Thursday, 26 February 2015

Fitness {February}








This month has been amazing in my fitness journey. I think i have enjoyed it even more that last month! I am becoming stronger and i have passed that point that i normally give up. I know now that i have worked way too hard to give up now. I really cannot believe that i am half way through week 8! As i mentioned in my first January update, i am doing the Kayla Itsines bbg workout. This is three main workouts a week on a monday, wednesday and friday with between 30 and 40 mins of cardio on the in between days. I haven't missed a single workout and i look forward to my workouts every day now.

Exercise

A typical workout week for me looks like this:

Monday - Legs and cardio (28 mins circuit training)
Tuesday - 5k run
Wednesday - Arms and Abs (28 mins circuit training)
Thursday - 5k run
Friday - Full body workout (28 mins circuit training)
Saturday - Either a 5k run or skipping
Sunday - 5k run

I started running last year and i didn't really enjoy it. It made me feel sick and i am such a slow runner that i felt embarrased and i think i made myself go faster as to not look so silly which then resulted in me getting stitches and not being able to go very far. This time around, i have been taking my dog, Rusty, out with me a few times and i have just kept at a slow and steady pace. To me, time doesn't really matter. I know i am getting fitter as i am able to keep running for longer but i am just concentrating on going the distance, burning the calories and increasing my fitness.

I have also been increasing my dumbbell weights. I started using 1kg weights the first few weeks as i was worried about gaining lots of arm muscle but the more i read about the weights and what they can do for the body, the more i wanted to up the weight. I do a lot of cruches whilst holding weights and have noticed a huge difference in my stomach definition.

Weight/measurements

I have lost another inch from my thighs, bottom, waist, arms and hips. That is 12.5 inches in total in 8 weeks! I currently weigh 8 stone 12. I am frustrated that i have only lost a little bit of weight as i have been clean eating and working so hard but i know that i am gaining muscle which weighs more and my measurements prove that i have lost inches so i am trying not to get too hung up on that number!

Food

I am doing so well with my food. Since January, i have only had chocolate/sweets twice! I do have cravings but i have been eating bowls of fruit instead and if i do get big cravings, i will go onto my separate fitness instagram account and look through the accounts of all of the other girls doing this workout guide and i will be motivated again to stay on track.

A typical day for me is this

Breakfast - Either porridge or a fruit bowl that consists of grapes, apple and a banana
Snack - Fruit
Lunch - Jacket potato with beans and cheese or a chicken salad wrap
Snack - Fruit
Dinner - My go to meal at the moment is steamed veg (broccoli, carrots and sweetcorn), chicken and noodles. I am alternating betweeen that and a jacket potato with Mediterranean spiced vegetables (broccoli, carrots and pepper)

I love this plan so much and even though it is boring to eat the same things all the time, i generally love this meal plan and pretty much just stick to this now. I use fitness pal to calculate my calories and add in more fruit if i have burnt more calories on a particular workout as some days i do my circuit training workout and then do the gym (treadmill) also plus swimming so on those days, i eat a few bananas during the day to keep me fueled.

So here is my progress picture so far. It is taking a lot to post this but i wanted to share as if i motivate or inspire at least one person, i will be very happy!


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Living Arrows I









Last year, I participated in the Living Arrows project which was over on the iheartsnapping website. It was such an incredible project to be involved in and i loved capturing just ordinary snippets of the girls throughout the year. Living arrows is one candid picture a week of your child/children and it allowed me to capture moments that i wouldn't have normally captured had i not had my big camera in my hands. It is not often that i pick up my camera during the day now as i usually just snap away on my iphone and then take my camera out when we are in adventures.

This year, the wonderful Hayley over at Shutterflies has taken on the project and is hosting Living Arrows every week. I was asked again to participate and i jumped at the chance. After looking back at all of the photographs last year, i couldn't wait to get started again and i am so excited to be able to share the last 8 weeks of photographs so far for you all.

If you have a child and would like to participate in the project, you can link up every monday on Hayley's blog. It is such an amazing project to be involved in and you will thank yourself at the end of the year when you have an amazing collection of candid photographs that you wouldn't have normally captured!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Home staging

(Via Pinterest)


How to Use Show Homes for Home Decor Inspiration

The way you decorate your home has a big impact on how it looks, and the way it feels. Get your home decor right and you will turn your home into a comfortable sanctuary that meets the needs of your whole family. Get it wrong and you will feel frustrated and irritated every time you enter that room.
Key to getting home decor right is the planning and research stage. This post is going to help you with the first part of the planning process, which is getting inspiration for home decor projects.

Sources of inspiration

There are plenty of sources of inspiration out there. Amongst our favourites are home decor blogs and photo sites like Pinterest. These are both great because so many different types of people maintain them, which means that there is no shortage of style choice.
Magazines and showroom catalogues are another good source of information. These are all good sources of inspiration but for us show home inspiration is definitely best.

Physical sources of inspiration are best

It is one thing to see something in a magazine or online, but quite another thing to see it in reality. In a show home, you get a much better sense of whether a particular look, style or piece of furniture is for you or not.
You can wander around the whole property spending as much time as you like assessing the pros and cons of each style. In most show homes, you can sit on the sofa and spend a few minutes assessing how the room feels as well as how it looks.
In show homes, it is fine to take photos. You can print them off at home and put them in your stylebook. If you see an item of furniture or an ornament that you like having a photo to take around showrooms to show the assistants can really help. It is a great way to find something similar, and do so quickly.
Show homes are a great way to get a sense of scale. If you are not sure your living room is big enough for a 60 inch TV seeing one in a room that is of a similar size to yours can really help you to decide one way or another.
In addition, when you find something that you think may work for you and your family you have the chance to show the rest of the family. It can be hard for some people to visualise things. Being able to show your partner and kids a room decorated in a similar way can really help to convince them to go with your plans.

Other sources of inspiration

Showrooms are also a good source of information and inspiration. Most firms do not mind you taking photos. They will often give you catalogues and brochures to take home, which you can look at repeatedly to help you to make your final decisions.
The homes of your friends, neighbours and families can also be good sources of inspiration. Naturally, you do not want your home to look exactly like theirs, but you can borrow elements that you like for your own home.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Elle





My girls are so different. Elle has become very quiet, spends a lot of time learning and doing school work and writing stories and Mia is very loud, loves playing with every toy in sight and loves being with all the time.

Before Mia was born and when she was a baby, Elle and i used to climb into my bed in the evenings a lot for snuggles and movies before she would fall asleep next to me and i would carry her to her own bed. I cherished those moments and loved having that time with her but as Mia has gotten older and Elle has started school, there hasn't been much opportunity for Elle and i to have that time together without Mia wanting to join in or without Elle being tired as she has school so last night when i went to bed, i checked on on Elle. She was awake and asked if i could get her a drink. I felt a little bit excited that she was still awake and i scooped her up and carried her into my bed as Gilles is away for the week with work.

Even though she is only 6, Elle is quite mature and independant and i miss that little baby that was my world 24 hours a day for 2 and a half years before her sister came along. I miss that time of having her with me every day. I hate that she is at school and that i am missing out on everything she is doing 6 hours a day. She has this whole new world and other adults that she looks up to and those teachers and assistants get to know everything little thing about her and get to see her little face when she manages to read a tricky word or get a maths question right whilst i don't. I don't get to share that part of her life anymore and it makes me so sad. I seem to want to know everything about her day and eveything she did.

When i pulled her close to me last night, she went into her baby voice and i caught a glimpse of the little person she was only a few years ago. There wasn't a lot of light in the room, just the hall light through the door but she looked so grown up. I could see how she was going to look in years to come with her button nose, turned up lips and hundreds of freckles. She was talking about school and how she has been learning about bullies and the points system in her class when they have been good or bad. She got the top points score last term for her class for good behaviour and is really proud of herself. She started talking about how she cannot wait for my birthday so she can bake me a surprise cake and do all my jobs for me. How she wants to study hard to be an astronomer and a protector to all the bugs and insects.  I felt this huge wave of emotion come over me. I told her how proud i was of her and how she made me very happy and she moved in closer and rubbed her nose on mine. i couldn't ask for a more perfect little girl. She is so loving and kind. She loves adventures and is such a nature girl. Her favourite thing to do is to sit in the woods with her nature journal or to collect flowers and grass in her basket.

It breaks my heart to know that she is getting older and older now and is exploring this whole new world away from me. That i am not the one that she needs 24 hours a day any more. I wish i could keep her 6 forever because as Elle told me the other day "7 is like nearly a teenager!"

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Amongst the snowdrops













Today was a perfect adventure. We haven't managed to get out in the past two months due to the cold weather. Mimi has a condition where she cannot regulate her body temperture. If she gets too cold, her body turns deep purple and swells. She cries with pain and it is horrible for her so i have been keeping her indoors as much as i can. We have had cabin fever but, sometimes, you just have to do the best you can for your children. The weather has taken a turn and is starting to warm up which means adventures days are here.

Today we met my best friend, Hannah, and went on an adventure. We didn't have anything planned except to let the girls explore and get lost in their imagination. The spent a little time at the pools fishing and climbing trees and then we found the most beautiful snowdrops by the woods. The girls picked a few and filled their basket with snowdrops, moss grass and dried grass so we can make some birds nests.

I am so ready for blossom, rape seed and bluebells. I am ready for afternoon adventures and evening walks. I am so ready to create the most wonderful memories with these two little ladies this year.

Siblings in February






Sometimes i wish i was apart of this twosome. Elle and Mia have the most amazing bond that i just know will never be broken.

Mia just wants to be like her sister. She is starting school in September and she is so excited "because i am like my sister". Mia has given up pull ups at bedtime and she is really happy "because i am like my sister". Anything she does, she says she is a big girl like her sister. She idolises her. They really are inseparable and it makes me so happy knowing that they have the deepest love that two sisters could have. When Elle is at school and Mia isn't at preschool, she is forever asking when is it time to go and get Elle from school. She runs up to her when she comes out of school and Elle always picks her up and spins her around. They hold hands when they get to a road to cross and they giggle non stop in the back of the car. It really is amazing to see these two together.

"Siblings" is a monthly link up where myself and 6 other bloggers all share a photo of their children and then we each send you off to look at another blog. You can then go around in a circle, viewing all of the wonderful photographs and then why not link up yourself if you have two  children or more! This month, i am sending you over to Amber at Goblin Child who has the sweetest little twins. The stories, the photographs and the love that this family share will make you want to stay on her blog all day!


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