Join Me On My 10K Journey | Run Norwich 2017 | I did it! 

So here we are, the final leg of my 10k journey! I can’t believe the big day has been and gone already – just where did that time go? I thought I’d update you, just one last time as I know a few of you have read these updates and have given me some lovely feedback. I hope you enjoy this one too!

On Friday evening my husband took Baby J and me to the Forum, Norwich to collect my running vest and race pack. This is when the nerves really started to bubble up – it was all becoming so real! Seeing other runners there and the organisers and seeing the very small numbers on the countdown clock was truly terrifying! I did however, really enjoy opening up the envelope which contained my numbered bib – 6110 – was this my lucky number?

I’ll be honest, I really didn’t sleep much Friday and Saturday night. I was just too nervous and when I’m nervous I tend to put myself down and plant seeds of doubt in my own mind. ‘You’re not fit enough.’, ‘You haven’t trained enough.’, ‘You don’t deserve to be there.’, etc. Not fun!

Sunday morning arrived though and I was up early – planning to eat some breakfast, but not managing it (yes, I ran on an empty stomach!). I got my running gear on and struggled for about half an hour to pin my number to my vest – not due to being nervous, I’m just not the brightest when it comes to things like that!

My wonderful husband drove me to meet my friend Ruth so that we could walk into the city together. My goodness, was I happy to see her! Ruth has such a wonderful, calming nature that just instantly puts my nerves at ease. She pointed out parts of the running route to me whilst we walked to the Forum and gave me so much brilliant advice. When we got to the Forum, the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing. I could feel nerves in the air from others though, which made me realise I wasn’t alone.

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The wonderful Ruth and Me!

After what felt like the longest wait in the world, we were told to get into our pens ready for the start of the race. I was in the very last pen, as I’d put in a finish time of 1hr 30mins as I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. Waiting in the pen was scary, I was actually fighting back tears which sounds pathetic now but I really was so scared! I just wanted to give Baby J a massive hug too.

Thirteen minutes after the first klaxon went for the elite runners, us pink bibbed runners were finally able to set off. Wow, what a rush as I crossed the start line – I was really doing it! I heard someone shout my name in encouragement and that felt amazing!

After about 4k I finally saw my husband and Baby J – I did stop for a split second at this point to give them both a big kiss. I was so excited to see them as I had been looking out for them the whole way. It gave me such a huge boost, I felt really strong afterwards and knew I could do it. For the first time, I actually had some confidence in myself and completing this run.

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A flattering action shot taken by my husband as I ran to kiss him!

For me, reaching 7k was where I knew I would be able to finish the whole thing. I hadn’t run further than 7k in training and just couldn’t wait to reach this point. Once I was there, I felt so happy knowing that I only had 3k to go and I still had enough energy in me to do it. I loved seeing the sights on the course – what a wonderful city I live in. The race stewards were just fantastic too – shouting your name and cheering you on. They made me feel so special.

The last kilometre was painful, I’m not going to lie. I walked a little bit of it as I really wanted to sprint over the finish line. The atmosphere at the last 400m was incredible – the shouting from the crowd spurred everyone on and made me feel like I was running so fast! When I turned the final corner and saw that finish line in sight, I really really went for it. I ran as fast as I could and held back the tears as I did so. Crossing that line felt AMAZING! I knew immediately that I definitely wanted to do it all again next year and I definitely will be.

I walked to pick up my medal and goody bag and called my husband to find out where they were. After this, I was just typing out a message to Ruth to let her know I’d finished and that’s when I bumped into her! I actually ended up crying all over her and being highly emotional (and embarrassing) because I just felt so proud that I’d done it. All those negative thoughts and self-doubt hadn’t won.

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With our medals!

I’m still getting over it now and it’s Wednesday. I just can’t describe what an incredible morning it was and how good I felt whilst doing it and afterwards. I’m never going to give up running, I just love doing it so much and I now have a PB to beat next year!

Thank you once again to all my supporters and encouragers. Thank you to everyone who sponsored me too – I have raised £155 now and there’s still time to sponsor me if you want to! Just visit my page here. An extra big thank you to my husband – what a great guy he is! I love you and Baby J so much.

I’m now looking forward to a woodland zombie run next month (err sounds bloody terrifying doesn’t it?!) and I’ll be sure to share some photos of that on my Instagram stories and account.

Love you all!

Kerry x

Join Me On My 10K Journey | Part 7 | One Week to Go!

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but it’s just one week until I run the 10k I’ve been working so hard for. How is this possible?! Not going to lie, I’m feeling pretty terrified at the moment! It’s made me a proper moody mare at home, my husband doesn’t dare speak to me at the moment! I’m giving myself daily pep talks – ‘Just enjoy yourself, it’s not the end of the world if you’re the slowest person there, etc’ – it’s really not working! 

Training has been going well, until the tail end of this week. I have a lovely chest infection to contend with and the fear of next weekend is managing to physically stop me from stepping out of the door. I did go out tonight however, and now I feel great again. I know it’s all in my head, but it’s sometimes hard to overcome those negative thoughts. 

On Friday I’ll be popping into the Forum in Norwich to pick up my race pack and charity running vest. I’ll be taking my husband and Baby J along with me too as they’ve supported and motivated me so much along my journey. Apparently there’s lots going on in the Forum for race participants, so I’ll take lots of photos for you! Keep an eye on my Instagram story (@sparkle.with.kerry

I’m definitely getting faster now, which makes me so happy. It’s not consistent, but that doesn’t matter. I’m still a hell of a lot fitter than I have been in a long time! It’s not all about weight loss, but I have noticed my clothes getting looser – great, but also a pain that I’ll need to buy more! I’m just feeling healthy and happy and that’s what matters. 

A flattering tomato shot!

In other exciting news for me, but probably not for you, I got some new running trainers! I actually love them. 

Finally, a bit thank you to everyone who has supported me – Gareth, mum and dad, Emma, Emily, Ruth, Sue, Donna and Neville and anyone else who donated or has encouraged me with my training. I love you all and I think of you every step of the way. 

Here’s a little photo I wanted to share with you from today, which portrays the little girl who is my biggest motivation of all… 

My Baby J

Kerry x

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Join Me On My 10K Journey | Part 5

With the 10k less than 5 weeks away, I have to be honest and say that I’m feeling more than a little bit anxious. In fact, I’m in full on panic mode. Yes, I’m running for longer, further and faster than I ever have before but I’m still slower than every other runner I know, I still almost die when I run over 5k and I still have a full on tantrum when it gets too hot. Help me! 

I also feel that 10k is viewed on by some people as a not decent enough distance. But what I want to stress (to those of you who do think that) is that it is A BIG DEAL TO ME. I have my own personal barriers that I fight each and every time I go out for training – confidence and a fear of people laughing at me, terrified that I’ll be attacked and scarred by a dog again, stressed that I’ll be slower than last time, guilt over leaving my baby and husband for 50 minutes and many more. No, I’m not looking for sympathy, just a bit of understanding. I’m also not saying that if you don’t sponsor me you’re not supportive. Just some words of encouragement would be nice, instead of denying all knowledge of me doing this and saying nothing – which to my amazement a lot of people are doing! 

Anyway, enough of the moody stuff. I have had to think about extending my running courses now as I have to run for longer periods of time. My husband took me to Eaton Park, Norwich the other weekend and it was lovely. It was nice to run amongst the greenery and also a lot of other runners. 

Next weekend is the Norwich Colour 5k! I’m so bloody excited and even more excited to be running it with my mum. We’ve both been training hard and really want to enjoy this one. Plus I get a medal. 

In other news, I have set up an Instagram account to help motivate me in my fitness and weight loss. If you’d like to take a follow it’s called @kerrys.fitness.journey

If you’d like to sponsor me for the Run Norwich 10K, you can do so by clicking the button below. 
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Kerry x

Join Me On My 10K Journey | Part 4

Hello Everyone!

Thank you so much for joining me again on my 10k journey. The last couple of weeks have seen a couple of mini milestones. Firstly, I reached my charity place sponsorship target! I’m now over the £100 that I needed to raise. If you sponsored me – thank you from the bottom of my heart. I think about your support and kindness when I’m out training and it really does spur me on.

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My second piece of news is that I’ve begun my 5k to 10k training program. It’s really bloody scary and hard work sometimes, but I can’t believe the leap I’ve made in my fitness levels. Just two months ago, I couldn’t do the 30 seconds of running intervals in the early stages of the 5k training without feeling exhausted. I’m now running solidly for 40 minutes! The one thing I have to contend with now though, is the heat…

It really hit me yesterday, whilst I was out, that this 10k is going to be HOT. It’s in August, in the middle of the city and there will be a lot of other bodies around me. I’ll be honest when I say that this has freaked me out slightly. I’m hoping we get a cool day on race day, but I seriously doubt that will happen.

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I thought I’d also share a recipe for good runner fuel that I’ve been loving this week. I call it a recipe, but really I just dump all of these items onto my plate –

  • A baked sweet potato
  • Chickpeas roasted in chilli powder
  • Poached eggs
  • Rocket salad
  • Sundried ttomatoes
  • Sour cream
  • Green Pesto

Overall, it has been a good couple of weeks. I’ve had to step it up a gear and really challenge myself, but this is what’s needed. I’m still loving it!

Even though I’ve reached my target, your sponsorship is still needed. If you’d like to sponsor me and read my story, visit my Just Giving page here.

Kerry x

Join Me On My 10K Journey | Part 3

The past two weeks have been brilliant in terms of my progress and excitement for the 10k. Firstly, I completed the Couch to 5k program! I’m so happy and can’t actually believe I managed it.

Now that the training is complete, I have been doing free runs. I was worried these would be hard to do because I don’t have a ‘coach’ shouting encouragement in my ear and telling me what to do next. However, free runs have actually been amazing. I’ve pushed myself harder than I ever have before and have been running non-stop for longer distances. I ran my first two 5k distances in the last couple of days, without stopping to walk once and I couldn’t be prouder! I have never managed to go this far without needing a quick break – even before having Baby J. This really is a big deal to me!

I have still been making the right choices in terms of my diet and I’m seeing the results in my physique. I’m fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes – with room to spare!

I have decided that the start of June will be the start of my 5k to 10k training program. This will mean I’m more than race ready by August.

Today was an exciting day in terms of the Run Norwich 10k. I was invited by the charity I’m running for – Norwich City Community Sports Foundation – to attend a pre-run meet up at the Norwich City FC ground. I took my husband and Baby J along too (my hubby is a BIG NCFC fan booooo hissss). We were given a goody bag at the door – win!

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Inside were other runners taking part for the charity, it was lovely to see everyone who are running or such a great cause. We had a little talk from one of the charity spokespeople and were also introduced to the special guest – Jessica Jane Applegate, the paralympic swimmer who won medals at Rio 2016 – so exciting!

Overall, I’m feeling good! With just over a month until the Colour Run with my Mum, I’m feeling confident about running the 5k with a half-decent time. Mum and I actually went for a run together on Thursday evening and it went very well. Having her with me made me run further and faster – she’s a brilliant pacer!

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Worst photo of me EVER!

Remember, if you’d like to sponsor my for the Run Norwich 10k, click here. I am over half way to reaching my target. I need to raise £100 by 19th June, so not long to go!

See you again in 2 weeks for another update!

Kerry x
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Join Me On My 10K Journey – Part 2

I have literally just got home from my fourth run in seven days and have therefore completed week 8, day 3 of Couch to 5K! Next week is my final week of training, then it’ll be a few 5ks, then onto my 10k training program! 

I am absolutely obsessed with running at the moment. It’s been a struggle keeping it to just every other day to be honest. On the days I’m not going for runs, I stare longingly out of the window wishing I was out of breath and dying along the pavement (well not really dying, but you know what I mean!). I know that my body needs those rest days though. 

With each run, my pace per kilometre has improved. I had a look back over my statistics on Strava from 2015 when I  was training and getting fit for my wedding and I’m actually faster now than I was then! I’m amazed that I’m actually fitter now than I was before having a baby. Thinking about Baby J does make my runs go better though, I love thinking about all the lovely things we’ve done together during the day – it makes the time go faster! She’s my determination to do well. 

In terms of the Run Norwich 10K, I have now raised £40 for the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation. I need to raise £100 by the 19th June, which I know is achievable as I have some lovely, supportive friends and family. It’s a brilliant charity and I’m so proud to be running for them. They have invited me to a meet up at the football ground, with a free ticket to the charity football match, Jamie’s Game. Really excited for this too! 

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Thanks for joining me for another installment of my 10k training journey. I really appreciate the support I’ve received from some of you. 

Until next time! 

Kerry x

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Join Me On My 10K Journey

I have been running for a while now (with a year’s break whilst I was pregnant and then with a new baby) and I just love how it makes me feel. I love the feeling of euphoria after a run, the bit of ‘me time’ I get and the sense of achievement with every extra metre I run.

I am currently in the process of training for a 5K as I lost my fitness after pregnancy. I’m on Week 6 of the Couch to 5K® program which involves 5 minute walks, followed by 20+ minutes of running. This program has been great for me and I had previously been going out for runs 2 or 3 times a week.

In July, I will be taking part in the Colour 5K with my mum (she’s Superwoman) which I also did two years ago. I have done a few 5K events now and really felt I needed a new challenge, so I signed up for the Run Norwich 10K! Scary!

I’m running this on a charity place for the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation, an amazing charity that helps disadvantaged young people in Norfolk achieve their sporting dreams. You can find out more here. I need to raise a minimum of £100 for the charity and after only two days I’m already a quarter of the way there!

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I will complete the 5k training plan and then progress onto the 10k one. I am also doing four runs a week now – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. I’m really back in the swing of things!

I also post regular updates on my Instagram story – @sparkle.with.kerry

I am hoping to write these posts bi-weekly so you can keep up-to-date with my progress (if you actually want to!).

If you would like to sponsor me – every penny really does count and means so much to me too – then please do so by clicking the button below.

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Thanks in advance for your support! 😘

Kerry x

Norwich Fashion Week 2017 – The Dipple & Conway Hair and Makeup Show

This has got to be, by far, my best blogging experience to date and I just had to share it with you. On Friday 10th March, I went to the Dipple & Conway Hair and Makeup Show for Norwich Fashion Week 2017.  I was given a VIP ticket by the event organisers and felt so grateful to be gifted such a wonderful opportunity.

When I arrived, I went to the VIP area and met the lovely Charlotte of Simply Lottie – another Norwich blogger. The show was due to start at 8pm, so we were able to chat all things blogging for a little while!

The show itself took place in Open – a beautiful venue with ornate ceilings and a large open space with an overlooking balcony. I already knew when I took my seat, that this was going to be a great show.

The show was split into four segments – Shakespeare, Burlesque, Contemporary and Sci-Fi. Salons, MUAs and colleges were there showcasing their work on beautiful models from Sandra Reynolds. The costumes were provided by The Maddermarket Theatre and were stunning.

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Set 1

Shakespeare

This segment opened the show with a beautiful operatic performance by Emma Nuule – who also looked amazing in her of the time period costume.

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I was very excited for this part of the show because I love all things Shakespeare. The models were dressed as various Shakespearean characters and their hair and makeup beautifully reflected their character’s personality. Such a brilliant opening section!

Those showcasing their work were –

Millie Rose

Example

Lowestoft College

Paintopia (More about them later!)

Burlesque

The models for this segment were admirable. I was blown away by their confidence and stage presence. They rocked the burlesque look and once again the hair and makeup was bang-on theme. Such a cool and empowering part of the show!

Those showcasing their work were –

Posh

The Cottage

Kerri Anema

Set 2

Contemporary

Full of fast paced music and bright colours this was an exciting start to set 2! I loved the theme here and how each salon and MUA interpreted it.

Those showcasing their work were –

Lanoi and Nutch

Glam R

Hairsmiths

Sci-Fi

Another set I got over excited about! I’m a huge geeky sci-fi fan and couldn’t wait to see the theme interpreted. I wasn’t disappointed!

Those showcasing their work were –

Atelier

Salon 66

The Norwich School of Beauty

Paintopia – a special shout out to these guys! Their work actually gave me goosebumps. They are a group of body paint artists whose skills are off the scale. I’ve never seen anything like it – the artwork was incredible and the way the models presented themselves and their characters was incredible. As usual, I struggle to put down in words how amazing they are, so here are some photos instead!

What a show! I will definitely be going back next year and hopefully to see more shows. I’ve been looking at photos on Twitter and Instagram of the other events and they look just as brilliant. I feel very blessed to have been part of such an awesome experience and am so happy it took place in lovely Norwich.

I have also put together a little video of all the photos and some video footage I took of the night – take a look and please give it a like. Thank you!

 

Kerry x

What’s in my Superpeach ‘Carol’ Makeup Bag? 

Happy Wednesday everyone! I have another exciting item from Superpeach to share with you today and it’s the Carol Makeup Bag.

Isn’t it the cutest? This bag is shaped like a giant pink fish with the added quirkiness of flappable blue fins! There are lots of makeup bags to choose from on the Superpeach site – find them here – but I chose this cutie because well, I love the weird and the wonderful! If you’d like to save a bit of money on a purchase from the site – makeup bag or otherwise – read on for my personal discount code especially for you!

When you open the bag right up, you can see the fish’s rib cage! Another funny little touch to this already endearing design.

Ever since becoming a mummy, my life has been Go! Go! Go! I always carry a little bit of makeup around with me, just in case I don’t have time to do my makeup before I go out, or if I need a top-up during the day. I thought you’d enjoy seeing what I carry around with me, so here goes!

Makeup revolution Pro Go Mini Brush Set

These brushes are very soft. They have a rose gold metal and pinky/cream coloured brush handle. In the set you get –

  • Mini foundation brush for use with liquid concealer
  • Mini Face brush to apply powder and touch-ups throughout the day
  • Mini Eyeshadow brush to touch-up or reapply eyeshadow
  • Mini Angled brush for eyeliner or brows

YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch

Touche Eclat is a must-have item for your makeup bag. Some people mistakenly use this as a concealer, but it’s much better than that, it is actually better used as an instant brightener for any areas lacking radiance. Use around the eye area, along the bridge of the nose, the brow bone and Cupid’s bow.

Also pictured is the PS… high Shine Lipstick Crayon. You can read my review of that here.

Miller Harris Rose Silence Eau de Parfum

This perfume smells beautiful! The tagline reads – ‘For the intimist. A personal, reflective Sunday morning moment.’, which I feel sums the fragrance up perfectly. It has a lovely summer rose garden smell, with undertones of sandalwood and patchouli. It’s the perfect little bottle size to carry around with me.

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream

This stuff really is magic! I burnt myself cooking a couple of weeks ago, and put this straight on the burn – it eased the pain quickly and I seemed to heal up much quicker than I normally would. It’s also perfect to use on Baby J’s skin – there are no nasties in it and is fragrance free.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24Hour Eyeshadow

I have this little pot of prettiness in the shade Pink Gold. It does what it says on the tin and does stay put all day. I normally can’t stand cream eyeshadows because they crease up on my eyelids throughout the day and wander off my face, but this one really doesn’t do that. It’s so easy to apply (if you’re naughty, you can even do it with your finger!) and it looks effortlessly beautiful. I can’t praise this product enough!

 

Barry M Radiant Rod Highlighter

 

This is a quick and easy highlighter to apply. Great for when you’re in a rush, but still want to look like a golden goddess! Apply to the usual areas, that need a bit of glow.

Benefit Posie Tint Lip and Cheek Stain

This tint is a lovely, fresh pink colour which I use as a quick blush. It can also be used on the lips, but I find it to be quite drying (I’m so sensitive!). It’s a teeny, tiny bottle, so it fits wonderfully in my bag.

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And there we have it, my makeup bag has been exposed for you all to see. I haven’t included my foundation but it’s the L’Oréal True Match Foundation, which I’m ALWAYS banging on about! It really is the best. My mascara is the Soap & Glory Thick & Fast HD Mascara High Definition Collagen Coat.

If you’re on the hunt for a new makeup bag, there are plenty to choose from on the Superpeach website. Unfortunately, the Carol bag is currently sold out, but there are other fish bags to choose from. To buy a bag, just click here to visit the website. Superpeach does also have a Valentine’s section at the moment, if you’re looking for that extra special gift for a loved one. They also have a new Stationery department, with just too many beautiful things to choose from! If you’d like to save an amazing 20% off, then use this discount code – sparklewithkerry20 (expires 22/2/2017) at the checkout.

Kerry x

 

My New Shoes and Why they Mean so Much to Me – Toy Story Vans

It’s not everyday that I get soppy over a pair of shoes, but these ones are something special. Not only did I wear Vans as a teenager, dragging my feet through my moody ‘goth’ stage, but I also loved the Toy Story films growing up. The combination of two such sentimental items makes me very happy. 

I was lucky enough to receive a voucher for our local shopping centre for Christmas, so just knew I wanted a pair of these shoes. There are a few styles to choose from and I originally wanted the pink Woody and Bo Peep pair, but these weren’t in stock. I opted for the denim Woody pair and I actually feel this worked out for the best. They definitely go with more of my clothes and so are a more practical option. 

Now, you may be wondering why these shoes mean so much to me. Well, I have some wonderful memories attached to all three of the Toy Story films, which I’d like to share with you in this post. 

Toy Story
This first film in the trio was released in 1995 when I was only eight years old. I remember my Dad took my sister and me to go and see it in a little cinema in the town next to ours (giving my Mum a well deserved break from the three of us!). We were all so excited because there hadn’t been an animated film like it and my brain just couldn’t comprehend how computers had animated the whole thing! I watched it with my jaw on the floor. Everything about it was perfect to me – the characters, the script, the storyline, the list goes on. When we came out of the cinema, my Dad was so hyper he couldn’t stop talking about how incredible the animation was. We got home and bombarded my Mum with every element of the film we could remember. It was such a happy evening for me and a moment I believe, sparked my love of film and production.  

Toy Story 2
Unfortunately, I didn’t see this film at the cinema but we received it on video cassette(!) from my Nana and Grandad one Christmas. My sister and I were once again beside ourselves with excitement and put it on whilst our parents and grandparents chatted around the table after dinner. We both sat about two inches from the TV screen and watched it in silence completely absorbed in yet another brilliant storyline. Gradually my Grandad had sat in his faithful chair and joined us in watching it. I remember hearing his infectious giggle at certain parts and his amazement at the animation. This was a stand out Christmas for me, even if it was a simple one in front of a film, it symbolises being with my family and us all enjoying something together. 

Toy Story 3
This was released almost seven years ago, when I was 22. Quite an age difference from the first film! My sister had received it on DVD as a gift and cheekily watched it without us! She was so excited for us all to see it and told us she just knew we would love it and it would make us quite emotional. I came home for the evening and we all settled down to watch it together. We laughed in all the right places and cried in others. What a beautifully written film! The emotional scenes were actually some of the most emotional I’ve seen in a film. I think a lot of it had to do with growing up with the characters myself, almost taking my own ‘Andy’ journey. 

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed this very different post from me! It was one I really wanted to write and share with you. I’ve never felt emotional about a materialistic item, but I’m not ashamed to feel this way in this case. I’m happy to know that every time I look down at these shoes on my feet, I’m reminded of all these lovely moments, giggles and conversations with my wonderful family. 

Right, I’m off to watch my Toy Story box set with Baby J! Maybe I can help build such fond memories for her. 

Kerry x