Vitality Healthy Kids inspired by Disney – Flossing

So towards the end of last year, I was asked by Vitality if I would like to be involved in a campaign for encouraging healthy habits in kids – but not only me, my two children would be involved too!

Well, I couldn’t miss this opportunity as not only was it with Vitality, who I thoroughly enjoyed working with on their #WomenInSport campaign, but also Disney – so there wasn’t any way I could say “No” my kids would never forgive me. Also, I think with the ethos of my blog, the idea of encouraging children to develop healthy habits in their childhood, that they will hopefully take into adulthood, couldn’t be more fitting.

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Crockfit Fitness Weekend – Cuddlies for my Kiddies

So towards the end of January, I went on a Fitness Weekend being hosted by Alex Crockford, with Replenish You, held in a beautiful manor house in Loughborough. I will share with you soon as to why I did this and all the amazing details covering the exercise and food over various blog posts but before, that I thought I would share some of the photos I took over the weekend to send back to my children – rather fitting as we have just celebrated mother’s day – and just to prove the point that no matter where you are, even when having some me time, you are always a mum!

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The Blue Ones Football Skills

My Blue One loves his football! His first words (after the obligatory ‘mama’ and ‘dada’) were ball and goal – so we knew early on! Think it’s in his genetics as his daddy is a pretty good player himself! The Blue One has been attending football sessions with AW Football Coaching since he was two years old! He’s now four – so he’s been playing for half his life!!! :-He adores his Coach Alex and really looks up to him – and Alex is great with the kids. How he remembers all their names is a mystery to me!

The Blue One loves it and actually attends four sessions a week (that’s 3.5 hours of football a week, occasionally a bit more if he goes to a Friday session too!) – we’re enjoying the ability to do this as much as we can as he starts school in September and this will obviously all change. It’s amazing watching someone so young, who actually has a talent, but thoroughly enjoying himself at the same time as well as getting lots of exercise and keeping fit! I love that my kids love being so active! It’s wonderful!

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Birthdays and Boxercise!

Today was the Blue One’s fourth birthday therefore I was feeling rather emotional, my baby is growing up – so really needed my Boxercise tonight, so will write about that first!

Had a good warm up, jogging, some fast jabbing, side running, fast hooks – getting our heart rates up.

Then with three ropes placed across the hall we had to go across, under the rope flat on our fronts, get up run to the next rope, again flat on your front back up and the same with the third rope – get to your partner who has the pads, do ten jabs and then go back and repeat until you’ve done four lot of ten jabs – swap with your partner.
Once in the pads, whilst the other person was negotiating the ropes, we were doing cross jacks!

I must confess though I didn’t go flat on my front under the ropes – the floor is hard and it hurts my knees, and I just didn’t need questionable bruises on my knees! haha! So I did go low, but not completely flat.

Swapped again, repeated the process but this time with ten hooks, again repeated four times. The person on the pads had to do high leg jogging whilst waiting.

Next up was weaving under the ropes, touching with your shoulder each side, bending the knees not the back – repeating on each of the three ropes, then jog back to the beginning to then weave under and swing yourself round and put your back to the rope, working your way along and to be done on each of the three ropes.  Then alternate between shoulder touch and back to the rope on each of the ropes.
This was harder than you realised, and it was only once I’d stopped I realised how much I was sweating, but really enjoyed this section!
WeavingWe then paired up, initial set was four jabs and then the person with the pads had to strike. Starting in orthodox stance and therefore the right hand, repeated ten times.  Then swap and do the same starting with the left hand – then swap.

In between another interval, we did some deep squats – my left thigh is still not happy from last week and could really feel it! Maybe I need a massage!?

Then it was back to pads and gloves work, this time just strikes by the person in the pads, 20 to the right and 20 to the left meaning the person in the gloves had to duck. Swap and repeat – then swap back and do 30 strikes and again swap!

Then it was cold down – it was a fab session, thoroughly enjoyed it! Boxercise photos courtesy of Michelle Fox our wonderful Boxercise instructor – check out Foxlee Fitness!
IMG_9019As I said at the beginning, it was the Blue One’s birthday and he had a fab day, we gave him an Iron Man figure as one of his presents and he had to come with us on the school run! As hubby had the day off, we then walked to the Café for a cooked brekkie – where Iron Man had to join us!
Iron ManWhen we collected the boy, we were able to sit with him whilst he sat on the nursery birthday throne to hand out his sweets. He loved it.
IMG_8993His birthday treat was a trip to soft play with two of his nursery friends and they had a phenomenal time! He loved his new Rescue Bots Blades toy.

Once home, both sets of grandparents came to visit – he got his first football goal (lots of fun in the garden to be had!), a Darth Vadar costume and an Optimus Prime figure. His uncles bought him a Captain American costume!
IMG_9025He has an Omnitrix birthday cake as made by mummy (a further post to follow on the making of this cake), but we’re saving that for the family birthday celebration on Sunday, so my wonderful sister of Caking it fame – made him a lightsaber cakelet, complete with lights and sound effects!
Cake

Also, I recorded a little a video of the Blue One at his football session with AW Football Coaching on Tuesday – which I shared on Instagram and Tekkers TV asked that I load it to their website (all about showcasing grass roots players) and they’d tweet it out and they have 33k followers – and they did that today, so that was a bonus!

All in all a great day! :-)xxx

What do your small people like doing to keep active?

Walkies!

So today was quite a laid back day, but needed to do my bit for Juneathon.  So this afternoon the Pink One and I walked to collect her brother from the child-minder’s and then a walk home – not saying it was quite a slow walk home, but my Garmin kept pausing!!!

It was a slow walk - the MapMyRun is the more accurate... poor Garmin!!!
It was a slow walk – the MapMyRun is the more accurate… poor Garmin!!!

The reason for the slow walk back to home is we did look at the stream, in the beautiful sunny weather with my small people

By the stream
Looking cute!

Then the kids were lucky enough to see a neighbours campervan, and he was kind enough to let them sit in it – he made their day!

It's a campervan - made their day!!!
It’s a campervan – made their day!!!

There was the walks to and from school to do drop off and pick up and don’t forget the three toes touches!!!  All in all, not a bad day!

🙂 xxx

50 things that make me happy 

I thought the blog post by Love From Clueless Mum was very inspiring, so thanks to her (and her inspiration mr and mrs t plus three) here’s my list, in no particular order, of 50 things that make me happy…

1. My children when they play nicely together – the laughter is lovely to hear even if I’m thinking at the back of my mind “this is probably going to end in tears!”

Having Fun!
Having Fun!

2. Taking photos – my Nikon D60 was my first baby, it was bought the October the year before the Pink One was born – I love taking photos, I take far too many, and when I find time I like to put my favourite ones on Redbubble – you can find my images here and I’ve written a post on some of my photography which you can find here.

3. Singing – it is a great stress reliever, I am a member of a choir too.  You can hear some of my singing on YouTube if you wish and I have also sung on some of my audio blog posts

4. Studying with the Open University – it’s been one of the most challenging things I have done, but also very rewarding and opened up other opportunities I could never have foreseen

Studying
Studying

5. Beautiful blue skies on a cold crisp winter day

6. Running – as an anxiety sufferer this has been great for my mentality and the subject of my first ever blog post! It’s even more enjoyable when I go with friends – Helen and Kay have been marvellous at supporting and encouraging me.

Running
Running

7. Big family gatherings

8. Seeing a Robin redbreast – it just feels significant to me

9. Seeing my friends succeed – that in itself is inspiring

10. Seeing my Social Media presence grow

11. Blogging – when you finish a particularly good post (in your opinion) and it’s taken quite a lot of work, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as hitting publish

12. Reading someone else’s blog and thinking what a fab post (and realising it’s not just me! Lovely not to feel alone especially when it comes to this parenting malarkey!)

13. My 100 Days Style Challenge (especially painting my nails!!!) – which I will be writing a separate post on (at some point! So much going on – need more hours in the day!!!) – but I was inspired by Kat Henry (links to her Blog and Instagram) who in turn was inspired by Kathryn (links to her Blog and Instagram) – amazing women!

14. Nights out with my mummy friends that I have known since the birth of the Pink One

15. Writing down the funny things my children say or mispronunciation of words – these are currently on my phone, but I am gradually transferring them into a book which I am handwriting that they can have when they grow up! (think I have about 2 years worth to write up for both of them!!! haha!!!)

16. Sitting on the sofa with my hubby and watching some crap TV or a film

17. Actually managing to go on a date night or day with my hubby

18. As much as I love my kids nothing brings a smile to my face as to when they go for a sleepover at nanny and granddads!!!

19. Getting an assignment for the OU submitted

20. Getting the result of assignment back (when it’s a good one!)

21. Starting and finishing a creative project that I’ve seen on Pinterest, or come up with myself, even if it takes me a over a year!!! One example I blogged about you can find here!

See I am creative!
See I am creative!

22. Seeing my kids facing when they see the birthday cake I have made for them, regardless of the sleepless night and tears that have gone into it… I’ve posted blogs about the Pink Ones cake and the Blue Ones cake and the amazing Sister who helps me!

Yummy! Cake!!!
Yummy! Cake!!!

23. Christmas – we love this festive season as a family and we probably go overboard, but the expressions on the kids faces makes it all worth while

Yay! Christmas!
Yay! Christmas!

24. The fact my Blue One is out of nappies during the day!

25. Getting to have one-on-one time with each of my children

26. When you email a company and they are actually very helpful – in the latest instance Sistema, the makers of the water bottles we use, I let them know that even with careful cleaning the bottles lids smelt of stagnant water and they posted me some new lids with no fuss whatsoever

27. My self designed tattoo – a tribute to my kids, if you look in the wings you can see their first initials A and a J – this is on my left thigh and I love it! Again, I designed it and then waited a year before I had it done. It was actually a major stepping stone in my struggle with anxiety!  What really helped was my phenomenal tattoo artist! I had it done at Jesters Tattoos in New Eltham, and my artist was Manda!

My Tattoo!
My Tattoo!

28. Getting an unexpected compliment

29. When my husband takes holiday time off work – love us all being together as a family (and it means its not just me telling the kids off)

30. When the kids do something the first time I ask – I also think this would make me faint as it does not happen often (if at all)!!!

31. When Stephen Amell personally liked a Facebook message I posted to him!!!

32. The smell of clean washing

33. Warm sunny days where you can just be lazy

34. The ‘dates’ I have with my Blue One in the Morrisons café – used to do this with my Pink One as well before she started school.

35. Getting a good bargain – regardless of what it is I am buying – it could be cleaning products to some lovely new clothes – a bargain is a bargain!

36. Watching my children sleep (they can’t answer me back when they are asleep) they look so angelic

Ahhh, sleeping angels...
Ahhh, sleeping angels…

37. The look on my Pink One’s face when she got a note from the Tooth Fairy for her first lost baby tooth (you can see the tinyletter in the photo of them sleeping above)

38. My kids excitement when Father Christmas has been

39. Developing my logo/brand for Jog on Mum

40. Having a lie in

41. Getting breakfast in bed

42. Getting my hair cut and coloured – I love it so much and afterwards I feel like me again! I have the best hairdresser!

43. Hearing my children say “I love you mummy, you’re the best” – I may not actually be the best mummy but to them I am so that’s all that matters! *grumble* *moan*

44. My tummy not being bloated and uncomfy at the end of the day – blooming IBS, still not great and I have  been following a low FODMAP diet since February!!!

45. A long hot shower without my small people for company (also in that line, going to the loo on my own too!)

46. Snow days with the kids

47. Days out at Brighton with the family, walking on the pier, playing dolphin derby and eating hot doughnuts! My hubby proposed to me on Brighton pier so it’s extra sentimental to me!

48. A lovely hot cup of tea – not one that has been reheated in the microwave for the umpteenth time, or left in there, or half drunk in a rush in the morning, one that you can savour as you watch some TV, read a book or are reading a particularly good blog post – ahhhh, bliss! Sometimes it really is the little things in life – the thought of this is just making me smile!

A hot cup of tea - bliss!!!
A hot cup of tea – bliss!!!

49. Looking through all my photos and videos (particularly ones of the kids) I could lose hours if not days to doing this!!!

50. People reading my blog, liking it and getting comments!!! It’s definitely a good ego booster!!! 🙂

It’s been nice to write a positive improve your mood kind of post, and 50 is quite a large number, really makes you think and sometimes you’ll be surprised that it really is the little things in life that make you happiest – such as that hot cup of tea or the sound of your children laughing – what would be on your list?

Comment below and please share this post – it would be much appreciated!

🙂 xxx

I made this…

So I can be a proud artsy fartsy creative mummy – I have actually completed something worthy of Pinterest and in this post I’ll take you through the process of how I went about making it! What I will admit before I start (which I haven’t seen on other creative/crafty posts – whether it’s because they’re just more organised than me or just don’t admit it) it took me from ordering the A2 canvas in August 2014 to planning this in September 2014 and finally producing the completed article in April 2015… only eight months… oops…

This all started because I love the song “This House” by Gary Barlow (My 5 year old has told me she thinks she’s “getting in love with Gary”, time to listen to another CD in the car I think – but I digress!!!) – I identify with the lyrics and just think it’s a beautiful song – I’d also been inspired by some canvasses my friend had done with her children – using masking tape and paint – remove the masking tape and you’ve got a beautiful canvas!

So I took the line I most liked from “This House” and planned it on an A4 piece of paper – laying it out and getting the idea of what I wanted my canvas to look like!

6th September 2014... Planning Commenced
6th September 2014… Planning Commenced

Then placed it in the plastic bag with the canvas (ordered from Amazon, link found above) where it sat (and collected dust) until 29th March 2015 – when I finally got to work! I used 25mm width masking tape – which I split into four;

Laying the plan out on canvas

This took me about three evenings, 2/3 hours each time, whilst watching TV and sometimes faffing! I did then find that this supposedly A2 board wasn’t quite four pieces of A4 – it was slightly narrower so had to adjust my measurements – I reduced the distance between the letters, so wasn’t too bad in the end!
Initially I was going to paint the whole thing using all our handprints, but I thought this might not be enough to make the words stand out, so I then split the image into four sections and make a paler version of the colour I wanted each of our handprints to be.

Adding the Background Colour

Next was time to add the handprints – so started with myself and the husband! My handprints are purple and the husband’s are green. I did ours top and bottom so that they surrounded our children.  Once these were dried, the next day was to add the children’s! By this point, I’d spent a lot of time and effort on this, so I was very vocal to the children that they were to only put their hand down when I told them and not to move it around so it smudged the colour (way to go mummy, removing the fun from this activity) – they were both very good! Unsurprisingly – I did the Pink Ones handprints pink and the Blue Ones handprints blue! Though the Pink One told me after she would have preferred red! I told a fib and said we didn’t have any red – she caught me out! “mummy – come here please, you said there was no red, I have checked the box and there is red…!?!” Oops…

Adding the Handprints
Adding the Handprints

I still find it strange that the Pink One and the Blue One’s handprints are similar in size, considering the Pink One is 2 years and 3 months older!!!
Next was the fun bit (though slightly nerve wracking after all that work) – well for me anyway – the removal of the masking tape!!!

Masking Tape Removal Part 1
Masking Tape Removal Part 1
Masking Tape Removal Part 2
Masking Tape Removal Part 2

The only annoying thing was, because I used really high quality ELC poster paint (about £1 per bottle), where bits of the paint were thicker on the handprints, as I took the masking tape off the paint flaked – but not to worry, a little touch up with some more paint and it was done!!! Yay!!!

The Final Creation!!! :-)
The Final Creation!!! 🙂

I am super chuffed with this, it may not be perfect, it may not be exactly as I imagined it, it may not quite have been the family affair I initially envisioned (yes I got a little possessive!) and the ‘A’ may not stand out as much as I would have liked, but over all it came out just great! The sentiments of the image may not seem to be in this household all the time – but this is a house filled with love… most of the time!!!

So, what’s the estimated length of time before it actually gets put up on the wall!?!  Haha!!!

Any questions don’t hesitate to contact me! I would be very happy for any comments or if you’d like to share this post – it would be much appreciated!!! Share with me any of your masking tape creations – that would be fabulous to see!!! 🙂 xxx

Let them eat cake (including me)

On the 2nd of January I got woken up by my then 2 year old Blue One saying “I want a Spider-Man party for my birthday” and this is what he continued to say for the next few weeks.  So I planned and got everything ready, buying a Spider-Man party set from Amazon (table cloth, cups, plates and napkins).  Ordered red paper party bags which I was going to decorate Spider-Man style and literally the week before his birthday, which is the 11th of February, we got begging of “I want a Sporkus (Sportacus from LazyTown) party…” cue tearful sobbing.

So with limited time left, what’s a mother to do? I’d already ordered and received everything, so rather than completely give into his demands which I didn’t agree with I compromised and made it a multi-hero themed party – i.e. I made the party bags Superman, Spider-Man and Sportacus.

I then redesigned the cake so it included both Spider-Man and Sportacus, below is the photo story of the development of this cake.  I hope you enjoy it…

The theme of the cake was based on the Blue One’s Spider-Man trainers – and I took this and designed/drew my own Sportacus themed trainer.

Designing the Sportacus Trainer
Designing the Sportacus Trainer

The cakes were all dairy and wheat/gluten free as I am currently on a Low FODMAP diet and I can’t eat these things at the moment and after putting so much work into them – I wanted to be able to eat them!!!  The cake was dairy and wheat/gluten free chocolate cake (I made three sheets) – each sheet made with 150g Dove’s plain flour mixed with 1tsp Dr Oetker’s baking powder which is gluten free, 50g cocoa powder and 50g melted Kinnerton chocolate – which is diary, gluten and nut free – with a splash of Alpro Soya milk and 200g of eggs – weight of eggs is with shells removed (approx 4 medium eggs – but yes I did weigh them).

The filling and crumb coat frosting was 500g Pure Sunflower spread (this has the lowest amount of salt and tastes the closest to buttercream made with unsalted butter), 500g icing sugar and 2 bars of melted dairy free kinnerton chocolate – yummy even if I do say so myself.

I had help, as always from my cake guru sister Sarah of Caking it, for which I am eternally grateful.

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Number 4

Number 5

Number 6

Number 7

Number 8

Number 9

Number 10

Number 11

Number 13

DSC_0061

DSC_0062

DSC_0063

Thanks goes to the fotor.com website where I made my collages for free!

Any questions or comments gratefully received and thanks for looking!

🙂 xxx