exercise

Things I’m Loving

A few gems I’ve loved this week…

❤ Watching my daughters and dear ‘hubbie’, on a Sunday avo at a local school field, being active, having fun and keeping fit together (and eating pizza together al fresco).

Family fun at the school field

❤ An afternoon visit to the marina and maritime museum in Santa Barbara with my three daughters.

Santa Barbara marina

❤ Loving seeing Miss 4 master motor skills like cutting and stapling (got to celebrate the little things!). She made me a cool hat at the museum. Also love how encouraging and supportive her older sisters are.

Miss 4 masters cutting

❤ Miss 4 is starting to write and read too, as well as continuing to draw pictures to make her own ‘story books’ for her home library.

Miss 4 painting, writing and drawing

❤ Yoga on the beach. That was how I started my Sunday morning. Bliss. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photographs – not easy to multi-task a downward dog with a camera!

IMG_3944

❤ Swimming in the rain (rain is so rare here in Santa Barbara that we get extremely excited when it falls!).

Swimming in the rain

And finally…

❤ Zachary Levi and Sesame Street‘s Bert team up, with a song for the summer, that has an important message about turning off the gadgets – because, as the chorus goes…

The Bees are always buzzing ’bout the flowers they have seen.
And every tree is trending,
I don’t miss my little screen, because
The sky won’t need a filter
And the birds tweet just to say:
You should really take a walk on this lovely
sunny day.

Take a watch of the full song… and take a walk on a lovely sunny day 🙂

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Linking up with…

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Things I’m Loving – whilst I can’t run – WINE :)

It’s International Sauvignon Blanc Day in New Zealand – 16 May – and whilst I sit here sipping a local Napa Valley, Californian white, I came across this beautiful little video about the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wines (a fav spot of the hubbie and I – and the sweet spot where he proposed to me back in 1997!).

I’m out of action on the running front at the present time, with an ankle injury, but my wine glass tipping wrist is in perfect form and couldn’t be more delighted that I’m on a forced break from training (though I am feeling a little guilty at the lack of physical action and have hence signed myself up for a beach yoga class this coming Sunday – got to love this southern californian climate – where beach yoga is something that can be pre-scheduled and rarely need a ‘Plan B’, due to the almost constant blue sky, sunshine, minimal wind climate (though the Santa Ynez winds can be a nightmare, especially for the firefighters – currently fighting a seasonally early outbreak of fires around the San Diego area).

So, we have wine, yoga, beach, sunshine and running (when not injured) on the ‘Things I’m Loving’ agenda thus far.

I did try a brief run on Monday, with Miss 8, who was so enthused by my return from the half marathon race I did on Saturday (blog post here) that she’s signed herself up for a 5K in August (after checking out the community section of the Santa Barbara Running Company website)!

Unfortunately the mother-daughter run was short lived. After 2 km I needed to phone hubbie to pick us up, as my ankle gave way – too much, too soon.

She’ll have to stick to training around the house and with her Daddy for a couple of weeks!

Aside from wine and talk of exercise (as that’s all I’ve done this week, given my jaw a good work out!), I’m also trying to embrace a heat wave this week. I’m so not used to temperatures over 30 degrees C (86 F) and it’s been close to 40 degrees C this week! It’s great weather for being a lounge lizard, flouncing around in summer frocks, diving in the pool and drinking lots of aqua (and wine), but so hard to do anything (unless it’s in an air conditioned building – and our AC hasn’t been working this week – so that’s not been great…). In the face of no AC we did escape for a teensy spot of cafe and retail therapy (I sound like a complete wimp right now – especially to my buddies in Perth and on the Gold Coast, but hey – I’m a British lass at heart – that’s spent 17 plus years living in windy Welly).

My Miss 8 took a brief pic of me sporting a floaty summer frock, which I’m digging (especially as it was a bargain from Zulily online shopping).

Summer frocks

 

I’m loving the big sister patience of Miss 10 with Miss 4, as she enthuses over Minecraft architecture! Downside of all this Minecraft action is I end up with less time on my computer (it’s a hard life!). I sit alongside them, listening in on their chatter and enjoying the sound of rainfall in Minecraft land (seeing as rain is such an extreme rarity in drought stricken southern California!).

Also loving Miss 8’s every present energy and determination to keep everyone active (she’ll make a sterling personal trainer!).

Miss 4 is keeping me busy with her story telling talents. Every morning Miss 4 and I wake before the other girls to do the chores in the kitchen and laundry, whilst writing stories. I’m usually multi tasking between making coffee, breakfast and doing dishes, whilst she’s drawing pictures and telling me the story behind them – I then sit down and write up the story to accompany the drawing (she has a pretty wild imagination – as this morning there was a picture of ‘Mummy in a wood, jumping up a giant daisy and leaping off the stem onto the fuzzy chest of a wolf – who was a good wolf – but then Mummy got caught in a booby trap by a baddy and ended up in a cage – luckily the flowers came to the rescue….’). We then usually take a break (whilst I drink coffee) to read some books and play with some sand or play dough outside under the verandah. Bird watching is another fav activity that Miss 4 and I do whilst waiting for the night owls to finally awake from their lie ins!

Finally, we’re loving the memories of the past couple of weeks – having our good friend Frances visit from New Zealand. We miss our home there very much – the children miss their friends especially. We’re thankful to a good friend house sitting all this time we’ve been gone and having caring neighbours over in New Zealand too.

I was reflecting on some old pics earlier this evening and came across this sweet one of Miss 4 (would have been 2 turning 3 in this pic) in front of her play house in our Kiwi garden – of course in bare foot natural pose – the Kiwi way. Love x

Kiwi fun for a 2 year old

 

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Joining in with…

Country Kids – more like ‘Spy Kids’!!!

Okay, last weekend we had a blast. I turned forty in style, celebrating in Santa Monica, California.

Santa Monica

My daughters LOVED the beach gym that brings the community and tourists together for some active fun.

Beach gym Santa Monica

There were some serious gymnast types, flexing muscles on the ropes and swings cirque du soleil style. I was in awe of their strength and flexibility (also made for nice eye candy in the background of the holiday photo snaps I was taking of my children!).

Eye-candy in the background!

My children were amazing too (aren’t children always?!).

Hanging around at Santa Monica beach

I tried… but alas, it’s been too many years since I accomplished monkey bars – but if I had that set up on my door-step I would totally be enthused to get back to that place in my childhood when monkey bars were my best friend!

And they had swings that were super sized for adults to actually fit their arses in and feel like a kid all over again! Yes!!

Me going HIGH on the swings!

This video features a snippet of hubbie having a blast, as well as Miss 3 swinging ‘Tinkerbell’ style (and Miss 8 & 10 showing off their incredible strength!)…

And if you’re in for more action then here’s a video that my Miss 8 put together using iMovie (she threw together video clips from the past fortnight, not just shots from Santa Monica beach, but the video tells its own story… and what I’m living in every day with her being at home ‘unschooled’! What an active lass indeed – and yet, she can still read, write and do maths – just prefers to do it all standing on her head x ! )…

Hope you’ve found some outdoor fun to enjoy in your neck of the woods this past week. I didn’t manage to keep up with my children on the monkey bars, but I have ran my first half marathon in just over two hours (with a sore ankle to boot!), so I’m now feeling amped for chilling out a little, before running some more to earn my wine (just hoping the frozen pea and elevation treatment will work magic on my ankle!)!

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Linking up this post with the amazing Country Kids at Coombe Mills, where you can find tons of inspirational posts from folks who enjoy outdoor fun and action with their children!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Country Kids | Active snapshots from our week

Sharing some active snapshots from the past week of my three active daughters…

Swinging in the garden under a shady tree, with friendly lizards and birds for company –

Swinging in the garden

Climbing at the playground, with the agility of monkeys, the enthusiasm of bees chasing pollen, and the confidence of feeling comfortable in their own bodies –

Climbing at the playground

Active in the home, just as much as outdoors, even baking in the kitchen is interspersed with some door frame exercise!

Activity in the kitchen

Doing yoga in the garage, a full Mum and daughter activity!

Yoga time!

And even eating ice-creams they prefer to balance on a wall than sit on a seat!

Icecreams in the sun

Hope you’ve had a lovely week of active fun and enjoy a wonderful Easter. We are heading off to Santa Monica to celebrate Easter and my 40th Birthday! Going to have some active fun at the fairground on the pier! xx

Joining in with…

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Let’s get physical! Keeping fit, & keeping up, with the children…

I’m on my feet most of the day, with three active children unschooling this year and a house to keep in order. It would be easy to flop at any given moment, instead of pushing on and seeking out more physical activity – but it’s true what ‘they’ say, ‘Exercise gives you energy’. Besides, I want to keep fit enough to keep up with my children – and take them on the amazing tramps of New Zealand’s National Parks that hubbie and I did in those ‘before children’ days. So, when they say, ‘Play tag Mum!’, ‘Come chase me!’, or invite me to head off on a roller blade session on the waterfront, I push any excuses to the back of my mind, and say, ‘Yes’. It’s almost like I’ve trained my tongue to say, ‘Yes’; regardless of whether my mind and body really wants to. Once the ‘Yes’ word is spoken out loud it’s like magic, there’s no going back.

Chasing Miss 8 on her rollerblades

And when it comes to exercising for myself, without the children joining in, it’s very much for my mental health, more than anything else (and perhaps a little guilt at the extra few wines I may have drunk in the past week and that chocolate cake that was begging to be finished and those left-over snacks…and, and, and…). So, when hubbie comes home from work, whilst the sun is still in the sky, and says, ‘Go on love, get your kit on and head out for a run!’, I say, ‘Yes’ (thinking, the wine can wait till later and will be even more deserved!).  I often time my jog to finish on a beach, close to sunset, where hubbie can bring any willing children down to meet me (usually it’s Miss recently turned 4 that keenly volunteers).

There’s nothing like young children to put an adult through their paces. She springs from one stretch into the next with the ease of a Royal Ballet dancer, instructing me with positive encouragement to, ‘Copy me Mummy!’.

I call her my personal trainer, as she has a look that’s hard to turn away from and such an infectious zest of positive energy. She’ll have me stretching, doing squats, jumping jacks and tree poses at random intervals throughout the day. She keeps me on my toes and frequently surprises me with impromptu workouts whilst I’m waiting for the coffee to brew in the morning, or the eggs to boil. In her mind every moment counts and there’s no excuse.

We have yoga mats and a deck of cards with yoga poses within reach in the living room – it’s not yoga like you’d expect in a dedicated class, there’s rarely much deep breathing relaxation at the end – at least not without Mummy being climbed on – and the sequence of poses is random, but nevertheless it makes us all feel better to spend five, ten or thirty minutes (if I’m lucky) stretching and breathing.

Then there’s the more fast paced kind of exercise, when we take a few bats and balls to a park or head out for some roller blading along the waterfront in Santa Barbara. At the playground I am asked to have a go on the monkey bars and try a few chin ups… let’s just say I need to practice! There’s opportunities in any day to exercise and keep fit – it’s just down to being open to it and getting involved. The more I say, ‘Yes’ to my children, the better I feel – and the more we all end up exercising! Just got to keep on going, and going, and going… (surely it must be wine o’clock time by now?!). xx

Waterfront fun with my daughters in Santa Barbara