Category Archives: Uncatagorised

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 🙂

The first ‘proper’ bike ride…

Amelia is good at a lot of things. She’s bright and learning mostly comes easily to her. However, something that she’s never grasped before is riding a bike. She’s had her current bike for about 2 years now, but we decided not to get her an updated one as she just didn’t know how to use this one. She either couldn’t do the handles, even after being explained how to steer a million times. And she didn’t understand the pedals. And doing both was just too much to ask of her until now. 

Now though, she’s got it, in her own time and in her own way. In the past few weeks she’s been practising in the garden, and finally riding it properly. With stabilisers, granted, but just seeing her on her bike is something I have been very proud of her for. 

We went out on it today. For the first time in a long time. We only went to my nanas – a ten minute walk if I have the kids with me. It took half an hour on their bikes (and was hard work too I must admit!) Amelia’s stabilisers kept getting her stuck, and steering Rosie is hard work. But we got there, and Amelia did great.

She was proud of herself for doing it. She rode her bike all the way to my nanas house, and steered and pedalled it. And because it’s something that hasn’t come easily to her I’m proud of her – for keeping practising, for not giving up, and just for being her. 

Well done little one. Now she’s added a purple bike to her birthday / Christmas list. Better start saving some pennies!

I’m adding this post to the ordinary moments linky run by Mummydaddyme – I haven’t joined in for a while but this is an ordinary moment of the future – one I’ve been waiting a while to get to 🙂 



When I was expecting Rosie, I really struggled with finding a name for her. Nothing seemed to fit, or seemed right. I must have gone through every name in the history of the world. It wasn’t until about a week before she was born that I decided.

Rosie Eloise. 

I chose it because it has meaning. Rosie is my nanas name (well, Rose, but we call her nana Rosie). It’s also my sisters middle name. And Elouise is a tribute to my other sisters middle name.

I chose this because I wanted her name to have meaning. And because my nana (and my sisters, but that’s not for this post!) is such a strong, loving, generous and unique person. She is funny – she has her quirks and once formed her opinions rarely change – once decided, she sets things into stone to remain that way. She’s an inspiration to me, and the centre of the family. 

I’m glad I chose it for my littlest girl. It suits her. She is placid but stubborn, brave but timid, easy going but with a temper when it suits her. She is a girl of opposites, and I see a lot of my nanas personality in hers. She is loving and loved, and quietly sets out to achieve whatever it is that she has set her mind on. Just like nana Rosie. 

My nana has a close bond with both my girls. But she especially loves babies – she dotes on them, and thinks each baby that comes along is the most clever / cute / forward baby there is. She has a close bond to my Rosie, and likes that she is named after her. 

I love my nana Rosie, and am grateful for the memories I have of her when I was growing up, and the memories I have and will create of her with my girls. I’m grateful that she knows and loves them and they know and love her. And I just wanted to capture just one day – an ordinary visit where I just took a few pictures of nana and Rosie together. 


My weekend post #4

First of all, my random but lovely tulips – £2 from aldi and they look beautiful (in my homemade pottery vase / popcorn tub):

I’m not good at remembering to blog. But I do love looking back at our ordinary lives and thinking about how much I love family life, the little things and our time together. It flies by, but is so important to capture.

This is weekend was a bit extra special. Craig has Friday and Saturday off work, which is a huge rarity. On Friday he made good progress with our dining room project, bricking above the woodburner and sanding the mantle. It’s getting closer to being a lovely room, but is too far away to get too excited by either. One day I will be able to show it off. This is what it’s like so far:

 We all picked Amelia up together and went for a walk nearby – Amelia was  little grumpy and Rosie had just woken up, but it blew away some cobwebs at least. Then we came home and had pizza. We also watched the muppet Christmas carol for film night – Amelia’s choice, which is a film I love. 

 On Saturday morning I went to town with Amelia where she insisted that she wanted jelly shoes and nothing else for summer. I also treated her to new books – the magic faraway tree and the adventures of the wishing  chair. For after we have finished the famous five book that we are reading at the moment. We also went to the cafe where I treated Amelia to a cake. We also laughed a lot at our reflections on the car – it did what those mirrors can do and made us look really short and fat. 

 In the afternoon I had an afternoon out – it was my friends 30th and we went for afternoon tea as a surprise – it was my first one and I really enjoyed it – the food in some ways  could have been a bit better, but it was a nice afternoon out. Kate, I know you read this, so sorry for the photos – I already know you won’t like them. And thank you for being my friend over the past 13 years – we might not see each other all the time, but when we do I always enjoy our catch ups. 

 Today has been rubbish. I woke up being sick in the night and today has been written off – I haven’t been sick but I’ve felt it all day, – just been laid on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. And haven’t eaten anything except half a round of toast. I’m hoping it clears tomorrow.

what has been great about today has been watching my girls. They are so sweet together – they giggle at each other a lot, and Rosie copies everything Amelia does, so when A jumps so does Rosie, and when A says something Rosie copies it. They have a lovely and  close bond which I always wanted them to have, and it makes me proud.

and I came to bed to find Amelia asleep in my bed like this, which can only ever make me smile. 


It’s been a while.

I haven’t blogged for the longest time (and now I’m pretty certain that I’m blogging just to myself!) for no reason other than I haven’t been bothered to write. Words don’t always come, and people have so many amazing blogs that I suppose I just lost the love for my little space.

Tonight though I suddenly felt the urge to write again. And to capture some of my memories from the past few months, so they don’t get lost forever. Here goes:

First, we went on holiday. It is a special place where we went – in the Lake District, a beautiful cottage in the best location. It was a perfect holiday really and just what I needed.

How grown up is my lovely girl here? This was at Buttermere.

Here, Craig and Amelia climbed down some rocks in Keswick, and this is one of my favourite photos. 

We had the best week, I would love to live there I think.

And last week it was Rosie’s birthday. She turned 2. We had a bouncy castle and BBQ on the Monday, she got a bit spoilt with lots of presents, and just enjoyed herself. Rosie is a lovely little thing, very placid and sweet, but knows exactly what she wants and mostly finds a way to get it. She is so very loved. 

Rosie and her auntie having a cuddle  🙂

 Think that’s it but I will post again soon. Xxx

The non technical guide to putting a woodburner in.

1. Save up a lot of money. Unless you want the trauma of doing it yourself. We got quoted almost 2 grand to empty the stuff out of the hole (including pipes), to fit a liner etc. and to put up boarding. That cost was minus the wood burner, installation of flooring. Since that is the whole of our budget, we decided to DIY it. Mind you, we DIY everything – we just can’t pay money if it can be done by us. Or Craig, since I am actually useless at DIY).

2. Research it. We have read the building regs, read expert websites, read an installation manual (okay, that was just Craig), and sourced the best quality materials for the best price we could.

3. Get a liner. It’s more hassle, it’s stressful and it’s expensive, but it means no carbon monoxide leaks. It’s not a legal requirement (yet) but is generally advised.

4. Be brave. It’s scary, taking out a fire to find bricks, pipes and a black hole.

4. Measure the fit. We spent £200 on insulation for our liner. It wouldn’t fit up the chimney. It’s a lesson learned, may as well pass it on.

5. Get the safety equipment for the roof. And then (if you are me) go out and let the boys who in my case are the ones who know how to do these things get on with it. I was too worried about a potential accident to stay. We borrowed harnesses from a scaffolder we knew over the weekend.

6. Plan the time of year better than us. Don’t be spontaneous and start fireplaces in October so that it ends up November when the roof climbing needs doing.

7. Check and check again. This applies to everything. Measuring, regulations, safety equipment.

8. Prepare for mess – I didn’t expect the soot, the dust or the tools that happened. Necessary, but it’s better to know it’s coming.

9. Have a spare hoover. Otherwise, yours will get filled with everything that hoovers don’t like. Like concrete, and soot, and stones.

10. Whatever your time frame, add a month. When finished, it would have taken us about 3 months I think. We haven’t rushed it (we have limited time off) but everything takes time.

We haven’t finished yet. But we are getting closer. The hardest job by far is done (the liner) and now we just have the back boarding, flooring and installation of the burner to go.

Can’t wait to sit and look at it when it’s done 🙂





I am such a lucky person.

I haven’t talked about it on my blog, but at the moment we are doing a lot of work in our dining / play room. In September we got patio doors as a gift from my lovely parents in law. That led to a bit of motivation, and we stripped the walls. One thing led to another, and we ended up ripping the 1950’s gas fire out, with the intention of adding a wood burning stove in there.

Sounds simple right?

Well – I can promise you, its been a bit of a nightmare. Dust, soot, chaos, mess and everything that goes with all of the above.

I want to do a ‘big reveal’ when it is eventually done in about 3 months probably so I’m not adding photos yet, but today I wanted to talk about all of the fantastic people who have supported us, helped us and been there for us throughout this process.

– Craig’s Mum and Dad. They have been, as always, fantastic. They are so supportive, and his Dad went on our roof (twice!) even though it is a scary thing to do, and spent all day helping us out putting a liner in the chimney (something I NEVER want to repeat). And they had the girls overnight when we had an unexpected early delivery of soot from up the supposedly swept chimney. It was hard work for them, and I don’t think how much I can express the help they have given us over the years.

– My Mum and Dad. My Mum and Dad are also amazing. They help me so much with my girls, picking them up from School, looking after them when I work, giving me a bit of time to do things I need to do . And cooking for us sometimes, lending us stuff – they are so needed. Rosie is funny with my Dad – whenever they come round she kisses me goodbye and insists on going with them. And has a huge strop if she can’t.

– Ben and Sarah. My brother in law and sister have also been so brilliant. Ben has been drilling out sockets, and he has given up three days off to help with our electrics and the chimney liner installation. My sister and Ben get married next August, and I cant wait to have a brother for the first time 🙂 And Sarah goes out of her way, she will always help out if we need anything, and will do anything for anyone. My sisters are my best friends.

Lydia – Because when I rushed round and dropped Rosie on her to take Amelia to the dentist, she didn’t tell me no 🙂 And because she’s her lovely funny, unique self.

Abi – for coming all the way from London to see us all, and for always being such a positive, supportive person.

I’m also lucky because I have Craig, who is my best friend, my support and my safety net. I am glad I have him to come home to because I know that we are a team, always. And my beautiful girls, the reason that I smile and feel lucky every single day.

We have such a good support network, of people that I couldn’t be without. It makes me feel safe and supported, and makes me feel okay to be me. And means that our family, with our busy lives, are able to manage each day.

Thank you all, whoever of my family who read this. We love you all and appreciate everything more than you know.


Chicken pitta salad.


Okay, so I’m the first to admit that this is a simple, simple tea to make. But I had a craving for it last week, and bought a chicken *at the bargain price of £3.70!) which made this, chicken buns on Sunday and chicken fajitas and salad on Monday night.

This was a yummy lunch. Chicken, salad, pitta bread and it’s done. I love simple, home cooked and yet delicious food. And who says you cant eat salad in winter? 🙂


Half a decade…


Half a decade ago my first baby was born. A whole half decade of love; I cannot remember how life was without her. I sometimes look at the time before she was with us, and remember lay ins, hobbies, a tidy house, organisation and – a kind of lostness. Before Amelia I didn’t really know who I was or who I could be. I was scared that I didn’t know how to be a Mum, that I would mess it all up.

And I do mess it up sometimes. I shout when I should stay calm. I get cross where I should laugh. I get stressed at times. I’m human, and I’m still me.

But. I also laugh a lot. I love morning snuggles with little ones on my head, talking random chat. I wake to smiles, to love. I enjoy the company and chatter of my clever, lovely Daughter. I have loved watching her grow from a tiny baby – on her first night with us I didn’t sleep at all but just looked at her all night. And from then I knew I would do anything for her, she captured my heart. And she still captures my heart. I love my girl, and always will.

I don’t know what is in her future. But I do know that I will never ever stop loving my oldest baby. She is funny, kind, loving, stubborn, grumpy at times and clever. She is grown but still naïve yet – she believes that fairies come and eat the fairy cakes that she makes. She believes that I am a fairy who peeps In on her at School each day. She knows that she is loved.

We have had a busy few days. A birthday tea party, seeing the people we love the most in the world. Family that I know support us all, and love my girls as much as I do. Lots of fun, memories made. And a lucky and slightly spoilt little girl who has gone to bed very happy and tired.

Thank you to our families for loving Amelia as much as we do. Thank you for loving us too. We don’t know what we would do without you.