The New Years Resolutions!

I am so behind with blogging, i had the most wonderful Christmas and New Year though, hence the lack of time to post (plus my in-laws don’t have wifi SHOCK HORROR!) I will write separate posts about that later as i really want to get my New Year Resolutions out there in print! I tweeted my resolutions on the 27th December 1:30am in the morning, i could not sleep so thought i would do something constructive. So here goes my New Year Resolutions (i shall go into more detail of each one throughout January)…

  1. Exercise Regularly – I think i want to do this every year but it doesn’t seem to happen! I really hope i can do this one now that i am at home more since leaving my job to look after Rowan full time. My plan is to complete Jillian Michaels 30 day shred (starting 7th Jan so it coincides with my sister doing it also) and then move onto P90X… that’s 120 days fitness commitment, not a lot when you think how many days are in a year!
  2. Eat healthy & allow one meal where i can eat what i want each week – I have decided that for the first 30 days, i am not going to allow a cheat meal, this will give me the kick start i need and willpower is pretty low after the food indulgent Christmas that i have just had!
  3. Tidy the pit of a house that we have & make it into a home – Housework is not one of my favourite things, I’ll be the first to admit that but i do like a tidy house. So i am going to commit to getting the house sorted in January, every item will have a home and if there isn’t a home for it, it will be going to the charity shop.
  4. Make a proper go of my craft business, take part in a craft fair – I love painting and have started to make a few gift items for family and friends, but I think i am ready to put more into this and make it a mini business. I have already made a page of facebook (RALA Handmade Crafts) I just need to manage my time to network and get some orders!
  5. Turn the TV & internet off… Get my own life before reading about others! – Now i love reading blogs, i really do, but i sometimes find that i read so many blogs that i do not have time to write my own! So i guess this is more about prioritising my own blog before reading others. I am also trying to turn the TV off in the day, it is no good for myself or Rowan to have crappy TV on in the background all the time, instead, we are going to listen to music and get some audio story books out from the library.
  6. Savour every second i have with my baby & have a special date night with the husband each week – I am in the fortunate position that i am a full time mom, money is extremely tight but we manage as long as we are carful, this means i get to spend most of my time with Rowan, which i love and plan to savour for as long as i can. Being parents mean being a couple gets put on the back burner, but the husband and I are going to try and have a date night, just a nice meal and watch a DVD together on a Saturday evening – we’re rock n roll i know!!!
  7. Write down what i have been grateful for at the end of each day, just a few words in my diary just for me – this sounds a bit gooey but i truly am happy with my life and would like to look back and read about all the nice times when i am an old crinkly lady, my husband’s Gran has been doing this since 1952 and always looks back over the years, i think it is a lovely idea.
  8. Get more sleep! – I’m not sure why but i have been struggling getting to sleep at night, i lay awake most nights till 2am. I’m not stressing about anything, i think i just find it hard to switch off of a night, so I am going to need to have wind down time before going to sleep, either listening to music or reading a book. I’m hoping that the healthy eating and exercise will help me get to sleep of a night, i really hope to get up uber early to get my workout out and shower done before the little man wakes up but know that will not happen if i am still awake at 2am in the morning.

Think that is enough for one year, i plan to go into a bit more detail of the above during the month of January, but will do a full review of how it’s going one month from now.

If you have made resolutions, i wish you luck – we can do this if we try x

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End of year resolution?!!!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the healthy changes i want to make in the new year… i love a fresh start that a new year brings (even if it doesn’t last long!) But a lot of people can actually put a lot of weight on during the run up to Christmas, i know this is usually the case with me. After watching Earthlings last Sunday evening, my eating habits have changed a little and i actually have been eating really healthy! Lots of vegetables and very little dairy. So my end of year resolution is to not go too mad with food and drink over the festive season!

I said in my last post that i was going to talk a little bit more about the documentary ‘Earthlings’

I will not go into detail as it’s a personal choice whether a person wants to watch a documentary containing animal abuse but i made the choice to watch it. The only way i can describe how it has made me feel is as follows… you know when you have a really awful dream, i mean really bad that you wake up crying? And then you feel kind of strange the next day or two? Well that is how i felt after i watched the documentary, i felt obviously very sad and also very strange, like something inside of me died (sound dramatic i know!). Since watching the documentary, i can not actually even think about eating meat, i went shopping on the Monday after watching it and bought tons of fruit/veggies and meat alternatives – i couldn’t even go near the meat fridges. I’m not sure if this is going to be a long term thing but my husband has been great and said that i should just eat what feels right at the moment, and at the moment, i don’t want to eat meat (not sure what i am going to do xmas day at the in-laws if i still have this aversion to meat!)

So this week we have had a few vegan and vegetarian meals, which have been loved by myself, Ollie and Rowan. Here are a few;

Meal One: Sweet Potato, Spinach & Lentil Dahl & Chappati (both recipes were found on BBC Good Food website)

I made this dish not so long ago and it was just as good second time round, Ollie really enjoyed the chilli kick to the dish as he was coming down with a cold so meant he could taste it.

Meal Two: Roasted Vegetable Homemade Pizza (the base was the Delia Smith one i made for my festive pizza – the husband said that it was better than a shop bought one… but then he was full of cold when he ate it!)

I have to admit, this pizza was pretty awesome! Next time though i am going to add sweetcorn and black olives to add a little more flavour variety.

Meal Three: Roasted Vegetables with Whole wheat Pasta and Passata

I loved the roasted veggies so much i made the same mixture tonight but instead of making a pizza base, i added it to whole wheat pasta bows instead. I warmed a little passata which i mixed in once i took the photo and also added a little bit of grated cheese post photo – this was super duper filling!

What’s nice is Rowan has been eating the roasted veggies too, tonight he had the pasta above (but cut up into smaller pieces) and the night we had the pizza he had the veggies mixed with cous cous… he loves it!

In my veggie mix for both recipes i included:

  • red onion
  • yellow pepper
  • red pepper
  • mushroom
  • cherry tomatoes &
  • courgette

So like i said, I’m not sure what I’m doing about eating meat just yet but i am sure you will be the first to know if i do start eating meat again (because you will see it on the blog!)

I need to also update on the 25 days of blogging Christmas challenge – i didn’t feel like posting last night after hearing about the sad news in Connecticut, my thoughts went out to all those innocent children and teachers.

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14. Real or artificial tree? There is nothing better than the smell of a real tree but we always have an artificial tree. I remember one year having a real tree when i was a kid… i remember my mom cursing after vacuuming up the needles several times a day and also impaling my toes on a pesky needle everyday on the run up to xmas, so the following year mom and dad dusted off the artificial tree and put that back up instead.

15. The best gift you have given? i think the best gift that we gave was a photo portrait of all the grandaughters to my nan and grandad, nan still has it on her wall above grandad’s chair.

It rained all day today in Devon – not festive at all, you know you picture walking through the town market in your finest woolies, with floaty snow and Christmas cheer, well instead it reminded me of this…

Catching up….

Ok, i completely stink at blogging everyday so I’m failing miserably at my 25 days of blogging Christmas Challenge! But I’m going to play a little catch up and hopefully resume the challenge thereafter, so here goes…

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9. Easiest person to buy for… This would have to be my mom as she makes a list of all the things she would like at xmas and you just pick one that suits your budget! I love buying gifts that people actually want!

10. Favourite Holiday Scent… i think it would have to be the smell of a real xmas tree, how more xmassy can you get really? I would love to have a real tree this year but as we now have Rowan we can’t risk the needles falling off so we have stuck to a good ole fake tree.

11. Favourite xmas tradition… i think this has to be the way my sister and I would organise all the presents into piles whilst mom got the breakfast ready, we would then take it in turns to open our presents so we could have a nose at what each other got… my dad always insisted on opening his presents last, so he could enjoy watching everyone else first.

12. Wrapping paper of gift bags? It always has to be wrapping paper for me and i always pick a traditional design, nothing modern as it isn’t xmassy enough for me.

13. Favourite Xmas book? It has to be a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, i love love love this story and when Rowan gets older i can not wait to read it to him on the run up to Christmas!

Ok, that’s the challenge catch up – so what’s been happening with me this week, highlights below;

  • Went to rhythm and rhyme with Rowan where we sang xmas songs
  • Went to baby group with Rowan, we made xmas cards with his footprint on, we chose green card, gold paint and a heck of a lot of glitter.
  • On my mission to find tasty vegan recipes for my one week vegan challenge in January, i came across a documentary on Youtube called Earthlings… I’m not sure how i did it but i watched the whole thing and i have to say a little bit of me has died inside. It’s a documentary on how animals are used in human life, including pets, food, entertainment, science and fashion. I think everyone should watch it but it is heartbreaking to watch and contains a lot of awful footage of animal abuse. I am going to write a whole post on this soon as it has effected me so much 😦
  • Husband has said he will join me on the vegan challenge in January to help me with it (i love him).
  • My closest friend from University had her baby last night – a little girl that they called Evelynn – can’t wait to meet her!
  • Been trying some lovely veggie recipes in preparation for my vegan challenge.
  • Cut out all caffeine and moved onto decaf, peppermint and fennel tea instead (and had to endure the most disgusting caffeine withdrawal headaches – yuck)
  • Bought mine and Ollie’s jumpers from the charity shop ready to transform them into the most distasteful xmas themed jumpers 🙂
  • Just watched ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ snuggled up in bed with Ollie with the electric blanket on 0 bliss!

Think that’s about it, i will resume proper blogging tomorrow – I’ll share with you some of my wonderful meals this week and talk a little bit about Earthlings (i promise not to go into detail of what i saw or try and guilt trip people into watching it).

Night all x

Cinnamon and Carnivals!

Today i have mostly been making these…

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Delicious Cinnamon Rolls (or whirls) – which turned out HUGE!! I followed this recipe.

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Huge but delicious!!! I watched one of my many favourite films whilst baking, has anyone watched this one;

I just love it and takes me back to being a little girl when i used to watch it… memories!!

Tonight was the town carnival, we were meant to see the carol concert and switching on of the town tree lights last night but we had a very tired boy who needed his cotbed so we stayed in the warm and looked forward to tonight’s carnival instead.

We all got wrapped up, my first port of call was Costa Coffee which is a stones throw from my house to pick up a warming Black Forest Hot Chocolate, i got slightly addicted to these last year and with the coffee shop so close to my house it’s a dangerous situation!

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We hung out at the tree for a while until the carnival started.

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I had one of those strange orbs on my photo… spooky as i was stood right by a war monument!!!

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Waiting for the floats…

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Carnival time!!!

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Rowan loved the carnival and was happily dancing away! He was so pooped when we got home that he had his milk and went off soundly to sleep. This is when the fun began for mommy and daddy… it started with some festive drinks…

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I went for a cherry B, it was then time to get the Christmas decorations up before the X Factor final began (I’m team James Arthur, how about you?)

Husband looks a little crazy here… he’s perfectly sane… honestly!

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A lovely day all round and to top it off James Arthur is through to the actual final tomorrow – woo hoo!!

25 Days of Blogging – Christmas Challenge day 7 & 8

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7. Most memorable Christmas. I think this has to be Christmas 2008. My dad whilst tipsy at xmas 2007 invited ALL the family to xmas the following year and said he would do the dinner! My dad had never ever cooked the xmas dinner and my parents house was only just big enough to accommodate everyone, that’s what made it so fun!

*I can’t remember why we all had name badges as we are all family so should remember each others names! – mine says Trolley Dolly as i was cabin crew at the time*

The full house and also why i loved this xmas? my 3 grandparents were there. Sadly Poppy (centre) passed away Nov 2010 and Grandad (on the right) passed away last month. Below is 2 of the 3 tables full of family, we joked that my aunt and cousins on the table going into the kitchen were economy class, and our table closest to the TV was first class dining!

My cousin in Economy class! Check out my dad reading the instructions on the bread sauce waha ha ha!

Dad pulled off xmas day dinner with the help of Delia Smith and Jameson’s Whiskey!

8. Post a photo of Christmas Decor… check out my next post, you will see our decorations!!!

Late Night Shopping!

But first, a bit of a catch up of the 25 days of blogging – Christmas Challenge!

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5 Best Gift You’ve Ever Received? I have 3 gifts that come to mind, 1 a typewriter when i was about 6 years old – i really wanted one and santa delivered… however i don’t actually remember using it! 2. A my little pony and stable set, i remember really liking the advert when i was about 9 or 10 years old and my parents must have seen the desire in my eyes so got it for me, i remember i did not ask for it as thought it might be too expensive – bless me! And finally 3 a Nintendo Gameboy when i was about 12 or 13. Again i remember saying i would really love one but knew they were expensive so asked for money to put towards one instead. My mom and dad thought it was so lovely that i was being so considerate that they bought me the gameboy and 2 games too!

6 Your favourite tree ornament? This has to be one that still gets put onto my parents tree now, its just a little round decoration with my name cross stitched onto it, simple but beautiful. My sister had one too, i’m not sure who made them but as she has an unusually spelt name ‘Ilyse’, she never got anything with her name on ever, so loved it!

 

Well Christmas has well and truly arrived in my little Devonshire town, the town Xmas tree is officially up!

And this is what it looks like all lit up!

Tonight was late night shopping, a lot of the shops opened late and offered alcoholic drinks, cakes, chocolates and festive merryment! I met with my mommy friend Lucy as we left the babies at home warm in their beds being watched by their daddies. It was lovely for us as normally we have our buggies and can’t get in a lot of the smaller shops, but tonight we could go anywhere we wanted… except Wendy’s Cookshop as it was full of carol singers!

We were offered mostly Mulled Wine, perfect on a cold December evening but one shop Violet and Grey were offering Gin and Ginger Beer cocktail topped with cucumber – mighty refreshing and warming! I’ve never been in this shop before as there are steps in and is difficult with the pushchair, but i have to say this is my new favourite shop in town. It had the most beautiful gifts and the owners were so nice and friendly – there little helper, a young man was making sure we all had a drink and a canopy in our hand!

After looking around a few more shops, we headed for the Honiton Wine Bar, i love it as it is always so warm and cosy. We were popping in for a glass of wine but after seeing the gorgeous menu we decided to eat too, so we shared the tapas.

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The Tapas included; Proscuitto ham, mixed salami, pepperdew peppers, marinated black and green olives, sun dried tomatoes, chilli feta, figs. French bread with Olive oil and balsamic dip.

They had run out of french bread so replaced it with garlic bread instead – bonus!! This spread was wonderful! The pepperdew peppers were a little hot but not too much and the fig mixed with the ham was to die for – the mix of the salty ham and sweet fig just needs to be done!

I also had a large glass of Liebfraumilch – i love sweet wine!

I didn’t actually buy anything other than food and wine, but a gossip with a friend was just what i needed! Lucy even talked about starting a blog herself… i’m going to help her set one up soon!

Lots of Prettys…

But first…

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4. Favourite Christmas Song? I love most Christmas songs but i have to say my favourite has to be The Pogues/Kirsty Mcoll Fairytale of New York, when i hear that song it’s officially Christmas!

I have to be honest, food this side of the new year, is not going to be pretty! It’s the time of year, i try and use up as much of the bad food before my healthy kick start in the new year… I promise this blog will look a lot healthier come the first week in January! One strange thing i did eat today was this…

A whole tin of mackerel that was in sunflower oil, i don’t know why but i saw it in the cupboard, fancied it and ate it! It was lovely but my house does now stink of fish! As you can see i need to be adding more green foods and not just eating a tin of fish for my lunch!

During lunch, i started thinking of years gone by as i planned my month of December. This time of year pre-Rowan, i used be compiling end of year reports, organising xmas parties and secret santa’s. This year i am planning which xmas craft fairs/bazaars, carol concerts, parades to go to… It’s a busy life being a mom don’t you know?!

Tonight i was invited to a Jewellery party. So i got myself ready… i’m having a fat day, not pretty!

The party was all homemade jewellery, which was really nice, i bought a few xmas presents and of course a necklace for my self and some earrings! I shall show you all tomorrow my purchases. Lots of Prettys!

 

Tomorrow, Rowan and I are heading into Exeter… we’re on a mission to find him a wonderful stocking so Santa knows where to leave his presents!