Post Holiday Fitness – From wobbly to where I want to be

So whilst everyone else appears to be slaving away to get themselves beach body ready – I took a more laissez fair approach and just went with what I had. Whilst hairy legs, bushy under carriage and a wobbly bottom are not to be ashamed of I have to say I felt rather less pleased with my decision once I had squeezed myself into my swim costume.

I wouldn’t say that I am overly vain about my appearance but this was a step too far for even my broad shouldered ego. Pre-holiday I had admitted that yes I had gained a few pounds and was in fact the same weight now as I had been when pregnant. Alas this time the culprit was not a 7lb baby but a rather serious issue with burgers. Despite knowing that I was larger than I have ever been I still made the some what rash decision of buying all of my clothes in a size 10. This turned out to be particularly ridiculous when it came to putting on my swim gear. You could say I mastered the floss but not quite the way you would imagine.

The holiday clothes issue was quickly rectified by a couple of new outfits. Obviously that didn’t fix the state of my hair which is in that tricky phase of growing out my pixie cut. Still that phase continues and like I do every time I go through this I vow never to cut it short again. But I know, and I am sure you will have been there too, that this is cyclical process and I will indeed go through his again in a few years time! Still with my wobbly hairy bits covered and an improving tan I made it through the week without having too many hang ups about my appearance.

Now back firmly on UK soil the decision to join the gym before my holiday was a good one. You see this time rather than join a state of the art, fully mirrored, poser gym. You know the ones I mean – full of beautiful 20 somethings in Lycra, looking fabulous barely breaking a sweat whilst running 10 miles. I joined a ladies only gym – where they promised no mirrors and no judgements. They set me up with my own programme; measured all my wobbly bits and spent time taking me through the whole circuit. So when I got back from my hols; feeling fat and a bit self conscious this was all ready for me to start tackling the problem.

So off I trotted on Thursday afternoon – down to my new gym. Where so far I seem to be the youngest person there, but that’s great too. Everyone was nattering and made me feel really welcome. No one cared how many miles I could run or whether my trainers were cool. We were all there for the sole purpose of shedding just a few pounds so we could get our trousers done up again and hopefully increase our basic fitness level just a touch.

It’s strange to me too find myself looking forward to going back again next week. I am only planning on going 3 times a week but hopefully that will make all the difference. Who knows maybe I will get the exercise bug and turn into a real gym bunny. For now my 30 minute low intensity work out makes me feel better in myself and I am sure that I will start to see some results soon with regards to my trousers 👍🏻

5 Ways to Beat the New Year Blues

Oh my don’t you think Christmas flies by faster and faster each year? All the planning, preparation, wrapping and cooking; then before you know it, it’s gone. You are left sitting in your pyjamas on Boxing Day morning surrounded by bags of wrapping paper and enough leftovers to see you through to the end of January. If you are like me post-Christmas can leave you a little flat! So here are my top tips for picking yourself up in the New Year.

Top Tips for Beating New Year Blues
Lazare / Pixabay
  • Make a pledge to get active – yeh I know it’s a cliché and that January sees an influx of gym memberships (that are never used after February) But you don’t have to join the gym to get fit. Just a promise to take the dog out more often, or to walk to school on those cold bright mornings. Keep your goal achievable – you don’t need to set yourself up to fail!

    Snufkin / Pixabay
  • Clean out your wardrobe. Come on admit you are never going to wear that dress ever again. And those shoes? What were you thinking. Be ruthless – if you haven’t worn  it in 6 months get rid of it. Better still bundle the best bits together and get yourself on eBay. With all that extra cash you can hit the sales, buying things you actually want to wear!

    cocoparisienne / Pixabay
  • Book a holiday – I was doing this whilst cooking Christmas dinner! It doesn’t have to be the holiday of a life time (unless you got a Christmas bonus in which case go for it!) But just a weekend away later in the year will give you something to look forward too. Loads of places take a deposit these days so if you are strapped for cash you can book now and pay a little later in the year when your finances have recovered from Christmas.

    Pexels / Pixabay
  • Set a goal – what do you really want to do this year? Sky dive, feed a meerkat or something more simple like read a book or spend more time with family. Decide what 2017 is going to mean for you and set yourself a target. It doesn’t have to be life changing – but it does us good to have something to work towards. Pudding, for example, has decided that she is going to curb TV use at HQ by chewing the buttons off the remote. You have to have goals people!

    Ben_Kerckx / Pixabay
  • Appreciate what you have. It’s not always about striving towards the next thing. Sometimes it’s learning to enjoy what’s around you. Taking the time to really make the most of friends and family. Finding joy in the little things, is the beginning of true of happiness. So whilst the New Year is a time to look forward and plan, it’s also a time to reflect.

So there you go a few simple ideas to banish those New Year Blues. Have you got any others you would like to share?

Sausage Monologues: Post-Holiday Hound

Hang on a second here. What is with all the suitcases? Everyone looks quite excited. Are we going away for a few days? I don’t think Mum has packed my lead… Hang on a second what’s that you are saying Mum?

‘Come on Flick out the way…. No sweetheart you aren’t coming.’

What?! Not coming? Who will Protect you? Who will clear up the crumbs and weaning misadventures? I see well I know my place…


*Curl into bed looking reproachful*

Oh so you are coming to say goodbye are you? I will take that biscuit but only because it’s been 49 minutes since I had breakfast. Don’t tell me to be good, because I am already deciding on suitable punishments for this abandonment. When you shut that front door my brother and I are going HOWL…

*four days later, two thin and starving dogs are waiting (ok that’s an exaggeration 45 minutes later the dog sitter arrives)*

Oooh it’s you! How long are you staying? Did you bring those treats you know I love? Ah fab a walk! I could definitely stretch my legs…


*several hours later*

Ah can we sit with you on the couch? Excellent, I will snuggle in here with you…. That was an enormous tea you gave me, Mum is usually much more stingey. So you are staying tonight? Brilliant that means two walks tomorrow and more couch cuddles. This is the life…


*5 days later, 1 hour after dog sitter has left. Front door opens…*

You’re back!!! Hooray! Quick head count. Dad, small pink one, medium blue one and the betrayer. Dad, Dad I am so pleased to see you! Look how trim I am looking after all my walks. Don’t speak to me betrayer, my initial welcome was a moment of weakness. I am going to sit on my bed and stare at the radiator…

Nope that biscuit is not going to work. I will eat it only because I hate waste. No I won’t sit on the couch with you or show you my tummy. Talk to the paw cos the face ain’t listening. Please serve my dinner with minimal interaction…. There is no point cuddling me. I won’t forgive you for this. If you hadn’t shut your bedroom door I would have vomited on your pillow while you were gone. I can’t even bear to look at you, I am going to bed…

*next morning*

MUM! Oh I love you. So pleased you are home. Scratch my ears while I fire myself at your knees. Yes breakfast would be grand, then can I come sit with you??

Diary of an imperfect mum

Puddle Duck Pudding

Ahoy there! Well as you may have guessed by my Instagram we have been in The Lakes all week. Lots of new things for a Pudding to get into. As I am the adventurous type I got into a boat!

First there was the amazing cottage Mum and Dad booked. Let me tell you the bath in that place was ace. I got to practice my swimming and splashing technique. Got Mum soaked on the first night. (She looked hot and sweaty after all that driving!) I still had to share a room with Pie but luckily his snoring wasn’t too bad.


I slept pretty well that first night. Travelling always takes it out of me. Dad wanted to go over to Coniston, so into the car we went. Mum thinks she is some kind of rally car driver! Over the hills round the twisting bends. I felt a bit green to be frank. But I still managed a 45 minute snooze! It was worth the journey though because Coniston was beautiful.


Love it when we can’t use the buggy. Mum got the new carrier out and stuck me in, facing forward. Hello world!! Ah the sun on my face… Wait. No way not that hat. Noooooo! Damn, I hate hats 😡 I swallowed my pride, because the view was too good to miss. Daddy and Pie were dashing about, skimming stones and being boys.
We had a wander and then stopped for a bite at the Bluebird Cafe. That sausage bap looked ace. But when Mum licked ketchup off my head I was less than amused… There was talk of a boat while everyone else ate… (And I got covered in ketchup).

Mum attempted to make up for the ketchup thing by offering me a bottle. I refused obvs. She then laid me down and proceeded to strip me of all dignity by changing me in the boot of the car. I mean seriously a swan could have seen my ladybird! Luckily no one was there but this better not be a holiday habit.
Then I discovered what a boat was. I have to say I thought Mum and Dad were insane. The life jacket was the final straw. I looked like a star, but it did have a comfy bit behind my head.



As we climbed in the boat, I sat with Dad. Apparently the rally driver was also a sea captain….
The excitement was all too much for me. I nodded off before we had gone very far.


When I woke briefly I was sat with Mum whilst Dad and Pie drove the boat. That was even more worrying so I closed my eyes out of fear.



According to the others the boat hire was great. I will have to take their word for it. I only got to see the inside of my eyelids…

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Top Tips for Avoiding Family Holiday Hell!

For those of you who read our blog on a regular basis you will know we are currently enjoying a holiday in The Lakes! But after our holiday faux pas at Bluestone, what have we done to ensure The Lakes won’t be a wash out?

Top Tips for A Happy Holiday:

  • Book good accommodation! I originally booked this trip 5 days after Pudding was born and in a total hormone stupor. When we checked it last week it became apparent that I had in fact booked one room with the idea that Mr Pud and I would sleep on a sofa bed! (Honestly a sofa bed? What WAS I THINKING??) We changed our mind last-minute and booked a great cottage instead. Room to move, two bedrooms and the essential kitchen with washing machine (we are weaning here people…)
    Holiday Cottage
    idunlop / Pixabay
  • Keep packing stress to a minimum. You don’t need the kitchen sink or 18 outfits (washing machine remember?) Pack what you need, be ruthless! Remember when it comes to repacking you will have to track every item down and squeeze it back into the car. With the added addition of buckets, spades, inflatable crocodiles and the worlds most uncomfortable shoes that you brought on a whim! (Throw them away? NEVER)
  • Self catering? My preferred option, I know it’s a bit of a kick in the crotch to cook every night but least you know it’s going to be eaten (mostly). If you are going self catering, just get Tescos to deliver! Seriously, saves you the pain of packing it into the car or worse still driving round and round to find a supermarket after 6 hours of travelling.
  • Plan the route before you go! Nothing worse than not knowing where you are going and then losing mobile signal as soon as you are off the motorway. Download the route planner so it’s available. But don’t be militant about a leaving time or how many stops you will make. Go with the flow! Sometimes rushing kids out the house is just going to make matters worse. Relax have a coffee. (sorry no wine yet you need your wits about you!) If the traffic is shite then stop for a while. Sitting in a tail-back stressing and needing a wee is no good for any of you.
    Holiday Traffic
    0532-2008 / Pixabay
  • Unpack the cases when you get the other end (not straight away have a brew first) This will make for a more relaxed feel. Who likes living out of a suitcase? Put stuff away, make it feel like home.
  • Don’t try to cram thousands of things into one day. It’s a holiday remember? Keep the pace relaxed! What does it matter if you don’t get out the house before 10? Kids feed off your stress, just let it go. Try and plan an activity for each day – get the kids to help choose if they are old enough. Remember toddlers don’t like walking too far and teenagers don’t like having no phone signal for more than an hour (15 mins).
  • Relax some of those rules about food. It’s ok if little Timmy wants to have an ice cream morning and afternoon, it’s a holiday! Stopping for cake and a drink is a novelty, so enjoy it. Also because holidays are busy little people get hungry or should I say hangry! Feed them. Often.
    Greyerbaby / Pixabay
  • Occasional late nights on holiday are exciting. A week of late nights is just perpetuating a natural disaster. Try and keep the sleep habits as close to home as possible. Parents and kids with no sleep is a recipe for meltdown. If you are out and about and little ones usually have a nap, maybe plan a short trip in the car at that point or encourage them to snuggle in the buggy. Tired angry children make holidays miserable, read the signs and take action. Quickly.
  • Don’t panic if you forgot to pack something! Remember this is England, not Outer Mongolia. Most things are available locally and if not get on Amazon Prime and order it for the next day! Nothing is out of reach and you know what if you forget it, it probably wasn’t that important!
  • Make time for each other. Once those rascals are in bed grab a bottle of something (anything) crack open some maltesers and a pack of cards. Reconnect with each other, phones off, laptops away and no TV. Talk and laugh about the day and the inevitable disasters. Reminisce or think about places you would like to come back too just the two of you. It’s your holiday too, enjoy each other!


    Takmeomeo
    / Pixabay

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Blissful Bluestone, Family Holiday Heaven

This is the picturesque view over Bluestone Wales this weekend as I dropped off the car in the main car park (Bluestone is a car free zone!). We had been lucky on the drive down, no major disasters befell us like they normally do, we did have two tired and slightly grumpy children but once we had decanted them into bed we could look forward to two blissful days surrounded by fantastic scenery and our choice of fantastic activities.

Bluestone view

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Last time we stayed we had one of the two storey lodges cleverly designed to have the living quarters on the top to make the most of the views, this time we opted for a single storey chalet-type. We weren’t disappointed, although the space was not huge, it was a good size and the high ceilings made it feel very light and airy. I loved the open plan kitchen, lounge and diner, it mean that we could all chill out together without having to be on top of each. There was a slight issue with sound on the TV which almost pushed Mr Pudding over the edge, but a few jiggled wires soon sorted that out! The lodge was clean and tidy, we located the travel cot with ease, my only minor complaint was that there was no mattress provided but a few folded blankets and a super-sized muslin later and Pudding had a bed, it must of been ok cos we didn’t hear a peep out of her all night.
The lodges in Bluestone are allocated on the day and you don’t really get a say in where they put you (I guess you probably could if you paid extra), we were down towards the big lake, which was beautiful. However; it was very far from the pool and the adventure centre, we did try to hire a buggy but unfortunately there weren’t any left. Mind you the walk up the giant hill did wonders for my bum especially carrying Pudding. Our Ergo carrier came into its own, I did bring the pushchair but that would have been even worse to push up the hill!

Pudding

Pudding enjoying the Adventure Centre!
We decided the next morning to take the kids swimming, so we hiked up to the pool, Pie was in the worst mood ever and he whinged the entire way. I should have seen the storm clouds gathering but I figured he would join in the fun after a little while. The swimming pool is fantastic, it is set in a huge biosphere so lovely and warm. Perfect for Pudding who is not a fan of the cold and wet, Pie loved the lazy river and the waves. He was less keen about queuing for the family changing rooms and this caused another mini meltdown. We headed back for lunch before Mr Pudding and Pie had to be at their afternoon activities.
So you remember I ignored the storm clouds? Well that was a rookie mistake! As we headed back up to the adventure centre Pie kicked off for the biggest meltdown you have ever seen, he refused to walk and then finished with his party trick and promptly pooped himself. Even the promise of an afternoon playing at pirates couldn’t bring him down from the ceiling. Mr Pudding went off to do his high ropes course (which by the way he said was totally fantastic and he thoroughly enjoyed it!), I went into the adventure centre with an extremely angry Pie and spoke to the amazing Bluestone staff. Because of his accident Pie couldn’t join in with the other children, but the staff were amazing, they were more than happy to rearrange for us and booked us in for the following morning. We stopped into the main office on the way back and asked the fabulous staff there who promptly radio’d through to my husband at Steep Ravine to explain that we were going home for a nap. I really can’t fault them they were so helpful, another point to add about the great staff is that everywhere you go on the Bluestone site they say hello or good morning!

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 Having recovered from what can only be described as an epic tantrum, Pie woke with a smile on his and to two little friends! These little friendly little ducks were knocking on our patio door with their beaks the next morning, they were so tame the took bread right out of Pie’s hand, clearly they are well versed in guests at Bluestone. We took this as a good omen and after some breakfast headed back to the Adventure Centre for some pirate fun! Pie loved it, he went off for 2 hours with a group of children and didn’t even look back, they all looked great with facepaint and pirate costumes. Pudding, Daddy and I enjoyed an hour of baby massage and yoga which was lovely, great sensory room and our instructor was really friendly (another credit to the Bluestone staff). Our afternoon was spent back at the pool, before we headed back for some chips from the chippy van, again the staff were great and we avoided another Pie meltdown when the chap kindly gave us a free ketchup as we had run out of cash!

Overall, I can’t praise Bluestone enough for their family friendly environment, the staff were amazing, nothing was too much trouble. I wish we could have stayed longer as there is still so much that we would like to have done, this is my second visit and I still haven’t managed to try out the Spa! We will definately return again in the future, but a few tips for those who are planning a visit:

1. Book a buggy – firstly they are awesome and secondly little legs get tired!
2. Upgrade the WiFi to premium if you want to stream anything, or get any blogging done.
3. Take advantage of the kids activities, they are good value and give you the opportunity to enjoy some of the more adult activities as over 4s don’t need adult supervision.
4. Remember a pound for the lockers at the pool (we were lucky another fab member of staff let us leave my bank card and gave me a pound to use in the lockers)

Thank you Bluestone for another fab visit and we look forward to returning again soon!

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Petite Pudding

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Welsh Cake (Bluestone Pt 1)

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Howdy folks,

So this week I finally found out exactly what a holiday is and I have to say that it was great. Don’t get me wrong there were some stressful bits like when Mum was trying to squeeze all my essential items into a small suitcase (she forgot to pack Sophie the giraffe, I was gutted) and then there was the moment when Flick refused to get out of my car seat and I thought they would take her instead of me. But in general it was pretty plain sailing, I slept the majority of the journey down, just waking for a quick snack at the service station. I did voice my concern about the state of my pants but Daddy kept bouncing me on his knee and before either of us knew it we were covered in poop! Luckily Mummy was prepared and after a quick strip down in the disabled loo (she even washed me off in the sink, it was a mega explosion) we headed back in the car for the final slog.

Finally we had arrived! The little house we were staying in was great and Mum had that travel cot up in a flash and a couple of folded blankets and a giant muslin later, voila my bed was made. I couldn’t wait to get in, I don’t know how travelling can make a Pudding so tired but it does. I couldn’t wait to get ready for the next morning, I had Mummy up at the crack of dawn so she smuggled me into bed with her and Dad, then Daddy and I cuddled right through until 9am (unfortunately there was no room for Mummy….).

First thing on the agenda was a swim, now those who have previously read my blog know that Puddings should only swim in custard. But this time Mummy was prepared I had a new funky wetsuit thing, in pink with these funny looking birds on it, and the water in the pool was so warm. I have to say I still wasn’t entirely convinced to begin with, the pool was packed, it was loud and bright and then she took me down this lazy river thing that went outside! Just as we got back to the main pool this crazy loud noise went off making me jump, I nearly swallowed half the pool! Mum and I retreated to the beach area and next thing I knew there were waves. It was amazing, they came rolling towards us and kept breaking over my toes, I couldn’t help but give a little giggle as Mummy said ‘wheeee’. Daddy and Pie came to join us and we all had great fun playing in the waves.

I really made the most of my fab Ergo carrier, Mummy didn’t bother putting me in the pram at all, everywhere we went I got to snuggle into Mummy’s chest. At first I loved looking around at everything but I very soon realised that the best thing to do was to sleep. Mum reckons the walk up the giant hill several times a day carrying me must have done wonders for her bottom, I have to say that it still looks pretty sizeable from where I am standing, but as she doesn’t judge my chunky thighs I won’t pass comment.

This morning Mummy, Daddy and I had a great treat, while Pie was off playing pirates, we had a yoga and massage session. I was liberated from all clothes and my nappy and allowed to lay on the floor kicking and gurgling to my hearts content. I loved the yoga on my legs and the massage, wasn’t too keen on having my tummy done and it certainly didn’t agree with my bowels! I had a minor accident all over my towel, I wasn’t embarassed though I thought it was quite funny and then followed it up with a great big wee. What can I say, I am a classy girl!

All these activities have certainly increased my appetite, I am turning into a right little foody. As soon as I sit up to the table I get so excited and when I see that Ella’s pouch I go properly crazy. Mum says I have the same appetite as my big bro, apparently he was a real foody as well, he certainly enjoys getting involved in helping me discover food. I will pretty much eat anything but Mum tried me with parsnip this evening, Daddy wasn’t impressed he hates parsnip, but I have to say I LOVED it. I ate the entire pouch in one sitting and kept hoping for some more. Can’t wait to get my hands on proper food, the rest of them were having chips from the chippy, they smelt and looked amazing, Mum says she has to draw a line somewhere and that finger food will have to wait for a while 🙁

My first holiday has been amazing, I can’t wait for the next one. I guess by then I might have mastered the elusive are of rolling – then I will really be able to cause trouble 🙂

Love Pudding xxx

Mami 2 Five
Diary of an imperfect mum

Pudding HQ Prepares to Travel

 I was asked this week ‘Are you excited about your weekend away?’, it was only Monday and I have to be totally honest that on Monday I was not excited. All I could see looming in front of me were the thousand and one things that as the chief organiser, top packer and lead chauffeur (not to mention general miracle worker) I had to get done before the ‘holiday’ could begin. I mean even the word ‘holiday’ is misleading as in all honest its the same shit in a different location with only half the things you need and the overwhelming feeling that you should be enjoying yourself!

Red suitcase

Those carefree days when I was younger when I would just buy a load of holiday cloths and dump them in the suitcase the night before are a distant memory, in part because I haven’t brought new clothes in bulk for several years. But mainly because these days I carve out a small corner of the suitcase for me, and then the rest is dedicated to those essential kid items. Now before Pudding was born life had got marginally easier, but now I am back to packing all but the kitchen sink (I would take that too but you have to have a cut off point somewhere). My husband laughs, he always reminds me that we aren’t going to outer mongolia, and its true we are only going to Wales where there will be access to Boots and Sainsbury’s should we need anything. Still top packer I am and packing I shall do.

Then comes the general organising, this includes ensuring the house is clean because I don’t want to have to trip over anything when I return from said ‘holiday’ with two tired and grumpy children. Making sure everyone has some clean pyjamas to wear and a tidy bed to get into is also essential, two tired and grumpy children remember? Of course the fridge needs looking at before we go to, who wants to return to that carton of milk that will be out of date and slightly lumpy? Worse still if you pour it into your cup of tea and take a gigantic thirst quenching swig before realising that its chewy… Don’t forget the kitchen bin as well, that nappy from this morning is not going to smell to sweet in a warm house after 4 days. The Sausages’ need some planning too, this time my brother in law is kindly coming to dog sit for a few days but the dog walker will still need to come in twice to fill in the gaps. I have to break it to the Sausages gently that they aren’t coming, Flick takes this as a personal afront and promptly refuses to move out of the car seat, when I do finally evict her she sits on her bed looking straight at the wall and refuses to look at me. Having completed the majority of my chief organiser duties its time to take up my chauffeur post.

Luckily Mr Pudding has agreed to pack the car so with a few wifely instructions he does a masterful job. I in the meantime have packed a snack bag for Pie, rechecked the map, put the postcode in my iPhone and looked at the traffic report. I know its going to be too longer a journey to do in one go, so a stop has to be planned – to early and everyone will be hungry when we arrive too late and there will be meltdown in the car. I pick what I think will be the ideal time and place. Having read a great post on tyre safety this week, I dutifully check the tread on the tires and contemplate looking at the oil level and windscreen wash but my enthusiasm is waning now as its raining, instead I check I have the breakdown cover details! Finally we are ready and the kids are strapped in, Mr Pudding has loaded a playlist on the stereo and we are away. 2 minutes later it begins ‘Are we there yet….’ Like I said ‘holidays’ same shit different place!

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