Sunday, 29 June 2014

Food & Fitness 29th June 2014

Hello, Hello! I hope you all had a great weekend! We had another rainy one here but to be honest that is to be expected (Summer in Yorkshire).

Rain and lovely dead tree branch
We did plan to head out to the local Summer Fair on Saturday but upon arrival in the pouring rain, we were told we were 2 hours early for the fair :( By the time we got back home both boys had passed out and didn't wake up until 3:30pm!! Well, that's what we get for waking up at 4am ;) So, needless to say we missed the fair and didn't really have much time to get up to much else so we watched the rain pour down and made some dens.

Today was my Race for Life 5k! I was so excited to run this one but it wasn't the race nor overall experience I was hoping for (more on that to come). Anyway, we ended up building more dens, creating an obstacle course and reading our new library books today as the weather wasn't too great and Mummy was exhausted. This 4am waking up has really started to take its toll. I may be off to get one of those Gro Clocks (that I'm not convince work) and another black out blind this week ;)

So that was the weekend. It was exhausting and went by fast.

On to this week :)

Sunday- Thai Salad with Brown Rice (didn't end up having this last week)
Monday- Pasta
Tuesday- Lamb HotPot
Wednesday- Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice
Thursday- BBQ Gammon with Pineapple and Salad
Friday- On the Road to Wimbledon!!! (probably sandwich)
Saturday- At Wimbledon!!! (won VIP tickets to the Ladies Final, can't wait)

**Breakfasts have been either porridge with almond butter or toast with almond butter and honey.
**Lunches have been spinach salads with couscous, tomatoes, and either mackerel, shrimp or chicken

Sunday- Run 5k
Monday- Rest or Strengh Training (depends how I feel in the morning)
Tuesday- Spinning
Wednesday- Group Training
Thursday- Run 6k
Friday- Strength Training
Saturday- Rest

Running with Racheal

Right, that will do it for today. Have a great rest of your Sunday and see you back here for a fitness update.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Friday Faves 27th June 2014

Ah, another cold, windy, rainy day in Yorkshire. I hope summer has not been and gone :( Fingers crossed for some more lovely sunny days!

This week has gone by rather slowly over here but we have had a pretty good one. The only thing that could have been slightly better is the boys wake up time (4am is still not acceptable)!!

So, here are a few of my faves from the week:

1) Accountants - It is tax time (again) for me as I have the big project of working on my US Expat Taxes. Oh the joy tax time brings and to be lucky enough to go through it twice a year! Anyway, I honestly couldn't do it without both my accountants (US and UK). Right now, I love them!

2) A brand new weight programme- My trainer is letting me off the hook (sort of) for 2 weeks but has set me up with a new programme to be working on in that time. It is really good and today I learned 2 new things that I have never done in the weight room. Incline and Decline Bench Press! Decline Press scares me a little but I did like it!
Pretty much upside down while bench pressing!

3) Eyebrow wax- OMG my eyebrows were literally the scariest things recently. Today I took 5 minutes and got them waxed and shaped. I look like a whole new lady :)

4) A phone call with a good friend- one of my friend's has just had her baby at 29 weeks! I finally got to speak with her and both she and her little one are doing fab!! I am so grateful and happy for her and can't wait to meet up with her and her new addition later this summer :)

5) Lindt Dark Chocolate Orange- I haven't had a real piece of chocolate in ages. I saw this, bought it and am going to enjoy it with a side of American Horror Story/Big Brother Eviction tonight!

That's it for today, I'll be back Sunday with my food and fitness plan and later next week with an update on my training (what has happened to my trainer, my 5k race) and a post on active mothers' influence on their children.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

No Prams Allowed!

While at the gym this morning I managed to catch a bit of a news report about a local cafe owner who has decided to ban prams/pushchairs from her cafe. Hmm...bold move! I have to admit I wasn't totally surprised to see a story like this but am not entirely sure if this is a wise move for the cafe owner.

The cafe has not banned parents, nor has it banned children, but it has declared (quite clearly with a sign) that prams are not allowed in. So here's the deal: now when you visit this particular cafe, you must leave your pushchair/pram either outside the cafe or in the foyer. 

The cafe owner felt obliged to make this move, as at one point there were 13 prams in the cafe and staff were starting to worry about the health and safety not only of themselves but of the children and parents they were serving. While I won't disagree that there is a safety concern when so many pushchairs are in such a confined space, I can see why parents that frequent this cafe with their little ones are upset. Prams make a massive difference in the ease of getting around with our children and quite frankly without one even for such a short time or distance the day becomes a little more chaotic.

What is a mum to do when she is due to meet up with a friend or just needs a change of location and she has a sleeping baby in her pram? Surely waking the little one will wreak greater havoc on the cafe as screams bellow out of that tired little one's mouth. What about that mum or dad who has two or more toddlers and a newborn in tow; how will they get all of them from the door to the table in addition to a (probably big) baby bag for a light lunch? 

The giant double pram only made it to outdoor cafes.
Since I have become a mum, I have realised that one of the cafe's biggest frequenter is a mum! Mums need a break. They want a little treat, so a coffee and a cake with other mummy friends is a godsend. A cafe is also a fantastic middle ground kind of place to meet up with friends that may not have children (after all, I can't imagine many non-parents fancy a jaunt to the local soft play area) and above all, it gets you away from your house which can be a necessary change of pace for everyone's sanity! 
Single pram also took up some space. Imagine 13 of these in a room!
However, having said this I also realise that there is a time and a place for everything including prams and with children you need to be a little bit more in tune to that. I very rarely if ever join friends at cafes any more. I have two angelic yet wild toddlers. They don't want to sit down quietly while mummy has a coffee. For awhile it worked to keep my youngest in the pram and have my oldest sit on my lap but even then, I knew I would have to find a large cafe that could and would accommodate prams. I stopped having lunch out at one of my favourite healthy cafes as it is so small even a tiny pushchair would be inappropriate to try and smuggle in. 

So, there probably is no real wrong or right here. I can easily see both sides of the issue. I guess the way forward for us cafe-going parents is to look for larger more accommodating (baby/pram friendly) cafes, head to soft play areas (some of which have lovely coffees and cakes!), now the weather is better head outside, join friends at their houses (take turns, it is only fair) or just be prepared to leave your pram outside. It certainly is nice and sometimes sanity saving (depending on your children) to get to a cafe but it isn't a right and lets face it, most of us would rather go elsewhere than have boiling hot coffee dropped on our little ones due to tight spacing from too many prams in a tiny cafe. 

Additionally, let's not forget, it won't be long until our children won't need prams and we can then venture back out to our local tiny cafe for a brew without worry (well, worrying about fitting a pram in anyway) ;-) As for the cafe owner, I'm sorry to say, but the unfortunate consequence of this ban will probably be a loss in sales as your pram toting parents may very well be your best/most frequent customers. 

What are your thoughts? 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Food & Fitness 22nd June 2014

 I am exhausted! We had the most productive weekend we have had in ages, but I couldn't be more tired, or sore or dirty! Here are some pics from the weekend:

Emptied house and mainly the basement of junk!

A bit more tree/bush cutting, weeding, etc...
These scratches don't look as bad on camera but I am pretty much covered in them from head to toe
The BBQ is up and running!
So here is my food and fitness for this week!

Sunday- BBQ! Burger and Pork with Couscous and Salad
Monday- Moroccan Lamb with Rice
Tuesday- Paprika Chicken with Potatoes
Wednesday- Beef Thai Salad
Thursday- One Pot Pasta
Friday- Veggie Omelets
Saturday- TBD (just me and the boys)

Sunday- Run 6k (need to run lots this week as I haven't run much this month!!)
Monday- Rest
Tuesday- Personal Trainer workout
Wednesday- Group PT session (maybe a run too?)
Thursday- Running Club (7k)
Friday- Personal Trainer workout
Saturday- Run (3k have my 5k race tomorrow so don't want to over do it)

                                            Running with Racheal

You might notice that I have two Personal Trainer workouts this week. This is due to two things; one is that I have a new program to go through and that always takes a while, the second is that my trainer wants to have an intense review so that the next two weeks I can workout without her to see how I get on. :-( More on this to come.

Right off to shower and relax :-)

Have a good night!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Friday Faves Beauty Edition

Happy Friday! I hope you have all had a good week. I have been so busy this week with getting back into my fitness plan and activities with the boys that I am exhausted. This is the only weekend that we don't have definite plans for the rest of the summer so I am hoping to get some organisation done and some relaxing too. We also have plans to get my husband's BBQ up and running so here's to some lovely grilled food! Yum!

Even though my week has been pretty busy I did manage a bit of me time ;-) On Wednesday, (when the boys were at nursery) I had to make a return at our local mall. While I was there I popped in to Debenhams makeup counters to pick up a few new bits that I have had my eye on. It is definitely time to up grade my make up essentials so I got a start on it by picking up some of the following, which are this weeks favourites!  Check them out :-) 

1) Benefit POREfessional: Super cute packaging addition to great product. I have only used it a couple of times but have noticed a huge difference! It is a primer that is super silky and is not heavy at all, which is a huge plus for me. It minimises the appearance of pores and lines and helps your makeup last. 

2) Benefit Fake Up: This is an under eye concealer which hydrates with Vitamin E as well as conceals. Again this is silky smoothy and not at all heavy. This product is currently a life saver with the boys now both waking around 4am every day!!

3) Essie Millionails Nail Care Treatment: Most of you know that I love my Gelish nail varnish and get my nails painted with it every couple of weeks. But sometimes your nails just need a break. At the moment my nails are bare and in pretty poor condition. I did have Gelish on but was very naughty and peeled it off (yes, I am one of those girls. You aren't supposed to do that as it can harm your nails). Anyway, I picked up this nail strengthener in an effort to help my struggling nails. 

4) Mio Workout Wonder (this was bought online): Now this is a strange one. I had heard of Mama Mio products for use in pregnancy but didn't realise that they did a line in products for fitness minded people. I got the Workout Wonder as it claims to help your muscles recover quicker and soothes and cools. Well, this week I knew I was going to be sore as my trainer had a new weight programme for me. I have been rubbing this on and it is fantastic! Very cooling and refreshing. 

5) Matrix Biolage Exquisite Oil (this was bought at the salon): My hairdresser asked me last week if I have ever used a hair oil and my answer was No! She put a bit on my hair and explained how it worked (being absorbed by the hair and smoothing & nourishing). The smell alone had me hooked. I didn't want to buy a massive bottle of the stuff but I was in luck as they had a tiny little bottle on sale. This stuff is not only good to rub on your hair but additionally I rub it into my cuticles at bed time. Lush!

What are your favourite beauty finds this summer? If you could pick up any new makeup product what would it be? 


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

100th Blog Post!

Yay! This is a very exciting post for me as it is my 100th post (well really Monday's Food & Fitness Plan was but it wasn't one where I'd be doing any celebrating)!

Since my blog doesn't really have an anniversary (as some of you may remember I have sort of started and stopped...not really getting the hang of things at first) I will celebrate the BIG # posts like 100, 500, 1000, etc...

I saw this kind of thing on another blog I read and really enjoyed reading it and thought it would be a good idea to borrow for my 100th post. So here are 100 (quite random) facts about me:

1) I was born on Mother's Day (what a gift!)
2) My middle name is my mother's first name
3) I am one of 3 children
4) I am the oldest
5) I am 35 years old
6) When I was young I thought I might be an actress or model (obviously)
7) When I was in second grade I would write short stories about over coming adversity (like the 'Mermaid Who Couldn't Swim') and was published
8) I am only 5ft 3in (my sister is 5ft, no idea how tall my brother is but taller than both of us)
9) I bite my nails... a lot!
10) I used to perm my hair but for some reason now it is naturally curly

A little cheese, so not photogenic! 
1) I am obsessed with coffee
2) The first time I had a coffee I was on a first date with my husband (I didn't like it...the coffee)
3) My last job we had a Starbucks rota
4) Sometimes I will make a pot of coffee and drink it all
5) I miss being able to get flavoured creamers (they don't sell them in the UK)
6) I really really miss Dunkin Donuts (my favourite coffee)
7) When we live in England I tend to drink more tea than I do when I live elsewhere
8) I have a Nespresso machine and go through 50 capsules in a month
9) The worst coffee I have ever had was in Crete
10) I thought I might like Twist (espresso protein shakes) but found them too sweet

Working Out:
1) I have played on both soccer and field hockey teams (one year both at the same time)
2) I took ice skating lessons as an adult
3) I took ballet when I was really little but I used to dance to my own tune so took up gymnastics instead
4) I took weight training as a gym elective in high school
5) I have only ever run one 10k race
6) I have only ever run four 5k races
7) I dropped out of Track and Field in Junior High where I ran hurdles and did long jump
8) I love working out, having a personal trainer and sweating at the gym
9) I can almost do a whole pull up
10) I have thought about becoming a personal trainer (possibly specialising in pre/post natal)

1) I wanted to get pregnant 2 years after I got married
2) I got pregnant with my first 5 years after I got married (we were more settle location wise)
3) I have always wanted 3 children
4) My husband is one of 5 children and told me he wanted 8 when we first met (I think he was joking)
5) I don't mind changing nappies, I don't mind breast feeding (although it was definitely something to get used to) but I do mind my boys waking up earlier than 5am
6) I was asked to be a breast feeding counsellor (and might do when I my boys are a bit older)
7) According to my mother until I was married I never wanted any children (too many babysitting dramas)
8) I am looking forward to becoming an Auntie again (Lis??!!)
9) I sometimes feel completely out of my league with two boys ;-)
10) I love my boys more than anything :-)

1) I have lived in 4 countries (USA, England, Spain, Norway)
2) I am from just outside of Boston, grew up in New Hampshire, went to University in Washington DC, Valladolid, Spain and London, England
3) I met my husband in a bar in Spain
4) We lived in Dallas, Texas for 3 years before moving back to England
5) Most of my family live within an hours drive (or less) of each other in the States
6) Besides me, my brother lives the furthest away in Seattle
7) Favourite holiday: Thailand
8) Most odd holiday: China
9) I often miss the US for my family and the weather
10) I currently live in West Yorkshire

1) I love it!
2) Dark chocolate is my favourite
3) I also love Reese Peanut Butter Cups
4) I once ate chocolate at every meal (including snacks) for a full day
5) I once gave up chocolate for Lent (I took up eating peanut butter out of the jar and went through about 10 jars!)
6) I am currently drinking chocolate coffee
7) I am not a huge fan of white chocolate but will eat it
8) I make brownies with extra chocolate chips
9) I have never been sick from eating too much chocolate
10) I even eat the chocolate that is like 85% cocoa and I think it tastes divine!

I'd Rather:
1) Be hot than cold
2) Have a handful of really good friends than lots who don't really know me
3) Have a firm mattress than soft
4) Be snorkelling than skiing
5) Go to the theatre than watch tv
6) Have a lie in than wake up early
7) Have a pedicure than manicure
8) Spend time with my boys than be away from them
9) Be home with family than out with people who don't appreciate me
10) Have a dog than a cat

The pooch!

1) Went to public school through high school
2) Went to the Catholic University of America
3) Went to Webster University in London (it is an American University)
4) I studied for a BA in International Economics and Finance with a minor in Spanish and Computer Science
5) I have my MA in Marketing and my MBA
6) I have massive student loans I will probably be paying off when I have grandchildren
7) I might study to be a teacher or a personal trainer
8) My best subjects in school were Languages/English Literature
9) My worst subjects were Physics and Math
10) I will probably not pursue a PhD

Sorry pic of a pic (can you  spot me?)
1) I love routine and get a little cranky if it goes awry
2) I currently have no set routine for my days
3) The one routine I have is my work out plan
4) I am currently up with the boys at 4am!!!
5) I used to have a 1 hour hair and makeup routine (now I'm lucky if I spend 5 minutes)
6) The boys have a regular sleep and bath routine
7) My boys get easily bored so we need to have very flexible daily routines (or none)
8) I like to think I am an easy going, go with the flow type person but I'm not
9) In September we are going to have a very strict routine with Francis in school
10) I have a skin care routine I am happy with

1) I used to intern at Giorgio Armani
2) I think I'd like to write a book
3) I have thought about running a half marathon but never a full one
4) I have also thought about possibly entering a fitness/bikini competition
5) I once sat on the lap of a famous singer and told him I admired his work ;-)
6) I love clothes shopping but find it almost impossible to shop for myself
7) My favourite foods are pretty much all spicy: Mexican, Indian & Thai
8) I used to speak almost fluent Spanish (but no longer)
9) I love reading especially series and crime novels
10) I have fallen asleep every single time I have watched Bourne Identity

Hopefully you enjoyed reading more about me and aren't now asleep at your computer!
Please share with me something random about you! 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more fun this week! :-)

Monday, 16 June 2014

Food & Fitness 16th June 2014

I hope everyone had a fantastic Father's Day yesterday! We woke Daddy up a little earlier than usual to give him his presents and a special breakfast! We tricked him a bit by telling him that his present was so big it couldn't be brought upstairs (so he was downstairs pretty quick for him!).

Daddy's new BBQ and cover!
The rest of the day was spent relaxing as the weather was awful. It was really cold and pouring with rain so there wasn't too much point trying to get out. Eventually Daddy made it out for some quiet time at the Drum Shop to buy symbols ;-)

Today I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as my health is concerned. I woke up with a cough still but my swollen glands were less so and I could breath without pain so I am taking that as a win! Come on healthy week!

This week is a pretty busy one for us as Francis has the first two open days at his 'big boy school'! I think he is going to love the school so I am equally excited and nervous for him. Dylan and I get to tag along, so I am also crossing all my fingers that Dylan stays close by me and doesn't end up hanging from the rafters as he normally does...the little monkey!

Hair like that only grows on monkeys ;-)
We also have a few other activities planned for the week but mainly I am hoping to be back on board with my fitness and eating plans, so without further ado:

Sunday- Pasta with Tomato/Celery/Bacon Sauce
Monday- Minted Lamb Pie with Potatoes
Tuesday- Veggie Pizza or Salmon with CousCous and Veg
Wednesday- Prawn Stir-Fry with Rice and Sauce
Thursday- BBQ (probably Chicken or Burgers with Salad)
Friday- TBD
Saturday- Morrocan Lamb (hmm...turning out to be quite the lamb week!)

Sunday- Rest
Monday- Rest
Tuesday- Spin class
Wednesday- Group Personal Training
Thursday- Personal Training (new programme this week!!)
Friday- Personal Training
Saturday- Run (6k)

In addition to the above fitness plan I have to try and find another day or two to squeeze in some running. I had originally thought I'd be back to my running club on Thursday night but my husband has just informed me that due to the World Cup (England will be playing) we are off to a BBQ. So I will need to find some other time to up my running as I have some running goals this month and a possible 10k in August.

Anyway, better get going. Have a great week and join me back here in a day or so for my 100th blog post!!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Sick (Again!) & Friday Faves

Well, this may come as no surprise to you, but two things happened this week that were definitely not on the cards for me anyway:
1) I got sick again :-( I did feel something coming on for about a week but I thought with all the nutrient rich food that I have been eating plus extra antioxidants (smoothies) I won't get that sick. Whomp, whomp...I did. So after being tired of being sick all the time I had a little visit with my doctor. Turns out I have another sinus infection. It seems that my sinuses are a bit on the small side so when a usually harmless little virus comes along (i.e. the common cold) it gets a bit stuck in my sinuses and the infection just gets worse and worse until I am sick with a horrendous sinus infection. The doctor said to look up Chronic Sinusitis (yup, that is what I've got). So I am now armed with some nasal spray (sexy, non?) and some Sudafed (which doesn't seem to be doing much)! I was thinking I might have to consider that surgery that they can do on sinuses to help you from getting so many infections, except some of my friends have had it done and they still manage to get sinusitis. What's a girl to do? Anyway, starting to feel slightly more normal. Fingers crossed for a healthy next week! 
P.S. This does indeed mean that I did not workout. Not once :-( 

My accessory of the moment.
2) My car ended up back in the garage! When I was off to the Ideal Home Show in Manchester last weekend I found that the last 15 min of my drive was spent stepping on the accelerator and going nowhere! I ended up just putting on my hazard lights and sort of coasting to the nearest parking space. Dangerous, I know. When I got back to the car after the show I started it up and I began my drive back home (this was based on my husband's advice, which was 'try and get as close to our local garage as you can'). I made it to the garage and got a lift the rest of the way from my superhero boys! 
The next day the garage called (they know me well!) and told me they couldn't find anything wrong with it :-/ They suggested I take it to a transmission specialist. I did. I got my car back today. The transmission specialist said he couldn't find anything wrong with it. This car is playing tricks! 

Crazy times this week people :-) 

So here are a couple of my faves from the week:

1) The World Cup has started! Looking forward to both England and the USA's opening matches!! The boys have even gotten in on the act with football madness in the garden. 

2) First Big Brother Eviction. Oh dear who's going to get the ax!

3) Gardening work has begun. Even though I am not feeling 100%, we cut down some trees and basically butchered our yard! Tomorrow will start a bit of a clean up I think. Plus, now we need the big guys to come out with real saws and chippers :-) 

A massacre has occurred!
4) White Wine. Yes, I know I haven't been feeling well but I went ahead and had some white wine. It was good and yes, I had it in my garden in the sun :-)

5) Waiting for my drugs to kick in! Looking forward to waking up and feeling better. 

So that is it for tonight. I hope everyone else had a good and healthy week. I'll be back Sunday with a post on Father's Day and of course my weekly food & fitness plan for next week. 

Also, keep a look out for my 100th post coming very soon!!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Decorating Your Children's Bedroom is...Easy!

I mentioned yesterday that I spent the day at the Ideal Home Show in Manchester. This was curtsey of Dulux Bedroom in a Box. Now, I had never heard of Bedroom in a Box but I have heard of Dulux. We have used Dulux paint a lot in our current home and in some previous places we have lived. Dulux paint comes in such a large variety of colours and textures and it is really reliable. We have never had a bad batch of paint with Dulux!

So when I was asked if I wanted some tickets to the Ideal Home Show to take a look at Dulux Bedroom in a Box stand I couldn't resist.

So what is Bedroom in a Box?
Dulux Bedroom in a Box is simply a box which contains an exciting colourful mural (and adhesive) and coordinating Dulux paints (some boxes even contain brushes!). The boxes available are: Jungle Adventure, Fairy Princess, Sea Adventure and coming soon Peppa Pig and Marvel Avengers Assemble.

At the Ideal Home Show the Dulux Bedroom in a Box stand was decorated using the Sea Adventure themed box. The staff were all really friendly and helpful answering some of my questions such as:

What happens if you need more paint than what is provided? 
The boxes are meant to contain enough paint for two coats on three walls of 3m x 3m. If you are purchasing online you will be asked if you need more paint than what is provided in the box and it can be sent on. However, the paint colours used should all be readily available at your local DIY stores.

What happens if your wall space is not big enough for the mural?
The mural comes in strips like normal wall paper so you can either leave out a strip on one side or one on each side or the paper can be easily trimmed.

How much does the Bedroom in a Box cost?
The recommended retail price is £70 which includes: Dulux Matt 2.5L coordinated colour (depending on the box you choose), Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood 750ml paint for trim, Polycell Maximum Strength Wallpaper Adhesive, and Walltastic Designer Wallpaper Mural.

In my opinion, the Bedroom in a Box concept is fantastic. I think it is super helpful for those novice DIYers, people who want a limited choice (lets face it too many choices are paralysing) and it is easy (most people can complete their room transformation in a day!).

An easy children's bedroom remodel! 

Thank you to Dulux Bedroom in a Box for inviting me to the Ideal Home Show. I had a great time and enjoyed seeing a real Bedroom in a Box and meeting your staff.

This post is in association with Dulux. I have not purchased nor been given a Bedroom in a Box so all opinions and information is purely based on my experience at the Ideal Home Show.  

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Food & Fitness 8th June 2014

Hello! I hope you have had a lovely weekend. Things here have been a wash out! I guess when I planned to do some gardening this weekend I didn't realize that it was going to be pouring with rain, mixed with thunder and lightening! Whoops, I guess we'll have to work on the gardening another time ;-) We had a rather lazy Saturday due to me feeling really congested (again!) and also due to the semi-unexpected down pours. Today was spent out at The Ideal Home Show in Manchester (will give more details in an up coming post!).

Oh dear was going to include some photos of the weekend but phone has died on me and didn't upload to my account. Boo!

As always on a Sunday here is my food and fitness plan for the week:

Sunday- Lamb Chops with Pasta and Tomato Sauce
Monday- BBQ Chicken with Rice and Salad
Tuesday- Ham Pie with Mash and Peas
Wednesday- Soup with Fresh Bread
Thursday- Beef Stir-Fry with Rice
Friday- TBD (just me and the boys)
Saturday- Chicken Taco Salad

Sunday- Rest (still feeling under the weather and a bit feverish)
Monday- Rest or Run 6k (depending on how I feel in the morning)
Tuesday- Spinning
Wednesday- Strength Training (concentrate on arms)
Thursday- Running Club (7k)
Friday- Personal Training
Saturday- Run

Running with Racheal

Have a fab week and see you soon with a post on Children's Bedroom Decoration!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Friday Faves 6th June 2014

Yay, it's Friday! I hope you have all had a good week. Mine has been good but a little sniffley. I have had a very intense cold all week and will hopefully be feeling better soon. Today's weather is awesome and we are off out to the park later today with some friends! Can't wait to enjoy some more sun. :-)

I hope you are having a great (and sunny) Friday too.

As always on a Friday, here are my 5 faves:

1) Big Brother- Yes! BB has started back up and as my husband says 'There goes the next 3 months!' I just love watching BB. It is probably my guiltiest pleasure. Ah...mindless junk TV :-)

2) My Trainer - Had two meet ups with my trainer this week and feel sore (but in a good way). She took my measurements today and hopefully I'll see how I've improved. She is sending the numbers over later. I am glad that she is back as I missed being pushed and can't wait to get a new plan set up.

3) Conversations with my boys - Both of my boys are real chatter boxes at the minute. Frankie can really chat now and follows the conversation really well. He is also pretty funny when he wants to be. Dylan is still finding his voice and learning new words and his favourite word is still 'NO' but he is saying more and more and he also makes me laugh. The other night in the bath he said 'Mumma, ready, steady, go!' Then swiftly threw his toy boat out at me. :-)

Frankie and I had a chat about shadows (just like in Peter Pan!)
4) Getting outside/Sun/Bubbles - today is a gorgeous day so we had some tea outside in our yard and then blew bubbles. I love simple times like this!

Dylan running after some bubbles (he looks tiny here)
5) Gardening- I have finally got to do a bit of gardening. Just some simple things but I felt good about getting them done.We now have a new window box and a new evergreen plant outside our side door (the one we use the most). We also have some plans to cut down a couple of trees and do some more weeding this weekend. Now if only we had lots of money and could get that landscaper back to do the more serious things that need doing! ;-)

Not yet symmetrical, getting another flower box soon!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

A Meeting With My Trainer

As you might remember my personal trainer has been away on vacation in Mexico for 2 weeks. I have really missed her. My strength training carried on without her (I promise you I did not slack) two days a week lifting as heavy a weight as I could that was safe, but there were some things I couldn't do without her support, feedback on proper positioning and help with some of the weights.

Before she left for her vacation I was feeling a bit down about my progress. I had been training with her about 5 weeks and hadn't really seen any difference in my shape (although I know it takes a while for your shape to change). Don't get me wrong, I definitely have been feeling better for working out with her and needed a serious kick up the backside to get back into strength training but I feel something is missing.

Some of my gym kit
I told her that when she got back we would need to have a meeting to re-take my measurement and see if any thing had changed. She made some suggestions of things that I could be concentrating on while she was gone. Here they are:

  • Carry on with my training twice a week
  • Cut back on the caffeine but drink more water
  • Eat more protein, less refined carbs, and more fibre filled fruit
  • Find a new fitness challenge

  • I have carried on with my training.
  • I have stuck to her eating suggestions for 2/3 my day. I have lost 2lbs. I think it has helped with a more noticeable change in my shape.
  • I have also signed up for a 10k! (but it is only in Nov!!)

Some of my new snack staples (still finding room for chocolate though!)
Now that she is back, I am hoping to have my measurements taken again and let the numbers do the talking. I also want to talk to her more seriously about my fitness goals and see if we can come up with something suitable together. I can't wait!! I hope she is well rested ;-)

Have you got any new fitness goals?

Monday, 2 June 2014

Crying Day (Annabel Karmel muffin recipe)

Oh dear! It has been one of those days over here. Both my boys were up at the crack of dawn, both in tears. No, they didn't want to get back to sleep! :-/

The day carried on with my youngest full of tears. There was not much to do in the way of consoling him. Holding him didn't work, he wasn't hungry, he wasn't ill...he was tired and he was fighting sleep!

Nap time came and went. No one was interested despite my putting them down several times. The crying continued.

Lunch time helped! :-)

After lunch we baked some Annabel Karmel 'Bomb' muffins. That also helped but when I limited them to one each the crying began again.

BOMB Muffins (Banana, Oats, Maple Syrup, Blueberries)
30g rolled oats
86g whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 lg ripe banana mashed
1 egg
30g melted butter
4 Tbs maple syrup
3 Tbs soft light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
55g blueberries
Demerara sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180 C or 160 C if fan assisted. Line 6 large or 12 small muffin pans with paper cups. Mix together the oats, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a large bowl. 

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the banana, egg, butter, syrup, brown sugar and vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, then fold in the blueberries.

3. Spoon into the muffin cups, filling them three-quarters full. Sprinkle a little Demerara sugar on to each muffin. Bake until muffins have risen and are firm to the touch. 12-14 min for small muffins or 15-17 for large. Cool on a wire rack. 


No one wanted super. No one wanted a bath. No one wanted cuddling.

Both my boys went to bed tonight at 6:45pm! Mummy is relieved. Tomorrow will be a better day!


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Food & Fitness 1st June 2014

Hello! I hope you have all had a lovely weekend! We have had a low key and happy weekend in some sunshine :-) We had quite the adventure today in a garden centre! It was seriously the biggest garden centre I have ever been in! We originally went to go to their Dinosaur Discovery park but when we found out (in the most dramatic way) that the dinosaurs weren't working due to an electricity cut we made fun in other departments!

Yes, jumping on potting soil can be fun!

Sunday- (winner, winner) Roast Chicken Dinner
Monday- Ham with potatoes and green beans
Tuesday- Burgers with Salad
Wednesday- TBD
Thursday- TBD
Friday- Pasta with Salmon
Saturday- Take Away

Sunday- Pilates (30 min Exercise TV)
Monday- Rest
Tuesday- Spinning
Wednesday- Group Personal Training (my trainer is back!)
Thursday- Running Club (might aim for 40k this month)
Friday- Personal Training session
Saturday- Run 6k

Running with Racheal

Have a good start to the week!