Friday, 28 November 2014

Weight Loss | What I've Been Doing

Hello all!

I haven't updated the past few weeks of the healthy eating, don't worry though, I've been sticking to it, so much so that since I last updated you I have reached my target! Yay! My goal weight was to be 10 stone (140lbs) for my holiday next month, and I can't even believe i'm saying this but i'm down to 9 stone 4 (130lbs) and I am actually now 1lb below my pre-pregnancy weight which I wasn't expecting for a pretty long time! I am super super proud of myself and have now lost a total of 23lbs!



 Ive been asked quite a bit how I lost the weight and what i've been doing fitness wise, so I wanted to share just that, i'm not one of those fitness fanatics, I haven't been going to the gym or anything, just been doing what I can with the time I have, just like most parents! If you've followed my first 2 weeks meal plan you'll know the sorts of food i've been eating, but if not, here they are for you to look at!


As you may or may not know, I've been using MyFitnessPal, which I think is the key to this weight loss, it's not there to tell you to stop eating this, or stop eating that, it doesn't say cut out carbs or don't have caffeine, you can have whatever you want, as long as you stay under the targets it gives you, you'll lose weight! It's there to make you aware of exactly what you're eating, by tracking the intake of sugar, fat, protein, salt etc, the targets are sensible and manageable, you don't feel like you're restricted, it might feel that way at the beginning because your body has been used to eating a bit more, but within a week, just 7 days, you will start to feel so much better in yourself!

My calories were set to 1330 in order to lose 2lbs per week, this was set by MFP and so far it has been right on the money in terms of how much i've lost, sometimes I lost 3 or even 4lbs a week, and on 2 occasions I lost just alb! 


Exercise
I'm actually really really happy with the weight loss i've achieved through 'little' exercise, I'm really not one of those people to exercise all day everyday, I'd much rather sit and watch a movie or spend quality time with my family! So what have I been doing? How have I found the time? It's easy..

For week 1 I literally just jogged on the spot for up to 15 minutes, as I hadn't exercised in a really really long time, my body needed to get used to it and I wasn't going to jump straight in and do weights and hour long jogs! So I gave Abbie the iPad for 15 minutes so I could jog, I did this everyday, I didn't have a break day, and still 30 days later i've only had ONE rest day! It's not as bad as it sounds, but after a few days of the jogging, I felt better in myself, I had more energy and I actually WANTED to do it! 

So for week 2 I upped it to 20 minutes and some time on the wii fit a few times as well, just step ups, boxing and hula hooping, not everyday, but when I felt like I had the energy and I was pumped up! 

Week 3 I upped it another 3 minutes, this was the hardest transition, it's only 3 minutes but your body knows it's almost doubled it's original target so you start to feel a bit lethargic!


Then week 4 I pushed myself to 30 minutes, it was actually ok, I realised the times when I wanted to stop during the jog was only because I was bored as opposed to because I was tired, so I jogged up and down the living room and kitchen! This really helped and made Abbie giggle too! Ha. Don't believe when people tell you the wii fit doesn't help you lose weight, and you HAVE to go to the gym blah blah blah, it doesn't matter if you jog for 8 minutes a day, it ALL helps, do what you can, don't push yourself too hard, 

I've actually now purchased the Zumba Fitness on Wii! Firstly, i've found out i have NO rhythm, but that's ok ha ha, it's really good fun and burns up to 300 calories in half an hour! So that chocolate bar you want? Have a 30 minute exercise on the Zumba workout and it's all yours!

I had a week off exercise when I was poorly and had a bad back, but I still lost 1.5lbs that week as I adjusted slightly what I was eating to compensate!


Treat Day
As it was Ben's birthday last Tuesday and I reached my goal, Ben chose for us to have a dominos as a treat and Oh holy deliciousness, it was amazing, I didn't feel guilty, even though I ate half a veggie pizza, garlic bread, chicken strippers, wedges, cheesy bites AND 2 doughnuts! What? I've worked my ass off for 8 weeks, I deserved that! Haha, don't listen to those people that tell you not to treat yourself every so often, I heard a lot of people say I was going to wake up and weigh more, I didn't, that I would want to eat it again straight away, I don't, and that I would feel guilty, I DEFINITELY don't! 

I obviously don't recommend eating like that once a week but once a month will do absolutely nothing to your weight loss progress (although you might feel a little bloated like I am today!). Just get straight back on the diet the next day and you'll be absolutely fine! :). I actually still lost 2lbs that week so don't EVER feel like you're gonna gain weight after a treat, you won't :)

My aim now is to work super hard on my stomach, I have LOTS of toning to do and it's not going to happen overnight, but I will be sharing with you my exercise tips on that too, so wish me luck! 

There is no magical way to lose weight, as much as that would be amazing, the first step comes from within yourself, when your head is in the right place to do something about it, then that's your starting point. We've all sat there and moaned about our bodies and how we want to lose weight, then had a pizza for dinner, but there will be a time when you'll say no and it'll be the start of your journey! 


Goals
Don't set yourself up for a silly goal, if you want to lose 3 stone altogether, great, but put that to the back of your mind, first give yourself a smaller target to begin with, maybe go with 10-14lbs, and give yourself a date you'd like to reach it by, the most you should be losing a week is 2lbs, anything more than that is considered crash dieting and could result in you gaining it all back pretty quickly, as I said above, My Fitness Pal will set all the right targets for you!

At the moment I am working on losing another 4lbs but that's only so I can really enjoy myself on holiday and at Christmas, so I will be giving myself a good few pounds to gain over that period with yummy treats and foods!

I hope my little journey can inspire some of you to get healthy, I think i've proven that you don't have to go crazy at the gym or eat only salad, we're all busy, we all have things to do so just work with what you've got and you will see results :)

x

Grandchildren and Dementia

A study has shown that entrusting grandparents with looking after grandchildren for a day a week can ward of dementia-related illnesses. The social engagement and mental agility needed to look after little ones is great for people’s health as they reach their later years. But what about grandchildren around grandparents that are already suffering from the symptoms of alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related conditions? It can be upsetting and confusing for youngsters to see their grandparent’s personality change or seeing them struggle with basic tasks. Here is some advice and tips around an often tricky subject. 


Encourage the relationship 
You will notice the benefits for both grandchild and dementia sufferer if you take a step back and let the relationship flourish. It is good for the child to understand the aging process and the relationship will give your elderly relative a sense of achievement. The relationship will reinforce the dementia sufferer’s identity as a grandparent especially if they are going through significant emotional problems because of the disease. 

Appreciate Your Child’s Help 
Your child’s role in helping out and bonding with a relative with dementia will also nurture a maturity in the youngster. It is important to make sure the grandchild isn’t scared or upset by some of the more extreme behaviours associated with dementia but keeping them involved is also beneficial as well as letting them know their help is very important to Grandma/Granddad and the whole family. 

Don’t Assume the Child’s Expectations 
Grandchildren under a certain age will not have the fixed expectation of their grandparents’ behaviour that you may think. Children tend to live more in the moment and not notice subtle changes in Grandma or Granddad or even laugh them off which can help the situation. 

Be Open about the Subject 
The best way to approach the situation if your child gets upset or worried about his or her grandparent is to be open about the subject. Explain how it is a natural thing that happens to people as they get old and we must help as much as possible. You will need to speak to the child on their level and give them the information that they can comprehend at their age but it is best to respond to any questions the youngster may have in the most truthful way appropriate. 

Introduce the Carer 
If your elderly loved one is getting help at home from www.extracareathome.org.uk or a similar agency, it may be helpful in order for the grandchild to fully understand the situation to be introduced to the carer and the role they play in their grandparent’s life. 

Provide Support 
While it is good to encourage your child’s involvement in the relationship and let them help out with the care as much as possible it is important to be around as support especially if the condition is advanced and to offer advice when needed. 

x



Thursday, 27 November 2014

What I Ate 'Thursday!'

Evening all!

Apologies for the lateness of this post, I completely forgot to take any photos yesterday so I thought i'd share with you my food for Thursday instead! As you may already know I have reached my weight loss target (yay!), but I have decided to stay on the plan until our holiday in 2 weeks so I can have a bit of leeway over that time and of course, Christmas!! Boy am I looking forward to all the chocolate, biscuits and dinner treats! I've even asked Ben to get me a Galaxy hamper for Christmas, I'm can't wait to let my hair down and not count calories anymore, i'm so pleased with the results but normality is waiting for me and I can't wait! :)

So as of Boxing Day, my goal will be to maintain, so I will be sharing my tips and advice with you for keeping weight off and being able to eat normally again!


Breakfast
Big bowl of cheerio's with semi-skimmed milk
Red Apple


Lunch
Weight Watchers Carrot & Lentil Soup
Warburtons Sandwich Thins
WW Sour Cream & Black Pepper Crisps


Dinner
Linda McCartney Sausages x 2 (other one was for Abbie)
Roasted Veg Cous Cous
Birds Eye Sunshine Veg


Snacks
Babybel
Banana
Small pack of Jelly Beans

I also treated myself to half a Lindt Lindor Melting Moment! It would've been the whole thing but Abbie stole the other part!

We actually need to do a food shop so next week's will be a lot more appealing ha ha. Then we are off to Butlins so you can imagine all the naughty foods we'll be having, mmmm!

Exercise
I didn't actually do anything today, bad Jess! I didn't sleep too well last night so was knackered but tomorrow I will be making up for it with 40 mins of Zumba, god help me!

My weight loss post will be up on Saturday with lots of details on what i've been doing exactly, so hopefully you can get some tips and something to help you!



Electrical Appliances to Buy this Christmas!

OK, so electrical appliances are not everyone’s idea of an exciting Christmas treat. There’s nothing less festive than having to think about the economy of your washing machine or the wattage of your microwave in the light of your tree decorations. However, some people do like to receive practical gifts and there are products out there that are more exciting than your average fridge-freezer. If you think white goods will not inspire your loved one this Christmas, get a black washing machine. If a normal microwave isn’t going to cut the mustard (even if it will indeed warm it) get a stylish Solo Microwave from Whirlpool with it’s rounded design made to fit into small spaces. Here’s a few electrical appliances which will take the boredom out of household tasks. 


Wonderful Washing Machines 
Aside from a time remaining display and memory modes which save your personal wash preferences, there isn’t much in the way of washing machine technology to get the average person keen to stack the dirty. With this in mind, you will need to get a washing machine that looks great and adds style to any kitchen it is installed in. There are a number of alternatives to the run-of-the-mill white washing machines including the rather fetching stainless steel Miele W5748SS machine which holds an impressive 7kg of laundry or the sleek black WAS287B0GB from Bosch which packs an incredible 9kg load (both available from Hispek). 

Fantastic Fridges 
If you want a present that has the wow factor and you feel the recipient would appreciate a good fridge, there is an obvious choice in style; the American style. These models look great, have lots of storage space and have really cool features (pun intended) such as ice and water dispensers. For added style, pick up the Siemens iQ700 KA62DS50GB with black glass frontage. If you are looking for a more affordable fridge, perhaps for a beer drinker, there are some great mini-fridges which combine a pouring tap and also other with great retro designs. 

Marvellous Microwaves 
Surprisingly, Next stock a range of stylish microwaves at a reasonable price. These 800w beauties come in a variety of colours so you can colour code to your friend or family member’s kitchen d├ęcor. Aside from some very stylish options you can also get microwaves that do almost any type of cooking from roasting a chicken to slow cooking a casserole. For extra bang for your buck you can also get convection mini oven which include electronic hobs on the top. 

Dynamic Dishwashers 
Bosch make a range of compact dishwashers in a variety of colours for those wanting to save time on washing up while not wanting to compromise space or style in their kitchen. Stainless steel dishwashers can also look great in modern kitchens and remain looking good for longer. A handy programme which some dishwashers have is the sensor wash which monitors how dirty dishes and adjusts the length of the wash and water temperature accordingly. 

x

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Giveaway | £30 to Spend at American Soda

Hello all! 
Boy do I have a fun giveaway for you today!

I realised i hadn't run one for a long time so now I bring you my first one for November, and what a yummy one I have for you!

I was very recently introduced to probably one of the coolest websites around, American Soda, they provide the UK and Europe with tons of delicious American sweets, snacks, baking goodies drinks and other food, and have done since 2004! Starting their journey off on eBay selling proper American Root Beer, they really began to take off, gradually they began intro ducting more US products until eventually opening their own shop in Ashton-under-Lyne and own website! 

I think a lot of us have watched some kind of US show and have wanted some of their delicious treats, Pop Tarts, Cheetos, Snapple, Hersheys chocolate, Tootsie rolls etc etc, why don't we sell amazing things like that, sure they're probably not the best for you, but who cares? We want some of that action! 

Maybe you've just moved here from the US or know someone who has, and you need some little home comforts, American Soda have you covered with everything you need! And if you live close enough to the shop itself, be ready to take a walk back home! I immediately fell into heaven browsing the website, I won't lie to you, I've been on there every single day for the past month pretty much, admiring all the yummy goodies and checking in on the new arrivals, maybe my new years resolution should be to try one of everything? Ha ha.


Above is a big selection of some of my favourites and things i'd love to try! We recently received the Mashmallow creme in our Degustabox and it is easily the most delicious piece of food we've ever eaten, heaven in a tub right there! I tried Hersheys when I went over to New York and wish we would've been allowed to bring some home with us, think we would've had to of bought a new suitcase though ha ha. I really want to try the Sno-balls the most, I remember seeing them on The Hot Chick and NEEDING them! Which is your favourite?


What's better yet is there is an amazing Christmas section full of yummy chocolate goodies, hot drinks, snacks and anything else you can think of! Take a little look here for some inspiration!

T H E    G I V E A W A Y

Prize
£30 to spend at American Soda!

How do you win?
Enter the rafflecopter below, the more options you complete, the higher your chance of winning! What are you waiting for? Read the T&C below and happy entering :)

T&C's
1. All entries will be checked, double checked and triple checked to ensure fairness!

2. If the winner does not respond to my email within 14 days, another will be chosen! :)


3. Open to the UK!

4. Read the FAQ's here

GOOD LUCK! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Mummy Tag!


Happy Monday everyone!
Hope you've all had a great weekend! I thought I'd start the week off with a little tag post, I've seen a lot of YouTuber's doing the Mummy Tag and I wanted to have a little go! It's crazy to think i've now been a mum for over 2 years, and how much we have both changed in that time too, as cheesy as it sounds, I couldn't imagine my life without her, even the thought makes my heart ache, she is the most special little girl in the whole world and I'm so so lucky I get her forever and ever! :)

1. Are you a Stay at Home Mum, or a Working Mum?
I'm a stay at home mum but I do earn money from my blog so I'm kinda a bit of both!

2. Would you have it any other way?
No way, I couldn't imagine leaving Abbie to be looked after by someone else, I really think the first few years are the most important so I know I can look back and was there for all of that and didn't miss anything special! 

3. Do you co-sleep?
Yes! And have done since day 1, the first night Abbie was in hospital I brought her into my bed, it was intuition and felt so natural! She has NEVER slept in a moses basket at night, every single time she was put in it she would wake up so we took the easy option and she slept with us, best decision we ever made, she's never been a great sleeper but waking up next to a warm snuggly baby/toddler every morning is the best thing ever!

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?
Infacol! Abbie had really bad trapped wind for the entire first 14 months of her life and infacol was a lifesaver, it basically breaks down all the big gas bubbles and turns them into little ones so they can release them easier, it settled Abbie many many nights and helped big time!

5. How many kids do you plan on having?
Just the one, I always wanted a big family but I suffered really badly with anxiety after Abbie was born that I couldn't imagine going through it again, a lot of people tell me it will be different second time round but at the moment I am looking forward to watching Abbie get older and for everything to get back to 'normal' again!

6. Date night? How many nights per month?
Once a year? Haha. Serisously though, Ben and I have been out twice since Abbie was born, both time for our anniversary and although it was really nice, I was on edge the whole time, as she gets older though we will get back to normal again, neither of us really mind :)


7. Your childs favourite show?
Peppa pig! Every morning she insists on watching The Treehouse episode, it's her favourite, I think we're gonna have to make her her own in the summer!

8. Name one thing you bought before you had your baby and never ended up using?
Baby shoes! Yes they're cute and tiny and so pretty, but babies do not keep anything on the their feet and are always kicking their legs around, even socks are hard to keep on but are much much cheaper and easier to put on as well!

9. Your child’s favourite food?
Grapes, pasta & apples! She is such a fruit monster, every morning she has some with her breakfast, something else at lunch and she'll ask for "nana, apple or gwapes" throughout the day too! One time she actually ate a whole punnet of them, one after the other, the nappy wasnt fun the next morning!

10. How many cars does your family have?
Just the one, although I am desperate to learn how to drive next year, to be able to take Abbie out and have proper mummy daughter time together further away would be amazing!


11. Weight gain before pregnancy, during and after and now?
I was 9 stone 7lbs before I was pregnant and gained exactly 28lbs, I lost 40lbs in 3 months after having Abbie due to anxiety and my body going back to normal too! I've just been on a major health kick and have lost 21lbs after going up to 10 stone 13, so I am now 9 stone 6! :)

12. Dream holiday with your kids?
Well the first is Butlins, we are off there next month and it'll be our first family holiday, to be away from home, new things to play with, new foods, I can't wait! :). One day i'd love to take her to Disneyland too, that's the big dream!

13. Dream holiday without your kids?
I'd love to go back to New York, maybe as an anniversary trip for Ben & I, it's so magical over there and would be amazing to go back as a couple! But one day I will take Abbie there too! :)

14. How has your life changed since your baby has been born?
My perspective has changed dramatically,  because of the anxiety at the beginning i'm now much much calmer! I'm a million times more positive too, if something bad happens I can always turn it round to have a silver lining, I think all of this will benefit Abbie as she gets older too!



15. Finish the sentence: 'It makes my heart melt to see … '
Abbie saying 'I luff you' and giving kisses!

16. Where do you shop for your kids?
Oh god everywhere, my favourite places at the moment are Zara, Next & GAP, but i'm also a big fan of George, Debenhams, Matalan and House of Fraser!

17. Favourite makeup and skincare products?
I'm not really into all the makeup stuff but I do love my Simple wipes and moisturiser, I have super super sensitive skin and those are amazing!

18. Huggies or Pampers?
Pampers! We tried Huggies first when Abbie was born but they kept leaking so switched straight over to Pampers and they have been perfect since!

19. Have you always wanted kids?
Yes, I wanted a house full of them, If Ben would've agreed then we would've started trying a year before we actually did! Haha, 

20. Best part about being a mum?
Watching her grow and seeing her personality develop! She's growing up so quickly and before I know it, she's gonna be at school and won't need me as much as she does now (sob!)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Mummy Scenario Tag

I found this little TAG over on a few Mummy blogs and across YouTube so I wanted to give it a go and give you all my answers, my parenting seems a lot different from most of the other peoples answers i've seen so I thought i'd give the other side and maybe others can relate to me too :)

The Questions;

Your kid is refusing to eat dinner, do you stand your ground and demand they eat what you made? Or make something else?


I think it really depends, if they're just not eating and you know they like the food, I won't make something else, i'll try and encourage her to eat it and maybe tell her she can have a little treat if she eats more, but if i've cooked something new and for the first time, there's a chance she might not like it so I'd make something separate for her! I wouldn't make her eat food that I know she doesn't like, but some days they're just not that hungry or are just being a bit picky so I would just give her some fruit once we've all finished just to make sure she does eat something!


Your kid has a melt-down at the store, nothing is working to calm them. Do you leave & come back another time, or grit your teeth and finish shopping?

This is the exact reason we do online shopping, Abbie can sit in her pushchair for a good hour in her pushchair but any longer than that and she gets all grumpy and fidgety! It's not ever worth the risk, if we can avoid the stress of a meltdown we would, so my answer is DO ONLINE SHOPPING! Ha ha :)


Your kid gets too many toys for their birthday, do you make some returns or save them for a rainy day?

I think we'd just let her have them all then see which ones she plays with the most (there are always favourites), then the ones she's either a little bit too young for still or hasn't paid as much attention to, will go upstairs for a rainy day, there's only 3 months between Abbie's birthday and christmas so we would probably give her them for then!

Your kid is protesting sleep, do you give in at 3am, get them up & turn on a movie? Or continue to rock them, nurse, etc to try to get them back to sleep?

Ever since Abbie was little, like a day old, she's been a bad sleeper, there have been so so many occasions when she's been awake at 3am, even a few weeks ago when she didn't go back to sleep until 5am..but the one thing I have never done is give in, I've never rocked her for an hour then just thought 'Right lets just get up', I have been known to stand up and rock Abbie for up to 3 hours, I know it sounds crazy but I was adamant from day 1 that I would never give up, if you do just one time, they will remember it and you might have some problems on your hands as they get older!

You have an appointment and no babysitter- do you bring them with you or reschedule?

I'll bring Abbie with me usually, unless it's an appointment for an eye test or something, she wouldn't stand still or sit still for longer than 10 seconds, so i'd end up being stressed, so i'd reschedule that one haha

You have 20 minutes until unexpected company arrives. Do you rush to clean up your messy house, or just figure- "hey, it's okay. I've got kids!"

Always always, clean the house! Yes kids make mess but you can still make it look like you've made an effort rather than just having an untidy house. But if it's close family I don't really mind, no-one's house is perfect and mess is inevitable!

You're running late & only have time to do your hair or makeup- which do you choose?

Makeup! I rarely do anything with my hair so would just leave it, however without makeup I tend to get comments like 'you look a bit poorly', 'you look so tired' etc etc..I can blame my hair on the weather or something at least! Ha ha.

You're at the park and another child pushes yours, do you intervene and correct them- or go find the child's parent?

I wouldn't say anything to the other child, I wouldn't appreciate it if someone else did that to Abbie, but I might confront the parent and say something politely and a bit jokey, that's how I'd rather someone approached me, I'd then apologise big time and get Abbie to say sorry to the child, I think it's common courtesy! No child is perfect and it doesn't make them 'bad' if they do lash out, it's just a bad thing for them to do!