Monday, 12 December 2016

The Picky Mama's Gift Guide

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In my experience becoming a mother, while being super rewarding, is also a total game changer. You stop thinking of things that you want and spend most of your spare money (ha!) on your little womb fruit. Making sure they have a magical Christmas trumps any wishlist of yours. All conversations with family members centre on what to buy the kid and if you do get asked what you'd like, your mind goes blank, or at least mine does.

Don't get me wrong there is plenty I lust after but I spend most of the year denying myself things or letting mama guilt control my purchases, that the idea of something just for me feels a little bit naughty. So, if you have a mama in your life who gets that 'deer in headlights' look when you ask her what she'd like for Christmas, or even says 'oh nothing, just buy for the kids'... I put together this little guide of lovely things she might appreciate;

p.s - I have tried to focus on independant businesses in this gift guide, as I am sure we all know shopping small is where it is at, support you're local mama gang and all that...

Mama Merch

I am a sucker for this stuff. A lovely snuggly sweatshirt or a kick ass tote and I am a happy mama.

1. Haus of Mono Strong as Hell Tote - I actually treated myself to this as it not only looks good, but makes me think of the these tune from the Unbreakable Kimi Schmitt - Females are Strong as Hell!

2. Punky Moms Achievement Stickers - OK, so I may be completely biased here (I designed these bad boys) but these make a super cute stocking filler for any mama needing a boost. Also Punky Moms has a shop stuffed full of amazing products, I am eyeing up the Girl Gang Sweater so hard right now.

3. BloodyNoraPam Too Tired Sweatshirt - I am sure there are plenty of parents who feel this sentiment, they also do a super cute pin too.

4. Mere Soeur Frida Nipple Pin - I am loving the new products from Mere Soeur, perfect for those breastfeeding mamas in your life. Although they do have a lot of non breastfeeding related products too, worth checking out.

5. W&F Paracord Bracelet - I am a big fan of my W&F mama bracelet, although I am dying to get one of these paracord versions, a bit more durable and long lasting. (currently sold out)

6. Lucky Little Penny Lunar Bracelet - I love these little personalized bracelets, they also make keyrings and other personalised bits and bobs.

Foodie Gifts.

Coffee is a HUGE part of my life, although I get not everyone is as into it but something a bit fancy or an indulgence of her favourite food/drink would be good. Maybe she loves cooking new and unusual things, or indulging in some sweet treat once the kids are in bed (some things are not made for sharing)

1. Ouseburn Coffee Co This is a fantastic coffee company that is local to me and make the most wonderfully rich and delicious coffee. Check them out for the coffee lovers in your life.

2. Floral Frosting Bakery Macarons - A wonderful mama run business selling the cutest little macarons in an array of wonderful flavours. Not only are they adorable to look at, but they are also VEGAN and Gluten Free!

3. A Kind Mama Vegan Mixed Treat Box Who wouldn't love a box full of homemade vegan goodies delivered to their door? These treats are seriously made with love and would make the perfect gift for mamas with a sweet tooth.

4. Spicery Spice Box For those who love cooking and trying new things, this is the perfect gift. As an added bonus you'll probably get the sample the outcome, so win-win.

A subscription - the gift that keeps on giving all year round.

1. Embellish Box - for the crafty mamas in your life, this is a new subscription box all about paper cutting.

2. Silly Panda CSP Subscription Box - For the eco warrior mama in your life. (CSP stands for Cloth Sanitary Protection)

3. Pin club - for the pin addict mama in your life

4. Pandora's Box - For the wonderful weirdo mama in your life - this one isn't a subscription but a one off curiosity grab bag of mystery and wonder!

5. Fourth Tri Mag - A wonderful independent mama ran magazine - they are not currently offering subscriptions but you can pre-order the 3rd issue now!

A bit of me time/pampering.

I am sure every mama out there would be grateful of a little more time to unwind, pamper and indulge in a little self care. I don't have any links for this one as it is a fairly easy one to achieve. For me personally I would love a couple of hours in the house alone with a bag full of lush products and a good book. For others it might be half a day shopping solo, or a trip to a day spa. Don't under-estimate the power of a little time to yourself - so make plans to give the gift of time this Christmas.

What is on your Christmas list this year?

Monday, 10 October 2016

Meal Planning Monday - 10th October

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A delicious roasted cauliflower frittata I made last week

I have been following weight watchers for 1 weeks now, and its been just over 3 weeks since I weighed myself and decided to start eating better. In those 3 weeks I have lost 13lbs - which I am pretty chuffed with. It feels good to be in control again but still eat the things that I enjoy, and include the occasional treat.

With Christmas fast approaching, as well as Zoe's second birthday I am in full on frugal mode - So we are trying to cut costs where possible. So, lots of leftovers and less eating out.

Monday
Breakfast: Porridge with skimmed milk and banana
Lunch: tin of Soup
Dinner: Chicken Risotto

Tuesday
Breakfast: Coffee and fruit
Lunch: Left over risotto
Dinner: Tuna Pasta Bake

Wednesday
Breakfast: Porridge with skimmed milk and banana
Lunch: leftover pasta bake
Dinner: Salmon egg fried rice

Thursday
Breakfast: Coffee & fruit
Lunch: leftover fried rice
Dinner: Bangers and mash (need to work out the sp in the sausages)

Friday
Breakfast: Porridge with skimmed milk and banana
Lunch: Not sure what our plans are - possibly a picnic when out and about.
Dinner: Homemade Cottage Pie with turnip and carrot

Thursday, 6 October 2016

A Wild Rumpus Rave at Alnwick Playhouse.

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When it comes to toddler activities, it is rare to find something that parents enjoy as much as the toddler (if not more), which is why I am absolutely in love with what Chalk are doing in the North East right now. Baby raves and themed events which are reasonably priced and SUPER FUN! I have been to a few of their events now from a Bowie themed space rave to a 1950s back to the future inspired under the sea dance; complete with a live band. These are not your average kid events and it is rare to find things that the entire family will enjoy.

The most recent event was in partnership with Alnwick Playhouse, which is a fantastic venue. The Playhouse has a fantastic arts programme for families with children under 10 called Creative Cocoon. They run all sorts of events and groups for families including regular creative toddler groups, art workshops based around childrens books and interactive performances and seasonal events (the Christmas events look amazing! Dr Seuss Winter Wonderland anyone?) The events they run are so welcoming and inclusive, with a slightly different approach to most regular baby & toddler groups. I wish I lived a bit closer as they'd never be rid of me!

We went along for a full day, which started with crafting outlandish outfits, creating masks and unleashing our inner Wild Things! There was storytelling, music making and wonderment. which culminated in us cracking out our picnic lunch to watch the rumpus unfold with a screening of Where The Wild Things Are. Zoe loved the crafts and colouring in the giant colouring wall, although getting her to sit for a movie was a challenge, so we ducked out into the wonderful Alnwick Playhouse Cafe for a coffee and delicious homemade scone (smoked cheese and roasted vegetable, incredible).

The afternoon session was a Wild Rumpus themed rave. We Stomped, danced and drummed along to the live DJ featuring music from the film (Karen O and The Kids). There was also bubble machine, hula hooping, inflatables and projections. It was absolute bedlam but in the best possible way. Zoe danced her socks off and promptly fell asleep 40 minutes into the rave (thank goodness for slings). If you are local to the North East and fancy checking out future Chalk events, give them a like on facebook and subscribe to their events.

Here are a few photos of the day;

A bit different than your average toddler group or trip to the seventh circle of hell softplay. Have you been to any different or unusual kids events recently? I am always on the look out for new things to do.

Disclaimer: I was invited along to this event, however, all thoughts and views are my own

Babyfoote

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

A Lifestyle Change - Definitely not a diet.

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As I mentioned in my recent Life Lately blog post, we've had a fairly hectic four months, with Paul working away and me working more it has been difficult to include a bit of self care in to daily life. I did so well through pregnancy and Zoe's first year to lose a fair amount of weight, I was comfortably in a size 16 and felt pretty damn good about it. Then the complacency set in, I started being lazy, I stopped exercising and my weight has started to creep back up. I can no longer button my size 16 jeans and I am feeling pretty crumby about it, if I am honest.

We've had a bit of a wake up call health wise recently and have decided as a family that we need to make a change, we need to change our lifestyle a little. Move more, eat less and just enjoy food again. With this in mind I decided to join Weight Watchers. I know a lot of people associate it with a fad diet but for me it is actually a really healthy way of regaining some control and to know how much I should be eating. I will be posting about my food and progress over on instagram as well as incorporating it into my meal plans. I will try not to be a complete diet bore, but I feel like it is important for us as a family to be healthier.

I will also be taking up running again, which I am actually really excited about. I'm also digging out my Fitbit to try and just increase my activity daily and we have lots of family activities planned at weekends. I am really feeling positive about this right now, so I am hopeful we can make some real changes to our lifestyle; less sitting in front of the telly, more stomping around the countryside.

So, wish me luck! If you are also aiming to get healthy feel free to follow me on Instagram or Facebook and we can do it together! The picture above is me on day one, so watch this space for progress.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Zoe - 21 Month Update

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Well, this started as an 18 month update, but once again life just got in the way. I suppose it is actually a good introduction to this update, as life with a toddler is pretty intense!

Zoe is now 21 months old, and is a force to be reckoned with. She is developing her own tastes and preferences and learning how to verbalize them - often! Although just to keep us on our toes these tastes can change at a moments notice, depending on her mood or the wind direction that day.

I haven't actually had Zoe weighed in about 10 months, so I have no clue, I can only assume she weighs about 200lbs based on the sheer amount of food she consumes - there is no filling this child. She will wake up in the morning and immediately ask for a banana, its almost her first word upon opening her eyes. From there it is a near constant request for food interspersed with the odd bit of playing or napping. Thankfully the food she asks for is mostly healthy things like apples, raisins, yoghurt, rice cakes etc... She is an absolute fruit fiend and will walk over hot coals for some melon (I imagine, we don't actually have any hot coals)

Aside from the food, she is also a big fan of Duplo - moistly just tipping it out of the box and sprinkling it around the living room. She is getting the hang of building things but she mostly loves waiting for you to tidy it up, then tipping it back out again. She loved colouring too, colouring books, paper, the walls; she isn't picky.

Zoe is now a very confident walker/runner and prefers to do so completely independently. Hand holding is not cool, reigns are for suckers. She will only get into the buggy in exchange for biscuits and you can forget about slings (sobs).

Sleeping, thankfully Zoe is part sloth so is still a bloody amazing sleeper. I know, you probably hate me right now if you are a parent of a non-sleeping child but I can assure you there is no magic potion or method here, she just came this way. She moved into her big girl bed about 3 weeks ago and I was concerned she would become a nightmare to get to bed, but she loves it even more than her cot! She goes to bed at 7pm now, and wakes around 6am. She rarely wakes in the night, and if she does its just for a quick cuddle.

She is still having 1-2 naps a day, although it is more often just the one nap in the morning. This can be anywhere from 1-2 hours, she is less likely to sleep when out and about now though, so I have to factor this in to plans.

Her vocabulary is growing daily, and she is a little parrot who will repeat every damn word you say, so we have to be very careful not to let any naughty words slip out. We spend a lot of time spelling things out these days. Over the past week or so she has started stringing words together into little sentences and she loves to sing along to music. I was worried for a while that her speech was a little bit behind her friends of a similar age, but she is definitely catching up now. She is very curious and you can tell she is listening and taking everything in.

All in all, I couldn't be any prouder of my little firecracker. She surprises me every day and is an absolute hoot to hang out with and while I miss those baby days of watching what I like on TV and drinking coffee with other Mums while our immobile babies stay right where you left them... I am loving this stage as I am starting to get a glimpse of the person she is becoming.

Friday, 5 August 2016

5 Years - A Mexican lunch to remember.

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As mentioned in my last post, life sort of got away with me for a variety of reasons, one of the main ones was the anniversary of my Mum's death. This year; 5 years, hit me hard and I wanted nothing more than to bury myself in the sand completely and in an online sense that is what I did. I focused on myself and my family and chose to be kind to myself and step back. Although I firmly believe this was the best thing to do for myself, I did have some posts half written and blog commitments I flaked on, which is not cool (sorry guys).

So, I am getting myself back to normality but sharing some recent restaurants I visited and reviewed. The first of which was Chiquitos in the Metro Centre. Chiquitos is actually a big favourite of mine. It may not historically be the fanciest or most authentic Mexican restaurant in the world but I actually love that about it. It is somewhere I visited a lot as a kid and was always our first choice when visiting the Metro Centre. There has been a huge regeneration of the food offerings in the Metro Centre this year, with the yellow food zone tripling in size and some big food names setting up shop. Chiquitos has moved to this new food hub, and opened a beautiful new restaurant.

While it is shiny and new, with great decor, it had kept the things that made Chiquitos great; quality food and fantastic service. We visited on a Saturday with my sister and Zoe and while it was busy, the layout of the restaurant meant you never felt on top of anyone else, and the staff ensured we had everything we needed, our waiter; Nico, was attentive and friendly, making the effort to speak to Zoe and even played some peekaboo with the menus. It is the little things like this that really make a difference for me when eating out. Eating out with a toddler can be a stressful experience but we felt completely comfortable and relaxed at Chiquitos.

I don't know if its the fact that I don't have a decent full length mirror at home, but I can never resist a sneaky loo-selfie.

Anyone who visited the old chiquitos will know what I am talking about when I mention toilets. The previous restaurant was a little lacking (to put it politely) in decent facilities. I can happily report that the new facilities are top notch; including the baby change.

Now down to business; the food. There is a new, slightly smaller (which isn't a bad thing) menu on offer, focusing on the things they do really well. I opted for the street style pulled pork burrito which came with tortilla chips and dips. My sister went for the Spiced Coconut Chicken which came with Mexican spiced rice, tortilla puffs and whipped feta & honey. The burrito is my absolute favourite, and while I order it a lot, I struggle to look past it on a menu as I know how good it is. The spiced chicken dish was a new addition to the menu, and didn't disappoint. It was filling and flavourful and the tortilla puff were a really interesting accompaniment that I'd never come across before.

Zoe ordered the tortilla pizza from the children's menu. The children's meal is £4.95 which includes main, side, dessert and a drink. We found this to be incredible good value. The tortilla pizza was HUGE and the vegetable side was well cooked (I often find in restaurants that if I order veggies they are microwaved or mushy, these were neither) we opted for the fruit shoot hydro and fruit and ice cream for dessert. The portions were extremely generous.

We also ordered some non alcoholic cocktails as a treat, we visited the restaurant the day after the anniversary of my Mum's death, so felt it was apt to give her a little toast. They were actually really nice and packed with fresh flavours. I often feel disappointed with virgin cocktails (as what is the point, am I right?) but my mock-jito (see what they did there?) and my sister's Virgin Colada were so damn good, you really didn't miss the booze.

All in all, we felt that the new restaurant was modern and in keeping with the new food hub, while keeping all of the charm we loved about the old. We will definitely be visiting again.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Meal Planning "Monday" - 3rd August.

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With all of the changes to our routine recently, meal planning has fallen by the wayside a little. With only really cooking for myself 4 days a week I have fallen a little out of love with cooking. By the time I get Zoe to sleep it is normally after 7pm and cooking something extravagant is the last thing on my mind. I end up relying on frozen pizza or pasta and pesto, or lately take-away. It is less than ideal and I am not happy. I want to fall in love with cooking again, I want to look forward to meals and focus a little on my health. It is not so much about my waistline, more how I feel. I am sluggish and bloated all the time, and eating out of boredom and for the sake of it.

I am totally over this, and want to change. I know I probably say this a lot but I am not going to go into diet mode anymore, I am not following any plan, I am setting myself small goals to hopefully change the way I operate for good. Deprivation or strict rules do not work for me long term, I need to focus on what I love about food, and love myself a little more.

So, my goals for this week;

1. Drink more water (2 litres a day)

2. Drink less caffeine - I do love a good coffee, but I am spending too much money and feel like I could cut down on this and have them as a treat rather than a daily habit.

3. Cook 1 new recipe - start small and plan one new dish that excites me.

4. Scale back on snacks - I am not anti-snack, but I need to make healthier choices and not eat out of boredom or loneliness in the evenings.

5. Do more - Sitting watching Gilmore Girls is fun, sure, but I need to get up and move, keep up with housework, do yoga, anything, just move!

So there we go 5 weekly goals, hopefully I can form some new healthier habits, I'll update next meal plan to see how it goes.

Without further ado, onto the meal plan. This is a bit of a weird week as Paul and Zoe are off, while I am at work, so meals will be factoring them in this week.

Monday
Breakfast: Skinny Latte and banana
Lunch: Chicken and Veg soup with brown bread
Dinner: Tuna pasta bake with added roasted veg for me.
Snacks: Rice cakes and hummus, plums.

Tuesday
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Chicken and Veg soup with brown bread
Dinner: King Prawn pesto spaghetti
Snacks: Apple and yoghurt

Wednesday
Breakfast: Boiled egg and toast
Lunch: Baked sweet potato with hummus and salad.
Dinner: Salmon egg fried rice
Snacks: Rice cakes and hummus, apple

Thursday
Breakfast: porridge with banana and honey
Lunch: Baked sweet potato with hummus and salad.
Dinner: Weeknight roast chicken with mash potato and vegetables.
Snacks: Snack a jacks, plums

Friday
Breakfast: cereal and coffee
Lunch: Toasties with dippy veg sticks.
Dinner: Lasagne or spag bol.

What's on the menu for you this week?

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Life Lately - July 2016

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Well, that was an unexpected little blog hiatus.

I was just getting back into a good blogging groove and BAM! Life just got in the way. The end of May is a particularly tough time for me as it is the anniversary of my Mums death. I tend to bury my head in the sand and avoid things, which may not be the healthiest way to deal; I find it works for me. I just needed to turn off and focus on me for a while, and while this blog is something I love doing, I needed to clear my head and step back.

Then at the start of June we found out that Paul was going to be working away for the next 4 months! Just through the week, coming home for weekends. While it is part of his job, we weren't quite expecting it and for such a long period. So it has been an intense transition, and means that my days are incredibly long and tiring, so by the time I get Zoe to bed at 7pm the last thing I want to do is turn on my laptop.

All of this was incredibly bad timing, as I do have some outstanding blog work still to do... So look out for a couple of foodie posts coming in the new few weeks.

I'd love to hear what you guys have been up to, I have missed my little corner of the internet recently.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Meal Planning Monday - 23rd May

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Last week actually went really well Monday-Thursday, I stuck to the plan and ate healthily, I even did some exercise. Lets not talk about Friday though, lots of eating out and finished off with a dominoes. Whoops.

I'm not going to let that spoil my momentum though, I am feeling good about eating well and want to try and do a bit more in the exercise department. I'm not going to be able to go out running much for various reasons I won't go into here, so if anyone has any home workout tips/DVDs/Youtube things to share, please do.

So without further ado...

Monday


Breakfast - Porridge with honey and banana
Lunch - Carrot and coriander soup with seeded bread
Dinner - I am going out for dinner and drinks with the girls, I am really excited to try out the menu at Jamie's Italian.

Tuesday


Breakfast - Toast with fruit
Lunch - Soup and salad, I got some of those big tubs of fresh soup
Dinner - Prawn pesto pasta

Wednesday


Breakfast - Porridge with fruit
Lunch - Leftover pasta
Dinner - Sausages with jacket potatoes and salad - we really enjoyed this last week (pictured).

Thursday


Breakfast - Porridge with banana
Lunch - Soup and seeded bread
Dinner - Chicken and sweet potato curry

Friday


Breakfast - Pancakes or drop scones
Lunch - Not sure what our plans are, if we are going out or not, so will play it by ear.
Dinner - Lasagne with garlic bread

What's everyone else got planned?

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

St Mary's Inn - Afternoon Tea with a Toddler

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I briefly mentioned on my Sunday Moment post about our recent trip to the lovely St Mary's Inn in Stannington, near Morpeth. For the past eight months my lovely sister has been working incredibly long hours 4 days a week to take a Wednesday off each week to look after Zoe, which has saved us around £200 a month! On top of the financial benefits it has been lovely to see the bond growing between them, and Zoe loves the time they spend together. Happily, my sister got a much deserved promotion, and could no longer have a mid-week day off, so to celebrate/commiserate we headed out for a spot of Afternoon Tea.

We have actually been to St Marys Inn for afternoon tea before, when Zoe was a teeny newborn. So this felt like a good bookend for this baby chapter, and also Zoe got to actually participate this time!

We arrived a little early for our booking, but Zoe was fast asleep so we had to do the stereotypical parent thing of sitting in the carpark waiting for the baby to wake-up. Had we been on time I may have tried to wake her, but I was conscious of her being cranky and disturbing other diners. Thankfully she woke up on her own just before 2pm and was in a great mood.

We were shown to a table in the conservatory, which was lovely and bright on a sunny day. I absolutely loved the wallpaper, it created a great backdrop for selfies. Although sadly the wifi didn't work in the conservatory, so I had to keep popping into the bar area to tweet/snapchat - although I only did that once.

They had a highchair waiting for us and provided a fab colouring sheet and pencils to keep Zoe happy. The colouring sheet had a picture of St Marys Inn on it, which was a lovely touch.

The service was great, one of my biggest pet peeves in a restaurant is over eager waiting staff, there is nothing worse than constantly being asked if everything is OK or having someone swoop in the second the final crumb passes your lip. The staff were attentive but also gave you time to enjoy.

We ordered the Afternoon Tea for two, with a pot of early grey and english breakfast. Zoe had already had her lunch before we arrived so she had a bit of ours.

The tea was OK, it was loose leaf, the first cup was delicious but with the leaves sitting in the pot it did become very strong by the second cup. Although to be honest I am a coffee girl at heart, so the tea wasn't the most important part for me. If I was to go back I might take the leaf filter out of the pot to stop it over stewing.

My sister loved her earl grey though, it was fragrant with a lovely slice of fresh lemon.

We started on the bottom tier with the savoury. There was cheese, fruit and plain scones, they were small but perfectly formed. I have had afternoon teas before where the scones were HUGE and you only got one, I think I prefer these little ones with more variety. I had the cheese slathered in lovely salty butter, the plain with butter and jam, and then the fruit with jam and clotted cream.

The sandwiches, which they were more than happy to make without butter for my fussy sister, were lovely and delicate. The beef and horseradish were my favourite, they packed a punch! Zoe loved the ham and pease pudding, and my sister went for the egg mayonnaise.

We did enjoy the savoury, but to be honest we were all pretty focused on the top tier, and all of those yummy cakes! Zoe just kept pointing to the cake as if to say "why are we wasting tummy room on these sandwiches when there is chocolate up there?"

We were not disappointed, we each had our own favourites; my sister loved the sharp freshness of the rhubarb sundae, Zoe loved the cream cheese frosting on the lemon sponge, and I was all about the chocolate brownie.

It was so much more than just a bog standard chocolate brownie, it had two different types of mousse in surrounded by a thin layer of chocolate ganache. I am not ashamed to say I ate them both! The macarons were huge! It is not easy to eat a macaron of this size delicately, I bit into one and sprayed flakey bits of almond shell all over the table... Luckily non of our fellow diners noticed, and Zoe was more than happy to polish off the crumbs.

We also spotted a great specials menu, and have promised to go back for lunch really soon. I love how focused they are on fresh local and seasonal produce.

The restaurant serves Afternoon Tea all day, and they are family and dog friendly. A lot of places I would feel a bit embarrassed taking a toddler, but the staff were so lovely, we felt really welcome and I was comfortable letting Zoe have a bit of an explore. They also have a great selection of cakes and serve lovely coffee, would be a lovely place to meet up for a relaxing cuppa with friends if you didn't want a formal afternoon tea.

The afternoon tea can also be made gluten free or vegan, as long as you pre-book.

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our time at St Marys Inn, and had Zoe not been getting a little impatient and cranky we would have happily got some more tea and chatted the afternoon away. Huge thank you to St Marys Inn for inviting us along, we will be back!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Meal Planning Monday - 16th May

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I am loving avocado and siracha at the moment

I am feeling very summery right now, and heavily craving light, healthy meals. I have really been enjoying making quick baked eggs/frittata using up veggies from the fridge. My current addiction is siracha chilli sauce, which I have been adding to everything! I have also been trying to save money (as always) and be more organised and planning my work lunches too. From today I will be working 4 days a week, as opposed to the 2.5 I have been doing, so it is even more important that I am organised. So you may notice some added detail to the meal plan.

I was also asked on instagram to do a post about meal planning for a toddler/baby. Which I am totally planning on doing, but not here. So look out for that separately.

So without further ado...

Monday

Breakfast: Porridge with banana and honey
Lunch: I usually go to M&S on a monday morning to pick up milk, a little loaf of bread and some banans for the week, so will pick up something for lunch (they sometimes have reduced count on us ready meals)
Dinner: Prawn pesto pasta - still enjoying this one.

Tuesday

Breakfast: Porridge with banana and honey
Lunch: Leftover prawn pesto pasta
Dinner: Caramelised onion sausages with new potatoes and salad.

Wednesday

Breakfast: coffee and fruit
Lunch: egg and avocado salad
Dinner: Slow cooker spag bol - with working more, the slow cooker is really helpful.

Thursday

Breakfast: coffee and seeded toast
Lunch: leftover spag bol with a baked sweet potato.
Dinner: Pork egg fried rice - the same as the salmon one, but with diced pork.

Friday

Breakfast: Drop scones and fresh fruit - I am home with Zoe today, so fancy something treat-y.
Lunch: hummus with dippers - if you follow me on instagram you know this is our current favourite. I cut up lots of veg and pitta and we dip into hummus.
Dinner: Homemade pizzas - using up any leftover veggies and sandwich meat (ham).

Hope everyone has a great week and wish me luck in my new longer working week, no doubt by Friday I will be exhausted. I know most of you probably work full time and have zero sympathy, its just an adjustment. lol

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Sunday Moment 15th May

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1. Last Wednesday was the final Wednesday my sister was having Zoe before she starts her new job properly, and Zoe starts her new childminder. We have been incredibly fortunate that my lovely sister was able to condense her hours to look after Zoe for us one day a week. We will be eternally grateful for the last 8 months, not only the small fortune it saved us, but also the wonderful bond that Zoe and her Auntie now have. To say thank you we went for afternoon tea at St Mary's Inn near Morpeth, it was such a lovely day and I am so glad I was able to say a proper thank you; with cake.

2. I have been running again! My running buddy has been on holiday but I still managed to head out a couple of times. I still need to work on consistency but I definitely feel myself improving slowly. I am thinking of adding a couple of other workouts, I've found some youtube videos which look doable, so watch out for that! (you should follow me on snapchat, nellyscupcakes, if you want to see snippets of my sweaty face lol)

3. WAAHHHH! My trusty and very much over worked stick blender/processor broke! I use it all the time for chopping onions and making hummus and other sauce/dips. I am a little bit devastated if I am honest, as we are loving homemade roasted garlic hummus at the moment. So I am currently doing some research on small processors vs larger models and what would work best for me, recommendations loved.

4. As well as the aforementioned exercise, I have been trying to eat better. I am keeping track of things using My Fitness Pal (nellyscupcakes, follow me!) and so far so good. I am only about a week in but I am feeling determined and keen to get back into my size 16 jeans.

5. Everyone enjoying the sunny weather?! Last weekend we took a trip to Rising Sun Country Park, which isn't far from us and loved running around, visiting the farm and eating Lemon shortbread squares in the sunshine. Despite slathering on the sun cream I managed to miss a perfect circle on my back, which has resulted in sunburn. Made me feel less bad for keeping Zoe covered up when other babies were running around in nappies.

6. I am a huge lover of instagram, its my favourite social media platform (although snapchat is climbing the list) and this month I have been taking part in the Tattooed Tea Lady photo challenge (#ttlmaymamachallenge) and I've really enjoyed it! It is up to day 15 and I have yet to miss a day, unheard of for me. If you too are an instagram lover, you should check it out, I have found some great new accounts to follow through it.

Did everyone have a good week?

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