Friday, 24 October 2014

Christmas | Decorate with H&M

My favourite time of the year is only 61 days away! I don't care it's only October, I'm too excited to not talk about it ha ha! Christmas means so much more when you have your own child too so I can't wait to get the house decorated and start getting into the festive spirit properly! We took a little visit into Bath the other day where they're setting up fairy lights and christmas sections in a lot of stores which made me even more excited! 

I'm a big big fan of H&M when it comes to clothing, but didn't even realise until very recently that they also do homeware! Everything from bedding to kitchen utensils, cushions to placemats, everything you could possibly need to set your house up for all the seasons! I had a little browse this morning on their New Arrivals page and came across a whole bunch of Christmas goodies, and at amazing prices too, I think i've now found my source for all things Christmas this year!

Below I have created a little mood board of my favourite picks from the website, are you feeling Christmassy yet?? You are about to! :)

CUSHIONS
STRIPED - £3.99
 MERRY XMAS  - £3.99
SANTA - £7.99

ACCESSORIES
GOLD STARS - £2.99
RED BAUBLES - £3.99
SANTA SACK - £7.99
ADVENT CALENDAR - £12.99
FLUFFY BLANKET - £49.99

Cosy Cushions!
Cushions are one of those necessities for the cosy winter home I think, the plumper the sofa or bed looks, the more inviting it becomes! Our bed is always full of them, I have about 20 different covers in the airing cupboard for rotating around the seasons, that is except for, Christmas ones! I do think a room looks pretty naked without them, they're that cosy effect you kinda need during the cold months, when you walk in through the door after some Christmas shopping, or a long day at work, the first you wanna do is sit on the sofa, take off your shoes, and relax!

Advent Calendar
They've been around for years and year and are pretty much a necessity when it comes to Christmas, Abbie is at the age now where she will understand the logistics and how they work! Unfortunately for her, chocolate gives her belly aches (just like her mummy), so we are going for something a bit different for her, still the same element of surprise, if not more, by using this adorable hanging calendar above! We are going to fill each day with a different little toy/non chocolate treat for her, nothing expensive, just something different every day! After a few days she should get onto the idea that she gets a little something every morning leading up to Christmas morning!

Decorations
Growing up my Mum would always decorate the entire house from top to toe with the same decorations, they were mainly gold and red with every kind of bauble and hanging glitter you could think of! I used to absolutely love it, coming downstairs in the morning after she'd decorated and feeling so excited that Christmas was coming! Since Ben & I have been living together, we've had a different colour theme every year, last year we had blue and white which was so pretty, but this year i'm going back to my roots and go with good old red and gold! No tinsel, just some pretty fairy lights, baubles and star to go on top of the tree! 

In terms of the rest of the house we are planning on fairy lights around the stairs as we do every year, christmas bunting, candles, stockings and christmas sacks! I actually started Christmas shopping on Boxing Day last year and bought half of this years presents (thank god Abbie now likes Peppa Pig!) so i'm very prepared this year!

What are your plans for Christmas!?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Winter Warmers from Woolovers!

My favourite time of year is getting so close now, I much prefer the colder weather as opposed to the steaming sunshine of the Summer, don't get me wrong, I love the sunshine but there's just something about wrapping up all snuggly and warm during the Autumn and winter months that makes me all cosy inside! I'm not one to really wear dresses or summery clothes (must be the tomboy in me), so covering up always makes me feel more comfortable!

I was recently introduced to the website Woolovers who are a specialist knitwear retailer and who are now celebrating 25 years of excellence to over 750,000 customers! They provide you with everything from Christmas themes and patterns to fluffy and chunky cardigans! Something to suit everyone in a range of budgets too! Although in my honest opinion, if you want a good quality jumper thats going to last you at least a few years, you may need to spend a little more! 

So after browsing the website, I wanted to share with you all my 4 favourite items, no doubt you are thinking or have already started swapping out the summer clothes for snuggly scarfs, cosy knits and those UGG boots!


My first choice is the gorgeous Aran Polo Neck Jumper in Cream! I have fallen in love with this jumper so much I will be adding it to my wish list for Christmas! It is made from 100% British wool and comes in 4 other colours; Charcoal, Flannel, French Navy & Red! With raglan sleeves, you are guaranteed that cosiness feeling without the bulkiness around the arm! What's better is this is also a unisex jumper and currently on offer, if you buy 2, you can save yourself £8! 


For a bit of layering I chose this simple but flattering Asymmetric top in Pepper! Knitted in fine 12 gauge Cashmere & Merino blend, this exciting new design is not only cosy, comfortable and easy to wear but it will also turn heads for all of the right reasons, thanks to its modern styling. With a figure hugging shape on top and flowing back, this will be sure to be a staple piece in your wardrobe across the seasons and available in 9 other colours too!


Everyone needs a Christmassy jumper, it's a staple piece we all loathe to love! So whether you go for the Mr Darcy type from Bridget Jones' Diary, or fancy a more fashionable take, there are so so many on the market nowadays you're guaranteed to find something perfect for you! I chose this Fairisle Polo Neck Jumper from the website because not only is it perfect for both Men & Women, but it's stylish, soft and a classic piece that also comes in a few others colours too! 

'The two colour pattern, cosy polo neck, long sleeve & easy fit make this a highly desirable wear for the colder months. This unisex style is very contemporary but with a traditional feel'

FOUR
I decided to pick out something a little more masculine this time, I think we've all been there where we've thrown on our partners hoodies or jumpers and they're always so snuggly, cosy and best of all, oversized! This gorgeous shawl collar cardigan is actually another unisex piece that comes in a variety of different colours, secured with gorgeous chunky buttons, with long sleeves, patch pockets and a horn button detail, all made with 100% British wool!

What are your staple pieces this season?

x



Monday, 20 October 2014

Autumn Adventure!

Hello all! It's been a long while since I posted, well, anything! We've been a bit poorly over here and been super busy as well so have taken time out a little bit but we are now on the mend (hopefully!), so expect to see a few more posts this week! 

Sunday morning we headed out to one of our local National Trust Park's for a lovely Autumn walk, Ben had the weekend off so we wanted to go out and enjoy some quality family time! Luckily for us the sun decided to pop out and despite the craziness of having to park a mile away from the actual park due to how busy it was, all 3 of us enjoyed our walk and took lots of photos on our way too! Abbie loved the ducks and shared some of her wotsits with them ha ha. 

The trees are just on the brink of turning orange and red so the Autumn feel really set in, everything looked so beautiful and picturesque, makes me feel so lucky to live in such a stunning part of the countryside! We didn't really plan our route too much so ended up going the way where pushchairs aren't really 'suitable'. This meant walking down steep slippery steps which lead to the opening of the lake and through cobbles and mini caves before heading back out again! It's safe to say Abbie loved the walk despite it being over an hour long, we all got some exercise and had lots of fresh air which meant a good nap for all! :)


















Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Weight Loss | Week 2

What have I been eating?

Using My Fitness Pal i've been working out what I can and can't have in the day, what I tend to do is plan what i'm going to eat for the day, then see what the calories are and what I have left or what I have to substitute. The app took into consideration my current weight and active levels to determine how many calories I should be consuming a day in order to lose my request of -2lbs loss per week, so my daily food intake has to be 1300!

I've not taken any photos this week of the meals unfortunately but will start again for this week :)



Off the menu!
 Chocolate
Fizzy Drinks
Cake
Crisps
Sugar in Tea
Pizza
Takeaways
Alcohol
Bacon
Bread

Stats

Height: 5 ft 8in
SW - 10st 13lbs
FT - 10st (on or before our holiday in December)
GW - 9st 7lbs (pre-pregnancy weight)

WEEK ONE weigh in: -4lbs
to
10 stone 9lbs

Week 2

***


Thursday 2nd October

Breakfast | Cheerio's with semi-skimmed milk & handful of grapes

Lunch | Birds Eye Meditteranean rice fusion with salad and salad cream

Dinner | Pasta bolognese with little meat and parmesan

Snacks | Muller Light with Coconut & hint of lime

TOTAL calories: 1168
Earned 200 calories from exercise

***

Friday 3rd October

Breakfast | Cheerios with semi skimmed milk
Red Apple

Lunch | Prawn Cocktail Salad
4 x Crab Sticks

Dinner | Chicken in black bean sauce stir fry and noodles

Snacks | Nutri Grain Blueberry bar
Lots of grapes

TOTAL calories: 1213
Earned 180 extra calories through exercise

***

Saturday 4th October

Breakfast | Cheerios with semi skimmed milk
Red Apple

Lunch | Ham & Egg Salad
Nutri Grain bar (strawberry)

Dinner | 2 quarter pounder burgers with stir fried veg & cous cous!

Snacks | 1 1/2 Nutri Grain Bar


TOTAL calories: 1128
Earned 194 extra calories through exercise

***

Sunday 5th October

Breakfast | Cheerios with semi skimmed milk
Red Apple

Lunch | Tuna Salad with Light Mayo

Dinner | 3 sausages, mash and baked beans!

Snacks | Banana

TOTAL calories: 1217
Gained 90 extra calories from exercising

***

Monday 6th October

Breakfast | Bitesize Shredded Wheat
1/2 banana

Lunch | Thai Chicken Soup, wholemeal rice
Apple & 4 x babybel

Dinner | Weight Watchers crustless cheese & onion quiche
Salad, beetroot, reduced fat coleslaw and ham slice

Snacks | Red Apple

TOTAL calories: 1203
Earned an extra 211 calories from exercising

***

Tuesday 7th October

Breakfast | Bitesize Shredded Wheat
1/2 banana

Lunch | Chicken & wholewheat pasta salad

Dinner | Chicken kiev, chorizo potatoes & cous cous

Snacks | Red Apple 
Nutri Grain bar blueberry

TOTAL: 1305
Earned 187 calories from exercise

***

Week 2 Results
-4lbs!

TOTAL loss: -8lbs


I'm so so happy with losing another 4lbs, I've worked my ass off and will admit I had a few days of struggling not to scoff my face, but I persevered and so pleased I did! I'm down 8lbs altogether and am only 5lbs off my target I was aiming for, for December. It'll be nice to enjoy myself over Christmas a little bit so i'm going to carry on eating as I am and exercising everyday too! I've just started going out with one of my friends for jogs 3 times a week too for extra motivation, today was hard, different terrains and inclines. We are building ourselves up by walking, jogging and eventually even some running. Its been a long time since i've jogged properly so I struggled today, but we did 45 minutes and burned just under 200 calories! Yay, every little helps :)

If you want to follow my journey, add me on MyFitnessPal @ourbabyblog

x

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Weight Loss | Healthy Eating Week 1

I recently got to that stage where I looked at myself in the mirror and actually hated what I saw, I even cried a few times, how could I let myself get to that and not notice..sure I wasn't classed as overweight but I was the biggest I had been and didn't feel good about myself, so Ive been super motivated and started exercising and eating healthy, I wanted to share my journey with you all, sharing with you what I've been eating and the exercise I've been doing, as well as weekly weigh ins and measurements too!

I've been using My Fitness Pal after being recommended it from a few friends, I've used it a few times before but that was back when I didnt really need to lose weight, this time, it's a MUST. I've been super impressed with it and can really see just how much food i've been eating and the calories, fat content and sugar it all has in it, that mixed with me exercising 0% has really made me unhappy with my body. I'm fully determined this time, no treats, not until I reach that goal in December, i'm motivated and excited for the change!





What have I been eating?
Using My Fitness Pal i've been working out what I can and can't have in the day, what I tend to do is plan what i'm going to eat for the day, then see what the calories are and what I have left or what I have to substitute, Sunday for example I was going to make sweet and sour chicken for dinner, but the sugar content was so huge I would've gone over, so we changed it to something else..The app took into consideration my current weight and active levels to determine how many calories I should be consuming a day in order to lose my request of -2lbs loss per week, so my daily food intake has to be 1300!

You can see I learn pretty quickly what foods almost push me over the edge on my RDA's or calories, baked beans have become a treat now!

Off the menu!
 Chocolate
Fizzy Drinks
Cake
Crisps
Sugar in Tea
Pizza
Takeaways
Alcohol
Bacon
Bread

Stats
Height: 5 foot 8in
Starting Weight - 10st 13lbs
First Target - 10st (on or before our holiday in December)
Goal Weight - 9st 7lbs (pre-pregnancy weight)



***

Thursday 25th September

Breakfast | Shredded Wheat Summer Fruits With 125ml Semi-skimmed Milk

Lunch | Baked Beans and Jumbo Sausages

Dinner | 2 x Beef Burgers with Roasted Veg cous cous and parmesan cheese

Snacks | Nothing

TOTAL calories: 1200

***

Friday 26th September

Breakfast | Shredded Wheat Summer Fruits with 125ml semi skimmed milk

Lunch | Ham & Egg Salad
4 x Crab Sticks

Dinner | Pasta Bolognese with dash of parmesan cheese
Boiled egg left over from salad at lunch

Snacks | Muller Light Banana & Custard Yoghurt
Red Apple

TOTAL calories: 1381
Earned 101 extra calories through exercise

***

Saturday 27th September

Breakfast | Cheerio's with semi-skimmed milk

Lunch | Prawn cocktail salad with beetroot

Dinner | Jacket Potato with tuna, mixed veg and some beetroot

Snacks | Muller Light Banana & Custard yoghurt
Half Banana


TOTAL calories: 1072
Earned 138 extra calories through exercise

***

Sunday 28th September

Breakfast | Cheerios with semi skimmed milk
Half a banana

Lunch | Cous cous with stir fried veg & mozzarella cheese
Muller Light Strawberry yoghurt

Dinner | Omelette and chips with stir fried veg

Snacks | Nutri grain apple bar
1 chicken drumstick (random craving ha)

TOTAL calories: 1404
Gained 323 extra calories from exercising

***

Monday 29th September

Breakfast | Cheerios with semi skimmed milk
Half a banana

Lunch | Tuna salad with beetroot and mozzarella
3/4 Muller Light Strawberry yoghurt

Dinner | 2 Sausages with sweet potato mash & cous cous

Snacks | Handful of grapes
Muller Light Toffee

TOTAL calories: 1203
Earned an extra 260 calories from exercising

***

Tuesday 30th September

Breakfast | Cheerios with semi skimmed milk
Quarter of a banana

Lunch | Homemade Ham salad

Dinner | Sweet potato jacket with tuna & tbsp of salad cream
& stir-fried mixed veg

Snacks | 1 sugar ring doughnut

TOTAL: 1045
Earned 83 calories from exercise

***

Wednesday 1st October

Breakfast | Cheerios with semi skimmed milk
Half a banana

Lunch | Sweet potato jacket with salad and tomato pasta
1 tbsp salad cream

Dinner | Ham & onion Omelette with chips & salad

Snacks | 1/2 Nutri grain bar blueberry

TOTAL: 1140 calories
Earned 220 extra calories from exercise

***

Week 1 weigh in

-4lbs

Current weight: 10 stone 9lbs

YAY! Hard work really is paying off :)
And you don't have to completely restrict yourself either, i've had chips and a doughnut this week and still lost weight! Treats are okay so don't stress about them!

If you want to follow my journey, add me on MyFitnessPal @ourbabyblog

x

The UK's Favourite Family Road Trip Routes!

*guest post


Planning a holiday trip with the family? A road trip is one of the best options for a vacation with your spouse and kids. It’s easier to make road trip arrangements when you’re travelling with the family. Make sure to compromise and negotiate with every member’s sightseeing plans. Going on a road trip also means being familiar with new routes and traffic signs. You could take online driving theory tests to sharpen your knowledge and skills in driving. 

There are many road trip routes that you and your family could try during the holidays. It’s important to know which route is more favourable to your preference. If travelling with young children, it’s best to avoid routes with rough terrain. In the U.K., there are plenty of beautiful sites to see while on the road. Here are some of the best drive routes in the U.K.: 


Hutton-Le-Hole, N Yorks 
Visit this rural village if you’re fond of a scenic natural environment. For a cultural experience, you can drop by the well-known Ryedale Folk Museum. 


Humber Bridge, N Lincs/Yorks 
Drive through this area and you’ll get to see the seventh longest single-span suspension bridge in the world. 


The A3055, Isle of Wight 
Otherwise known as the Military Road, this route begins from the Chale area up to the Freshwater Bay, which is a National Trust land. You can see a stunning view of the coastal shores when you’re driving at high points along this route. 

Now that you have a list of things to see during your planned road trip, the next thing to do is the organisation of the trip’s details. As mentioned earlier, picking the best route is important. A simple and easy-to-follow drive would work best especially if you’re new to road trips. Choosing a route that’s not too remote and too far from service stations and roadside diners would also be a great option. 

It’s not practical to make a stopover each time your kid is bored or need to go to a restroom. Limit snacks and drinks while inside the car to avoid the need of going to the toilet. Keep them busy with games and portable movie players. The amount of sights you see and their distance in between trips will also be one factor to consider in planning the trip. If it takes too long to get to your next destination, your children will naturally get bored and more likely to lose interest in the entire trip. 

Another option to consider in a trip is to pay a visit to family and friends that live far away. This would be the best time to pass along their homes when you choose a route that’s near to them. Dropping by a close friend or relative’s house would not only let you catch up with them on their lives, they may also invite you and your family to sleep over. If you’re on a budget, it would be very useful to arrange a visit and tell them beforehand to save on extra costs of lodging and accommodation.