Our January…

Last year I started a series called “Celebrating The Small Things” were every week I would do a round up of all the little things I had to be thankful for such as one of the children learning to tie there shoes or the excitement of seeing the first flowers of spring.

Being the unorganised and scatty person that I am, committing to getting this done every week all got to much but I still wanted to keep something going this year so I’ve switched things up about with a round up style post of our month and I hope you like what you see.

We kicked the year off in a pretty amazing way with a visit to Center Parcs. This is by far one of our favourite places to get away too but the price isn’t always to attractive. We managed to get a great deal and had a few days to relax, try out some new activities, swim to our hearts content and eat our body weight in pancakes.

After a pretty hectic Christmas and a trip away we decided the rest of the holiday should be dedicated to relaxing, recouping and enjoying our new home. I am always on the look out for the next thing to do and after a discussion with the kids we decided this year would be the year to take things at a slower pace and enjoy things like movies nights and playing board games instead of always being out chasing a new adventure.

I’m truth if was Frankie that really made me feel terrible about the amount of time we spend out as he informed me he never gets a chance to just go to the park and ride his bike as I’ve always planned something. I know you mum guilt hits you all the time but I really felt terrible at the fact I must have been putting so much pressure on them.

It was Frankie’s birthday at the beginning of the month and we celebrated him turning seven with a his first day back a school which didn’t go down to well and a steak dinner. Next year it’s my mission to not let the December and January birthdays go so unnoticed.

I jumped on the keep fit bandwagon with the majority of people and got myself back into David Lloyd more regularly again. The weight had certainly piled on again over Christmas and I was eager to hit those goals again this year.

After a bit of a nightmare with going backwards and forwards to hospital and orthodontist visits, both Izzy and Archie are finally on their way to getting perfect teeth after having their braces fitted.

I’m sure most of you feel the same and get pretty bored of the same old meals everyday. I was as bored of cooking them as the kids were of eating them so I dusted off the cookbooks and tried some things I’ve never had before. All I can say is move over Wagamama as I can now cook a pretty mean katsu curry!

I’ve been adding a few pieces to the house to put our own stamp on it, but with things being a little tight I have been trying to my good friends EBay and the bargain corner at IKEA and found some great pieces. It always makes me feel happier to know I’ve got a bargain.

We rounded the month off with our first event of the year and it was a good one to say the least. We headed to Islington for the release of How To Train Your Dragon. Not only was it an amazing movie they you all need to see but the interactive event was amazing and the boys literally felt like they had been transporting the Isle Of Berk.

Back On Track With David Lloyd Purley

Today hurt, it pushed me to my limits, it made me want to just give up but I didn’t. Today was my first day back in to David Lloyd – Purley since before Christmas and although each and every minute in that spin class pushed me to breaking point I got through it, enjoyed it and it has given me that much needed motivation to keep going.

I know at the moment their is a huge buzz around accepting our bodies for the way they are but this is something that doesn’t sit well with me. I have always been taught to strive to be the best I can when it comes to things such as work and parenting so why shouldn’t this be the same for the way my body looks and feels. Yes my body has carried five babies and age is no longer on my side but that is no excuse to neglect the body that has done so much for me and why shouldn’t I strive to get it looking and feeling the best way it possibly can. I know its not going to be easy and since I first started back on my fitness journey last year I have both good and bad moments but I have learnt from both.

Over the last few months I was utillising the gyms fantastic kids clubs and cafe area to catch up on work rather than for looking after myself and my own well being and although it was fantastic for allowing me to hit targets with work it meant that my fitness and weightloss were suffering. Im using this New Year to get things back on track, manage my time better and smash those goals and I hope you will join me on my journey!

  • We have been given a family membership for the purpose of these posts.

Teaching My Children To Make Non-Resolutions

In the past the 1st January has never filled me with hope and longing for the fresh New Year ahead but more of a sinking feeling that so many of those resolutions I had made the year before had not been achieved and probably more accurately been broken within the first week.

It heralds a time when society tells us that we need to compile huge lists of goals and aspirations for the year ahead that whist writing I am already in my head knowing that trying to fulfil all these dreams and wishes within such a short space of time is going to be unrealistically achievable.

I know that for many of you the dawn of a New Year is the perfect start to clean the slate and achieve new goals and I applaued you for this but it is simply something that has never worked for me.

As my children grow the tradition of New Years’s resolutions are obviously something that they have become interested in so this year I have decided to introduce non-resolutions.

Instead of looking back on the past year and highlighting the things we haven’t achieved I will be earging them to highlight the positives, even if they may have seemed insignificant at the time, its all of the little things that go unnoticed I want them to reflect on and celebrate.

Instead of setting goals within an arbitrary time frame I want them to create life goals they can strive towards and achieve when they are good and ready, have hopes and dreams they can fulfil within a time that suits them and most importantly celebrate simply being who they are and be proud of whatever they achieve whenever they choose to do it.

Getting 2018 Off To A Swimming Start

Oh yes in only a few weeks all the jollities of Christmas will be over and it will be time to start thinking about the brand new year ahead of us.

After weeks of gorging on mince pies and mulled wine, spending hours in front of the television dipping into the christmas chocolates and feasting on three course meals with the family the first thing on my mind is going to be how to shift all of that winter weight gain!

If I’m completely honest it isn’t just Christmas that is to blame for my expanding waistline it has slowly been creeping on over the past two years and I’m finding it increasingly hard to give off that ‘I’m happy with my body at any size’ vibe!

Over my adult life I have struggled terribly with body image and still harbour a very unhealthy relationship with food that over the years has left me very poorly from under eating and over training to bringing out huge insecurities though talking things to the other end of the scale where I massively over eat and lead a very sedentary lifestyle.

Its not just what I look like on the outside that is an issue, I know I’m currently in a place when I’m not feeding my body as I should and this is leading to me feeling constantly lethargic and lacking in motivation.

My mental health is also bearing a lot of strain as my confidnce has taken a huge battering and I am finding myself avoiding social situations where I might feel intimidated by other women and am making myself feel very isolated at times.

Sitting here writing this has really brought this issue to light for me and although I’m really not a lover of setting New Years resolutions I am going to go into the New Year with a positive mind about getting myself fit and healthy so that I am happy within myself and not letting this have a detrimental effect on my family.

Through a combination of over training in my younger days, being overweight and the general effects of getting older my joints are really feeling the strain these days and I think the best way to get things back on track again is to ease myself into exercise with swimming.

Im not the strongest of swimmers but with even an easy swim burning off up too 500 calories it is certainly a great way to kick start exercise again.

The thought of donning a swimsuit however is filling me with dread but there are some great plus size swimwear options out there to ease the pain.

Once in the pool its not only calories that will be burned; it will also help to boost my metabolism and all the while keeping my joints safe.

Water is also a massive 800 times denser than air so with each push, pull and kick it will give your body a great resistance workout too.

So this new year will hopefully see me facing my fears, changing my way of life and fingers crossed getting some great results!

*collaberated post

Centrale And Whitgift Welcome The Chinese New Year

My local shopping centre holds a special place in my heart, not only for being somewhere I spend every weekend as a teen trying on clothes I couldn’t afford and whiling away hours with friends planning outfits for all our crazy nights out; but also because it was the the place I attended my first ever blogging event

Since then I have worked with Centrale and The Whitgift Centre in Croydon on several occasions from celebrating their Heritage Festival to picking out my capsule wardrobe at their fantastic ‘Your 5’ event.

Sadly I’m not going to be able to make their upcoming event on the 5th Febuary where they will be celebrating Chinese New Year that for those of you that don’t know is the year of the rooster.

It is set to be a fun filled event with lots of music, martial arts displays and plenty of dancing including the famous ‘dragon dance’.

If that’s  not enough there will be plenty to keep the children busy with face painting, calligraphy workshops and a zodiac sign stand.

So if you are looking for something to do between 1-5 this Sunday then this would be a great place to visit and educate you’re little ones on this fabulous time of year.

  

Getting This Year Organised With Gel-a-Peel

All of my children are extremely unorganised…sadly a trait passed down from me and it’s something that I really don’t want them to take into adulthood.
I am always forgetting things, turning up to appointments at the wrong time or occasionally not at all!

I have made a really rubbish role model in this department and as well as getting myself organised this year I wanted the children to start taking more responsibility of their day to day life and get their days into order so I’m not running back and forth to different schools dropping off all their forgotten items.

This year we were challenged to create a personalised diary to start off the new year with Gel-a-Peel and I took this as the perfect opportunity to get number three a little more organised.

She is probably the scattiest of them all and will be starting secondary school in September which is going to be a whole new ball game with regards to the amount of responsibility that will be on her shoulders. So filling out a week long diary of the activities she has and what she needs for each of them will be a great start.

Last year we were lucky enough to be sent a set from Gel-a-Peel that number three had lots of fun creating bundles of jewellery for herself and her friends.

It is a great concept and allows them to use their imagination to get creative and using it to decorate a diary will give it a really individual feel.


She set to thinking of a design she wanted and used a variety of different coloured gels and tips sizes to create something that was individual to her.


Once she was happy with her diary she couldn’t resist some more jewellery making with the sixteen templates provided and the hair clips, bracelets and earrings that are also provided in the set.


Let’s hope the fact that she has been allowed free rein on the design of her diary it will help with the want for her to be more organised. Watch this space!

Goals And Aspirations For 2017

A New Year is a chance for a fresh start, a blank page, a time for infinite opportunities.

A lot of people aren’t fond of the idea of New Years resolutions, but for me it gives me focus and something to work towards. If I don’t fulfil them by the end of the year I know that I have tried my hardest to get there.

Here are my goals for this year and I hope that I can fulfil as many as I can:

Educate Myself – I really want to press on with improving my blog this year and to do this I need to learn some new skills.

Photography has become a huge love of mine but I have been completely winging it so I am going to enroll on a photography course to hone my skills.

SEO is something that scares and baffles me in equal measures and is something I am determined to understand and implement this year.

Blog design is something I have no idea how to start with, but I’m going to have a complete rebranding this year and hope to do most of it myself.

A Tidy House, A Tidy Mind – My house has become increasingly cluttered this year with piles in corners and stuff squirrelled away.

This year I want to have a clear home that will hopefully allow me to be more organised in other areas of my life.

Giving Back – The extravagances of Christmas have got me thinking about teaching the children there are people out there that a lot less fortunate and getting them involved in projects that allow us to give a little something back.

Making food bank donations and sponsored fun runs are just a couple of the things I have in mind for us to do.

Play Everyday – After lots of time together and the obligatory Christmas games I have decided to dedicate one night a week to just playing games together as a family.

No screens will be allowed and we can have a few hours together having some good old fashioned fun  as a family, so any board game recommendations would be more than welcome!

Stop Procrastinating – I am terrible at putting things off in favour of doing something more appealing.

This is why I get into a state of panic several times a week when I’ve left posts until the last minute or school projects that that kids need help with.

From now on I will make lists of things they need doing and get them done without the constant distractions I make for myself.

One On One Time – I’ve attended a few events this year that I’ve only taken one of the children to and this one on one time with them had been so good for both of us.

This is going to be a hard one but I’m going to try my hardest to get some time every month on my own with just one child at a time.

Time For Me And My Relationship – Both of these this are always way at the back of the queue when it comes to priorities and every year I promise to put myself and my husband first every now and then and it never happens.

From now on even if it’s just a coffee on my own to be away from the home to collect my own thoughts or a trip to the cinema with my husband it’s going to be one of my top priorities as I’m sure it makes for a happier home for everyone in the long run.

Who knows how many of this goals will be meet and if they are will I keep them up for the entire year.

All I know is I’m going to try my hardest and give my all and I can’t do any better than that!


 

New Year, New Me

  

Well the first month of the year has been and gone, along with most people’s New Years Resolutions!

I usually start off my New Year with a big long list of all the things I want to accomplish in my brand new clean diary.  A New Year, a new page in the book and so much to look forward too.

The more the year goes and and the less I can tick off the more down I become about achieving these goals which just leads to self doubt and lack of motivation.

This year there have been no lists to adhere to, no big unachievable goals just thoughts and dreams in my head that I will work towards with no time restraints and no pressure.

As with most people a change of lifestyle always appears in the forefront of my mind.  Last year my weightloss journey hit a brick wall and left me feeling deflated and a few  weeks ago I had a wake up call about inflicticting bad eating and body image habits on my children.  So this year there will be no scales, fad diets or unrealistic exercise regimes.  Just clean eating, staying active and not stressing if we sway and have the odd treat!

We are only here once and depriving yourself of the things you love is no fun for anyone.  The moto this year is ‘everything in moderation’. This has been an issue for me for many years as I’ve been an all or nothing kind of person but I need to turn this around and hopefully this year will be my year.