Lucy and her 15-week bump

So here we go again. I have a bump forming and my body is changing.

Finding out I was pregnant was, I won’t lie, a MASSIVE shock. If you read my previous blogs, I really struggled to fall pregnant with Lacie and went to a Fertility Retreat called Simply Healing in order to fix my body and get super fertile again. I’m pleased to say it worked and stayed working. I didn’t have to go this time to conceive and literally didn’t even have to think about it. Your body is such a clever machine – especially when you give it all the right tools to work with. I can never thank Vivien and her team enough!

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So more on my bump! I was seriously smashing it body-wise before I fell pregnant this time round. I was hitting around five quality gym sessions a week, walking lots just through daily life and my diet was on-point. I still enjoyed the odd treat, but I felt like my body was responding really well. This is definitely reassuring, as I now know I can get pregnant and get my body back with hard work and dedication!

So what have I noticed this time around?

The cravings! Oh my! I’ve craved toast with lashings of butter, cheese and pickle sandwiches, Mars Bars (Yes really!) and biscuits. Anything carb’y and sweet – and basically all the things I craved when pregnant with Lacie.
For the first 12 weeks I went with it, but then at my 12 week scan promised myself I would try to get on top of things a little and introduce some juices again, some protein and good fats for breakfast and a protein-rich dinner. So far, so good!
For the last few weeks, my cravings have turned around and I’ve been enjoying eggs and avocado with feta cheese for breakfast with some Rye bread, grapefruit and nuts for snacks, salads with hummus and homemade spinach falafels for lunch and some sort of fish dinner. I’m still really off chicken and beef and green veggies but again, this happened with Lacie. It’s strange isn’t it?

Training wise, I haven’t missed one session yet! But I have been listening to my body and taking more rest periods, training for shorter periods of time, if I feel tired and using mainly body weight. I’m still running too. Just at the weekends at the moment, but again I’m running much slower than normal and taking walking rest periods after each mile. I will try to run for as long as I can, as I just love the fresh air and the freedom it gives me.

So what next? I’m going to be keeping weekly blogs of my pregnancy and training journey with pics to show how my body is changing.

I’m also going to use my knowledge and Mirella Ingamells Yummy Mummy Guide To Pregnancy, as, as I think you’d agree she looked amazing during and after her pregnancy.

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I’ll also be sharing some of my favourite pregnancy products and recipes that are (hopefully) keeping me on the straight and narrow…starting with an amazing juice i’ve been enjoying most days.

This is from a good friend called Scott McArthur, who I met at Jason Vales’s Juice Retreat in Turkey.
He delivers Cold-Pressed Raw juices to your door, and although I’m not solely just living on juices day in, day out, I am enjoying one daily as either a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.

My juice today was called Protein Power and made from:
Cucumber
Avocado
Apple
Banana
Pineapple
Wheatgrass
&
Spirulina.

A great energising mid-afternoon snack!

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Toddler Swimming Lessons at Virgin Active- Lacie’s progress

As you have probably read on past blogs, Lacie has been swimming since she was 11 weeks old. We defiantly have our good lessons and bad lessons. She can now tell me what she wants to do in the pool and doesn’t – especially when it’s time to go under the water. “No, mummy, no mummy.” When she was a baby, she just did exactly as she was told!

I really can’t fault the lessons at Virgin Active though. We have had the same teacher from day one, which is great for both of us, and she has made some great friends. Virgin Active in Bromley also have great facilities and it’s lovely having lunch in the cafe afterwards – before she has a mammoth sleep. Swimming really is great for wearing her out!

Here’s a few things I do to keep Lacie interested and enthusiastic about going in the pool. She certainly has her off days when it comes to the lessons, but I really don’t want to be a pushy mum, so I try to make things as fun as possible for her!

  • First, things first, every term I ALWAYS get her a new swimming costume. These days she even chooses it herself and recently chose this Zoggs Tutu ‘swimdress’ (Girls Sea Garden Tuille Swimdress; £15.00). She loves bright colours and everytime we put it on, she says “Ballet” and sings “Let it go”. She obviously feels glamourous in it! The reason I like the costume is that it’s also quick drying and has a criss cross back, which stops the straps falling down, a problem we’ve had in the past!
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  • We always meet her friend Henry in the changing room a little bit early. They can then get ready together, have a baby-talk natter and go in the pool a little bit before the lesson starts.
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  • Pool toys; Watering cans, floats, fish & hoops, you name it, she loves sitting on the side and playing before the lesson starts. I get her wet with the watering can before encouraging her to jump in the pool. Humpty Dumpty is a great way of getting her in. Recently I also got her these Peppa Pig ‘Peppa and George squirts‘, which we take in the pool with us. I do things like throw Pepper slightly in front of us and make her paddle her arms to get her, or pop both Peppa and George on a float and encourage her to hold on to the float and kick her legs. It seems to be doing the trick!IMG_0310
  • We make sure we swim as a family at the weekends. Lacie loves swimming with Daddy around, and infact, the one time he came to watch her swim, she had the most fantastic swimming lesson and did everything that Sandy our instructor said. Mark was so impressed with her progress, which is reassuring – it’s hard for me to see sometimes, as I take her every week.
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  • After swimming snacks. Lacie always has a cheeky little snack after she’s got changed. Right now her favourite bars are Perkier Cashew, Chia & Pumpkin Seed Quinoa bars. They are free from refined sugar and packed fibre (to keep her fuller for longer), protein (for strong healthy muscles and tissue), omega 3 (for concentration and brain health), and antioxidants, to keep her healthy and well. She loves them, and I love how much goodness they have in them!
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For more information on baby and toddler swimming lessons, check out Virgin Active’s Swim Starz programme here; https://www.virginactive.co.uk/our-difference/the-club-experience/swimming/swim-starz

 

Top Xmas Gifts by Fisher Price

With Xmas just around the corner, buying gifts is on everyones mind. I like to be organised and get my done by mid-December. I love buying for my friends kiddies, my nieces and nephews and of course, Lacie. Going through the Argos catalogue and writing my list (with page numbers and pictures, of course) was just so exciting when I was little – oh, it still is!!

Now Lacie loves playing real life games, she is loving this Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Purse (RRP £19.99). It comes with a mirror, some keys, a phone, a credit card and a bracelet, just like Mummy! 

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It sings too – infact there are over 50 sing-along songs, words and phrases, which Lacie likes to repeat – she really is a little parrot these days, plus interactive shape buttons on the front, which when pressed say the shape names, numbers and colours – in in English and FRENCH!

There are a few little girls that I know will love this this year, so I’ll be stocking up on a few of these.

Me and Lacie tend to play on the level 3 setting at the moment, which is for 18 months and up and encourages fun and early role play. She likes nothing more than putting all the accessories in the bag, popping it on her shoulder and telling me she’s going to work. Not yet baby, please!!

Level 1 Explore is a great setting for 6 months and up, which introduces those first words and level 2 for 12 months and up which asks questions and gives simple directions.

 

She’s  also been enjoying making Mummy tea & cake (I wish!) with her new Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Smart Stages tea set (RRP £19).  The set consists of a jolly tea-pot, two cups, and a three tiered cake on a plate. All the pieces in the set are brightly coloured and durable plastic, perfect for her little hands; not too small or clunky.

Like the purse, the teapot has a front display with three settings, which you set according to your child’s age and ability. Lacie is now 22 months, so again, we are on level 3 and playing real games. I particularly like the game where we use manners – and we say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ as we make and sip our tea. The odd ‘cheers’ creeps in too, which is pretty funny!

I love the catchy little tunes the teapot sings, which is great for repetition and learning – and Lacie loves the pouring noise the teapot makes when she’s serving up. It’s all very realistic, and the kettle lights up too!

You can buy both, the Smart Stages purse– a fab baby learning toy  and the toy tea set online.

 

Creative Play; Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag

I can’t tell you how many toys Lacie has. It’s not been intentional but she gets hand-me-downs from her cousins, then gifts here and there from her grandparents – and from me too. It’s so hard to resist,when  you just want to keep them stimulated and keep their little minds challenged.

Guess what though? I should of brought her some building blocks a LONG time ago. We recently went to a soft play centre and no joke, she sat on the floor for hours with some building bricks. Sod the slides, the racing track, the ball pit and the wendy house, she was super happy just putting bricks together, then taking them apart and then putting them together again. Who would of thought?

So with that, I would like to welcome  you to the newest addition to the toy collection, a Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag. If you haven’t heard of Mega Bloks before they are big blocks for little hands to build and create. I was sent a Big Building Bag of blocks – and thought, what better way to test out these products than after bath time, whilst we wait for Daddy to get home. The time, I usually resort to ‘In The Night Garden’.

And guess what? The TV didn’t go on once that evening and I managed to cook dinner without a toddler wrapped around my legs (can you imagine!?). My husband was impressed that dinner was on the table when he got home and I was impressed that Lacie was super happy to play on the floor and create colourful towers and colour-coded her creations. I challenged her to go all green for one, and all yellow for another. A great way to learn her colours eh?

I found the Mega Bloks really strong and durable, and exceptionally easy for Lacies’ hands to grab and maneuver. I also love the bright primary colours and the bag they come in – again, it’s great for encouraging them to tidy up and count as you put them in….1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 10. We’ll get there!

The Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag is ideal for ages one and up and features 60 First Builders blocks. 

RRP £14.99 

 

Lean, Green and Mean. Let’s Juice!

As you know, I’m a huge fan of juicing and, after some encouragement, so is Lacie. It always, has to be my juice, mind, but that’s fine. I just make extra. Knowing that she’s getting some vegetables in her, definitely helps me sleep at night. These days, I can’t even place a vegetable on her tray. If I do, I get a huge ‘NOOOOO Mummy, and its given straight back to me!

Here’s one of our favourite recipes at the moment. It’s been created by Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach for Philips. I’ve only ever used a Philips Juicer – they are easy to clean (honestly cleaning these juicers can be a real drag!) and they are pretty compact, especially the Viva Collection Compact juicer, so they don’t take over the kitchen.

This recipe is called the Little Green Monster, and it is made from;

2 apples
3 handfuls of spinach
5 celery sticks
and a ¼ of a lemon.

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Give it a go and if your child refuses to eat vegetables, pop a fun, curly straw in your glass and encourage them to try it. Once they have a taste – you won’t get a look in, so next time, make double!!

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Have you tried adding a juice to your children’s meals? I’ve found the more colourful the better! You could even get them to help you make it – or pretend too!

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Review – The Fisher Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo

Let’s dance. Let’s sing. Let’s learn to count! Yes, the new Fisher Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo does all this. It’s so much fun!

I don’t know about you, but I can get really bored of children’s toys. Lacie doesn’t, but I do, so when the postman knocked on the door with this big box of entertainment, I couldn’t wait to crack it open. Lacie was asleep, so I literarily had to sit on my hands!

The Fisher Price BeatBo is the latest educational toy from Fisher Price, and aimed at toddlers aged 9-36 months. It offers three incredible modes to play and learn for little people: Dance ’n Move, Learning & Games, and Customised Sing-Along.

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We played with our fun looking robot as soon as she woke, and what with it being a dull and rainy day, we kept the lights off and took full advantage of the flashing lights on its large, multi-colour LED grid tummy.

First of all, we explored the musical  button on his foot – the first button of three. We had a ‘dance party’ were we clapped to his instructions, and jumped up and glided. Lacie did the moves, whilst the BeatBo shook his head from side to side – and wiggled. Very funny! She found it hilarious.

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Next we played with the ‘123’ button and sang about colours and the ABC. So far the ABC dance has to be my favourite. It’s really catchy and Lacie has already grasped the first verse. The only thing I hate has to be the fact that I wake up in the night singing the song. These baby songs are so catchy – ahhh!

You can also press BeatBo’s tummy for more catchy tunes and learning phrases and record your own phrase that the baby toy then remix’s into his favourite song. A great way to repeat a word or phase that you’re little one is trying to learn without sounding like an obsessed mother – or a broken record!

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So in more detail:

BeatBo’s fun and energising music encourages baby to move around.

By pressing his tummy, or one of the buttons on his feet you can play learning songs and games, which introduces your child to ABCs, colours, counting and instructions like jumping, clapping and ‘shaking it up’.

The music, songs, phrases, lights and bright colours helps strengthen your child’s gross and fine motor skills, which aslo help give baby’s senses a boost.

and

the different songs, phases and beats that the BeatBo plays each time you press a button encourages curiosity and discovery. There are around 50 phases all in all – I’m not bored yet!

How to Beat The Bloat

I’ve been wheat and dairy-free for a while now. It happened when I went on a boot camp. For a whole week, we didn’t touch the stuff, and then I went home, had it and noticed a difference with my weight, bloating and mood (yes, mood!) straight away.

I now try to avoid it at all costs and it seems, that avoiding it, is actually getting easier. For example, when I go out, I can now ask for say a gluten-free pizza if I fancy it, or stick to a protein and salad/vegetable dish, and when it comes to going to the supermarket there is a whole aisle dedicated to people who don’t want to and can’t eat wheat, dairy, gluten, sugar etc. It definitely feels easier these days.

Here are a few of my fav snacks that help me keep my energy levels up, without bloating me out or giving me crazy sugar highs. I’m a big fan of snacking, so I you will always find some of these snacks in my bag – for me and Lacie to enjoy.

1) Ombar Dairy-free Coco Mylk Buttons
It always makes me smile, when I walk into a room and Mark asks me what I’m eating and I reply chocolate buttons. Who would have thought it!? These buttons, however are made using raw organic cacao and sweetened using organic coconut sugar. They are super rich, and creamy and are great for killing my chocolate cravings without a trans-fat in sight!

2) Nairn’s Gluten Free Biscuit Breaks
Just because they say Gluten-free on the packet, don’t think it’s ok to eat the whole packet of these, it’s not! They are ever so moreish. The best thing is, is that they come in a pouch of four, so just have them to hand, and you hopefully won’t go too crazy! Me and Lacie love the chocolate chip variety of these (I don’t have a sweet tooth – honest!!). They are made with whole grain oats and have 40% less sugar than other sweet biscuits, so if I’ve done a tough workout and need a post-workout snack, then these are usually my go-to snack. I like to give them to Lacie too, when she’s peckish between meals or she’s been running around at soft play or something. You won’t find me giving her any rubbish – no way!

3) Clearspring Toasted Nori Snacks
Sometimes I need salt, most people would turn to crisps, but these toasted nori snacks do it for me. They are made from just four ingredients, nori (which is also known as edible seaweed), unrefinded sea salt, sesame seed oil and rapeseed oil. I like to eat them raw, but you can also sprinkle over your salads, so when your other half is having croutons, then you don’t feel quite so left out! 

Other foods I tend to avoid to avoid the bloat are;
• Sugar of all kinds. Sugar comes under many names, so do your research.
• Yeast and anything containing it: bread, beer, wine, Marmite.
• Malted products, such as those found in breakfast cereals.
• Alcohol
and
• Dried fruit & fruit juices.

I have to also mention, that i went to an amazing restaurant in Brighton yesterday called Food For Friends. It’s a vegetarian restaurant, but they also have gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free options throughout the menu. We shared some tahini dips with gluten-free bread to start, and I had a haloumi, avocado and mango salad as my main. The food was super fresh and rich, that I didn’t need a pudding, despite the fact that was gluten-free Molten Chocolate Pudding on offer. I’m starting to regret that now! Brighton is a long was to go back to, just for a pudding!

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How to stay clean and lean on holiday – or whilst moving house in my case

Last weekend, we moved house. My perfect little bubble is now a building site, and I am living with the in-laws for five weeks.

From this.....

From this…..

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To this!!!

This is fine. But I don’t have a gym. That’s like me not having oxygen – and I won’t lie, it’s totally taken me out of my comfort zone! So this is what I have been doing to keep myself on track. You can apply this to when/if you go on holidays or if like me you are moving house and your routine is all over the shop. There truly is no reason why you can’t get your workout in or eat healthy, EVEN if you are away from home. This is what I’ve been doing….

* Find a local gym
I found a local sports center – it’s an school in the day and gym at night. Yes, we did a class in a school hall, but never the less, it was an INSANITY class and actually pretty tough. It will keep me busy on Monday nights for the next few weeks, so that’s one workout taken care off. The gym there is awful, so for now I will stick to the class.

* Follow a workout DVD 
Push the sofa over, pop in the DVD and VUALA!! My current favourite is the Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred. Tough but quick!

* Try an online workout…
like BarreCore. I love their barre classes but it’s impossible to get to a class in London and schedule it around Lacie too, so I love their virtual classes, which allow you to experience the barre burn in the comfort of your own home! I also love the Dan Roberts Methodology X plan, a 21-day plan, a fun and friendly holistic workout, which has been designed to help you look and feel supermodel fit. It starts pretty easy, but Boy, get to day 14 and you’ll notice the change in pace!

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* Have a resistance band or kettlebell to hand.
All you need is a bit of space and you can do a full body workout outdoors or in your living room. My personal trainer, Gideon Remfry from KX Gym has given me a challenge of doing 5 minutes of kettlebell swings, followed by 5 minutes of Clean and Jerk, followed by 5 minutes of kettlebell snatches. My body was screaming for Merci afterwards – and it took literally 30 minutes with a warm up and cool down.

* Body weight!!!
NEVER underestimate the power of your body!! Think pushups, squats, lunges, dips, the list goes on and on. Try 30 seconds of squats, 30 seconds of burpees, 30 seconds rest. Repeat this cycle for 10 minutes. Ouch!

* Know your surroundings
find a path and go for a run – or in my case, take Lacie for a run. I pop her in her Out ‘n’ About Nipper Sport V4 and off we go. I found a nice big hill, which I walk up for my warm up and then have been doing a few laps of the local park.

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* Stick to Protein
If time is tight and I don’t have time to have breakfast or in my case, don’t have a kitchen then I will grab a Protein shake or Protein Bar. My fav this month has to be Maxitone Sculptress Bars. They come in a caramel crunch flavour and contain 16 grams of protein in each bar, which not only supports my muscles after a morning workout but also keeps me feeling fuel to at least midday! My rule of thumb is to have protein with every meal. Think boiled eggs, a handful of almonds, some chicken pieces, A protein shake, some coconut yogurt (CO YO) or slices of goats cheese.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 15.02.29* Remember that abs are made in the kitchen!
If there are days when you can’t workout – don’t worry, I’ve had a few! Try to keep your diet in check and eat little and often. You should also try and move as much as possible (walk to the shops, rather then drive, or chase your little one around the park). Locate your nearest supermarket too and stock up on water, fruits, veg, nuts, hummus etc, so there are always healthy options to hand.

Despite being worried about coming out of my comfort zone, It really is possible to make healthy choices, smart choices and get your exercise when you aren’t in your usual environment or their isn’t a gym around. Just do a little homework and be prepared, it will only lead to a better and healthier you. Good luck!

How to work out with your baby

I’ve heard it so many times, “I can’t work out,” “There’s no time with a baby,” “I don’t want to leave them in the creche at the gym.” But believe me you really don’t need a gym and you don’t need to miss out on quality time with your bubba either. I USED to go the the gym 6 days a week, more if I could. Now I’m lucky if I manage once a week in the evening whilst Lacie sleeps. I just don’t have the energy once i’ve put her down at 7:30pm. There’s bottles to be washed, dinner to be eaten and a bath every now and then is nice too!

But what about working out involving your little one in the day? There’s no harm in them seeing you working out. It can only create healthier habits for them in the future. When Lacie was first born, I would always pop her in her swinging chair, whIlst I did a quick 25 minute HIIT workout, or pop her on her play mat (when she was happy to sit still :)) and chat with her in between sets so she didn’t feel left out. I often chat with her whilst I’m doing my workout, telling her what exercises I’m doing and then counting my reps out loud. I will sing to her too and encourage her to bop about. So much fun.

Now Lacie is a little explorer, I tend to pop her either in her high chair and let her munch on her breakfast as she watches me jump around (she finds it super funny), pop her in her Fisher Price Sit-me-up Floor Seat during Milkshake on Channel 5, which she LOVES, pop her in the garden with a ball and her toys whilst I work out on the grass, or ideally I try and do it in the morning before she wakes. This requires me to get up at 7am – which to be honest isn’t the end of the world. I’ve also filled her travel cot up with ball pond balls in the past and let her play in there for half hour. She loves it (you can see it in the background of this pic!)

Someone kept me company in the gym today!

Watching Milkshake whilst Mummy Squats

By showing Lacie how to be active in any way I can, I’m hoping that she will develop a habit of being active from an early age, plus if I include her in a work out, we get to spend time together and learning things like how to count and how to jump. She already knows what to do with a dumbbell and likes to try and do press ups on my Reebok Step. I hope that it will also teach her that workouts don’t have to be a mysterious thing that no one should see you do. (Let’s be honest: we’ve all felt embarrassed about going to the gym and working out in front of people!)

Here’s a quick workout that you can do with your little one by your side. You don’t need any fancy equipment that can hurt them – or you don’t need loads of space either. If you don’t want to do it with your baby awake, then pop them in the pram come nap time, walk round the block to get yourself warmed up and then do it in a local park or in your living room whilst they sleep. You won’t of missed any quality time with them and it will inspire you to get it done super quick whilst they sleep.

Now I’m a mummy is definitely quality over quantity!

Here goes…..

* 30 seconds jog on spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up.
* 30 seconds of press Ups
* 30 secs jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up.
* 30 seconds plank
* 30 seconds jog on the spot -10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30seconds of squat jumps
* 30 seconds Jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30 seconds of burpees
* 30 seconds Jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30 seconds of triceps dips

Repeat three times through – once if you are short on time. Something is always better than nothing!

A quick walk around the block come nap time always does the trick. Now where's the nearest park?

A quick walk around the block come nap time always does the trick. Now where’s the nearest park?

* Always warm up before you do this workout and check with your doctor before embarking on any fitness challenge.

This week’s Lucy Loves…

Hello, Hello! Happy Friday!

Is anyone else excited for the weekend? I am, and I’m not. We’re in the process of moving house and this weekend, it’s all about packing up. I’m feeling super emotional about it all. It’s our first family home. The home where we brought Lacie home too when she was just a day old. The home where we have lived for 8 years. It’s really pulling on my heart strings! But onwards and upwards I guess!  Anyway, moving forward lets look at the things I’ve discovered and LOVED this week. Enjoy!  

Mothercare’s new spring range
I’m a sucker when it comes to buying new clothes for Lacie. I just can’t help myself. I love this pretty ra-ta skirt. Such beautiful colours and it looks super cute with her white boots and a plain white Tee. Check out the new range here. Hide your purse though. It’s lethal!
http://www.mothercare.com/

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The ideal home show
Me, Lacie & mark went on the opening day and had great fun getting new ideas for our new home. See I’m excited really! The exhibition is on until April 6th, and is well worth a visit.
http://www.idealhomeshow.co.uk/

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The Garden
Lacie has discovered the back door – and that there’s a whole new world outside the house. She loves her little swing, chasing ants with her finger and sitting on the wall chatting away with me. At the moment, she’s into perching on everything. It’s so cute!
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Very British Baby
The design of these smellies are lovely, and the products themselves are great too. They retail from around £2.50 and the quality is just fab. The are Very British Baby formulations are all dermatologically tested with a no tears and made from a paraben-free formula, which ticks all the boxes as far as I’m concerned. Try the Bedtime Bath, which is great for bubbles but also for winding Lacie down for a good nights kip (hopefully!)
http://www.verybritishbaby.com/

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Raw Chocolate Pie
As you know – I like to eat healthily. I like my treats too, so I was well happy when I discovered Raw Chocolate Pie chocolate. It’s all dairy free, gluten free, sugar free and guilt free. Basically it’s made with raw cacao, agave nectar, coconut butter, lucuma, carob flour and nuts. That’s it! It’s the perfect treat for when I NEED chocolate. It’s certainly a goodbye to Dairy Milk from me. This stuff is rich and tasty and so chocolately, that one little bar (sometimes half, SOMETIMES!) is more than enough to satisfy a graving. It’s pure gold. I will be buying more that is for sure!
https://www.rawchocpie.co.uk

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