Mum & Daughter Date Night Ideas

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I remember when I was little I always felt so special when I spent individual time with my parents. My Mum would take me shopping, or to visit my Godmother’s house and I would just love to be ‘just she and I’ for a little while, enjoying each other’s company. I also have really fond memories of helping my Dad build furniture (he was once a technology/woodworking teacher) and for a while was always called upon to help friends and family put flat pack furniture together. I learned lots from him about it and it definitely taught me to be a hands-on, capable sort, and I also really loved that we always got some fish and chips while we were ‘working’.

But enough rambling. Well it’s sort of near-to-the-point rambling I suppose. Anyone still here? What I’m getting at is that I’m learning now from the parenting side of the fence, how important it is to spend quality time with your children. This isn’t preachy, not at all – I just thought I would share a little wishlist of things I’m hoping to do with my daughter (and with my son when he is a little older – at the moment he’s just happy sitting on my knee and reading a book and playing with my hair) as I think it not only allows for the creation of special memories, but for the opportunity to really get to know each other not just as relatives but as individuals. Some of these we’ve already done, but I certainly would like to repeat them again sometime. So what ideas are out there? Here are just a few I’ve thought of and also seen around:

  • Weekly movie night
  • Visit the library regularly
  • Go for a starbucks
  • Go shopping
  • Spend a day at the seaside
  • Take the train somewhere random for lunch
  • Go to a concert
  • Take an art/painting/sculpture class
  • Sing together in a choir
  • Do a fashion show at home for the family
  • Take a museum tour
  • Go geocaching
  • See a musical
  • Have a dinner date
  • Have a game night/board games
  • Go on a picnic
  • Camp out in the back garden
  • Spend a day doing something for charity
  • Do a family yoga session
  • Bake buns together
  • Watch the stars
  • Make a scrapbook
  • Go for afternoon tea somewhere fancy
  • Dress up as a family EVERY Halloween
  • Do a colour run
  • Go for sushi
  • Watch Lord of the Rings/Dr Who/Gone with the Wind/Star Wars/Harry Potter etc…
  • Have a spa/pampering night
  • Go horseriding
  • Go for a bike ride

I can’t wait to keep working through the list. If anyone reading has some new ideas that I can add to the list, please do make some suggestions.

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Have you discovered Bullet Journaling?

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Omg. Bullet journaling.

Have you heard of it? It’s literally like, where have you been all my life?

I’ve always had a particular love and geeky adoration of stationery, journals, pretty books and pens. I can’t explain it, they just make the world a better place. They make me happy. I always loved each new academic year, zipping down to the shops to get my newest, most sparkly diary so I could start using it, scribbling, doodling and generally getting organised within its pretty, colourful pages. Using pretty stationery appeals to my organised nature, as well as my enjoyment of arts and crafts.

So you can imagine my sheer, unutterable joy and excitement when I discovered the existence of the bullet journal. If you haven’t heard of it, then let me enlighten you. Its a system of keeping a diary/journal that has a simple but organised approach that can be pared down to the basics, or can allow you to be free and expressive with your creativity. There are loads of tutorials and explanations online and various social media groups where the fans of the bullet journal share and interact – this post is about my excitement about it rather than a lesson in how it works. It’s creator calls it the ‘analogue system for the digital age’ and it really does allow you to go back to a simple, basic approach to  organising and scheduling – and it has certainly helped me move away from using electronic equipment – which in my case was becoming a little overwhelming.

Recently, I have gone through some personal stuff (when I’m feeling braver I’m hoping to share it on this blog) but the anxiety and issues that I’ve suffered along the way have been soothed and supported by using my bullet journal. It is an excellent tool for allowing me to record, remember, plan, organise my chaotic brain and also create and doodle, scribble and express with a freedom that I haven’t felt since I was doing Art in 6th Year. It’s very therapeutic.

So what is in it? Which parts of it do I find the most enjoyable? Well, the basic planner part is great, because you can do your usual calendar and to-do lists, but you can enhance them and explore them by adding in personal, creative touches. When you’re doing a long, onerous Monday morning do-to list, what is nicer than being able to draw something pretty on it or add some sparkly stickers? It definitely helps me stay cheerful when I’m extra busy or have lots of responsibilities. It helps me take life LESS seriously.

In addition to my calendar, I also have personalised aspects in my bullet journal – as do most users. That’s the joy of it – even if you’re not artistic and don’t want to create and doodle in your journal, you can tailor it absolutely to your needs. No longer is a blank page intimidating and scary! Some personal pages I enjoy adding to are; a savings page – where I list my savings goals and this helps me financially plan and stay focused, and I also have a little page where I record my children’s sayings and anecdotes so I can keep track of my early memories of them. I tick off my slimming world syns on each day and also use a habit tracker to keep a handle on how much water I’m drinking, etc. Also very enjoyable is my gratitude log, where I write down one thing each day which I am grateful for. You can see why people with anxiety or depression find it a therapeutic exercise.

If you’re at all interested in using a planner, or like to doodle or create in any way shape or form – then take a look at bullet journaling and see if it is for you. You don’t have to be the next DaVinci or Cezanne, you just have to take joy in it.

Oh, and its a great excuse to buy some new fancy pens…

 

Unique Wedding Gifts from Uncommon Goods

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If you’ve ever watched that hilarious show, Parks and Recreation, you’ll be familiar with Leslie Knope. She’s not only immensely, exhaustingly dedicated to her job, but to every aspect of her life, and is known for being able to give amazingly perfect gifts, that almost seem to have been invented for the recipient. Ultra organised and thoughtful, she’s sort of this generation’s Monica Geller from friends.

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There are many of us Leslie-Knope-Monica-Gellers out there who live to emulate these heaven-sent gift givers. We always want to find the most fitting, special and memorable gift, don’t we? For example, at the moment I’m on the lookout for a baby shower gift, and I won’t just settle for the first thing I come across. We want our present to trump every other one and we also desperately want to make the person who we give it to, cry their little heart out with friendship and gratitude. We will research and take special care to find a store (or more often these days) a website that offers variety, personalisation, individuality and thoughtfulness in the products if offers in giftware.

I have a few favourite websites that I like to visit when I want to find that special anniversarysomething for a wedding, baby shower, christening or birthday, and I recently came across a new one to add to my list; Uncommon Goods. I even like the name. My parents have a big wedding anniversary coming up and I’ve been enjoying browsing what wedding anniversary gifts they have to offer.

What impresses me about it is that it offers what many discerning shoppers are looking for, unique and special products that a borne from a notion of sustainability. This company says they are more than just ‘green’, offering handmade, recycled and organic products, but they want to encourage an awareness in their customers of the social and environmental impact of their purchases while at the same time offering something different and memorable for those special occasions that mark life’s important moments.

weddingSo, coming up for me in the future, I’m really excited about finding some presents for my friends and family that allow me to feel I’m shopping with an awareness of sustainability, but also that I’m giving a gift that is unique, affordable and captures the personality and tastes of the person I’m buying for. A special friend is getting married in September and I know I will find something quirky and interesting that I can get for her and her new husband in the wedding gifts at Uncommon Goods. I just hope she doesn’t read this post and guess what her gift might be!

Cozyphones Review

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Our two littles are getting bigger by the second and are most definitely in that demographic that you would call ‘digital natives’. I know there are LOTS of opinions everywhere about young ones and too much media exposure/screen time, and I agree with most of it – but I’m not going to deny that there are some really fun, interesting things you can do online with your kids – obviously with supervision, the proper parental controls and the biggie – time constraints.

We bought a pair of headphones for my son at Christmas, with the idea that if we needed it, we might be able to have a safety net for tedious car journeys, long churches services or similar. Meaning that if we needed the kids to be quiet, then we could pop their headphones on and no-one but them would be subjected to constant Peppa Pig on loop. Good idea? Methinks so.

But by Boxing Day the headphones were broken. By Adam. Of course. They were well made and a good brand but definitely not able to withstand my son’s (or any toddler’s for that matter) determined, and suprisingly strong chubby little hands. The fancy brackets and clips and wires were a shadow of thier former selves and he hadn’t even actually plugged them into the iPad at this stage!

So when Cozyphones contacted me to offer some children’s headphones to review, I must admit I didn’t think they were going to last long, going by my son’s track record. But I was completely wrong. They are most definitely one of those ‘must have’ products that parents will be glad they invested in. You can tell that it is a family run company, as the design, affordability and funcitonality could only have been dreamed up by someone who has kids. Of course, their website offers cozyphones headbands for adults, which look like they would make exercise easy (no earbuds getting sweaty and popping out) and also look like they would be really easy to wear in bed and enjoy listening to a relaxation tape or watch a movie and – wait for it – lie on your side and not get a sore ear!

When the headphones arrived the kids genuinely loved the bright, attractive designs and colours. Adam has the WhatIf Monster and Amelia chose Mystic the Unicorn (I almost wanted this one for myself, its so pretty). We’ve used them lots so far, during the designated iPad time that the kids get while I’m cooking dinner – it means I can enjoy listening to music without the sounds of Kids YouTube or Shimmer and Shine blaring in the background.

We’ve also used them at a family christening – they were an absolute hit! During the more serious and sombre moments of the church service, the kids were able to watch an episode of Thomas and Friends and didn’t make a peep, also the sound quality is good but with barely any noise pollution – we couldn’t hear what they were listening to. SO many other parents in the church wanted to know where we’d got these clever headphones.

Why are they clever?

  • They’re fun quirky and attractive to the kids
  • The speaker discs inside are moveable so you can locate them right next to your ear (no sore inner ear!)
  • They don’t fall off or slide back off the head
  • They feel soft and cosy
  • They’re adjustable with a 36 inc braided cord which is less likely to tangle and is also nice and strong
  • You can remove the electrical parts and put the fleece headband in the wash (music to any parents ears!
  • They work with any or all types of electronic device.
  • They come with a 100% money back guarantee.

Except why would you want your money back?

Cosyphones Kids Range is definitely one of the best children’s products I’ve come across in a long time and I’m definitely going to be recommending them to everyone. I’m also going to treat myself to a pair very soon and it will be top of my gift list for pretty much everyone I know for a long time to come.

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**Cozyphones provided us with two headphones to review for this blog. All opinions are my own**

 

 

Why I’m not ashamed to feel good about myself…

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Quite often now, friends, colleagues and family are commenting on my weight loss. “Gosh Emma, your legs are so slim!” or “That top is too big you need to get a smaller size!” etc.

Its so lovely when people say these things, because you can tell they really mean it as it comes unprompted. In the past, when I lost a lot of weight I used to dismiss compliments that came along with the weight-loss. I’m not really sure why that was, exactly. Maybe I was embarrassed, or simply because I wasn’t sure I knew how to accept a weight-related compliment (after all, I wasn’t used to getting positive comments about my weight), or maybe it was simply because I felt I didn’t deserve them.

But I have a whole new mindset this time around. I’m in my 30s, I didn’t appreciate aspects of my looks the whole way through my teenage years and my 20s, so this time around when I’m looking better and feeling better about myself then I’ve decided I’m damned well going to enjoy the compliments and allow myself to feel good about me. Very ‘Loose Women’ of me, but you know what I mean!

I’ve been thinking of all the little positive changes that have come along with the actual weight loss – some obvious, like fitting into clothes, but some are less obvious and ones that I might not have admitted to before but there are other benefits to losing weight than just looking and feeling thinner. So to motivate anyone who is wavering with their journey, or anyone who is fed up with themselves and thinking of making a start, here is a list of things that have improved/changed for me as a result of my weight loss. I began off feeling utterly shite about myself and I know some people reading this will be feeling the same. It can change. You can change it. I’m in the middle of doing it and this is what I’m enjoying now, starting with the most obvious to the utterly ridiculous..

  • I’m thinner and I look better, that’s a given. Not ashamed to say it out loud anymore!
  • I can fit into clothes with smaller sizes that I had packed away tearfully a few years ago.
  • I can walk into a shop (ANY SHOP – EVEN BLOODY TOPSHOP**!) and know that I will be able to try something on and not scream with despair.
  • My underwear doesn’t hurt me anymore. *cringe*
  • I’m more interested in fashion and creating an outfit – as a result I’m taking more pride in my appearance.
  • I can run around after my kids and play with them in the garden and not have to sit down, out of breath and red faced.
  • I don’t want to instantly change into my jammies when I get in from work just so I feel comfortable.
  • I rarely feel bloated any more.
  • I feel more organised about what I’m eating (it definitely gets easier the longer you do it)
  • My feet have shrunk! Which is a bit of a downer with some existing shoes, but means I can fit into a 7 rather than an 8 in shops (They NEVER have an 8 when you want it)
  • Shopping is FUN!
  • When another car parks too close to yours – I don’t freak out about having to squeeze in.
  • I’m sleeping better and having less headaches.
  • I’m not too embarrassed to go for a spray tan or a wax. Yay!
  • I’m not going to develop diabetes!!
  • No more bra back strap extenders. Thank Christ.
  • On hot days if I dare to wear a maxi dress, I don’t have to wear shorts underneath to avoid my chubby thighs rubbing against each other. OW.
  • I look forward to social events and get excited about going out.

 

And finally – I’ve posted a full length selfie for the first time EVER!!

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13lbs remaining. 14 weeks until my birthday.

Now, is that a target or what?

 

 

**Unfortunately I have realised I’m now too old to buy from Topshop…**

NI Crafting Collective – A creative gem on our Belfast doorstep

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Last weekend I had a rare treat. A morning out of the house with my daughter to have a delightful wander around a local gem, The NI Crafting Collective that meets usually on the first Saturday of the month at the Crumlin Road Gaol in North Belfast.

It was so nice to have some time to browse and snoop around the gorgeous stalls, poring over the handcrafted products, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and chatting to the friendly stallholders. Just lovely. And what made it even nicer was the wide selection on offer – quite often, craft fairs seem to have lots of replicated stalls – all competing for the same type of customer, but not at this well-organised event. Every stall had something different to offer, from pretty handmade jewellery to beautiful hand-dyed yarns. Here is just a selection of the wonderful hand-crafted products that you can buy for you friends and family at the NI Crafting Collective event – or perhaps you could even treat yourself! I would most definitely recommend getting down to their next event on Saturday 6th May (11am-5pm) as parking is free and not only will you come away with some gorgeous handmade product but you’ll also be supporting these talented local crafters. Now that’s the best kind of retail therapy if you ask me…

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Such a cutie! This little gorgeous toy would be lovely for anyone. Hand knitted and crocheted gifts and clothes from Teddy and Dog

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Such an interesting flavour from this Raspberry Vodka Jelly – Helen’s Preserves and Pickles had SO much choice.

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Jennifer Parker’s quirky and beautiful Heart Felt Creations. She even makes them to order to make a likeness of a beloved pet. Great idea for a gift.

Jane’s Teds specialises in hand knitted teddy-bears and unique crafts. This little dude has to be the most carefully made and special little teddy I’ve seen in ages.

This colourful dianthus plant came from Kilcreggan Urban Farm Garden Centre in Carrickfergus (we took the kids there the next day for a run about and to see the animals, it’s lovely!) and we’re looking forward to planting it in the garden and seeing it bloom…only £2.80!

 

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Upstyle Originals create the most wonderful decoupage items…anything from shoes to jars and bottles. Every single one is unique and one of a kind.

I can think of a few of my more alternative friends who would just LOVE this creation from By PQD. Intricate, detailed and carefully crafted with a unique imagination, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a handbag charm like it.

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Metal Art Ireland have created these striking and highly unique pieces of art that would grace any bureau or sideboard. I think it would be a gorgeous gift for someone who likes celtic art – and especially for those who like metal work. Really unique.

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Louisa Kelly of Sperrin Crafts is truly talented and seems to be able to turn her hand to anything including this little delightful pin. So cute.

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It is NOT easy to hand dye your own yarn, let alone make it so beautiful and Claire Anketell of Giddy Aunt Yarns makes me want to faint with delight at all the colourful yarns. Just beautiful.

This delightful little bowl is already gracing my bedside table. Made by ceramic artist Jessica Gunning, the gorgeous, delicate dish is great for holding jewellery or important small items – and its so pretty and eye catching.

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How unique is this little fun and cleverly made hedgehog from Softash Wood Crafts. A really special decorate item.

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The Fairy Godmother makes the most original and pretty fabric items from this beautiful decorative heart to useful toiletry and makeup bags. Very kitch and girly.

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Peggy and Rose crafts lovely plaques and signs that make great personalised gifts. I know exactly who I would give the coffee and friends one too!

I can’t wait to put a pretty candle on this to watch how the sparkly stars and bubbled, handcrafted class reflect the shine. This would be a great gift from Pebble Glass for anyone who likes unique glassware.

SONY DSCI can’t wait to show my friends  (and some of my pupils!) This chill time temple balm from Fresh Forest Cosmetics. A gorgeous calming tin of balm to help with stress and headache. They make gorgeous soaps and bath bombs, too.

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I think this magical image from Tandem Photography speaks for itself. I can’t wait to find a pretty frame for it. They have a wide range of simply wonderful images.

This stylish quilted notice board from Buttonhome is already on my bedroom wall beside my computer. It’s almost too pretty to put things on! Reasonably priced, well made and with a lovely range of fabrics, Negin Eliot is certainly very talented.

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For this item from Ke Nako Biltong I had to get my tastebuds ready – I’d never eaten anything quite like it before but it was really tasty – an acquired taste – my Dad definitely loved it and he is a more adventurous eater – made from beef, Biltong is similar to beef jerky. Give it a try!

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This photo doesn’t do justice to the amazing pearlescence of these quirky earrings from Rock Junkie Jewellery. She has a wide range of unusual and reasonably priced bijou.

Slimming World took a bit of a wobble when these delicious treats came home with me. I promise, I had help, I didn’t eat them ALL myself but I did have a taste. MASSIVE portions and really really tasty – the chocolate malteaser cake was particularly memorable. All home made by The Byres Bakehouse.

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Just how sweet are these pretty heart shaped handmade earrings? I’ve been wearing them all week and so many people have commented on them, asking me where I got them from. The Bluebell Handmade Jewellery company has a wide range of jewellery to suit all tastes.

I highly recommend giving the next NI Crafting Collective a visit. You can see all the details of their upcoming events on their Facebook page.

 
**vendors kindly donated products for review. All opinions are my own.**

A Mother’s Day Mash Up Weekend

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I have to say, apart from giving a gift to my nearest and dearest, I’m not massively insane about having an enormous Mother’s Day celebration, although those close to me will understand why this year’s Mother’s Day was a little more special than usual. Every family celebrates it in their own unique way, and my day began with lots of cuddles from my littles. They are at such a fun age at the moment, very attached to Mummy and keen to be with me all the time. Not so great when I need to go to the loo by myself, but always welcome when I first wake up, their little teeny hands crooked around my neck, each of them wanting to take their turn for a morning cuddle.

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 20.41.06We mostly celebrated Mother’s Day on the Saturday, instead of the Sunday, and unfortunately I didn’t get the breakfast in bed of home made pancakes I dropped many, many hints about (but I can’t blame them, they’re only 4 and 2!) but we all headed downstairs for breakfast and some morning telly. After this it was off to town for a lovely lunch, after which I had an appointment courtesy of Castle Court to get a makeover at the Bare Minerals counter. I hadn’t ever tried their products before and was really impressed by them. A user of liquid foundation since my youth, they convinced me to try their mineral powder foundation – I was completely sold. It gave great coverage and was easy to apply. (That night when I went to bed, it still looked like it had just been applied – not like my usual slide-off-your-face-makeup!) The ladies at the counter also had a stash of treats and sweeties for the kids so I didn’t feel like the embarrassed Mum who had to keep her kids calm. Result.

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 20.42.27We then browsed the shops a little, before heading to the Mother’s Day selfie booth and Mum Appreciation Team, run by the lovely models from ACA, at the back of the Mall; where I got to have a nice picture taken with the kids, a free print of it, as well as some choccies and a cute little pot plant to bring home. I was also in with the chance of winning a Mother’s Day hamper…you never know!

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We had tickets booked to visit the theatre, so off we headed to the Ballyearl Courtyard Theatre to see Mr Hullabaloo’s Springtime Storybook – this was Adam’s first experience of seeing a show in the theatre and he absolutely loved it. Some might say, Emma, where was your night at the theatre? Didn’t you want to go for a massage or a facial? Well, yes of course, but the delight in my kids’ faces as they watched the colourful characters and sang along with their favourite children’s melodies – that was present enough for me.

Then it was back home for some playtime in the garden (the sun actually shone all day!) and we finished the day with our usual little bedtime routine of bath, supper and a story.

…then Mummy enjoyed some prosecco and the first Chinese takeaway she’s had in over 6 months….

…watched a movie (of her choice)…

…and had a lie in the next day.

All in all the perfect day.

🙂

The Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift Jar

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We all know about the current trend for things in jars. It’s no longer the domain of geeky men who like to build little ships in bottles for hours on end. Now, its been adopted by everyone – crafters, collectors, and in the case of this particular blog post – giving gifts. I’ve used jars as a gift before if you want to read about my Christmas crochet lidded jar you can see how to add some crochet-craftiness to the decoration of your jars – it just gives them that extra sparkle.

This year, I decided to put together a Mother’s Day gift jar for the special Mothers in my life, my own lovely Mum and my very kind Mother-in-law. They’re both amazing women and I thought this year I’d like to try something different to show my appreciation of them. I also think it adds just a little bit of a personal touch. There are so many ideas on Pinterest of what you can include in these gift jars, and I’d like to think I’ve added in a few ideas of my own. These jars are loads of fun to do for crafty geeks like me – and not overly expensive if you know where to find the items. They’re even good for birthdays or hen party gifts – any event at all can be themed accordingly.

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Here’s a rough guide to how I put mine together. You’ll need:

A large mason jar (got mine at Home Bargains for 89p)

Some ribbon or trimmings

A gift tag (personalised if you wish – I made mine on canva.com)

Items to put inside the jar, (usually ‘minis’) such as:

  • lip balm
  • foot cream
  • nail varnish
  • a scratchcard
  • bubble bath
  • face mask
  • miniature liqueur (Bailey’s, Gin, whatever their preferred tipple is)
  • emery boards
  • stud earrings
  • lip gloss
  • mini eye-shadow
  • love hearts
  • lollipop
  • small chocolate
  • sweets
  • foundation sponge

Once you’ve filled the jar with all the little treats and surprises, tie your pretty ribbon around it and you’re done! All you need is a gift tag and you’re ready to show the Mother figure in your life how much you appreciate her. Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing Mums out there.

Now, can someone show this post to my kids when they’re old enough to do me a gift jar?

Mum Meme

Slimming World Takes Over The House

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So it finally happened.

I got the G Man to join Slimming World.

I’d like to brag that I managed to persuade him all by myself and that I was the sole voice of reason, bringing him to a moment of clear-headed enlightenment, but alas – no. He kind of figured it out himself. After quitting smoking 6 years ago, the weight had begun to creep up on him so he felt it was time to make some changes.

Of course, it was double delight for me. Not only was the other adult in the house following the same plan (making it SO much easier to stay on track) but also the adult THAT IS THE BEST COOK EVER was following the plan! No more worrying about making my own separate slimming world friendly dinner, no having to check my portions of food if I had to eat what the rest of the family were having. Now that he was following the plan, it was endless amounts of syn free dinners, snacks and delights. Honestly, its been great and I realise I’m very lucky to be married to a man who not only loves to cook but is very good at it.

I’m only HALF A FECKIN’ POUND away from getting my 3 stone award and after that, there’s just one measly stone to get me to my official target. The end is really in sight and whats lovely is I’m doing it with my other half – we can achieve it together. The kids are really benfiting too as there are so many vegetables, good lean protein and fruit being consumed in our house that we’ve never eaten so healthily.

Here are just a few of our meals from the last week or so – some are lunches and some evening meals – and I will post the recipes and links up for some of them soon (once I get them from the G Man. I don’t cook as you know so haven’t a clue how he made them!)

If anyone reading this is feeling like they want to get started with a weight loss plan (any one, not necessarily slimming world) and are worried they might not be able to manage it, trust me – give it a go – you’ll be glad you did. I’ve been doing this for nearly a year and have had lots of ups and downs and could have lost this weight sooner. But what I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter how long it takes. Just keep going. If you’ve already started a new lifestyle and nutrition plan and it is going well, but maybe you’ve had some weak moments and given in to scrummy temptations, then DON’T be so hard on yourself, you’re only human. And you’re a long time dead. It’s okay to fall off the wagon. Just make sure you get back on it – its going somewhere good.

I can’t wait to get there.

Two and A Half Stone…over halfway there.

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I shared recently on social media that I had achieved my 2 and a half stone award with Slimming World. I’m so proud of this and really feel it has been relatively easy. I really don’t mean to sound like a know-it-all or the kind of person that you want to slap, (I promise!) but when I say relatively easy I mean that I’ve got the right attitude in place for the first time ever. It doesn’t mean I lose pounds and pounds every week. Some weeks it is only a half a pound, some weeks I stay the same, and other more satisfying weeks I do lose 2 or 3lbs.

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But its easy because it has become a way of life for me. I’m not on a diet. I’m following a healthy eating plan, yes. I’m watching my intake of sugar and fat and carbohydrate, yes. I’m trying to eat plenty of good protein. But I’m not labouring every meal, every weigh-in, every snack. I’m just living my life and making the plan fit around it. If I want to stay on track when the rest of the family are treating themselves to a massive chicken pie with chips – well, I just have an Iceland SW meal, or plan ahead to have my own SW friendly recipe.

I’m seeing other, non-scale victories too. I’m down two sizes. I am fitting into clothes that had been relegated to the back of the cupboard. I’m feeling lighter on my feet and much healthier. I’m actually looking forward to my work Christmas do this year, because I had actual choice in the shops as to what outfit I could buy – I wasn’t destined to only go to one or two shops because they do ‘big sizes’.

It feels really good.

And for those reading this that don’t personally know me…all four of you (hi, Mum!) I have to explain that I really am a normal woman who has a massive appetite, eats too much junk, is too fond of takeaways and has been known in the past to order nachos with cheese and extra-cheese-on-top-of-the-cheese-please in the cinema. And yet, I’m on my way to my target weight. Over halfway, actually.

And yes, Christmas will be a stumbling block. But a delightful one. I’m not going to torture myself. If I gain a few pounds, so what? That’s normal! I will attend my meetings as usual and I will try to be on plan for as often as I can. That’s what I’ve realised. One small gain or one difficult weigh-in shouldn’t ruin the whole process for you. Chalk it up and move on. If I had given up inthe summer when I gained 9lbs, I wouldnt be another stone and a half lighter now…would I?

I saw this meme today posted by a target member in our group – he has lost stones and stones and is a great inspiration to us – and I couldn’t have put it better myself.

 

goal-meme

Merry Christmas everyone.

Go on…enjoy the turkey.

🙂