Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Weekend #5- Lots of food and lots of shopping

First of all I must apologise at how useless I was with this linky last weekend. I was terribly unorganised and didn't send the link across to Charl for her to add onto her blog, I am so sorry that some of you were unable to link up! I've given myself a slap on the wrist and it won't happen again!

As I mentioned last weekend, Nath was off to Cardiff this weekend so I decided to brave the 2 and a half hour journey down to my mum's with Ava on Friday. I have driven down by myself many times before but I was anxious about how Ava would fare for that long, on her own in the back. I was so nervous, but I am happy to report that it all went really well, apart from the journey taking 3 hours due to major roadworks. My mum & stepdad have just return from an amazing trip which consisted of New York, Las Vegas and Mexico, it all sounded and looked incredible but I'm so happy to have them home! On Friday night I was asleep by 9pm! The journey must have taken it out of me.



Saturday

This weekend I had planned to do two things, shop and eat! Tomorrow Nath and I are back to our healthy eating and exercising so I took the opportunity to completely stuff my face! We set off into Milton Keynes quite early on Saturday, I desperately needed some new foundation. After using NARS Sheer Glow for months I cut back and started using one that I picked up in my local Boots but it just isn't the same, by the end of the day the foundation had melted off my face, leaving orange patches stuck to my T zone. Not a good look! I'm a big believer that you get what you pay for and foundation is one of them, I'm never cheating on it again!



I've already started buying some bits for Ava for our holiday to Cyprus in September. My mum picked up the yellow shorts and pineapple vest top from Zara and the Watermelon shorts are H&M. I'm hoping the weather improves before our trip so that she can wear them.



During the move I've lost a big bag full of tops, I'm gutted as some of them were quite new. This obviously called for some new ones, notably this popcorn tshirt from Topshop.



We had lunch in Carluccios, Mum and I always seem to stop here for lunch when we're out shopping. My starter of chicken liver pate was amazing and the spinach & ricotta ravioli with sage butter wasn't bad either. I was very impressed with the children' menu, Ava certainly seemed to enjoy it.






Back at my mum's we had to get Ava's new Playmobile set out and we had some afternoon tea and a play in the garden.



Ava had had a nap earlier on which spelt disaster for bedtime. She didn't go to bed until 11pm, which I'm sure gave e a few grey hairs! When she'd finally nodded of mum & I watched The Heat which stars Sandra Bullock & Melissa McCarthy. They are both two of my favourite actresses and it didn't disappoint. Definitely worth a watch,

Sunday

Sunday involved more shopping and not much picture taking. During the week I decided that I was desperate for some new PJs and Primark is always my go to place for fun PJs and comfy loungewear, I also wanted to check out their homeware section.

Once I'd had my fill of cheap PJs and flamingo shaped cushions (which I bought, of course), we hot footed it to Ikea, we were on a bit of a time restraint as we needed to get back to my mum's but we both picked up the bits we needed. Unfortunately lunch was a quick McDonalds rather than some delicious Ikea meatballs but maybe next time.




Ava and I left my mum's at 3pm and again, the journey took 3 hours due to roadworks and a road accident! Luckily Ava pretty much slept the whole way back, which meant I didn't have to listen to her toddler CD, bonus! We finished off the evening with fish & chips and I had a massive sort out in our bedroom and rearranged some of the furniture, as you do.



I'm dreading this week in work, I think it's because I only worked a day and a half last week. This week is going to be tough!

We have nothing major planned this weekend, apart from celebrating my lovely nan's birthday on Saturday and a possible carboot on Sunday. I'm hoping to get my shelves and dining table up this week! Fingers crossed for a working light in our bedroom too!

What did you get up to?




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Friday, 29 May 2015

We've moved in!



If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you'll know that on Tuesday we finally moved into our new house. After months and months of waiting!

It's still completely upside down and we're having to step over boxes and make cups of tea in the dark as the lights in the kitchen aren't yet working, but we're getting there.

I remember first coming to view the house with Nath's mum before Christmas. The previous owners had been here for 40 years and although you could tell that the house was well loved and held many memories, it desperately needed dragging into the 21st century. I can't wait to show you some before and after shots when it's finished.

Our first night was a strange one, Ava wouldn't settle and I felt like we were squatting in someone else's house as it doesn't feel like home yet. I'm a very impatient person by nature and I have to admit that I wanted everything done by now! I can't cook on my new gas hob yet as we are waiting for the ignition to be fitted. This has meant that my diet has been terrible this week! We've been living off Prezzo takeaways and lots of biscuits and tea!

It's been tricky trying to fit moving in around work and our busy weekend schedules, I was away last week and Nath is in Cardiff this weekend while Ava and I go to my mums. You'll have to excuse the haphazard postings on my blog too.

I'm sure by next week it'll be starting to feel more like home. I love it already and I can't wait to start making some memories in our new home.
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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

I don't like it, I love it- Blackout curtains

I'll admit, I'm a very odd sleeper. There has to be no noise, no light and no toddler sneaking into my bed taking up all the room.

Since moving into our new home I can tick the box for there being no noise, after living above a pub for six months the silence is bliss, however the lighting and sneaky toddler are still an issue. While the co-sleeping may take longer to fix, the lighting issue is an easy one with so many blackout curtains on the market.



If you've been following my homeware post you'll know that I do like neutral colours and these mink blackout curtains from Yorkshire Linen would be perfect. Yorkshire Linen have a wide range of blackout curtains available in gorgeous colours.

Having said the above I do love duck egg blue. We will eventually have our bedroom re-decorated and I do like these ones from Dunhelm.

Ava tends to wake early if it is light and these pink spotty blackout curtains from Very would look so pretty in her new room. I love the dotty detail.

And how sweet would the grey star curtains look in a nursery? I do adore grey and love these ones from John Lewis.


*PR collaboration

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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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