Label: Lifestyle

May Favourites

Forgive me for this being a little late but as you will read on it has been a very busy month.

1. Grey Feature Wall – Over the May bank holiday Luke painted the feature wall in our Living Room and I just love it. The previous colour was a dark red which suited the room from October to February, however as soon as Spring approaches our living room looks dark, small, and out of season. I love grey, I have the same colour in multiple rooms in our home, it really has brighten the room up and has given us a neutral canvas to display our gorgeous family photos.

2. The Chiltern Country Luxe Reed Diffuser – Luke has been on his travels with work for the past couple of months, while he was away he caught up with his Aunt and Uncle and returned with gifts. One of them happened to be this gorgeous reed diffuser which I claimed was too nice for our downstairs powder room and promptly took it to our ensuite, however after a few days I had to purchase one for downstairs too as I loved the fragrance so much.

3. White Amber perfume – Luke counted down my birthday in gifts and one of the fragrances he purchased for me was this, I always used to purchase florally scents but really love this warm fragrance.

4. 30th Birthday Celebrations – My thirtieth birthday was obviously a highlight of the month, I was spoilt so much, gifts are my love language!

5. Dream Big Candle – This was a gorgeous gift from an equally gorgeous friend! Not only does this smell amazing it fits perfectly with my new living room decor.

6. Peonies – My favourite flower of all time which only happens to be in season around my birthday, so I was spoilt by Luke and my sister and brother in law to, two bunches of them my house looked as if you were walking into a florist.

7. Spigen Style Ring – This was one of my birthday presents and I am so happy that Luke has purchased it for me, I am really enjoying snippets of my day over on Instagram Stories and having this ring just gives some added protection with my phone.

8. Afternoon Tea – This was my birthday treat from my sister and it was a great gift to be able to spend time with her and eat some delicious cake even if I had to take it home with me, we were so full!

9. New Kitchen Lights – It is approaching 4 years since we purchased our home (where has time gone?) and every winter a common complaint heard in the kitchen is how dark it is. The previous owners had opted for a strip LED monstrosity, which along with not seeing a duster in years and being a hideous design, didn’t serve it’s most basic function – that to light up a room. I would love to have the height to install pendant lighting over our kitchen dining table but I lack the huge American house so we went with these from John Lewis and I am thrilled. They already make sure a difference to the room and I am loving how this small changes to our house continue to improve it.

April Favourites

1. Easter Break – We had a wonderful long Easter weekend this year and managed to maximise each day without feeling exhausted or having two grumpy children at the end of it! There was an Easter treasure quest type thing at Brodsworth Hall that we went to with friends which was great, you can check out Rachel’s blog here. We also got to see my sister and brother in law who  Nathanael and Judah just love – it does no harm that they come armed with treats too! I successfully managed to cook the best lamb dinner ever, so much so that Nathanael had thirds, and I let him because he can be a bit picky over his protein!

2.  Monin Sugar Free Syrups – With a toddler and baby to get ready I have taken to just making my coffee at home rather than going out to coffee shops so I purchased some flavoured syrups to add to my coffee.  On Slimming World these are only 0.5 syns for 2 tablespoons and there is no way I have 2 tablespoons in my coffee so I class them as syn free.

3. Spring Sunshine – we had a glorious weekend of 20 degree weather this month and we used it to it’s full potential by making a picnic and packing up to go out for the day. We always know we will have a great time at Brodsworth Hall, Nathanael especially loves running around the gardens and occasionally mummy will join in too!

4. Wire Talk with Karen Stubbs podcast – My podcast love continues and this one is so great for where I am at with parenting right now. Imagine sitting down with friends who have been there and seen it all with parenting and raising their children to love God giving you some great advice. What I especially love is that as people write in with questions not only does Karen give advice she always give a resource – book, website etc  to refer to as well as something practical they could be doing – you know how much I love this part as I am a doer!

5. Retro From Scratch Food Diary – This food diary has been essential for me as I continued my weight loss journey and now as I am a Slimming World Target member. The act of writing down everything I have been eating has been revolutionary to how I approach meals of the day and especially snacking. I also love the columns for speed/protein and free food to ensure I am keeping to a third speed food, which can be tricky at times!

6. Post It Super Sticky Notes – A bit of a random one, but you all know how much I adore stationary and these Post It are the best! The whole back is adhesive what a  glorious thing – no more notes dropping everywhere that you were sure pinned somewhere. Gone are the days of the paper curling up – I can’t stand it! I will now no longer stoop to the inferior Post It kind and these are my go to. I bet you didn’t think anyone could be passionate about a Post It!

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March Favourites

Arrow – Luke and I have been on a quest to find a new show to get into now Suits and Lucifer are on a break.  As any parent to littles, we don’t have a ton of time to waste on TV and usually prefer a box set that we can get stuck into. I had seen Arrow advertised a while back on Amazon but thought I am not watching some crazy guy with a bow and arrow trying to be like Robin Hood. I am glad I put that aside and took a chance on the first episode because I am seriously hooked! No spoilers please I have only just finished the second season.

Red Raspberry Yankee Candle – Luke purchased me some candles for Mothers Day and did incredibly well at picking up this scent! He always does well with gift giving which is good because I love gifts!

Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy podcast – I have spoken for my love of podcasts before and I suppose I am not the target demographic for this podcast but circa 2002/2003 I began my appreciation for cricket (had nothing to do with James Anderson btw) I made my Dad purchase for me a Lancashire County Cricket Membership quite hilarious with him being a “true Yorkshireman” and all that but what can I say, he put the tribalism aside because I was watching cricket. Anyway this was why I decided to give this podcast a listen, I have never laughed so much in my life to the stories the guys tell you about but also they have some serious debates and some really thoughtful poignant moments too. Well worth a listen!

Family Time – With our Wedding anniversary in March, Luke took a week off work for us all to spend some quality time as a family. I don’t know about you but the weekends we run from one place to another it can be tricky to truly savour time spent with family. We went to National Rail Way Museum and also bought a yearly pass to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park so a great couple of days out as well as managing to fit in a DIY project too!

Tesco Crazy Caramel – On my quest to find low syn treats that are Slimming World friendly I discovered these, at only 4 syns per mini bar they are the perfect size to take that chocolate craving away and in my opinion a lot nicer than Mars!

Judah’s Six Month Birthday – At the end of March we celebrated Judah’s half birthday, I baked a cake and we had a great time taking photos of him looking enviously at the cake. Luke, Nathanael and I all enjoyed it for him!

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Januuary/February Favourites

1. Sherlock A controversial one I know with some disappointed with the season, and I have got to say that I wasn’t a fan of the strangling or the whole twist with redbeard, my mothers heart can’t take that at the moment. However the whole season was worth it for the last 10 minutes of the final episode. I just love Sherlock and I will be so sad if that is the last series!

2. Voxer App I have been loving this app this month, with one child or another usually surrounding me I don’t have the time, hands or lets face it patience to text so using this app like a walkie talkie to message Luke has been great!

3. Deborah Crombie (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James novels) With cluster feeding at night in full force I have a good one and a half hours where I stationary, this is the perfect time to devour some books. At the moment I am averaging a book every 2 nights, and I have been loving the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James novels, with it being a detective series it is the perfect easy fiction for me, a new case each book but with main characters I am invested in already.

4. Radio 4 – Last month Judah hit his four month sleep regression – argh! Copious amounts of coffeehelped me to get through the day and at night to keep me awake while I was feeding Judah it was the wonder of radio 4. I am up to date with most political events throughout the world as well as listening to the joy of Brain of Britain, Moral Maze and A Good Read.

5. Judah’s Dedication The highlight of January had to have been Judah’s dedication. We had a great time with family and friends celebrating the wonderful gift that Judah is to us.

6. Slimming World If you have visited my blog recently you will have noticed there hasn’t been a great variety of posts because plain and simple I lack time! There is no way I am going to sacrifice precious time with my family to blog – it would be a bit ridiculous blogging motherhood and my life without actually being present in it!
One thing that I  managed to keep up with are my slimming world meal plan posts and that has definitely been a favourite over the past few months, it has kept me on track and  has provided some structure to my eating without wanting to devour the biscuit tin!

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Slimming World Meal Plan Six

Well it has taken sixteen weeks but I have done it, I have reached a sensible target weight  I thought for while I was breastfeeding Judah.
I honestly believed that because I held onto the weight with Nathanael that it would take me a year to loose what I wanted, and now only sixteen weeks on plan I have lost 20 pounds.
I have got to say I am proud of myself, within that time period I have had my eldest son’s birthday, Christmas, New Years, 3 rounds of Judah’s immunisations and a dedication. I am definitely an emotional eater, when I am happy I celebrate with cake, when I am sad I commiserate with cake!
It hasn’t been easy but the reward of feeling good in my skin after having Judah has definitely been worth it.

So what next? I had envisioned that after the year it would take me to get to this target that I would eventually lower my target to a weight similar to when I got married.
Notice I say similar – I don’t think it is realistic to be back down to that specific number but somewhere around that would be nice. I will know when I get there, what I think I will be able to maintain comfortably, while still enjoying a treat or two. I really think this is the best part of Slimming World it is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix diet.

Onto what I had last week for my main meals!

Monday – Chicken Fried Rice (Slimming World Website)
Tuesday – Salmon, Cous Cous and Mediterranean vegetables
Wednesday – Balsamic Pork
Thursday – Chilli with wedges (Slimming World Website)
Friday – Spaghetti Bolognaise (an odd one but I shoved tons of speed veg in)
Saturday – Chicken Tikka Masala (Slimming World Website)
Sunday – Eating Out at Nandos, I removed the skin and had the side salad.