body confidence · Children · choir · Cockapoo · exercise · Family · feeling proud · happy · love on the rocks · May · Parenting · Uncategorized · walking

7 things week 17

Hello from a gloriously sunny East of England! How often do we get to say that and it stay like it for longer than 15 minutes! It’s been a really lovely sunny and warm week, I hope you have all had some sunshine too!

Here are my 7 things that made me happy this week

1. A bbq with friends. Sunday week we went to a friend’s who also have a miniature cockapoo the same colour as Poppy. Unfortunely he is not so much of a fan of the brush as Poppy is so he was looking a little on the short side after a good groom! They played like mad and we took them on two walks and had lovely food and drink in the sun. It was a great day.

2. My car got fixed! Ok so I may have accidentally reversed into the bin and it may have left a very small dent in the boot! But this week it got fixed and I’m so happy to have it looking awesome again.

3. Workouts! I seem to be in a stage where I can manage 4 days in a row before just not wanting to work out the next day and I’m really pleased about that! I feel like I’m making good progress and will hopefully feel great about myself on holiday in a couple of weeks time. This is a workout I did by myself yesterday, I did this whole set 4 times and was done in!

4. Walking. With this glorious weather comes walking and lots of it. I want to walk, I want to get out in the sunshine! Last week I walked 13 miles and this week I’ve walked just under that. This morning we went to Bluebell woods which is near us, We haven’t been since last year and unfortunately were too late to see the bluebells but it was really nice to get out and be some where different. Just going some where new means T managed the almost 3 mile loop easily.

5. The royal wedding! Who doesn’t love weddings? If you forget all the pomp and ceremony and remember they are just two people that love each other and are forced into displaying this to billions of people around the world in an open ceremony, then it is actually really lovely being able to watch a wedding we aren’t technically invited to! My favourite part was when she walked down the aisle and the music was still playing Harry looked at Megan and said ‘You look amazing’. Just beautiful and I just ended up feeling really happy for them.

6. My 2nd choir performance! We sang at a charity walk today and Scott,T and my best friend all came to watch. It was really hot but I think we all sang really well and I was proud to be part of it once again.

7. We have a bird nesting in our garden! This sweet little bird has made a nest in our tree so low down we can easily see! Of course if we pay too much attention to it that reminds Poppy that it’s there and it flies off so now we are in operation ‘ignore the bird’ while it sits on its eggs which we hope will hatch!

8. Doing fun things with T before she goes away for a week. May half term T goes away with her Dad to France for a week before coming back and going on holiday with us for a week. Because of this we are trying to fit as much in as we can at the moment with her so she’s had a pretty good weekend,and so have we. Friday she had a friend round for tea and it was so nice outside they played in the garden for the whole two hours. Saturday she went ice skating with my best friend then had a friend over for a sleep over. We decorated love rocks and hid them then they made bracelets and watched tv. Oh and we got an ice cream from the ice cream van because why not!

Ok so there is 8 this week but that must only be a good thing right!

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend.

Thanks for reading

Lou x

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challenge · choir · Family · favourites · fun activities · hobbies · May · Peak District · positive thinking · singing · thoughtful · Uncategorized

My favourite 10

This is a post about getting to know me, nothing heavy, no emotional baggage to weigh you all down just some favourite things of mine! I would love to hear if you have any of the same!

My favourite

Colour-pink

Book- The Hobbit

Film- Romeo and Juliet, The Baz Luhrmann edition- I can literally recite the whole film. The Hobbit series is a close 2nd though.

Animal- wolf- my family all know I love these beautiful creatures and always call me if one comes on the tv. I even had a debate with Scott about why we should have wolves in the highlands of Scotland again recently, Ok I didn’t win but I put up a good fight! I really want to visit a wolf sanctuary this year if we can afford it/find the time too.

Activity on a rainy day- curl up with a book or under a blanket watching a movie, me and T always like to make hamma beads on a rainy day too.

Holiday in the UK- one in the countryside with green spaces, country pubs, peace and quiet, no Wi-Fi signal and long walks, Devon and the Peak District are our favourites so far.

Holiday abroad- some where hot where the whole family can play in the pool, go to the beach, take in some culture and have a fun evening, we love Rhodes, Crete and Spain.

Hobby- when it comes to fun it has to be walking or choir but for commitment and results my exercise. I know that by committing to regular workouts I can feel happier with my shape and help T to feel happier with hers too, that said there is nothing like belting out ‘This is me’ from the Greatest Showman with a room full of other people!

Meal to cook for my family- anything they have given me 10/10 for! I’m a sucker for a bit of praise and if they loved it I’ll make it again, This was meatballs I made on Monday which went down a storm.

Dessert- millionaire cheesecake

Thanks for reading!

Lou x

April · body confidence · challenge · Children · Cockapoo · dogs · exercise · Family · fitness · goals · health · healthy parenting · Uncategorized

Training Update!

At the start of this month T and I decided to start a squat challenge. We started on 30 and have added one more every day since.

It’s been tough for me, T is a little trooper, but we are still going! 48 squats today and I’m feeling proud we have stuck at it!

Scott has been doing the same but with press ups. He has also been feeling it but is determined to keep going too!

I’ve walked 26.1 miles so far this month! This is not counting my daily steps but is just every time I go for a walk with Poppy and record it on my phone.

T and I have continued with our kettle bell workouts too completing 10 so far this month mainly focusing on abs.

The nicer weather is definitely a boost to excercise. With lighter evenings I’m finding it less of a struggle to feel motivated and am finding myself doing workouts on sunny days when I’m on own just because I have time.

The main thing is T is still really enjoying excercising with us and now the weather is starting to warm up hopefully we will all be able to take more walks and get more excercise in as a family. Scott and T managed a run round the lake on Monday which was a great start!

I’m already on to the fruit salads and more colourful lunch boxes and have lots of ideas for healthy meal prep which I will share soon. As Scott continues training for his marathon in a couple of weeks we need to make sure he has plenty of protein in his diet so prep will be key!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

April · Cockapoo · Family · Husband · lucky · making memories · Marriage · Parenting · positive thinking · reflection · step parenting · Thankful · Uncategorized

7 things that made me happy week 12

1. Cooking for my Nan. My Nan has lived on her own a long time and doesn’t have anyone cook for her much so I was really pleased to be able to make dinner and get all tidied up without her having to do anything.

Here is the chicken, garlic and thyme traybake I made with squash, tomatoes and new potatoes. Served with soft fresh bread it was so tasty!

2. Seeing the bond between these two. T and Poppy are best friends. They adore each other unconditionally and there is nothing that could replace this bond. T won’t ever have a brother or sister so she treats Poppy very much like a baby at times cuddling her and carrying her around but she has also had a big part to play in her training and is great at telling Poppy what to do, I don’t know where she gets that from! The responsibility of having a pet is something I am so glad we have been able to give T and she has developed this and not only has a dog but also a companion for many years to come.

3. Watching T and Scott’s together. T is very much a Mummy’s girl but if we have a week off she will often end up a lot closer to Scott by the end of the week. This week has been no different. Yesterday Scott bathed her and washed and dried her hair while showing her how to use her new snorkel in preparation for holiday and I washed my car. They were completely fine without me and got all cuddled up together on the sofa watching tv in the evening. I love their bond and feel blessed they have been able to get so close up until now. Here is a photo of them back in 2014.

4. Spending time with my Nan. It’s no secret I’m not close to my Mum and often think of my Nan more as my Mum. I ring my Nan a couple of times a week,She’s the one I text if anything is wrong or one of us has had an achievement. She is a massive part of our lives and knows what we are all doing because she involves her self. The only thing is she lives 2 hours away so we don’t see her anywhere near as much as we would like. I often envy Scott being able to go and see his parents on a day off as I would love to just pop to see my Nan but have to make do with video calls. Spending these few days with her was really great and I now can’t wait to take her on holiday with us in June.

5. Feeling closer as a couple. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this but life is busy, tiring, stressful and sometimes hard work. We all need time away to unwind, relax and remember why we chose to spend the rest of our lives together in the first place. Having this time together makes us feel more connected because there is no rush to get things done before going to bed early to get up for work, we can take the time to just enjoy being together as a family and as a couple. Things are so often all about being parents that it’s hard to make time to appreciate each other but this is important. Just for a few days to put aside all the stress makes the world of difference and before you know it you have fallen in love all over again.

6. T’s innocent and funny little mind. A few days ago we were all watching TV and someone said ‘if there is something you want to do you should just go and do it, don’t let anyone stand in your way’, She sat up and said ‘ Well that’s not right because I want to be a unicorn but I can’t can I!’ 😂

Yesterday she was eating breakfast when she dropped her toast in her beans and just said ‘faceplant!’ 😄 I didn’t even know she knew that word.

7. Attending a Christening. Today was our friends little girls Christening and it was a lovely little ceremony. T loves Sienna to bits and enjoyed giving her a little cuddle afterwards. It was really nice to see so many people showing love towards this little girl and I was very impressed with how brave she was when the water ran down her head during the ceremony! I always get a feeling of security after a Christening, It’s like you know that little person will be alright now, They have Godparents to help guide them through life too.

This is one of the reasons I decided to give T Godparents even though she wasn’t Christened. It’s nice to know she has people in her life who she can turn to should she need them that aren’t her parents.

T and Sienna

I would love to hear something that has made you happy over the last week, looking past the obvious usually makes me realise there is so much more to be happy about than you first think.

Thanks for reading

Lou x

April · Children · Cockapoo · Family · family time · fun activities · love on the rocks · Parenting · reflection · Uncategorized

Fun Friday!

So today I thought I would share what we have been doing the last few days during our week off together.

Wednesday

We had a friend of T’s round all day in order to share the childcare costs between a friend and myself so we took the girls swimming and then to Mcds for lunch. It was a chilled afternoon after we all were shattered from swimming and the weather was cold and wet.

After our friends left we set off to stay with my Nan for a few days in Essex. We have all been looking forward to coming as we haven’t seen her since Christmas and we all just love going there.

Thursday

Scott went on a long run during the morning for some more marathon prep and us girls all went shopping! We found a few summer bits for T and picked up some ingredients for dinner.

During the day we walked the dogs twice, Baker is a Lhasapso and him and Poppy get on so well. They play and chase and just love each other’s company.

I made us all a chicken traybake for dinner which turned out really tasty!

Then we played Essex monopoly for over 2 hours and had such a fun evening.

Friday

Today we had a lazy morning and then made our way to the seafront! I’ve been visiting the pier here since I was born and love taking T there. The weather was really chilly but that didn’t stop us having lots of fun winning prizes for T and eating a bag of hot doughnuts between us 😁

We brought some love rocks to hide at the seaside too so left them both near the pier and hope they found good homes!

We have walked the dogs twice again today, been to see some friends this afternoon and watched a film this evening after having fish and chips for dinner! 😊

It’s amazing how relaxed and at home you can feel just being back in a house you have known since you were born doing things you have done every year since you can remember.

I would love to hear what your favourite thing to do at the seaside is?

What did you do as a child that you love sharing with your family now?

Thanks for reading

Lou x

April · Cockapoo · Family · Parenting · Uncategorized · walking

Our family walks and why they don’t always turn out quite so perfect

Monday

It was a wet and miserable day, light rain coming down but I woke up determined to make the most of the day. All three of us were here and the rain wasn’t that bad that it warranted an inside day so we packed a picnic and drove half an hour to some local woods. We were all wrapped up in our hoods and wellies and Poppy had her coat on, we were prepared to eat the picnic in the car if we had to!

When we got there it was still lightly raining but nothing too bad and there was a nature trail for T to follow on wooden boards which took our mind off the rain.

We made it to the play area and Scott and T climbed into the crows nest, a little further down we found some purpose built huts and had our picnic in there.

We explored woods, collected pine cones and splashed in puddles, we even all ran up a huge hill, it was a really fun walk and Poppy had a nice warm bath when she got home.

Tuesday

After lunch we decided to take Scott and T’s bikes and Poppy round the local country park. We had spoken about walking on just the paths as it would still be muddy from the recent floods and Poppy was so clean and fluffy from yesterday.

Clearly we both had different ideas about where this walk was going! Scott wanted to show me a ramp him and T had found which was off the path into some woods and was very muddy.

Afterwards we carried on along a path that was still partly flooded and Poppy was getting blacker by the second. My little white trainers- perfect for paths, not so much for flooded and muddy areas were caked in mud and I was not enjoying this walk!

We turned round after some walkers told us the path ahead was impassable and made our way through the park and home.

I was in a grump at the state of Poppy, the state of my trainers, how dirty Scott and T were,well pretty much everything I’ll be honest!

It’s not that I can’t do mud, I just need warning. If I know we will be getting muddy and exploring flood plains and burst river banks I am fine because this is the plan but sudden muddiness does not make for a happy Mummy/wife!!

So two baths in 24 hours and two lots of muddy clothes washed and hung out and I am well and truly ready for Summer!!!

Children · Family · family time · feeling proud · food diary · happy · Healthy eating · Kindness · Lent · making memories · March · positive thinking · Random Acts of Kindness · Uncategorized

7 weeks of 7 things that made me happy!

So I’ve been appreciating the little things in life, for 7 weeks now! I know we all appreciate little things but writing this weekly post really helps me focus on the great things I have going on when I’m feeling flat or lonely. It’s just my little way of telling myself, and you guys, what how much little things can make you happy and how often spending money has very little to do with happiness.

1. Date day! Saturday we had the day together so we decided to do something completely out of character and walked to the local pub for lunch! We had such a nice time once we had walked to through the snowy woods, which was actually really pretty, to get there and enjoyed ourselves so much that with no deadlines and no T we decided to walk to the next one! It was like we were on a real date and was so fun 😊 Two alcoholic drinks before 5pm is only ever a thing on Christmas day in this house! Sometimes you just need to let your hair down, remember we only live once and play some scrabble!

2. Being a proud Mumma/Wife! Sunday T took Grade 1 ballet and Scott ran a half marathon. They both did so well and I spent the day being super proud.

3. T playing with her cousin. Sunday at Scott’s parents a few people decided to go for a walk to the nearby lake but T hadn’t brought a coat as I didn’t think we would be going anywhere so we stayed behind and she played with her little cousin Millie who is nearly 4. They built this tower and were very pleased with themselves.

4. Healthy eating. This was dinner Monday night, paprika chicken with jacket sweet potato and sweet corn and olives. It was so tasty and we all really enjoyed it. There have been a few meals this week where we have all said ‘that was a really healthy dinner!’ But so as not to bore you here is proof that we do have treats also with our breakfast one day this week of waffles with fruit and honey!

5. 40 Random Acts of Kindness. We are still enjoying this challenge so much and at the end of this week have undertaken two acts that I think have to top the list by far! One T and I completed together and one Scott did on his own. I will keep you guessing until my update next week but they have to be the most proud we have been so far in this challenge and will make the biggest impact for sure.

6. Wildlife! Ok so that might sound a little strange but today has just been a day for it,we have today been able to sit in our conservatory again thanks to the warmer weather and so have seen bluetits and a robin feeding from our bird feeders which is so lovely. Then this morning just pulling out of our road a small deer ran across in front of us and this afternoon driving home I saw another deer feeding next to a different road! I really do feel so lucky to see these rare little creatures and love living so close to the local country park. Here is a little squirrel having a nibble on the bird food!

7. Watching the six nations rugby with T! This weekend we got T back early because she wanted to watch the rugby with us so we got set up with crisps, drinks and even some Twirl bites which T let us have one each every time Ireland got a try! 😄 It was great fun cheering on Ireland with her.

Have a great weekend everyone, thanks for reading!

Lou x

Ballet · body confidence · Children · confidence boost · Family · feeling proud · Marathon · March · motherhood · Parenting · positive thinking · Running · Uncategorized

A great day in our little world

Today has been a day for being proud of my two favourite people. When a big event comes up everyone gets a little nervous me included. All week I’ve wanted to wrap T up in bubble wrap and sit her in a padded room ready for today. If I am honest I would have put Scott in there with her too! Snow, ice, slush and just generally freezing temperatures meant the mumma bear in me just wanted to keep them safe for the big events they had been working hard for.

But I watched her go off to school in snow storms, have a riding lesson in the snow and even saw Scott go for a run with several inches of snow on the ground. Of course they survived, my aniexty was squashed and they both woke up ready for their big day.

At 12 noon T had her Grade 1 ballet exam, This is her 4th exam since she started ballet 4 years ago. We got there in plenty of time and she was prepped to within an inch of her life, not a hair out of place, clean nails and ears and with a freshly ironed ballet dress- this may all sound extreme but they deduct points if their presentation isn’t as it should be so I really try hard to make sure she looks great. She was happy she didn’t need to practise her routine and with the other two girls in her group both there that just left her to be called by her teacher. An anxious half an hour wait ensued and although I chatted with the other mums I was really feeling nervous for her the whole time.

The smile on her face when she came back through the door told me there was no need to be! They were all thrilled with their performance and said the examiner was really nice. Really as a parent what more can you ask for?

Our other big event today was Scott running the Cambridge half marathon. Although he hadn’t done as much training this week as he would have liked he has done several long runs since his last half marathon in October with his furthest distance being 17 miles so I knew he could handle today. The only thing I was slightly concerned about was the conditions, but luckily the temperature raised and the snow had mostly gone by the time he ran.

There was an app we could use to track his race but with it continuously crashing there was nothing we could do but wait for the phone call to say he had finished. It came just as we were leaving the house ready for the exam.

He was over the moon with his run as he had beaten his previous half marathon record by 6 minutes completing the course in 1 hour 20 minutes! We were so happy with him and couldn’t beleive he came in the top 100 of over 7000 people!

The free non alcoholic beer he was given at the finish!

No one knows how hard I’m working with T on her body confidence, we have been doing HIIT workouts mostly 3 times a week since January started, and focusing on healthy eating and positive attitudes. She is changing in body shape and attitude. She is happy to work out with me, she looks forward to our excercises and she can tell she is getting stronger and fitter from it. The most important thing is she hasn’t told me she doesn’t like her belly since we started these workouts. She will always be my beautiful girl but days like today where she looks and feels amazing in herself and I’m sure danced beautifully if our practise showing was anything to go by, I feel like I am doing a good job.

It may only be a dance exam and Scott may only have run a running race but in our little world these were big things and I am so proud of everything they achieved today.

Children · choir · Cockapoo · Family · happy · horse riding · March · Uncategorized · Winter

7 things that made me happy week 6!

Hi guys,

I feel like this week has disappeared under a blanket of snow! It’s definitely been a week of woolley hats and wellies and some skilful driving with the Siberian winter weather we have had! Having almost survived the week here are the 7 things that made me happy this week!

1. Making wintery meals that warm you up! So Saturday I made a chicken casserole type meal with olives, mushrooms, red wine and butternut squash and we had it with seeded bread. It was so tasty and really warmed us up. I also made an apple and blackberry crumble that day and Tuesday we had slow cooked bbq pork which was amazing but I forgot to take a picture!


2. Seeing Scott and T spend some quality time together. Sunday we had a Mummy down! I had been feeling poorly with a cold since Friday but being a Mummy I didn’t let it take me out until I absolutely had to, Sunday was that day. Scott took T for a walk to the lake, played games with her and helped her make rocky road to take to school the next day. They then left me at home to rest while they went to my in-laws for dinner- I wasn’t banished I just didn’t want to make everyone else ill and in all honesty just feel awful. But seeing those two hang out together all afternoon was really great, Every cloud and all that.

3. I joined a choir! Monday night I found a big ball of courage from some where and went along to my first week at a pop choir! There was just something about singing with a group of people, some of which kept going wrong just like me and most of which were amateurs, that just made me really happy!

4. New shoes day for T! This little face was so excited to get new shoes this week! More than a little than I was at having to buy them half way through the school year, but having spoken to a few Mums I didn’t feel too bad knowing that it’s actually more common than you think to get through more than one pair in a year! This was the day before the snow came.

5. Snow! Ok so I can’t say I felt happy because T’s school was open and I had to get to work and so did Scott and he has to drive for about 40 minutes but you can’t deny it does look pretty! Seeing Poppy run around all covered in the white stuff too did make us giggle. Thursday was a nice day though, we both had the day off so just spent it inside doing jobs and actually had a really productive morning. I can’t say I’m enjoying the-6 temperatures but if it wasn’t so cold and treacherous out Scott would have gone running for a large portion of the day so there was a positive about it that day.

6. Scott won some tickets to the indoor athletics championships this week and so has gone off to watch it tonight! He has gone with his brother as athletics really isn’t my thing and I’m so happy he has gone off for a really fun evening all for free 😊

7. Today in the snow.

Scott pulled T to school on her sled, She was so happy!

It only started snowing again from about 4pm today so I finally ventured out with Poppy! She loved running around in the snow and wasn’t even too bothered by her coat!

T had a riding lesson, her first ever in the snow and although it was a tough one she was really determined to keep trying and got through the lesson and I was so proud of her for that.


Now I’m in the warm with a fire and a jacket potato, what could be better than that 😁

Have a great weekend everyone, I hope its not too cold wherever you are!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

 

Children · confidence boost · Family · February · feeling proud · fitness · Kindness · Parenting · positive thinking · reflection · Thankful · Uncategorized · weekend

Today is a good day!

There are new books in our library! We only created the tiny community library in the shed next to our house yesterday and there are already 3 new books there! We are all so happy! I feel inspired that people have taken to our idea, Scott feels inspired to start reading again and T is thrilled to bits people might have read her sign!

We have been listening to the soundtrack to the Greatest Showman on repeat since we watched the film yesterday and the words of two or three of the songs just make me feel empowered!

‘This is me’ has to be my favourite,

“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down

I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out

I am brave, I am bruised

I am who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come

And I’m marching on to the beat I drum

I’m not scared to be seen

I make no apologies, this is me”

T and me just did our 4th HIIT work out of the week! Ok we had coffee and cake on Friday but it’s half term and it’s rare we go for a treat like that, plus with how much we have taken her out on her scooter this week I think we have burned off the cake 😋

It’s a grey, miserable, foggy day outside and I have a few hours where I will be on my own today but I feel good.

I’m going to catch up on my guilty pleasure of “my 4 wives” and get in that reading nook and carry on reading The Hobbit so I will soon be able to start one of the new books that has been left in our library!

Have a great Sunday everyone,

Lou x