Sunday, 30 March 2014

Weekly Food & Fitness Plan

Hello! Happy Mother's Day to all my UK readers! I hope you have had a lovely weekend. We have had a busy one :-)

We went over to my husband's parents house Friday night so that they could babysit the little ones and we could go out with some friends. It was a much needed night out and full of belly laughs. It is a shame that we can't go out with that group more often.

On Saturday, we spent most of the day with my in-laws and had a little walk around which was unfortunately cute short when Dylan did a massive face plant and split his lip. It is so hard when little ones get injured but man when they split a lip the amount of blood is crazy. I thought for sure we'd spend the rest of the day in the hospital...but after a huge hug and a clean up he was back to his usual happy self.

Tiny Super Hero!
Today we ended up late to a friend's birthday party (whoops the clocks jumped ahead here in the UK) and I had a bit of a lie in being that it was Mother's Day and all.

I was also surprised by breakfast in bed and a box of dark chocolates...Yum!

Sorry about the flash my picture taking needs improvement!
We don't have as exciting a week planned this week but you never know some weeks just surprise you.

Sunday- Duck with Risotto and Aparagus
Monday- Sausage Casserole
Tuesday- Salmon with Pasta and Sauce
Wednesday- Take Away (or something easy)
Thursday- Ham with Pineapple and Mashed Potatoes
Friday- Chicken with Veg and Rice in a Wagamama spicy Sauce
Saturday- Lamb Stew with Roasted Parsnips

Sunday- Rest Day
Monday- Run 5k
Tuesday- Meet with Personal Trainer
Wednesday- Pilates
Thursday- Spinning & Running Club (7k...Yikes)
Friday- Rest Day
Saturday- Run 5k (or Les Mills New Release Day)

Running with Racheal

Friday, 28 March 2014

What I'm Looking Forward To- Friday Faves

Good Day! I hope you are all surviving this very cold damp Friday in March. I honestly can not believe that Spring is upon us and all most of us have to show for it is rain, cold and in some cases snow!

With a pretty busy weekend ahead of us I thought I would do my Five Friday Faves post on things that I am looking forward to...

1) Our holiday to Tenerife - We are off on an Easter holiday to Tenerife this year. At first I was a bit daunted by the fact that it is a holiday with my husband's whole family and there are going to be 6 children with us in addition to the 8 adults (can you say Chaos) but now I am definitely looking forward to getting away and getting some sun!

2) Visiting my family - We are heading back to the States in August to visit my family. I am so looking forward to seeing my Mom, Dad, brother, sister, brother-in-law, auntie, uncle, cousins, etc...the list goes on and on. I also can not wait to get some Dunkin' Donuts Coffee, get on the beach, shop and have a bbq.

Very old photo from my oldest's Christening (with my brother and sister)
3) My consultation with a personal trainer - I have booked myself in to meet with a personal trainer next week to see what I can do to get more in shape, eat healthier and be more motivated. This trainer is a fitness model, certified trainer and has written on nutrition so fingers crossed she'll have some good ideas for me.

4) Buying some organisational house things - I have a Ikea list and as soon as I get some time and a bit of cash set aside I am going to aim to at the very least get the boys room organised. No more 'health hazard' wardrobe. I love spring cleaning and organising but these days have very little time for it.


5) Summer - England (in my opinion) is a cold, damp place. There are very few beautifully sunny days and those that happen generally all occur in the summer. Despite wearing the same clothes year round (yes, that includes jumpers/sweaters) I am finally able to wear a few lighter things in the summer. I also feel more like being outside and eating more fruit and veg. Ah to wear a maxi dress and have a salad outside!

What are you looking forward to these days? 

Have a good weekend and see you hopefully late Sunday with a weekly plan.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Off the Wagon

So you probably remember a few weeks back; the boys and I were sick with chest infections, sinus infections and colds. Those illnesses took over our house and our day to day lives and lasted 5 long weeks! It was at that time that I fell off my healthy eating wagon.

It was difficult to put effort into going to the shop and getting fresh ingredients. It was difficult to get up off the couch or out of bed and cook a healthy meal. All my effort went into making sure the boys were well looked after and I spent very little time or effort on my health (besides taking truck loads of paracetamol and my antibiotics). I took consolation in the fact that after we were all well again I would be back to my old ways: shopping for healthy fresh ingredients, cooking lovely meals and working out at the gym.

The working out at the gym happened. Heck, I had a race to train for I couldn't let my friend down and pull out after 1k. So I managed to get myself back out running, spinning and strengthening my core with Pilates. What didn't happen was getting back on the healthy eating wagon. I was a little lost again.

This is what I should be eating. 
I'm not going to mess around. I know what healthy ingredients are. I know how to follow a recipe and cook nice meals. I know how to organise my time. I know how to prioritise. So why the heck haven't I done it? It is a slippery slope for me, my friends. It all starts with some take-aways. Then a slice of birthday cake or two. Before you know it, I'm back to two or three pieces of jammy/buttery toast for breakfast and a large greasy pizza for my evening meal. I think it is probably laziness, but I am still in the process of trying to evaluate the 'real' reason. I am embarrassed.:-/

I won't let this fruit bowl go to waste!
So now after a couple weeks of not even keeping track of my points on Weight Watchers I feel I am at a cross roads. Do I start again? Do I try a different approach (like the Simple Start program with Weight Watchers)? Do I quit Weight Watchers and see if I can bring myself back into the realm of being healthy again using a different method?

I definitely am in need of some motivation. I have even approached a personal trainer with nutrition training to possibly help me out.

Have any of you ever been here? What did you do? Any suggestions for getting back on track?

Monday, 24 March 2014

Weekly Plan & Sports Relief Race Recap

Hoping everyone's Monday was good! Sorry once again that I am posting my Weekly Food & Fitness Plan a little late. I really truly thought that I was going to have it up last night but the weekend was so full of things and with my race and a date night on Sunday I was not really in the mood for a post.

This weekend was a pretty full one by our standards. On Saturday we had another 3rd birthday party at a gym with a bouncy castle and picnic lunch. It was a really nice party actually not too over the top and with just the right amount of family and friends that didn't make it overwhelming for the children. Everyone enjoyed themselves. Dylan spent most of the time running away with a little girls baby doll and jumping as high as he could manage on the bouncy castle; Francis climbed and jumped off some giant soft blocks and tried to coerce us into probably more cake than he should have had; while Dad practised his basketball hoop jumping! Ah boys! 

On Sunday morning we headed out to the Sports Relief Race. It was my first official 5k race in awhile, but it was not really what I was expecting (it wasn't even timed)...which was a bummer but it was for charity so I suppose it was pared down a bit to save on cost. The weather was awful: hail, rain, winds and some sun and the route was on a gym track so it was 12 times around for me and my friend. I am not too keen on track running as I find it very boring and sometimes lose count of the times I have been round but I kept count this time! 

I am furtherest runner on right my friend is in the black and blue!

I had my husband time me on his iPhone so my time wasn't totally accurate but I added about 30 seconds to his time and ended up with a PB of 28:30! I think even if I had added a minute it still would have been a PB as I seem to be pretty slow especially in the wind. I was really happy with the run in the end and it was my friend's first ever race so I ran back to help her finish it off. She really rocked it! 

After the run we headed home, got the boys down for a nap and I went to the gym for some Pilates. After that did some food shopping, showered and then my in-laws arrived to babysit while my husband and I went out for some Mexican! I was pretty excited about having Mexican food as they don't really have it over here. It was good but not authentic. The best part was the bartender thought my husband and I were on a first date and still at University! Yes!! Felt pretty good after that. :-)

Running with Racheal

Sunday- Mexican (chicken fajitas, chips with salsa, cheesy jalapenos)
Monday- Soup and Toast
Tuesday- Steak Pie with Mash and Peas
Wednesday- Quiche with Salad
Thursday- Husband's choice
Friday- Take Away
Saturday- Lasagna with Salad

Sunday-5k Race & Pilates
Monday- Rest
Tuesday- Swim
Wednesday- Pilates
Thursday- Spinning & Running Club (5k+)
Friday- Rest
Saturday- Run 5k

Have a nice and relaxing night! 

Friday, 21 March 2014

Fitness Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have all had a great week. Ours has definitely been a mixture of good and slightly boring due to RAIN!

So on Friday I usually do a post with my Five Faves but today in honour of my upcoming Sports Relief 5k (on Sunday...yikes) I thought I'd do my 5 Fitness Faves instead.

1) Running: At the moment I have been running on my own, with my mum's running club and with Park Run UK (on Sat mornings). I am getting into it again and it feels so good. Mind you, I am still no where near being a professional runner. A 5k is still a challenge for me, but I have seen improvement. I am getting there.

Drying in the sun after last nights running in the rain

2) Spinning: I am only able to get one spin class in a week. Even though it is so early in the morning I feel so energized after hearing that music and sweating my little heart out. <3

3) iPod Shuffle: This is the tool that keeps me going when I really really want to stop. A good playlist is a must but with out this little purple guy I would be on the couch in my pjs, not out running.

4) Pilates: This class has helped me with so many things. My abs are slowly but surely getting back to normal (post babies). I am getting stronger and more flexible. I am able to think and relax. It also helped my confidence so much when Wednesday night the instructor (different from my normal instructor) told me I was 'very fit' and looked like I had been practising pilates for ages! Honestly, I had to look around to make sure she was talking to me, but I needed that. It just goes to show that a compliment can really change a persons' day :-)

5) Wiggle on line shop: Before last year's Aquathalon I got my goggles, wetsuit and swimming cap there. However, they also sell running and biking equipment and often have great sales on. I have my eye on some new running capris!

Nike Epic Run Printed Capri
Well, that's it for this Friday. For anyone participating in Sports Relief this weekend Good Luck and Enjoy!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Early Risers

This morning we were all up at the way too early time of 5 am! This was not due to an alarm being set or a date with the gym,  but because a very cheerful, wide-awake 3 year old was ready to get up and play.

Both my husband and I like a lie in (like most parents I'm sure) and obviously since having the little ones that has changed. Lie ins are rare and in fact not what they used to be (no more midday waking). I don't mind waking for the day at 6:30 am but any earlier is just not good.

A grumpy mummy is not the mummy you want to have around. Not even a full cafetiere is  going to help when you have to wake up at 5.

So what are a tired mummy and a daddy to do?

We have been back and forth on what is socially acceptable, what is actually possible and what is most sane for everyone involved and we have decided on the following solution:

Step 1: prepare two bowls of breakfast type snacks and milk to drink
Step 2: prepare the hallway and boys' room with appropriate toys
Step 3: get the tablet queued up with an age appropriate film or CBeebies

Despite having about an additional half hour or so to sleep after they are busy munching and playing. I still feel horribly guilty about leaving them to their own devices, using 'TV' as a pacifier and not being 'that mummy' who is up just before them dressed and ready to start their day with something productive like painting or a puzzle.

We have tried going to bed earlier to prepare for the early wake up but I feel that 5 am is still too early for toddlers to be up.
We have been advised on the Gro-Clock phenomenon where the clock shows the toddler that when the sun is up and the colour is yellow it is ok to get out of bed. However, our toddler has trouble listening to us never mind a clock. He would without a doubt ignore that clock and be on to his usual 5 am time to wake up mummy.

We have also tried sending them to bed a little later, but alas...

Anyone else struggling with early risers? What have you tried? 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Weekly Fitness Plan

Hello! I hope everyone has had a great weekend. Mine was pretty busy really.

On Saturday morning I woke up early and did another 5k Park Run. It was just as hard as the first time (the hills are killers) except I had some cheerleaders and got a time that was one minute better than last week :-) After the run we headed to the playground to wear out a little boy and spider-man (obviously)! Once home a friend's son came around so I could babysit. It was a full house. I had a total of 5 boys in my house (that includes my husband and the dog). I got a real good idea of what it would be like to have 3 children. However my friend's son is pretty well behaved and so maybe that made it easier than it would be ;-)

Sunday I ran down to my Pilates class and then once home we headed out to my sister-in-laws to visit. A very busy and enjoyable weekend. Hence the late weekly plan post.

I am definitely looking forward to this week because fingers crossed the expert engine mechanic will be able to fix my car and I will be back on the road again. With that said, I am not going to post a Food plan this week. I usually do a couple of shopping trips myself during the week, but since I don't know when I'll have a car again my husband has volunteered to get things as we need them. So to be honest I am not entirely sure what we'll be eating but I imagine pasta will play an important roll (husband's favourite) as will steak (as we currently have some in our freezer).

Running with Racheal

Sunday- Pilates & Run (to the gym and back) about 3 miles
Monday- Rest
Tuesday- Swim (run to the gym and back...but with gym bag might be interesting)
Wednesday- Run 5k and/or possibly try out new pilates class
Thursday-Spin and Running Club (if I have my car back otherwise just a run)
Friday- Run 5k
Saturday- Rest as the following day I have the Sports Relief 5k Race Day!! Wish me luck ;-)

Have a great week!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Friday Faves

Hope you all had a lovely Friday! We certainly did, until the weather changed on us. It is so sad when the sun goes in and the clouds come rushing over head. 

Anyway, this week we had a bit of bummer when Wednesday night my car broke down. It seems I have a sort of ongoing issue with cars recently and in the past 4 months I have owned three cars that have broken down beyond repair. This is getting silly! Our mechanic called today and they are having some expert guy down to work on the car on Monday. Fingers crossed it might be something that can be fixed. Not sure if I am happy or sad about it at this point as a brand new car might be best for us now but with the hopes that we can save some cash my fingers, toes and every other body part is now crossed! 

Five Friday Faves

1) My morning 6k run! Stress relief and fitness all rolled into one. Also, I had to miss the running club on Thursday night along with my pilates class so really didn't want to flake out on a run today. 

Ducks swimming while I ran
Hazy view from the bridge

2) My boys wrestling. Lets put it this way, as long as it isn't me being wrestled it's cute and I love the giggles that take over when it is happening! 

Please note: Spider-man lives in my house!
3) My breakfast this morning. It has been a while since I have had a nice piece of toast with raspberry jam. LOVE! Oh and don't forget the coffee (Don't worry I didn't drink it all, I shared with my husband). 

4) Scratch card winning. It was only £10 but better than nothing. At least I got my money back on the card ;-)

5) Chocolate. I am having something chocolate for dessert tonight. I don't care! :-)

Have a great weekend and see you back here Sunday for my food and fitness plan! 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Two Little Boys Running In Different Directions

Yay! Another sunny day in Yorkshire. I can now confirm that I definitely have Spring Fever! I can not wait for warmer weather and more sun, sigh! 

So now that the weather is getting a bit nicer (fingers crossed it stays this way), the boys and I have been venturing out much more during the day. Sometimes we have lovely walks on the greenway near our house with little chaos. Other times (when I am feeling brave) we have extreme chaos and shenanigans at a playground or park. 

Calm walk on the greenway

I definitely want my boys to love the outdoors and be active, especially when the weather is nice. I have been trying to promote outdoor play, more so recently, but I also find myself tremendously stressed when we do venture out. Here's an example:

Yesterday we were out with a friend of mine and her 2.5 year old. Her son quite happily played on the playground and she was able to chat with me...Well, she would have been chatting with me if I wasn't the crazy lady running around the playground shouting 'I've lost one...where is he...wait you come back here...oh no now where's the other one!' My youngest (a very daring little monkey, who no longer wants to be in his pram) was at the top of a climbing frame waving and shouting 'na-na-nana-naaaahhh!!' My oldest was at the top of another climbing frame holding up the queue for the slide and then once down was running in front of the swings. Danger, warning!!! 

Trying to escape a fenced in park!
After about 37 minutes I was done. I picked up two screaming boys after tracking them both down mind you, and told my friend; 'Sorry but it is time for us to go'.

I am in a bit of a pickle really. The boys weren't being bad or misbehaving. They were both having fun and getting some pent up energy out, but I was a ball of stress and worry. I definitely felt out of my depth and wished in that moment that there were 3 of me. One of me to watch one, one of me to watch the other and one of me to sit and chat with my friend. I guess that might sound selfish but every now and again I need some mummy to mummy time while the boys play. I guess I am not sure how to let the boys play and enjoy their independence while not going completely mad. 

All's well when they don't mind being in the pram.
I am assuming it gets better with age and that next year these park and playground times will be much more calm. It is also more calm when my husband is around to help but I don't want to only take them out when he's home as that would be weekend only adventure play. 

I love my boys, I love that they can have fun and play outside, but I am not too sure about how to let them do that without me going crazy. 

Any tips? Do you have two or more close in age and if so how do you handle outings on your own? 

Monday, 10 March 2014

My Weekly Plan

Hello everyone! We are enjoying yet another beautiful sunny day here in Yorkshire! I don't usually think much about the weather as here it is typically rainy and overcast, but when the sun comes out boy does it make a huge difference in our moods.

Sorry for the late weekly plan blog post but we spent all day yesterday as a family celebrating Francis' 3rd birthday and I didn't want to tear myself away to write up a post especially when we spent a majority of the day out in the SUN!! 

On the Pirate Ship at the farm! 
Here is my food and fitness plan for this week.

Sunday- Shepard's Pie with broccoli
Monday- Left Overs
Tuesday- Lasagna with salad
Wednesday- Chicken/veg with curry sauce and rice
Thursday- My husband's choice
Friday- Salmon with Pasta and tomato basil sauce
Saturday- Chicken Taco Salad

Sunday- Rest
Monday- Rest
Tuesday- Swimming
Wednesday- Run (5k)
Thursday- Spinning and Running Club
Friday- Rest (maybe Jillian Michael's DVD)
Saturday- Run (5k)

Running with Racheal

Have a great week! 

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Birthday Time!

Hello everyone! Sorry I have been a little bit out of blogging action this week. I have just been so busy cleaning up after we had some building work done (black soot everywhere...Help!) and getting ready for my oldest's birthday, which is tomorrow. I can not believe how quickly time has flown by. My baby boy is going to be 3! I remember most things about my pregnancy with him and every detail of his birth. 16 hours of labour well worth it :-)

Francis' 1st Day
I am more excited about this birthday more than any other (so far) as Francis has started to understand what a birthday is...he also understands all too well the concept of presents ;-) Any post we got all week he deemed his birthday card!

For this year's celebration we are going to start the day with a swim at the sports centre and then after naps head off to a farm/giant playground for the afternoon! Apparently there are some sheep due to give birth so we might even get to see some spring lambs but I won't hold my breath! After our day out we'll go home for a birthday tea and a delicious slice of birthday cake (made by me and with help from the birthday boy). He has requested a Spider-man cake, but we'll see.

So far so good on the cake front!
We also have some presents to give him which I think he will like. It should be a fun day and I can't wait to spend it with my little family and my favourite 2.5 3 year old boy!

I will probably be busy most of the day tomorrow so I'll see you back here on Monday with my Weekly Food and Fitness Plan!

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

I'm A Mummy

Ever since joining Twitter I have been getting to know a whole new blogging community. A group of bloggers who have been brought together in the world of blogging by the the fact we all write about being mums.

New mums, mums of 6, pregnant mums, mums that live in the city, mums that live in the country, and those who have been mums for years (the mums of teenagers really really have my respect!). As I was perusing some of these newly found blogs I came across one (so sorry I completely lost track of whose it was-let me know if you are reading this or know which one I mean) in which the author has a part of her blog dedicated to her.

This part of her blog gave an inside look at who she is in addition to being a mummy. I loved it! At first I didn't think too much on it but after a conversation I had with my lovely nail guy about how I ended up in the UK, it really made me think. Who am I besides being a mum to two wonderful little boys? Am I still the woman who just got up and moved to the UK? So, I thought I'd do a post on who I am, as I really believe it is important to not lose ourselves even though we have had one of the biggest changes in our life...becoming a mum.

I am a Daughter
I am a Sister
I am a Niece
I am a Cousin
I am a Godchild
I am a Wife
I am a Dog owner
I am a Friend
And I am also a Mummy!

I am Intelligent (I have a BA, MA and MBA)
I am Silly (entertaining anyway)
I am Honest
I am Kind
I am Stubborn
I am Patient
I am Loving
I am Tired
And I am also a Mummy!

I love Spa Treatments (manis, pedis, massages, facials...but don't always have the time)
I love Fashion (a friend told me I was the most fun person to flip through Vogue Magazine with!)
I love High Heels (but very rarely wear them any more)
I love the colours Purple & Green
I love Champagne, Chocolate & Coffee (not necessarily in that order!)
I love Mystery/Detective shows & period dramas (Castle and Downton anyone!)
I love Curries (and most spicy foods)
I love to Read a good book (starting 50 Shades of Grey...a little late I know)
I love being a Mummy!

I want to Travel to Morocco
I want to Have one more little one (not yet though)
I want to Write a book and get back into Marketing/PR
I want to Complete a triathlon
I want to See more of my family
I want to Learn how to put on make-up better
I want to Visit with friends more
I want to Be a great wife
I want to Raise happy healthy children!

I am a Mummy!

These are just a few things (honestly once you get started you can just go on and on!!). ;-)

Who are you in addition to being Mummy?

Sunday, 2 March 2014

A New Week A New Plan

Hello! I hope your weekends have been treating you well. I have had a pretty good one. We are all still recovering from our various illnesses so kept a bit of a low profile, but I did manage to make it out of the house for my exfoliating back massage yesterday. It was so good! Words can not describe :-) We also decided to ignore the rain today and head out to Nostell Priory (National Trust) Park. It was muddy!

After very nearly an entire month riddled with illness I have pretty much everything crossed that this week we will be able to feel better, get outside for some fun and fresh air and meet up with some friends. I am very optimistic!

I have once again come up with my food and fitness plan for the week, but as always (these days) it depends on how everyone is feeling.

Running with Racheal

Monday- Lasagna with Salad
Tuesday- Pancake Day!
Wednesday- Sausage with Mash and Peas
Thursday- Steak and Pepper Stir-Fry
Friday- Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Saturday- Looking for a new recipe (maybe crockpot)
Sunday- Out for Francis' 3rd Birthday!

Monday- Rest/Run (depending on how the boys sleep)
Tuesday- Run or Swim
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- Spinning and Running Club
Friday- Run
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Pilates

I have definitely added more running to my fitness plan but that is simply because I now only have a little less than a month till my first 5k race (in awhile) and don't want to show up unprepared. Also, the girls from the running club are trying to challenge themselves to 30k+ a month (I missed it last month only getting in 29k). I am also interested in trying a different class at the gym but haven't worked out which yet so have just subbed in running for now.

Have you got any monthly challenges fitness or otherwise? Have you got any suggestions on good gym classes to sign up for?

Have a good week!