Disneyland Take 2

Two years ago we took the kids to Disneyland Paris. You can read about our trip here. Almost as soon as we were on our way home the kids decided that they wanted to go again. As much as I was pleased that they had obviously enjoyed themselves, it had taken a year of me working 2 jobs to pay for it! So we started a saving pot. The kids did their part by putting in any money they found on the floor (D loves finding money on the floor!) and hubby and I added money as and when we had any spare. We also set up a savings account through our online banking as unfortunately money found on the floor (or “road-kill” as it is sometimes known) wasn’t going to pay for the trip. 


We booked to go away in January again even though we knew it was going to be cold. We ended up going a week earlier than the equivalent time two years ago and it made a big difference. There were a lot of French families there which made me assume that maybe the French schools hadn’t quite gone back to school yet. This made a difference to queuing times. Last time we basically walked onto all the rides with little or no queuing. This time we were queuing from 10-60minutes depending on the ride. I know that in the grand scheme of queue times it isn’t much but when temperatures are close to freezing then it makes a lot of difference. 


We flew this time instead of taking the ferry and I was really surprised by how easy this was. We had transfers to the hotel and it really was very straightforward. Although be warned it takes longer than you think to get through the airport on the way home. By chance we caught an earlier transfer bus to the airport (3hours before our flight) and only made it to the gate 30minutes before the plane was about to leave. 


We stayed at the hotel Chayenne this time and to be honest I didn’t find it as good as the Santa Fe where we stayed last time. This one was a Wild West theme and although D thought it was great I wasn’t particularly impressed. 


Our room had two double beds and they were so uncomfortable I hardly slept. I was so tired by the end of the week I could have cried. This really took the enjoyment out of the holiday for me. I really was pleased to get home to sleep in my own bed. Little Lady was also really looking forward to sleeping in bunk beds again but was obviously disappointed. 


Again we saved money by taking our own food into the park for lunch and we planned tea time carefully making sure that we didn’t overspend our budget. We did have treats though including the most delicious waffle I’ve ever had and a doughnut the size of Little Lady’s head! There’s not much point to scrimping so much that you take the fun out of the holiday. 


The kids have already asked if we can go again and they are very keen to start another savings pot asap. D has asked if we can go to Legoland first and then Disneyland next year. I’m pretty sure we can find some deals for Legoland to go this summer but it may be another two years before we can afford Disneyland again. A friend suggested September as the queues are still short but it’s warmer. It would be nice to go when it’s not as cold. Pictures where I don’t look like a Michelin man would be good too. You can see how cold it is by the icicles in the picture below. This was in the afternoon too when the sun had been on them all day. 


Have you been to Disneyland Paris? When did you go? How did you find it?

Snow Angel

Number 17 on my original Day Zero List was to make a snow angel. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on my side and it didn’t snow for the whole 1001 days. I was gutted. I really thought we’d have at least a little bit of snow but nope! Nothing! 

On the 2nd January I was invited to walk Pen-y-Fan with the Run Wales ladies and guess what? It was snowing. A lot! 


Oh yeah. We walked up in the dark as the plan was to watch the sun rise. However visibility was so bad that we couldn’t even see the sun at the supposed time. 

But swings and roundabouts and all that. The snow was so thick I got to try a snow angel. I say “try” as it was so thick and compacted that my whole body weight barely made a dent in it so you can hardly see the angel 😦 


But the pictures do show that I had a good go at it. 

I did transfer “make a snow angel” to my new list (number 16) so I can cross that off now. Hurray! I can also cross off number 67 “Walk Pen-y-Fan” 

Two done on the second day. I doubt I’ll keep that momentum up though lol! 

Do you have snow where you are normally? 

Day Zero List Roundup

New Year’s Eve 2016 saw the end of my very 1st Day Zero List. I have to admit I struggled writing my list as I felt that I had to write really exciting and “big” things on there, much like a bucket list. I didn’t make the full 101 items but actually I’ve realised that the items don’t all need to be BIG THINGS.

I’ve enjoyed crossing things off my list and am really excited about starting my new one. I think with a little more effort I could cross off the majority of the items. But I’m not here to talk about the next one.

How did I get on with my first list?

Stats:
On my list – 92
Completed – 52 (56.5%)
In progress – 5

7. Run 10k under 1hour (currently 1:04:32) I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t break the hour for this but it’s been moved onto my new list and I WILL do it

9. Get my funding renewed My job is safe for the next 3 years thankfully

11. Be under 10stone Let’s skip over this one shall we? 😉

17. Make a snow angel We haven’t had snow since I started my list 😦

24. Visit London Little Lady and I had a fanatstic time. Click on the link to read about it

29. Make 10 items of clothing (4/10) Failed miserably
*Superhero dress (17/5/14)
*Tortoise dress (23/8/14)
*White t-shirt
*Blue Ruby dress (4/9/15)

41. Run 500km in a year (2016) First time I have ever completed this since I started running

55. Give someone flowers for no reason (27/4/14) This one kind of fell into my lap.

63. Make D a memory book Little Lady has had one for years (probably needs a new one now) and I have always felt guilty that D didn’t have one

73. Crochet a rainbow blanket (finished 15/5/15) This blanket is so well used. We all love it

75. Potty train D (September 2014) A major milestone 🙂

85. Upcycle wedding dress I finally have plans for my dress yay!

88. Climb Pen-Y-Fan I had such fun doing this

90. Run 5 different parkruns (5/5) parkrun tourism is great. I would recommend it to every one who parkruns
*Cardiff (home)
*Porthcawl (4/4/15)
*Penallta (10/10/15)
*Pontypridd (2/1/16)
*Newport (16/1/16)
*Barry Island
*Parc Bryn Bach

91.Declutter another 100 items (45/100) We are ever so slowly getting there

So there’s a brief run down of my Day Zero List results. Some of the items have corresponding blog posts so please check out the list and click on the item to read about it.

My new list started on the 1st January 2017 and will be up on it’s own tab above soon.

Do you have a Day Zero List? What’s on yours?

2016 Roundup

Wow! Can you believe it’s 2017 already? Little Lady will reach her double figures this year! Time really does fly as you get older. Last year has gone in a flash. I think I have achieved quite a bit in 2016.

I did quite a bit of running


We did quite a few things as a family


I made a number of things from fabric and wool

And food featured a lot in 2016 too


I love looking back at highlights of the year and can’t wait to start making “highlights” in 2017 too. 

What was the best bit of your 2016? Can you pick one?

Bye bye 2016

We are fast approaching the end of the year. It’s been a pretty shocking one in relation to high profile deaths, Brexit, US elections but for us here at alifetimeofdiy it hasn’t been a bad one. The good times have thankfully outnumbered the bad. 

I’ve struggled a lot with my anxiety towards the later part of the year but I feel I am coming out the other side now and am feeling almost excited to be starting a new year in a few days. 

I have a lot of plans for next year. We have started decorating the front room, we’ve bought a new sofa and Little Lady’s room is getting a shuffle around after we were gifted a cabin bed for her. 

My Day Zero List finishes on New Year’s Eve. I don’t feel I’ve achieved much over the last 1001 days even though I have managed to tick off over half of the items on there. I still have a few days left so I’ll do a round up possibly on New Year’s Day. 

I’ve started a new list to be started on the 6th April too. Hopefully I’ve set more realistic goals. 

I have recently been asked to blog about my running over at Run Wales so I will possibly not be blogging so much about my running here. I am planning to increase my crafty posts. Start showing some of my makes again. We’ve also got a lot of DIY planned for next year so keep a look out for those posts. 

I do hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas and a relaxing week so far. 

How was 2016 for you?

From First to Last

After the joy of the Severn Bridge Night Run I should have known I was due a bad run. 

My club has recently started holding a monthly handicap 5k race. I did the very first one and loved it. It was fantastic to see the runners on an equal playing field.


I came 5th in the very first one and was mega impressed with my time (28:41) until we all realised that the course was short of 5k. I was slightly gutted as my time had smashed my previous PB by a minute. But obviously the lack of distance explains that. 

The rules of the handicap race state that your starting time and place are set by your PB in a previous handicap run. This stops people stating they are slower than they are in order to win. It’s a good rule but it meant that yesterday I had to use the (unachievable) time of 28:41. 

As it happens I was still the slowest and therefore first to set off. It was cold and foggy and my legs felt like lead. I was struggling for breath when I was overtaken just over 1km into the run. I was then overtaken twice more before the halfway point. As we ran the bottom loop every man and his dog overtook me. It was so embarrassing. 

As I came up the last stretch I could see that I was last. But not just last, last by quite a while! I was mortified. Every single person had overtaken me! I had tears in my eyes crossing the finish line and would have cried had Little Lady not been with me!

My time wasn’t a bad one. In fact it’s about right for me at the minute but going from first to last really hurt.


I’ve had a bit of time to think about it since then and really it’s not the end of the world. We all have bad runs and I need to remember that. I had such lovely messages of support from members of my running club who saw how upset I was and that really made my day. It reminded me how supportive the running community can be. 

Onwards and upwards

Severn Bridge Night Run

Wow! What can I say? This run lifted both my mood and my confidence. I absolutely loved it. 

A couple of weeks ago one of the ladies in my run club posted about this run and I immediately signed up for it. It sold out pretty quick apparently so I’m glad I didn’t stop to think about it. 

It was a 5 mile run and I’ve never run a 5 mile race before. I work in kms so I don’t think I’ve ever done a 5mile run in training either. Obviously (as I’ve run Half Marathons) I’ve run further but never just 5miles. I had no idea what to expect or what time I would be likely to finish in. 


My 10k (6.2miles) PB is just over 64mins and this would be just over a mile shorter. However my running hasn’t been up to scratch lately and I was afraid that a big crowd would trigger my anxiety again so I decided to aim to finish just under an hour. That should be doable. 


This picture is at the start. 

Four of us went from my club and the other 3 are very speedy. So speedy in fact that both the ladies won prizes on the night 🙂

The bridge itself is 2.2 miles long so we ran along the right hand side pedestrian walkway into England, up and over the toll booths, into the services and back round onto the other side of the bridge to run back over it. 


I felt very strong running the race. There were a lot of times I could have stopped but when I actually thought about it my body wasn’t actually tired. It was my mind. I pushed through and played games to occupy my mind allowing me to keep going. 

I was pretty pleased to see the 4 mile marker and I knew I had enough to push for the finish. There was a girl in front of me that I wanted to overtake so I started to chase her. But then I was passed by a group of 3 women! I decided to go for it and try to catch them. I over took the group of 3 just before the route took us off the bridge but then we were faced with a hill. Not a big one or a steep one to be honest but I was suddenly afraid I had pushed too soon and I would blow up before the finish. I knew my chances of catching the girl I wanted to pass was slowly fading as she made her way up the hill. Then I spotted one of our run club who had come back for me. He shouted at me and I knew I couldn’t slow now. So I pushed up the hill and not only caught but overtook the girl I had been chasing. I got to the top and ran back down the other side knowing the finish was only around the corner. 

As I rounded the corner, the other ladies from my club were waiting for me. One shouted “run faster and you can sub 55!” I glanced at the time above the finish gantry and sure enough it showed 54:49. I had 10seconds to cross the line if I wanted sub 55. I ran as fast as I could and I did it!! I finished a whole 5minutes faster than I originally wanted! 🙂 

I was so pleased I couldn’t stop smiling. Even when both the other ladies won prizes for being so fast. I was genuinely happy for them. But I was also so happy for me. Not because I had run fast. The race was comfortable for me. To be honest I probably could have pushed a bit more but I needed this to be enjoyable. The fact that I got a really good time (for me) was actually just a bonus. 

Here’s hoping for more races and runs like this one.