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New Year Fitness Goals 

So the new year means new fitness goals, December saw a lot of slacking in the excercise department and as is customary an over indulgence in Christmas food. The result is a body I know can improve on and don’t feel completely confident about, Thank goodness for cold weather so hoodies and jumpers can cover the Christmas excess!

So we have a holiday in 6 months and this is every reason to start the fitness regime again now! That and the fact that I want to climb a mountain this year, hopefully Scafell Pike which I’ve written about before here. I really ramped up my walking last year and walked more miles every month until my finale in August where I walked over 80 miles in one month!

I plan to start walking more again and also tracking my miles again weekly. The only issue with this is I can only fit so much walking in before work and on my days off so as soon as the days start getting longer and I’m no longer coming home from work in the dark I will ramp up the walking and Poppy and me will start getting out for longer walks again!

I’m also going to restart my kettle bell ab workouts again twice a week. I follow a great DVD which gives me a 25 minute workout that focuses solely on your core and the excercises really do work, I used the same DVD for my holiday last year and also my honeymoon and I’ve never felt fitter so I just need to focus on completing this twice a week for now and will step it up in a few weeks.

T and I have also set ourselves a little fitness plan, now T has a little belly which she has always had and it doesn’t bother us and hasn’t bothered her much either until now. She eats well, has ballet and horse riding as her hobbies and is very active at school and with her friends but we have never been able to shake this little belly. About a week ago she got upset when it was just me and her because it was more visible in the top she was wearing than usual, I told her she was beautiful and no one would notice or even care but it was clear she needed more than that and so the fitness jar was born!
In this jar we have a a selection of excercises some more high intensity and others are more toning based excercises, There is everything from burpees to lunges from star jumps to over head press. We have colour coded them red for the harder ones and green for the easier. So the idea is we take out two red excercises and two green excercises every day we are together, usually 5 days a week, and complete each one for 30 seconds with a 30 second rest inbetween then repeat twice more.
Now I know this is no advanced HIIT workout but it is getting us out of breath and we are making small steps to making us both feel better about ourselves.

We have also limited our chocolate intake to just two days a week again. This is our usual routine after any big chocolate event, Easter, Christmas, Halloween, just so us and T don’t eat it every single day. T has decided chocolate days are Tuesday and Saturday this week so every other day we will ignore the piles of selection boxes and goodies that have arrived over Christmas and treat ourselves on Saturday!

Our diet will also involve less buffet food, cheese and crackers and Pringles now Christmas is over so I am planning to post some photos of the healthy recipes we try out too!

So all this said I’m ready to kick start my fitness back into action and make these changes!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

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Autumn · Cockapoo · dogs · horse riding · horses · motherhood · October · positive thinking · Stress · Uncategorized · walking

A tough start but a better ending!

So this week started off pretty rubbish mainly due to me missing T but for a few other things as well but Wednesday night was date night which cheered me up massively. We went for dinner and shared this beauty of a dessert which was as good as it looks! Warm cookie with melted ice cream and fudge pieces, delicious!

Thursday I got my T back so we had a playdate with some friends at ours first thing and the girls coloured in Halloween pictures which was really nice. After this T and Scott went and did some secret birthday shopping for me as it’s only a couple of weeks away. I also had my hair done for the first time in months which felt really nice and really gave me a boost.

Yesterday we went for a playdate and baking session at my friends house. The girls made cupcakes and iced them and we had a great time.

Then came T’s riding lesson, she had a different teacher but still went off pretty confident on a bigger pony but one she had ridden before. But Frosty had other ideas and cantered off around the arena right at the start of her lesson causing T to bump right out of the saddle and end up sitting on his neck! 

T on Frosty
The teacher straight away swapped Frosty for Spirit as she didn’t want T to lose her confidence for the whole lesson and apart from him needing a bit more leg to turn and he’s a much bigger horse she really enjoyed riding him! 

Last night I did something that doesn’t happen very often, went out with friends from work for dinner! It was a last minute thing just because it’s payday but it was actually really nice to all get together and talk about, Well mostly work but hey it was still nice to get out! 

This morning after some family stresses I’ve taken Poppy for a nice long walk and just let it all melt away! I’m fairly confident I’m going to get some help with stress calming techniques in the near future along with a couple of other things but for now Poppy, the woods and a bowl of butternut squash soup is the perfect solution! 

This weekend I’m looking forward to carving our pumpkins, catching up with friends and cooking a roast! 

I hope you all have a great weekend,

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

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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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

family time · goals · Mam Tor · school holidays · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fitness · walking for fun

Miles walked in July and a hen do reunion! 

So July is coming to an end, which means it’s time to tally up my miles walked for this month. With our trip to the Peak District and more days with T because of the summer holidays I felt like I was doing pretty well and it seems I wasn’t wrong. 

July came in with a total of 56.83 miles! Now compared to June when I managed a measly 42 miles that is great but I still have a way to go to beat May when I walked a whopping 72 miles! 

There have been some great walks this month with a couple of new routes and some stunning scenery in and around Castleton. Here are a few highlights from July.

Poppy’s birthday walk
Walking in Bradwell

The beautiful Peak District
Mam Tor, Castleton
Treak Cliff Cavern view from the exit
Poppy gets a new toy!
Fun in the park
Trip round the lake!
Bike ride round the fields!

This weekend was a great end to the month with a hen do reunion to celebrate 1 year since my weekend in Cambridge punting, drinking prosecco and wearing t-shirts with my face on with my nearest and dearest girls! This weekend was a much calmer affair with just a meal and cocktails but still so much fun getting everyone together!

So plans for August! I feel like I want to discover a new walk as it’s been a little while since I did and T is finding the usual routes a little repetitive now she is coming with me more. I want to keep up my running, weather permitted, yes I’m a fair weather runner! Hopefully next month I will make some progress and get slightly faster but if not just showing my friend Lisa that running really isn’t all bad has been great. We have a weekend away at my Nan’s which is by the sea so I’m hoping for some nice walks on the beach and round the fields with her dog too. We also have a week off planned so will hopefully get at least one picnic in and meet up with friends in some sunshine! Lots planned and hopefully we will make the most of these summer holidays! 😊

Anniversary · Blogger · challenge · Mam Tor · Peak District · romantic weekends · UK breaks · Uncategorized · walking

Trip to the Peak District 

So last weekend we spent the weekend in a beautiful part of England when we travelled to the Peak District National Park for our Wedding anniversary. We have visited other National Parks before so were looking forward to lots of beautiful scenery, quaint villages and long walks and the trip did not disappoint!

We stayed at Spring View bed and breakfast in Bradwell, a small village nestled in rolling hills dotted with sheep. The B&B was a perfect base for us to explore and with 3 local pubs all within a 5 minute walking distance as well as a chip shop and local shop it really couldn’t get any better. We picked this as our base due to it being dog friendly so we were able to take Poppy, she was just as welcome as us from the minute we arrived which was great. Everything about this B&B was perfect, from the well cooked breakfast to the communal living area stocked with board games and walking guides and finally the beautiful garden which we were also able to use I really couldn’t recommend it enough.


Our first evening there we decided to try out a local pub, The White Hart. Just a short walk through winding streets and we came upon it, with the building dating back to 1600 it was the essence of a village pub with low beams and small rooms and just a small outside seating area  by the front door. We were greeted by friendly staff who were again happy to have Poppy under our table whilst we ate our freshly cooked meal of lamb shank, delicious!

Saturday we took a trip to Treak cliff cavern in Castleton. There were about 4 different caves in or around Castleton but we chose this one as it was again dog friendly. Being the first tour of the day it was only us two and Poppy which was great. Our guide took us through several different caverns explaining how they were formed and giving us detailed history on the owners and miners of the cavern as well as the Blue John Stone that is found there. It was a really interesting tour and I only managed to almost slip over once and avoided banging my head in the 4ft entrance tunnel!

From there we went on to Mam Tor.
We had planned to visit this area and in particular Mam Tor as we had seen the views and thought the route looked manageable. We started our route after walking from Treak cliff cavern along the broken road and up onto the Tor. The whole route was fairly busy with school trips and groups of people but there was plenty of room on the wide paths. We walked right along to Losehill, be warned some of this is very steep and requires a good amount of fitness to get up and down, I walked 19 miles the previous week but this gradient at times was tough! Once you make it to the summit the views are beautiful even in summer drizzle! The route down and back to the car was along a public footpath which at times took us through ferns almost as tall as me but the signs are all very visible and we were able to complete a good loop of this beautiful area.

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I surprised Scott at the top with a mini bottle of Prosecco and two glasses to celebrate our anniversary, he was very chuffed and it gave us a minute to take a breather and drink in the views, along with the bubbles of course!

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After dropping Poppy back off for a rest at the b and b we went for a trip into Castleton itself. It’s a beautiful little village with the main street full of tea rooms and souvenir shops, quite tourist orientated but in a tasteful way. We stopped for a gift for T and then sampled a Derbyshire cream tea at a lovely little tea room at the back of a shop.

We spent that evening eating a fish and chip supper then drinking Prosecco to celebrate our anniversary while watching the sun go down in the beautiful garden.


It was such a great trip and we only wish we had longer to explore this beautiful area.

Peak District we loved you!