Marathon Training: Month 2

When I spoke to you last month about signing up to run the Paris Marathon, I didn't mention that I wasn't doing it alone.

Before signing up and committing, I asked James if he would like to do it with me. His response? "No thanks, Carly. Marathon running doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. I'll come along and support you and wait at the finish for you."

Fair enough, hey? I think he had romantic notions of sitting in a pavement cafe in Le Marais watching the world go by, sipping café au lait and eating a pain au chocolat, whilst I slogged my guts out running 26.2 miles.

Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal.

The filthy animal being in this case my mental health.

I adore Christmas, but it can be so... extra.

Don't get me wrong - it is such a deliciously magical time of year and I eagerly anticipate it. I love catching up with everybody, the food, the twinkling lights, the cheese... but it can easily become just too much.

Christmas Traditions

Christmas traditions are a funny old thing, aren't they? Some are passed down through families, from generation to generation, and some just naturally evolve without you even realising.

When I was growing up in Germany, St. Nicholas Day on December 6th was a bigggg deal as we would receive sweets in our shoes for being good {unless we had been naughty and Knecht Ruprecht left 'alternative' gifts!}. I don't recall mince pies featuring heavily in my childhood festive memories, but the mere waft of Stollen, Lebkuchen or Pfeffernüsse gives me alllll the nostalgic feels still to this day. 

November {Loves}

I'd thought November would be a quiet month, really.

We were embarking on Project New Kitchen and with the C-word just around the corner, we'd expected it to just be a stepping stone into the festive period. Just a quiet month at home, with nothing much to report on. But when I flicked back through my diary and looked at the photographs I'd taken, I realised that we had done far more than I'd remembered! 

Carly's Christmas Cranberry Compote

It's just cranberry sauce, really. 

But it tastes sooooo delectable that I felt like calling it plain ol' cranberry sauce did it no justice. Plus, I'm a big fan of alliteration.

Christmas. Yep, I just dropped the C bomb (no, not that one; go and wash your mouth out!) in November. It's the same date each year. We have 52 whole weeks beforehand to prepare for it, yet for some reason Christmas as a concept always lies dormant in my mind until suddenly it bursts to life around mid-November shouting "SURPRISE!" like a sneaky little devil. 

Musings of a Millennial

My Dad and I often have playful banter about the generation divide.

He's a baby boomer; I'm a millennial. We lambast his generation for Brexit, unaffordable housing and pushing up the pension age. They label us 'snowflakes': lazy, entitled and oversensitive.

He came to visit recently and after an eggnog latte at 'Snowbucks' as he likes to call it, we went for a bimble around Waterstones and stumbled upon this treasure that had us literally guffawing in the aisles.

Surviving Kitchen Renovations

As Project New Kitchen is now drawing to a conclusion, I thought I would share with you some pointers I've discovered along the way to help maintain some semblance of order and normality with family life.

It's often remarked that a kitchen is the 'heart of the home' and when that heart is scattered around all over the house (and garage, garden and driveway in our case!) it can be quite unsettling for the whole household.

Tackling Imposter Syndrome

I was in two minds whether to post this.

What qualifies me to talk about imposter syndrome?

What if people see through me and realise I'm talking out of my arse?

Oh, the irony. Have you ever felt like a fraud? That you are just one step away from being "caught"? That you are not worthy of celebrating your achievements?

Marathon Training Is A Go!

Number 2 on my bucket list is to run a marathon before I'm 40.

Number 1 is to visit St Petersburg and go back to Moscow again. Number 1 actually seems far more achievable than Number 2, but then common sense and logic has never been my forte.

I figured if I am only going to run one marathon in my life then I would like it to be spectacular. Scenic. An adventure. More than simply popping out for five hours or so on a Sunday to do a long run (am I being optimistic on my time here...?) then cracking on with the roast afterwards. I want to soak up the atmosphere beforehand and bask in the glory afterwards, albeit battered and broken no doubt.

People try for years and years to be successful in the London Marathon ballot so that was out of the question and I wanted to go somewhere where I would at least be somewhat distracted by the surroundings whilst running 26.2 miles.

Just be a nice human, okay?

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Why do we ask children this?  Why do we define "be" in terms of a job or status {noun}, instead of asking them what kind of person they would like to be when they grow up {adjective}?

October {Loves}

October.

It really felt like just as we were settling into our groove with the new school year, along came half term to shake it all up again!

Not that I'm complaining, mind.

I think we were all ready for a break and it was so good not to have the mammoth school treks twice daily. We found a good balance between relaxing at home and being outdoors and I purposefully made sure to spend some extra quality time with Reuben.

So you think you can't run?

You can.

You absolutely can.

I spent 34 years believing I wasn't ableto run and here I am training for a marathon.

If I can do it, anybody can.

Because after all, the body achieves what the mind believes.

And if you tell yourself you CAN do it, then trust me you WILL.

Autumn {Style}

Ah, Autumn.  My most favourite season of them all.

Controversial, but I'm not the greatest fan of summer.  I get hot, bothered and I just never know what to wear.  Autumn is definitely my jam and from mid-September onwards you will find me tapping my feet impatiently waiting for the temperatures to drop a little (not too much, mind!) so I can finally pack away the vest tops and sandals and embrace tights, light knits and long sleeves instead.

To blog, or not to blog?

That is indeed the question.

For a long time starting my own blog seemed quite like a self-indulgent vanity project. Who would read it? Would I be consistent with it? Why would anybody care what I have to say?

I really am my own worst enemy.