#JanuaryJoy – Re Evaluate

I have really enjoyed #JanuaryJoy on Florence Finds this month, even though I haven’t taken part in all of the posts (well, I’ve blogged about less than I actually took part in).

I’m starting my first Zumba class with my lovely friend on Tuesday and I am really nervous BUT you gotta get outside of your comfort zone sometimes its good for you! and this weight isn’t gonna fall off quick enough for me 😉

I’m not going to lie January has been a looooooooooooong old month, not helped by having two very poorly babies and husband (I also took a hit aswell) and a budget tighter than Kylie’s gold hotpants…but the light is at the end of the tunnel. Yaye.

I am going to keep up up with the veggie option once a week for a healthy wallet and a healthy body, plus i think it’s important for Bean (and Bites when she gets to that stage) to enjoy her veggies, which she does at the moment thankfully.

My favourite aspect of this has been following other bloggers links and falling down a late night link rabbit whole and discovering amazing new blogs, generally in the middle of the night when I am feeding Bites or trying to keep myself awake whilst she fusses about trying to get back to sleep.

It’s taught me to step back a bit and get over the material things sometimes and enjoy life for what it is, and that is, for now, being a Mum to my girls, a wife to my husband and the best me I can be.

I can’t see us having anymore children, financially its a no go and on a personal level I have two hands, one for each of them to hold.  I am so full of love for them and I know that each day your love for them grows and grows but I don’t think I have the capacity to love more than two – the guilt I feel now when I haven’t had the time to play properly with Bean because Bites has needed me all day or visa versa when Bean is being a cheeky monkey at naptime and poor little Bites is crying and geting more worked up every extra second I’m with Bean. And don’t even get me started on when they start school etc, surely it must be like pulling out your heart and just sending it off out into the world by itself?! So for now I am just going to concentrate on enjoying them becasue as that old cliche goes, they do grow up SO fast, unless of course they are having a day where nothing you do is right, those bad boys just keep on ticking by ever so slowly.

That and I couldn’t stop at 3 ‘coz its an odd number..!

From my pintrest

#JanuaryJoy – Monday Mani

So today’s #JanuaryJoy is Manicure (or pedicure!) and it’s one I won’t be participating in.

First and fore-mostly because I cannot stand the way nail varnish feels on my nails!! Is this just me, surely it can’t be?! I love nail varnish don’t get me wrong, seeing the latest colours and trends always intrigues me but I know they won’t be gracing my digits anytime soon.

Whether painted by me or a professional the stuff will not stay on my nails for long, infact I had a mani and pedi done professionally as a birthday treat once and I’d literally been ‘dry’ for seconds when I smudged a nail a mere hour or two later I had chipped another nail, base coat smashhhcoat makes no difference to the staying power when it comes to me. And since the offsprings arrival it stands even less of a chance what with the constant hand washing 😜

Shape. I have man hands! There’s no getting away from it, my nails ain’t exactly on the feminine side and painting the buggers a glossy hue just draws more attention to them and (to me anyway) high lights their bad shape.

However, some manage to keep the stuff on and have beautiful shaped nails on which they can display the trends be them classic and chic or high fashion and fabulous and I envy them sooooo much. But you can’t have everything right?! So this is one I can’t wait to peruse on other people’s blogs to see what they make of it!

Enjoy nail lovelies!

#JanuaryJoy – JanuaryJoy update

So, I made the resolutions and I’m glad I have written them down aswell as the whys, its nice to have a point of reference for when you’re in a slump.

Have a dry week/month…I’m breastfeeding and have been off booze for the best part of two years, there is no way I am giving up the odd glass of wine!!

Date wise…we haven’t planned any of our Alphabet Dates yet…kinda waiting for our latest addition to settle down a bit.

Crisp walk…if only it had been crisp instead of soggy! Sogginess does not lend itself well to walking with a mad boxer and two babes HOWEVER when it sorts itself out we will be heading on over to Virginia Waters, one of our favourite walks.

Skin care. I have addressed my skin care, or should I say lack there of! I was treated to some gorgeous new pampering items for Xmas and I have been putting them into practice. And with the bags I am currently packing I am on the look out for some eye cream recommendations (on a tight budget, natch!), the vaseline just isn’t cutting it anymore (ms Anniston has no kids, that’s why it works on her)

Listen to some new music…I’d like to listen to any music that isn’t me singing the wheels on the bus, or something of my own creation that entertains the bean no end!! I plan to go through Penny’s old posts on Florence Finds and get downloading. I’m also desperate to try Spotify as a way of getting some recommendations based on what I used to listen to! I love how music can transport you to a moment in time, and I’d love some new songs to evoke the memories I’m currently making as they are the best yet – being a Mum is everything and nothing like how I expected but all the same I am loving the ride.

Exercise class is going to be Zumba, I’m still trying to pluck up the courage to do it. I know I’m out of shape and I’m terrified to find out just how out of shape I am!!

#JanuaryJoy – Skin Care Overhaul

Boy did I need this one!!

I’ve never been a make up person, don’t get me wrong I do wear it on special occasions but not for everyday so thank god my lack of skin care up until now hasn’t caused major havoc. That said, this year I am on the hunt for some quick make up everyday basics to stop me looking like a sleep deprived tramp…its very disconcerting being the un put together Mummy who most definitely looks like she isn’t getting enough sleep. (I don’t actually feel tired most days, I think the past 6 months of averaging 5 hours sleep has made my body think its normal!!)

Anyway, I digress. I got some lovely treats for Xmas that are on their way to making me feel and hopefully look a lot better.

First stop – LUSH! I got a ‘Fizz-Tank’ with the Avo, Blackberry and Raspberry bombs in, having never tried one i was a bit sceptical but I am happy to say I am a convert! The Avo one was just immense, it turned the water a very tropical green and smelt amazing, and no I didn’t get out of the bath smelling like guacamole!! Northern Lights soap is now also a firm fave, it smells incredible, cleans my skin beautifully and looks so awesome. (I do need to find a soap dish tho as my bathroom sink is currently looking a bit radioactive!) I plan to fizz myself into oblivion once a week, to relax, chill and hopefully listen to some new tunes!!

Nightcream. Well I am cracking on a bit now and this wonder from the bodyshop not only smells great, but I can feel it making a difference. It’s lovely and thick and my skin just feels wonderful when I put it on and still feels great in the morning.
I use Olay 7 signs day cream and I love it so I’ll be carrying on with that! I’ve been using this on my stretch marks, despite moisturising like I did first time round I didn’t manage to avoid them however this really is making a difference as is this wonder product from kelcotethst I’ve started using on my section scar. It’s made an unbelievable difference already, it’s much smoother and less red in only a month.
I really think exfoliating once a week is great for your skin, helping to banish a dull and tired looking complexion so I’ll
be digging out the old faithful St Ives Scrub. In the morning I’m sticking to trusty a trusty hot cloth to wake my skin up and a big splash of cold water to revitalise and close those pores.

It’s just eyecream left to find, the ol’ vaseline just isn’t doing what it used to!!

Oh, I also got the most wonderful scented candles – Lavender & Geranium from Sainsburys of all places – the lavender is just right and they are so relaxing, just right for whiling a good half hour away in the bath!

And my last is actually a bit random but, you know how this time of year your lips get all dry and cracked from a combination of bad weather and central heating? Anyone who has have breastfed will know of this little beaut not only is it a life saver for cracked nipples it work wonders for dry lips! Slick a bit on at bedtime and wake up with a luscious pout come alarm time! Multitasking wonder product I tell you!!

all opinions are of course my own, I haven’t been told to say any of this and products were purchased by or for me and not from the brands themselves. That said, I really hope to use a few more products from The Bodyshop & LUSH! as I really like their company ethos & philosophy…and they smell good enough to eat, always a winner in my book 😀

#JanuaryJoy – Resolutions

A bit later than originally planned, but here they are:

  • Be Healthy.

Quite generic I guess, but I fell into a bit of a, ahem binge when I was pregnant – I had a sweet tooth and I couldn’t not indulge could I?! And I miss exercising, obviously with two gorgeous babes its going to be quite tricky. I’m going to rely on the 30 day shred hopefully in the morning before anyone wakes up, I’m also going to try Pilates again using a DVD one evening a week and for cardio…Zumba. Yes, cliché maybe but I don’t think running is on the board yet!

  • Blog more…

I miss blogging, I am hoping to be able to set aside two evenings a week to write my blog posts. Its something I enjoy doing so fingers crossed I manage it!

  • Do more as a couple.

Again, not particularly original but something we desperately need. As new parents anyone will know you kind of lose your sense of self, let alone find time to spend with your partner in crime that doesn’t involve sleeping! I saw this post about Alphabet Dating and knew it would help us stick to it, so I wrote my half out in a cheesy card and popped it into my mans stocking ready for Xmas morning. It will make us both remember to make time for each other but also use that time to do things, like we did before we became Mummy & Daddy!

  • Be more organised!

I’m a Mum, so that means loadsa shit to remember and absolutely no brain capacity left to remember it! So i have invested in one of these amazing Life Books to keep me on the straight and narrow. It really is great and although there are many bits I won’t currently use, as soon as the wee ones start school its going to be a life saver! For now though, the sections for a tear out shopping list, birthday pressie idea, MANY stickers to help you see at a glance what the week holds and a meal ideas space on each day not to mention the budgeting sections are helping me gradually get a grasp back onto my reality!

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.

I’m not a worrier, so that’s not what this is about.

It’s about realising that some of the small things I’ve let get the better of me in the past not get me down. Yes, the are important to me but they aren’t the be all and end all. I am a house proud person by nature, I like things to be clean, and tidy. A toddler and newish baby do not a tidy house make! Yes there are days when I manage to do the house work, keep up with the hugemongous amount of washing, get dinner on the go and get the tots bathed and ready for bedtime, but there are also days where I just about manage to feed the toddler whilst making sure the baby sleeps (on me, of course) and not fall over all the toys ALL OVER the house. And guess what? That’s ok too. Yet, I still beat myself up on those days and that is what I need to stop…I’m not super mum. yet, anyway!

To be honest, it won’t stop here, I hope to keep this list evolving as the year progresses.

Super Soup

After visiting my Brother in Law over Christmas we left with more than a few squashes he still had left from a prolific season of his allotment this summer…6 acorn squash, a giant pumpkin and by far the most random a turban squash. Yep, your read that right!

I had only one thing in mind when I saw this beauty – Spiced Squash Soup. Awwwww yeh.

Ridiculously easy aswell.

Pre heat oven to 180, place squash whole in the oven and let that bad boy roast, should take about an hour. This works for most squash you are likely to encounter, and I find it really enhances their natural sweetness, so if you (unsurprisingly) don’t have a turban squash lying about use what you have on hand.
Let it cool, I left mine for a good few hours, removed the top and scooped out the innards into a bowl which I left in the fridge over night. (Again, not a necessary step if you don’t have two babas stealing your time!)

Chop a red onion and allow it to soften on a gentle heat in your largest cassorole / pot, just as it starts to soften NOT colour, add in a heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds and one of smoked paprika, stir until it smells delicious. Add in the crescents of sweet potato and let it cook for 5 mins or so, then add 2.5 pints of vegetable stock and 2 bay leaves and a good pinch of ground pepper. Put the lid on and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes so the potatoes cook and soften. Pop in the flesh you scooped for your stock along with a can of whole or chopped tomatoes and let it Simms for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Finally, blitz, add in a can of chickpeas and serve with a swirl of natural yogurt.

Yum yum. Approved by me and my 19 month old Bean!