My pregnancy journey; 23 weeks pregnant 

So I’m 23 weeks now (I think!), I’m seriously losing track. I’m so busy with Lacie & life, that I’m not sitting there counting the days like I did in the first pregnancy. You definitely have less time to rest, appreciate your growing baby and your body second time round.

So here’s my bump. I’m growing nicely, and feeling good. Still gym’ing most mornings, and running an hour on Saturdays & Sundays. These days I’m setting my Gym Boss for 3ish minutes on, and 45 seconds rest, which means I get regular waking intervals to keep my heart rate down and in check.

I hope to run for at least another month or so – so, if you are pregnant and thinking about running, here are my top tips…

* Only run during pregnancy if your body is used to it. I’ve run for years, run marathons, and am generally conditioned to run. Pregnancy is not the time to start anything new.

* listen to your body! A few times I’ve gone out and felt heavy, lethargic and generally not in the mood to run. Instead of pushing it, I’ve either walked or gone back home, and jumped back into bed to watch Peppa Pig with Lacie. I’m not out to break any records, just stay healthy (and sane) during my pregnancy.

* Expect to run slower than you’re used too. This can be hard for some, but not me. I’m just so happy to still be running at this point. I didn’t run when I was carrying Lacie and really missed it!

* Plan your route and know there as toilets you can stop at. I always stop for a quick wee around 20 mins into my run. Most of the time I get there and actually think ‘wow, that was a pathetic wee!’ but with extra pressure on your bladder it feels like I really need to go and then that’s all I can think about for the whole run.

* Don’t get distracted. Gone are the days when I can run and admire people’s houses, gardens, front doors and generally anything other than the path in front of me. Your gait and your balance change when you’re pregnant so it’s easy to fall over or lose your balance. I’ve meant my lesson the hard way – watch where you’re going and be mindful of every step.

* Take your phone. When I fell over I was lucky to be pretty close home (although the ten minute walk home with tears streaming down my face felt for ever!). If I’d had my phone, I could of called Mark, who probably would of come and got me, or just generally reassured me that I’m ok and to help me compose myself.

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I think that’s it! Obviously wearing the right trainers (I love Asics) and sports bra (always Cake Maternity) are a must. I always go and get re-measured when I’m pregnant because your chest changes massively when pregnant and you’re advised not to wear under wired bras and anything too restrictive.

My measurements;
Every week since finding out I was expecting I’ve been measuring myself. Here are my measurements to date. It’s a great way of not stressing about the pounds on the scale & keeping check of how your body is changing.

8 Weeks pregnant
Chest: 32.5 inches
Waist (smallest): 28
Belly Button: 29
Hips: 35.5
Legs: 19.5
Arms: 10.5

23 Weeks
Chest: 32.5 inches
Waist (smallest): 29.5 (+1.5 inches)
Belly Button: 31.5 (+2.5 inches)
Hips: 36.5 ((+1 inche)
Legs: 19.5
Arms: 10.5

 

Toddler Bedtime Must-have: Maisie Mouse Grobag

Hey mummies! If you are looking for an sleep-suit that will still fit your two year old – then I have got something to rave about.

I am currently obsessing over Lacie’s new Maisie Mouse Grobag. I always thought that once Lacie’s 18-24 month bag was too small then that would be the end of the Grobag, which has been a must-have for bedtime since Lacie went into her own cot. I love how they keep her warm, make her feel secure in bed, and most of all have become a massive part of her bedtime routine; once the Grobag is on – she knows that it’s time for bed.

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What else do I love about the Grobag?

  • Lacie’s has a 2.5 Tog rating, which is perfect for our chilly Victorian House
  • Available in sizes 0-6 months, 6-18 months and 18-36 months
  • Easily accessible side zip
  • 100% jersey cotton outer, 100% cotton jersey lining
  • Quick-dry polyester filling
  • Zip-click® feature on all sizes – Lacie can’t undo it! Phew!
  • Machine washable and can be tumble dried on low heat
  • Keeps Lacie snug
  • Keeps Lacie secure – especially in the mornings. She’s never attempted to walk in her Grobag, so when it’s on and we’re ready books, it means she keeps still!
  • Fab pattern. Lacie loves showing me the mouse.
  • Will fit Lacie until she’s three years old!
  • Excellent value for money
  • Useful and versatile, and negates the need for copious amounts of baby sheets and blankets.
  • Excellent quality
  • Washes well

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As you can see, I am a huge fan of Grobags and have kept all Lacie’s old bags, for bubba number two, which is due in July. For him, I will of course, stick to Grobag’s guidelines and won’t put him in one until he’s 8lbs 8, which by then, I’m guessing he will be in his own room. I am so much happier knowing my children sleep in Grobags, as they are so much safer than blankets. Has anyone else had visions of your child’s blanket raising over their face? Yes, me too!

The Grobag design also stops a baby from wriggling down into them so their face will never accidentally get covered during their sleep, and they are super comfortable for them, and allow your little one to move around during their sleep, without getting tangled. I’m a huge fan of anything that helps encourage a deep, comfortable sleep, so thanks Grobag, keep up the good work!

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The Maisie Mouse 18-36m 2.5 Tog Grobag costs £40.99 and is available from the Grobag website – www.gro-store.com

 

 

Pregnancy; 20 weeks bump and training update

I was right; it’s a boy. It’s so weird, I just knew from the beginning and I am carrying so differently that how I did with Lacie. Did I tell you I’ve been having really vivid dreams about a little baby boy too? Strange!!

So here is my 20 weeks bump! My belly has definitely popped now (moreso at night) and to be honest, it’s thrown me – literally! I fell over twice last week, one that resulted in me going to A&E! I guess my balance is just slightly off now I have a bump and I have to slow down a little and be a bit more careful.

So what else is new? Not much really (apart from the bump of course!). I don’t have any stretch marks – I’m using this super-duper cream called Remescar Silicone Stretch Marks Scar Cream, a silicone based cream, which prevents and treats stretch marks by releasing a long lasting protective film that will cover the affected skin and I’m craving sweet stuff like nothing else. Obviously I’m trying not to cave in, and working hard at keeping my blood sugar levels in check by eating every two to three hours and having a good protein rich breakfast like a shake (recipe below) or a big plate of eggs, spinach and avocado.

My wedding ring is also still on, my belly button hasn’t popped quite yet and I’m not feeling too tired or queasy, so all is good!

Training this week has been good too – I’m walking lots and getting a good 45 minutes in in the morning. I loved my circuit this morning, which was;

45 seconds work/15 seconds rest x 4 circuits
* TRX one legged squat on right leg (alternate legs with each round)
* TRX Back pulls (these are great for posture as your boobs get bigger and heavier)
* TRX Press ups
* Side plank with arm reach on right side (alternate sides with each round)

I then finished with a 5k time trial on the bike. Great workout!

My go-to protein-rich breakfast smoothie
Try this tasty protein-rich shake to stop those pesky sugar cravings that like to sneak up on you when you are pregnant. This is a real treat at breakfast time and is really filling!

I got this recipe from the amazing Mirella Ingamells’ pregnancy e-book, which has been a huge help for me when it comes to nutrition and workout ideas….her little one is seven months now and Mirella, like me worked out throughout her whole pregnancy.

Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie
Ingredients:
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1tbsp peanut butter
1 frozen banana
300ml rice milk
1tsp lucama powder
Handful of ice
Chia & sesame seeds (for sprinkling on top)

Literally all you do is throw it all in the blender and drink up!

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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 

 

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 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!

21 day fat loss challenge

I’ve had another bloody virus. Sore throat, sore ears, dizziness, the shakes etc, so my training with Bearwolf has been put on hold until I recover. I tried a workout on Monday and ended up feeling dizzy and seeing stars. I just called it quits and went back in until I recovered. It’s really not worth putting your body under the stress.

I’m still feeling weird but going to start my 21 day challenge again tomorrow and just fill up on green juices and super-greens. I’m guessing all the vitamins & minerals will do me the world of good!

That said I’m going to a Purifyne three day juice detox. I basically start the day with lemon & hot water with some supplements, then have a green juice at breakfast, lunch, mid afternoon & dinner. I also have a nut butter shake mid afternoon, which looks really creamy and delicious. I know it’s not ideal starting a detox when you’re not 100% but I’m not eating much anyway and if I’m not training (so unlike me!) it’s probably the best time to do it!

So wish me luck. I have three days of juices, then I’m moving onto a 7 day protein challenge with UpBeat. I’m hoping I will back in the gym then and all the protein will start building me up again and give me the energy to train again.

I’ll weigh myself and keep an eye on how my clothes fit and hope that over the next 21 days I’ll get rid of that last kilo. I was 64.5kg after I had Lacie and now 59.3kg, so it’s all going in the right direction.

I’ll let you know how day 1 of juicing goes tomorrow.

My First Year Essentials

I can’t believe it. Lacie is one on Sunday. I have survived the first year with a few bumps to the head (yes she rolled off the bed. Every new mothers nightmare!), breakdowns and sleepless nights. It really hasn’t been as hard I thought it would be – I’ve loved every minute and being a mummy has definitely chilled me out. I simply CAN’T work out more than 6 times a week (I used to train twice a day!!), can’t be fussy about what I eat and when I eat it, and I have to drag my ass out of bed to get my workout in in the morning. You can certainly get your body back after a baby, but you need to be prepared to workout when infact all you want to sleep and be patient. It definitely is 9 months out, 9 months in. I have just got my body back to where I want it to be (well 1kg away from my goal anyway!)

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So here are a few things that have kept me going this last year. My new mum essentials, which have made my life easier.

Maxinutrition Promax Lean Bars 
These are great for my crazy mornings, when I don’t have time to grab food between my workouts (I workout at 6:30am when Lacie is in bed) and getting me and Lacie ready for the day. They are high in protein, contain green tea and just seem to set me up for the day until I can grab some eggs or something similar for breakfast, which usually happens about 10:30.

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Viridian Cherry Night
Sometimes, no matter how tired I am, I feel wired at nighttime, despite the fact that I don’t drink coffee or anything like that.
Since having Lacie, I’m also such a light sleeper, so find that this Cherry Night, helps me to relax and unwind before bed and helps me sleep a bit more soundly! It contains glycine, cherry, red date and magnesium, which are all great for relaxing the mind, especially if you have an hour post-bedtime.
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BearWolf Personal Training Service
It would be so easy to skip a workout if I wasn’t accountable to these guys! Each day I have to check in with my workout and nutrition using their online app, and if I don’t? I get a gentle reminder from Scott, asking me how I’m getting on.
I’m currently on week 3 of my new programme and each day when I check in, I have to tell them my reps, weights and workout time. The goal is to improve each week – and guess what? So far, so good! Still one kilo of baby weight to shift though!

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My Virgin Active Membership
Now I have a gym in my garden I don’t go to the gym as much as I would like too, but my mum has Lacie on Wednesdays so I make sure I go to the gym then and also on Thursday evenings. It’s nice to be on the gym floor again with an abundance of equipment and to be surrounded by others working out. I often get ideas by watching what others do, or speaking to the trainers there. I also love our swimming lessons at Virgin Active. Lacie has been going since she was 11 weeks old and we now have a fab teacher called Sandra who is really pushing her along whilst making the lessons fun. She can now kick her legs, paddle her arms, go under the water without even a blink of the eye and sit on the side and jump in. She really does love it and I would recommend swimming lessons to any new mum.

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Day 3 of my 21 day diet challenge

Hello day three…it looks like it may be hungry one as I woke up hungry today!

Determined not to venture of track though, I popped Lacie in her running buggy (read my review on the Out ‘n’ About Nipper Sport V4 here) and went out for an hour run before breakfast. There’s a park about 10 minutes from our house, so I walked there as part of my warm up and the set my timer to three minutes running & 30 seconds rest. I did this 10 times before walking back home again. It took about an hour and according to my heart rate monitor I burnt 500 calories.

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When I got home I had a Protein shake with 1/2 a banana followed by some sourdough bread with almond butter. That certainly knocked the hunger pangs on the head and the combination of protein, carbs & good fats helped my recovery too.

For lunch I had Tomato soup followed by a chicken breast with courgette noodles marinated in homemade pesto made from spinach, avocado, basil & pine nuts and then a apple mid afternoon and a sugar free lolly….it was either that or something extra naughty. I always struggle in the afternoons with cravings!

I always go to the gym on Thursday nights too, so as soon as Lacie was in bed I ventured to my local Virgin Active.
I always run there. It takes 8 minutes, which is perfect for my warm up.
I then did 20 glute raises and 20 deadbugs to switch on my core, followed by 20 Kettlebell lunges holding a 12kg Kettlebell to work my lower body. I did this five times, and not only were my legs burning but my heart rate was nice and high too. This is the strength phase of my workout.

To finish off, I did a nasty met-con finisher, where I did 150 Russian Kettlebell swings using a 12kg Kettlebell. I didn’t however just do 150 straight off. I did as many as I could in a minute, then did 10 jumping lunges and did another load of swings until my buzzer went off. Basically on the minute every minute I did my jumping lunges, then carried on doing my Kettlebell swings inbetween.
The whole thing took me 6 1/2 minutes – it was horrible. The first time I did this though it took me 11 minutes so I’m definitely getting fitter!

I then finished off with some tricep dips and side planks and walked home. I usually run but my legs refused!

When I got home I had a nice hot bath with my favourite Liquid Yoga bath soak followed by a pot of CO YO mixed with some lemon juice and lemon zest. It reminds me of lemon meringue pie…and is a perfect post without treat.

So, I’ve had another great day. I’ve eaten around 1500 calories again but burnt 500 during my run and 400 at the gym – leaving me well under my calorie allowance. I think I may be hungry again tomorrow so will plan a nice big breakfast. I’m thinking protein pancakes! Yum!