Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Struggling With My Postpartum Body

 

If you bounced back like Heidi Klum, then please move right along & more power to you- this ain't for you. 

I'm just a Mum who took a good, long hard look at the mirror today & what stared back was a big fat mess! Don't go there with me about 'Oh don't be so hard on yourself, you've had a baby' or 'Keep positive' bullshit! I get enough of that from Dr.Know It All & I also know better- so please don't go there! 

 

Yes of course I am proud of the fact that this body under went an extraordinary journey & I'm a proud Mummy to 3 gorgeous, healthy & happy children, but my goodness! You would think the guy upstairs would give me a break & help move things along? YES I KNOW IT TOOK 9 months to get here & Yes realistically it should take at least a year if not abit more to get things back to some type of normalcy, but I have to say this:- I HATE MY BODY!

Why?

It's not enough that my bat wings could carry me over the Atlantic, the flabby skin & fat that hangs over my belly reminds me of cobwebs on a haunted house! If I lived in the era of Noah & the floods, it would be good enough to set me afloat & all of my beloved family. 

 

Will this 'thing' formally known as my belly ever look normal? Was I supermodel size zero? Absolutely Not! & no I have no desire to get there. I just stood in the mirror & took a long hard look & Holy Moly! There was a lot going on! Did I ever mention that I'm seriously considering applying for a job at my local zoo to be the new resident Zebra?! I might aswell with all the stripes I have going on from head to toe aka, strechmarks! 

 

Anyway, I will spare you all the details of what else was hanging, floating, jigglzing & waddling! I will continue to eat sensibly, work out as often as I can & just keep being the best Mum & Partner I can be. 

But today, I just need to sit back & scream...

'I HATE MY POST PREGNANCY BODY!'

The End. 

 
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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Recipe- Garlic, Lemon & Parsley Chicken Goujons (Slimming World Friendly)

 

Being a Mum to 3 children (4 if you include MR.B as he is a big kid himself haha!) Providing meals that are suited to everyone in the house can sometimes be a challenge. 

I'm very fortunate that as a family we all enjoy eating fresh veggies, salads & fruits. But sometimes as children they do request a more simple tea, like nuggets & chips. And if I'm honest I do secretly like the kiddie meals aswell. 

This is where recipes like these Garlic, Lemon & Parsely Chicken Goujons come in handy! We can still all eat healthier without the children even noticing the difference. Plus it tastes so much nicer than the processed stuff you buy in
 the supermarkets. 

Like all the recipes i post, it's quick & simple to make. With just 10 minutes preparation time & 25-30 minutes cooking time. 

 

Ingredients- Serves 
  • 4x Chicken Breasts, cut into strips
  • 6x Slices (use more if needed) Wholemeal Bread, processed to breadcrumbs
  • 3x Medium Eggs
  • 3x Tsp Garlic Granules
  • 2x Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4x Tsp Mustard Powder 
  • 1x Small Handful Fresh Parsely, finely chopped
  • Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste 
  • Frylight
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees, line 2 large baking trays with greaseproof paper & spray with frylight. 
  2. Break the bread into small pieces, whizz in a food processor until you have done breadcrumbs, turn into a large plate/bowl. 
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together with the garlic granules, lemon juice, mustard powder, parsley, salt & pepper. 
  4. Dip each chicken piece into the egg mixture until coated, then lightly roll into the breadcrumbs to coat, then place them in a single layer on to the lined baking tray. Lightly spray with frylight.
  5. Place the trays of chicken into the middle of the oven & bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through & golden brown. 
I served mine with Slimming World Salt & Pepper Chunky Chips & a side of Baby Leaf Salad. (The little ones loved it with Spaghetti Hoops!) 

 
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Monday, 24 April 2017

Recipe- Cheesy Ham & Broccoli Pasta

 

If your looking for a meal that satisfys your comfort food cravings than this is the recipe for you! It's a cheap & simple creamy pasta dish with chunks of ham & crunchy veg. 

What with it being the first day back at school for the children & having a week off from cooking whilst we were on holiday, I wanted to get a healthy meal into all of us (there wasn't much of that happening on holiday! Sshh!) But I was also in a 'I can't be bothered' kinda mood. So this was the perfect meal to turn to as it's super quick & easy to make & a meal that is loved by all. 

With just 10 minutes prep time & 20 minutes cooking time, you really can't go wrong. 

Ingredients- Serves 4
  • 300g Fusilli Pasta
  • 1x Head of Broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1x Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 3x Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 250g Ham, cut into chunks 
  • 300ml Pot Double Cream
  • 1x Tbsp English Mustard
  • 140g Mature Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1x Tbsp Olive Oil
Method
  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil & cook the pasta following packet instructions, adding the broccoli florets to the pan for the final 5 minutes. Drain & set aside. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet on a medium-high heat & cook the onions until soften (about 5 mins) then stir in the garlic & cook for a further minute.
  3. Stir in the ham, cream & mustard, then bring to the boil. 
  4. Add the pasta & broccoli to the skillet along with the cheese, coating everything with the sauce. 
  5. Then serve straight out of the pan. 
See, how simple is that? Definitely a meal that I'll be going back to again & again as it was utterly delicious. 

 
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Our Break Away To Devon

 

Last Monday, MR.B & I loaded up our car with luggage & squeezed 3 little people in & set off to Paignton in Devon. Even though it was only a 1hr 45min drive away, it was far from a quiet drive.
 Even with the children all going to the toilet before we left, we still needed to stop to change a baby poo explosion, needing to stop again for Gracie-Mae who was so desperate for a wee even though she had one half an hour beforehand & 'Are we there yet' started after 20 minutes of being on the road, right up until we got to the park! 

 

We stayed in a caravan at Waterside Holiday Park which was down the road from quite a few Beautiful beaches, situated in the park itself was part of the rail track for the Dartmouth Steam Train. It really was the perfect stay for our short break away.
 
 
 
We are now back at home safe & sound, back to reality of Work & School Life, back to just general shitty housekeeping YAY! I would LOVE to tell you that I enjoyed every single minute of our break away, but I would obviously be completely & utterly lying. But there was something about being away that just felt great! It was different, far from our usual day to day activities. 

 

Was it easy & relaxing? Definitely NOT! But somehow it seemed far easier than being at home. I would love to say I didn't lose my shit, not even once, but again of course I would be lying, but being away I somehow felt more positive about all the shit, I was far more laid back & just embraced the meltdowns of a teething baby & the squabbles of two overtired children at the end of the day.
 It's so easy to sugar coat life through happy, smiley pictures & to show what an absolutely fabulous time we are all having, but some moments of the days it was far from it. 

 
 

But I had more patience & found that I swore 'For Fuck Sake' under my breath a lot less. Was it worth it? Absolutely! We spent some quality time as a family, explored so many beautiful places & enjoyed different days out. And I've come home feeling bloody fantastic, (slightly frazzled) but fantastic. I can't wait to embark on our next adventure.
 

 


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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Recipe- Creme Egg Rocky Road

 

This Creme Egg Rocky Road recipe is really easy to make but super impressive looking, right on seasonal baking trend, it can be made in advance & no need for anything fancy schmancy.

Creme eggs are my absolute favourite! This is probably why I fall off the healthy band wagon every Easter as I simply can not control myself. It's quite embarrassing really! 

This is a no bake recipe so its perfect to get your little ones (if you have any) to join in & help. My 2 eldest smalls love baking & cooking 'helping' Mummy. 

Ingredients- Makes 12 Slices
  • 150g Unsalted Butter
  • 250g Dark Chocolate, broken in pieces
  • 150g Milk Chocolate, broken in pieces 
  • 150g White Chocolate, broken in pieces 
  • 4x Tbsps Golden Syrup 
  • 180g Mini Creme Eggs, unwrapped
  • 180g Mini Marshmallows 
  • 150g Digestive Biscuits, crushed into chunks
  • 8x Full Sized Creme Eggs, unwrapped & halved
  • Yellow Gel Food Colouring
 

Method
  1. Melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat.
  2. When it's about half melted, add the dark chocolate, milk chocolate & golden syrup, still on a low heat continue to melt it all. Stir until it's thick & well combined. 
  3. Remove from the heat & set aside for 10 minutes until it's cooled slightly.
  4. Once cooled slightly, add the mini creme eggs, marshmallows & digestive biscuits, stir until everything is well coated. 
  5. Line a baking tin with baking paper & press the mixture firmly in.
  6. Meanwhile melt the white chocolate in a bowl over steaming water keep the it on a low heat. 
  7. Take half of the melted chocolate & pour into a separate small bowl, using the gel food colouring add a tiny small amount at a time to the chocolate until it turns a deep yellow. 
  8. Drizzle the white chocolate & coloured white chocolate over the rocky road, press your halved creme eggs firmly into the chocolate.
  9. Allow to set in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.
  10. Once set, turn out of the tin & cut into pieced chunks. 
 
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Recipe- Baked Eggs with Spinach, Tomatoes & Garlic

 

I absolutely HATE wasting food. It's probably one of my biggest pet peeves, especially when certain people chuck perfectly good food in the bin! *ahem* MR.B! 

I had a lot of ingredients let over from last nights dinner Tomato Spinach Chicken Spaghetti. So I decided to make myself a gourmet style breakfast.
It was delicious! The perfect breakfast to fuel your body & start off your day.

Super quick & easy to make aswell, with just 3 minutes prep time & about 15 minutes cooking time. You can get a decent, healthy breakfast in you without spending too much time in the kitchen, because let's face it, who has time in the mornings? Certainly not me. 

Ingredients- Serves 4
  • 2x Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2x Garlic Cloves, crushed 
  • 10oz Fresh Spinach
  • 4x Roma Tomatoes, diced quarterly
  • 1/2x Red Onion, minced 
  • 4x Eggs
  • Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • Paprika, to garnish
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet & sauté the garlic for about a minute before adding the spinach. Toss the spinach round for about a minute then add the tomatoes. Toss together then add the onion. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Place the cooked ingredients into an ovenproof dish, create wells for the eggs. Crack one egg into each hole. 
  4. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Or until the eggs have turned white.
  5. Once cooked, sprinkle with salt & pepper then garnish with paprika. 
 
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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Recipe- Tomato Spinach Chicken Spaghetti

 

Tomato Basil & Spinach Chicken Spaghetti – healthy, light, Mediterranean style dinner, packed with vegetables, protein and good oils. Delicious comfort food!

 What makes this pasta very special is that in addition to fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, and spinach, I also used sun-dried tomatoes and red pepper flakes to add lots of flavor!  Once the dish is completely cooked, I highly recommend that you add 3 tablespoons of high quality olive oil to stir into the final dish, off heat. It’s so tasty and so good for you!

This dish takes 10 minutes prep time & 30 minutes cooking time, a perfect quick midweek meal for all the family to enjoy. 

Ingredients- Serves 4
  • 3x Chicken Fillets, cubed 
  • 3x Garlic Cloves, crushed & chopped
  • 4x Large Roma Tomatoes, chopped into quarters
  • 1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes, drained & chopped
  • Red Pepper Flakes, A good pinch (or 2)
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
  • 8oz Fresh Spinach
  • 6oz Spaghetti 
  • 2x Tbsps Olive Oil, drained from the Sundried Tomatoes
  • Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 3x Tbsps Olive Oil, high quality 
Method
  1. Heat a skillet on a medium-low heat, add the 2 tbsps of oil drained from the sundried tomatoes, heat till hot then add the sundried tomatoes, chicken, red pepper flakes & salt. Turn the heat up to medium & cook until the chicken has cooked through. About 5 minutes. 
  2. Once chicken has cooked through, add the tomatoes, basil, spinach & garlic, cook for about 3-5 minutes until the spinach wilts just a little & the tomatoes release their juices. Remove from heat & cover with a lid. Keep off heat. 
  3. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, once cooked drain then add the spaghetti to the skillet with the chicken & vegetables. Reheat on a low heat, mix everything in well & salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat. 
  4. At this point, when the pasta & veg are off heat, add the 3 tbsp of high quality olive oil, which is really tasty. Or you can add more olive oil from the sundried tomatoes. 
This really was a tasty dish, so quick & easy to make & seriously substantial! 

 
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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A Letter To My 6yr Old Daughter

 

Dear Gracie-Mae, 

You are 6 years old & a pretty smart girl. Your growing up & gaining wisdom. Here are some things that I want you to always remember. 

1. You are loved. Sooo loved! By everyone in your family & so many others. 

2. You have lots of friends, you seem to be very popular in your class- some of these friends will be with you for a lifetime & many will come & go. This is life. Always be the best friend you can be & if it doesn't work out, don't make it about you. Your a really good person. 

3. Love yourself. No-one is perfect & we always have something we could be better at; sometimes we make mistakes- learn from them & move on. 

4. Love your body. You are beautiful. You don't have to be skinny & tall to be beautiful. Beauty comes in all shapes & sizes. When you become older please don't let social media let you think otherwise. It's not all real. 

5. Do the best you can at school & believe in yourself, I know you lack in confidence sweetheart, but you have no reason to. I believe in you, Daddy believes in you & so does everyone else that loves & cares for you. Your going to be great at whatever you choose to do. I just know. 

6. Don't stress about the 'cool kids.' The less you care about them, the more they will care about you. Don't ever do anything just because someone else does it. Trust your gut- because it's a pretty smart gut & will keep you out of harms way. Don't worry if those 'cool kids' don't think your cool- it's not because of you, it's because they don't believe in themselves. Trust me- you are very cool. 

7. Don't be defeated by 'No' you will hear it many times in your life before You hear 'Yes.' Don't let it knock your confidence. You will get there my darling. 

8. Don't just be nice to your brothers, be their best friend, their biggest supporter & most constructive critic. Be the same to yourself. You will be grateful they are your brothers in time & you will all need each other. (You all need each other now!)

9. There will be times when you think you hate me, when you are angry with me & there will be times I am angry with you. That's okay. Be angry, but be honest with yourself & know when I am angry with you- I still love you. The love I have for you can never be broken or taken away from you. It is a constant you can always count on. 

10. Please know that I am not perfect, no one is & I will make mistakes too. I promise to always do my best to recognise those mistakes & work on myself. You are my teacher & I am yours. 

I love you with all my heart. You, Jamie & Isaac are my greatest gifts. 

Mummy
XOXOX 

 
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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

15 Ways Your Relationship Changes After Having A Baby

 

There is no denying it- once you start a family, so many changes take place. This is especially true when it comes to your relationship with your partner. 

It will be different, many will say better & hopefully you won't feel that it's worse! 

I've rustled up a list of 15 Ways Your Relationship Changes After Having A Baby.

How many can you relate to? 

1.  Your partner won't be your number one anymore... but he will be a very strong number two, or three, or in MR.B's case four. Just for now anyway. 

2.  You will at times feel like your partner is doing everything wrong. And you'll probably be sure to tell him! 

3. You spend hours looking forward to seeing your partner walk through the door at the end of the day... so you can chuck him the baby & run for the hills. 

4. The days when your baby poops just as your partner comes in from work it will feel like you've won the lottery, you will do a little victory dance, feel a little smug & then run for those hills. 

5. You will be jealous of your partner for not having to deal with any body changes during pregnancy. As you lie self-consciously next to him, in underwear that covers every possible lump, bump & strechmark, you will envy him for having the same body he had 3 years ago. 

6. You will both feel like your doing absolutely everything around the house. 

7. Most of your arguments now revolve around deciding who is the most tired. 

8. While your hormones return to normal, you will be ultra-sensitive to every comment your partner makes. You may feel he is criticising you a hundred times a day whilst implying you are an unfit mother, but he probably isn't. 

9. As much as you want to, most of the time you will be too tired to put in the effort for your relationship. 

10. Your bed is no longer a place for romance, or sleep for that matter. 

11. When asked how many times a week you have sex these days, you will answer with 'What, every week?!'

12. When you do manage to have sex, you won't be bedding down to hours of foreplay & lovemaking like you did during your 'honeymoon' period. It will be quick, quiet & probably end abruptly at the sound of crying over the baby monitor. 

13. Your couple time at the end of the day will be more precious than ever, but you'll probably spend it with at least one of you passed out on the sofa. 

14. You will be most attracted to your partner when he is knee-deep in the over-flowing nappy of a teething, clingy baby, while you look on from a nice, warm, child-free bath. But best of all.....

15. Your heart will ache when you see him with your child/children, especially when you see him with them walking back from the wine shop.

 
 
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Recipe- One Pan Pesto Chicken & Veggies

 

One Pan Pesto Chicken & Veggies is another new family favourite of ours, & the best bit about it for me was there was not a lot of washing up after as it's all cooked in one pan- Bonus! 

This recipe is packed with so much goodness & tastes  like heaven on a plate, I love Mediterranean style recipes & this one is not only healthy but also gluten free. It's a perfect meal for the hot days/evenings that are slowly coming- hurrah! It's light, packed with veggies, full of bright colours & seriously so delicious. 

I mean look at all the colourful veggies that go into this dinner. 

 

It's super quick & easy to make aswell, just like all my other recipes- don't get me wrong I love to cook, but who has the time to slave away in the kitchen when you have children & babies? Not me, thats for sure! 

With just 5 minutes prep time & about 30 minutes cooking time, you can't go wrong with that, can you? 

Ingredients- Serves 4
  • 4x Chicken Fillets, cut into slices
  • 1/3 Cup Sundried Tomatoes, diced
  • 2x Packets Asparagus Tips, trimmed if needed
  • 2x Tbsp Basil Pesto
  • 1x Packet of Cherry Tomatoes, red/yellow & orange, halved 
  • 1x Red Onion, diced
  • 2x Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Method
  1. Pre-heat the oven to about 100 degrees (this is purely just to keep some of the food warm whilst cooking the rest of the dish.)
  2. Heat a large frying pan/skillet to a medium-high heat, add the oil & let the oil get hot, add the chicken strips & season well with salt & pepper, add half of the chopped sun-dried tomatoes- cook all of this for about 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Once cooked, remove the chicken & sundried tomatoes to a separate plate. Leaving the oil in the pan. 
  3. Add the asparagus to the pan & season well with salt then add the onion, cook on a medium heat until the asparagus is cooked. Remove the asparagus & onion to a plate & place in the oven to keep warm. 
  4. Add the chicken back to the pan, add the pesto & coat well, cook on a low-medium heat until the chicken has re-heated, then add the cherry tomatoes, stir well & let the juices of the tomatoes cook through (about 3-4 minutes.)
  5. Remove the asparagus & onion from the oven & serve all together. 
I served mine with a side of Mediterranean style rice just to bulk it out abit, but it would also be enough on its own if your wanting a lighter dinner.

 

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