• When running becomes a bit, well, shallow

    claire walsh
  • Meerkat Movies!

    batman meerkat
  • Book Review: I Have and Orange Juicy Drink by Andrew Sanders

    i have an orange juicy drink
  • A fun afternoon watching Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday with #StreamTeam

    Netflix game

When running becomes a bit, well, shallow

claire walshI must admit I’m starting to quite enjoy this fitness thing. I don’t enjoy it before, during or immediately after at the moment. But I do enjoy it quite a bit after, when I think that I’ve gone out and done something essentially for myself. I still hate all the warm ups though!

The past couple of days i’ve been unable to run, having run a few epic sessions; a 10k, a couple of 5/6k, I think I over did it. My wonky knee just said ‘no’ and I found myself limping a bit on the school run. Like a wally. Thank goodness the super fit school mums in their gym gear don’t really know about my new found sportiness or they’d probably laugh at my naivety. I’m hoping a few swimming sessions will sort me out.

Prior to this I had some sort of revelation. You see, I’d bought myself some new flowery leggings. I bought them because I quite liked them and I thought they’d be good for holiday’s if nothing else. Anyway, despite them being completely unpractical for running as they keep falling down, I realised that I quite liked them for running. Purely on the basis that they look quite nice and I’ve received a lot of compliments.

Its true, wearing nice running kit does in fact spur you onwards and upwards. It makes a massive difference in the morning, when all you want to do is to lie in bed, to put on something nice rather than the boring old grey and black slightly knackered running kit. When you’re running along, you’re spurred on by not looking like a mess. If in your mind you’re running along looking like Cameron Diaz, you’ll mentally feel like her and do better, really, its true. It doesn’t matter if you really look like a slightly plump middle aged mother who cant really see through her glasses thanks to the incessant British rain.

The downside; I need to buy new fitness gear. I want bright colourful, trendy nice stuff. It has to be a reasonable price which doesn’t break the bank, it needs to wash easily and well. If I can wear it on other occasions without looking stupid that would also be good. Any recommendations will be welcomed.

I’ve never really been all that bothered by what I wear, despite having a serious interest in fashion and costume history (I even curated a costume collection). I don’t know if this is an age thing, but it does seem true that how you present yourself to the world can make a major difference to your life. Its not so much about what you know as what you wear. This is related to personal psychology as much as how others relate to you. How funny that it took me a pair of flowery leggings and training for the Race for Life 10k in St Albans to make me realise this!

If you’d like to sponsor my efforts for Cancer Research I’d be more than grateful. You can find my page here.

Meerkat Movies!

batman meerkatIf your children are anything like mine they will be super hero obsessed. It was a bit of a stroke of luck then that a limited edition Batman Aleksandr Meerkat arrived on the day of my eldest boys birthday! He immediately fell in love with the little fella.

Compare the Market sent over the toy to celebrate the launch of the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie. Of course the arrival of the toy as also meant that the movie was flagged up to the kids and i’ve had them begging to take them ever since. I think its too old for them yet so they’ll have to wait a while. In the meantime they’ll have to make do with the advert…

Book Review: I Have and Orange Juicy Drink by Andrew Sanders

i have an orange juicy drinkIf you like your picture books to be good looking from the point of view of design as well as being great little stories then this book is for you.

This is the story of a small boy and his orange drink. It has a strong message about sibling love and simply asking nicely. We loved this book as its so amusing in the hyperbole of what the character does when someone tries to take his drink from him. If i’m honest it reminds me of my eldest who makes outlandish threats about what will happen if we do various things.

I like a book which encourages literacy skills and imagination and this book is perfect for that. We have hours of fun talking about what might happen in various circumstances. What might your child do if someone tried to take their drink? Crush them with an ocean liner, send an elephant to sit on them? It’s all about expanding imagination and from that helping with sentence construction. Children don’t get many opportunities to develop creative writing in primary school these days as there is such a focus on grammar.

If you’d like to find out more and order the book have a look at FatFox Books website here.

A fun afternoon watching Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday with #StreamTeam

Netflix game The weather over the Easter holidays wasn’t very good here in the UK. We spent a fair amount of time indoors and I must admit I started to find it a bit challenging finding things which all three children could do together as Ned at 4 is just a bit to small to get involved with some of the more complicated games the older children play.

Netflix came to my rescue with an absolute stroke of genius. An interactive roadmap game. Basically, we all sat down in front of Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday and instead of watching the movie in a fairly static way we all got involved and had LOADS of fun spotting different images on our roadmap. Once we found an image on our map we waited for the second image in each set and we could open another surprise box.


The road map, when you spot the images its time to open a box

I’ve been parenting 9 years and to be honest there are very few games which are new to me, but this was one of them. We loved this, not only did we all get involved and it proved a great family activity, it made watching the movie even more fun.


photo 1I vaguely remember Pee-Wee Herman from my childhood, although I think I was slightly too old for his comedy before the peak of his career and subsequent career crash. However, it was nice to introduce the children to a character which is quite an iconic part of 1980’s America and pop culture.

photo 2

As far as the movie goes the children really enjoyed it. They thought it was really funny and laughed a lot of the way through the movie. I think the game really added to the fun. I must admit the whole afternoon was one of the highlights of our holiday and I’ll definitely be doing the game idea again.

If you’re as intrigued as I was about the Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Holiday and you fancy a bit of fun on a rainy afternoon then this is perfect for you.


Book Review: Mr Mens Birthday Birthday Party by Roger Hargreaves

mr men birthday partyEveryone loves the Mr Men so you cant really go wrong with providing one as part of a gift or simply getting hold of one to read for fun!

We are big fans of Mr Men and the books are one of the little Ned’s (aged 4) most favourite bedtime reads.

On 5th May 2016 Egmont are publishing  Mr Men Birthday Party and we were lucky enough to get a sneak preview. This book is about Mr Silly’s birthday party which Little Miss Helpful is organising.

This book is as much for the adult reading it as the child. I loved the idea of sending Mr Mean to buy a birthday present and Mr Muddle to make the birthday cake. The party reminded me of some of my efforts to be honest and it really did have us all laughing.

What can I say, this is a little gem and an ideal party bag gift. You’ll be able to get hold of it here.