Monday, 29 September 2014

Food & Fitness 28th Sept. 2014

Wow! This weekend went by fast! I can't believe all the things that we managed to squeeze in it. :)

On Friday night, I headed out for a lovely girls night out. We managed to close the place down (we were there till after midnight) but enjoyed every minute. We laughed so hard our cheeks hurt and drank enough to last us awhile. My two friends even got dragged into impromptu Karaoke and dancing! I happen to be organising our taxi so managed to escape those shenanigans that night ;)

Saturday we had scheduled a family photo session at a studio, so we spent the morning getting organised for that and then headed off. This was the first family photo session we have ever had. We finally decided to bite the bullet and do it before the boys are 18 and we've missed out on the chance ;) Unfortunately, the boys were not game for this photo shoot and it took the patience of a saint and many other tricks to even get one good photo!
After the shoot we went out for a Starbucks treat! The boys got fruit smoothies and I got a Pumpkin Spice Latte...YUM! First of the year :)

Someone stole a sip of my latte!
On Sunday we were off again. This time to my in-laws to see my brother in-law who was back for only two short days from Sierra Leon. It was great seeing him and the boys enjoyed the time playing with their cousins!

By the time we got home it was time for Downton and time for bed. We were exhausted. Now I just have to get organised for this week and get back to the painting! BTW- started painting in selected colour (Malt Chocolate-a tan stone sort of colour), left it to dry and it is most definitely PINK! Not the selected colour we had hoped :( So I bought some new paint today, fingers crossed!

Here is my tentative plan for the week (featuring a new fitness plan as I ended up doing nothing fitness related last week).

Sunday- Roast Pork Sandwiches
Monday- Soup with Toast (on my own)
Tuesday- Prawn Stir-fry with rice
Wednesday- Italian sausage pasta
Thursday- Chilli Chicken Thighs with sweet potato chips and salad
Friday- Curry Night!
Saturday- Family over TBD (husband will probably cook)

Sunday- Rest
Monday- Rest
Tuesday- Strength Training (possibly at home)
Wednesday- Insanity or Strength Training
Thursday- Running Club
Friday- Personal Training
Saturday- Rest

Running with Racheal

Have a great week!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Friday Faves 26th Sept. 2014

This week was a good one and a lot more calm than last! We had a lot of fun meeting up with friends, playing together and generally feeling a lot more organised than last week. Phew! I can only hope next week will go as smoothly. :)

We are all looking forward to this weekend as well, as we have a few fun things planned. Tomorrow we have a family photo shoot booked (our first!! I know long overdue) and then on Sunday we have a family get together as my brother-in-law is visiting from Sierra Leon! It will be nice for everyone to get together and visit with him even though he is only around for a short time.

So with a much better week under our belts here are this week's 5 Friday faves:

1) Park play with my boys - I didn't manage to go to the park with both my boys at the same time due to school, nursery, etc... but I did manage to get a few park plays in with them individually. We all had a great time and obviously enjoyed going on the most advanced climbing frames and highest slides much to mummy's delight (Yes, I feared for their lives...who goes down a super steep slide face first, my two year old Dylan that's who!)

Francis as King of the Castle!

Dylan at a completely different park as King of the Castle!

2) Fresh mani - I managed a quick trip to my favourite nail place and have a lovely Autumny shade on my fingers. Now if only it stays through at the least the photo shoot tomorrow! ;)
Sorry my finger looks extra crooked in this one! 
3) Girls night out - Yay! Tonight I'm out with two of my friends from running club. We are headed out to eat at a prosecco bar so it is bound to be a great night!

4) Redecoration - I have finished painting the ceiling in the entryway and have even moved on to scraping and sanding the oddly bubbled paint bits from the last time the room was decorated...when ever that was?!
Now for the walls
5) Big School - My sister-in-law raved about this TV programme saying it was really funny and since I haven't seen a really really funny show since the first season of Cuckoo, I was up for trying it out. We love it! Great cast and very funny...just what we needed! :)

BBC's Big School

Right, well I'm off on an adventure with the boys. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Mummy Failings or Lessons to Learn?

Oh dear, where does the time go? I have been meaning to write a post every day this week but I have been so busy working on my entryway/office redecoration that my computer has remained covered up. The good news is that the ceiling has been complete however, there is still lots to do so I may have to resort to using the old laptop to keep on top of things in the meantime.

As most of you know, last week was a bit of a rough one for me and I think I put it best in a text that I sent my personal trainer when I said: 'After a lot of thought, I have decided to not do any workouts this week. I think I was burning out and trying to take on too much while also dealing with a brand new schedule (due to Francis' starting school).'

So this week, I decided to take a deep breath and embrace the most important and biggest change which is the new school schedule. Not going to the gym has also allowed me a bit more time to sleep in the mornings which has been much needed and appreciated.

Since I have been concentrating on our morning schedule which includes getting everyone dressed, washed, hair brushed and breakfast for all (including the pooch) I have made some observations.

Before we had a tight morning schedule, I allowed:

  • for a lot of relaxing and general messing around in the morning (because normally we didn't have anywhere in particular to be)
  • the boys to choose their breakfasts (because I wanted them to eat)
  • the boys to choose their outfits for the day (because I wanted them to learn how to make decisions and get dressed themselves)
  • the boys to choose a cartoon to watch in the morning before breakfast (because this was a morning treat)

These things are now kicking me up the backside!

The boys don't want to get ready in the morning.

  • They want to mess around with me in their pjs until I decide it is time to go out (used to be about 10am). 
  • They have become picky about what they want to watch sometimes taking about 15 minutes to choose a cartoon. 
  • Luckily, Francis has a school uniform (which he thus far likes) but Dylan has become some sort of fashion icon so must choose and put on about 3 outfits before he deems one acceptable. 
  • They also aren't happy with Weetabix or porridge these days and beg continuously for mummy to make them pancakes, eggs and/or toast with several different toppings etc...

These are things that would probably have annoyed me a tiny bit before but now that we have to be out the door before 8:30am they drive me wild!! I have done it to myself. I have created monsters. :(

I really can't decide if this is a major catastrophe or if I can just learn the lesson/s here and move swiftly on correcting behaviours as I go. But, every day I wake up faced with two stubborn and determined boys that really won't work with mummy and the new schedule and I just keep thinking what have I done!

So in efforts to help the boys and myself I have started to implement some changes.

  • The night before, I tell them both 'Tomorrow is a busy day. We have to be up and ready early for school.'
  • I lay out Francis' school uniform and tell him he can get dressed when he wakes up. 
  • In the morning, I choose a cartoon and then run out of the room while the crying begins and then (fingers crossed) stops. 
  • I give them two options for breakfast and then keep telling myself 'you are not a restaurant' ignoring cries for other options.
  • I give Dylan free range on outfits still but ask him to pick something out right when he wakes up so he then has an hour and a half to get a move on. It seems to be working, so far. 

This tough 'love' is killing me but this week (so far) everyone has made it into the car by 8:20am. There have been plenty of tears still but it takes 3 weeks to adjust to a new schedule right?! Fingers crossed, we are on our way! :)

Any advice on morning routines? Or stubborn boys? 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Finger Paint & Room Paint

Things are feeling better for me today. :) I decided not to get up for a run or swim today as my little Dylan was up during the night so my sleep was very interrupted and I felt like I still needed the sleep. The good news was that the day seemed to go by a lot more smoothly than I'd expected especially as it was a Monday!

The school run went well, we weren't late and I was even in regular clothes with make-up on (I'm usually a bit sweaty and decked out in gym gear!). Shocking!

Dylan and I had a good morning together playing games and trying to increase our vocabulary.

Then, once we had picked up Francis from school we had lunches and Dylan went down for his nap. Francis and I had some quiet book time and cuddles! A great part of my day. :)

Finally, I decided to crack out some finger paints that I had received a long time ago. I spread out a massive sheet of paper on the kitchen table and just let them go for it! Brave mummy!

A master piece!

Beautiful, right mummy!
They enjoyed it and used up the entire thing of paint! It was a real mess though. Dylan had paint in his hair and up into his shirt. Francis was pretty covered too but the enjoyment they had for about 45 min was priceless!

Speaking of paint...I am finally getting organised for our entryway redecoration! I have been planing this for over a year and told the husband I was getting sick of planning all these things and then nothing ever getting anything done. So, I filled in all the holes in the walls (from wall hangings, etc...) yesterday and tonight I may start on painting the ceiling! I can't wait! :)
We don't even have coat hooks near the door!

Those paint swatches are from one year ago!

The room is currently a dumping ground but I have plans for it to be half entry way and half office/spare room. Hopefully I can show you the full finished results by the end of next month ;)

Hope you all had a great Monday!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Food & Fitness 21st Sept 2014

Hello! I hope you all had a good week and even better weekend. :)

I had a pretty crap week if I'm going to be honest. I hate to be all down in the dumps and negative on here so I'll keep it pretty general but I think I just had a bit of a panic.

Everyone that knows me know that I try and put 100% into every thing that I do except for some reason this week I felt like everything I have been working on was going nowhere. I was going 100 miles per hour and it seemed I had nothing to show for it in many areas of my life. :(

I suppose the stress of a new schedule this week (let's face it a whole week where I managed to have both boys feed, washed, dressed and out of the house before 8:30 am...miraculous!) and being hormonal (tmi- sorry) didn't help so with a bit more sleep under my belt and a bit of thinking done hopefully this week will be better! :)

Spider-man pose ofcourse!

One of the major things that I struggled with this past week was my body. Usually, I am happy with it. Don't get me wrong I know I won't have the body of a 20 year old any more and I don't expect to, after all I have given birth to my two favourite ever boys and I wouldn't give that up for a six pack any day! ;) I have however been working out like a fiend and more than most people I know, in order to look a little more lean and feel a lot more fit. My eating has been relatively healthy but unfortunately my body shape has not changed. I have also not lost a single pound. I have never felt so unfit, even though that is probably very far from the truth.

I have had a chat with my trainer (and a bit of a cry!! Whoops!) and I have done a little thinking and so, my food in the next two weeks will probably change a bit and my workouts over the next few weeks will be changing too. So more than ever my food and fitness for this week will be very tentative. I will keep you updated as I go :)

Sunday- Jambalaya
Monday- Swedish Meatballs with Mash (prob sweet potato for me) and Peas
Tuesday-  Salmon with Couscous and Salad
Wednesday- Quorn Singapore Rice (should be noodles but I'll sub brown rice)
Thursday- Minced Turkey Hotpot
Friday- Out for dinner and drinks with some friends
Saturday- TBD (maybe out and about so might be something on the road)

Sunday- Rest
Monday- Possible Run or Swim or Rest (depending on how I feel)
Tuesday- Strength Training
Wednesday- Insanity
Thursday- Running Club
Friday- Personal Training
Saturday- Rest

Running with Racheal

I hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Please Don't Judge

Recently, I have read a couple posts/articles on blogs and in magazines about people judging other people (in the cases I read, it was mums being judged). To be fair most of us would like to say that we never judge anyone, but I think sometimes we catch ourselves doing it whether we like it or not. :(

About two weeks ago I went to the supermarket. We had been away over the weekend and so I hadn't had the chance to do my usual weekly shop (solo) so this meant that I had to go with the boys. They are both at the stage now where they want something wherever we are. I don't want to spoil them and I don't want to give in to constant begging so I usually say no...but sometimes I allow them a treat (a book, magazine, pack of superhero cards) if they have been good.

On this particular shop both my sons were tired despite naps earlier in the day. They started begging when we walked through the shop doors. Then they started hitting each other, pulling my hair, kicking, crying and then screaming. I could feel eyes all over the shop watching me. What was wrong with my children, why were they crying, what was I doing to stop them?

I have to admit I was at a loss. Usually when the boys' misbehaving reaches this level I give them a time out but I couldn't just leave them in the tinned food aisle and carry on with the shop so I calmly told the boys to quiet down and that soon we'd be leaving. I also asked them what was wrong to which I got no answer. So the screaming continued and so did the stares. Finally, I gave in to a quick shout back saying that they would both be immediately in time out upon arrival home and there would be no CBeebies that night before bed. Guess what? That made them worse. Now I could hear people making comments.

Perhaps I was paranoid, they could have been saying 'Look at that poor mum!' but I thought it was probably more like 'Look at that mum who can't control her children!'. Oh dear, what would Super Nanny do?! I had completely run out of ideas and just had to finish the shop after all I had no toilet roll, no milk, and no nappies but I had to do it fast...I could not bare the stares and comments any more!

At any rate we got home and they both went into time out, calmed down and then we got on with the day but by then I was so stressed I just wanted to sit down and cry. To make matters worse the whole of the shop and possibly town now thought I was a bad mum. I had been judged. :(

Fast forward a week and we were back at the supermarket. This time we were with Daddy! My boys were fine as they had lots of attention, it was a shorter shop and Daddy gave them both treats at the start. However, on this particular day it was another mum being subject to judging eyes.

Upon check out I noticed a woman on her own with two little ones both very angry. There was a bit of shouting and general naughtiness as the children continued to ignore their mum's pleas for quiet. We left the shop at the same time and as they headed out the door the little boy ran into the car park without looking. The mum ran after him and really started shouting.

Her face was red, she looked like she was going to cry. A few people were staring. I looked over and gave a little smile. I knew full well what she was going through. She probably thought we were judging her but I promise you I was not. All I was thinking is I hope that woman gets a hug and a big cup of tea when she gets home! :)

What kind of techniques do you use when you are out and about and the little ones are being naughty? How do you feel when you think your parenting skills are being judged?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Food & Fitness 14th Sept 2014

This weekend was a good, busy and exciting one! On Saturday we went to one of our good friend's 40th birthday party and boy was it a bash! It started early afternoon and went on until about 2 am this morning. I am not used to partying like that so obviously today I am extra exhausted! It was a great night full of fun, friends, food, fantastic music (the husband played a gig!) and there was even a pub quiz :)
Birthday girl roasting her lamb!
Huge bonfire and so warm!
Gig and DJ
Dancing into the night!

So today I will be lying low, recovering and getting ready for the very busy week ahead!

We don't have too much planed for this week but it will be Francis' first full week at school so I will be concentrating on figuring the schedule for all that out. We got there 20 minutes before the school even opened on Friday and there was still no place to park...need to be more strategic I think ;)

Sunday- Bacon & Eggs with Toast (recovery food)
Monday- Chili con Carne with Rice
Tuesday- Pasta with Prawns and Veg
Wednesday- Fish Cakes with Green Beans
Thursday- Lentil Stew with Baguette
Friday- Chicken taco salad
Saturday- out for a meal with family

Sunday- Rest
Monday- Run
Tuesday- Spin
Wednesday- Insanity
Thursday- Running Club
Friday- Personal Training
Saturday- Strength Training or Run?

Running with Racheal

Have a good week!