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?

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?

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

Sticks and stones

I like this blog to be a happy place. I like it to be a place that I can share good things. Unfortunately life isn’t all good things and I’ve had a pretty rough time lately. It’s meant I haven’t wanted to blog or even leave the house most days. My anxiety levels haven’t been this high since I had PND after having Little Lady.

I’m not going to go into detail as it’s not a place to air dirty laundry and like I said, I want this to be a happy place, but I do want to highlight how important words are. No one knows exactly what someone else is going through. I was at a low point when comments were made to me that sent my anxiety spiraling out of control. These comments were brushed aside with “oh he didn’t mean it”. But by then it was too late. The damage was done.

I have slowly been building up the confidence to start going out to places where other people will be. It’s been hard and I’m still not quite there, as evidenced this weekend when I went to a social event and had to leave early as it felt like the incident that started this was a joke to many people. They obviously have no idea of the effect it has had as if they did, I would hope they would not have made the many (public) jokey references to it as they did.

I was brought up being told “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. Kind words don’t cost anything and yet they can mean the world. Please always try to say kind words. Many people are going through private issues. If we all try to be kind to each other then the world would be a much nicer place. Words can make or break someone.

If you know someone who is currently going through a hard time why not send them a quick message? Let them know they are not alone. Your words can make a huge difference to someone’s life.

*Normal service to be resumed shortly I promise*

A Tale of 3 Halves

I know mathematically I am on shaky ground but this really is a tale of 3 halves. Three half marathons that is. Yes that’s right! Can you believe I ran 3 half marathons in 6 weeks? No neither can I to be honest! They were all completely different too!

The Severn Bridge Half was the first of the three and the one I had wanted to do since it started 3(?) years ago. Walking across the bridge has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. I have no idea why I haven’t done it before to be honest but there you are. 

The weather was perfect. A little bit of sunshine but a lovely breeze too to keep the overall temperature down. The route had been changed due to roadworks this year but it was still meant to be very hilly. I decided that I would run as long as I could but I was allowed to walk the hills if I was struggling. It was a hard course. It really was and I obviously hadn’t eaten enough as by mile 11 I was picking blackberries from the hedges as I was so hungry!

I loved this race and next year they are planning a one off two bridges marathon. I can’t wait 😀 

I don’t think I have ever had a good running picture before but this one isn’t bad really. I mean I still don’t look like I’m running but I don’t look like I’m dying either lol!

Next up, a week later I was lucky enough to get the chance to run with Ben from the 401 challenge

Well it absolutely hammered down. I don’t think I have been as wet as that since the World Championship half in March! It seemed mostly trail too which I am not really used to. 

I ran with my friend Cathy and she was awesome. We passed the time chatting. Ben ran with us for a while too so we had a chance to chat to him. It was a really nice run if you take away the trail and the rain lol!

Which brings me to the 3rd half. My 4th Cardiff Half in 3 years. 

I honestly don’t know why I keep signing up for this race. I really dislike it. There is so much pressure at this race. Even when I try to pretend there’s not. I have never beaten the time I set at my very first half marathon which is frankly, ridiculous. It’s pathetic. I really don’t want to run it again next year but there’s a part of me that thinks “unfinished business” I really don’t know what to do. At least I’ve got a while to think about it. 

Escape Reality Cardiff *

**Disclaimer – hubby and I went for free in exchange for a review. All opinions in this post however, are mine (or hubby’s lol!)**

Last weekend was our 11th wedding anniversary. I really can’t believe how time flies. We don’t really celebrate our anniversary to be honest with you and as last year was our 10th we didn’t really have plans to celebrate this year. 

That all changed when I was offered a chance to try out the new Escape Reality escape rooms in Cardiff. My initial excitement wore off slightly when I read a review by someone who had failed to escape and hinted that they would have been more successful had there been more than 3 of them. I wondered how the 2 of us were likely to complete the puzzles if 3 of them were unable to do so? 

Turns out my fears were unfounded. I don’t believe number of players has any bearing on success. 

We had been advised to try Jungala as we had never attempted an escape room before. We were told that we had found an old board game which after starting to play and seeing the horror inside we decide to leave:

 (Taken from the website)

We were quite apprehensive at this point as we had no idea what to expect. 

We were given instructions on how the room worked and how to use the tablet we were given. After asking if we had any questions our guide left and shut the door. The clock immediately started counting down the hour and the pressure was immense. 

We struggled a bit at the start and wasted a bit of time competing the first 2/3 puzzles but once we got into the swing of things we seemed to complete puzzles faster. The tablet allows you to ask for a hint or a solution for each puzzle but they do come with time penalties so we tried not to use them. There are also plenty of cameras in the room so you can call for help if necessary. 

Hubby and I absolutely loved the escape room. I’m very proud of how well we worked together as a team and we definitely seemed to compliment each other in there. We made it to the last puzzle with 5minutes to go and the pressure to complete it was huge but hubby totally pulled it out of the bag and through his brains and excellent team work we managed to do everything we needed to do to escape in the alloted time. 

Our “Wall of Fame” picture 😀

I meant to take some pictures while we were completing the puzzles but to be honest I was so wrapped up in completing each clue that I totally forgot!!

We had an absolute fantastic time and would definitely go again. Hubby, who is usually quite reserved, has been raving about it since we did it and there’s no higher praise than that in my opinion. I personally think the price is a little high (£22 per person for 2 people, reducing as the number of people increases) but to be honest, the amount of detail that has gone into each room is amazing. If you do get chance to do one, then go for it. It is such a fantastic experience. The problem we have now though is deciding which one to do next! 

Have you done an escape room before? 

Zero Waste Week 2016

Oh dear. Zero Waste Week could not have come at a worse time for me this year. Not only did it clash with first week back to school, including D’s first trek into full time but I failed catastrophically before it even started. 

This year’s theme is food waste and I was planning to use the week to show hubby how much easier it is when we meal plan. We used to meal plan often but it’s fallen by the wayside over the past couple of years so this was going to catapult us back into a routine. 

Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out that way. Our fridge freezer is 13 years old. It’s the original one we bought when we first moved in together and has survived 3 house moves and 2 years in storage. However it has started showing its age so we decided after we came back from holiday we would buy a new one. Maybe the fridge freezer heard us talking about getting a new one and we hurt its feelings (lol) but it didn’t make it that far. We came home from holidays and were greeted by a big puddle on the kitchen floor and a freezer half full of defrosted food. 

We had no idea how long it had been like that so we had no choice but to throw everything out. I was devastated. Not only at the monetary waste but also the irony of all the food waste days before I was meant to encourage others not to waste food!!

So this week has been a write off as we had to decide on and buy a new fridge freezer plus restock it. On the upside our new freezer has see through drawers so we can see what we have just by opening the door. 

Hopefully that’ll help reduce waste as nothing will get “lost” in there. 

Have you been taking part in Zero Waste Week? Has your week been better than mine?