Taking a break from Blogging

I haven’t posted in a few weeks.

Truth be told i haven’t really had time. We had two weeks of sickness from Alex and Miss Peanut, so that was a handful in itself. I have kept up with my walking through and 365 days of fitness. I haven’t posted all the pics on Instagram yet, just no time but i will.

I will also try at least to keep going with that on there.

The other reason I plan to stop blogging for a while is because i am starting to make a dream come to.

My writing.

I have been doing it for months and quietly making friends online with other writers/authors and learning how to become an author myself.

I have a book hopefully being publish end of August under a pen name and i have decided to put all my energy and time into that.

I am learning so much and growing as a writer. Yes i am very excited about this and i can’t wait. Honestly i did not realize how much you need to know!

Writing, Beta readers, editing, formatting, cover art, promoting, Author page, and the list goes on! But i am very very lucky to have found some friends and people in the same boat as me and learning as we go.

I am also very lucky to have a really good friend who is an editor and who is helping me out and doing an amazing job at it!

So yes i am very busy.

But i am feeling positive about it all and i have only had small bouts of depression. I am finding being focused and being creative is helping. It makes me feel productive and happy. It’s what i needed to feel like me again. To find myself again.

This is something i really think i needed.

Having said that i have been blogging here for quite a while and will no doubt come back to post and blog. When that will be i cannot say. But i am more that sure i will.

So for now this is Run Brit Chick Run signing off….

 

 

 

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365 Days of Fitness – Week Three

Day 15 Sun 28th Feb – After my emotional storm yesterday I feel calmer today. It’s like the out pouring needed a release. Like drawing poison from a festering wound. I slept well. It had been both emotionally and physically draining.

Alex is being attentive. He barely touches his online game which is his usual haunt. I barely write to. We spend the day as a family, rather than individuals fight for our own space.

We do have family time normally, but today it’s much more. We talk, we listen.

We are all a little happier. Even Miss Peanut is practically bouncing of the walls. She’s talking away in toddler gibberish none stop. She even starts to say more words.

I feel a little light, like the depression had receded slightly. Maybe my melt down has done me some good.

In the afternoon, Alex googles groups and classes held in the evenings. There are quite a few to choose from yoga and other activities.

He tells me to have a look and choose one. I browse a little but decide to look more tomorrow. I am enjoying family time.

We skype the Grandparents and talk for more than an hour. Everyone is happy.

Tonight is a 2 minute plank. I hold it perfectly but feel it afterwards. It’s the only exercise marked for the day.

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Day 16 Mon 29th Feb – I can’t settle today. I feel restless but I don’t know why. I keep moving around like an animal pacing its cage.

Miss Peanut and I play. She’s very into colouring and stickers. We run around like crazy things and dance.

I can’t settle into my writing. I don’t know why. The words are there to be written, my characters are waiting but I can’t sit still.

I have a spark of hope inside me. Maybe I am hoping after Saturday things are about to change. Like standing on a high precipice waiting to take that next step into the unknown.

Will I soar or am I going to plummet again? Only time will tell.

I get two messages from expat friends. They live in other parts of Italy. They have read my blog and hope I am ok.

One offers to listen if I want to rant. She says anytime just to message her and that she knows how I feel.

This makes me cry. I physically flinch at the emotional pain the words give me. It sends a jab of pain to my chest. She is being nice, but part of me wants to hide away.

I don’t know why it makes me hurt.

Maybe because I can’t imagine anyone else feeling the way I have, that they have been crippled emotionally this way to. But they have and are. I know I am just a statistic in a sea of others.

I know that’s just the broken part inside me reacting. I do need others to talk to. God knows it’s been a long time since I have had other to rant to freely. It is nice to know I am not alone and people care and worry about me even if they are not here in Rome.

As she puts it writing it all in this blog is like shouting into the wind. She’s right. I know this.

I can’t run tonight. It’s pouring down heavy sheets of rain. Thunder is booming overhead and lightening streaks across the sky.

I am a little disappointed. Instead I do a 2 minute plank and 27 push ups.

I chat with another expat Mum I know before going to bed on Facebook chat. It’s nice. I go to bed happy.

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Day 17 Tue 1st Mar – Alex is off again today. I have an appointment at the Gyno. It’s just yearly check-ups I have skipped for the last two years. I know they shouldn’t be skipped but they somehow escaped through the cracks of being a busy Mum.

It all goes well. I am healthy and everything is fine. Miss Peanut has fun for the hour and half we are there.

The doctors give her pens and paper to draw on. In the end she spends time running up and down the corridors. Her squeals of delight as Alex chases her makes everyone smile.

When we get out we go for a walk.

I am still feeling positive. It’s like a switch has been flipped in my head. Maybe I did reach rock bottom and now there’s nowhere else to go?

The day is so busy I don’t have much time to think. I like days like this.

My back had been aching all day. I think I have over done it with the planking. I decide to skip the planking and push ups. Instead I go for a 2 mile run.

It’s a very good run. I enjoy it a lot.

Once the kid is asleep I spend 40 minutes writing.

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Day 18 Wed 2nd Mar – I still feel quite mellow. Hopeful.

My back still aches and I have stopped planking and push ups for now. I think the extended planking is the issue. So I might go back to the 1 minute holds when my back feels better.

I really don’t want to hurt myself badly or permanently. I know to listen to my body. It doesn’t mean though I can’t do other things.

I play with Miss Peanut, she’s happy. The kid is obsessed with drawing. She tries to colour our black cat blue. When this doesn’t work she colours the floor.

With a sigh I tell her no. Her little ‘oh no’ is adorable. She spends the next 10 minutes trying to help me get the crayon off the floor.

We play music, she dances I watch.

I am still not sure what to do for exercises today. Do I start something else?

I write some more. It’s stopping and starting today as the kid wants to play all the time.

In the end I go for a two mile run in the evening. I am surprised my legs don’t feel tired. The run feels so good.

I am getting stronger I can feel it in my body and my muscles. It’s a good feeling. It’s something I need.

When I get in Alex makes dinner. It’s nice. He’s started making breakfast in the morning to. It’s some weight off my shoulders.

Then I get Peanut to sleep even though it’s his turn. I don’t mind. I and happy to do it tonight. She’s exhausted after our long day of playing and falls asleep quickly.

I sit and do some more writing. I find photos I like for ideas for characters. Pictures that give me a little inspiration and fuel creativity.

I have a bit of negative thinking the more I get tired, just that little whisper of depressing thoughts. An insidious little trickle of darkness. I decide not to listen to them. I am exhausted.

Whatever they make me feel isn’t good and I probably won’t feel the same way tomorrow. I don’t want to be negative anymore. I want to stay positive for as long as I possibly can. Maybe the little spark will eventually turn into a full blaze if I hold on tight.

I shake it off and go to bed instead.

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Day 19 Thur 3rd Mar – I wake up not sure what day it is. Strangely I thought yesterday was today.

An expat Mummy friend I know on Facebook suggested Pinterest for pics I might like. I have one and forgot all about it. Now I am addicted.

It’s addicting searching through photos for ideas. There is a never ending flow. It makes me smile and my imagination is running wild. I suddenly have a million ideas I need to scribble down. They pour out of me as notes into my writing idea books.

The day is a good one. I do have some swirling thoughts downwards a few times. Somehow I manage to pull myself up again though.

Two more weeks and we will be winging our way to the UK to see family. I am clinging to that again. It’s a positive thing. I am going to look at yoga classes when I get back from there for something to do once a week.

I end up going for a 1 and half mile run. It’s good and I enjoy it. My legs feel stronger. I feel stronger in my body and hopefully it help me feel stronger in my mind to.

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Day 20 Fri 4th Mar – Me and Miss Peanut go to the bookshop this morning. It’s her favourite place. Mine to.

I buy here some play dough called Dido. Another expat mum I talk to one Facebook said it was fun for her little girl so I decide to give it a try with the kid.

I buy a funny mug. It says: I don’t like morning people. Or mornings or people.

I guess it’s true in a way.

When we get back she wants to nap. That’s fine by me. I do some writing.

By the afternoon I am on a downward spiral. I am tired and can’t stop feeling negatively. I want to cry. I don’t know why I just feel down and dark.

Not even my writing can cheer me up. I keep trying to shake it off but it clings to me like an unwanted cloak.

I am starting to recognise the symptoms. I need to break free of this shit.

There’s one particular little demon of doubt, whispering to me that my writing isn’t any good. Self-doubt everyone has it. I can feel it niggling at me.

It’s down to us whether we listen to it or not. Today it’s getting to me. I hate it.

When Alex gets home I go out and run 2 miles. It helps and makes me feel happier.

I have to stop doubting myself.

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Day 21 Sat 5th Mar – We have a lovely morning. There’s a second hand baby shop and we take some of Peanut’s old toys there. The woman will try to sell them for us and take half the price.

Its fair and at least they are reused. It makes me happy as a lot of it is nice stuff. We go to the park, bookshop and have a lovely walk. It’s a nice morning.

When I get home I find a message from my friend Jenny. I thought we were supposed to meet up tomorrow, but apparently it was today. Her and her son are almost at the meeting place. We don’t meet up often but its a nice break away for me.

I feel like a fool for not realising. Panicked I get ready to go. Alex is happy to stay with Peanut while I go out. Part of me would rather stay at home. But I need ME time. I need time with other adults. I need time twitched off from being Mummy 24/7. It’s already fizzling me out.

I get the bus and the metro. Luckily they are late to and don’t wait long for me. We go to MacDonald’s. We chat.

It’s good for both of us. We both have a lot to say, to moan about, to give advice.

It’s just what I need. I start to smile, really smile not the pretend smile I always wear with my sad eyes.

Afterwards we go looking in shops. The make-up shops are fun first. Then we move onto clothes shops. We get ice-cream for her son and have fun just being crazy, telling jokes and being silly.

I have missed this so much. I start to feel like the old me. She is inside me I discover. She just needs a little carefree moment to come out.

I show them the Goth shops I know. We go crazy looking at the clothes and bags and all the other cools bits. I buy the most amazing gloves.

They are black with buckles running up them. They go from my hands up to my elbows. I am instantly in love. So I go ahead and buy them. Why now? Life is too short to not wear what you want.

I also find a Steampunk bag. These shops are amazing and my smile is beaming when we leave.

By the time I get home, I am exhausted and happy. It’s mentally draining, I find that more and more lately, but it was still fun.

I walked 5 miles in total that day but only put 3 down on my Instagram photo. No running tonight as my legs are aching in a good way. I still feel happy by the time its bed time.

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365 Days of Happy – Days 301 to 330

Im almost at the end of the 365 days of happy challenge and im stil going strong!

Day 301 laughing so much at Miss Peanut’s crazy crisp eating skills!

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Day 302 thank goodness for this today as shes teething badly.

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Day 303 last cuddles tonight before we head off to the UK for 4 weeks without Daddy

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Day 304 first evening back in the UK & its chinese takeaway for dinner yum!!

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Day 305 nap time!

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Day 306 one of my running partners and he’s ready to go!

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Day 307 bought some new second hand books to read 🙂 i love a good romance!

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Day 308 a trip to Cromer for the day we loved the beach and shops there 🙂

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Day 309 loving my new hat!

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Day 310 OMG i love this new chocolate! (i sneaked 3 bars back in my case lol)

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Day 311 all you can eat chinese buffet in Bury St Edmunds with the Whole family 🙂

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Day 312 sunday morning carboot sale is Always fun.

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Day 313 running in my new running trainers for the first time

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Day 314 cute new necklace in the style of a Russian doll with a smaller one inside!

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Day 315 feeding the swans and ducks with Miss Peanut & Grandma.

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Day 316 an afternoon in Diss shopping.

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Day 317 got some good offers on number 7 in boots today and even had a mini makeover from the lady on the counter 🙂

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Day 318 new hat and I love it!

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Day 319 Miss Peanut’s first race! Race for life Norwich 5km!!

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Day 320 hot cross bun!

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Day 321 found Miss Peanut a Peppa pig onsie in a charity shop!

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Day 322 behind the scenes of Miss Peanut’s photo shoot with my Sister 🙂

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Day 323 fell in love with this cat mask in Norwich today while shopping will be good for Halloween!

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Day 324 saw a little white heron on our walk today!

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Day 325 new top for the summer 🙂

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Day 326 roast pork for dinner! yum!! ( i miss roast dinners alot in Italy)

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Day 327 first season of Penny Dreadful now all mine! Mawwhhaa!

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Day 328 Miss Peanut’s first time on the whirling tea cup ride in Great Yarmouth! She loved it! We were both very dizzy when we got off.

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Day 329 Miss Peanut meets the cold north sea! And tries to go for a swim! (she kept walking in and wouldn’t stop lol)

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Day 330 Grandad’s special as he calls it! Toast, bacon, poached eggs lunch 🙂 it was soo good!

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35 days left to go and my quest for taking happy photos once a day will be at an end! 🙂

November Lung Cancer Awareness Month!

Not only is November the month of Movember which is fund raising for Men’s Health but it is also Lung Cancer Awareness monthimagesQ3ZD41AF

I have recently been talking to a fellow blogger, runner and mother  Heather who herself is a survivor of a rare form of cancer commonly found on the lung called pleural mesothelioma.

Not many people know about this type of Cancer which can effect the lungs, stomach, and heart and so its very important to get this information out there.

This type of cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos who’s fibers can be inhaled through the nose or mouth. They may eventually become embedded in the lining of the lungs causing inflammation which can result in mesothelioma or asbestosis which is scar tissue in the lungs.

Also swallowing these asbestos fibres could lead to peritoneal mesothelioma which is a malignancy which can be found in the abdomen.

Im guessing many people will be thinking ‘but when will i ever get exposed to asbestos?’. I know for a fact many old houses from the 50’s right up until 1999 had asbestos insulation in the roofs and walls!

And how do i know this? because not only have i seen several programmes on it but my parents house even had it.

Also if a family member works in an industry that might expose them to asbestos fibres they could well bring them home on their clothes, hair and other items.

And according to the British Lung Foundation it can also be found in; pipe insulation, ceiling Tiles, boilers, electrical boxes and many other places. http://www.take5andstayalive.com

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance website has all the information about Mesothelioma Cancer including, causes, symptoms, survivor stories and much much more and worth a visit! http://www.mesothelioma.com

Even though its a rare type of cancer it is still a cancer and the more people who know about it the more it can help others. Just making people aware that this exists may help someone out there get treatment quicker or even save a life.

Cancer in any form can be devastating for the person who has it, their families and those closest to them. I lost a family member to cancer when i was a teen and just recently one of my Sister’s lost her bestfriend to cancer and is still coming to terms with the loss.

So for me writing this blog post was something close to my heart if i can help get some awareness out there to others regarding this rare type of cancer! And hopefully through this get them some more well deserved support.

If you want to read more about Heather and her story you can find her page here: http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather

There are also many Mesothelioma cancer charities for the UK and here is just one of them: http://www.mesothelioma.uk.com

If your a runner and would like to raise money for this type of Cancer then Miles for Meso is the charity for you: http://www.milesformesothelioma.org

 

InterNations Worldwide – Expats in Italy!

Some weeks ago i recieved a lovely email from someone at the InterNations website asking if they could make my blog a featured blog on their website!

I have to say i was quite excited at the prospect of having my blog on this site which connects over 1. 4 million of Expats across the world togeather! And my blog would be under the  ‘recommended Expats blogs Rome section’ 🙂

They liked the unique international point of view i have on my blog and i guess because i don’t always blog about the same things other bloggers here do. There’s also not that many Mum bloggers blogging about places for or to take kids. Its quite an honour to be selected and join the other Rome blogs on their site which made it even more special for me!

The admin who was emailing me was really helpful and helped me through the steps i needed to do before my blog was on their website.

I am also signing up on their website which is free as they have events and you can connect with other expats around Italy or all over the world.

It really is a great idea to build a community, share experiences, events and make friends! Its great for information you need if you are going to settle down in another country and become an expat.

And i have found theres even experiences and information of being an expat parent!

So having my blog on this fantastic website means i can now share my experiences and knowledge as an expat parent with other expats everywhere!

They also have forums and discussion groups where you can get tips and advice from other like-minded expats. And of course share your own advice and experiences!

I have also discovered they have a country and city guild and also an Expat Magazine all with lots of helpful information to help make life as an expat easier.

Here is their website if your interested in signing up and meeting other expats in your Country.

http://www.internations.org/

And im more than happy to have the ‘recommended Expat Blog Rome’ badge on my blog site. 🙂

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Food Review: Pinsa Re

One evening Alex messaged me about this place a friend had told him about called Pinsa Re and how good it was supposed to be.

Was it another pizza place i wondered? But Alex quickly told me that no they made Pinsa which is a type of flatbread pizza which the ancient Roman’s used to eat!

The name comes from the latin pinsere which means stretch, stretch out, and its recipe dates back to the time of ancient imperial Rome.

Hearing this i became quite intrigued at wanting to try one and so Alex quickly phoned up the place nearest to us and ordered two pinsa for that evening.

They delivered after 7.20pm and the smell was marvelous when they arrived and i couldn’t wait to get tucked into mine as we placed them on the table!

I had chosen the Provola pinsa bianca which was a combination of provola cheese, pancetta (italian bacon), crema di zucca (pumpkin sauce) and erba cipollina (chives).

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It looked amazing and when i took my first bite i could see why the ancient Roman’s loved it so much it was delicious! The base was very different from a pizza base much lighter and not heavy at all which combined lovely with the toppings.

Alex had gone for the Prosciutto pinsa rossa which had prosciutto crudo, pomodoro (tomatoes) and mozzarella toppings. And he to was really enjoying his first pinsa experience as much as myself.

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Looking at their website i knew i wanted to try another Pinsa at some point as their food gallery looked fantastic and mouthwatering! So over the weekend we ordered in again and i got to try a different one 🙂

This time i went for the Pinsa Bianca Broccoli which has of course a broccoli topping, salsiccia (sausage) and mozzarella and also seemed to have something a little spicy on it not mentioned on the menu. I really liked it but wished i had known about the spice which i guess could have been pepper corns? Im not completely sure.

Of course Alex went again for his prosciutto pinsa as he had enjoyed it so much the first time.

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I think we have found our new favorite take-away treat after enjoying these so much!

I really recommend this as a must try if you are in Rome or visting as they are so good! Its about the same money wise as a pizza to buy but its definitely something a bit different.

To me this is the real ancient taste of Rome and a must try if you ever visit Rome to get the real ancient taste of this eternal city.

This is their website: http://www.pinsare.it/

Below address of the Pinsa Re restaurants:

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Largo di San Godenzo, 96

00189 Roma

Tel:+39 06 3310755

Cel:+39 320 2238885

Pinsa Re Aurelio Vaticano

Via Anastasio II, 11

00165 Roma

Pinsa Re Viale Somalia

Tel:+39 06 39378383

Viale Somalia, 47 – 00199 Roma

Tel: +39 06 86219884

 

(Sidenote: One of my Pinsa photos also made it to the BrowsingItaly favorite 25 photos from Instagram last week 🙂 http://www.browsingitaly.com/italy/photos-italy-instagram-25-fav-week-sept-15/3782/

The Art of Food Art photos

As an Expat blogger i do follow other expat blogs here in Italy and their own adventures here where ever they are.

I have to admit alot of them are foodie bloggers and living here food is a big thing! Im always amazed and drooling at their food photos and how amazingly they come out.

My own foodie photos don’t come out to bad either but i never really stop to think about how to make the food look arty or attractive and so i decided to give it a go myself 🙂

I have noticed food always looks better on white plates so my first step was to go out and buy a lovely white bowl (which i fell in love with the moment i saw it) and a white plate.

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Once these were bought and cleaned it was then time to think about what to try first?! Of course living in Italy it had to be pasta!

I have watched enough MasterChef episodes to know you have to place the food nicely on the plate in an attractive way and not put to much of it as well. Then it was just down to clicking photo’s in different angles with light coming from different directions.

Flipping through my photos i soon decided which i personally thought looked the best then it was a matter of just cropping the photo before it was finished!

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I have to say im pretty pleased with the finished photo and got a lot of likes on Instagram even one from a chef! 😉 and hashtagging # helps to 🙂 I didn’t have to use any apps to change the look of the photo which i dont really like doing very often.

I then had a go with pizza we ordered from the corner shop one evening and again liked the way it turned out.

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It really makes you think about angles, lighting and how to make the food look attractive to the eye of the person viewing it! It was also really good getting to eat it afterwards as well lol!

Then my next try was with my new favorite snack brown bread, ricotta and honey hmmm so good.

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I fancied baked beans on toast one lunchtime and luckily i had a tin in the kitchen i had been saving from a trip to the big supermarket!

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Desserts were quite easy and really made lovely looking photos as you see below with a crostata and a Baklava which is a turkish dessert.

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Next the challenge for me was to make food outside look just as good! Especially eating out the food isn’t always presented in a pretty way depending on where you go.

Bakery House which i have already blogged about did present their food in an attractive way which made it so easy to take a very nice photo.

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Next was a Mcchicken bacon sandwich and fries at Macdonalds, not a healthy lunch i know but still make a good looking photo 😉

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Below is a porchetta sandwich 🙂 Porchetta is roasted pork and very delicious! I wish it had come on a plate but still even with the white paper it was wrapped in it still looks very good.

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Next is a lovely vitello al forno with mozzarella and pomodoro sugo (veal oven cooked with melted mozarella cheese on top in a tomato sauce). Its eaten cold which sounds strange but it was heavenly and even this looked good as a photo!

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Im quite enjoying making food look sexy and art-like and its not that difficult really if you just stop and think about how to make it look nice.

Its also nice to see all the likes and comments on instagram when you post the photos which gives you a confidence boost 🙂

I also found it alot easier at home in a controlled environment to take photos than it is going out to eat but again not impossible. The other important element is light as this can lead to your photo looking good or not so good. I found it a little harder in the evenings when the natural light was already gone sometimes to take a good photo i was pleased with. But with a little experimenting with indoor light you can work around it or if not it works if you have a good camera as the phone camera isn’t always so good for this.

I can see why alot of the foodie bloggers i follow enjoy taking food photos so much now! 😉

 

 

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Frostbite - A Novel by Claire Marta

21097m

Training for my first half marathon

Jessica on the Run

The tail of an American gal with two crazy dalmatians in Northern France