A Year of Running: Let’s Talk Running Tech

Hello again! I hope everyone is staying safe and well. Today I’m back with another post talking a little bit about running tech and my recommendations/thoughts. What I would say with running tech is that I can’t really give too much information about other products since I don’t feel like I could necessarily do them justice as I don’t have any experience of them, but I can only share information of what I have heard.

Phone Apps

First up I want to share the easiest and cheapest option for running tech. Simply using your mobile phone to track your run. If you have a smart phone there are a variety of apps you can use, such as: Nike Run Club, Map My Run and Strava. My personal preference is Strava. The free version of Strava is absolutely fine if you’re just starting out and want something basic to track your runs on. However, if you’re enjoying all the features of Strava it may be worth looking at upgrading to the paid version. The main reason I use the paid version of Strava is for the “Strava Beacon” function, but I also enjoy being able to map routes etc out.

The only thing about relying on a phone as your running tech is that sometimes the apps might close themselves down, and also with the size of phones these days they can feel a bit bulky to carry around, especially in Summer when you might not have so many pockets available! But at the same time, personally I’m not sure I’d ever go out without a phone in case there are any problems.

My Running Armband

If you’re carrying your phone with you on a run you’re going to need somewhere to carry it. During winter/if I have a coat on I usually just shove my phone in my pocket, but as it warms up I generally either carry my phone in a running armband or a waist belt (I’ll talk more about waist belts in an “accessories” post). Some leggings/shorts etc. have pockets that you can use for phones, but personally I don’t use these pockets for a phone, in part because my phone is usually too big for the pocket, but also I normally use the pocket for my key and my inhaler. I use this Mpow Running Armband. It was only £5 and it works great for me.


First up here full disclaimer, I’m not someone who really has a big appreciation of “good quality” sound and knowing much about headphones. But I can simply share my personal preferences and what I’ve found works for me.

AirPods and iPhone headphones

When I started out running I just used my bog-standard in the box iPhone headphones. Were they the best? Not really, did they work for running? Yes. The basic iPhone headphones were good enough to get going with running and when I first started out I didn’t really want to spend much money on “stuff” until I knew I would carry on. The cable surprisingly didn’t get in my way too much either, but soon after decided to get something else.

Following on from the basic headphones I want to just mention AirPods for running. I have only once used my airpods for running when I took part in the indoor relay (running around the garden), but personally I wouldn’t use them for running on a regular basis. This is down to a couple of reasons, the first being I don’t find AirPods to sit in my ears very well, so I wouldn’t want to risk losing one! But second, the normal “AirPods” aren’t designed for running and aren’t sweat-proof. I know the Pro ones are more designed for running/gym, but personally I wouldn’t go for these as my running headphones.

The first pair of headphones I actually bought for running were the SoundCore Spirit X. As an Anker product I had big faith in these, but I also got them in an Amazon Deals of the Day and only spent around £15 on them. They were great for running. It was so nice to no longer have a cable getting in my way, but also with the ear loop bit I knew they were going nowhere! The battery life on them was pretty decent too, they were also designed with some water resistance so I knew I could wear them in the rain. I used these for around 4-5 months before upgrading my headphones again.

When I took on the Surrey Half 5k back in March 2020 I remembered reading about Aftershokz headphones. They were allowed in the event because they’re bone conducting headphones, leaving your ear free to be able to hear around you. When I went back to work after being on furlough I moved back to my flat and I was going to be running in more unfamiliar places and I wanted music, but also wanted to be able to hear what was going on around me. I started looking into Aftershokz headphones and my mum actually treated me to my Aftershokz Air headphones. They’re sort of middle range Aftershokz headphones and I’ve been really impressed with them. Yes, OK, the sound quality isn’t the best but that’s to be expected when they’re not actually playing music through your ears (although I think the top of the range version have better sound quality). Also, they sit really well and comfortably while wearing my glasses (something else I was a bit unsure about). The charge is really good too, I think I only charge mine every 4-6 weeks (depending on my milage). You could argue they’re not the most practical headphones, and you wouldn’t want them for commuting on the train or anything like that! But personally I find them great for what I want and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them! Tip though is to try and hold out to Black Friday when they have good deals on them! We got mine through Costco who had them £15 cheaper than anywhere else at the time.

Running Watches

The final piece of running tech to mention is running watches. Now, first up, let’s face it, we now live in a world where more and more of us wear a smart watch on a daily basis. Be it a Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin, or other make. I made the jump to a smart watch in November 2019 where I bought a Fitbit Charge 2. When I first started running I just used my Fitbit Charge 2 and it was perfectly fine for what I wanted right at the start. That said I didn’t like how I had to go through the faff of connecting my phone to it to be able to map the run, and even when I did, it didn’t always work. But what I did like was how if I forgot to start the watch, usually the watch would work out I was running and record the activity.

Once I’d signed up for the Great North Run last year I decided to up my game and I treated myself to the Garmin Forerunner 245. To be honest I kind of wish I’d spent a bit longer researching running watches rather than just going for “the best running watch”. At the time I was a bit of a novice about it all! I don’t regret getting my Forerunner 245, but sometimes I do wonder if had I researched more I’d have picked another Garmin model. I got the Garmin Forerunner 245 music, but actually I don’t use the music function (at the moment anyway) so could have just gone for the basic version. The battery life is OK…. it’s not the best and I charge it every 5-7 days depending on how much I wear it/how long my runs are. I know this is a better battery life than an Apple Watch though! Important to note though, I don’t have the notifications turned on which probably improves battery life a little! I do like how the Forerunner 245 uses buttons rather than having a touch screen though. My dad has a Garmin Vivoactive 3 which is touchscreen and finds it quite annoying at times.

One thing I do strongly suggest though is if you get a Garmin Watch get a screen protector for it! I accidentally dropped my watch face down on the kitchen floor after having it for around 2 months and the screen cracked! That was an expensive mistake!

Now, I personally don’t have an Apple Watch but I want to mention it briefly here. I know quite a lot of people have Apple Watches so it makes sense to mention it. I also know quite a lot of people use Apple Watches for running but I also know quite a lot of people complain about Apple Watches for running. A lot of people comment about how Apple Watches don’t track your run properly, so this is just something to bear in mind.

Well, that sums up my recommendations and comments on Running Tech. I hope at least one person finds it helpful!

What “Running Tech” do you use?

Hope you’re all staying safe and well! 🙂

A Year of Running: Let’s Talk Trainers

Hello! I’m back with my as hinted (small-ish) series on my favourite running gear. I can’t tell you how much time I spent researching everything when I was buying it all, so hopefully this post will go on to help at least one reader to make a decision with what gear they want to buy.

When I started out I never really imagined that I would spend as much money as I have on running gear, however as time went on and my interest (and seriousness) grew I realised it wasn’t as simple as I once thought. Don’t get me wrong, I know that you can get away with running happily with the most basic of “stuff”, but if you are getting serious you inevitably will start spending more money on gear.

First things first, let’s talk shoes! All I can say is that I really did make a mistake with buying my shoes and would strongly suggest you don’t make the same mistake I did. As I said in my previous post, when I started out running I literally started running in fashion trainers. They were perfectly fine just to get the feel of running but as my interest grew, and after conversations with friends I decided I really needed something better. So after work one day (when I was working in London) I headed over to Westfield with my friend to try to find some trainers. We hit the Nike shop first and there and then I bought my first pair of trainers. Nike React Infinity. I had a bit of a conversation with the lady in the store who recommended them to me but it wasn’t a “proper” running shop. They didn’t help fit me for the trainers or anything. Also, they were soooooo expensive but I knew they’d last me a long while (and I barely ever buy shoes!) so I figured it would be OK. Anyway, these trainers were perfectly fine for a while up until I started hitting longer distances when I started to get the most awful blister on the top of my second toe on my right foot. It was awful and painful and after a conversation with a new running friend she suggested maybe my shoes were too small. That was beyond frustrating as I’d spent £130 on these trainers, only done around 50Km in them and it was Lockdown 1.0 so I couldn’t easily go and get new shoes! Thankfully I think I’ll still be able to use these trainers for general purpose, or short distance running but sadly they didn’t last me as long as I had hoped. Moral of the story – go to a running shop to get help, especially for your first pair of trainers.

I ended up buying a second pair of Nike React Infinity in half a size larger and they have been so much better. But please please please if you can, go to a running shop. There are so many kinds of trainer, also with different types of support available depending on your running style, and the staff in a running shop will be able to help you pick the correct shoes for your type of running as well as helping you get the right size. Had I done this right from the start I would have saved myself £130.

My Nike React Infinitys are a great trainer, and have so far seen me through the best part of 500km. They’ve lasted me well and were actually my only running trainer for around 5 months and got me through my first half marathon. They’re supportive, lightweight and also supposed to help reduce injury. That said, they have now started to hurt my feet a little so I think their time is nearly up. I really love my Nike React Infinity trainers, so much so that during Black Friday I picked up another pair of them for around £60 (bargain)! I’m sure I’ll go back to these shoes time and time again, although Nike are now on to the React Infinity 2 so I may be on to them when the time comes!

In September last year I actually went to get a second pair of trainers, this time I went to my local running store and they were so helpful in helping me to pick some trainers, but also there was absolutely no pressure there at all. My second pair of trainers were Brooks Ghost 13 and I really love them. They don’t feel as speedy as my Nike React Infinity but they are really well cushioned and comfy. I actually own 2 pairs of Brooks Ghost 13. One is in the “Run Visible” collection, so they’re reflective basically, which gave me a bit of reassurance when I was running in the dark. I’ve yet to run longer distances in my Brooks Ghost trainers, but when I do I think they’re going to serve me well!

As autumn was approaching last year I was fed up of running and getting absolutely soaked feet and squelching around in my Infinity React trainers, so I decided I wanted to get a more waterproof pair of shoes. I decided on some Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail GORE-TEX. I mainly got these because they were in the sale and they were waterproof, not because I really run trails. Looking back, and with everything I know now, perhaps I would have done better to find something else that wasn’t a trail shoe as they’re not really designed for road running, which is where I do most of my milage. However, they are well and truly waterproof, my feet haven’t got at all wet when wearing them and they serve the purpose I wanted them for!

I have actually just this week bought myself a pair of New Balance 1080s, but I can’t really comment on them too much yet because I’ve only just got them and haven’t worn them out and about!

Why do I have so many pairs of trainers? It often upsets me actually when people comment about this. Yes if you’re just running for fun you do only really need one pair, but if you’re running regularly it is actually recommended that you have multiple pairs of trainer. In part to spread your milage, also to give time for your shoe to “recover” especially if it is a heavily cushioned shoe, but mainly to protect yourself from injury. Using different shoes puts pressures on different parts of your feet/legs, and so by rotating your shoe you are also giving your body a chance to recover too.

I love both my Nike Infinity Reacts and my Brooks Ghost 13 and would recommend these, especially as more “beginner” shoes. However, if you can get to a running shop to get some shoes I would recommend it. They’ll be able to help you get the size, fit and support right and won’t pressure you at all into buying!

A Year of Running

What a year it’s been?! This last year has probably been one of the hardest I’ve ever known, but equally I’m so glad that it seems to have zoomed by. Things here in the UK are pretty much just as they were back in March/April last year. We’re in a full lockdown, although cases are coming down so hopefully we’ll start to have some more “normality” again soon. I miss my work so much and I’m really not a fan of being on furlough! I’m so bored of sitting around doing nothing and some days feel like an eternity.

It’s been just over a year now since I started running and I still love it just as much as I did a year ago! OK, there are times where getting out has been a bit of a chore, especially when it’s cold and miserable. But, I genuinely think there have been times this year where it has provided me some respite and something to focus on with everything else going on around us right now. If I weren’t taking an hour of my day 4 times a week to get out for a run I dread to think how my lockdown would be looking.

When I started running a year ago I never really imagined I would have fallen in love it with just as much as I have, but today I wanted to share a bit more of an update on my running journey as well as the possibility of creating a short series on running clothing/items I wouldn’t be without.

In my last post I was just about to hit my first ever 10K, and I can tell you that I have done that but have also gone on to do so much more. By June I was running 10K pretty much every weekend, but I have also since completed a half marathon. Sadly too I have been hit by a few injuries especially in the last month! Last summer I suffered with plantar fasciitis which put me out for a couple of weeks, but I’ve also suffered some leg problems in the last month, again putting me out for a couple of weeks. But I’m now back and working my way back up to 10K once again. I still find it quite funny looking back when I think that I never thought I’d run more than 5K regularly, yet up until my last bout of injury I was running 10K almost every weekend working towards my target of completing this beautiful Virtual Medal set from Medalmad!

When I look back on when I first started running I literally had the bare minimum, I basically started running in fashion trainers. I’m amazed I didn’t injure myself running in them to be honest! But at the time I didn’t know how I was going to take to running and I didn’t really know any better. All I owned in the way of running clothes was an M&S sports bra, a pair of second hand running leggings, a running t-shirt and a long sleeve running top/hoodie. I also had a running phone armband, my Fitbit Charge 2 and just used my iPhone headphones that came with the phone (the ones with the long cable). When I ran my first (and only “proper”) race back in March 2020 I was still only really using the most basic running clothes (but by that time I had bought my first pair of trainers, a running belt and my Garmin Watch).

I dread to think how much I’ve spent on running “stuff” in the last year! I now own 5 pairs of trainers which I rotate though (although I’m only using 4 of them at the moment until my “main” pair come to the end of their life which will be soon), as well as goodness knows how many pairs of leggings, tops, jumpers etc! The other day I even sorted my room out a bit and I now have a running clothes draw *facepalm*.

Having taken up running when I did sometimes I find myself getting so frustrated that I’ve been unable to take part in any events. But equally at the same time without running I don’t know where I would have been this year.

There are plenty of other ways that I’ve documented my achievements in a year of running though! I found Virtual Running, where I completed goodness knows how many challenges last year! I got a bit carried away (as the picture might show)! But this year in 2021 I’ve set myself bigger, more difficult challenges. E.g. in the 18 months from Jan 2021 to July 2022 I’m completing the Conquerer Lands End to John O’Groats Challenge, as well as aiming to complete 500k in 6 months.

In the coming days/weeks I’m hoping to share with you all some of my favourite running items, my honest reviews of things as well as all the research I’ve done into running gear in the last few months!

Hope you are all well and staying safe wherever you are. 🙂

If We Were Having Coffee May 2020

Hello! I hope you’re all staying safe and well in the current climate! It’s such a weird time right now! I barely have any idea what day of the week it is half the time at the moment. Although lockdown has kind of started to be lifted ever so slightly it really doesn’t impact me in the slightest… It’ll be a while before I’m still back at work!

Adjusting to life in lockdown has not been easy. I went from absolutely adoring my job to not being able to do my job and right now I have no idea what the next few months are going to hold for me and my work. I go through phases of not being bothered by lockdown to being so incredibly bored and fed up! At the moment I think I’ve got used to this life again but that doesn’t stop days absolutely dragging on.


If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’m enjoying my running still. I was supposed to be running my first 10K on 25th May, but that’s been postponed. However I’m still working towards that 10K target and I’m hoping to hit 10K next weekend.

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If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how tired my legs are feeling today. Yesterday I ran a stint in the Indoor Relay. The Indoor Relay has been put together to help raise money for 5 different charities. So I basically ran around my garden for an hour. I managed to complete 6K which I’m really pleased with BUT man do my legs ache today. I think it was all the turning to do my corners around the garden! Apparently during my time slot around £175 of donations came in. My mum bought me a GoPro this week too and I used that to record a time-lapse video of my run (you can see an extract on my instagram!)

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If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how fun it was running on the Indoor Relay though. There are team captains you can chat to while you’re running and I had a lady called Zeph as my team captain. She was absolutely fantastic and helped my running time zoom by! We had such a great chat and she gave me so much advice about running. Also one of my running inspirations Anna from the Running Channel popped on to say hello and literally made me so happy. Anna is the reason I signed up for the Great North Run and is probably the reason why I’ll sign up for a marathon one day!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’m trying to get back in to reading. I managed to finish a book last week and I’ve straight away picked up another one which I’m enjoying so far.

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If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how much I’m missing little Benji. I Facetime my brother and Benji nearly every day but hopefully I’ll be able to see him again soon. He’s grown so much since I last saw him!

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If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’m sad I’ve had to cancel my Canada trip. Well it got cancelled for me, but I’m quite relieved really that I don’t have to make the choice. But I’m hoping that when I can actually go to Canada that I may be able to combine it with a trip to Churchill to look for polar bears and beluga whales.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’m thinking about trying some running videos. I’m thinking about trying to create some videos about my running journey/what I’ve learnt. Anyone interested in that?

If we were having coffee… I’d ask you how you are and how lockdown life is treating you?


Meet Grace

Hello! So the other week I was approached by Grace from Gracethroughgoodbeauty to see if I fancied doing a blog Q&A. I didn’t realise how much similar stuff we actually liked! So I said yes 🙂 I sent Grace some questions and these are the answers she sent over 🙂


When did you start blogging?

I started blogging in the summer of 2015 which was the summer that I was between High school and University so had a long summer break which was perfect for starting a blog 😊

What are your favourite things to blog about?

As much I love blogging about Disney and musical theatre the things I love blogging about the most are my travel/diary posts, mental health and body positivity ❤️

Who/what inspired you to write a blog?

I was a really big Zoella fan back in the day so was really inspired by her and I also loved watching Carrie Hope Fletcher and still do ❤️ she was referred to as the big sister you never had and I absolutely loved that idea and the idea of being that for someone else 😊

Is there any particular blog you use for inspiration?

I would have to say my friend Hannah’s blog, Sophie Rosie and like I said Carrie Hope Fletcher.

What is your favourite post you’ve ever written?

Two of my favourite diary posts to look back on are when I went to Brighton Pride and when I got my puppy Maya however the one I’m most proud of is my Dear 16 year old me post as it reflected why I got into blogging in the first place which was to be that big sister figure for someone 😊

What are your tips for coping during this strange time?

I would say my biggest tips are 1) stay connected to people whether it’s through messenger, Skype or just having a chat with whoever you share a house with at least once a day 2) listen to your body and what you need, if you feel like chilling in ur pjs and watching Netflix then do it or if you have been doing that for a while and need to be productive then put on ur jeans and ur best makeup and be productive!

What’s your favourite Disney film?

Oooo that’s such a hard question!! I would say my favourite classic Disney movie is The Hunchback of Norte Dame which I think is highly underrated and then my favourite modern Disney movie is Tangled 😊

What’s your least favourite Disney film?

That’s such a hard question!! I don’t dislike any Disney film but I would have to say one of the classics is probably my least favourite probably Sleeping Beauty (please don’t hate me!!)

What’s your favourite thing to bake?

My favourite thing to bake is a chocolate brownie recipe which was given to me by my friend Ria from uni 😍

What is the best musical you’ve seen and why?

I think I’m going to have to do the same thing I did with the Disney film and pick one classic and one modern- my favourite classic musical is Wicked because it was the first musical I ever saw 😊 my favourite modern musical is Hamilton because I am such a big Lin Manuel Miranda fan and I think he is a genius!!

What is the best/most proud moment of your life?

I think either when I graduated university or when I got my job at Battersea cats and dogs home 😊

Where is your favourite place you’ve travelled to and tell us a bit about it?

I think my favourite place would have to be New York- I absolutely love Broadway, I love the shopping there especially Sephora and bath and body works 😊 The first time I went as an adult with my mum we went on a helicopter ride and then the second time we walked the Brooklyn bridge in the pouring rain 😂

What do you do to relax?

I either sit and read a book with Maya laying next to me or will put on a Disney movie and eat chocolate and pizza 😂

What is your favourite book you’ve ever read and would recommend to everyone?

Oooo good question! Probably Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman

Sum up your blog in 3 words?

Disney, Diary, Theatre

If you haven’t already head over to Grace’s blog and say hello 🙂 It was great to get to know you a bit more Grace!

Just Keep Running

It’s been a couple of months since I wrote that I started running, so today I thought I’d update you with my running progress 🙂

I’ve now been running for around 3 months and my latest achievement is that I ran 6K for the first time without stopping. It was tough but I did it! I also now have quite a sizeable medal collection from virtual events I’ve completed.

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Back at the beginning of March I completed my first running event. I completed my first 5K run. I took part in the Surrey Half Marathon 5K. I’d never actually reached 5K in any of my training sessions before this – the most I’d reached was 4K (running + walking) so this was a pretty big thing. It was pretty daunting, not going to lie! I started off my first kilometre way too quickly and ended up with such a bad stitch, which meant I then had to walk a kilometre which wasn’t great. But I managed the whole 5K with a mixture of running and walking and achieved it in 38 mins 34 seconds, which I was pretty chuffed with!

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The Surrey Half 5K was supposed to be the first of a couple of 5Ks I was doing through March/April… But sadly because of the current situation my next 5K has been rescheduled until October.

On 17th March all my work got cancelled and after then I started running every other day to complete my Couch to 5K programme. It took me around 11 weeks to complete Couch to 5K… I know they say it should take 9 weeks but with the horrible weather we had through February I didn’t go out as often as 3 times a week. But I got there and the satisfaction of finally achieving that goal was massive. The aim of Couch to 5K is to be able to run 5K OR for 30 minutes without stopping. I didn’t actually achieve the 5K within the 30 minutes but that didn’t matter. I achieved the goal of running for 30 minutes. I also signed up for a medal from MedalMad for achieving this which I was chuffed with.


Photo 17-04-2020, 18 00 50A couple of weeks before completing Couch to 5K I signed up to complete the Vitality London 10K in May which meant I had around 8 weeks to train for 10K. Unfortunately by the time I’d completed Couch to 5K restrictions were starting to be put in place regarding the current health crisis and my 10K got postponed.

During Couch to 5K I also applied to become a MedalMad ambassador. MedalMad produce virtual challenges whereby you sign up for a certain challenge, they’re usually distance challenges and you can complete that challenge either in one go or over a few runs/walks/swims/bikes, but the only condition is that you have to complete it within a certain timescale. I didn’t expect to become an ambassador as I hadn’t really been running that long… but I got selected, which is pretty exciting! In return I have to support other runners in the community and write a monthly blog. But I now have a little selection of MedalMad medals from virtual challenges. It’s really nice to be able to go out on a run with knowledge in the back of your mind that that run is going toward a medal… in that way every run is worth something and every medal then tells a story. I’ve already completed 3 of my 4 challenges I’d signed up for May 🙂

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Alongside MedalMad challenges I’m also continuing with my Race at Your Pace challenges. In these challenges you sign up to complete a certain distance within a month. In January I signed up for 15 mies (I completed around 17), February I completed around 20 miles and in March I actually managed to complete 40 miles. So I’ve definitely been upping my distance. Photo 17-04-2020, 17 59 37

So where am I now? I can now run 5K pretty comfortably. 5K felt like forever before but now 5K actually feels good. I actually got a new 5K PB this week which I was pleased with. I ran it in just under 38 minutes 🙂 I’m now working towards my 10K goal. I ran 6K last week and this weekend my aim is to achieve 7K.

Although all my events I had in the next couple of months have been postponed I’m still working towards the Great North Run (which at the moment is still going ahead in September). I think once I’ve reached the 10K mark I’ll be well on my way to that half marathon. But with the current circumstances who knows right now if it’s still going to go ahead!

I hope today’s post wasn’t too long and rambly! Have you taken up running in the current situation?

The Little Brooklyn Bakery

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for so long! The book is still sat on my desk waiting for me to review it! But I literally have no excuses for procrastinating now!

I picked this book up last year in Sainsburys. It was the bargain price of £2.99 and well it sounded good so I thought “I can’t really go wrong for that price”. I’d never heard of Julie Caplin before but I thought I’d give it a go.

It didn’t actually take me very long to read this book. I love a good chick lit book, especially one which includes baking! In this story we join Sophie as she starts a new life in New York (following her finding out her partner has been living a completely separate life 2 days a week). She takes an exchange position at the New York branch of her magazine she works on, thinking she’ll only be there 6 months or so. But quickly Sophie makes new friends, including Todd who she ends up having feelings for.

Basically in a nut shell this book is your classic chick lit, girl has drama, moves away, finds a new life and doesn’t really want a new boyfriend but finds a new one along the way…. That’s probably not really selling this book is it?! But I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down once I’d started. I really recommend it, especially if you want a nice, light, easy read.

I’ve since gone on to find that I love the sound of a few more of Julie Caplin’s books and can’t wait to give them a read.

Life Has Changed a Bit…

Hello! How are we all? It’s such weird times right now. I’m not sure about you but I feel like life changed overnight.

It’s kind of weird, but we’re almost being given a break… a chance to rest a bit and do all those jobs we’ve put off for so long. But it really doesn’t feel that simple. This time kind of sucks for me in that I’ve effectively lost my job… Well right now at the point of writing this I’m still employed but since I’m basically on a 0 hours contract I have no work right now and no income. But hey, things could be worse. I’m back home with my family rather than having to isolate alone.

So what am I doing to occupy myself since I can’t even work from home?

Well firstly I’m enjoying being in the kitchen. We had a new kitchen fitted about 2-3 weeks ago. We’re so thankful we have a functioning kitchen. Although it is not quite complete and the builders still need to finish things off, the kitchen is fully functional which is quite a blessing really. On top of this we now have a breakfast bar in the kitchen! This is so exciting. I’ve kind of taken to sitting at it to get things done rather than be in my room all the time. I’ve been enjoying trying to make a few more meals than usual from scratch (I have homemade chips in the oven right now) as well as doing some baking. Although I’m having to be a bit careful with what I use at the moment since flour and eggs seem to be difficult to get hold of right now.

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Has anyone else got that problem? People panic buying literally everything in the shops? OK I’ve not actually been to a supermarket for 10 days but the online shops are the same. My mission is to get hold of some bread flour and yeast so I can try making bread.

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Excuse the crazy hair!

I’ve been running! Yep my last post was about how I’ve started running again. Tomorrow I should (all being well) finish my Couch to 5K programme. I’ve progressively been getting up earlier and earlier to go out running (leaving the house at 6:30am), but I can now run for 30 minutes without stopping. I’m kind of gutted because the running events I had planned in April and May have both been cancelled. I’m just hoping desperately that the Great North Run still goes ahead in September. But I still have a long way to go to build my distance from 5k to 21k! I’ve been enjoying completing virtual challenges to fuel this too.

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Hama Beads! These were such a big part of my childhood! I used to make so many Hama Beads. I seem to have acquired the Brownies Hama Beads so I thought I’d give it a go making a few things (don’t worry I’ll replace the Brownies Hama Beads when this is all over). Actually it’s pretty time consuming but quite relaxing. I have a massive project lined up to make a massive Hama Bead picture but I need to wait for the beads to arrive before I can start this.

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Reading! I have so many books on my shelf unread so now is a good time to start getting through some of them. On top of this our local library has an ebook library which I’ll definitely be making use of.

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Nintendo switch. I’ve certainly been spoiled by my mum (I think she felt sorry for me). She bought me a Nintendo Switch a couple of weeks ago when I first found out I’d lost my job. I’d been talking about getting one for a while but just couldn’t decide for sure if I wanted to get one. Anyway, mum surprised me and bought me one and it came with Animal Crossing so I’ve been playing that. I also ordered Super Mario to play too – I was so excited about this as it was my first ever Game Boy Colour game so it was nice to relive my childhood!

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Finally, I’ve enrolled on a couple of online university courses. I’ve dedicated Monday to Thursday as “academic” days where I do something useful in that time. I’ve enrolled on to “Conservation and Protected Areas Management in Africa” and “Tropical Coastal Ecosystems” both are self paced online courses which have mini assessments in the form of multi-choice questions to assess yourself.

How is everyone else doing? Stay safe out there.

My Running Journey (So Far)

Hello everyone! I’m back for another post! 🙂

So those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen an increase in my number of running related posts… Yep. I’ve started running again!

So how did it all start? Back at the end of last year I found Yorkshire Wildlife Park were hosting a 5K run around the zoo. Excellent I thought. An opportunity to run but also to visit the zoo. So without really thinking too much about it I signed up to the YWP 5K.

I tried to start running this time last year but as soon as work got busy I failed to keep up with running and gave up far too easily. But this year I intend to keep running all year. So how am I going to do that?

About a month ago now I started the Couch to 5K program. A program that talks you through running 3 times a week, with the aim of building up to running for around 30 mins or 5K in around 9 weeks.

Alongside this I have signed up to “Race at Your Pace”. “Race at Your Pace” is a virtual run/race (I think that’s what you call it), where over the course of a month you aim to complete a certain number of miles. So in January I signed up to the 15 mile “race”, and through a combination of walking, running and cycling I successfully completed around 17 miles. I’ve also signed up to complete another 15 miles in February. Once you complete your challenge you get a medal at the end of it. Massive motivation to have something shiny arrive in the post!

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It may be easy to give up running after my 5K run in April, but I’ve now signed up for a few other events throughout the year to keep me going. Including the Westminster Mile in May and the Great North 5K in September.

But my biggest challenge of the year…. I’ve signed up to run a half marathon in September. Yes, I’m running the Great North Run! The whole 13.1 miles of it. I never ever believed I would want to sign up to run a half marathon but in the last year or so I’ve kind of realised, what the heck! You only live once, make the most of it. And at least once a year from now on I want to do some “big” adventure. Whether it be a holiday, run or mountain climb!

I’m going to be running the Great North Run for the charity Save the Children. If anyone would like to Donate at all for my Great North Run adventure my virgin money page can be found here. Or click on the photo!


If we were having Coffee January 2020

Hello!! Is anyone still there?!

I’m still here…. Yes I have been absolutely rubbish lately at being on here but life got busy. I practically spent 6 months of last year working 6 days a week. Then when things did quieten down we had a little puppy join the family (well he’s my brother’s puppy and lives at my brother’s but his Auntie Hannah spoils him rotten) and yeah… just things got in the way!

So what happened since I last posted on here?

I finished working my second season at Whipsnade Zoo…

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I started a new volunteering role at London Zoo

I began working more hours in my London Zoo job

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I went on two trips to Jersey

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I went on my first “girls holiday” to Ireland in December

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Little Benji joined our family

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I completed the Ranger for the Day experience at the Big Cat Sanctuary

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And also, perhaps what I’m most excited for…. I’ve booked a trip to Canada this year! I’m so excited to see what Canada has to offer and to visit blogger friend An Historian About Town. 

I hope you’re all well and hopefully I’ll be back on here a little more this year! 🙂