Saturday, 25 June 2016

International Handstand Day!

Happy International Handstand Day! We've been getting all the kids at gymnastics this week to practice their handstands, but I almost forgot about it today... Anyway, to celebrate Wales winning their game today and qualifying to the Quarter Finals of Euro 2016, my handstand picture has a bit of a Welsh theme :) 

Did you do a handstand today? There's still time left!

Monday, 20 June 2016

21 Questions

I found this on P!inky's blog and thought it'd be a perfect little get to know you tag for some of my new followers.

1) Are you named after anyone?
Not officially, but my Great Nan's name was Ivy so I like to think there is some relation there (Hollie and Ivy), especially as my sisters name is very similar to my other Great Nan's name.

2) When was the last time you cried?
Well tears came into my eyes when I had food poisoning last month but I don't think it was actual crying. Apart from that, I don't actually remember- I know I cried just after Christmas and I probably have since then but I don't know when that was.

3) Do you have any kids?
Nope, but if you read my blog you might see me post photos of my favourite little girl Emily- she's my cousin Sophie's daughter.

4) What is your job?
Currently I'm a gymnastics coach working part time hours, but I'm looking for something different and full time.

5) Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Yes- I really try not to but sometimes I can't help it.

6) Will you ever bungee jump?
I'm not sure. I don't think it's something I'd ever go out of my way to do, but if the opportunity arose the daredevil side of me would probably come out.

7) What is your favourite cereal?
Frosties! Although I don't have cereal that often.

8) What's the first thing you notice about people?
Hmmmmm. I really don't know, I'm awful at remembering faces and describing appearances to others, so I guess I don't really notice much! I'm good at remembering names though :)

9) What is your eye colour?

10) Scary movie or happy ending?
Happy ending. Always. I don't like scary movies.

11) Favourite smells?
Vanilla. Coconut. Anything that reminds me of summer.

12) Computer or television?
Computer. I could easily live without a television.

13) What's the furthest you've been from home?
Japan- I went in 2008 with my school and we travelled all over; Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima and Tokyo. Or is Thailand further than Japan? I've just googled it at they are both around 5,900 miles away from home. To the west I guess Winnipeg, Canada is the furthest I've been, which is nearly 4000 miles from home.

14) Do you have any special talents?
Ummm, depends what classes as a special talent? I'm pretty clumsy if that counts as a talent. And I can wiggle my toes weirdly which most people find gross. And the fact that I still like to throw myself around on the odd occasion at gymnastics and trampolining probably counts as something special.

15) Where were you born?
In the town that I currently live in :)

16) What are your hobbies?
Trampolining, paper crafting, playing piano, watching sports, walking, knitting, choreographing gymnastics routines...

17) Summer or Winter?
Summer. The sun and blue skies just make me happy.

18) Do you have any pets?
I have a 7 month old rabbit named Bailey- partly because he looks like a bottle of Bailey's, and partly after Welsh football legend Gareth Bale.

19) Favourite movie?
Bridesmaids- it always makes me laugh, especially the scene on the plane to Vegas.

20) Do you have any siblings?
I have a younger sister who is currently at university, and loves to one up me in everything she does.

21) What did you want to be when you grew up?
I have a piece of school work from when I was 7 that said I wanted to be a Doctor, an artisit or a vet. Well, I can't handle blood very well do Doctor and Vet are out, and I can't draw at all in the slightest so I guess artist was never going to work out either.

So that's me! Leave me links in the comments if you have tried this tag.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Summer Bucket List

Linking up with Steph for my Summer goals post!

Back before I ever shared the link to my blog with anyone, I did a little summer bucket list so thought it would be fun to do one again. So, before the end of summer, I'd like to...

- Go on holiday- I think me and my mum might be going to Spain but it isn't booked yet.

- Watch as much of the Olympics as possible- this will be a little harder than 2012 thanks to the timezone but I'm going to give it a good go. My current dilemma is whether to book the days off work when I know the gymnastics is going to be on.

- Go through my bedroom and clear out all the stuff I've been hoarding. I've actually started on this but I think it's going to be quite a big task.

- Maybe even redecorate my bedroom... I've seen a few ideas on pinterest that I like so will see how the clearing out goes and then decide whether to redecorate.

- Organise an amazing party for my Mum's 50th birthday- Again, pinterest has been my friend here.

- Lose another 10lbs- I've done pretty well with my weight loss this year, as I'm back to the weight I was before I broke my ankle, but I still think I can lose more.

- Go on a big shopping trip and treat myself to something from Michael Kors. I've been saving money from the temp work I've been doing and have been waiting to find the perfect bag to buy. I'm thinking maybe this one.

- Go to a live sporting event. I bought my mum tickets to watch the Athletics Olympic Trials for Christmas so we've got that to look forward to.

- Post at least 10 blog posts a month. I think that works out at between 2-3 a week. I think I can make that happen.

- Be spontaneous. Go on the walks around the park at dusk, sit outside around the chimenea with a glass of wine until theres no light left in the sky, have bbq's no matter the weather, spend time with my grandparents, go on random day trips etc.

- Start my tickets and memorabilia scrapbook- I had an empty scrapbook for my birthday back in January and have been waiting to collect enough to be able to start the project.

So that's all I can think of for the moment. I'll have to remember to update at the end of summer to see how I did!
Life According to Steph

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Moments from my Phone | 2016 So Far

I was looking back through the blog and realised I hadn't done a phone photos post yet this year, so this post includes pictures from January to May! Previous editions include Summer 2015Autumn 2015.

Now that the evenings are lighter and warmer, we see these Hot Air Balloons passing over as we leave work. I imagine that the view is amazing!

Bailey is preparing to support Wales in Euro 2016... I can't handle it when he runs round the house like this.

I saw this cute cat having a nap in the patio furniture department of a garden centre the other week. I guess the sun was all too much, and I'd say this table and chairs has the seal of approval from this cat!

This cute Minnie Mouse cupcake was in the Selfridges food hall and was too cute to pass up.

I had to laugh at the typo- 'penini!'

How many different shades of purple and pink do I actually need? I threw away a couple but I really do need to narrow down my collection a little more.

Bailey prefers to use his litter tray to lie down and nap in, so we have given in and just put an old blanket down in there for him.

How hard can it be to get a photo with two kids looking at the camera at the same time? (and it was their mum taking the picture too!)
The aftermath of Emily's 1st birthday cake smash photoshoot. I like to think that she's admiring her hard work.

So that's me caught up on phone picture for the year!


Friday, 10 June 2016

Friday Highlights | Sunshine and Hard Work

Another week has come and gone! Here are the highlights of my week.

- It's been a lovely warm week here in the UK, over 20c every day! Unfortunately there have been lots of clouds too so its been quite humid and muggy... not the best conditions when you work in indoor sport and there is no air conditioning! Oh well, I'm not really going to complain because it's probably the only warm weather we will get this year.

- I was thrilled to see the news that Renee has had her baby! Go and check out her blog to see the good news and see some super adorable photos.

- My adult trampolining class is still going well. With bank holidays and other commitments it seems like I've only been going every other week but I'm getting back into the swing of things again. With the warm weather and slightly lower numbers in attendance, it was very hard work but I loved getting more trampoline time and getting to fix the technique of my old skills.

- I overcame a big personal barrier this week too- I coached the main competition squad at work. I usually coach the low level 'novice' competition squad, but one of the coaches was ill so I was asked to coach the higher level squad. There's a bit of a back story with my work with the main squad, and I really don't have much confidence when I work with them but I decided to build a bridge and run away from the barriers I had made for myself and actually quite enjoyed the evening! It helps that the kids are pretty cute too :)

- Bailey has been with us for 3 months now and he's definitely at home around us and in the house. This week his new trick is escaping from his hutch if we leave the lid open. We learned that the hard way! Oops! 

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Catching Up with May

Yet another catch up post- this should be the last one! I just wanted to record on the blog a few other events that went on whilst I was doing the mad three weeks of working two jobs.

- My gymnasts had their first proper four piece competition. It was a ridiculously long day, leaving the house at 6.30am, and not getting back until 10.30pm! The leisure centre was supposed to close at 8pm, and it ran so much overtime that people were packing up equipment around gymnasts still competing which must have been distracting for them. Anyway, I was very proud of my gymnasts and they all had lots to be proud of; from first competitions ever, to first competitions with a new club, to competing new skills for the first time, to performing beautiful floor routines after falling on beam, and just generally having a good competition. It's been fun to get back in the gym and learn new skills at last!

- I think this is going to be a very unintentionally sporty themed post. My adult trampolining class is going well! I've relearned pretty much all my old skills that I had before I broke my ankle and my friend is trying to persuade me to compete again, but I'm not so sure about that. Last session, my coach got me into the rig set up, and had me actually working the skill that I broke my ankle- a crash dive ball out. Scary stuff but I'm pushing through... I didn't realise I had such a determined attitude in me.

- A couple of Saturdays ago, my old dance teacher had a big party to celebrate 35 years of the dance school. I wasn't too sure about going as I hadn't seen or spoken to many of the people there in nearly 5 years, but figured I should at least show my face if I had been attending the school for 15 of those 35 years. It wasn't too bad in the end, and I got to wear my new floral jumpsuit (no pictures though unfortunately). I'm just super thankful that one of the girls there is actually someone who I currently work with at gymnastics so I could spend the evening with her.

-Manchester United won the FA Cup. Louis Van Gaal lost his job. Jose Mourinho is the new manager. Happy days for a United fan :)

So there you go, I think I'm all caught up on everything of importance that happened in May now... Hopefully I'll stay more up to date in June! 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Friday Highlights | Back Into the Swing of Things

Well look at that, 3 weeks off blogging and 4 posts in 4 days! Its been a weird week having Bank Holiday Monday and school half term week, but here are my highlights.

- My sisters boyfriend had his 21st Birthday this week so I got my craft set out for the first time in I don't know how long and made his birthday card. It's been far too long since I've done any sort of paper crafts so I enjoyed getting everything out again and was pretty pleased with the final result.

- Classes at work have been really quiet this week because of half term, so it's been a nice easy week to ease back into my main job after three weeks off most of my classes.

- I've loved getting to sleep in and get to wear my comfy clothes every day again. I hate having to wear 'regular' clothes and shoes, give me a t shirt and shorts/leggings any day! My feet are pretty banged up from having to wear proper shoes being as they are used to wearing trainers all the time :(

- Whilst I've been at gym, I've used some of the down time between classes to try little bit of gym myself again. I last took a gymnastics class in 2006, and have done trampolining since but trying beam again is quite scary. Vault was fun though and I actually got a cheer from the gymnasts that were in the gym at the time!

- Our tickets have just arrived for the British Athletics championships in Birmingham at the end of the month. I bought them for my mum for Christmas (she was a very high level athlete) and she is so excited to go and watch the Olympic Trials at a stadium she used to compete at a lot.

How was your week?

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Thursday Confessions

The temporary job that I just finished had moments of complete madness and feeling rushed off your feet, then had moments of very slow down time with nothing happening. I ended up writing down lots of notes for blog posts, and had noticed the Confessions posts on Jenn's blog so thought I'd give it a go. So over the last month or so, I confess...

- I totally felt like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. I was the young blonde girl surrounded by people of much greater intelligence than I have... I had to pretend to have serious and well thought out opinions on everything and I never quite got used to being told multiple times a day that I was 'awfully kind' or 'terribly kind' every time I did a job for someone. 

- Is there a greater feeling than standing on the platform at the train station with hundreds of other commuters, seeing a train pull in and stop with the doors exactly right in front of you? After a couple of days of the commute I'd worked out the ideal places to stand on the platform so I got a seat pretty much every time on the train. 

- There was so much down time whilst I was at the job, that essentially I was being paid to plan blog posts and write gymnastics session plans. My little notebook became my saviour for three weeks, and is pretty worn out now. Got to keep my eye out for an inexpensive pretty notebook now, any suggestions? I love the look of paperchase ones but they are super expensive.

- I also realised I wrote an entire post just about the weather. How very British of me.

- Over the three weeks I was there, I probably ate and drank close to my body weight in tea, coffee and biscuits. My role was based in the kitchen, so whenever it was quiet it was so tempting to just grab a cup of tea, and biscuits have always been my weakness so I really struggled to resist the temptation there. Oops!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Weekending | Whitsun Bank Holiday

Linking up with Biana for this Weekending post!

Well we've had our Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK this weekend which has coincided with the schools half term holiday so I have really lost track of which day it is. My mum went away with my Auntie for the long weekend which left just me, my dad and the rabbit in the house- a total recipe for disaster. On Saturday morning, I accidentally pulled a curtain off the rail in the spare room. My dad didn't notice this until Tuesday afternoon! On the other hand, my mum came back on Tuesday evening and noticed within 10 minutes of coming back! Oh well, it's all fixed now.

My weekend started off slowly. I had a nice lie in to recover from the madness of working 50 hour weeks in comparison to my usual 20, and got some of the housework done (look at me being all domesticated!). Saturday is my usual day off work, but I'd agreed to host a Birthday party at gymnastics for one of my gymnasts. It was only the 2nd party I'd hosted, but it ran much more smoothly than the first one thankfully. While I was there I had a message from my nan asking her to help with some stuff on her iPad (she still can't send an email without the entire message in the subject line) so I popped round and saw my grandparents for the first time in about three weeks, which is quite bad considering they live 3 roads away!

Sunday morning started with a Facetime call to Sophie, and she invited me over to stay for the night. Whenever I go to Wales, I always stay with my Aunt and Uncle so this was a first to stay at her house. I packed my bag and drove to Wales straight from work, creeping in at 10.30pm trying not to wake little Emily and was greeted with an ice cream cone. Can't every hotel have that kind of welcome?

It's taken 15 months to get a photo of both of us smiling
She loves my glasses.

Bank Holiday Monday started in the happiest way, with shouts of 'Hiya!' from 15 month old Emily to wake me up. I hadn't seen her since she was properly walking, and oh my, she doesn't stop moving now! She is such a happy and giggly little girl, she makes me smile so much. It was a beautiful day so we went out in the morning, then had milkshakes and spent the afternoon soaking up the sun in the garden. After Emily went to bed, me and Sophie had a girly night in with snacks and watched old videos making us reminisce about our previous trips to Florida.

Pyjamas, snacks and Disney, what a perfect night!
So good!
Sadly I had to be back for work on Tuesday afternoon so that's where the fun ended but it was an unexpected fun weekend with lots of giggles and smiles.
Em was quite happy to steal my shoes. This girl loves shoes!