Category Archives: Life

How I prepare for 5k

For the last two years I went each year on a 5k race, both very enjoyable: Run or Dye and Color Run. This year I’m going on a serious 5k race: Women’s Running Race Series, sponsored by Roots Collective. I want to get a good time, so I have to prepare. I made a schedule that works with the other things I have to do. I allowed one month for training. I’m relatively fit to begin with, so I think a month is enough.

01 Roots

In this post I’m going to talk about the workouts, the food and drinks. These delicious blends by Roots Collective will help me get to my goals. If you follow my blog, you know that I try to eat as healthy as I can. Recently I blogged about 1 year of daily smoothies and a few months ago I’ve challenged myself to have 10-a-day for 1 week.

02 Program

This is the program I’ve created for this month. After I’ll finish it, I’m going to talk about the program again, to see how it went. I don’t think running is enough to get ready for a race, so I inserted a few Insanity cardio workouts in the program. I did Insanity back in 2012 and it felt great, it’s a hard working out regime, but it’s so good. When I say it’s hard, it’s really really hard. But this is how I can get good results in a short period of time, so it’s worth it.

I made sure I can do that workout in that day and I hope I can finish it as it is. So far I did what I planned and I’m very happy with the progress.

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Festus and the pigeon

On Father’s Day we spent some time in the garden with Festus. He had a couple of toys to play with. One of the pigeons who has his nest on our neighbour’s tree arrived for his breakfast. Of course, he wasn’t bothered by Festus. He is used to Festus and that makes me think he is the same pigeon that had the nest close to us a couple of years ago. I think they are more comfortable with Festus as there aren’t any cats in our garden. We make sure we chase any cats from the garden, as we don’t want them to come when Festus is in the garden. Unlike with the pigeons, Festus is very interested in cats.

01 Fandthep

Festus with the 3rd toy he played with that day.

View on youtube

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Why I love caravanning?

Last year we bought our first caravan without going on a caravanning holiday before. I wasn’t sure I would love it, but it was perfect for us and I do love it. So, considering most of us are thinking of holidays, I’ve decided to talk about my caravan and Why I love caravanning?

01 Why I love caravanning

Caravanning has an impressive history, that I found out by chance. Dr. William Gordon Stables started caravanning in late Victorian era. The first caravan ever built was called The Wanderer and it was made in 1884 by Bristol Wagon Works Company. It traveled tens of thousands of miles in its lifetime. Amazingly, that first caravan still exists and it’s displayed at a Caravan Club. The caravan was meant to be an land yacht and it was inspired by traditional horse-drawn Romany wagons, pulled by two horses named Captain Corn-flower and Polly Pea-blossom. The interior was made mahogany and maple wood, painted black and gold, in an Victorian fashion and it obviously had a bookcase.

If it wasn’t for him, for me, our holidays wouldn’t be as exciting as they are. I blogged last year about the Things I learned about caravanning, have a look if you fancy to read that post too. Let’s go back to why I love caravanning.

Freedom. We can take Festus with us without any problems and he feels at home in the caravan. We also have the freedom of going where we want. Also, it doesn’t matter if it’s London, Edinburgh or Anglesey, the prices are pretty similar.

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Let’s talk about money

I went through the remaining questions from the 365 Thought Provoking Questions to Ask Yourself This Year and picked the ones related to money. Last month I did a 100 Questions in 10 words or less and I enjoyed the twist of answering like that. So now I will talk about money. It’s a subject I don’t like to talk about, it should be personal. Also, what I consider a bargain can be deemed overpriced for someone else, while what they consider a bargain can be overpriced for me. We can have different values and priorities and that influences the way we relate to money. Anyway, I answered these questions and I enjoyed writing the post.

1. What can money not buy?
Not a lot of things. Money are important, from getting a place you are happy in to clothes, petrol and tickets for travels and sightseeing.
Loyalty, love, attention, these in theory can’t be bought. Showing love, appreciation is not easy without any money. You have to buy ingredients for a special homemade dinner, a card for an anniversary or a bunch of flowers. Some of these things might be only a few pence or a couple of pounds. Even if the gesture is more important than the value, but that still means money.

Let’s talk about money

2. What do you do with the majority of your money?
This is the sort of question I would avoid. So, my answer is: I buy things and services, can’t be more vague than that.

3. Other than money, what else have you gained from your current job?
Money are not the most important thing for me when it comes to jobs. Being able to be creative and loving what I do is more important than more money. I need a challenge and I have that too.

4. How much money per month is enough for you to live comfortably?
I think I live quite comfortably as it is, I have many things that make me happy. With more money I would pay my debts faster, get a newer car, I would do a bit more work to our house, buy lots and lots of crockery and kitchen tools&utensils. I might travel more. If I would get all those things, would I want to stop there or would I think I want another thing? I think it’s only human to strive for more and adjust the definition of what is comfortable to add a bit more.

5. If I gave you $1000 and told you that you had to spend it today, what would you buy?
I would book a weekend away with my husband and our dog. With the rest I might buy some kitchen stuff and shoes and maybe a dress and some makeup and a few books. Something for the dog and for my husband.

6. How would an extra $1000 a month change your life?
I would do a few of those items mentioned in question 4. The more important questions is what I would have to do to get those $1000 a month? If it means I should get a 2nd job, my life wouldn’t necessarily change for the better, as it would mean less time with my husband and less time doing other things that make me happy, like reading and cooking.

7. What things in life should always be free?
Why should anything be free? I think we appreciate more the things we work for and not those that come free.

8. What job would you never do no matter how much it paid?
I wouldn’t do a lot of jobs that would be against my values, too many to make a list.

15 Ways to feel at Home in a Foreign Country

I saw a similar post on a blog and I thought I should write my own guide which I named 15 Ways to Feel at Home in a Foreign Country. There are a few obvious things anybody who wants to move in another country has to do, like learning the language and a bit of geography, familiarizing with the law and customs. If moving to United Kingdom, refer to it as UK, don’t say England if you are referring to the whole country (only imagine what Nicola Sturgeon would say about that). Beside that, the only thing needed is a desire to integrate and keep an open mind. It’s that easy.
I enjoyed thinking of this topic.

1. Make you house your home.
I started with this because it’s one of the most important things regardless if the move is to a different flat/house, city or a country. I don’t think I should even start talking about the importance of having a nice and cosy home, everyone knows that. I know it’s more difficult when the house is rented, but it can be made homely with pictures, favourite books and vases, a cuddly toy and nice things bought from travels. I have in my living room a cuddly toy my husband bought for me in our honeymoon, a 500 years old piece of pottery I got from London last year. Little things can make a huge difference.

15 Ways to feel at Home in a Foreign Country

2. Local foods.
Try local foods. There are plenty of new and exciting things to try in a new country. Imagine if you really like the new food. Also, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it again, but at least you’ve tried it. Also, if you are talking with someone about food, you will know what they are talking about.
It might sound obvious, but it’s not. I had a chat with an expat who had no idea what a Christmas pudding is, despite celebrating Christmas two times in UK. Maybe not everybody likes it, although I can’t understand why someone would not try a pud filled with dried fruits and booze. I can’t imagine now my Christmas day without a Christmas pudding. My husband doesn’t like raisins, so it’s not as keen on it.

3. Read books written by British authors.
I think reading a few books will make the culture of the new country easier to understand. I didn’t do that from the beginning, but I’ve read British authors since I was a teenager and I read novels in English 5-6 years before moving to the UK. This is what I would do if I would move to another country. I think it’s a really helpful way to learn a few things before moving.

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My May

May was a lovely month for us. My husband and I had some celebrations and it was wonderful. I finished 7 books, we had a great time at LightNight, like every year. At the end of the month I tried Sherry (picture on Instagram) and it’s one of my favourite drinks, so good.
I rearranged the spices and I like them even more. Now I have to decide on a new decal for my kitchen, to replace the “Life is short, eat dessert first”. I might keep the motto, because I love it. It’s been on the wall for 2 years, but I didn’t get tired of it. My husband did a bit of DIY with Festus and now we have a new table in the garden. It’s beautiful.

In May I went to a blog event and to BlogOn, preceded by a party in Manchester. It was great as last year, I bought my ticket for September, just in time, as now is sold out. There are a few other blog related things that happened in May, like winning a prize for my photo following the photo styling seminar at BlogOn. I can’t wait to receive my prize, it’s likely I will mention it on my blog. I also received an unexpected Thank you card from a company I worked with on a project. It was so nice from them.
I also managed to make the post about Photoshop, I was thinking about it, but didn’t get the chance to actually write it. I enjoy sharing what I’m doing with you.

01 My May

I met two lovely horses. They were eager to have a snack picked by us and loved the cuddles. I saw them when we were driving past their field. We stopped and we went to see them closer. We had no idea they are so friendly, so it was a beautiful surprise.

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7 Books in May

In May I finished 7 books. But two of them were started the month before.

01 7 books in May

This month, I’ve started reading the Tudor series by Philippa Gregory. Sadly, even now, historians don’t give enough credit to the amazing women from the history. Recently I was watching a TV show about Edinburgh castle and the historian said that Henry VIII’s victory over James IV of Scotland at Flodden, Northumberland, in 1513 was his greatest military achievement. WOW! In fact… Henry wasn’t even in England at the time of the battle and Katherine led the army while being pregnant to keep the Scots from invading England.
This is why I love Phillipa’s books, she brings the women into the spotlight and, hopefully, with public interest, more historians will take into consideration the important roles the women played in  history.

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