Fisher Price Space Saver Jumperoo

Every parent I know raves about it. It keeps their child occupied for hours, it gives their child time on their feet, allowing them to be really active without getting into trouble and the lights and sounds keep them entertained and engrossed as they find new colours, hear new sounds and find things to spin and move back and forth.

Lacie has been a huge fan of the Fisher Price Jumperoo for months – me too, but I do hate how much room it takes up and that I have to keep it out as I can’t be bothered to take it apart and put it in the cupboard every time she doesn’t want to use it.

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Lucky for me, I got my hands on the new Space Saver Jumperoo, and despite the fact that it’s much smaller and folds away, she still loves it just as much and it still keeps her entertained and happy while I make the dinner. Yes, she is walking now, but she loves hanging onto my legs when I’m cooking dinner, which I find so dangerous – and a tad annoying! It holds children up to 25lbs, she is just hit 19, which means we still have some growing room despite the fact that she is 12 months.

The first advantage of the new model is that it just snaps together.  No tools required – everything just clips together making the install quite easy. The second advantage is that it folds away. Just remove the toy bar (which can then be stored safely under the seat), drop the seat down and move the back bar forward, and voila.

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So what happens when you want to use it again? Well, it’s simple. You just lift the seat up, the pull the front out, then clip the toy bar back on. Nifty!

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Day 21 of my 21 day fat loss challenge

Ahhh – sorry for the silence. I’ve been manic writing various features, being a mum etc that I haven’t had time to blog about the rest of my challenge. I’ve had a great 21 days though and the last week I’ve been doing a 7-day protein challenge with Upbeat protein drinks, which are high in protein but low in fat, with half the sugar of most fruit smoothies. They have been my saving grace come the afternoon and my favourite has to be the strawberry flavour. The last few days I’ve popped it in the blender with some chia seeds and some CO YO just to thicken it up a bit. I’ve been hungry so this stopped any cravings straight away and it tasted like a thick and fluffy strawberry milkshake. Yum!

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So what have I been eating on my challenge?

Breakfast has either been CO YO or natural yogurt with berries, seeds and a handful of toasted flaked almonds or scrambled eggs with chorizo, spinach and 1/2 avocado.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 12.40.19 For lunch I made a quinoa and lentil & feta salad, which I managed to have over a few days and tend to stick to salads at lunch with either chicken , halluomi or salmon. My afternoon snack has been a yummy Upbeat drink and if I’m extra hungry I have this with some fruit, a handful of nuts or make it into a really thick smoothie and then dinner I try to stick with protein and veg with no carbs and have been having things like salmon with papaya salsa, turkey meatballs with roasted vegetables or last night I made I pork stronganoff with creme-fresh and lots of onions and mushrooms.

So why do I make sure I have protein with every meal? There’s so many reasons!

1. Protein is found in every one of the trillion cells in our bodies – making up around 15% of the human body.
2. It helps you feel fuller for longer
3. It slows down any sugar release into the body and lowers the GI value of a meal
4. It plays a key role in our immune system
5. And most importantly it’s great for weight loss. There are so many studies saying that protein is the key to losing body fat whilst maintaining muscle mass!

If you want to do your own challenge then here are a few tips to get you started;
* don’t skip meals
* prepare your meals either the night before or first thing every morning
* go shopping!
* drink lots of water
* avoid soft drinks
* Ignore your cravings for the first week and find alternatives to give you a sweet fix like Upbeat drinks, fruit, a handful of nuts and homemade smoothies using coconut yogurt or natural yogurt
* don’t expect to be perfect. If you fall off track don’t think you’ve blown it, then make it 10 times worse than eating everything in sight. Except it, move on and use the next meal to get back on track.

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Baby Perfume – L’Odeur

It’s never to early to be girlie. That’s my opinion anyway. Lacie is a real girlie girl. I love dressing her in lovely dresses and cardigans (I just love the Baby K Range in Mothercare) and she always wears a matching hairband. How people still ask if she’s a boy is beyond me?

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My husband laughed when I said I got her some perfume, but you can’t beat that fresh baby smell right? Which is exactly what L’Odeur smells like. It’s lovely. It’s very light and designed to compliment and enhance that new baby smell. It’s also Alcohol free, and dermatologically tested so it’s gentle on Lacie’s skin – although I only tend to spray it on her clothes the morning before she puts them on. I have yet to spray it directly on to her.

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I love it when someone has that signature smell – and she definitely has one now. Her clothes smell gorgeous – a combination of verbena, orange blossom, and muse. That’s my girl!

Day 12 of my 21 day fix

After a busy day yesterday doing a BarreCore Class with the lovely Olivia from Livia’s Crumbles, I ache like mad. I still got up through, despite about 3 hours sleep (Lacie is teething) and did an hour’s workout at 6:30. I was going to post a picture of me in the gym, but I think I would of scared you with my smudged mascara and unbrushed hair. That’s the beauty of having your own gym I suppose! I really didn’t want to get up this morning!

I bite the Bullet and did a back and abs session with a 20 minute Kettlebell met-con circuit to finish off. I then had a juice made from beetroot, apple, cucumber, celery, broccoli, avocado and lemon followed by an apple with some almond butter. Nothing quite hit the spot this morning.

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We then walked to our signing class (I did 13,500 steps today according to my Nike Fuel Band) then came home and had two Gluten free sausages, two poached eggs and some spinach for lunch.
The rest of the afternoon was playing with Lacie and just chilling before making a Spag Bol for dinner. I didn’t have the pasta, and just had spinach instead, knowing that I wanted to leave room for one of my special crumbles that Olivia gave me yesterday. They are amazing – and are wheat, dairy and sugar free. Bonus!

Tonight I usually go for a walk, do a class or go do some more exercise, but do you know what? I just want a nice soak in some bath salts and to read a magazine. So that’s what I’m going to do. Down time is so important, especially with Lacie’s poor sleeping habits at the moment!

Day 10 of my 21 day fix

Is anyone else suffering with the February blues? I feel really blah at the moment. Not sure if it’s the weather, the time of year or what. Very strange. If I can find a way of snapping out of it I’ll let you know! I’m thinking I need to set some new goals, get a new programme, or mix my food up a bit. Feel very unmotivated, which is very unlike me. I’m not giving up though!

So, Anyway, food wise, everything has gone to plan today.

I managed an hour’s workout before Lacie woke, then had a bowl of Paleo Granola to start the day.

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Me & Lacie then walked to the park before lunch, which was scrambled eggs, chorizo, goats cheese, spinach and a slice of Sukrin bread.

In the afternoon I had three rice cakes with quinoa topped with almond butter and dinner was fish cakes with a rocket salad.

I’ve drunk lots of water and mint tea and went for a run/walk with a client this evening too, in my new Helly Hansen gear, which is absolutely stunning! It fits nicely, it’s warm and the colours are gorgeous. Looking the part makes me feel so much better, especially in front of my clients.

Tomorrow I’m off to London for a few meetings so I’m hoping I will stop off at WholeFoods on my way back and stock up on loads of healthy goodies. I always spend a fortune in there but it’s well worth it. You can’t put a price on your health!

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Day 9 of my 21 day fix

It’s true. I left my abs in Devon, but do you know what? We had the best family weekend so I’m not going to stress. We don’t have another holiday booked until October, plus we’re moving house and got lots on, so a bit of downtime was well needed.

To be honest I didn’t go crazy, and still managed to run or hit the gym every day but I did have pudding both nights, I did have bread when it was served lunch with my family and I did have a scone with some Devon clotted cream. It would be rude not too.

Got to love running in Devon!

Got to love running in Devon!

I do however know that it’s back on track now, so today has been a good one.

I bagged a gym session this morning, then had a protein shake after, followed by a Paleo breakfast of eggs, chorizo, spinach & avocado, a lunch of a multigrain gluten free wrap with goats cheese and avocado and salad, then a handful of macadamia nuts (my fav) and salmon with green veg for dinner. I’ve drunk lots of water too and walked over 12,000 steps.

Any excess weight will be gone in no time!

Day 7 of my 21 Day Fix

Ahhh we are off to Devon tomorrow, which means we had to do a swimming lesson today instead of tomorrow and I had to swap my run with Lacie for a gym session. Not all too bad but I did miss my half hour lay in.

I started my gym sess with a 5k bike ride, and then when straight into my main session which was barbell complexes. Six moves, six times, six times through, followed by a 90 sec cycle and then repeat. I did this six times through and finished with barbell good mornings, cutsey lunges and gym ball planks.

Someone kept me company in the gym today!

Someone kept me company in the gym today!

We then went swimming and Lacie then had a two hour sleep. Amazing! This gave me time to eat and take my time for once.
I had sweet potato fries, a chicken breast and a rocket salad.

For my afternoon snack I had rye bread with almond butter and a mashed banana.

Dinner was a bassa fillet with an avocado salad followed by a chopped apple.

I’m planning an hour’s run tomorrow morning before we hit the road for our four hour road trip. Hate sitting down all day – I get twitchy :)

How to train for a 5K

As you all know, I am a Journalist and have had a massive project recently with WebMD.
Here is my first feature of the year with them, which takes you through how to train for a 5k.
I’ve always gone for longer distances in the past, but since having Lacie, I always do a 5k on a Thursday with my running buggy. It’s the perfect distance for getting some running in, without it taking over the morning – and her getting too bored too!
Here it is. The original can be found here at WebMD, a website jam-packed with trustworthy and timely health and medical news and information

Sofa to 5K
By Lucy Miller
WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Caroline Cross, a running buff, is the first to admit that she didn’t enjoy running The Berlin Marathon as much as she thought she would. Towards the end of her training she was counting down the long runs and early mornings, and literally hobbled over the finishing line – “the last 10k, was the worst,” she says. The achievement of running a marathon is amazing but it’s certainly not for everyone. You not only have to be fit, but you have to be super committed to your training – no more Sunday morning lie-ins!
In preparation for her first marathon, Caroline had run plenty of half marathons and 10k races. She also did a short and sharp run most Saturday mornings, particularly the Parkrun, a free organised 5k run, where she could monitor her time each week and race against other runners. “5k’s are great for speed training and building stamina,” she says. “I have always found that by adding in 5k’s to my training it has helped my performance with longer distances.”

A 5k community
Founded by Paul Sinton-Hewitt in 2004, the idea of Parkrun originated from the initial Bushy Parkrun event, in Teddington, Middlesex.
It started when Paul had a knee injury. He was bored and wanted to stay involved with the running community, so on October 2, 2004, he got 13 of his friends to turn up at Bushy Park and timed them over a 5km course. They went again the next week and then the next, and slowly the word spread and the number of runners turning up grew. It became a regular event, then, during 2007, six more events started up and Parkrun was born.

Parkrun is now one of the most popular runs you can do, and as of March 2014 there have been over 500, 000 participants, with around 375 locations to choose from. Who would have thought so many people would be up and about at 9am (9.30 in Scotland) on a Saturday morning, looking forward to a community-based 5 kilometre run?

“It’s a great start to a Saturday morning and there’s a great atmosphere with a real sense of community with runners from the local area,” says Caroline. “I like the fact that it is also open to everyone and you can run as a family. It is even better when you break a personal best (PB).

Why 5k?
According to Runner’s World, 5k – 3.1 mile’s is the perfect distance for beginners. It’s short and snappy, and “you can fit it quite easily into your day as it doesn’t take up much time,” says Caroline. “It’s also an extremely accessible distance for everyone and for all abilities. Even if you are new to running you can have a go and run it at a pace you are comfortable with.”
Here, the expert’s talk about how you can join Caroline in going from the couch to a 5k course, paying attention not only to your physical training but also your mental attitude. (It’s always recommended, especially for adults over 50, that sedentary people check in with their doctor before starting to train.)

Getting started
When sticking to a training plan, the best thing to do is find a time to train that suits you. Lots of people find that running first thing fits in best, “the whole day is then at your disposal without the need to go for a run hanging over you,” says Nick Anderson, running coach at The Run Lunge. “Most races are usually early on a Sunday morning, so you will start to train your body to respond to an early run in the right way. Remember, the early bird catches the worm!”
“Build up slowly too,” suggests Alex Rahim, Personal Trainer at Virgin Active, “and try not to increase your speed or distance too early. It won’t take you long to prepare for a 5k, so don’t panic.”

Dress for the occasion
If it’s dark and cold outside, then it will make it harder to get out the door. According to Caroline, “The most important thing is to dress sensibly by wearing layers – a bit like an onion.”
Chose a lightweight top for your base layer, then wear a light waterproof jacket or fleece over the top. To keep your legs warm, wear a pair of running leggings underneath a pair of shorts or go for some thick fleecy leggings that can be bought from most good running shops.
You tend to lose around 20% of heat through your head so make sure you wear a hat and a pair of gloves too. There’s nothing worse than fingers that are so cold they hurt – and if you get too warm you can always take them off.

Make training convenient for you
“Look to use your time efficiently, build running into your commute, consider the value of even a short, 20 minute run at lunchtime and skip work drinks and encourage colleagues to join you as well,” says Tom Craggs, UKA Running Coach and coaching advisor to Saucony UK, High5, Adidas UK and SenseCore. “Use your personal time efficiently. We all ‘waste’ time each day. Sleep or a good stretching session is of more value to both your training and your overall health than 30 minutes of ‘smart phone’ time in bed late at night.”

Staying motivated
The only way to stick to your plan is to “Examine all the potential barriers that could get in the way and work out in advance how you’re going to deal with them,” says Robin Gargrave of Central YMCA, the activity for health charity. “Look to train with other people – get yourself down to your local running club or Run England group or get a friend or family member to sign up with you,” says Tom. “Many studies suggest that our partners can have a big influence on our behaviour and our health, with a more recent study by University College, London, suggesting that men and women are three times or more likely to achieve their resolution when their partner joined in the challenge.

Set goals
“Always set SMART goals,” explains Alex. “These are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and have a Time frame.”
Write down the reasons you want to do the 5k. This could be as simple as improving your health, losing weight or looking better in your clothes.
“Without goals, training has a lack of direction and purpose meaning the performance outcome will not be fulfilled to its potential,” says Alex.

Break it down into manageable chunks
First, pick the date for your 5k. “Six to eight weeks should be fine, however bear in mind this is not as long as it seems.
“Once you have your date, then begin finding a comfortable pace and run for time as opposed for distance to get the body used to running for a length of time,” says Alex. “Do this for approximately 2 weeks then build in some interval sessions (where you run faster than your average pace for a period like 30 seconds, and doing a walk recovery for 90 seconds) twice a week for 2 weeks. Running hills are important in any running programme too and this can be included in the last 2 weeks of your 6 to 8 week plan.”
Don’t forget your rest days too. Your body needs time to recover in order to get faster. “Look to take a minimum of one complete rest day a week, more for less experienced runners,” says Tom. “Respect that your body progresses and develops through your rest and it’s an area most runners forget.”
If you’re inspired to lace up your trainers and start training for a 5k, then Alex suggests that you: “always try and do one to two strength sessions per week, plus three running sessions per week. Strength training will help prepare the body for impact, and the running sessions do not have to be any longer than 30 minutes at a time so will not affect time out of your day too much.”

Good Luck!

Day 6 of my 21 day fitness challenge

Ok, so the juicing has finished. I finished all my Purifyne Juices and decided to leave it there and not make my own for the next day or so. I do like the thought of juicing but actually I’m not sure it’s for me unless I’m in a bootcamp or retreat sort of environment. I felt hungry and tired the whole time and for the last few days just wanted to eat everything in sight. That’s just not me. I’m usually very disciplined and enjoy healthy meals and snacks. I felt a bit out of control!

Today I’ve stated the day with an hour’s workout, some lemon in hot water and a protein bar.
I then had chicken with 1/2 avocado, spinach & some pesto for lunch, an apple with a few handfuls of Paleo Granola and then a turkey breast with spiralized courgettes and carrots for dinner. For my snack I had some Sukrin bread with almond butter and 1/2 a mashed banana.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve wanted to eat everything in sight again today but had to be really strict with myself and fuel my body with the right foods and nutrients.

I really do prefer this way of eating. It’s all clean, it’s all tasty and most importantly I’m not going to bed hungry and obsessing about food!
The very way it should be!

Day 4 of my 21 day challenge

Day four already, and I’ve probably had more green stuff than I’ve had for a long time. Someone told me my skin looked amazing today too. An effect of the Purifyne Juices perhaps? I’ve also been sleeping so well, which I can only put down to the juices. God, I love sleep!

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So today, I went to gym first thing and now that I’m feeling better, I got back on my Bearwolf programme. I had an amazing workout, then had a juice straight after, followed by a juice at lunch time, which took me ages to drink. It was literally lemon, lime, kale, celery & cucumber. I found it very ‘green’, almost bitter’ish!

I then had a lettuce, chard, apple, asparagus and lime & ginger juice mid Arvo with my Brazil nut butter (I added a banana and some cinnamon as I find it really hard to swallow, then had another juice for dinner followed by a peppermint tea and a few hours of feature writing for WebMD.

So, that’s another day of juicing under my belt after yesterday’s antics, but I’ll be honest with you, I’m not sure if juicing suits me. I eat pretty well (most of the time) anyway and I’m actually starting to crave things I would never usually have, especially mid afternoon. It gets to 4pm and I just want to eat. Tips anyone?

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