bake it better · charity · happy · perseverance · Uncategorized

Charity bake sale for Great Ormond Street -Bake it Better!

The day before:
 So a few weeks ago at work I spoke to my manager about the idea of getting involved in more charity events at work. She was all up for it and so was the director of our company. I applied for a fundraising pack for a charity bake week and once it arrived set about sending emails and speaking to staff at work to try and raise the profile and gain interest. As is standard with these things there was a tonne of interest at first and it gradually wained. This is normal, I expected this but blimey the amount of interest I have today, The day before the bake sale, just makes me sad. I didn’t think there were that many excuses for not baking something but it seems there are. Obviously there are people with genuine reasons why they aren’t going to be able to do something which again is fine I totally get that.
I’m making 2 things to sell tomorrow as I’ve organised it and will also buy lots aswell and I was initially really excited to support a great charity by all having a go at baking something and if it doesn’t turn out right that’s fine it’s all part of the fun. Now I’m just hoping there are more than 3 or 4 plates of food tomorrow.

The day of the sale:

Wow wow wow. I walked into work this morning and could have cried. There was so much food baked, priced and placed lovingly by my banners! It seemed everyone at work really came through for me after all! The amount of effort people went to was amazing and if people didn’t have time to bake they bought things to sell instead!
As the day went on there was a real buzz around the food with people choosing what they wanted and even going back for seconds!
The cookies T made with me got a great reception and sold out so I was so happy about that. All in all it was a great day.
So the end of the day comes and it’s time to total up the donations.

Firstly my target was £44 so I could pay for a family to stay overnight at Great Ormond Street hospital, we smashed that.

The next aim was £81 so I could pay for a playworker for a day, we beat that too.

There wasn’t a target after this so I was just thrilled to bits to have raised over £200!!

It was tough going at times but once the day came round I couldn’t believe how much everyone got into the spirit and enjoyed themselves.

I can’t wait to send this off to Great Ormond Street hospital next week and know what good this money will do.

Ballet · hobbies · motherhood · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fitness

16 miles, a ballet exam and a happy girl.

So this week was another tough one at the start with lots of short walks due to bad weather but I made up for it as much as I could on my days off racking up 6 miles yesterday! It felt so nice to walk a different route and actually get a tiny bit lost at times. I knew roughly where I was all the time but trying to find the exact way home was a little challenge that I think I needed to push myself to rack up the miles. Throw in a short walk with Tiana and Poppy this afternoon and my weekly total is 16.2 miles! 

I’m so pleased I’m well on my way to my target of 60 miles this month with just over a week to go so if next week is a good one I might even break 60 miles! Still can’t believe how much I’m enjoying walking, It’s not costing me anything, I’m building my fitness and I’m still finding new routes from my house. I feel so lucky to live where I do with so many nice paths to explore all within my reach.

This morning was also very exciting because T had a ballet exam that she had been preparing for a long time. I felt like I should be part of dance moms being up at 7am on a Sunday to plait and clip her hair into the neatest, most hairsprayed ballet bun possible! T is too small to be nervous yet which is great so we just get one excited little girl ready to try her best for the examiner! There was a group of 3 and they all had solo parts also but all in all the whole thing only took about 10 minutes at the most. The best part was when they all came out smiling ear to ear really happy with their performances. Some people would wonder why I would want to give up my Sunday morning to put T through an exam at only 7 years old but that is why  because she loves it! She was so happy after her performance and so pleased with how she had done there was no stress or anxiety and not a single hint of worry. Some people may say that she will never be a ballerina but neither will a lot of the girls that go to her dance school but for me it’s not about that. It’s about a hobby that she enjoys learning and having fun doing and as long as she wants to continue ballet I will continue to give up my Sunday morning lie ins to ready her for exams.

My little ballerina
Ballet bun hairsprayed within an inch of its life!
Cockapoo · dogs · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fun

An eventful week for Poppy 

Well this week has been a busy one for Poppy our cockapoo. Firstly the week started with awful weather so we had a few long walks in the rain and some short walks in heavier rain! 

I have spent the week teaching Poppy to leave her treats until I give them to her and trying to complete the challenge set by our trainer at puppy class to have a treat on her paw and her not touch it. You can see I got a little carried away with this 😉 It’s not my fault Poppy is such a willing participant.

Poppy has spent plenty of time chilling with T as usual.

Today Poppy finally got groomed again! It has seemed a long 8 weeks and she was looking a bit scruffy so now she is back to a shorter more manageable coat and looking adorable once more! Today Poppy also came into season for the first time! This is our first dog so we are not too sure what to expect from her behaviour or if we won’t even notice a change at all, she is fairly late at 10 months but once we have this over with we will look at getting her booked for her op. 

Today the sun finally came back out so we were able to get a nice 3 mile walk in after her groom, felt good to get out again. 

Hope you are all having a great week, would love to hear what you have been upto!

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Adult braces · Dentist · Orthodontist · Uncategorized

Adult Braces – progress and pain

So a couple of days ago I shared just how pleased I was after my trip to the orthodontist meant that a couple more teeth could be included in my wires which meant they are that much closer to being lined up all nice and straight. Well today I am fed up. Fed up of being in so much pain! It seems my teeth were a little sore when I first left but talk about a delayed reaction! The next morning after my appointment I woke up with an ‘owww!’ My mouth was in agony. Not only did my teeth feel kind of numb and sore but my jaw also started to ache on the top and bottom. To go with this every time I touch my teeth together I get a shooting pain through one of them!

Now I knew this would be a painful process but I wasn’t expecting to be midway through a sentence and suddenly have to stop talking because my teeth had touched and I was in such excruciating pain it drove me to tears! 

So several painkillers later and yesterday was done with but I expected to wake up today fresh and hopefully clear of this pain. Not a chance,again my first word was ‘oww’ and again my breakfast was painkillers. Now there is no way my first tightening was this bad so is this just something that gets worse every time as they link more teeth in? 

So I managed my dinner tonight but it just took me a while longer and my teeth just hurt so much after any meal it’s almost just a necessity eating because I’m hungry, it’s not like I’m enjoying food at the moment. Which brings me on to cleaning,my god it’s painful to brush my teeth right now! The first night I couldn’t even brush them at all and every time since I’ve not managed the full 3 minutes because they are just too sore. 

I’m trying my best to clean them but with being in this much pain it’s really not easy. I’m just hoping this has eased off tomorrow or work is really not going to be fun! 

Does anyone have any advice or braces tales they can tell me?

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Blogger · Cockapoo · goals · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fitness · walking for fun

17.89 miles = new record!

This week I’ve really tried to get some miles in for my aim of maybe walking 60 miles this month. It’s been an average week weather wise but I’m getting used to walking in unwelcoming dreary weather now, I used to be a sunshine and hot day only walker.
I’m so chuffed because today I beat my all time best week of walking and this week have managed to walk 17.89 miles! This is in a week of working and with no walking group as my orthodontist got in the way! So I have a little over 2 weeks left and have walked 32 miles already, I just need to keep this momentum going and my 60 mile target is in my reach! 👍

Here are some pictures from my longest walk of 4.5 miles on Thursday.

This was our route today round both lakes and home in the rain! I found the walking was a good distraction from the pain i’m feeling in my braces today!

I hope you have all had a great week and I’d love to hear what you are getting up to this weekend!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

Adult braces · Orthodontist · Uncategorized

Adult Braces – progress 

So today was my 6 week appointment at the orthodontist. I’ve been looking forward to it as I get a shiny new white wire on my top teeth which helps me feel as confident as I can in these things(the old wire loses its coating as you brush your teeth and ends up silver by the end of a month.)
Today my orthodontist had planned to extend my brackets to my back teeth. This meant I had to have the cheek and lip extractor in place again, I don’t know how but I had forgotten that part, also the jets of ice cold water followed by suction and mirrors and little beams of light shone at your teeth to bind the brackets on! I got told off by my orthodontist because I wasn’t relaxing my tongue enough, sorry but it’s a little hard when you have so many different impliments in your mouth at once! I was better once I had closed my eyes to take myself away from it all.

To add to the fun one of the brackets came off after she tried to attach the wire so she had to put it back on again, back in went the extractor and we started the whole process again!
That all said and done today I’m excited because my teeth that were set back a little have finally been included in the wires to be brought forward!

Slight set back though after I sat in my car I felt a band ping off my top tooth! More money in the car park machine and off I went back in to get it fixed back on!

I must give credit to the profession though the bands,brackets and tools in general that they work with are tiny! How they place everything so exactly with just the right amount of tension I think is a real skill, I know they get paid handsomely for their trade but it really is an art so hats off to them!

Today I’ve left  my appointment feeling that real progress is being made so I’m happy, this will all be worth it one day I’m sure!

You can read my other blogs on adult braces here!

Adult Braces – the wobbly tooth 

Adult braces- the first tightening 

Adult braces – the wax

Beautiful with braces

Adult braces – first day with no pain!

Braces 2 days in

Adult braces- here we go!

Blogger · goals · Uncategorized · walking for fitness · walking for fun

I’ve walked how far?

So since I started walking more and recording when and how much I walked I’m finding I’m becoming more competitive with how many miles I can get done in a day, a week and now I’ve got the stats a month!! The thing is I’m not competing against anyone but myself! So I’ve been keeping a log of how many miles I walk every day and totalling up my weekly amount since the start of April now and it seems I walked 52 miles in April! 52 miles! Before I had a dog I wouldn’t have walked 52 miles in a year let alone a month! I must say I’m seriously impressed with how committed I’ve become to walking and how much I’m enjoying it. If I have a down day or the weather isn’t looking as welcoming as it perhaps could I don’t force myself to go out far but I always feel like I’ve slacked the next day and really want to make up for it. 

Just this week I found myself pushing to beat my miles for last week in the last couple of days, I unfortunately didn’t make it but am now so determined to walk further next week I’ve set myself a challenge.

So in May I aim to walk at least 54 miles this month so that is 13.5 miles a week. I think if I really push myself I could even get to 60 miles, 15 miles a week. It’s just finding the time to get the miles in that is the problem but I will try my hardest as I’m really determined to do this and be as fit as I can be for our walking holiday to the Peak District in July!

I will keep you updated with how I’m progressing through the month, i’d love to hear if you like walking for exercise and where!

fitness · Friendship · Parenting · Uncategorized · walking

Highs, lows and another 14 miles down!

So this weekend has been up and down. By up I mean I had some time to myself on Thursday which meant I could meet a friend for dessert on her birthday, a lovely treat laden with calories but oh well! 

This was followed by taking T back to ballet after the Easter break, we found out her exam date is 21st so are excited for that. Friday I had a message from a friend asking if I wanted to join her and another friend for coffee! I jumped at the chance to get out of the housework if only for a short while and we had a great catch up. Then I met my walking group and we did a 3.5 mile walk through a nature reserve I had never been into before. Here is Poppy on the way back walking with some of the ladies from my group, it really was a beautiful day.

After T went off to her Dad’s for the weekend I had a low point. I’d had such a busy, fun day and then suddenly there was silence. I know we can’t be busy all the time but I honestly just felt really lonely at that time so after my dinner for one I picked myself up and got ready to go to my friends for a makeup party. It was a fun evening and I was pleased I went.

Saturday morning came and Poppy was booked in to the vets as she has a small bald patch on her head. I had a couple of errands to run first but once they were done I really started to worry about what could be causing it. It turns out we have some ear solution as the vet believed her blocked ears could be causing het to scratch there more often.

I was immediately happier after leaving the vets and full of motivation I set about prepping the house for friends to stay over. A homemade curry and a few glasses of prosecco later and Pictonary was a real giggle!

 It’s amazing how just being with the right people can pick you up immediately, I feel very lucky to have the right people in my life at the moment.

So finally my walking total for this week, it’s been another good week for walking so I’ve clocked up 14.23 miles. All good practise for our Peak district trip which is now only 67 days away! 

I hope you’ve all had a good weekend and I would love to hear what you got upto!

Thanks for reading, 

Lou x

motherhood · Uncategorized · work life balance

When is life too busy?

So as my fitness journey continues and I carry on racking up the miles I find I’m enjoying it more and more. I look forward to walking and will walk as far as I can in the time I have walking at least once a day. This is still alongside my regular kettlebell workouts at home, working 3 days a week, being a Mum and wife, keeping social engagements and remembering birthdays and anniversaries. So today I’m thinking when does life get too busy? 

When do we say enough is enough I’m going to stop trying to keep in touch with so many people all the time and just see who comes to me? When we have so many balls in the air how often do we feel like at some point they will all come crashing down? When I find someone who deserves my time I give generously whether in person or via text or phone. I try my hardest to remember special events and birthdays and will always make an effort to celebrate these as much as my budget allows but when you have so many plates spinning when does it all just become too much? 

Trying to be a good friend, who exercises and is aiming to achieve her own goals can I really be the best mother I can be? When I find I haven’t read the school book all week but instead I’ve taught T the value of money by setting her small chores which she enjoys doing to earn pocket money in the schools eyes am I not doing enough for her education? When we have walked the dog together or gone for a bike ride, when I’m remembering to clean her ears, washing her hair, taking nail varnish off her toes and listening to her day I have always got a part of my mind on other things. It could be writing the virtual shopping list in my mind, planning the chores I will do when I have my day off, trying to remember what meat I need to defrost for tomorrow’s meal or trying to plan new and exciting things for everyone’s lunch boxes! 

I often think if my mind wasn’t so busy maybe I would just enjoy the moment more and feel less tense. Am I wrong trying to keep all these balls in the air or is this just life when you get to my age? Now I’m a grown up all married with a child is this just how it goes? Now my friends are all in similar situations so I know I’m not alone as planning get togethers and playdates takes military precision and is usually weeks in advance so I’m pretty sure everyone has multiple balls when it comes to motherhood but when you add in a work life balance, trying to fit in a new hobby and keep in contact with everyone important to you on a regular basis has everyone’s life just become too busy these days?

What ever happened to a friend just popping in for coffee or being able to text a few different people knowing at least one of them would be free for a catch up? Don’t get me wrong I love to have plans but on the other hand I often think if we upped and moved somewhere far away where I could walk in the hills all the time and knew no one would I feel less swamped or more lonely? My life seems to be zooming along in a haze of happy memories and cherished times but sometimes I just feel like I don’t have time to really sit back and appreciate it all. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts, 

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Cockapoo · dogs · Uncategorized · walking

Why is your dog growling at mine?

So we have just got back from a 3 mile walk around the lake. T biked and I walked Poppy, it was windy and the sun was trying to break through the clouds but it felt good to be out and getting my girls some exercise. Once we get across the road and across the little railway bridge into the country park Poppy comes off the lead for lots of reasons; because its safe, there are no more roads, she loves to walk along next to T on her bike and also loves to run between me and T wearing herself out. She will come when I call her, sometimes when she has finished sniffing but if we are too far away for her liking she will run like mad to catch up. She doesn’t have a bad bone in her 10 month old body and is mostly happy to stay away from other dogs and just follow us.

If you haven’t met my cockapoo Poppy here she is:

So as we walk mostly we have a great time, Poppy is brave with some dogs and will sniff and say hello and then run back to us,others she isn’t so brave and will burn past them to stay with T on her bike. (We know she could be braver and hopefully the socialisation classes we are starting next weekend should help with this.) Sometimes Poppy will trot along next to us and other dogs will run up to her, this mostly scares her especially if they are big bounding dogs that look like they would flatten her with one paw! In this situation what usually happens is Poppy starts running which makes other dogs think she wants to play and then the chase follows. They never run away, just usually round and round in circles until me or the other dogs owner manage to get of them distracted enough to go in a different direction!

All this is learning for Poppy, earlier we were approaching a gate and coming towards us were 3 people each with two small dogs on leads. They passed through and Poppy just walked along beside me brave as anything, through the gate and past the dogs who also didn’t bat an eyelid. Amazing.

Other tests along our walk include children, big and small, these are usually ignored as all Poppy wants is to keep up with Tiana, people on bikes, this is mostly fine as long as we see them in advance we can get her to walk alongside us or stop and wait for a treat, buggies, still not a favourite of hers we might have a bark before she runs off in the other direction, swans, ducks and other pond life, she is just really inquisitive and seems to have no fear of these, and finally growling dogs. Now I would say in the last month we have seen at least 4 dogs that have growled at Poppy, with two being today. The dogs that growled were both on leads and at the time Poppy was also on her lead  as we were on the way home. The owners had made no real attempt to move out of my way and Poppy had a brave moment. So how it usually goes is the dogs come to a stand off, Poppy sniffs their nose and is met with a growl/bark/jumping/ a snap. Every single time this has happened the owners simply say “oh come on” to their dog and move along leaving me, T and Poppy stunned at what has just happened. I just don’t understand why if you know your dog doesn’t like other dogs you would let it sniff or be sniffed by my dog, why would you not forewarn me that your dog is grumpy/doesn’t like to say hi/has issues or just walk out of my way?! Not every dog is perfect,some come with history and from terribly neglected backgrounds and they all deserve a chance but should they honestly be walked in a busy public place which is full of other dogs on and off leads and families with children if they aren’t happy to be socialised? My dog is scared of bigger bouncier dogs and runs in the other direction usually and the one time she decides to be brave and say hello to something twice her size your dog growls at her for no good reason at all! This also upsets my daughter who doesn’t enjoy watching her dog get scared by your dog. Dog owners have a responsibility, if they can’t trust their dog not to growl at another dog when it simply gets sniffed on the nose it is my opinion that they should not be walked in a busy public place on a bank holiday while the rest of us are just out for a drama free walk with our friendly/well behaved if a bit shy at times/loveable/happy little dogs!

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