Tuesday, 31 March 2015

And smile studio








A few weeks back, i entered a giveaway on Instagram to win some goodies from the wonderful Andsmilestudio. I was so excited when i realised i had won and a few days later, i got the most amazing parcel full of all the things i had won! I was so overwhelmed by all the amazing things in the parce. Viktorija is so talented and i am in love with all my new goodies. I have already been wearing some of the brooches, my favourites being the fox and yellow flower brooches. I have plans for the prints in the girls rooms and i have displayed the other brooches on my dressing table for now.

I wanted to do a little post to share all these amazing products as i seriously cannot get over how wonderful the illustrations are and how kind Viktorija was to offer such an amazing giveaway (i feel super lucky to win after seeing how many people had entered!!!). I know a few of my readers like unique and quirky prints and i am so happy to be sharing these with you all today! Go and take a peek at the etsy shop!

Spring cleaning your sofa





It is finally spring and even though i feel like i might get blown away if i venture outside, i am still feeling happy and inspired as the sunshine pours through the windows. Spring always makes me feel like freshening up things in my house. I love to change around some of my artwork and i love bringing in lots of fresh flowers from the market. My favourites are hyacinths and i put them in kilner jars around the house as well as daffodils and lilacs from the tree in the garden. 

We used to have a fabric sofa that was a awful beige colour and i thought it was a really clever idea of me to staple floral fabric on it but it kept popping off and falling down and i kept getting frustrated because i couldn't think of an alternative but i didn't have any spare pennies to buy a whole new sofa and chair. Multiyork offer replaceable covers for sofa's that allow you to transform your sofa, chairs and furniture. It is the perfect time to give your sofa's a spruce for Spring. You can even choose new covers in a seasonal fabric - cool linen or cotton for summer and soft chenille for winter snuggling. It is very simple and quick to make the change and you can see for yourself here in this video which shows a professional and a customer changing the same chair. Here are some great before and after shots to inspire you! 




Read more at http://www.multiyork.co.uk/why-multiyork/replaceable-covers#qZV8xFQsB7Kyhqet.99






(This is a collaborative post)

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Heather and blossom eggs









When ever spring is here, i love to play around with flowers. I wanted to do a few crafts with the girls for the lead up to Easter so the girls and i went to pick some blossom from a tree near our house this morning. I picked up some eggs from the store and we used the blossom, some potted heather that i had by my beside table and some dried grass from the meadow from last year to decorate some eggs with. Last year, the girls and i made birds nests from dried grass and i had kept mine in my bedroom. I added some blossom to the nest and love how the blossom and egg completely bring it back alive.

I am planning on making nests these holidays with the girls again and i am excited to try new ideas to decorate the nests and eggs. I love how simple these are and such a lovely way to decorate eggs. We will also be naturally dying some eggs also. I love doing lots of traditional easter crafts with the girls and i cannot wait until we make our nests next week!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Fitness {March}









This month has been a bit of a breakthrough month. My weight has finally gone down after plateauing for a few weeks. I am also on on the last week of the Kayla Itsine's bbg workout guide. I have been adding in different workouts and mixing things up a bit. I don't really feel any different in my body even though i have lost weight. I think because i do a lot of weight and resistant work that i have more muscle which makes me feel bigger even though my weight has dropped.

Exercise

I am a the end of week 12 of the Kayla Itsine's bbg workout guide. Tomorrow will be my last workout for this guide but i am going to start guide 2 on monday so i will have another 12 weeks, I will be doing my final measurements and progress pictures on Sunday. I have been adding a lot more HIIT (high intensity interval training) into my plan and not doing as many 5k runs. I have been doing a lot of reading and doing a 20 min HIIT workout burns more calories than a 30 min run. It is all about spiking your heart rate with a fast sprint or high intensity move and then lowering it and then spiking it again. You get an after effect where you will continuing to burn calories even after your exercise whilst your heart rate tries to return to normal. I have found this more enjoyable than a longer run and it is a fast fat burning workout which i prefer. I have two alternate programmes that i use and wanted to share

1. I do a treadmill workout which is 22 mins long and alternates between walking, jogging and fast sprint bursts. I do this at the gym and love it. I always feel like i have had a good workout when i have finished and anything that makes me nearly want to throw up is good enough for me!

2. I do a skipping workout where i do 30 sec reps. I start with a slow skip for 30 seconds and then a fast, feet together skip for 30 seconds. I use an ap called Seconds where i set the intervals for 30 secs over 20 mins and i do it in my front room whilst watching a tv show.

If you want to do a HIIT workout, make sure that you high intensity sections are as fast or hard as you can do as you will get the most out of it and spike that heart rate as much as you can.

Another thing i have been doing is doing a few workouts on my non BBG workout days from this youtube channel. It is a lady called Christine Salus and she does longer HIIT videos which you can choose from to burn 500,600,700 or 1000 calories etc. I don't think those calories are a true exact amount but they are tough. I have done her 1000 calorie one hour workout and then i did her 700 sweat-fest hiit video as well. They are tough and get your stamina up fast! So if you are looking for a challenge, these videos are great to start with.

Weight/measurements

I haven't done my measurements recently but i weighed at the gym last week on the machine there at it came up at 8 stone 5. That is a 15lbs loss since January. I mentioned in my February update how frustrating it was to not really see any weight loss but this month i have gone down quite a bit. As i mentioned though, i don't really see where the weight has gone. I thought losing a stone would be a huge noticeable change but i don't really feel it is. My waist is a lot smaller and my bottom is but my legs feel the same and that is the area i want to slim down! I won't get hung up on that though and there is a quite that Kayla posted about "Trusting the process" and i need to remember that. If i have my goals set and working out as i should and eating as i should then, eventually, i will see the results i have set myself. This is a lifestyle change and i am three months in. I cannot expect miracles straight away. In another three months, i am sure i will be happier with how i look!

Food

I am still eating as healthy as i can. I am opting for healthier options where ever i am. We have been out a few times for pub meals and instead of going for burgers, i always opt for jacket potato and water. I haven't touched any fizzy pop like coke for the whole three months. I keep all my food entered into my fitness pal so i know what i have had, how it has added up and what workouts i need to do to counter any bad decisions. I have hardly made any though and i am proud that i haven't been tempted to have chips, crisps, burgers or sweets. I snack on fruit and my meals consist mainly of a bowl of chicken and veg in a low cal stock. I am really obsessed with these meals right now and crave them as soon as i wake up!! I think 5 days out of 7 i have the chicken and veg and the other two are normally jacket potatoes. ( I have just read through my february update and it seems my meals haven't changed over the last two months and i just stick to these meals!!) I really don't mind having the same things. I know i am getting all the nutrients i need and not filling my body with sugar and processed food.  I actually cannot believe that i have been as strict as i have!


I am looking forward to my next update already. I cannot wait to see what the BBG 2 has to offer! I know it is going to be tough and i am up for the challenge. Hopefully i will notice a difference in my body and start to feel a little happier with my progress.

                                                               (January, Febraury)

Friday, 27 March 2015

An Easter breakfast




Easter is one of my most favourite holidays. To me, it is the start of spring and having that gloomy winter feeling finally lifted. It is about Easter egg hunts and pastel crockery and being with family. I love the magic feel it has and the girls being all excited that the Easter bunny has come. The feeling is on par with Christmas but everything seems more sunny and fresh. I have started putting bunches of flowers all around the house to brighten up the rooms.

One of my favourite parts of Easter is sitting around the table with your family. This year, i want to set out a nice breakfast for my husband and girls before we go off and visit family. I love the idea of eating eggs and soldiers together and bringing a little part of the garden inside with fresh flowers in the centre and baked muffins and teacakes as extra special breakfast treats on a cake plate. We are planning on making our birds nests next week so i hope to be able to use them as a feature on the table as well. Do you have any Easter traditions? What are you looking forward to the most? I would love to hear your plans.


(all items from HomeSense)

(this is a collaborative post)

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Saving


One of my ultimate goals over the next five years, is to buy our first house. We have been renting since my husband and i started dating which was over 10 years ago. We moved into our first flat together after 6 months of dating and instead of saving money for a mortgage, we just enjoyed eating out and being young. Gilles proposed to me a year later and we soon realised that if we stayed in our flat, we wouldn't be able to save for the wedding so we moved back in with is parents for a year to save for the wedding. A week before the wedding, we moved straight into a rented house again and after having Elle, we moved into our current house which is owned by a friend. I dream all the time about owning our own home. We are so lucky in our current home because it is a big house and we have wonderful features such as fireplaces in the bedrooms and wooden floors so we haven't really been in a hurry to move out.

From September, Mia goes to full time school like her sister which gives me five days a week to work on my photography. I have decided that from then, i will start saving away some of my earnings so we can live off my husbands earnings and save mine. This is going to allow us to save up for our first house and also have savings that we have never had before. It makes it feel like that we are finally going to have a little bit of security and something to fall back on if we ever needed it.

-One of the first things that i am going to do is do a monthly budget plan. This is something that i have wanted to do over the last year but now i have started taking on more work, i have a better idea of our finances and Gilles and i can work out what we can save each month and what we can use as treat money.

-I would love to start meal planning. This ties a little bit into the montly budget plan. We live opposite a huge supermarket and it is so easy for us to shop on the day for our dinner or to just pop over for one thing and end up buying five because we can! I love the idea of doing the shopping on a monday and sticking to what we have bought to feed us for the week. We waste far too much money on things we do not need in that shop!

-Invest! Even though we want to save, i would love more security for our future and more security for the girls. I have recently come across Nutmeg which allows you to create a portfolio and invest your money over a wide range of schemes such as stocks or commercial property. Nutmeg help you set up and can choose the right investments for you and you can see where your money is invested and how it is growing via the website. If you have previous ISA's, they can be transferred over to your account. The best thing about Nutmeg is that you can spread your money over different investments to get the best benefits without putting all your money into one investment. Having them spread over many different investments opens up opportunities for good returns and lowers the risk.

This seems like a perfect choice for us. Having something which would allow the girls to potentially benefit from is highly important to me.

-Keep track of my own incomings and outgoings. I tend to spend money as and when it comes it. Sometimes i cannot even tell you where the money has gone! It is just little things like a day to the soft play centre or a quick stop at the garden centre before the school run. I have started keeping track of everything by using spreadsheets which allows me to see what i am spending and to see where it is going and how i can curb that spending such as leaving my purse at home when i pop to the garden centre. I don't need that costa hot chocolate to walk around the shop with and those egg cups that i might put in my basket because they would look perfect on a shelf in the kitchen! ;)

I am really feeling positive about our finance goals. I think it is achievable for us and if i keep in my head how important it is to us to find our own home, then i know we can stay on track as there is something that we are working towards. We have set out goals and i am just looking forward to achieving them now!

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