Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Tenerife with Toddlers

Phew...finally got the suit cases unpacked and some laundry done so not feeling as bad now. It is always hard coming back from a nice holiday but all the unpacking and laundry definitely makes things worse.

Last week was a lovely sunny and warm week for us all in Tenerife. I wasn't too worried about going on holiday with the boys or even flying with them as we have done so many times now. I guess with my family living in the States, it is something that we all get used to (I'm still waiting to find packing easy though!).

This time however, flying was a little more tricky. My oldest was content watching videos on the tablet and playing some games but my youngest is at an age now where he was not happy to sit still at all. When he saw the seating arrangements on the plane he definitely gave me a look that said 'Mum, if you think I'm sitting on your lap for 4 hours you got another thing coming'. Then in his most diva-like way he shouted 'NO'! I could tell it was going to be a long flight.

The good news was that he ended up sleeping for about an hour so I did get a little break. We spent another hour walking up and down the plane and about another hour eating all the snacks I brought. So I guess it was only really tricky for about an hour of the flight. Not a great teaser to our 10+ hour flight back to the US in August however!! :-/

After a short taxi ride we arrived at the hotel which was ok. It didn't get internet except in reception and it was super slow, it wasn't really on the beach as we were told and the pool area was not the greatest when you have little ones, but we made it work. We took lots of trips out; a day trip to the top of the Volcano, a trip to a beautiful cliff (Los Gigantes), a trip out on a Pirate Ship to spot dolphins (this was my favourite part of the trip), a day or two to play at the pool and with cousins (the boys favourite part of the trip), and even a day on a black sand beach (I have just about got all the black sand out of the little guy's hair now!).

Los Gigantes
How could I forget the ice cream!!

Pirate Ship!
It was a good get away. Some nice food, good company and fantastic weather. I even managed a few runs totalling about 17k! I also did a quick body weight work out by the pool one morning. Yes, all the people on their balconies were jealous of my squats! I could tell ;-)

Beach on one of my runs
So fingers crossed our next beach holiday (at my parent's) goes as well; and here's to being a little more prepared with our littlest guy on the flight. :-)


Monday, 28 April 2014

Hola! We're back!

Hello everyone! Sorry I ended up not blogging at all last week. As I figured out a day before leaving; our hotel only had internet reception in the lobby and when we got there we realised it was pretty slow too. Not ideal for getting blog posts up or even checking email for that matter!

Next time I will be a much more organised blogger and either have some post ready to go through out the week or get a guest blogger in. :-)

Anyway,  I am back and will be posting again at much more regular intervals. Tonight however, I am drowning in laundry and unpacking so I'll leave you with a photo from the trip and be back soon with a post on our trip.

view from right behind our hotel

Have a good one!

P.S. If there is anything specific you would like me to post about regarding our trip (i.e. how we coped on a 4 hour flight with 2 toddlers, exercising on vacation, etc...) Let me know. 


Saturday, 19 April 2014

Vacation Time!

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely weekend! Ours is currently filled with chaos - nothing new then ;-)

We are just about to use up the very last bits of food from our fridge, I am still trying to squeeze things into our suitcase despite the very tight luggage restrictions and I am also trying to relax a little too (but that one is not going so well).

Pretty empty except some dog for the morning and a few other bits that will last.
We leave for vacation tomorrow and although I am really looking forward to it, I know the traveling is really going to be difficult this time. Dylan is at an age now, where he doesn't really want to listen to what we say and is so wiggly and restless. I doubt very much he'll be happy about the 4 hour flight or the 1 hour 40 minute drive to airport! I have packed plenty of 'fun' supplies for the journey but we'll see.

In preparation for this little holiday I have also done some research on the hotel we'll be staying in and although the hotel is a 4 star and has fab reviews it lets me down on one main thing. There is only wi-fi in the reception area, so that means I will be downloading some books onto my kindle and some children friendly videos onto the iPad tonight.

I know I know, I should be relishing this time to 'unplug' but I have to be honest; I got my Kindle especially for things like holidays. You know, so that I wouldn't have to bring loads of heavy books and instead simply download new ones as I finish each one. As for the movies on the iPad, well, the boys wake up so early (ah hem...5am!) that I usually like to have a video lined up for them on Netflix so that they can be calm while I come around (usually 6am). Other than that I love to 'unplug' trust me!

The only other little issue is that I had been planning on blogging while we are away and now I'm not so sure I'll be able to squeeze in alone time down in the hotel reception for very long...but we'll see. So with that being said: I may write again soon, I may have to get back to you in a week...stay tuned!

Hate packing!!
Also for those of you celebrating Easter have a very Happy Easter tomorrow! For those who don't have a fab Sunday!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Things Thursday

Strange post title I know but to be honest I wasn't quite sure what to call this one.

Here are a few random tidbits from my day:

Went for a 5.5k run this morning at the early hour of 6 am. After I had been running for a little while, my run brought me into our town centre. There were already a few cars parked along the street and I glanced at them as I ran by (as you do). In one of the cars a man was in there completely naked!!! Umm...good morning sir, did you forget your clothes?! Weird!

I got my finger nails AND toe nails painted in hot pink Gelish in preparation for my little vacation. While I was getting them done I regaled my lovely nail guy with stories of strange things that have happened to me. He definitely thinks I am crazy ;-)

Went out shopping for a bathing suit for our vacation since I have gone down a size from last summer. Despite feeling much more fit these days, bathing suit shopping still sucks the life out of me and I wanted to run screaming from the dressing room. Why can't they make lights in dressing rooms more flattering? Also why can't they have suits for people in-between sizes?

Got two really nice skirts for warm weather. Love them!

Couldn't find any soft trendy-looking ballet flats in any store. Sorry but black, peach and odd plaid does not a fashionable shoe make. Maybe ballet flats are out. Have they been replaced by TOMs, which I also could not find in my search for some summer shoes.

Right, off to watch some more Orange is the New Black!

Have a good night. xx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

How Many Children Do You Want?

The last few days I have been thinking about families and how many people make up each individual immediate family. It makes me feel good that there are so many varied combinations and all of them are just right. In a family there doesn't seem to be a wrong number.

I know many only children and I also know many people who grew up as one of 5+ children, my husband is one of them.

When we signed up for NCT (birthing classes) pre-my oldest, people in the class were already asking 'How many do you think you'll have?' Everyone in the class had a different answer, they were all personal and made sense. I automatically said 3, as I am one of 3 and have always really loved how close I am with both my brother and sister. Although, I was open to the suggestion of more or less, seeing how things went as my husband and I stumbled our way through parenthood.

Now that we have our two amazing little boys everyone continues asking 'Will you have another?', 'Would you like a girl?', or flat out 'Will you try for another to get a girl?'. The boys are also asking 'Can we have a baby for Christmas?' They are naturally curious and I have thought a lot about it. First of all, if we are able, we would love to have another but not just now. If we do try for another we would love to have a girl or a boy. We are not going to be upset or keep trying if we don't have a girl. We will be over the moon with a healthy baby - boy or girl. This is one of the reasons that we never decided to find out the gender of our boys whilst I was pregnant. We were just happy with a healthy little surprise!

I guess my mind has been on this question a bit more recently since several of our friends who previously thought they would have 3 or 4 children have decided that 2 is a good number for them. Also, a writer of another blog I read had mentioned previously that she would like many children. Now that she has both a boy and a girl she has announced she will have no more children. I guess I have just been taken by surprise with so many couples deciding on 2 children.  

I feel so fortunate and grateful to have my two little men (these two guys are my everything)! I suppose I am basing my thoughts on having 3 children on my experience as being one of 3 and really enjoying that. Every family has different things to consider when planning their family but knowing quiet a few have decided to keep their family to 2 children has got me thinking...what is our magic family number? We'll just have to see what the future holds. :-)

How many children do you have or want to have? Has it changed at all? 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Weekly Food & Fitness Plan

Hello! I hope you are all having a lovely weekend and enjoy what is left of it. We have had a pretty low key one here. I am really happy for that as last weekend was busy as was this past week. It is definitely nice to have some quite time especially going into this week which I think might be quite chaotic.

We are now in preparation for holiday mode and I feel completely disorganised. The boys have both out-grown all last years summer clothes and sandals. I have no non-maternity summer things (which is what I get for being pregnant/post natal for the last couple years!). I have also not got any summer shoes as I wore them out completely last year. So needless to say we'll be holiday clothes shopping this week and just generally gearing up for our trip to Tenerife. Luckily all these holiday buys will not just be used in Tenerife but also later in the summer when we head to my parent's house (which is on the beach in the US!).

My parents house in the distance!
With that being said this is going to be a sparse week in food land and quite a heavy work out week (so that I can feel good about having a whole week off)! Yay, I love holidays!

Sunday- Pasta with Sauce and Ham
Monday- Soup or Salad
Tuesday- Roast Pork Dinner with Veg
Wednesday- Sausage and Beans
Thursday- Beef Stir-fry with Rice
Friday- Potato/Chorizo Salad
Saturday- Take away

Sunday- Pilates
Monday- Run 5k or Rest
Tuesday- Spin
Wednesday- Group Personal Training (boxing)
Thursday- Running Club (6k)
Friday- Personal Training
Saturday- Run 5k

Running with Racheal

Have a great week!

PS Any one seen Orange is the New Black? Just saw first 4 episodes last night on Netflix, addicting!

Friday, 11 April 2014

5 Friday Faves

Hello! Bet you thought I'd gone missing again! Well, I sort of have. I have had a very busy week full of fun things but also my usual weekly schedule was changed around a bit and so I am exhausted.

Despite a super busy week and changed up schedule I did get lots done and feel great for it. Built my boys new wardrobe, sorted out some baby clothes that needed putting away, sorted out some birthday things for various friends and family, tidied my desk (a little!), etc... So with that said I am ready for my weekend :-)

This weeks faves include:

1) Flat pack furniture success! Look out Bob the Builder, here I come!

2) Surviving the Callipers. Had my body fat measured by the personal trainer today. These measurements are just numbers to me. I know how I feel and I pretty much always judge my fitness successes by that but I am looking forward to seeing those numbers go down.

3) Discovering a brand new park that is absolutely beautiful. Can't believe NewMillerDam is right around the corner from me and I never even knew it. Next time I go, I am definitely heading to one of the local cafes after for a treat (forgot my wallet this time).

4) Running 5k! I know I usually put this on my fitness schedule for the week but guess what I fib. I haven't run a 5k in two whole weeks!!! But I did it last night and it felt great.
I need to start running 6k now I think ;-)

5) My boys :-) This could be on my list every single week. This past weekend though I heard about an acquaintance from university who's 2 year old son died from Neuroblastoma. So so sad. My heart aches for her and her family. And, I hug my boys closer every day. Every day with them is a blessing. <3

I hope you have a fantastic Friday!

What are some of your Friday Faves? 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Summer Salad & Wardrobe Shenanigans

Good afternoon! I hope everyone's week is off to a great start.

I have been hard at work since 6:30 am this morning. First a lovely Spin class which was packed and pumping with fab music! There is no more Thursday Spin class since the instructor couldn't get over 10 people there regularly which is a bummer as I used to think of it as an almost weekend treat (no more clubbing for this lady but Spinning to hot new tunes was good enough for me)!

We also went out with friends on a walk in the park and a coffee in a cafe. It was a nice walk to start but then it started to pour on us so we retreated to a cafe. The cafe was nice to start too but then the milk ran out mid latte causing milk and steam splatter and whilst that was happening my wallet emptied its contents all over the floor...whoops! I hardly think anyone noticed all the commotion ;-)

The rest of my day looks like it might be full of building shenanigans. I started building a wardrobe from Ikea for the boys room to replace their current one which is a total health hazard (clothes coming out, drawers without bottoms, etc...) two days ago but haven't gotten very far. I think my Bob The Builder helper has been maybe hindering the building process ;-)

Anyway, probably not too much else excitement going on over here but I did want to share with you a fab recipe that I made last night. It is for a summer salad (I am wishing spring/summer warmer weather). I found it off Pinterest but think it originates from this site
This was delicious and we ate it with a pita bread on the side. YUM!

Summer Salad with Cilantro (Coriander) Vinaigrette (serves 2-4)

- large tin of corn
- 1 avocados, diced
- 2 large vine ripened tomatoes
- 1/4 an english cucumber, finely diced, skin on
- 1/3  C. crumbled feta
- 1 small red onion, finely diced

Cilantro Vinaigrette
- 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. salt 
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
- 6 tbsp. EVOO

Mix all the salad ingredients together. Mix the vinaigrette separately and pour over salad just before eating.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Weekly Food & Fitness + Week in Review

Well, my dear blog readers it looks very much like I have taken almost an entire week off of blogging. Where have I been? I really don't have much of an answer, besides the fact that I had a bit of a stressful week and I really wasn't feelin' the blog writing thing. In short, I was feeling lazy! If I could have dictated to someone else I probably would have had some posts up last week but alas I have no such person to do those things ;-)

Dressed up Trist are you ready to take my blog post notes?
Despite it being a stressful week, it was also pretty busy which in my books makes for a good week. On Monday and Tuesday we met up with some friends for walks and chats. It was nice and the weather wasn't too bad so totally worth the walking, running (tracking down toys thrown from the prams), and jaw ache from constant chatting (lots of catching up!). On Wednesday the boys were in nursery so I got the usual errands and chores done and finished the day with a fantastic Pilates class. Thursday morning I went to my last Thursday spin class (the class has been cancelled but I'll be going on Tuesdays now!) then the day was filled with walks, and colouring activities. Friday morning I had my first meeting with a personal trainer at my gym (Awesome!! more on that later), later in the morning we ventured off with some friends to a new soft play area which was fab (small space meant the boys could run off and I could chat without constantly having to run around after them) and then we ended up at Ikea!

Please ignore hanging laundry and those 3 enormous boxes will become a lovely wardrobe!

We had family over last night and today was a family day but tonight will be spent tidying and starting to assemble a new wardrobe for the boys. 

This week's plan looks a little something like this:

Sunday- Skinny Chicken Stew with Toast
Monday- Chef Salad
Tuesday- Shepard's Pie with Parsnips
Wednesday- Chicken with Vegetables, Rice and Sauce
Thursday- Husband to cook!
Friday- Lasagna
Saturday- Something easy, not sure what yet

Sunday- Pilates
Monday- Run or Rest
Tuesday- Spin
Wednesday- Personal Training Group Class or Pilates
Thursday- Running Club
Friday- Personal Training
Saturday- Run

Running with Racheal

Have a good week!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

5 Important Things I Would Like My Children To Know

I  recently purchased a baby album (no, I don't have any news!) for my oldest son. It is sort of a continuation of his 1st year album. I may do a review of it soon so I won't get into it too much now. It contains a lot of prompts to get you thinking about what your baby is like at a certain age. Personally, I love it and it has definitely given me some things to think about.

As I sit here tonight to write up my blog post (yes, this is impromptu and completely unprepared), I am thinking what is really important for my little ones to learn and remember.

I won't go on and on as I know I could so I will narrow it down to 5 for tonight.

1) Love: You were born into a family that loves you tremendously. Love and respect others and be open to other's love for you.

2) Take on Challenges: We will support you in being the best at whatever it is you set your mind to no matter how difficult it may seem (within reason: I won't be encouraging anything illegal or harmful!).

3) Be Active: We will encourage you to be active throughout your life even if that means simply going on walks (no pressure to be the next Beckham here - just move around).

4) Be Honest: While it may not always be easy, it may help others and yourself to be at peace.

5) Be Kind: I have always tried to live by the motto: 'Treat others as you would like to be treated.' It doesn't take much to brighten someone's day or your own by being kind.

Obviously, there are many others that could be added to this list but these were the first 5 that came to mind.

Alex and Ani Inspiration of the Day!
Hopefully this post wasn't too much. I guess I was just in a thoughtful place.

Have a good night!