Journal Jar – Family Reunions

Another journal jar prompt about family.  Oh dear!

Tell about family reunions you have attended.

I’d love to tell you about family reunions but I haven’t been to any!  Unless you count my mother-in-law’s funeral.  I suppose it was a kind of reunion, I mean most of my husband’s family were there as well as friends of my mother-in-law.

What I remember most was me taking my son, step-daughter, step-son and their grandparents to the pub while we left the rest of the family, including my husband, at the wake.  We did then go back to talk to the rest of the family but I think my son and step-children needed a break and with 2 pubs in the village that was our best option.

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Journal Jar – Favourite Aunt or Uncle

Another blog prompt from my Journal Jar:

Tell about your favourite aunt or uncle.  Were you close?  What do you remember most?

To be honest, my family aren’t particularly close.  I can go for weeks, or even months, not speaking to my parents or sister.  It’s not that we are estranged or anything, it’s just that we don’t talk much.  I think it stems from being at boarding school before all of the technology we have now so we didn’t see/speak to each other for 3 months at a time and it kind of stuck.

Anyway, this is supposed to be about a favourite aunt or uncle.  I don’t have a favourite but I guess the one I knew most was my mum’s brother as I spent a lot of weekends at my grandma’s while I was at school and he’d often bring my cousin over.  I remember his bald head and his beard but not much else.  I know he had a great sense of humour and made me laugh with stories of my mum as a child.

Baking, parkrun and planning

It’s Easter weekend which means I have 4 days off!  Yay!  The man of the house is working most of the weekend, his one day off is tomorrow, so what was I going to do with Adam, and myself?

First was a trip in to York city centre to the York Chocolate Festival.  We’ve been to the Chocolate Festival for the past few years but after last year, which I didn’t think was particularly good, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go again.  This year was much better than last year!  They even had a booklet with activities for the kids, I almost wished I’d picked one up and dragged Adam round the city centre to find the clues 😉  Anyway, with all that chocolate on display I could have spent a fortune!  I didn’t.  I decided I would buy some chocolate dipped honeycomb from a company I haven’t seen before – it is gorgeous!!! – and that would be my only purchase.

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We got home at about 2.30pm after deciding to get the park and ride bus back to Tesco and then walk home from there.  For some reason the “city” buses are on a Sunday service for Good Friday and Easter Monday but the park and ride buses are following their usual weekday timetable.  Not that it makes much difference for the park and ride service as they are approximately every 10 minutes regardless of which day it is, they just change their start times on Sundays.

Anyway, after we got home I decided that I wanted to do some baking.  I was only going to make a crème egg brownie but when we were in Tesco I saw a pack of 11 mini bags of mini eggs which were on offer, buy two packs for £5.  Well, on 11-pack was £4 so it seemed silly not to take advantage of getting 11 more mini bags for £1.  So, what was I going to do with the mini eggs except make a mini egg brownie and some cupcakes with mini eggs on top.  Then, while I was looking for the brownie recipe online, I found a recipe for mini egg rocky road.  So that was added to my baking list.

The recipe for the brownies came from Jane’s Patisserie, she has so many great bakes on her website go check them out!  I took the basic recipe (Easter Brownies) and adapted it to fit the eggs which I had – mini eggs (lots) instead of all of the different types of mini egg.  For the crème egg brownies, I did the same brownie mixture and just pushed the crème egg halves on the top.
The mini egg rocky road recipe (in the Tupperware box in the middle) came from She Who Bakes.  I only had a small Tupperware box to put it in so I made half the recipe and it fit in the small, low Freezer Mate beautifully.  Next time, I’ll make the full amount and split it between two Freezer Mates as it went down a storm!

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That is too much sweet, chocolatey goodness for this household to handle so I decided to take it to parkrun with me this morning.  I still have some left but the runners and volunteers didn’t let me down.  This mornings parkrun was a little soggy, to say the least with 3 or 4 HUGE puddles in the first 500m.  I was shattered by the time I’d finished my first 3 minute run interval after running through them.  I had wet feet and even a wet bum!  The alternative was to run through the muddy, boggy grass and at least my shoes stayed clean 🙂

That brings us on to this afternoon.  Planning …  We are off to Disney World, again, later this year so I have been doing some planning for our trip.  Deciding where to eat, which parks we want to visit – Adam has decided he’d like to go to LEGOLAND as our “extra” this year.  As we are going for a shorter trip, we can only add one “extra” rather than two.  We are also hoping to find the Tupperware Visitors Centre 🙂  Not my idea, even though I have wanted to go for years.  My husband said to me a couple of months ago “Fi, do you know that Tupperware’s head office is in Orlando?”  Well, duh!  Of course I do/did.  I just never suggested visiting because I wasn’t sure he’d want to.  Now he’s suggested it, however, we’re going!

What are you doing with your long weekend?  Do you have time off or are you working?  Is it just another day?

Active 10

On Wednesday evening I watched The Truth About … Getting Fit on BBC One (it is available to watch on up layer until the beginning of March 2018). It was interesting and tested the theory behind 10,000 steps and whether or not aiming for 3 brisk walks of 10 minutes each day would be better for health gains. The small experiment they did showed that, yes, doing 3 10 minute walks, where you get your heart rate up, is better than aiming for 10,000 steps. The programme also mentioned the One You Active 10 app which measures your walking and “encourages” you to get your walks in each day.

I downloaded the app and set a simple goal of 1 10 minute walk each day. Unsurprisingly, I got the first day as it was a running day anyway. I even got a “reward” for achieving my first goal 😊.

REDJanuary is over

It’s done, January is finished and with it my exercise challenges. At the beginning of January I signed up for REDJanuary – run every day. I didn’t plan to run every day, but rather, I planned to exercise for at least 10 minutes every day including running, walking and yoga. 

Guess what? I did it! I exercised every day! I ran at least 3 times each week, sometimes 4 and recorded 74.5km of running on my Garmin. On the days I didn’t run, I walked for at least 10 minutes. I also completed a 30 day yoga journey True with Yoga with Adriene.

As I am more interested in improving my fitness rather than losing weight, weight loss wasn’t a goal. Just as well really as I didn’t lose anything. However, thanks to the regular exercise, I have actually lost inches round my waist, hips and belly. Actually, my hips and belly are the smallest they’ve been for 24 years!

So, what now? Do I just stop because January is over? Tempting, but no. Now I’ve got the consistency of exercising every day, I want to keep going. I am aiming to run 2 to 3 times a week and keep up the daily yoga practice. I’m also going to add one strength training session each week with a long term goal of strength training twice a week. One small change each month should make them easier to incorporate and maintain in my everyday life.

Today was a good start to February with a 4k run. 

Did you reach your January goals? What are your goals for February?

Menopause?

*WARNING* If you don’t want to read about periods and lady things then stop reading NOW!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you if you keep on reading.

OK, so this is really happening, probably … menopause has started.  I’m actually OK with it.  I mean I have had the one and only child I am ever going to have.  Trust me, I’m not starting again in my mid-40s, I really couldn’t go through all that again!  As it is my hands-on parenting days are going to last a lot longer than most without the patter of tiny feet.

When my step-daughter, Becky, started going through early menopause last year (she’s blogged about HRT so I’m sure she won’t mind the mention), I spoke to my mum about it as Becky wasn’t getting much, if any, advice from her Nanna who, apparently sailed through with no problems.  Unfortunately, my mum wasn’t any help either because she (and my grandma) sailed through it too!  Great!  Let’s hope I sail through, that would be nice.  It’s not looking likely that I’ll get through unscathed.

So, the symptoms include (only listing the ones affecting me right now if you want to see the list click on the link to the NHS website):

Night sweats – I have those which is really disconcerting when I have to wear socks to bed, until I warm up, because I also have Raynaud’s Syndrome which mean I have cold hands and feet, a lot.  Oh, and I have a really warm husband who emits a lot of heat – I don’t need any more heat, please!

Difficulty sleeping – well, duh, thanks to the night sweats I’m waking up!  Apparently this can make you more irritable during the day.

Headaches – nothing new there, I get headaches with my period anyway and always have.  That’s just something I have lived with for over 30 years.

… but there’s more …

Most of us know that your periods start getting a bit hit and miss, right?  OK, I can cope with missing periods and not knowing when it’s going to come along next.  What I didn’t know, until I googled it because it started happening to me late last year, is that your periods can get more frequent (like every 2 to 3 weeks!) and longer!  What?!?  Yes!  I am one of the “lucky” ones who has gone from a 28 day cycle to a 23 day cycle and the period itself lasts 7 days!  Oh, and the first 2 days are *heavy*, like goes through the super plus extra tampons in 2 hours heavy.  The NHS website helpfully says:

You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods.

The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have one every two or three weeks, or you may not have one for months at a time.

I wish I’d known that earlier.  Ah well, I know now.

Here’s hoping that this will be the extent of my symptoms as I don’t seem to be getting hot flushes but you never know that may come.

Apparently, a good diet (avoiding caffeine and spicy food) and exercise can help with the symptoms and yoga/meditation helps with mood swings and irritability.  Well, I don’t like spicy food and I don’t drink tea or coffee, although I do like my diet coke so maybe it’s time to find an alternative or maybe I’ll just start out by cutting down the amount I drink.  I also have a healthy diet, most of the time after all you have to have treats occasionally.  With regards to exercise, ever since discovering parkrun I’ve found that I actually like running and as of 2nd January I have been taking part in Yoga with Adriene’s True 30 Day Yoga Journey.  I’ve really been enjoying my daily yoga and will be continuing it into February and beyond.

Q & A

So, the lovely Becky, decided to nominate her step-mum (me) as her one and only nomination for this Q&A.  Now, if anyone else had nominated me I’d probably have politely declined to answer the questions but as it’s Becky, I’ll give it a shot.  I will, however, not be setting any of my own questions or nominating anyone as the only person I’d nominate would be … Becky.

Here goes.  Firstly, the rules as copied and pasted from Becky’s post:

Rules

(as taken from AJ’s blog post)

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the questions sent to you. 
  • Nominate around ten bloggers. I will nominate one blogger – my step-mum, Fi (and whoever else wants to answer my questions).
  • Create your set of questions for your nominees. See below…
  • List the rules and display the Brotherhood Of The World logo in your post.

Now onto Becky’s questions:

1.  Why did you start your blog?
I initially started my blog on MSN as a private blog in about 2006 as an online journal to record my thoughts about being a mature student at college, and then university.  I then started a public blog when the MSN one was moved on to WordPress in around 2010 and I couldn’t be bothered to keep it all private anymore.  The WordPress blog started as somewhere to record my exercise goals and whether or not I reached those goals as well as some of the challenges faced having a child with a disability.

2. What do you wish others would blog about more often?
I’m not particularly bothered about what other people blog about.  I have some which I follow but I don’t wish they would blog about certain topics more than others.  I choose to read them because they are interesting to me.

3.  Where do you go to for blog post ideas when you’re out of them yourself?
A few years ago I found a list of questions for a “Journal Jar” and printed them out.  I have them sat on my desk and every so often I’ll put my hand in a pull out a prompt.  I also have a list of “interesting dates” in the front of my diary which is useful too.  Did you know it’s Strawberry Ice Cream Day today and Nothing Day tomorrow?

4.  Have you made many friends through blogging?
I haven’t made any friends who I’ve met up with or anything but I have a few bloggers who I follow and who follow me and we interact fairly regularly.  Well, we used to when I was blogging a lot more regularly/frequently than I do now.  I don’t have time to read loads of blogs and then comment on them too.  Sorry fellow bloggers x

5.  What are the best things about reading blog posts written by others?
I love reading lots of different blogs for different reasons.  Some will inspire me to get out there and get my butt in gear to reach my exercise goals.  Others will give me ideas for things to make or do.  Others make me laugh out loud.  I love reading Becky’s blog because it gives me an insight into what she’s been going through even though we do speak to each other on a fairly regular basis, some things are easier to write about than talk about.  Also, if you haven’t read some of Becky’s earlier posts, there are some laugh out loud reads on there.  Her recent stuff is good too 😉

Thanks for this Becky.  I promise, I’ll try to blog more regularly this year but I can’t guarantee it.

Journal Jar – Favourite toy?

I decided to put my hand in my Journal Jar again and today I came out with:

Did you have a favourite blanket or toy? Tell about it.

I did have a favourite toy as a child.  I had a blue and pink bear called Herbert.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember much about him as he decided to take a trip out of the packing box when we moved between countries.  I don’t know why he wasn’t travelling with me in my bag on the plane but he wasn’t so he got lost.  After he got lost, my dad bought me a Care Bear (Grumpy Bear) and named him Bill.  He was then my favourite.  I gave Bill to Adam when he was little but he is now back to being mine and sits on a shelf in the bedroom with my Eeyore and a few other cuddly toys.

It’s Saturday so …

it must be parkrun day 🙂 I’d like to say it was a lovely parkrun day but it really wasn’t.  There was hail!  At least I think it was hail, if it wasn’t it was heavy rain which hurt like hail.  At least Poppy Coffee were there for post-run tea (for Adam), chili mocha (for the Man) and hot chocolate (for me).

After finishing 2017 with two good runs of sub-31 minutes, I was a little disappointed to run 32:08.  However, as I only went for one run this week instead of the planned 2-3 and I reduced the running interval to 3 minutes, we have been doing 4 minutes, with a view to running faster (the rain and wind meant the running interval wasn’t faster) a 1:20 drop in time for 5k wasn’t too bad.

I got Jeff Galloway‘s Run Walk Run book for Christmas and have been reading it.  I’m a great believer in run walk run and all of my running PBs have come from run walk run intervals and Adam has never completed anything longer than 1 mile as a constant run, and his 5K PB is 30:18!  From reading the book, it looks like a 7-minute mile pace is achievable on 3 minute run, 30 second walk, that would be around 21 minutes for a 5K! I don’t think I’ll ever get that fast but I’m going to work on bringing my intervals down to that and then aim to get the running part faster.  Next week, I’m going to try 3 minute run, 55 second walk.  I’ll be borrowing the interval timer I bought my husband for Christmas for that 😉

After getting cold and wet at parkrun, we walked home and while Adam and my husband were having their showers I thought I’d do day 5 of True (Yoga with Adriene).  I’m loving this “me time” which I have created by doing the yoga.  For the first 4 days, I made a conscious effort to turn off the TV between 9.15 and 9.30 pm so I can do the day’s practice before going up to bed at 10 pm.  I’m hoping this will become a regular routine which will continue after the 30 day journey/challenge is over.

So, this is also day 6 of REDJanuary completed 😀

Are you still meeting your goals this week?