I did.

1.   Run in a 10 k race - Yes, three of them; Longleat, Broughton Gifford and Norwich
2.   Run 10 miles - Yes, in order to...
3.   Complete a half marathon - Yes, two of them; Bath and Hackney
4.   Run a total of 400+ miles - Yes
5.   Save £100 in my running jar (£1 a run) - Yes, but spent some of it on...
6.   Get a meaningful tattoo - Yes
7.   Have a girl's night out - Yes
8.   Have a husband and wife night out - Kind of - a day and early evening in Bath!
9.   Go and see some live music - Yes, my favourite band, James.
10. Go to the cinema with the children - Yes, to see Snoopy & Charlie Brown
11. Go to the cinema without the children - Nearly went to see David Brent but decided to go to the pub instead!
12. Watch the sunrise - Sadly, no.
13. Watch the sunset - Yes
14. Visit the family in Norfolk - Yes
15. Eat fish and chips on the beach at Wells-next-the-sea - We ate fish and chips in Norfolk and went to Wells but didn't combine the two!
16. Run in Norfolk - Yes, Norwich 10k
17. Go on a long walk by myself - No, but lots of long runs by myself
18. Go on a big walk from Lulworth Cove - Have yet to get back down to the cove
19. Buy a lottery ticket - No, I may have been a millionaire by now!
20. Write a letter to America - No
21. Write a letter to New Zealand - Yes
22. Take the children to London - Yes, so I could run Hackney 10k!
23. Introduce the children to the Indiana Jones films - Have yet to do this
24. Lose 7 lbs - Yes, and it seems to be staying off
25. Meet up with an old friend - Yes, two of them!
26. Learn to cartwheel again - Yes, I persevered with this and faced my fears with help from my girl
27. Eat out as a family - Yes, fish and chips al fresco!
28. Go camping - Yes, at our favourite site
29. Read my subscription magazines cover to cover - Sort of, I dip into them now that I have sorted them out
30. Read more books - Lately, yes.
31. Practise more yoga - A big fat YES! Including taking myself solo to a yoga festival!
32. Use my DSLR properly - Sort of! I started to follow an online course then got distracted but I am remembering more when I do grab it
33. Get the children together with their English cousins - Sadly not yet but they are due to visit this October
34. Take a train ride somewhere - Yes, into Bath
35. Teach myself to knit again - The wool is still in its bag
36. Visit a new town/city - Not yet
37. Visit a new National Trust property - No, we haven't been to many of our favourites this year - I fear the children have moved on!
38. Go fruit picking - No but we'll be hitting the hedgerows soon for blackberries and sloes
39. Walk along a pier - No
40. Ride the dodgems - No

So about 65% successful with some added bonuses.

This time last year if someone had said I would be taking myself off alone to a yoga festival I would have laughed at them but this year I have changed my focus and outlook quite a bit. Life is out there for living and finding new adventures and facing up to being 40 has finally made me realise that. Don't get me wrong I have no plans to be off skydiving and base jumping every weekend but my eyes are wider open to life's possibilities. If I see something I like the look of I will now think, 'Yes I can do that.' Rather than, 'I like the look of that but it will be a little scary to do it.' I'm now turning this way of thinking towards some new life goals; to learn something new, to try something new, to do something that makes me happier in my work. This sits with my new outlook on priorities and what is important. I am more accepting and thankful for this precious life and have come to discover that happiness lies in many things and it isn't necessarily going to be found in a bulging bank balance and big house. 

It's been the little things this year that have made me happy; time with my precious little family, a rare day out alone with the husband, camping out in the lounge watching movies with the children, doing yoga in my quiet space at the back of the house, pitching a tent solo with success in the wind and rain, talking to strangers and finding new things about myself, spending days on end in a field with my family under the sun covered in glitter, getting fire in my belly, running through my home city and getting a little bit emotional, an evening out with a great friend, making plans for a chilled end to my 30s, making plans for my future, finally being happy and content in who I am.

x x x


3 September 2016

Project 366 2016 #35

Week 35 of Project 366 2016 passed by in a bit of a haze. I may have buried my head in the sand a bit about August coming to an end and a return to work.

Project 366 2016 day 241 - Sunflowers // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 242 - Hot air balloon // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 243 - Picnic by the river // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 244 - Back to school stationery // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 245 - Chick lit // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 246 - Colouring in book // 76sunflowers
Project 366 2016 day 247 - Library books & DVDs // 76sunflowers

Day 241
I noticed that new sunflowers had come out at the bottom of the bottom; they made quite the contrast with the old fading heads.
Day 242
This evening we made the most of the sunshine and had a late summer BBQ. As we sat we heard the sound of a hot air balloon with its flight path coming directly above us.
Day 242
The husband took us out to a new spot for a lovely picnic by the river today.
Day 243
I had to get some work done today so out came the new A4 planning book and biros all ready for a new year at school.
Day 244
Back to work today to begin the tidy up and sort out before the children arrive next week. The evening included yoga then I tucked myself up in bed with my latest book - some good old Jenny Colgan chick lit.
Day 245
Work training this morning then back home to chill with the family. Me and my girl shared a colouring page.
Day 246
A wet Saturday so we headed into town to do the weekly shop and popped to the library where I booked out an interesting mix of books and DVDs.


1 September 2016

Crafting Parties

As I am swiftly approaching 40 I have been thinking about how to celebrate the big day. I am aiming to get a balance of something in the morning for friends, afternoon for family and children and evening for those that want to continue partying. Crafting parties can provide a creative and fun activity that anyone can have a go at with no experience needed. These parties are suitable for all ages and there is a huge variety of activities to choose from suitable for a range of occasions; birthday, baby shower, hen party, Christmas party and many more.
Crafting is a brilliant group activity and ideal if you want to do something indoors and alcohol free. No falling into mud or drunken arguments here! Just lots of creativity and laughs to be had as you help each other make lovely keepsakes to remember the day.

So the big question is which crafting activity to choose? Here is a selection of the most popular and enjoyable crafting parties – you are guaranteed to have a great time with the group here!

1.      Chocolate Making
For all you foodies out there why not take a chocolate making class. During the class you can taste a selection of delicious chocolates before learning how to make the chocolate, starting right at the cocoa bean. You will be guided through the whole process and at the end you can take your homemade creations away with you for others to try – unless you eat them all first! This would be a good one to organise for someone who absolutely loves chocolate and would be a fun surprise for them. Prepare to get messy!
Crafting parties - Chocolate making // 76sunflowers

2.      Flower Crown Making
How about putting your hands to crown making? Think summer festivals and girls wearing pretty floral headbands – this is what you can make from scratch in this crafting party. This is a lovely activity to do with the girls, maybe for a hen party or baby shower. You will be provided with materials such as faux flowers, leaves and berries so you can get creative and make a beautiful crown. What is great is that you can take your crown home with you and wear it whenever you like! Take a group photo modelling your crowns for a cute keepsake to frame.
Crafting parties - Flower crowns // 76sunflowers
Source: The Crafty Hen
3.      Cocktail Ring Making
For all you jewellery lovers a cocktail ring making party is for you. Get together with the girls and each make your own unique cocktail ring. You will be provided with pearls, rhinestones and beads and learn all about wire construction and beading techniques. When you are happy with your ring you will be given a pretty box to keep it in, then you can take it home to show off to all your friends!
Crafting parties - Cocktail ring making // 76sunflowers
Source: The Crafty Hen
4.      Perfume Making
Perfect for a special occasion such as Mother's Day. At this party you can learn how to make your very own unique, individual scent. You will be guided through the creative process by a professional perfume maker and blend a variety of smells to create your perfect scent. Then give your scent a name and take it away to enjoy. You can really get creative at this perfume party and you will all come out with your own individual creations.
Crafting parties - Perfume making // 76sunflowers

5.      Bunting making
Have a bunting making party and create some lovely bunting to put up at parties or for a brides wedding venue. Each person will be taught how to make bunting and you can make as many as you want, which is great if you need quite a few for a party. Lots of different materials are provided so you can create your own personal styles of bunting.
Crafting parties - Bunting making // 76sunflowers
Source: The Crafty Hen
Give one of these parties a go for your next special occasion! You can host them in the comfort of your own home or in places such as cafes and bars.

x x x

© 76 sunflowers

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