Trying to take the pressure off



Here’s hoping for lots of trail running this year

New Year, New Me blah blah blah… I’m not one for making resolutions as such as I don’t like setting myself up to fail.  This year I’m going to set some goals/aims that I may or may not achieve in full but at least starting them will be a move in the right direction.

I’m not looking to re-invent myself entirely but I’m looking to change a few things and find ‘Me’ again and in all honesty it’s making me feel a lot of things, excited, anxious, invigorated, anxious, hopeful and did I mention that I’m feeling a bit anxious…

Over the next week or so (don’t need to rush in!) I shall sit and write a list of aims and do some research as to how to go about changing things.  One aim I have decided on is running based.  I have signed up to this through Trail Running magazine.  I already know that it may be a bit beyond my capability so I may swap the miles for kilometres which will still be a long stretch.  This sort of challenge is about pushing myself and actually however far I get will be further than I’ve managed this year I’m positive as I’ve been plagued by injury and illness and a little loss of direction.  From reading the posts on the Facebook group, it seems super supportive and inclusive so all good there!

I think that support is the key so I’m making an effort to make sure I know who’s got my back this year and steering away from the negative vibes.

This track from The Go! Team seems rather fitting – it’s been a real grower for me.  It does sound a bit like an American College marching band but I kinda like that…

Are you a planner?  How do you go about it? What’s the one thing you’d like to accomplish this year?

My friend wrote a good piece about goal setting which you can read here if you’d like…


Listening Post

I don’t normally run and listen to music, in fact it’s not something I would do at all. I did when I very first started running.  I’d signed up to a Couch to 5K programme and alongside the coached Wednesday sessions, we had ‘homework’ to complete ourselves.  At this stage I was running to time rather than distance and I very quickly learnt the exact length of each song on my playlist which was a little bit de-motivating for me as after 2 songs I had only been running for a small  amount of minutes with a big amount of minutes to go.  My solution?  Podcasts.  Listening to someone chat in your ear is very distracting, in a good way and depending on what you are listening to, it can be very enlightening too.  Problem solved.  We then started up a ‘homework’ group and rather than listening to Iggy Pop deliver the John Peel lecture, I got to listen to and engage with a bunch of very interesting men and women who I still get to call my friends.  Many a problem has been sorted out on a social run let me tell you and I found myself opening up in a way I never thought I would to relative strangers at that point, and them to me.  They do say that it’s sometimes easier to talk to someone when you don’t have direct eye contact with them all the time…

So fast forward to C25K graduation and beyond.  I started entering races and most state that the wearing of headphones is prohibited.  So far so good, I always ran with a group on training runs and no headphones no problem. I never really ‘race’ during races either and will often chat my way through a race with different people.  I have this year however been a bit of a loner on my longer weekend runs due to all sorts of things and through choice too, it’s very grounding to be alone in nature with just your thoughts and I find that my senses go into overdrive.  I can hear birds and other creatures rustling around in trees and hedges, the flowers smell stronger and my eyes pick up on small details that would perhaps be missed if I wasn’t alone.  This is what I enjoy about running, I try and run off-road where possible as I find road running boring.


Sometimes races can be fun!  That’s me, no 259…


I’ve not been well recently and haven’t been on a proper run for a little while so I forced myself out of the door this morning.  I think that the lack of company was putting me off going but at the same time I didn’t want anyone else to witness my potential inadequacies whilst trying to get back up to strength and speed again.(I use the terms strength and speed very loosely when talking about my running!)  So, I downloaded a running playlist  (Running to Hip Hop Hits if you’re interested) and off I trotted.  The little E by the majority of the tracks should have been a clue but this was not radio or family friendly (!) but there is something quite liberating about listening to something really sweary whilst running in beautiful countryside!  (You can read another post about swearing here if you’d like.)

Reader.  I enjoyed the experience.  I noticed just as much as I would have normally and actually, came to the conclusion that it’s not really too much different to running with a friend gently yammering in your ear.  Which is a good thing in case you were wondering…

I’m not sure that I’ll run with headphones every solo long run, but every now and again I think is ok.

Do you run with headphones or with company or do you prefer the solitude of you and nature?  Let me know what other playlists I need to be on the lookout for too please


The nearly Olympics post 

Muddy Run

Isn’t running through a muddy puddle liberating?!

I realise that the title and picture together *might* imply that I’ve been off being athlete-y and Olympian (HA!) when in fact it’s been almost 4 years since my last post.  (See what I did there?)

How are you?  Gosh there’s been a lot going on since I was last here – I’ll fill you in on some of it over the next few posts possibly but probably not all of it.

The biggest news is that I am now a runner – yes me!  Someone who runs!  For fun and not because something is chasing me!

So the blog will be a bit about running and a bit about music still – I hope you’ll stick around and maybe share with a few like-minded people if you feel moved to.

Actually speaking of music, there’s been a LOT since I’ve been away from here – far too much to catch up on and I try not to look backwards as a rule (except on #tbt clearly) but there are some gems that were new to me, especially this year so I may do an end of year roundup – *spoiler alert – it will feature Rave Karaoke – yep, that’s right!

What are you listening to at the minute?  I’m enjoying Colors by Beck, loving Rapsody feat Kendrick Lamar and Lance Skiiiwalker and also don’t you think Deadly Valentine by Charlotte Gainsbourg really sounds like Goldfrapp?  Loving the Soulwax remix of it too, its around 8 minutes long but worth checking out…  I’m really loving that once again  Kurt and Courtney are in my life – ask your Mum if you don’t remember the first ones…

An Apology

I’ve been neglecting you horribly lately, and for that, I apologise.

Negative things have been taking over and sucking the creativity out of me and I’ve been more focused on the bad than the good, which is all kinds of wrong really isn’t it?!

So, today is the day that I put things into perspective and start living my life for me and my family again instead of letting stuff that really isn’t important to me get the better of me and fill me with negativity.

I am turning things around and rather selfishly doing things for me and the benefit of my family.  I’m in the process of setting up an on-line shop (eek!) more about which I shall share soon… I will write a blogging schedule and aim to stick with it (notice the word aim!!).  Same goes for a social media schedule – I really need to get my head round that one!

Once again, organisation and focus are the key.  Do you have any helpful organise-ey bloggy tips you’d be willing to share and spur me on?  Do you do the best for you?




Taking Stock – Feb 2014

Here we are again, linking up with Pip for a taking stock post.  I might do this as a regular feature and invite you guys to do it too…

Making :  Lots of lists and plans
Cooking : Sunday lunch
Drinking : A cup of tea at the perfect temperature
Reading: Nothing!  I just finished A Secret History by Donna Tartt so any book recommendations welcome please!
Wanting: An extra day in the week please
Looking: At trade catalogues
Playing: Flappy Birds – isn’t it infuriating?!
Deciding: On a theme for my new website
Wishing: My girls would stop growing up sooo fast…
Enjoying: The days getting longer – hurry up spring!
Waiting: For the conservation officer to visit our house to see if we can extend
Liking: When technology works
Wondering: What 2014 will bring
Loving: That I am lucky enough to work from home – it really is the only way for me
Pondering: Why some fonts just look … wrong!
Considering: A touch more red/gold in my hair
Watching: Chvrches in Birmingham very soon!!
Hoping: I can pull this idea of mine off!
Marvelling: At how many exclamation marks I’m using in this post!!
Needing: A neck massage
Smelling: Daffodils in a jam jar next to me
Wearing: Wooly socks and hoodies – sexy huh?!
Following: Lots of new people on twitter and Instagram
Noticing: That my ancient cat can still climb up onto the shed roof and over the outbuilding rooftops
Knowing: That exercise really is good for me
Thinking: Of a dear friend and hoping she’s ok
Admiring: Bloggers who blog on a really regular basis
Sorting: Laundry.  All. The. Time.
Buying: Stock
Getting: Ready for back to school tomorrow after half-term
Bookmarking: Lots!
Disliking: Rude people
Opening:  Exciting emails
Giggling: At the commentary from Ed Leigh and Tim Warwood at the Olympics
Feeling: Excited, overwhelmed, nervous but mostly excited
Snacking: On cashew nuts – yum!
Coveting: Most of the items on Pinterest
Helping: My boss launch another part to his business
Hearing: Lots of banging and giggling from upstairs from the girls

Join in if you like – I’d love to know what you’re up to… Copy and paste the list below…

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :

A Cup of Tea With Me

Grab a cuppa...

Grab a cuppa…

This is a bit of an interview post in conjuction with Pip Lincolne from Meet Me at Mikes – you may be reading this as one of my followers or you may have clicked across from Pip’s blog – either way, you’re very welcome – do stay and have a look around won’t you?

I have recently completed (may I utter the word graduated?!) an amazing e-course called Blog with Pip – it does exactly what it says on the tin and although the blog isn’t quite the way I’d like it to be (YET) – there’s a lot of planning going on and now I have the wherewithal to actually do stuff and take this forward!

If you fancy giving it a go – you can sign up to the February intake here – I would heartily recommend it and I have to say that the support that I’ve had from both Pip and the other students has been EPIC – huge thanks to you all!  I now feel part of a community which is a nice thing I’m sure you’ll agree.

1. Who I am

I’m Claire and I live in a small town in Buckinghamshire, England, UK.  My primary role is Mummy to my 2 girls and when they’re learning stuff at school all day I morph into my other roles which include part-time admin to my tennis coach, my NYR Organic business and blogging here at Mixtapes and Muddy Boots and also over at Nicholas and White.  That’s why it’s often a little untidy and chaotic over at my house!

2. What I like to do

My most favourite things to do are hanging out at home with my girlies and getting involved in all their funny little games.  I also love music and going to gigs and festivals with my husband.  That sense of being surrounded by likeminded people all there for the same reason and the all encompassing feeling that live music gives just can’t be beaten!  I’ve also found out in the last year or so that I like writing so I try and fit it in where-ever possible.
3. My favourite place to be

Being outside is always a good thing and, although it’s been a couple of years or so since I last went, I love being up on a snowy mountain on a snowboard.  That, and being front and slightly to the left at a gig (have you spotted the recurring theme yet?!)

4. My favourite things to eat/drink

My immediate response to this one is tea & cake but I am rather partial to the odd JD when out & about.  Foodwise…roast chicken everytime with roast veggies in the winter and salad in the summer.

5. What Inspires me

I like to think that I take inspiration from life in general and I try to surround myself with positive and inspirational people from all walks of life whether it be the sister-like relationship I have with an old school friend or the kindred spirit I have found in a relatively new friendship, to the mentor/pupil role I have with a much older lady who is willing to share her knowledge, experience & advice.

All that and Pinterest…

6. Things I’d like to know more about

Ooh, where to start?!  There’s sooo much out there that I’d like to know more about.  I’d love to learn to crochet actually and I need to learn to be a grown up and get myself and my home organised, like REALLY!  I’d describe myself as a frustrated creative so it would be lovely to be able to channel that into something *- blogging I’m thinking*
 7. Some of my favourite blogs

There’s so many lovely blogs out there and most of the best one’s are written by the ladies I’ve ‘met’ through this course, so do click on their links too.  I’m also super jealous inspired by this young writer – I feel she’s doing what I would have liked to have been doing at her age but the word blog hadn’t even been invented then I don’t think!

Thanks for spending a little time with me, can I get you a refill of tea?  Another slice of cake maybe?…..