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The New Mrs M makes a year! 

Wow I can’t believe I made a year! When I started this blog it was as an outlet to share my experiences with braces as an adult and to hopefully learn from other people’s journey also. The thing is it’s turned into much more than that! I’ve learned I love to document my life! Sharing experiences, hobbies, days out, trips away, special moments gives me real enjoyment and it’s the lovely comments and likes I get from readers around the world that keeps me writing. I have written about so many things in the last year from my experiences as a step parent to buying our puppy last year. I’ve talked about my love of being married and the happiness it brings to my struggles of trying to progress a career while still being a present parent. I’ve continued to document my experiences with braces and will keep on doing so in the hope that they help others deliberating whether or not to take the plunge or are already on their journey. My new found love of walking/hiking has been a hot topic over the summer months this year culminating in a walking challenge which saw me walk over 80 miles in a month!

This blog has been like a journal at times being the first thing I want to do when I’m going through a tough time and a way to vent my frustration while also sometimes allowing me to see my opinions in a different light.

Reviews of places I’ve been have almost become a part of the experience now and it’s a given to my husband that some of the many photos I take will be specifically for my blog. If I can show someone how great a place was or how dog friendly somewhere can be and they can enjoy it as much as I did then my writing is all worthwhile.

There are plenty of mum blogs out there and I don’t just write about my experiences as a Mum but this has also been a huge part of my blog. Again if I can show someone else what we get up to and they enjoy doing it then why not!

Whatever my chosen topic is I would just like to say thank you to everyone that has taken the time to read my posts, like them and leave a comment. Without your interest I wouldn’t have continued to write and had 2 pieces published, something I would never even have attempted to do before this!

My plan for the future is to keep blogging, sharing my happy times and my sad times too, hopefully helping others with my braces experiences and reviewing everywhere I go!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my journey so far and here’s to the next year!

Lou x

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challenge · cockerpoo · feeling proud · fitness · goals · Uncategorized · walking

August walking challenge- The results!

So we made it through August and completed our challenge, myself my husband and my best friend challenged each other to walk/run as far as we could during the month. It’s been really fun competing against each other and really trying hard to outdo the other! I’ve enjoyed pushing myself to be outside more and make the most of every spare minute to walk or run. 
Some weeks were better than others and some I completely amazed myself with just how many long walks I could fit in!
I’ve been tired, my legs have ached, and I’ve resented the whole idea of it at times but I’ve carried on knowing this was something I was actually in with a chance of winning if I actually put my mind to it!

We have had family walks, picnics, walks along the beach and in fields, I’ve walked alone, with Scott and I’ve walked a lot with T too. We have been sunburnt, blown away and absolutely soaked. We have laughed, thrown balls, biked, scooted, ran and walked our way through this month and I have to say I’ve really enjoyed it. There is a limit to how far little people can walk but I’ve been so proud of how many miles T has achieved just through wanting to help Mummy win this challenge and I think has enjoyed herself too.

So time for the scores after 1 month;

First place – Me: 81.3 miles
Second place – Scott 70.1 miles
Third place – Emma 37 miles

I have to say I am overwhelmed I have managed so many miles and chuffed to bits that I’ve won! I know Scott got a lot of long runs in and he wanted to win on runs alone so I think running 70 miles is a real achievement.
Emma had a poorly back and then a holiday so only really got into this from the last week or two and got some really nice walks in towards the end of the month, a different month and she could have been a real contender!

Anyone thinking of doing something similar I would say go for it, if you are looking at getting fitter, lacking motivation or just have some spare time on your hands and want to get out and about more I would say do it! Even a mile or two a day adds up and what could be better than a bit of friendly competition between those around you?

As for me, this was a one off, a month I will probably not repeat for a while but September will bring a new focus to get back on the kettle bells!

Here are some photos from a few of my favourite walks/ runs from August. 

challenge · fitness · goals · Husband · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fitness · walking for fun

1 weeks diary of the August walking challenge!

So this week I thought I would keep a photo diary of my walking challenge every day to show you how much I’ve been able to fit in and where to. It didn’t always work out as planned so here are my entries! 
Monday- this was my evening walk through the woods near my house. T had a friend over Monday evening so I didn’t get out until about 7.45 and by the time I was heading home it was starting to get dark! I hate that summer is drawing to a close, especially when it feels like we have hardly had any warm weather! With our regular morning walk of a mile before work and holiday club also Monday I walked 2.46 miles.

Tuesday I had a friend over and we ran the same route through the woods and back again. As it’s an evening Scott goes to running club T had to come on her bike and she did great. We last went together about 3 weeks ago and were really pleased to manage 30 seconds quicker on our previous time. It was a really sunny evening but the woods gave us a good amount of shade to not feel too hot when we got home. Tuesday totalled 2.49 miles.

Wedsnesday was Mummy’s night off so this meant I didn’t have to cook dinner and had a catch up with a friend at a local pub for a glass of wine arranged for the evening! I could have took the whole evening off but decided to squeeze in a quick route round the woods before going out. It was a nice peaceful walk until a jack Russell decided to chase Poppy when we were nearly home! Wednesday – 2.11 miles 

Thursday I had to work overtime all day at work and then Scott took me out for dinner as a treat, everyone is allowed a day off right? 😋

 Friday- so after those calorie laden desserts I wanted to really push myself Friday. T had a friend round until just after lunch so after I had got all my jobs done I wrote T out each letter of the alphabet on her notepad and told her she had to find something starting with each letter while we were out. (The chances of getting her to walk further are greatly increased if she has a distraction!)
We were having a great time filling in her pad and walking a route she had never been before when suddenly there was thunder and then rain, which got heavier very quickly! We ended up taking refuge under the roof of a thatched cottage waiting for it to stop! It all added to an adventure and T ended chatting away  for the next mile and and a half home! 😄 what a little trooper! We deserved these hot chocolates when we got home! Friday =  3.42 miles

Saturday we woke up to brilliant sunshine and as we had plans to see a friend in the afternoon I thought we would head out early and make the most of the weather. Today I decided to take us round the lake and back, this is a route we walk regularly and T had biked several times before. It started well, I was running and T biking, Poppy just, Well getting in the way really! Things started getting  tough when we hit the open and the wind was head on. Soon after that T stopped peddling and just burst into tears! Her legs were hurting and she was finding it really tough so we went really slowly and a bit further up stopped for a rest. After that we had to walk home as she was just struggling against the wind so much. For this reason there was no picture as even though we managed the route poor T didn’t enjoy herself one bit! Saturday=2.6 miles
Sunday
So today I knew Scott was going for a long one as he really wanted to get some miles under his belt in preparation for his half marathon in 6 weeks time. This meant I had to also go for it in order to try and stay ahead in the challenge! So this afternoon after T had gone out Poppy and I walked 4.2 miles! It was warm out but I’ll be honest my legs felt heavy the whole way round and if it wasn’t for my music I wouldn’t have been able to manage so far. Infact I was so focused on just getting round I forgot to take a picture! So this is Poppy saying ‘please let me in Mum, don’t make me walk any further!’ 😂

So as the week draws to a close it’s been a good one for getting the miles in and I’ve accomplished 17.28! BUT Scott really pulled out all the stops today and ran 9 miles so this makes him current leader with 50.7 miles!
I’m a close second with 49.1 miles.
I plan to try and catch him this week and hopefully keep him at bay to stay at the top until the end of the month!

I honestly never win anything and unlike T who has her talents in ballet and horse riding and Scott who is a brilliant windsurfer I don’t have much of a talent in any particular subject either. To be this close to winning something is pretty rare for me, ok it’s a challenge between me and my husband, but if I win it to me it means I can push myself to do something and have a drive inside me I perhaps had forgotten was there.

Hope you all have a great week

Thanks for reading

Lou x

Blogger · cockerpoo · family time · fitness · Parenting · school holidays · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fun

Summer holiday fun

So our week off has been great, ok the weather hasnt aleays been kind to us and one day we were inside watching a movie with hot chocolates and hoodies on, in August, but we made the most of it and just have really enjoyed spending the time together!

Monday we caught up with some friends and all played mini golf together then stopped for coffee and a cake after. It was so nice to do something different and we all really enjoyed ourselves.

The weather turned a bit damp and miserable during the afternoon so I left Scott and T indoors with a mini science experiment and I took Poppy for a 3 mile walk round the lake.

When I got back they had made a mini diver that went up and down inside a bottle of water! Dvd and hot chocolate time followed because of the pouring rain! T didn’t complain at this when I brought this in as her hot drink!

Tuesday we went swimming and for a cheeky Mcds lunch after, well if we didn’t burn that off with an hour and a half swimming including 3 sessions of battling the wave machine at 10 minutes a time, I don’t know what we were doing wrong 😉

Yesterday it was raining, again so instead of a picnic at the park with our friends we went to theirs for lunch. We took another science experiment with us and ended up making a foaming dragon which the kids all thought was pretty cool! We were treated to some homemade scones and chocolate cake too which was delicious! 

Today for the first day it was sunny!! So we finally got to spend a bit of time outside which was great. I had made T a nature trail ticksheet as I wanted to take her on a fairly long walk and knew she would only manage it with something else to focus on. So as we went round she ticked off things like a farm gate, cows, a fisherman, a bridge etc. She really enjoyed doing it and it meant she visited a woods she had never been to before and we all got a 4 mile walk in! 

Also today we took my cousins to a trampoline park for their birthdays which are both coming up. They had never been before and we all had such a giggle, even though they were all exhausted by the time the hour was up! With it being pretty expensive it’s not something we would do all the time but it was a good thing to do for a special occasion and worth the trip.

Finally so far this week we have painted our shed! It may not seem that exciting but having had the paint bought for about 2 months it was so good to actually have some time together to be able to get on and do it, and with us all picking up a paintbrush at one stage or another it’s been a real team effort and we are so pleased with the finished article!

Here is a before and after so you can see what we were up against with needing a fair bit of time to get it done!

Tomorrow we have a friend of Tiana’s coming to sleep over and we plan to make pine cone bird feeders and paper mini beasts aswell as walking the dog, watch a movie, play games and whatever else T has planned! I think by Saturday I will be deserving of some Mummy time! 

I hope you’ve all had a good week and I’d love to see what you have been upto! 

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Blogger · challenge · Family · fitness · friends · goals · horse riding · making memories · Parenting · school holidays · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fun

My 20 mile week and more summer fun!

So in my last post I mentioned a walking challenge I had signed myself up to with my husband and best friend. Now I knew I had stiff competition as I’m more of a little and often walker/runner whereas those guys just go for it! So every day last week i made it my mission to get about 3 miles in, yes every day! My legs were aching by the time yesterday’s walk came and ordinarily I wouldn’t have made the effort to go but I felt I couldn’t let myself down when Id made so much effort the rest of the week so off Pops and I went in the sunshine racking my total miles for last week to just over 20! I’m so chuffed with this and now just need to keep the momentum going through the rest of the month! 

Other things I’ve been upto this weekend is dinner at my best friends house, secretly trying to fatten me up so I will do worse at the challenge, which was a really nice evening. You can’t beat hanging out with your best friend, daughter and the partners sometimes and it was really good to spend time with them.

Saturday I also picked T’s friend up and took them both to the library to continue their summer reading challenge. They really enjoyed being together and planning their sleepover for next Friday, wish me luck! 


With the good weather I used some time to get a few things done in the garden too, Scott is in the middle of painting our shed a really pretty green so can’t wait for that to be finished and tie in with all my other pretty areas. I’m just waiting for it to be warm enough that we can actually spend a whole evening out there! 

This weekend was new nails day and I don’t normally share my nails but I’m so in love with this pink design I thought I’d show you all.
Yesterday T had a great hack out for her riding lesson and I made lasagne and salad for the in-laws followed by cheesecake which went down a storm! One busy weekend over and our busy week off begins! 

Have a great one everyone!

Lou x

Blogger · challenge · Cockapoo · exercise · family time · fitness · goals · Healthy eating · horse riding · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fun

August Walking Challenge & Summer has begun!

So this month I have set  myself a challenge to walk and run as far as I can do. Not that much different to when I started really enjoying my walking back in March/April time no? Well this month is different because i’m challenging my best friend and Scott to see who can walk and run the furthest in a month! Now we all want to be fitter and healthier than we are and we all have the means to do it, its just which one of us will go that extra mile to finish this challenge on top?

So we started the challenge on the 2nd August and so far the app tells us I’m in the lead with 9.2  miles! Now although i’m pretty chuffed with this I know it could change at any minute, all Scott needs to do is go for a run and he will top it and the same with Emma. But, for now, i’m on top and feeling good about it! 😉 I will keep updates on here as to how we progress through the month!

Tonight me and Poppy walked 3.2 miles and at a really good pace too, i’m so inspired when its warm and sunny.

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Yesterday, now that was a good day! It started off a super windy day, for me this is an instant annoyance for all sorts of reasons one being any attempt I have made to try and look presentable is instantly ripped away as soon as I set foot outside! But with a windsurfing loving husband I have grown accustomed to being second place on a windy day so off he goes to the lake to windsurf with his Dad. I told him I would meet him down there after getting a few things done and surprised him by running down there, around the lake and meeting him on the other side. He was pleased to see me and even more pleased I had ran the whole 2  miles to meet him, although how he didn’t notice me and Poppy running past him I will never know! It was great to watch him, he was enjoying throwing a few jumps out there to give all the people on the bank a show, I cant help but feel proud when I see him out there, and laugh when he doesn’t land them so well, sorry babe!

 

After spending some time at the lake I jogged home and went to pick T up from her pony day. This is her third one since she started riding nearly 2 years ago and she loved it! Well I cant say she loved it from the start because this time she was the only one there so this meant her pony couldn’t just follow the others and trot round she had to really make him listen which at times was really tough. She ploughed on through though and when I picked her up she had a big smile on her face having had a much better 2nd lesson and a great hack out on a pony she doesn’t normally ride. She also really enjoyed the grooming/feeding and walking the ponies out to the field side of things, all things she doesn’t get to do on a usual lesson. One summer pony day down = 1 happy little girl!

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Today went ate lunch in the sunshine then spent the afternoon at the park playing with friends. Its been a great couple of days and I cant wait for next week and a whole week off with lots of catch ups and activities planned!

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

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Keeping the rainbow diet going with our lunch today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

fitness · food diary · goals · Uncategorized · walking

Back on it!

So after a slow June when it comes to walking it’s fair to say I am well and truly back on it! Having walked 17 miles since Friday this evening is officially rest day! We have been back on everything this week, back on the rainbow eating and we are all really feeling good about the amount of colours we are fitting in every day! This was Tiana’s tea last night, she loved her happy healthy plate! She was also super happy with her pudding of passion fruit, blackberry and raspberry rice pudding! Her two new foods this week have been passionfruit and dried apricots and she liked both of them but especially the passionfruit!

We are back on the walking, even aching yesterday we all took Poppy out on a birthday walk together for a couple of miles which was really nice.

I’m even back on running! Yes it’s been a while but I ran Monday night only 1.4 miles but without stopping and for the first time in months so I was pretty proud of myself. Yes I’ve been aching ever since but I still feel so good that I went out and did it and I’m planning to go again later in the week.

Here is my little route, it’s not very far but it’s a start! 

We are also back on the kettlebell workouts fitting in a quick one last night after our walk! So after all this being fit, healthy and looking after ourselves tonight is date night and I think a glass of wine is deserved all round! After all everyone deserves a treat now and then!

Enjoy your Wednesday guys! 

Lou x

Children · eat the rainbow · fitness · food diary · Healthy eating · healthy parenting · Uncategorized

Eating the rainbow

We are always looking for new and exciting ways to eat food in our house, whether it be counting our fruit and vegetables and trying to outdo each other or finding new snacks that are healthier than the pre packed alternative. This week we have discovered ‘eat the rainbow’ after seeing it on a tv documentary I was hooked at the way it encouraged young children to try new foods and the benefits that came from this. 

T has been really up for this from the minute I mentioned it, she loves a chart and couldn’t wait to get started trying new foods! 

To start with I downloaded this simple chart which is easy for us to complete every day and has a space for us to tick each time one of us has the colour food.

To go along with this I also downloaded these, 

These show T why is is good to eat as many different colours as we can and we can also record our new foods too.

There is a whole world of foods out there and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut when going shopping. So this week we tried 3 new foods already,

avocado –  unfortunately I still don’t like it and neither does T but at least we tried, 

Cherries- T was nervous at first, shouldn’t have done the avocado first, but she actually really liked them.

Apricot – these were an instant hit, We added them to yoghurt with blueberries and natural honey, delicious!

So now I don’t have T here for a couple of days it’s easy to fall off the bandwagon and stick to my beige plates but nope I’m determined to carry on eating colourful foods so I can show her when she gets back how much I’ve enjoyed doing it, this was my lunch today 

Alongside eating the rainbow I’ve also been made aware of the health benefits of apples, cutting cholesterol, lowering the chance of diabetes and aiding weight loss/fighting obesity. So from now on we are going to try doing various different recipes with apples to try and include them more too (I’ve not eaten an apple since I had my braces fitted 6 months ago so this will be good for me too!)

I’ll keep you all updated on how we get on and all the new and colourful foods we try along the way!

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Blogger · challenge · Cockapoo · exercise · fitness · goals · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fitness · walking for fun

100 posts down still blogging!!

Wow so I made it to 100 posts! When I started this blog I wasn’t sure I would even have anything to write about but the more I write the more I enjoy sharing my life with you guys. I’ve had so much lovely feedback and support from you all over the few months I’ve been doing this and love keeping you upto date on my braces,  fitness goals, family life and Poppy the cockapoo as she approaches a year old! 

So for my 100th post I can tell you I have reached my walking goal of 60 miles in May! Woohoo I’m so pleased I managed to achieve this! For anyone that doesn’t know I work 3 days a week, am a Mum, wife and puppy owner so am not able to just pick up and go walking any minute I choose, it has to be a carefully planned and scheduled event around all other duties! Plus the great British weather doesn’t always play the game so quite often it’s a washout and walking is cancelled! So now for the good news, I’ve not just reached my target I’ve actually smashed it with a total of 72 miles!!

So how do I feel after walking this much in a month?

– I feel better in myself, fitter, I’m able to walk 3 or 4 miles and not need a nap straight after now! I feel proud I’ve set a goal and stuck to it.

 – I’ve made myself go out and walk on evenings where I would really rather not and I’ve always felt like I’ve achieved something after.

– I feel like I’ve finally started to explore the area I live in more and I’m finding new routes all the time so walking isn’t boring to me.

– Mostly I’ve enjoyed walking Poppy so much, I love being a dog owner, getting out and meeting other dog owners and dogs is so interesting and fun for me and Poppy. She is now learning not to be so scared of other dogs and I’m learnim how to deal with it when she is nervous thanks to puppy classes so walks are now so much more enjoyable.

Tips from walking 72 miles in a month

– Good, comfortable shoes are a must. Yes I sound like my Nan but you can’t walk very far with blisters can you? I remember my first week at walking group being nervous that I would be the only one wearing walking shoes but getting there and seeing everyone was wearing them! I would never have been able to walk so many miles without them, fact.

-If you don’t want to walk on a certain day or at a certain time then don’t! I’ve had days I really didn’t want to go out so I made a promise to myself I would make up the miles another day. This is meant to be fun not a chore!

– Food and hydration are key! If I know I’m going to be out a while I will always make sure I eat and drink enough before I go or take something with me, for me and Poppy, usually if I’m thirsty so is she!

-You can never explore too much. Just when you think you are getting to know your area you can bet there will be another route you will find you never even knew about!

My goals for walking in June

Well I only have 3 weeks to walk in June as we are away for a week so I plan to try and manage at least 16 miles a week. I think before and after our trip this should be easy as before I will be sad I’m leaving Poppy for a week so will take her out lots to compensate and after I will need to walk/run to burn off the holiday pounds I have gained!!

So far I have learned I really love walking, getting out and exploring, seeing the countryside and finding new places to go has been so much fun so here’s to many more miles!!

Thanks for reading!

Lou x

fitness · Friendship · Parenting · Uncategorized · walking

Highs, lows and another 14 miles down!

So this weekend has been up and down. By up I mean I had some time to myself on Thursday which meant I could meet a friend for dessert on her birthday, a lovely treat laden with calories but oh well! 

This was followed by taking T back to ballet after the Easter break, we found out her exam date is 21st so are excited for that. Friday I had a message from a friend asking if I wanted to join her and another friend for coffee! I jumped at the chance to get out of the housework if only for a short while and we had a great catch up. Then I met my walking group and we did a 3.5 mile walk through a nature reserve I had never been into before. Here is Poppy on the way back walking with some of the ladies from my group, it really was a beautiful day.

After T went off to her Dad’s for the weekend I had a low point. I’d had such a busy, fun day and then suddenly there was silence. I know we can’t be busy all the time but I honestly just felt really lonely at that time so after my dinner for one I picked myself up and got ready to go to my friends for a makeup party. It was a fun evening and I was pleased I went.

Saturday morning came and Poppy was booked in to the vets as she has a small bald patch on her head. I had a couple of errands to run first but once they were done I really started to worry about what could be causing it. It turns out we have some ear solution as the vet believed her blocked ears could be causing het to scratch there more often.

I was immediately happier after leaving the vets and full of motivation I set about prepping the house for friends to stay over. A homemade curry and a few glasses of prosecco later and Pictonary was a real giggle!

 It’s amazing how just being with the right people can pick you up immediately, I feel very lucky to have the right people in my life at the moment.

So finally my walking total for this week, it’s been another good week for walking so I’ve clocked up 14.23 miles. All good practise for our Peak district trip which is now only 67 days away! 

I hope you’ve all had a good weekend and I would love to hear what you got upto!

Thanks for reading, 

Lou x