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! 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Some Firsts

This week was full of firsts.

My first day back to my spin class in over a month. The usual instructor was back and I was so happy! It was a great class, the music was great and I was sweaty ;)

My first ever Insanity class/workout. It is what it says on the tin, to use an English expression. Man, was that class insane! After about 5 minutes (and I was sweating and completely out of breath) the instructor announced 'So that's the warm up done!' AHHHH! I wanted to crawl out of there, but I didn't and boy am I sore.

Francis' first day at pre-school. I cried in the car yesterday on his last day of nursery. I was alright this morning getting him ready. I was alright in the car and the walk to the school but when he found his teacher and got a request to find something for her, he waved good-bye and was off. I cried. Thankfully I had Dylan to keep me busy.

My first morning alone with Dylan. I have had very few times alone with Dylan. I think our mornings together will be good for both of us. He is a little wild and very cheeky but he is still my darling little boy and I can't wait to shower him with some attention!

My first time using iron on name labels. Ok, these suck! A friend recommended them to me so I'm either completely crap at putting them on or I just got a bad batch. I might just start sewing them on...what a pain.

My first time filling out parent things for school. I clearly remember some of my first days at school and having my parents signing all the necessary paperwork. Now, I'm the parent! How did that happen?!

I have mentioned before that to me September is always a month of change, new things, clear outs, etc... I guess it all comes from being young and going to school in September. You get a hair cut, new clothes, bag, etc... clear out everything that doesn't fit and even put away all the summer things. This September is full of more changes than I have had in a while. Lots of firsts, lots of lasts and hopefully full of new happy memories.

Brilliant blog posts on
 How is your September going? Any firsts for you? 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Enjoying The Little Things

I have to admit, I am a bit of an emotional wreck this week. My little tiny baby is going to pre-school on Thursday. It happens to all of us...we grow up. It happens to all of us as parents...our little ones grow up. We can't stop it ;)

Every time I look at Francis I see this tiny little 6 lb baby boy struggling to feed but persevering. I see a little cherub face with wide eyes looking up at me. I know, I know a lot has changed since then. He keeps reminding me 'Mummy, I'm your big boy now!'. He is indeed. :)

Don't I look cute?!
So this week, in the last few days before my 'big boy' goes off to pre-school I am just taking in and enjoying the little things.

Every den we build.

Basic hide out version 1.1 ;)

Costume we put together.

Fish boy :)

Play dough creation we assemble.

I have it on good authority that this is a minion!

Run/walk we take.

Cuddle we have.

Tomorrow my two boys are in nursery (my last full day to myself for awhile), then Thursday morning we are headed to pre-school.

Francis will be fine. In fact, he'll love school. He will make his mummy, daddy and little brother proud! :)

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Food & Fitness 7th September 2014

Sunday has rolled around again...that week went by so quickly, although to be honest I am glad! We all seem to be recovered from stomach bugs and are very nearly ready for Francis' first couple days at school (Yikes!!).

This weekend I was lucky enough to have my husband home so yesterday I took advantage and got a pedicure. Ah...relaxing and my toes look good to boot! :) Today looks like a grandparent filled day! Will's parents are popping round to say hello and then we have our usual Skype appointment with my parents later in the afternoon.

This week I really want to start getting back on track with things although I'm sure the next couple of weeks will provide a lot of chaos, exhaustion and changes in plans and schedules due to Francis starting school. It will be good to see how everything falls into place.
**By the way, I am not trying to be a baby about all this, and it probably isn't a big deal to some, but this is the first major routine change we have had since Francis was born 3.5 years ago so I hesitate in saying it will be easy and without some juggling! ;)

My baby growing up fast! 
I have also come to the realization that I'm in a bit of a fitness rut and I definitely need to shake things up. The good news is that my gym is about to put out a new schedule of classes (yay, they did this morning!) and one of those is Insanity! So I am looking forward to starting to get things switched up and back on track.
I am still at a loss when it comes to Pilates. The class I used to take is no longer convenient and I haven't found another. It seems like years since I last took a class and I really love it! I have also not had a single good recommendation for a DVD so I can practice at home while trying to find a new class. I may have to branch out a bit to find one that will suit me but it might also mean paying more money on fitness stuff. I will have to weigh the pros and cons here.

Anyway, as always on a Sunday here is my tentative food and fitness plan:

Sunday- Left over Salmon Kedgeree
Monday- Chicken Tagine (we didn't get to have this last week due to illness)
Tuesday- Ham and Potatoes with Pineapple
Wednesday- Stir fry (probably chicken or beef)
Thursday- TBD (husband to cook)
Friday- Homemade pork sausage with Beans
Saturday- Out for friend's 40th Birthday party (possible hog roast/BBQ)

Monday- Run
Tuesday- Spin
Wednesday- Insanity!! & Group Training (probably my last due to pre-school schedule changes)
Thursday- Running Club
Friday- Personal Training
Saturday- TBD

Running with Racheal

Hope you all have a fab week!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Friday Faves 5th Sept 2014

I can not believe that it is already September! Where does the time go? I guess weather-wise it has been feeling like September since we got back from the States. I mean, sorry but turning the heat on in August??? I have never ever had to do that before. However, as I type this post it is a nice warm sunny day...go figure ;)

So this week turned into a bit of a nightmare for me. It was stressful. I started the week off pretty ill with the stomach bug, stayed a bit ill, didn't get a chance to work out, didn't get to eat much, didn't have any coffee, rushed around getting school things ready and then after all that my husband decided last night that he didn't really understand the school we were sending our son to and that maybe he shouldn't go there!!??? WHAT!

Ok, so after a good cry and mini meltdown, I just sat down calmly with him and went through all the facts about the school as I knew them (from various calls to the school, information evenings, open days and paper work sent home).  I think we are all on the same page now. Full steam ahead on the pre-school train! ;) Phew!

I do sometimes feel that I am sort of floating along in a country that although similar to my own is still very foreign to me. The school system here is different from the US system and additionally any school system I claim to know, the knowledge is out of date by about 30 years anyway! I think that is why I do a lot of research and talk with as many people as I can to make sure I'm getting it at least 80% right.

So after a relatively stressful week my faves are:

1) Cute/funny animal sightings- saw my hairdresser's sister's puppy! So cute! Then, we have been having chicken visitors every day this week (sometimes it is this brown one, sometimes it is a white one, sometimes both!) The boys love it...the dog hates it! :)

Tiny puppy hiding behind plant!

Chicken from our kitchen window

2) Feeling better- Ah, I do not take good health for granted and so this is a huge fave! Oh and it means I'm back on the coffee (and of course eating as well)!

<3 my Nespresso!
3) Compliments- you know it really doesn't take much to make someone's day! Today at my son's open day all the teachers were asking for cookies! They had been told how good the ones we made for our teacher visit were and they were jealous ;) Also a couple of my friends have given me lovely compliments this week and I know they didn't know it but it really cheered me up this week :)

4) Series- I know I totally sound like a tv addict (and I'm not really, but maybe a little) but holy cow, Orphan Black (I have only watched Season 1 as the others aren't out over here yet) so good!! Must get the 2nd season over here soon. Also started Orange is the New Black Season 2 and it is still very good! My husband and I are watching The Killing (the Danish version) and are almost finished Season 1 and that is awesome too! There is very little good tv on normal channels so all our series viewing is on Netflix.

5) One good workout- I didn't work out at all this week due to feeling pretty unwell until Wed. I missed my running club last night to sort out school stuff and so this morning at 6:30am I was back in the gym with my trainer dead-lifting 40lbs with the best of them :) I will admit, I wanted to cancel this training appointment and just call it a bad week, but I didn't and I feel great for going. Fingers crossed I'm going to kill it in the gym next week...need to get back on track.

Yes, that is a pilates mat...yes, must get back to it! ;)
What are your faves this week? Any one else having back to school anxiety?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Getting Ready for Pre-School

Ok, I have to be honest; as I sit here typing this post I am also in my pyjamas, unwashed with crazy hair. I am procrastinating or maybe I have over-analysis paralysis! The Pre-School teacher is coming on a home visit today! It is a good idea really. I'm definitely on board with it but I'm not ready emotionally, mentally or physically.

I totally understand that she is not here to inspect our house or interview us as parents (phew, cause the house is a mess from us being sick all weekend and I no doubt will be a crazed mummy to interview). She is simply here to find out if we have any more questions about the school, the curriculum, the teachers, etc... She is also here so that Francis will have a familiar face to go to on his first couple days at school. He'll be thinking (so they tell me) 'Oh there's a nice person, my teacher, she came to my house'. That works for me! It will make me feel better when I send my little baby off to school for the first time next week (Sooo not ready!).

But here's the deal... I can barely remember the questions I have (besides uniform stuff, which quite frankly might look bad as there is only a week till school starts and no I haven't bought them yet) as I haven't had time to read through all the material they gave us at parent's open night.

My house is a mess, I have no food in (biscuits or tea to offer), I just am not on top form. I haven't even eaten properly in 36 hours! Oh and I just found some weird smelling stuff on Dylan's blankie! Help :-/

Fast forward a couple of hours and here's how it went:

I managed to tidy up the house and do a thorough clean where necessary (like the bathroom downstairs). We also managed to get some baking done so there were Oatmeal Raisin Cookies on hand (bonus- they made the house smell good)!

Dylan went down for a nap a couple of  hours before so he was being pretty good ;)

Francis was shy but did his best at talking with his new teacher. Oh and they sprung a fast one on me...yes, they! There was Francis' teacher and another teacher as well! I guess they work in pairs :) Oh and they called and asked if they could come a whole half hour early! 'Sure, perfectly ok' says the frantic mum with a now messy bun hair style, no make up on and a just waken toddler in only a nappy/diaper! But alas, I think I managed to sort everyone out in time ;)

At any rate, I managed to get some questions answered and I feel a lot better about school next week.

We have one more open day to go to on Friday before school officially starts which will be good for all of us. Ok, yes, I am probably more nervous than Francis now! Oh dear...must not cry when I drop him off next week ;)

Next to do:
School uniforms to buy (Pale blue polo shirts, black gray trousers, school sweater/jumper, etc...)
School pencils to buy
School bag to buy
Black  Gray socks to buy
Black shoes to buy
Name labels to buy and iron on (no way am I sewing them, not enough time)
Hair cuts for all the boys in the house (including Daddy and Dylan's 1st)

Try and relax!

Anyone else dealing with the panic of sending their little one off to Pre-School/School?

Monday, 1 September 2014

Food & Fitness 31st August 2014

Ugh! The stomach bug! Well, Dylan was completely out of commission on Friday being sick with a little stomach bug and as soon I think we are out in the clear (and 5 loads of laundry have been done along with ridiculous amounts of carpet cleaning) I get the stomach bug. :(

I hate being sick. Nausea and I are not friends. So while I spent the day looking at a toilet my two little angels spent the day running wild! Honestly, I can't complain. They were pretty good all things considered. They left me to sleep and be ill. They entertained themselves with building dens and towers out of legos. Heck, they even put themselves down for a nap at 3pm! 

I think the worst bit was that I didn't have my husband at home to help and I felt bad for the boys as they surely were bored but hey, luckily these bugs don't come around that often so we coped. I am still not feeling 100% so I will give you a rough idea of this week's food and fitness plan but it is subject to change (and already has!).

Sunday- Nothing, couldn't stomach anything.
Monday- Chicken broth
Tuesday- Salmon Kedgeree
Wednesday- TBD (something easy) 
Thursday- Chicken and Butternut Squash Tagine with Couscous
Friday- Spaghetti Bolognese with Hidden Veg
Saturday- Swedish Meatballs with Mash, Peas and Gravy 

Sunday- Nothing
Monday- Nothing
Tuesday- Probably Nothing
Wednesday- Group Personal Training
Thursday- Running Club 6.5k
Friday- Personal Training
Saturday- Run 6k? or Gym workout

Running with Racheal

Hope you all have a good and healthy week! 
P.S. How do you keep your children entertained when you are sick?