Tag Archives: lifestyle

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 🙂


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….

Meal Planning Monday..

Last week I did it 🙂 I mostly stuck to the plan for the week. The only change is that on Thursday we didn’t have beef stew -I can’t even remember what we had instead now though! The rest of the week went to plan though.

This week this is the plan:


Chilli con carne from the freezer for me and Craig after work.


What Craig makes.


Slow cooked beef stew and dumplings.


Chicken pie (the filling was made and frozen) new potatoes and vegetables


Jacket potatoes, cheese and beans.


Party tea  – my Daughter’s 5th birthday tea party.


Leftover party food / picky day.

I do like to plan – it means I don’t have days where I don’t have a clue what to make! If you would like to join in, link up at http://www.athomewithmrsm.com/2014/11/meal-planning-monday-3rd-november-2014.html

Enjoy your week 🙂

Magik beanz review…


There is something about Autumn that makes me crave candlelight and lamps and cosiness. It feels lovely to close the blinds, shut the world out, light a candle, put the lamp on and breath. And just filter out the world for a few precious hours each day. I think the reason I love autumn so much is because of cosy evenings more than anything else.

So when I saw a review of Magik beanz on one of my favourite blogs (write like nobody’s watching) I couldn’t resist having a look.

And I got carried away. I ordered an autumn collection of Magik Beans. I ordered a pack of 12 that come with a burner. I have not in any way shape or form been asked to review them, but I rarely (read here, never) treat myself anymore, and so I wanted to review something that I have bought just for me.


The Details

Magik beanz are little soy wax beans – you get 15 in each re sealable tub, which equals about 20 hours of burning time. So all of my tubs should equal 230 hours – that’s a lot of cosy nights to keep me happy. They have a nice strong fragrance (some stronger than others), but I like to be able to smell my candles so it’s a huge positive for me.

The pros

Okay, first things first. The good things. I love the scent. That’s the important thing really, isn’t it. I literally couldn’t wait to try them – I picked a few beans (I mixed and matched three scents) and lit my new burner and the scent filled the room pretty quickly. And with scents like ‘bramble jelly’ and ‘Sun kissed raspberry’ it is actually quite hard to choose which to try, and to match them together.

Amelia, my almost 5 year old was almost as excited as me I might add – she loved choosing 5 beans (she also mixed and matched!) after school. She chose by colour, but it is still going strong 3 hours later – I can smell biscuits, a little apple, brambles and loveliness. And her words were ‘it’s so good I wish I could taste it.’

I also love how much choice there is. There seem to be lots of seasonal choices, and then favourites – there is so much variety and you can choose by fragrances that you enjoy too – the choice is pretty much never ending. And the names are lovely – I like having a nice name and description, and looking forward to what It will be like when it arrives.

The not so good

Okay, I only have one niggle. Well, maybe two. Or three – but minor ones really.
First, postage. It’s £4.99 for postage – for me that’s a lot. Especially if you are not making a big order. However, I have got over it.

Second, the burner. I have to admit that I was disappointed with it. It’s black and quite small. It’s really the colour – I expected something a bit brighter I think. However, again, it’s not a huge issue, it’s just not something I love, but it’s okay.  I will buy something more to my taste – or maybe ask for one as an Xmas gift 🙂 (Mum, I hope you are reading this part, as this is an idea for you!) However, it may be nice if the colour of the burner is something that could be chosen, maybe?

And one final thing, since I like to keep my review honest. I think the website could use some work. It’s a bit difficult to navigate – it took me a while to figure it out, and the layout and options could be a bit clearer.

However, all of the above are small issues – it’s nothing major, and I think I have found my new favourite candles, so i don’t care much about any of the above 🙂 I am pretty certain that I will return for more.

Overall though, I’m excited. It’s lovely being able to choose a different scent each night – I’m looking forward to trying more. And with such interesting scents to choose from Its a grown up (yes, I’m sad I know) kind of fun.




Not knowing what to write..

I can write. In fact, I can write well. I spend a lot of time writing at work – care plans, assessments, e-mails, minutes and lots more. A lot of time is spent at a computer, just writing. And I can do that. I like to use words to capture the person – their skills, hobbies, past and present. I do it everyday.

Writing my blog though is different. My words never seem enough – I feel as though I never quite ‘say’ what I am trying to say, or get across the complete joy in sharing a special moment with one of my girls. Moments like last night, when Rosie fell asleep on me for the first time in months, and I got cuddles before putting her in her bed. Or Amelia drawing me a picture and writing ‘mum’ on it. These things mean so much to me – these are the things I want to remember.

I think that reading blogs makes writing a blog harder. I love all of the blogs I read. I think there are some amazing writers, and people who give so much time to their little space on the Internet. I have laughed, cried, thought about things in new ways or just learnt about how others live.

I think I need to think about why I blog. I’ve thought about giving it up – time is precious when work gobbles up so much of it, and I have my girls, my house to sort out and also when I have things to do for me – watching Netflix, reading, watching british bake off. These are things for me. Blogging has become a chore in some ways, and something tap hat I haven’t wanted to do because it seems like hard work.

But I love to blog too. I like to share different things. So I will carry on. I just need to think about how.


Healthy eating take two…

Back in January, I started a healthy eating plan. It worked well for me – I joined the gym too, and together I felt healthier and fitter,and just generally better. However, when I returned to work in March it all went wrong. Nothing drastic, but things slipped here and there and I just stopped trying, basically.

Time is a huge factor. Time to exercise is one thing – me and my boyfriend only get one day a week off at the same time. And every other day either he or I don’t get home until around 6pm. I can exercise later, but by that time of day I really struggle to get myself motivated as I’m tired.

But. Now I’ve been back at work 6 months. Amelia starts full time school this week, and so I will have two days a week with Rosie. This means that I can take Rosie on long walks with the pushchair, or take her out on the bike. Things that I can’t do with two children I can do with Rosie.

So I wrote my meal plan last week. It’s full of healthy meals, plenty of veg, salad and fruit. And I aim to exercise as much as possible. I am aware that this is real life, and so I’m not going to go overboard. If I miss a day, it’s not the end of the world. What I want is just to make time where I can, and know that the things I am eating are good for me.

This is what I’ve had today:



The top photo is breakfast. It was mixed fruit (grapes, strawberries, banana and apple with yogurt). Lunch was egg salad with a tiny bit of grated cheese, spinach, tomatoes, peppers and a brown oven roll. Tea was chicken stew with lots of veg.

I have to have meals that fit in with my family. I won’t cook separate meals for me – Amelia loved fruit for breakfast – she said it was the best breakfast ever. She also enjoyed lunch and tea, as did everyone else. Thats my aim – to fill us all with healthy, well balanced foods.

I will weigh myself as and when I feel like it – today I was 10.11. I don’t want to get obsessed so it will only be when I feel the time is right and will never be more than once a week.

Right, time to go do more decorating – we are decorating the dining / play room and it’s hard work!


Losing weight the healthy way

With the new year, everyone seems to want to lose weight, get fitter and be generally healthier after the excesses of Christmas. I’m the same – something about a new year makes me more motivated, and helps me reflect on my goals and hopes for the year ahead. I don’t know exactly why I feel like this, but every January I feel the same way.

This year I’ve been much more determined to meet my goals. I’m not someone who obsesses too much over weight, and I really really hate fad diets – they are designed to fail in the long term. I prefer a good, healthy eating plan with loads of healthy but tasty meals. For me, if I get too hungry I will reach for sugar, and so for me what I think works is to make sure that my meals, are filling, healthy and satisfy me. I don’t tend to snack I between meals, as I like to feel hungry when I do eat, but that does mean that my meals have to keep me going for a good few hours.

This year I felt like I needed a bit of extra support. I sent a tweet asking for healthy eating links, and a couple of people replied recommending a website called porridge on Tuesday. I had a quick look and was really impressed by the website layout and the whole idea behind the site. You get a weekly meal plan, there are exercise videos of 30 minute sessions you can do, and you can clearly see your progress in a chart.

I’ve been signed up for a week now, and I wanted to give some of my first thoughts on the site.

These are the things I really like about the porridge on Tuesday:
– the website is great. Easy to use, not over complicated with some great features.
– it’s not encouraging a ‘diet’. Instead it’s a long term healthy eating plan, designed with your own goals in mind (it can be either a weight loss or maintenance plan depending what you want from it.)
– it’s an alternative to weight watchers or slimming world – to me, it’s a more sustainable version of those.
– I haven’t tried to exercise videos as I don’t like exercising at home (I go to the gym and swimming instead) but I like that they are available.
– the eating plan is clear, and you can change any meal for something different if the particular meal that comes up is not one you want that day.
– some of the recipe ideas are gorgeous – it really is tasty, filling food, and some of the recipes are ones that I think will become family favourites.

Things I’m not so sure about:
– I think I only have two concerns. The first is the cost of the meals. I’m on a tight budget these days, as I’m on maternity leave and so don’t have an income at the minute, I’m living on savings. However, the meal plan gives a different meal for every meal of every day. This makes things expensive – last week i spent more than usual on my food shopping bill. I can’t do that all the time. I would like it if I had the option to choose a different option. For example, although there are some lovely breakfast ideas, I’m happy to stick to cereals (non sugared cornflakes or Cheerios) or occasionally frozen fruit and yogurt. I’d like the option to just have a ‘standard’ breakfast rather than something different each day. I love that the meals are so varied, but budget wise I just can’t afford so much variety!
– my only other concern is how long I would use this plan for. I think it’s fantastic as an introduction to healthy living, especially for people who perhaps needs to learn how to make healthy meals and portions. But once you get used to this, it’s probably something I’d move away from and continue on my own.

Having said all that I’ve visited the site daily since my plan started – I have to be honest and say that I haven’t followed my plan exactly – as started above, I’ve changed my breakfasts back to my simple breakfasts on the whole, and some of the recipes I love, but have adapted slightly (but still healthily) to suit mine and my families preferences. But, it’s a reminder of my goals and targets, it is a safety net if I’m struggling, and there are so many ideas and recipes that what’s certain is that you’ll never be stuck for ideas!

I’m going to post again in the next couple of weeks with some photos of my typical days plan. Ill also include a recipe for one of the meals that I post photos of. And of course, some more thoughts about how it’s all going!

For now, this is my achievement so far:
– original (starting weight) was 10.13
– weight a couple of days ago was 10.8

Not bad ey 🙂


disclaimer- I have been given a 3 month subscription to porridgeontuesday in order to review it. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I am always honest about my views.