Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Siblings Project - January 2017

Its been a few months since I joined in with The Siblings Project. The last update I wrote was in October which you can read here, Siblings. If you have read my siblings posts then you will know that Eva and Ophelia's relationship wasn't always nice. It took Eva a long time to adjust to having a sister but thankfully they now have a great relationship. They now play together all the time which is great. 

In my last update I mentioned that Ophelia was trying to say Eva. She still can't say it properly but over the last few weeks she has learnt the word sister. She regularly calls for Eva by shouting sister or when Eva comes into the room she excitedly starts saying sister. It is super cute.

Ophelia is very loving towards Eva. On Christmas Day Eva was crying and Ophelia pretty much moved mountains to get to her to comfort her. I wish i'd videoed it. She literally pushed cushions out of the way, scrambled over peoples legs and pushed toys aside. She crawled from one end of the living room to the other in about 10 seconds flat. When she reached her she threw her arms around her and gave her a kiss. Hopefully this is the sign of a protective bond that will last a lifetime. 

This month has been an exciting one for them as their family have been over from Australia. Its been lovely having my mum, stepdad and sisters around and the girls have been over the moon with the extra attention. They think it's great having such young and cool aunties. 

Eva is now trying to teach Ophelia things. She tries to get her to say new words and often points things out for her to see. She recently taught her 'where's your nose?'. She also has taught her Twinkle, Twinkle which is adorable.

This month we visited the Festival of Light at Longleat which was amazing. Both the girls absolutely loved looking at all the lanterns. Eva took pride in pushing her sister around in the buggy. They really enjoyed themselves on the carousel together.

It was Eva's 4th birthday a couple of days ago and we had a party for her yesterday. Even though all of her school friends were that she still took the time to play with her sister which was lovely to watch.

We haven't got much planned for the rest of the month and we haven't got anything exciting set in stone for February. Ophelia is not far off walking so i'm sure that will bring a new dimension and level of excitement to their relationship when it happens. 

The Me and Mine Project

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Drop 2 dress sizes in 6 weeks

Towards the end of 2016 I went on a huge health kick and dropped 2 dress sizes in 6 weeks. I started at a size 12/14 and I am now a 8/10. I can assure you it can be achieved and i'm not talking about fad diets or juicing. All it took was exercise and healthy eating. 

I've struggled with my weight since having children. I've always been up and down. I guess it's a combination of eating more and a lack of energy and enthusiasm to exercise. Whilst weaning my second baby I would sit and finish any leftovers. I'm sure if you're a parent you've probably done that to. I also found it a bit of a drag to try and prepare lots of different meals. With a baby, a toddler and working, the last thing I wanted to do was prepare myself and hubby one meal and the kids something else. Time is precious and I certainly felt too busy to be doing things like that.

I've also suffered with PND. This combined with the tiredness of being a parent, really hadn't helped in providing any motivation to exercise or eat healthily. There were days when I couldn't even leave the house due to my PND so the the thought of leaving to do some exercise was completely alien. However, my attitude to life was completely wrong (more on that in a later blog post).

It was whilst I was looking back on photos from our holiday to Turkey during the summer that I realised I didn't even recognise myself. I had gained a lot of weight and I was very unhealthy. I was ashamed and gutted. This is not the example I wanted to set my girls. I wanted them to look at their mum and see a strong, confident, happy, healthy woman. It was time for a change.

I can't believe I've put this picture up for you all to see! I hate it.
I decided to get myself a personal trainer. This was the boost I needed to:
A - Get myself to the gym
B - Be able to do the right exercise for me
C - Provide me with nutritional advice
and D - Get me results.

I met with my trainer once to twice a week in a 6 week period. This combined with exercising 3 times a week and a healthy balanced diet enabled me to drop 2 dress sizes in 6 weeks. I lost a massive 5 inches from my waist, 0.5 from my hip, 1 from my thigh, 1 from my arm and gained 0.5 on my chest. I also lost 12 pounds in weight.

So what were we doing?
Exercise consisted mainly of weights, resistance and hiit (high intensity interval training). This worked perfectly for me as I am not a fan of cardio especially running. Think everything from burpees, jumps, squats, sandbags, kettle-bells, planking and much more. We would focus on one muscle group per training session but when we did hiit it would be an all over killer session.

What was I eating?
I reduced my portion sizes for a start. This didn't bother me as I was eating a more balanced diet which kept me fuller for longer. I was eating breakfast, a mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack, dinner and then a final snack before bed. This was more than what I would normally eat but as I said the portions were smaller and more targeted for weight loss and toning. The diet consisted of lots of protein, superfoods and no alcohol. 
I'll be going into more detail about my diet in a separate blog post but here's what a typical day looked like:
Breakfast - Banana, Porridge Oats, Skimmed Milk
Snack - Fat Free Yogurt
Lunch - Chicken Salad
Snack - Carrot Sticks and Humous
Dinner - Prawn Stir Fry
Snack - Rice Cake
I also drank a lot more water during the day. 

I'll be sharing my journey with you in a lot more detail from now on but I feel like it is only the beginning. I want to tone a lot more and I now know it is achievable after how quickly I have managed to change my body and mind set already.  I've certainly eaten and drunk way too much over Christmas so as soon as my family head back to Australia in a few days it's back to my normal routine.

I have fallen in love with clean eating and exercising again as I have seen all the benefits it has given me such as more energy and motivation in every aspect of my life, not just with exercise. Keep your eyes peeled for my meal planning posts, exercise posts and recipes. 

Buggies and Barbells

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Funny Posts from 2016

I've had a tough couple of days and a bad start to the new year. My PND and anxiety have creeped back on me again and i've got myself a troll. To cheer myself up i've been finding posts that have made me laugh so I thought i'd share with you my pick of the bunch from 2016 which includes some of my own.

1) My Parenting/Friendship CV for the mums at the school gate

This was written by myself around the time that Eva started preschool. It was all very new to me and I was worried I wasn't going to make any friends. I wrote this honest CV about myself for people to get to know me. The part where I describe my house as a shit tip is both hilarious and so very true.

2) Parent Blogging: Stock Photos vs. Reality - Someones Mum

This post gave me quite a giggle. As bloggers we quite often show a perfect life on camera but what's hiding behind the camera is vastly different. The workspace picture is my favourite. 

Every parent will surely be able to relate to this post. We all have strange conversations and talk utter nonsense. I laughed a lot at 'it's a tiny cut, there's no way i'm phoning you an ambulance,'. This is something I've heard my own mum say on numerous occasions.

This was another of my favourite posts that I wrote last year. If you are around the same age as me (31) this post should take you back to your childhood and have you reminiscing and giggling.

I could really relate to this post. 'Do you know what it's like to feel like a self service buffet?'. Yes I sure do. This makes for a very funny but very true and relatable post.

If you're a blogger you should enjoy reading this one. I can honestly say i've had pretty much all of those thoughts whenever I think about stats.

If you only have young children at the moment then make sure you read this post. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I think about what is to come. The food and drink section  is very true. I've spent the last year debating how to feed Ophelia and yet i'm watching my younger sister (16) asking our mum for some wine.

This was another post of mine. Eva developed quite a swag about her in the last year and we had many epic battles. Some I won, some she was triumphant. Pop over and have a read about our day trip to Bristol Zoo.

Before you become a parent you make a lot of statements and judgements about what kind of parent you're going to be. In my head I wanted to be like Mary Poppins. I've heard friend's of mine saying they'll never give their children and iPad or let them watch TV etc and yet now they watch Peppa Pig 24/7. 
This post I can completely relate to. In fact both my kids had a mcdonald's today! What sort of parent does that make me? Defo not Mary Poppins.

I can't tell you how many times my days have been like this since i've become a parent. It's days like this when all you can do is laugh or you'll cry.

Last up is this hilarious post about potty training. I never knew how much toilet roll a tiny person can use so I laughed out loud reading 'prepare yourself to become bankrupt".

I hope these posts have given you a chuckle. What have you read in the last year that has made you laugh? Had you previously read any of these posts?