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Monday, 25 May 2015

The Weekend #4- Buckingham Palace, prosecco & ice cream sandwiches

This weekend was a highly anticipated one for me, one that has been planned for months with the dates circled with a big red pen in my diary.

I went to London to spend some time with my friends, alone, which after last weekend, boy did I need!

I have to admit the train journey to London always fills me with anxiety. I think it's a mixture of stressing that I will miss my connections and the rush and buzz of London. Being a small town girl London is out of my comfort zone. Saying that, once I'm there and I'm with someone who knows the city like the back of their hand, I'm happy. I will apologise in advance for the quality of these photos are they are sparse and most of them were taken on my iPhone.

Saturday

On Saturday I was travelling from 8.30am to 2pm! I snagged a very cheap return ticket to London but the downside of that was the 3 changes throughout my journey that I had to endure!



Once I arrived and I'd dumped my suitcase at my friend's house we decided to have a little wander about. Although the skies stayed cloudy all weekend it was very mild, perfect tourist weather! I've never been to Buckingham Palace so we ventured over. I was surprised at how big it was! The flag was up so Lizzie was home, I'm not sure if that had anything to do with the hundreds of tourists milling about!




We'd obviously worked up a thirst so we hunted down the nearest pub for a few glasses of Prosecco, why not. Saturday evening was spent in our pjs, eating pizza and watching Eurovision, Pretty perfect!



Sunday

I had a very good night's sleep but my body decided that it wanted to wake up at 7.30am. Lie in opportunity missed! We'd wanted to visit Borough Market but found out that it didn't happen on a Sunday. We managed to find a food market in East London and headed there instead.

I'm a huge fan of Greek food and I had the most amazing Souvlaki, pita bread wrap filled to the brim with chicken, grilled halloumi, tomatoes, red onion and tzatziki, SO good! I then spotted the cutest ice cream van selling cookie ice cream sandwiches and had to have one. I chose vanilla ice cream, snickerdoodle cookie and Lucky Charms topping. Yum!





We then got ourselves ready for our night out. Luckily we had managed to get onto the guestlist for Boujis but had a few drinks at home before hand, good job we did as our bar tab was steep!



Monday

I woke up feeling slightly worse for wear this morning. Vodka always seems like a good idea at the time! We ate brunch in a lovely French restaurant and then it was time to begin my treacherous journey home. FYI, trains and hangovers do not mix! Ava has been spoilt rotten by daddy this weekend, I'm very lucky to have such a brilliant, hands on husband who encourages me to have "me" time and always put 110% into daddy duties. I really don't give him enough credit.



They went to a BBQ and he took her to a farm where she fed a lamb and watched a pig race. Most exciting of all Nath bought her a bike! She was thrilled with it and I loved the stream of happy selfies I was getting from Nath.



We move in to our new house tomorrow so he has also been getting everything ready for that. What a trooper!

I've said it before but I really do find "me" time so important. I love spending time with my friends and having some down time. But coming home to my family is definitely the best part.

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Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Weekend #3

Saturday

I'm not going to lie, Saturday was a really tough parenting day. Ava's attitude has not been the best lately, it's been incredible stressful with us still living in the pub and trying to find the time to move into our new house and on Saturday it all came to a head. There were tears and tantrums on both sides and I ended up with a splitting headache all day. I've consoled myself with the fact that it was our last weekend in the pub. Next weekend I am off to London to stay with friends and the weekend after Ava and I are going down to my mums.

Saturday morning started with Ava accidentally head-butting me in the face so not the best of starts. Ballet was missed as she was in tantrum mode and after headbutt-gate we were running late anyway. We met my dad for tea & flapjacks instead and took his gorgeous dog Murphy for a walk.







This gorgeous wood is minutes from our new house and I just love it. I'm trying to convince Nath that we need a dog, perfect walking ground. She looks like butter wouldn't melt in these pictures!





Apart from a quick trip into town with my Sister-in-law in the afternoon which dissolved into Ava's tantrum number 10,987 the afternoon was spent watching The Little Mermaid whilst Ava munched on a big bowl of chicken nuggets & chips in bed. Lazy parenting at it's finest, but I was honestly too tired and stressed to care at that point. When Ava misbehaves I put it down to my parenting skills. I must be a terrible parent!



 Once Ava was asleep Nath and I had fajitas and drunk some (much needed) Desperados. Sunday was a new day and I was determined that it was going to be a better one.



Sunday

Sunday started lazily with Ava and I watching Rio whilst Nath had a little lie in. He then took Ava to see his grandparents while I went to meet a friend for coffee. I haven't seen my friend since our wedding in August and it was so good to have a catch up. It was lovely to have an hour to myself for a good gossip over a chai tea latte.



As we are hoping to move into our new house this week it was time for the dreaded packing to start. After sorting out Ava's clothes I ended up with a bin bag full of Ava's old clothes for charity and some books and toys for the carboot.



This made me realise that I was running extremely low on pants, socks & leggings for Ava so we took a quick trip to Sainsbury's and picked up a few things.



 I have also cleaned and played with Ava whilst trying to pack this big box for the new house. Behaviour-wise, Ava was a lot better on Sunday, she was like a completely different child! Strange.




So not a very riveting weekend to be honest, but I think it was the calm before the storm as we have two busy weekends coming up.

What have you guys been up to?


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Saturday, 16 May 2015

My fitspiration

I'm the first to admit that my fitness levels yo-yo. One week I'm loving it, eating super healthily, exercising a lot and the next I have no motivation and am eating my body weight in pizza and sweet treats.

My main problem is food, I'm a huge foodie, I love to cook, bake and have an insatiable sweet tooth. However one thing that keeps me going is other bloggers and instagrammers whom I look to for fitspiration. They're constantly inspiring me, be it with their abs, recipes or workouts so I thought I would share them with you if you're stuck in a fitness rut.

First up is my fellow blogger and all round lovely lady Katie from Mummy Daddy Me. Katie set herself a fitness mission last year to start running and she's done amazingly well. I'm always in awe of mums who not only have their children to look after but also work and still find the time to excercise and look amazing for it. I often think of Katie when I've hit a slump and can't be bothered to go to the gym. I want those abs!



Another mummy blogger who inspires me is Kerry from Lived with Love. I'd never thought of doing home workouts before but Kerry does them regularly. I've started the Kayla Itsines bikini guide and although it's hard I love the fact that I can do it at home once Ava is in bed. Kerry also eats very healthily and I'm often getting smoothie & snack ideas from her.




One of the first fitness bloggers I started following was Lydia, she seamlessly mixes fashion and fitness and is constantly giving me wardrobe & ab envy. I particularly enjoyed her last post about confidence. It really motivated me and gave me the boost I needed to head to the gym last night.



I'm a big fan of Instagram, I'd even go as far as saying that it's my favourite form of social media. I'm a very visual person and I love "pretty" accounts. One of the accounts I follow it's Mikela's. I love the photographs of her beautiful son Issac and the daily snippets of life that she posts. I've recently discovered that she has a second account dedicated to fitness which I was so happy about. Mikela has a killer figure which is totally admirable when she has a baby.



I also follow Alice on Instagram. If you're into fitness you will have heard of her. She's LDM's latest recruit and her instagram feed is full of amazing healthy dishes. Alice gives me so much food inspiration and always makes me feel extremely hungry!



I am trying my hardest to get in shape for our holiday in September, I need to tone up and the ladies above always manage to give me that little extra push without them even knowing about it!



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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Having friends when you're a mum



When I was pregnant I truly thought that I wouldn't have the same group of friends once I became a mother.

Being the first person in my friendship group to have a child, I thought that they would recoil at the thought of babies, nappies and the odd spit up accident but I couldn't have been more wrong.

From the moment Ava was born my friends have showered her with affection and attention. She loves the "girls" and loves coming out with us all. They're always buying her presents or joining us on days out.

Obviously my priorities have changed but I still make sure to meet up with my friends a few times a month, with Ava or not. I'm heading down to London next weekend to stay with some friends and I can't wait. I think motherhood is all about balance and I'm trying my hardest to get it right.

It does work well at the moment although I do worry about what will happen if I ever do go back to work full time as I'm sure the mummy guilt will kick in. I do think it's hugely important that us mummies do make time for ourselves. Even if it's just a wander to the local coffee shop with a book.

I think it gives me a bit of a breather, a chance to let my hair down and in turn makes me a better mum.

I'm very lucky to have such a big, close knit group of friends, I can't wait for them to start having babies!
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Sunday, 10 May 2015

The Weekend #2

Thank you to those who linked up last week!

This weekend has been pretty uneventful, although if you read this week's exciting post you'll know that we're on the countdown for our highly anticipated move. So this weekend we have been gearing up for that. When I returned from work on Friday Ava was already zonked out in bed, I think her cold had finally got the better of her and I just couldn't wake her. Swimming was missed and when she finally woke at 7pm Nath suggested getting a takeaway from Prezzo and I was more than happy to oblige.



Ava had ballet again on Saturday morning, after last week I was doubtful about how she would get on, this weekend was the last chance saloon, I'd decided that if she wasn't going to participate we wouldn't go again. However after a having a little chat before hand and telling Ava (who was feeling much better) that I would be sitting on the side watching this week, she was like a completely different child. She really enjoyed herself and I was so proud of her.



We grabbed a quick Costa, chocolate Babychino for Ava and Chai tea latte for me and made our way home.


It rained on and off on Saturday so the afternoon was spent playing with Play Doh and Ava's "people".



We also read some books and built some jigsaws (which I have to admit, is one of my favourite things to do).



I've had the urge to bake all week and although all my baking stuff is at our new house Ava and I still cobbled together these gluten-free chocolate, peanut butter & fudge cookies. They're not the best looking cookies I've ever seen but they tasted amazing!


The evening consisted of more cooking, I fancied something comforting and this haddock mac & cheese did the trick. Both the GF cookies and mac & cheese recipes are from Sainsbury's magazines. It's one of my favourite foodie mags and I always make sure I pick one up every month, at £1 I couldn't not!


Sunday

Sunday started slowly, Ava allowed us a lie-in (7.30am) and when she crawled into our bed I sent Nath into her bed so that he could have a much needed rest until 9.00am, I know, I'm the best.

I also whipped up some pain au chocolates which we ate fresh from the oven, kinda. I'm hardly Nigella so I used the Jus'Roll canned dough!


They ended up looking like some weird, chocolate sausage rolls but they still tasted pretty darn good.

I've had mummy guilt this week as although I've played a lot with Ava, we haven't actually been anywhere, luckily my Sister-in-Law came to the rescue and took Ava swimming and to McDonald's whilst I went to the new house with Nath.

Nath has almost finished painting the front room and I LOVE the colour. We've gone for a pale grey which really brightens the room up, our new Wayfair light has been added too which looks brilliant. Some of the paint in the front room is still wet as Nath still needs to give some areas a 2nd coat, the fireplace needs to be finished and shelves need to go up but it's getting there.


We still have a way to go but it's starting to take shape. Most of the wallpaper has been added to the hallway which again, brightens it all up. We're having carpet added to the front room, hall, staircase, landing and Ava's bedroom tomorrow and I cannot wait to see what it looks like.


I can't wait to do some before and after shots to show you how it all looked before!

Food has been very much based on convenience this weekend and in turn has made me feel pretty sick & lethargic. I haven't exercised in two weeks so as of tomorrow I am starting my circuit training again and eating healthier.



I took a very quick trip to Wilkinsons earlier and picked up this super cute bee hive cookie jar. We "needed" one of course!


What have you been up to this weekend? I'd love for you to share you weekend with Charl and I.


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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Finally a home of our own



You may have read my previous posts about the nightmare we have had trying to buy our first home.


The decision to buy a house, rather than continue to rent, was something that we had often spoken about, but we didn't expect it to happen so quickly after our wedding, last August.

The house was too good to pass up, no chain, fantastic location and a good size, we would have been fools to let it go. We put in our offer before Christmas and signed the paperwork in February. Our mortgage was approved and everything was going smoothly until we came to a crushing hault. There were issues with the deeds, it took another 3 months, a lot of tears and some stern emails to get to where we are now, yesterday the house went through and I still can't quite believe we can call the house ours.

We have been lucky enough to have always had a key as Nath knows the previous owners and the house was empty. You may have seen in a few of my vlogs that we started to tentatively decorate, a bit of painting here and there but nothing too major as we didn't want to push our luck.

We can get the ball rolling at last, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I think I've been a lot more stressed than I had thought. I haven't been sleeping well lately and have just been prescribed some sleeping tablets by the Dr.

I've been daydreaming for so long about that house, about turning it into a home. Visions of Ava and I baking together in the kitchen, her playing in the garden, having friends and family over for dinner, birthdays and our first Christmas.

I feel quite overwhelmed as I write this, getting soppy over bricks and mortar may seem odd to some people but to me it's so much more. Finally having a place to call home is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. I feel so lucky to be able to do this, thanks to our amazing family who have helped us along the way. We really wouldn't have been able to do it without you. And to Nath's parents who have put up with us for almost a whole 6 months with not so much as a grumble, that is no mean feat.

We will never be able to thank our family enough but I will try and repay you the best I can in Sunday roasts and cake.
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I don't like it, I love it #2

I'm back again with another wish list. This week it's mish-mash of homewear, gifts and fashion.



We're attending a family wedding in July and I love this dress from AX Paris. The colour is perfect for a Summer wedding and the off the shoulder, bardot style give it a subtle, sexy look.

Before my cinema date with Ava on Saturday we popped into M&S where I spotted this gorgeous hat. Ava looked so sweet in it, it's a must purchase for Summer.

I'm always on the hunt for quirky looking interiors and this gorgeous tripod floor lamp from Lampsy is right up my street. Lampsy are offering my readers 10% discount with the code arushoflove10 until the 30th June.

Being from a big family, there are always happy occasions such as births and weddings and these personalised prints from Sanda Prints would make a perfect gift.

I'm already keeping my eye out for holiday wear for Ava, although we don't go away until September! This little shirt from M&S is adorable!

What do you think of this weeks picks?



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