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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Keeping Fit in Winter #simplyhealth

Winter fitness Ice Skating Winter Wonderland Cardiff

I admit that during the Winter time I struggle to keep up with my planned exercise routine.  As I'm in training for the Team Honk Comic Relief Danceathon which is taking place in March, I did try to start running again but I'm finding it really hard to get out of bed an hour earlier during these dull, dark mornings so I've needed to look for other ways to keep fit:

Ice Skating

One of our favourite family fitness activity to take part in is ice skating.  We were kindly given tickets to go skating at Winter Wonderland, Cardiff, which is always a treat. 

Winter fitness Ice Skating Winter Wonderland Cardiff


Simply Health Winter Ice Skating


Simply Health Winter Ice Skating


We also went skating at a smaller, local ice rink down Milford Marina.  With the music playing, it definitely felt more disco than discipline, however I could feel my legs getting a good workout.  It's also great for balance and posture too, something that I need to work on after baby wearing and pushing buggies for many years!

Sledging


Simply Health Winter Fitness Sledging Snow


Going up the mountains sledging was a great fitness activity too.  It certainly took some effort to climb up the slope again for each turn.  The reward of whizzing down the hill on the sledge definitely made the effort worthwhile though.

Winter Walks


Simply Health Winter Walk Woods Beach

Whatever the weather, we always enjoy a good family walk.  Woodland walks often provide shelter from the rain.  Our favourite walks  are along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path so we can stop and run around on the beaches along the way too.

Fitness DVDs 


Simply Health Winter Fitness DVD


As I find it hard to attend fitness classes around the kids, then fitness DVDs are great for me.  Once the kids are in bed I can stick a work out DVD on and get on with it in my own time.  I currently using a dance one to get me fit enough for the Danceathon.  Now I've repeated the DVD quite a few times I do find myself getting bored and wanting to try new dances so I have also been using Youtube to train and I'm tempted to buy Just Dance for our XBox too.


What tips do you have for keeping fit during the Winter?  Find more ways to keep fit at Simple Health (I've taken part in a Santa run before bit haven't done a Christmas/Boxing Day or New Year swim yet but definitely will in the future!).

I was given ice skating tickets in return for this post.  All opinions are honest and my own.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

A Walk Around Bosherston Lily Ponds, Pembrokeshire



Hello!  Oh it feels so good to write to this blog again.  I am currently without WIFI and found out today that it won't be switched on until next week!

I couldn't keep away until then so here is a quick post with some of our photos and a video from Bosherston Lily Ponds last week. 



 It is a popular local walk and with all the views and wildlife that we saw it's easy to see why.  Start at the car park in Bosherston.  It is free to park at this time of year but we made a donation anyway as all contributions go towards the National Trust and yes, there are toilets at the start of the walk which is always a good thing!





When I was younger I was terrified of walking along the 'lily pond' bridges.  Thankfully, my kids don't have the same fears and walked along happily (and sensibly!).  As the name suggests, in the Spring and Summer the pond is full of lillies.  If you look into the water you can see the sunken lily pads from last year.









We love it when we spot sand on our walks and know that we are getting close to the beach (it's great to practise long jump too!).





On the beach, the kids got to have a play before heading back on the circular route.  



















It was a lovely walk. The kids are already planning coming here in the Summer time when we can spend all day playing on the beach and paddling on the river.

As you can see the walk tired one little girl out!  Please watch the video if only to spot the cute robin- he loved being filmed! 

The weather is cold but dry and sunny at the moment- perfect for more #countrykids adventures! 


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 2 January 2015

Goodbye 2014 - A Difficult Year with a Sprinkle of Fun

Happy New Year to friends, family and all you lovely readers!

I started writing this post on the last day of 2014 but have only now found the time to publish it!  What a year!  Overall, I feel that it was a very difficult year for us as a family. Since, my sister, Jo's stroke in June everything has been quite a blur.  To us looking back on the year we can't help but divide it into "pre stroke" and "post stroke".   I'm so glad that I put this post together, as I really had forgotten about all the good things that did happen before that terrible day in June.  Also since the momentous day when Jo left hospital we have managed to make good memories too.  Her fight for full recovery is not over but we are grateful for how well she is doing and know she will continue to recover in 2015 which I hope will be an amazing year both for her and for us. 

Here is our look back at 2014:

January





  • We celebrated the New Year in the woods with our friends, champagne and a cosy fire.  We plan to do the same again soon!

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/01/celebrating-new-year-in-woods.html


  • Blogging the little things, here is a post about playing with Izzy.  She starts school part time this January so I need to make the most of my time at home with her before full time school in 2016!

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/01/izzy-green-grocer-with-big-jigs-wooden.html


  • We celebrated the Chinese New Year as always.  Here is one of our craft round ups.  I hope to remember to blog more of our crafts this year.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/01/chinese-new-year-crafts-round-up-2014.html

This year Chinese New Year falls on February 19th and is the year of the Sheep.  This is Danny's year as he becomes a 12 year old!  Then it will be my Year of the Monkey in 2016 as I turn 36!  Gulp.


  • We went to Swansea Pantomime and had a lovely meal and day out.  This year we have changed tradition and are spending the money on a family musical later in the year instead.  Which one to choose...

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/01/country-kids-in-city-for-swansea-panto.html


  • We visited one of my favourite local places, Saint Nons.  

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/01/st-nons-pembrokeshire-countrykids.html

  • I took part in the Team Honk Baton Relay.  I did fun runs, climbing mountains and a school baton relay.  I have already signed up to take part in this years Team Honk Danceathon for Red Nose Day (you can sign up too!).

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/01/please-support-wales-team-honk-2014.html

February





  • There were more Team Honk posts on the blog in March.  Here we tried and failed (due to extreme weather) to climb The Preselis:

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/02/the-preseli-mountains-pembrokeshire.html


  • We became H&A Bathtime Buddy Ambassadors and received lots of lovely bath products throughout the year.  

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/02/bathtime-fun-with-h-disney-nemo-bubbly.html


  • Blogging the little things, the school run.  This will of course be different this year with Izzy attending school too!

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/02/when-sun-shines-on-school-run.html


  • We had quite a few adventures at sea this year, starting with Dave and Danny helping uncle Phil bring his boat from East Llanion to Milford Marina.  I'd love to get to Amsterdam to see our friend Cloudy's new boat this year.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/02/danny-goes-to-sea-east-llanion-to.html


  • We reviewed Tom's Midnight Garden.  I loved it.  I can't wait to review more theatre shows this year.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/02/toms-midnight-garden-half-term.html

  • I took part in the audience of BBC Question Time.  I met David Dimbleby, asked a question and most importantly managed to get the whole panel debating the current state of the NHS in Wales.
http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/03/bbc-question-time-newport-opportunity.html


March





  • Danny won the first of the year's gymnastic medals.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/03/after-worries-come-medals-gymnastics.html



http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/03/ceris-leaving-do.html


  • We also made a surprise afternoon tea to say goodbye to Ceri. 

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/03/a-surprise-afternoon-tea.html


  • It wasn't long before we popped up for our first visit to her (you'll never get away Aunty Ceri!)

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/03/visiting-ceri-newport.html


  • We went to Little Hearts Matter Open Day and Tour of Aston Villa.  We plan to do this again this year as it's good for Danny to keep in touch with all of his HLHS Heart friends.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/03/little-hearts-matter-open-day-and-aston.html

  • We celebrated Mother's Day on Saundersfoot Beach.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/04/mothers-day-on-saundersfoot-beach.html

April






  • I haven't blogged about it yet but one of my highlights from the year was seeing The Wildhearts play in Bristol.  We went for Dave's birthday.  I really hope we can see them and Ginger again this year.
We also celebrated Danny's 11th birthday.

  • I went to my first Cardiff Bloggers Spring Meet.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/04/cardiff-bloggers-spring-meet-at.html


  • We had another lovely visit to Warner Bros Studio Tour Feather's and Flights.  I'm so glad that Jo and Cerys came with us too.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/04/feathers-and-flight-at-warner-brother.html


  • Siblings

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/04/siblings-april.html

This year I attempted to take part in the siblings linky.  I haven't always kept up with the posts but always make sure I get a good siblings photo each month.


  • The same goes for the Me and You linky.  I always remind Dave that I need photos of us together now (sorry Dave!)

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/04/me-and-you-april.html


  • We had a lovely day out at West Dale Beach.  It was warm enough to strip off.  I can't wait for those beach days again!

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/04/west-dale-beach-countrykids.html

May




May saw cousin Cerys' Frozen birthday party and a trip to Bristol Zoo.  I also went to Cardiff to watch Dave's band play.   I would love lots more weekends like this again this year.


  • We wrote a fairy tale based on a day at Scolton Manor.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/05/fairy-tales-in-forest-national-share.html


  • We swapped blogs with Emily from Have a Laugh On Me.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/05/top-five-aussie-slang-words-you-might.html


  • Danny was interviewed for the  Wales on Sunday.


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/05/the-truth-behind-headline-danny-in.html

June




June was meant to be a fun month but it ended up being a haze and mainly spent at hospital with Jo.



  • We did have a pre World Cup party and I can remember them moving Jo's hospital bed out one evening so she could watch a match.  

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/06/planning-world-cup-party.html


  • I went to Brit Mums to give my Key Note speech as I wanted to read it for Danny.  However, in retrospect, it was too soon after Jo's stroke  for me to have left my family so I felt quite sad and vulnerable there.  I had been going to London regularly on the Megabus for blogging and fun events but much prefer staying closer to home for now.   

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/06/fever-all-through-night-brit-mums-style.html

July





  • Izzy reviewed this lovely  Ukelele with Daddy.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/07/isabelles-my-1st-years-ukulele-review.html


  • Rebecca had a lovely time at the Brownie Ball.  She has grown up so much recently and it's lovely to see her go off having fun with friends and become more independent.   


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/07/big-brownie-birthday-ball-girls-prom.html


  • Blogging the little things: a play in the park.  I had lunch with the kids, took a few snaps and then went up to visit Jo.  I'm so grateful to Dave and his parents for helping me so much with the kids at this time.  

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/07/still-country-kids-in-park.html


  • One afternoon after visiting Jo we went down to Broad Haven Beach and ended up staying until the tide came in.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/07/an-afternoon-leads-to-evening-at-broad.html


  • Another big milestone of the year was Danny leaving Juniors and joining Secondary school.  We so proud of him at his Leavers' Oscars Ceremony.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/07/dannys-night-at-oscars-school-leaving.html

August





  • In August I finally blogged about Charlie and Meg's Roundhouse.  I hope to visit more places like this locally this year, starting with the  Lammas Eco Village.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/08/our-visit-to-charlie-and-megs-roundhouse.html


  •   I enjoyed shopping for maybe the first time ever with a working trip to McArthurGlen.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/08/back-to-school-fun-with-mcarthur-glen.html


  • To celebrate my birthday we enjoyed a cosy family fire on the beach.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/08/a-cosy-family-beach-fire.html


  • Then we celebrated again with a (paddling!) pool party and birthday  BBQ.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/08/a-birthday-family-barbecue.html


  • Danny stayed on his first Little Heart Matters Youth weekend.  Hopefully he will get this opportunity again this year.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/08/four-become-two-road-trip-across-brecon.html


  • We got lost on the way home but there were stunning views.  I think this trip inspired my family to get me a sat nav for Christmas!

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/08/lost-in-wales-and-lots-more-sheep.html



  • We went to Scolton Manor.  It was lovely to be out and about with Jo again.  :-)

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/08/a-woodland-walk-at-scolton-manor-with.html


  • We went to the IPC Games in Swansea and met Discus Dan (Dan Greaves).  

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/08/when-dan-met-discus-dan-our-day-at.html


  • We enjoyed a walk at Withybush Woods.


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/08/a-woodland-walk-at-withybush-woods.html


  • We had a Dirty Dancing night at Mums.  I wonder what theme nights we'll arrange this year!


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/08/i-carried-watermelon-dirty-dancing.html


  • We took part in a boat regatta.  I didn't blog the event but some photos can be found here:


September





  • In September we went blackberry picking.


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/09/blackberry-picking-crumble-and-pie.html


  • Then back to school!

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/09/back-to-school-hair-styles.html



  • I enjoyed the Lush Summer event...
http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/09/a-lush-summer-evening.html



  • And finally blogged a recipe!

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/09/veggie-cottage-pie.html


  • We had a lovely day at Monkhaven.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/09/the-magic-of-monk-haven-family-fun.html

In September we also had a lovely day at Manor Park for Caitlyn's 6th birthday.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/10/caitlyn-turns-6-and-day-at-manor-park.html

October





  • Danny had another adventure at sea, this one was unplanned and unexpected:

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/10/dannys-mini-adventure-at-sea.html

  • We became Lottie Doll Ambassadors.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/10/international-day-of-girl-girls-can-be.html

  • For a change I didn't get to Rocky Horror Live this year but I did enjoy a singalong night at our local theatre.  Here is a Rocky Horror Make up Post:

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/10/rimmel-rocky-horror-magenta-halloween.html


  • We went pumpkin picking at a local farm.  We also enjoyed Halloween.


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/10/pumpkin-picking.html


  • We celebrated Rebecca's 8th birthday in Saundersfoot.


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/10/exploring-saundersfoot-and-rebecca.html


  • I went to another Cardiff Bloggers meet at Pettigrew Tea Rooms.  I feel far more like part of the blogging community this year.  I have made lots of new friends and that makes me happy.  :-)

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/10/cardiff-bloggers-meet-at-pettigrew-tea.html

November




  • We had a great day out at Manorbier.  I still haven't blogged the second part of the day yet at Church Doors.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/11/manorbier-castle-church-and-beach.html



  • We enjoyed Bonfire Night.  


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/11/a-family-bonfire-night-and-sparkler.html


  • I returned to Hogwarts in the Snow!  It's definitely my favourite time of the year to visit!


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/11/ten-reasons-to-visit-hogwarts-in-snow.html


  • We explored Cardiff Castle.


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/11/cardiff-castle-explore-2000-years-of.html

We also had a few meals out in November to Marthas, the Harbourmaster and Foam.  We celebrated my mum's birthday.  

December



Wow, December, you came and went so quickly!  It was a blur with school and carol concerts. Izzy left playgroup and we have lots of changes ahead in January.


  • In December, we reviewed this  play kitchen which we love lots!


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/12/pretend-play-christmas-ideas-gltc.html


  • We painted the hall white and have lots more decorating planned which has been put on hold for Christmas.  A new shed is our first home project!


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/12/a-small-snowflake-hallway-gives-bright.html


  • We took part in the town lantern parade.

http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/12/the-lantern-parade-let-there-be-light.html



  • The usual rituals were in place on Christmas Eve:


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/12/twas-night-before-christmas.html


  • We enjoyed a lovely Christmas and New Year.


http://www.evans-crittens.com/2014/12/so-this-is-christmas-2014.html

Izzy turned three and had a lovely day at Folly Farm.



So that was our year!  Wishing you all a happy, healthy New Year.

lots of love,

Claire and family xxxxxx
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