Weekly Weigh In ~ Wk 6

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I have moved this weekly feature to a Tuesday as I already have my Mindful Monday posts on a Monday.

As regular readers will know, I have been lucky enough to be sent a monthly hamper from Diet Chef. The food really is delicious and I have learnt a lot about portion control, as a result.

What’s really surprised me is how the need to fill my plate with rice if I was having a curry or chilli, was always just because it seemed to be the right companion for the dish. However I have been adding vegetables (usually sweetcorn, it’s my favourite) to these kind of dishes and I haven’t missed the heavy carbs at all.

Diet Chef provide you with a breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner for each day and I like to share with you my favourites for the week. So here are my favourites this week:

Breakfast

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Soft Chocolate Cookie with added apple (this took me a while to get used to for a breakfast but it’s a great option if you’re running late in the mornings and time is tight. It’s filling and tastes really good!)

Lunch

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Tomato and Herb Bulgar Wheat and Couscous with added tomato

Snack

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Sour Cream and Chive Pretzels

Dinner

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Chicken Tikka Masala with added sweetcorn

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lbs lost this week: 0.5

Total lbs lost in 6 weeks: 17

Inches lost this week (taken over 4 measurements): 0

Total inches lost: 17.5

A slow weightloss this week but to be honest, I was expecting to plateau long before now so I’m not too disheartened.

If you are quick, Diet Chef are running a Summer Challenge during March.

Diet Chef say, ‘have you had enough of being unfit, unhealthy or unhappy? Then join our life revolution – the Diet Chef Summer Challenge. It takes 16 weeks to form a new habit and ultimately become a new person so by the start of August you could become the best version of you. Over the 16 weeks you will lose weight, get fit, and change your habits. We will teach you portion control, nutrition and how to feel good about yourself.’

Customers are able to sign up for the plan for as little as £150 per hamper. Details can be found here.

Here’s to another positive week of weightloss.

Disclaimer: The meal plan I am on would cost £61.25 a week/ £245 a month. I am kindly being sent a free monthly hamper from Diet Chef for the purpose of review however all words and opinions are very much my own.

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Harley’s Garden Bucket List

We have lived in our house for 4 years now. Having done lots to it, we’ve really made it our own.

I love our home.

It’s so versatile that it’s enabled us to grow into it and to move space around as and when we have needed it.

The garage was converted into a proper room when we moved in. We made it into a playroom for a few years but we noticed that the children weren’t really using it in the winter as it is not attached to the house, so got pretty cold. So now, it houses some gym equipment and has an office area. Our conservatory is now the playroom and it’s lovely to see it in constant use. It’s wonderful to be able to shut the door and close the curtains at night to hide all of the toys. And we get to keep our lounge space free from Lego, dolls, footballs and jigsaw pieces!

But there is still one space that has been somewhat neglected; one space that gets more use than any room in the house but it’s the one space that we’ve done nothing to.

The garden.

As Spring has most definitely sprung, we thought we would grasp the opportunity to make a start on our garden makeover.

It’s early days but we’ve started by removing the wooden bar area that houses our BBQ. It meant that we could pull up some of the paving slabs to create more lawn space. Harley has thoroughly enjoyed helping to ‘smash’ up the slabs, complete with safety specs!

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Even though part of the garden is given over to our outdoor conservatory furniture, it’s really important to us that we create a family outdoor space. A space that’s used. A space that’s played in. A space that’s an extension of our home.

So I asked Harley what would be in his ideal garden:

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His somewhat humble list fortunately contains a few of the things we have already. Our waterslide comes out in the Summer and the boys love it. Having races against each other.

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Their love of football means we always have a football goal set up, ready to receive some shots.

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We have kindly been given a trampoline from a family member whose son has outgrown it. Harley will soon be copying his older step brother’s tricks so we can tick that one off the list, also:

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We are big fans of Tesco direct and a browse through their Swings, Slides and Seesaws could make the rest of Harley’s Garden Bucket List an affordable reality.

As our garden is not overly big, I would love a unit that is compact enough to hold a few different play stations. I recommend Plum Tamarin Wooden Playcentre:

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We are all for encouraging agile and active play.

I love this Little Tikes Buckingham Climb ‘n Slide Swing Set with its feature swings and climbing tower, if we had a little more space.

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And for Lola, we have bought her the Little Tikes My First Slide from Tesco. A bargain at only £23.99. It arrived in 2 days and can be folded away when not in use:

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She can’t quite manage the steps on her own yet but she can grow into it.

I know Harley’s desire for a playhouse is thanks to his cousins who have just built this one in their back garden, isn’t it gorgeous:

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So I don’t think we are too far off our kid’s dream garden. And for the parts we don’t yet have. I know just where to go.

Pop back in a few weeks time to see how our garden makeover is going.

Disclaimer: This post is written for Tesco.

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Mindful Monday ~ Wk 20

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I saw this image a while ago and kept it as I thought it was perfect for this little blog feature.

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Sometimes we need to train ourselves or remind ourselves to appreciate the present; be it an emotion, a belief, a sensation, an impulse or a simple thought.

‘Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.’

Have a mindful week, everyone.

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Easter Treat Bags

Every single year, we always have lots of left over chocolate, for months after Easter (unless it’s Cadburys then it doesn’t last long in our house!)

So this year I wanted to make Harley and Lola some Easter Treat Bags, to add a bit of variety. There are some lovely children’s Easter gifts in the shops at the moment and I certainly didn’t spend a fourtune. In fact a lot of the items in their Treat Bags are from Home Bargains (my favourite bargain shop of the moment!) I’m not that mean though, they will still have a chocolate egg or two in their bags!

Harley’s Easter Bag

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DVD, book, cuddly chick puppet, egg shell with marshmallows, paint your own eggcup, Happy Easter biscuit, Easter mug, chocolate eggs, mini eggs and I couldn’t resist this Jelly Bean carrot:

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Lola’s Easter Bag

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Cuddly bunny puppet, book, chocolate Smartie animals, Easter chick biscuit, Weebles, a wind up chick, chocolate egg, egg shell with marshmallows and I adore these cute little Easter dungarees:

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Nothing in the bags cost over £2 (apart from the dungarees from Matalan, £8)

My little Easter bunnies are 4 and 1 but I’ve seen lots of lovely Easter bits for slightly older children if you are looking at doing something similar.

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I can’t wait to give them to them.

Do you give your children Easter treats or do you stick to Easter Eggs?

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My Sunday Photo

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Daddy and Harley.

Hand in hand.

Sun setting.

Tide out.

Sandbanks.

Everything I love. Right there.

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Alphabet Photo #K

K is for…. Kids.

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Hurrah, we managed to get a lovely photo of all of them; all looking the right way; all looking angelic!

They get on, so unbelievably well. Step brothers does not even come into it. They are brothers and sisters and love each other dearly.

Lola is one well protected little girl with 3 older brothers. They don’t fight over her, yet they give her all of their attention. They are so tolerant of her ruining their games, stealing their ball and hiding their shoes!

I love this photo of Lola laughing and pointing up to them, Harley looking adoringly at her, Connor looking too cool and Ethan, the proud older brother.

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So proud to be their Mummy and Step Mummy.

photo (39)Linking up with Charly’s Alphabet Project, over at PODcast Dove.

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Weekly Weigh In ~ Wk 5

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Thank you so much to everyone who has left comments of support and encouragement on this tough journey, we call weight loss!

I’m so thrilled to say that Diet Chef have agreed to provide me with another monthly hamper of their delicious, chef prepared meals. All calorie controlled and delivered straight to your door. What could be easier?

It was so exciting to fill out the meal selections, as this time I knew which dishes and snacks were my absolute favourites and which I would order more of.

In the space of only 4 weeks, I noticed that there were even more options to choose from as Diet Chef had added new yummy meals to the menu.

The hamper arrived 2 days later and it’s lovely to see my cupboard stocked up with Diet Chef; my fruit bowl full of fruit; the salad drawer full to the brim and the veg on stand by.

For the next 4 weeks, I thought I would share with you, my favourite breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner for the week.

So here is this weeks:

Breakfast

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2 Buttermilk pancakes with added banana and a tiny splash of maple syrup (this was a new addition to the menu. All week, I was looking forward to the weekend to enjoy this. The kids were so jealous!)

Lunch

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Creamy Pesto Pasta Pot with pine kernels and herbs.

Snack

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Vanilla Protein Bar (I ordered more of these as they are very filling and of course, covered in chocolate. Say no more!)

Dinner

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Chilli Con Carne with kidney beans, added avocado and spring onion (this is my all time favourite dish, I’ve ordered quite a few of these!)

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lbs lost this week: 3.5

Total lbs lost in 5 weeks: 16.5

Inches lost this week (taken over 4 measurements): 1

Total inches lost: 17.5

It’s lovely to make it over that milestone achievement of losing a stone. Yippee!

During March, Diet Chef are running a Summer Challenge.

Diet Chef say, ‘have you had enough of being unfit, unhealthy or unhappy? Then join our life revolution – the Diet Chef Summer Challenge. It takes 16 weeks to form a new habit and ultimately become a new person so by the start of August you could become the best version of you. Over the 16 weeks you will lose weight, get fit, and change your habits. We will teach you portion control, nutrition and how to feel good about yourself.’

Customers are able to sign up for the plan for as little as £150 per hamper. Details can be found here.

I’d love to know if you are on the Diet Chef plan or how you are getting on with your weight loss journey.

Disclaimer: The meal plan I am on would cost £61.25 a week/ £245 a month. I am kindly being sent a free monthly hamper from Diet Chef for the purpose of review however all words and opinions are very much my own.

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Mindful Monday ~Wk 19

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I love this.

I hope I’ve been a Rainbow for someone before.

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Have a lovely week, everyone.

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Bike ride with a difference

 A few days ago, Harley saw a video of some boys on their bikes, doing stunts in a skate park. When I heard the inevitable “I want to do that, Mummy” I almost laughed it off.
But there was a huge part of me that didn’t want to suppress his desire to try something new; to draw on his confidence and sheer love of being on his bike.
We have a lovely new park nearby so we took a trip down, mid-week when we knew it would be quiet.
Well, I can only say that I was in awe of his determination and self belief.
I love this action shot of his bike mid-flight.
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At only 4, I don’t quite know how he has the strength in his little legs to drive himself up the steep slopes or shift his balance to accommodate the sloped angles. Thankfully his skills, matched his confidence and he loved every minute.
The first 10 minutes or so, he was getting to grips with the hills and speed at which he needed to approach the curved sides of the park. After that, he was in his element.
And you know the funny thing… I didn’t feel any nerves or apprehension at all.
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I managed to catch a little video of him.
He’s watched it over and over and already has set his sights on new things to try, next time!
He’s such a brilliant example of how stepping outside your comfort zone, will lead to progress and creativity. I think I need to take a leaf out of his book.
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What’s in a drawing?

Regular readers will know that Harley is more of an outdoors boys, preferring to be with a football or on his bike, than with a pen or glue stick in hand, being arts and crafty.

However, I have noticed more recently that he is independently, grabbing the box of crayons and paper to do some drawings.

I love keeping his ‘scribbles’ and have enjoyed seeing the scribbles turn into recognisable drawings.

This was his latest picture.

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I simply had to share it. The round knee caps make me chuckle.

It’s so funny how the world and it’s people are interpreted by our little people.

All parents know the personality traits of their children but there is a small part of me that is fascinated by the meaning behind children’s drawings. I’m pretty sure you can’t read too much into it, but I did like these facts, when Googling it, relating to Harley’s picture:

Choosing to draw in a Yellow/Orange colour, demonstrates intelligence and a sunny nature.

A child who places a drawing of a good size, prominently on the page is considered to be well-balanced and secure.

I would love to know what the little round knee caps, seemingly not attached to the legs, says about him. And also the straight line that Harley says, shows the forehead. Hmm, Daddy has lines on his forehead, so I’m going for that one!

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Alphabet Photo #J

J is for … Joke nose!

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Oh my goodness, this photo makes me laugh so much.

Yes that’s right, only Harley is wearing the joke nose and glasses but they look so alike, it’s uncanny!
They look more alike, the more I look at it.

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Linking up with Charly’s Alphabet Project, over at PodCast Dove.

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ChattyFeet are happy feet

We are known in our house, unfortunately also at pre-school, the childminder’s and by friends, for our love of brightly coloured, usually odd, socks! The washing machine loves our socks almost as much as we do because it seems to swallow a single sock, during every wash. The sock drawers are usually full of lonely, single socks, whose partner has seemingly vanished into the proverbial black hole.

Harley loves fun socks, I love brightly coloured socks, so I was delighted to be approached by ChattyFeet to see if we would like to receive some from their range.

ChattyFeet aren’t any ordinary socks, oh no, we are talking socks with attitude, socks with bags of personality.

All of the designs have their own character and a little story to go behind each name.

As a lover of all things royal, I adore this ‘Kate Middle-Toe’ design, I can definitely see a resemblance, followed by the ‘Yoko Mono’ socks.

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All of the socks are made from 75% Combed Cotton , 23% Polyamide , 2% Elastane

Socks should be washed on a low temperature, up to 40°C.

Size Information

Adults UK Eur
Medium 4–8 37–42
Large 9–12 43–47
Kids UK Eur
12–24 Months 3½–6 20–23
2–4 Years 7–9 24–27
4–7 Years 9–12 27–30

The socks are incredibly soft and comfy. They wash really well and keep their shape face!

My favourite thing about ChattyFeet, is that there is a mini-me sock for every character. I for one, have often wondered if my daughter’s dresses or tops come in an adult size (kids have such beautiful clothes, these days, I have clothes envy!) but ChattyFeet have created their characterful designs so that adults and children can wear matching socks.

I love that.

Lola and I both have the Venus socks.

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Harley and Daddy both have the Sigmund socks.

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It was so much fun to play around with the characters, pretending to make them talk to each other and interact. We held a ChattyFeet Chatty Show! It was adorable to hear Harley put on little voices when he took on different characters.

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And Lola loved making her feet talk to each other.

You can view the rest of the quirky character range here. ChattyFeet also sell fab Gift Sets if you are looking for a funky present idea.

I certainly feel like I have a spring in my step when I’m wearing ChattyFeet. You only have to look down and you will smile.

Which Character would you choose?

Disclaimer: We were kindly sent a family selection of socks from ChattyFeet for the purpose of review, however all words and opinions are very much my own.

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Weekly Weigh In ~ Wk 4

 

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For my 4th week, I have still been following the Diet Chef plan of a calorie controlled breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each day and enjoying the chef prepared dishes that they have sent me.

This week I enjoyed my Banana and Vanilla porridge for breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day:

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This is what I have eaten this week:

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Day 28 was Mother’s Day and it has been the only time in a month that I have not had one of the Diet Chef meals for dinner, hence I have included a photo of my beautiful flowers!

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lbs lost this week: 3

Total lbs lost: 13

Inches lost this week (taken over 4 measurements): 3.5

Total inches lost: 16.5

I have also been continuing the Couch to 5K run but I only managed 2 out of the 3 runs this week due to the very sad passing of my grandma. My heavy legs could not lift my heavy heart. But I’ll aim to do an extra session next week, Gran will push me through the pain.

Let’s do this! Here’s to a good week of strength, self-belief and determination.

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Disclaimer: The meal plan I am on would cost £61.25 a week/ £245 a month. I am being sent a free monthly hamper from Diet Chef for the purpose of review however all words and opinions are very much my own.

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Mindful Monday ~ Wk 18

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The weekend was a tough one; a wonderful Mother’s Day celebrating and cherishing the love of my two little ones and squeezing them a little bit tighter as I felt the heartbreak and grief of losing my beautiful Grandma.

My heart is broken and will be for a while.

But this quote from Winnie the Pooh, says it all:

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Night Night, Gran. Sleep well. I miss you so much, already.

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My Sunday Photo

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My Mother’s Day flowers.

I love the rich, deep purple shade.

Have a lovely day all you Mummies out there.

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Linking up with Darren over at onedad3girls.com

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Alphabet Photography # I

I is for… Inspired.

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Yes, it’s a pair of trainers.

Yes, it’s the stereotype runner’s shot.

Except I am not a runner, not even remotely.

But this is me and my friend as we embark on our Sunday morning running session.

 I have indeed been inspired to start the Couch to 5K training and I am into my second week. It’s very early days and the thought of being able to run the full distance in a few weeks, makes me laugh out loud.

A truly impossible task.

However, it’s not impossible. I’m going to believe that I can and I will achieve it.

How brilliant is the This Girl Can advert…

Truly inspirational.

“I jiggle therefore I am…. Damn right I look hot.”

So this is a very proud and inspired Alphabet Photo.

This girl certainly can.

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