Ok people get ready, it’s that time of year…..I have entered the 2018 Race for Life. Around this time every year since 2004 I enter this race, which is a 5k that I do to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
I have already lost 3 of my grandparents to cancer and in 2015 I lost mum. I have blogged before about how heartbreaking my mum’s cancer journey was and I honestly wouldn’t want another family to go through it. It almost broke me in two when she passed away.
Race for Life
Mum & I at my sister’s hen do
Also in 2017 I started a fitness journey, which is still ongoing. In July 2017 I did the Haydock Race for Life and I was thrilled to walk around in a decent time, so in 2018 I am hoping to do a sort of run/walk and maybe create a new personal best!
Anyway, if you have got a spare £1 or £5 or anything at all really, I would really appreciate it if you could support me and Cancer Research UK by clicking on the picture below:
One thing I learned in 2017 is that a pound here or there isn’t the end of the world. My whole reason to try to lose weight was to feel healthier and to fit into my clothes better, which I do! But I am not finished yet. I want to get down to 12 stones and then, even though Weight Watchers still deems this overweight, I know I will feel happy and fit enough to leave it there.
You can see from the calendar above, I actually put 2lbs on in December, but I am not too worried as this encompassed the wonderfulness that is Christmas and I enjoyed every mouthful. We have also gone for plenty of walks and I have really enjoyed being outside making full use of the park right next to our house.
I am really hoping that I learn to love my body a little more and I am going to work on adjusting my thoughts to be more positive around self-image. I still don’t always like what I see when I look in the mirror, but I am getting better. For Christmas I got a few gorgeous jumpers, all in a size 14 and I was more than a little surprised to see they all fit. This is around a size and a half smaller than I was wearing last year, when I was in a 16/18 top. I was also wearing size 18 jeans, which is definitely a size smaller than last year!! My brain did an odd thing though. The tops that I bought, did fit me, but my brain told me that they must have been a “BIG” size 14, as in, the shops’ sizes must be slightly off. My brain hasn’t adjusted to my weight loss yet but it needs to catch up, as I am sat in one of the said garments right now! If you are interested, they are my 3 new favourite sweatshirts:
I just want to carry on making healthy choices this year and get fitter, healthier and stronger. This isn’t a New Year’s resolution, but just a continuation of my 2017 mission. I know I can do it, I have come this far and I haven’t finished yet!
One thing you should know about me, is that I am a very sentimental person and so I was looking back through some photos from this year and I thought I would choose my favourite 10. Sometimes this blog is for me to share things with the world and sometimes this blog is a placeholder for my favourite moments.
Hope you’ve had an amazing year:
View from the 6th floor of Camera Obscura
Ambleside – Stock Ghyll Force
I actually like this photo of me
So pleased that I did this!
With our friends from the USA.
I loved my outfit!!
Race for Life
Seeing our Anfield Stone
The Queen’s Theatre (Watching Les Miserable_
I know I did – thanks for all the support this year, you lovely lot. xxx
So Christmas is over, hope you had a good one, mine was pretty good as it goes 😄 It’s funny though, as the end of the year approaches, it’s my tendency to get quite reflective and as such, I thought I would put together a Top 3 list of all the things I have loved, but also the big misses of 2017 to me. I mean, who doesn’t love a good list?! Here we go:
At the top of Dodd Wood
February 2017 – November 2017
The Team in Pizza Express
Top 3 – Highlights of 2017
Getting to the top of Dodd Wood/Fell in September. I have been on something of a fitness journey this year and when I tried to do a much less strenuous walk in May, I nearly cried as I couldn’t do it. This time around, despite it being really hard, I did manage the walk! Thrilled.
Starting my secondment at work and spending 5 weeks working in London. I am very much a home bird and so to be away so much was an adjustment, especially being in such a busy city, which is definitely not my cup of tea.
I started my weightloss and fitness journey in May this year and to date I have lost 2 ½ stones (35 lbs/15.9 kg). I have struggled to keep a healthy weight most of my adult life, but I love the fact my weight has started to come down.
Imelda Staunton (Enid) and Michael Ball (Tubby) in THAT DAY WE SANG.
Little Boy Blue
Top 3 – Telly Finds of 2017
Fleabag – I stumbled upon this BBC series whilst working from home one day and ended up binge watching it in an afternoon. It’s a tragi-comedy featuring Phoebe Waller-Bridge and it was just fab. Strong female comedy, so good that I watched it all for a 2nd time whilst we were away in Harrogate. Highly recommend.
That Day we Sang – It’s no surprise to hear I am a Northern girl and so was in love that anything Victoria Wood created. I was so sad when she passed away in 2016 and so I was beyond chuffed when I discovered this comedy/drama about a Manchester choir, written and directed by the glorious VW.
Little Boy Blue – This ITV drama about the real life shooting of Rhys Jones. It was utterly compelling and brilliantly acted. M and I were hooked from the first 5 minutes. It was made all the more poignant as we both remember this happening and it was only about 15 miles away from where we live.
Top 3 – Rubbish things in 2017
Donald Trump became President of the United States. After almost a year in office, I have yet to see him do a single useful thing. He is crass and uses Twitter like a teenager, complaining about what people are saying about him on the TV. The least presidential President the USA has ever seen. What a tool.
Sorry I can’t think of a 2nd and 3rd, No 1 is bad enough.
Armathwaite Hall Afternoon Tea
Laura in the Lakes
Top 3 – Gorgeous Restaurants I’ve visited in 2017
Vigour Kitchen is a place we discovered in 2017 in our local town of St Helens. St Helens itself is quite neglected and so to have a fab new place to eat is brilliant. It’s serves nutritious and gorgeous food with a focus on healthy eating. We can’t get enough.
Armathwaite Hall is where M and I went on Honeymoon and we were lucky enough to visit and stay again this year. They do simply the BEST afternoon teas and my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Ok so this last one is a cheat, as is wasn’t a restaurant, but someone that does outside catering. We visited the Lake District in May to celebrate a family birthday and as part of the celebrations, we organised for an outside caterer to come and do us a meal. The caterer was Laura in the Lakes who also have a cafe in Keswick. The meal Laura made for us was delicious and she also coped brilliantly with my Lactose Intolerance by making me a scrummy lemon and blueberry cake! Yummy
Top 3 – Instagrammers for 2017
The incomparable Susie Verrill. She makes me smile or laugh or just gasp with delight on daily basis. So funny, so irreverent and all the whilst coping with being a new mum and the also delightful Greg Rutherford.
The unbelievably funny Anna Whitehouse, aka Mother Pukka. She has been through some tough times this year, but is honestly one the funniest person to ever Insta Story.
You might be able to spot a theme in this category, but number 3 is another funny woman in Celeste Barber. She is the pioneer for #challengeaccepted in which she copies the narcissistic posts that top social media and Hollywood people post in an hilarious fashion.
I am sure there are a million categories that I could add to this list and maybe I will as I think of them. I’ve had quite a good year overall and I feel quite happy going into 2018. Someone asked me what my hopes were for the New Year and this is what I came up with:
Continue with my weight loss journey and get even more healthy in 2018
Kick start my YouTube Channel and start getting creative again
Visit Barcelona in September (already booked!!!)
Do a Couch to 5k programme
Make some landscape changes in the garden
Get a dog!!
The most important one of my hopes is the last one. My whole blogging story started in 2009 when I started a blog documenting our beloved Peggy Dog. We lost her in 2013 and 2018 is the year we adopt another furry friend into our home. I can’t wait, although I really will have to, until my secondment at work is over and I am home a little more.
Anyway, this year has been the right side of FAB and may it continue in 2018.
Thanks for all your support in 2017 and see you very soon.
Ok, I am not going to lie, I am a straight up SUCKER for advertising and I have been know the make the odd impulse purchase. I think I get this from my dad, who, in earlier years, could not be let loose in Town on his own as previously he had come back with Sky TV and a fridge freezer when he was essentially gong for milk!
So it should come a no surprise to know that I bought this Stone Stream Shower from an INSTAGRAM ad whilst I was browsing one morning. I mean, I hadn’t even got out of bed! It promised that it would increase shower pressure by “up to 200%” and would basically change my showering life. SOLD to the gullible girl who had just got paid.
The purchase price was £19.99, but of course as I started to order it was an additional £5 for a shower head with 3 x settings (Rainfall, Jet and Combo), OK I thought, and then an additional £5 if I wanted it within 5-7 days. Well in for a penny, in for £30. It arrived this morning wrapped in a postal bag and even though it looked exactly as described, I was still skeptical. I have never seen the ad in Instagram since so in one way, I was just chuffed it showed up!
It was very easy to install as I literally just unscrewed the old shower head and screwed in the new one. I filmed the difference in the streams, before I took an actual shower:
As you can see from the video, it definitely does increase the water pressure, even though the shower head itself is smaller. The really noticeable thing when I took a shower was the very soft way the water hit my skin. Even the middle jet was still quite soft and had a much nicer flow. M has yet to use it, but for me it was a hit! The pressure is better and the Stone Stream gives a much more gentle and relaxing experience. It was easy to fit and basically, does what it says it should.
So as an impulse buy, I am giving this 9/10 and the only reason it loses a mark, is that I think at some point in the future, we might have buy replacement stones. Otherwise, me likey.
p.s. it’s worth noting that our shower is Electric and is on the top floor of a 3 storey house.