A decorated room…

This post is one I have been wanting to write for a long, long time. We have been decorating our dining room for what feels like forever now. There has been such a lot to do, and at times all we had has been a building site. We have ripped out a 1930’s fire and put in a woodburner (it looks amazing but was such hard work to do). We had a window replaced with patio doors. We stripped wallpaper, put in a mantlepiece, had it plastered, had electrics replaced. We put down laminate flooring and we painted and put in a door frame and skirting. Craig has done pretty much all of the work, wi help from his Dad where needed. And it has taken such a long time – time is so precious and we have two kids so decorating has to be balanced with having family times and enjoying them. Not to mention that Craig is a huge perfectionist – he likes to make sure that every angle, every corner, every single thing is just right. That takes time, but it is a room I can now look around and know that it is just right. 

From the start I knew what I wanted. I wanted lots of natural wood, and for the feeling of the room to fit in with the 1930’s house that we live in, but making sure it was also modern and suited our tastes. I wanted it to be practical and useable. And we like simple. 

But – we are almost there. All there is to do (finally) is finish a bit of skirting, find a door and change the light. And I absolutely love it. I have some more finishing touches in mind (I want a small rug, and some other personal trinkets as well as some shelves) but it’s close enough for now. 

Here it is in pictures:



Sideboard – oakea.co.uk

Mirror – local swaps and sales site.



copper garland light – not on the high street.

vintage radio – tesco.




Lamp – John Lewis.

After all this time print – etsy.



What if I fall print – oh flora. 

Xxx

An (overdue) update about my healthy eating…

I am officially rubbish at blogging, sorry. 

I thought I had better provide an update. I’m still plodding along with my healthy eating; I had a couple of weeks where I stayed the same weight since in those weeks I ate too much cake, basically. However, I haven’t gained once since starting so I see that as a success. Even in my worse weeks I have kept up running and run around about 5k (3.2 miles) about 3 times a week. 

This last week ( I weigh myself on Wednesdays) I lost a pound again. I started at somewhere around 11.12 (I didn’t weigh myself when I started so am guesstimating). Last Wed I weighed 10.8. So I have lost, and plan to continue losing weight. I still don’t really see it – I do a bit,  but not much. I guess that’s because it has been so steady and slow. However, that works best for me as I don’t have enough willpower to never eat anything sweet! 

Craig got me a fitbit about 3 weeks ago (I did talk about them for ages and he eventually got the hint!) and I really find it helpful. It’s making me want to hit my 10,000 steps every day – today I hit my personal best of over 20,000 steps. Generally though if I hit 10 I’m happy. And it helps me to think about my sleep pattern, bpmy heart rate and gives me motivation to be more active. So far so good. 

In myself I am feeling pretty confident overall, and I also feel proud of me and my friends for keeping up running and going on a regular basis. I’m enjoying getting out, finding different routes and just having some time for me which is important. 

I am finding the diet side of things harder. On work days it’s fine – I have a healthy breakfast, then a salad for lunch and something easy for tea. On weekends it doesn’t go quite as well and for me I’m a bit all or nothing about it (which is why weight loss has slowed down). However, I’m getting there, it’s just about continuing to find a balance that works for me.

There is no rush about it. I don’t even really have a ‘goal’ weight. I figure I’ll know when I feel that I’m at the point where I feel good about myself and don’t feel the need to lose anymore. That won’t be anytime soon, I figure I have at least another 3 months at the rate I’m going until I get to that point, although that’s a very rough estimate, But that’s okay. I still feel proud of the journey I have been on and am still on. Since April I have lost just over a stone, have started running and increased what I am doing activity wise, I’ve reduced my sugar intake by quite a bit and have made changes that are easy for me. I’ve done 3 5k races. And I have had people at work notice the difference in me and comment on it, so even if I’m not really noticing it yet, some others can. 

And that’s all from me for now! 

Xxx

Weight loss update

On the 4th April I started healthy eating. I thought I would mention his that’s going..

In the past 7 weeks (ish) I have lost a stone in weight. I am not weighing myself too often, but now and again to make sure that generally things are how I want them to be, I have about another stone to lose, but that’s not as important to me as how my clothes fit. My clothes are fitting a bit better and I’m feeling more confident and comfortable. I’ve started getting the odd comment – someone at work mentioned today that they can tell I have lost weight – which to me means that other people are starting to see what I see.

I’m eating carefully, but not too strictly. On an average day I will have a breakfast of either porridge, a slice of wholemeal toast with peanut butter, granola, fruit and yogurt or poached egg and toast. Lunch will be salad, soup or a sandwich but a couple of times a week at home I will make jacket potato with tuna and salad or fishcake and vegetables. Then tea is whatever I fancy really – tonight was battered fish, mushy peas and a round of bread. Last night was chicken, mash and veg. I try to vary it as if I get bored it won’t work, and I don’t want to make separate meals to my family. I’m thinking about it and am not eating snacks – sometimes about 3/4 I’ll have fruit and a handful of nuts, but only if I’m running or if I’m having a later tea. I’m not eating ‘junk’ class though and don’t really miss them. 

There have been the odd days of things that are not healthy. On Sunday night after race for life I couldn’t be bothered to cook and we got a takeaway (chicken kebabs). And the odd glass or two of wine. But this is only once a week or so, not too often.

I’m feeling pretty good overall. I’ve changed some habits – I’ve started drinking water in the day, stopped drinking tea, made breakfast healthier and learnt about what works for me. 

And I’ve been running. I started a beginners 8 week running course and am on week 7 this week. And I’m really enjoying it. It’s hard sometimes, but I always feel good afterwards. And in 7 weeks I’ve gone from really struggling to run a mile to running 5k last Sunday in 38 minutes. My next one will be in 35🙂 I have been running 3 times a week, on Fridays with the club and then on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings with Zara, hannah and sometimes Lydia and Brooke if they can make it. And it’s nice going, and it feels great to have done it afterwards. It’s something I hope to carry on for a while to come, and I’ve already booked another 2 5k races, one in June and one in September. 

So yeah, enjoying life so far🙂 xx

Healthy eating update

I’ve been thinking a lot more carefully about my lifestyle since the beginning of April (I started on the 4th April) and in the past month things have been going really well. I feel really focused – not in an obsessive, calorie counting way, but just following some general (made up by myself!) rules, which are:

– Eat a healthy breakfast. This is usually either muslei and yogurt with fruit, banana porridge (no sugar added) or toast with poached egg or tomatoes. I don’t calorie count it but know that generally it’s around 3-400 calories. 

– changing my drinks. I now drink a herbal tea in the morning, and water through the day. I have one normal cup of tea in the evening. 

– reducing bread. On days when I have toast for breakfast, I don’t have bread for dinner. And sometimes no bread at all. I have a salad or soup instead. Bread isn’t bad, but I find it does no harm to reduce it either. 

– Meal planning. I know (mostly) when I’m going to be eating each day. So tomorrow I already know that I’m having porridge for breakfast, then an egg salad (already made) for lunch, and Craig is making tea, but I will ask him for it to be healthy for me. 

– Say no to treats. The only treats I have now are planned for. So, for example, this week on Sunday was Rosie’s birthday. I knew I wouldn’t eat well, so I ate healthy all week to allow for that day. I didn’t eat any sweets, or unhealthy snacks, and ran 3 times. And On Sunday I did eat (and drink)  more than I probably should have (once I start I have no willpower!) but instead of then giving up totally I just ran this morning and ate well again today and it’s back to normal now. 

– Doing running. I’ve been running 3 times a week, which I am loving. I go with a couple of friends and it’s been great. Once a week we go to a club. And I feel much happier, more confident and am getting so much enjoyment from it – I really feel that it could become a routine that I stick to as I’m loving it so much. 

– I’ve mentioned it already, but not giving up. Having a day, or meal, when I eat too much doesn’t make me feel that I’ve failed, or that I should give up. I just get back to it rather than let myself feel bad about it. Life happens and not everything goes right all of the time. 

That’s it. It’s not rocket science, but it’s working. I can see changes in myself – not huge changes yet as that will come over time. I’m much more confident though, and drinking loads of water (I’m also trying to drink 2 litres a day) has made my skin so much better. 

I don’t weigh myself (or only occasionally anyway) as I always find that this for me does more harm than good (no weight loss makes me give up and ruins my confidence) so I have no idea where I started. I’m definately finding that taking pictures of myself and keeping an eye on how my clothes are fitting a more useful guide right now. 

So yeah, all good so far🙂

Weight loss week one..

It’s the end of the first week of being healthy. It’s gone really well actually. The things that have gone well are:

– drinking less tea. I’ve swapped tea (with sugar) to herbal or fruit tea, or water with lemon apart from one evening cup of normal tea. I’ve cut down from 3/4 cups of tea to 1 this week. I had a huge headache on Wed and I think it is because of this. I’ve felt good the rest of the week though. 

– I’ve meal planned for the whole week for all meals – that’s been especially helpful at breakfast time as if breakfast goes wrong I find the whole day follows.

– I’ve been running. Four times this week. And I joined a beginners running group doing a couch to 5k programme. I really enjoyed the first week, and after it me, Zara, Hannah and Sarah have planned to meet up for extra runs in the week. We did one this morning (at 8.30am!) and although I am now shattered it was worth it.

– I’ve found it easier than I would have thought to turn down chocolate🙂

– I’m feeling more confident already, and I took some photos of myself and although not huge, there is already a bit of a difference. 

Things I need to focus on:

– this week I just want to stick to the same as last week. My meal planning slipped a bit at the end of the week – not too bad but I swapped a couple of things around. I want to stick to the plan this week. 

– I am going to think about swapping my evening tea to something else with less sugar starting next week. This is a huge thing for me actually but I feel I will be glad if I do it. 

– not slipping into bad habits!

Favourite meal:

I have been enjoying my salads this week, although I’m trying to vary them so I don’t get bored. I have enjoyed everything except for an apple pie porridge that I tried – I need to ‘tweak’ it a bit more to my taste. I still struggle with healthy breakfast as I just done enjoy them, but I’m trying to make things I want to eat. 

My meal plan for this week is:

Monday:

B – banana porridge.

L – chicken salad (already prepared).

T – fish chargrilled with steamed sweet potato and veggies.

RUN

Tuesday:

B – fruit, yogurt and muslei

L – butternut soup (half a tub, bought from morissons).

T – chicken, veg and mash.

Wednesday:

B – poached egg on toast

L – ham salad sandwich with fruit.

T – spaghetti bolognaise with wholewheat spaghetti.

RUN

Thursday:

B – porridge

L – jacket potato with tuna and salad

T – haddock and new potatoes with sweetcorn and peas.

Friday 

B – fruit, muslei and yogurt

L – Tuna and sweetcorn pasta and salad

T – out after running club (sort this out!)

Saturday

B – scrambled egg on toast

L fish fingers, new potatoes, veg

T – BLT in wholemeal baguette with salad

Sunday:

B – porridge

L / T – Sunday lunch. 

RUN

Xxx

31

It’s my birthday today. I am now 31 years old. I kind of feel that it should bother me a bit, but it doesn’t. All I really feel is lucky; I have a lovely family, lovely friends and a home I feel is my forever home; it still needs endless work, but it’s ours and we will get it done. 

So, I guess that all I want from this year is to stay lucky. To try to rush as little as possible. And to feel comfortable in my own skin.

I’ve been loved today. Amelia woke up at 6.30 because she was excited about it being my birthday. We (they) opened my cards and gifts. Amelia read out her ‘speech’ which she had written: 

       ‘The only star tonight in the dark sky tonight.’ 

This filled a full page when Amelia wrote it. I think her speech means something along the lines of loving me as much as the brightest star. That’s how I’ve interpreted it anyway :) 

And we went for a walk around the country park in Cleethorpes. I like getting out most of all; I am just realising how much it matters to me and to the girls. 

We came home, had dinner together. Rosie made us all laugh lots, as always. She called Craig a ‘stupid bum’ which made me smile. Just everything she says I wish I could capture because it’s so lovely in a way I can’t begin to explain. 

This afternoon we had visitors. Zara came with her kids to drop off my presents (a candle burner thing which is really pretty, tea light candles and a drainer for the sink (don’t ask!). She stayed for a while and then my in laws came – we caught up with them, which I always enjoy – they are wonderful. Then they went and Sarah and my Mum came for a while.

Then we had tea (steak for me, pizza for the others), and birthday cake. And spoke to Abi on FaceTime. 

Overall, it’s been a good day, and it’s been a good year. I’ve been spoilt too – this is what I got:

Craig got me a bottle of cava, and £25 amazon voucher.

The girls got me Lindor chocolates and a book which Amelia picked. 

Mum gave me money, but they also paid for us to go for drinks last weekend. 

Sarah and Lydia got me 2 CDs (Lucas graham and 21 pilots) some rasberry ripple bath creme and a book.

Elaine got me a Yankee set and money.

Abi got me a white company ‘white pompermo’ candle. It smells beautiful. 

I’m now in my pajamas listening to my new cd. And thinking about what to buy with all my birthday money! 



Xxx

Lifestyles…

For the past year i have not done well at being healthy. I’ve tried a bit, but not much really. I have found it hard to resist sugar in tea, or chocolate at night, or just anything bad really. And to be honest, it’s got to a point where I’m really body concious and it is bothering me. I’ve never before really got to a point where I feel concious all the time until now. I’ve always been relatively happy with my body (apart from a bad time a few months after Amelia was born, and the times that anyone has when I have bad days). I’ve been comfortable in my skin overall. But now I’m not. And I’ve realised that it’s time to change, and make changes to work for me and make me more confident and happier. 

To be honest, even writing this post is making me think that I shouldn’t post it because if I fail, I look bad. And because this isn’t something I would usually talk about. But – I have to be honest, and this is where I’m at. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s time to be positive and make the changes I feel ready to make. 

Today I sat down and wrote next weeks meals plans for all of our meals – I’ve tried to make them simple, but interesting, tasty and easy. Things to enjoy and look forward to. Tomorrow’s breakfast is ‘apple pie porridge’ lunch is a chicken salad (already made and in the fridge ready to take to work) and tea will be fish and vegetables. I would share the rest of the week but I’m not sure if that’s a bit boring so I won’t! I may take some photos though and see what has worked toward the end of the week. 

I also need to run – I gave race for life with Lydia in May and I need to practice! So, starting tomorrow I’m going to run every other day in the hope of running 3 miles by race for life, and to make me feel better about myself again. I will start from the beginning again – just a mile. And build up, as I have to start somewhere. 

I’ve taken some photos today of myself – I can’t share them yet (maybe not ever!) but i am hoping that this will remind me of what I want to achieve. 

We will see how things go. I’ve bought the shopping to incorporate all meals for this week, and bought a bottle to full with water rather than drinking tea with sugar. And I will weigh myself each week to keep track. And from there I guess I just have to hope that my willpower holds out and that I don’t give up when I hit a hurdle. 

Wish me luck….

Holidays…

This time last week we were on holiday in the Lake District. 



We stayed in the white cottage in the photo – Darling How. It was great, as always. Returning to the same place each year is special for me – every year I remember the year before, and i love building memories in the same place each year. Amelia remembered last year too, and knew exactly what she wanted to do with her week. She wanted to build a bridge, play hide and seek in the cottage and go in the hot tub. 

As Easter was earlier this year, the weather wasn’t as sunny as last year. We had a few windy, rainy days, but we still got out and about every day. It got nicer toward the end of the week too.  The girls both had Wellies (so did I!) and they loved jumping in puddles – Amelia was ‘making hot chocolate’ in the puddles, and Rosie just thought she was peppa pig. They walked in the streams, we found lots of frogspawn, and we went to Amelia’s favourite bridge every single day (she didn’t want to explore anywhere else!) and threw stones, made bridges, walked in the stream and just played. 





My favourite things about this year were:

– being at the bridge – watching the girls just play without it having to cost anything or involve anything more than water, stones, sticks and imagination was great. It’s what they need and made it special.

– Fairyland. There’s a walk just outside the cottage which gets you direct to ‘fairly land’ where the fairies live. Amelia got a gift from them (a fairy doll) and she was so happy and excited and I just loved her innocence and belief in magic. She talked about it non stop for the rest of the day:



Playing at being a witch and chasing the girls round the cottage with Rosie shouting ‘try n get me’ and hiding from each other. 

Watching the kids in the hot tub – they both loved it. Although I have to admit that they are fearless and this panicked me a bit! 

– going for a walk in the evening with Lydia -the sun was shining and it was lovely. And I’d had a bit of wine and found a few silly things really, really funny lol. 

– going in the hot tub when the stars were out.

– having time to read my book, and not having to rush to get things done or be anywhere, or to have loads of house tasks to do. 

– spending tIme with my family – my nana was poorly and in hospital until 2 days before we left so having her there was special too, and the holiday wouldn’t have been the same without her there. 

I could go on but I won’t. Amelia said it was the best holiday ever, and Rosie didn’t say anything but I know she had the best time. I loved it, and just wish we could have stayed even longer as it went by so fast! 

I love holidays – making memories without distractions. Now I just have to wait for the next one! 





Xxx

Six…

Amelia was 6 on Tuesday. I kept thinking about it all day – the day 6 whole years ago when she was born. The newness of the experience, the strangeness of it. The pain, that you know is coming but can never prepare for. The amazement of holding my baby in my arms for the first time. The relief at her being healthy. The relief of the pain ending. I said to Craig when we were alone (the first thing I said to him!) that I am never going through it again. I did, of course, but at the time I didn’t even know how I had got through it.

The first 6 days were a bubble. We spent them in the maternity home, and it was like being there protected us from reality. I was desperate to leave, and yet needed the safety and security of having people there to advice, help and reassure. Like the night I spent up with Amelia all night, and the nurse popped in and said I was doing a fantastic job. 

I know it’s all a cliche, but I don’t know how time has moved so fast. 6 years ago I had a tiny baby. Now I have a little girl. A girl who is independent, stubborn, clever. Who talks about the sun being made of gas, and the rings of Saturn being made of ice and rock (she loves planets). A girl who plays barbi’s, but gets ‘nervous’ if we are watching her play – she likes to play them on her own. A girl who will argue forever when she thinks she is right, who takes everything literally. Who got 10/10 today in her spelling test. A girl who is unique, and wonderful.

Amelia said she had the ‘best birthday ever.’ She was at school, so I took a cake in and got her a badge. We had a party tea with family round. They played pass the parcel and musical statues. Her nana boon made a beautiful cake. Amelia loved being at the centre of attention (as always!) and loved her presents. She especially loves her new barbi dolls, she has them with her most of the time. 

It was a busy day. But a day with family, with the people who love Amelia the most, as much as me and Craig do. I love that girl so much. It is so hard to believe that the baby i first held is the little girl of now. It’s almost as though the girl has sneaked up on me without me realising – I want to remember every second and yet still I forget sometimes. I forget moments I treasured at thape time. 

Amelia, i know I tell you every day. But I am so proud of who you are. I love you now and I will forever. I don’t always get things right – in fact, it feels like with you I always get it wrong – you are such a complex little girl at times and I struggle to find the right way to parent you. But I love your confidence, te way you will stand up for what you believe and won’t just go with the crowd. They are qualities that will help you in your future.

I love you sweetheart. Xxx



Rosie’s favourite game…

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At 2.5 Rosie is really developing quickly now. Her language is amazing, she can say sentences and make almost everything that she wants to say known. And she is starting to really imagine, and play for longer.

Her favourite game (one which we play daily) is ‘making dinner.’ This involves using either play food or blocks, and pots / plates / cups or bowls. She makes ‘pasta’ or ‘sausages’ and cups of tea. She mixes, pours from one bowl to another, serves them and then takes them away and it starts again. We were woken up at 6am yesterday with her bringing in a little tray with pretend cake, and she woke us up serving it up to us (repeatedly, for just under an hour!) Sleep is overrated in the mornings anyway. Seriously though, it really occupies her for ages.

It’s role play, and the beginnings of using her imagination. I remember playing similar games with Amelia . Rosie knows that it’s pretend, but at the same time it’s a serious business for her. She really concentrates on whatever she is doing, and she plays is whenever she can.

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Can you see the concentration on her face..

I have to admit that it’s a game I quite like too, if for no other reason than that it occupies Rosie so well. It can also teach them so much; colours, shapes, foods, co-ordination, motor skills and role play. It’s simple, but a really great way to learn about the world she lives in.

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