Life lately…

11347869_498870633603230_1501944328_n  IMG_4886

Time between posts is starting to get a little embarrassing now, I just don’t understand where the time goes! Andee is 3 months already, nearly 4 and it feels like about 2 days have passed since she was born!

Anyhoooo, life has been great lately; testing, but good and very very busy! Life with two kids is quickly becoming the norm around here and it feels like we have almost accustomed completely now, with the odd minor hiccup ;). Andee has been progressing brilliantly; she’s getting so strong with her head and is almost almost rolling over. She loves her baby bouncer and her Bumbo and has finally started grasping things so it’s everything and anything in her mouth at the moment. Her weight is still soaring and she is a little monster with rolls everywhere, her 3-6 month clothes are a squeeze already!

IMG_4321  IMG_3836

I’m hoping it’s just a faze, but she is all kinds of grumpy lately and she sure knows how to cry! It’s mainly when she’s tired and I’m thinking it’s a mix of a growth spurt and just getting frustrated that she can’t do things; she’s so ready to just be able to move, I can see it’s bugging her and she has such a little fiery temper which she has no qualms in showing off when she’s not happy, you have never heard a baby cry so loud! I have no idea what the neighbours must think! I feel like we didn’t fully appreciate that Ava never cried as a baby and because of that it has been a complete shock to the system this time. Last night she cried continuously from around 7pm-10pm just because she was tired (and my word does this girl fight sleep). Needless to say by the time Hubby got home I was ready to board a plane to some far away location and never look back. Hah!

IMG_4256  IMG_4814

Apart from the crying from fatigue she really is a little gem, although everybody is a little sceptical to believe this once they’ve heard the set of lungs on her! 🙂 She is such a happy baby the rest of the time I swear ;). She loves to smile and her little giggles are to die for! We gave her her first banana a few days ago too which she was a little confused about but sat suckling on it for the best part of an hour. Sleeping is still going great (at night only) and she is sleeping through with the odd feed. She loves to lie in and it’s impossible to wake her before around 10am, probably because she is so exhausted from fighting sleep in the daytime!
IMG_4676
You’re probably looking at this picture thinking everything I’m saying is a lie right! Butter wouldn’t melt…

IMG_4194  IMG_4749

Ava has been a doll recently, the crazy teenager style behaviour seems to be calming down a lot and she’s sleeping though the night again (for now). She just get’s better and better the older Andee gets and I love watching them together. I know once Andee gets to an age where she is moving around and can interact with Ava, they will be playing all day long.
Andee and I just flew to Spain for my company’s annual retreat so Hubby took Ava up to Scarborough camping and my word, she was in absolute heaven. It’s all she could talk about for weeks beforehand then every time I face timed whilst I was away she was just ecstatic and could barely tell me how much fun she was having, they were up at 7am every morning and were off out flying kites, building sandcastles, riding on ponies, visiting aquariums, you name it, they did it. I think it was all sorts of overwhelming and having Daddy to herself every day was perfection for her.
IMG_3883 IMG_4699
This beauty is growing up far too quickly! I know I’ll blink and she’ll suddenly be having boys over and stealing my clothes.

IMG_4103
Spain was wonderful and I am so incredibly lucky to work for the most accommodating company. I was debating whether to attend or not for a long time beforehand, but with Andee being so great travelling to Portugal and Ava desperate to go camping with Daddy I thought what the heck. It was also the first time most of us were all meeting too with most employees working distributed, so I really didn’t want to miss out on all the fun. And it was so much fun, everyone had a great time and got along together awesomely. We had the most amazing accommodation set on a cliff edge which looked down to the gorgeous coastline below with an incredible view of Morocco in the distance. Andee was perfect on the way there (I was so so nervous about travelling by myself) and for the first 3 or 4 days was a little angel, I don’t think she cried once. But, on the last day she woke up with a fever and we ended up being in A&E with her for hours. She was absolutely fine (just a temperature) but because she was so little the Doctors wanted to be sure and they carried out so many awful tests on her. It was definitely one of the most traumatic things I’ve ever been through and I can’t imagine how Hubby was coping not being able to be there. But, at least it happened at the very end of the holiday and not the beginning and I have to say, as horrendous at it all was, I was amazed at how great the Doctors were and how quickly we were seen (although they did not speak a word of English and if I hadn’t of had two of the girls from work there helping I would have been completely lost).

IMG_4682 IMG_3764

That’s us up to date I think, back to busy busy life as we now know it. Adam has just gone freelance and is now hiring himself out for small private events, dinner parties and such and it’s been great since it happened as it’s all just gone crazy with the amount of interest he’s had and he’s already booked a ton of events for the next couple of months. It’s super nice for us girls too as it means he’s at home in the day a lot more and it’s been really exciting for him finally being able to work for himself.

I really will try to post again soon

LOve

Follow me
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest

Lisbon

IMG_2478
We just arrived home from Portugal a few days ago and I’m already wishing I was back there! Talk about holiday blues! We had a few days in Lisbon before making our way down to the beautiful Algarve for a week of sun, sand and relaxation!<3

IMG_2626   IMG_2435_1

The holiday was just what we all needed, we had perfect weather and it was an absolute treat to have some time away as a family. Ava was in true heaven having Daddy all to herself again for a week and a half and it was a welcome break for me having the extra pair of hands around with the girls. Things have been CRAY-ZAY, on the double time since little Andee’s birth and especially since hubby has been back at work full time, so the break was heaven and all kinds of perfection getting to spend quality time together away from the chaotic madness we now call life!

IMG_3251
The Algarve was stunning, it really was. The beaches there are OUT OF THIS WORLD amazing! And it was the perfect retreat; beaches that go on for miles; coastlines with the most incredible rock formations; incredulous caves and little alcoves with gorgeous white sands and clear blue waters. They don’t call them some of the most outstanding beaches in the world for nothing.
IMG_2634   IMG_3248
But, the real treasure of this vacation was Lisbon. It’s the first time I have visited this incredible city and I head over heels fell love with the place.
IMG_3249    IMG_3247

It’s original, understated charm shines through completely and utterly and it is a true gem. Without doubt my favourited visited city in the world so far. I love its unpretentious vibe and it has the most chilled essence just breathing continuously throughout. We spent the days exploring the wonders of the old city; the cobbled streets; the majestic castles and monuments, the graffitied old trams; the gorgeous storied buildings painted in stunning colours, old shutters at the windows and covered in cracked, worn, beautifully pattern tiles. Even the derelict buildings were a thing of beauty.
I love how it holds it’s perfect character and charm. It’s rare with the popularisation of a place such as this that some of that isn’t lost along the way to meet the technological, commercial and ascetic needs of first world ideals.
It reminded me so much of Marrakech in it’s colourful wander but without the hustle and bustle and the parts which make it equally difficult and rewarding to reside in.

For a city of considerable size, you are forgiven for forgetting this the instant you are in it’s heart. You could just as easily be wondering a small village and the people there reflect this; they’re friendly, calm, seemingly content and always eager to help. People say hello passing on the streets, are intrigued to hear where you are from and everywhere we went the locals were totally smitten with Andee and Ava. Something which is rare to see in modern cultures and cities.

I wish we could have had longer there I really do and surprisingly to me hubby fell in love even more than I did. We both agreed we could, and would someday, love to live there.
IMG_2576
IMG_3250   IMG_3245

IMG_3015

IMG_2697
IMG_2981
  IMG_3252

The food whilst we were in Vilamoura in the Algarve was heaven. We woke early to go down to the fish and fruit and veg markets in the village and Adam cooked the most gorgeous food almost every evening we were there.

LOve

Follow me
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest

6 Week Postpartum Update

So it’s been 6 weeks since little Andee’s birth! (How is that even possible!??!) So I thought it time to check in with a first postpartum wellness update. Andee is doing great and I will post a full baby update in the next week or so.

Overall I feel great, she is such a good little beauty at the moment and is sleeping like an angel, thank goodness for co-sleeping, everything is better with sleep. Everything! I’ve also been taking my placenta pills which you can read about in my previous post and have given me so much energy and are making me feel great both physically and mentally.

Photo taken last week at 5 weeks postpartum
IMG_1931

WEIGH IN: I’m currently 10 lbs or so away from my pre pregnancy weight and I’m pretty happy with my progress so far (I have been breastfeeding non stop and that, no doubt has a lot to do with it). Whilst I’m not over stressing about losing everything all at once (I’m pretty sure a lot of the extra weight will be sticking around until I finish breastfeeding anyway) I am desperate to get back in shape and tone up! I’d got to a state pre-pregnancy which I was really happy with; I was running almost every day and it is probably the happiest I’ve been with myself so I’m really focused on getting back to that. I can just about get into my old jeans at least and now summer is well on its way I have a little extra motivation to give me that push.

WORKING OUT: I started slow at around 2 weeks postpartum. This may sound a little early but everything went really smooth with Andee’s birth and I was incredibly desperate to get back to it after maintaining a pretty consistent level of fitness throughout my whole pregnancy. I got signed off to do so by my midwife and eased myself in gently with some planned home workouts and jogging when I had time. Running was a little difficult to begin with and I had a bit of a shock when I went for my first run and only made it to 4km. But slowly I’m building it back up and I ran my first 10k last week so I feel like I’m making good progress there. I’ve also signed up for the London Marathon for 2016 (NO idea what I was thinking!) so am keen to get training for that. I started back at the gym and my fitness classes this week too and the nicest change is being able to really push myself again. During pregnancy all my workouts obviously had to be much less strenuous and I couldn’t push my body to its absolute limits like before, something I sort of need and is essential to me when working out. It’s taking a little while to get my fitness levels back up and I know it’s going to take a while but I’m enjoying the journey back for sure.

DIET: I’ve been pretty disciplined when it comes to eating and the diet and exercise plans I wrote up whilst pregnant have really helped me stay on track. It’s really important to me to be as healthy as possible whilst breastfeeding and although i’ve probably been indulging a little more than I should 😉 I’ve been quite consistent with making sure I am eating the right things and getting plenty of nutrients into my body and my little human’s too. Breastfeeding really does make you ravenous and with all the extra calories being burnt I’m not so concerned with my diet but more so with my fitness levels and toning this body back up. We’re on holiday next week also, so I’m sure there is going to be plenty of indulging there too 😉

I put on a lot more weight when pregnant with Ava and it took about 4 months to really get back into the swing of working out more consistently and it wasn’t until over a year after she was born that I really felt like I was back to my ‘old self.’ Juggling two littles now as well as work, I know I need to push extra hard to get back to a place where I’m happy and confident with my body again.

LOve

Follow me
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest

Fitness in Pregnancy

IMG_8447
Over the last couple of years since having my first daughter health and fitness has become really important to me. I truly believe living a clean healthy lifestyle is key to being happy. It has changed my view completely on the image I have always had of myself, instead of seeing it as a weight loss solution it is now something completely different. It is an amazing form of therapy and a great stress reliever, it makes me feel calm and at peace with myself, clears my mind and seeing results over the long-term makes me proud of the dedication I have found for it.

I was younger I was so weight obsessive and have probably tried every fad diet/weight loss aid out there; all of these types of diet, although giving some initial success are so much worse in the long run. They are not good for your body in any way and usually lead to putting weight back on very quickly once completed in preparation for you putting your body through such an unnatural process again. They tend to make your immune system weak along with you body, you have little or no energy and the results are never long-lasting. When following a healthy lifestyle consistency is key. Nothing happens overnight and there are no quick fixes if you want long-term results. Dedication and motivation will lead you there in your own time and the results will be so worth it once they come.

Because working out is such a central part of my life now it has been really important to me to stay fit during this pregnancy. When I was pregnant the first time around, although I did do moderate exercise throughout, I definitely didn’t stay healthy; I ate my bodyweight in rubbish food everyday and put on over 3 stone. Needless to say I did not want that to happen this time.
I also worked so hard to get back to my pre pregnancy self after Ava was born I didn’t want to throw that all away. After Ava and prior to this pregnancy was the fittest I’ve ever been, I was running pretty much everyday and feeling great in myself. I wanted to carry on that throughout this pregnancy and more than that to be able to easily sink back into my routine once baby arrived.

There’s also the undeniable benefit that exercise is great for baby and as long as you’re not starting anything new, maintaining the same level of fitness throughout pregnancy is not harmful to you or the baby. In fact it’s super beneficial for baby’s development and most importantly if Mummy is fit and healthy there’s a much lower chance of complications. Not to mention how great exercise is for giving birth. Keeping your muscles active throughout helps prepare your body for the gruelling task of labour and in general helps you spring back to shape once baby is born. Yoga is also great in pregnancy. I swear by it in general anyway but it is especially good at keeping stress at bay when your body needs it most, keeping you flexible and giving you amazing relaxation techniques for use in labour.

Eating healthy is also a big thing for me, especially whilst growing a little human inside :). Baby’s development relies so much on what we put into our bodies and the vitamins and minerals we consume. Don’t get me wrong I’ve definitely had my bad days when I’ve binged on chocolate and ice cream, but in general I try to only put goodness in, seen as though Bambi is getting everything I am I try to keep the fatty or processed food to a minimum and fill up on plenty of fruit and vegetables, and healthy carbs and proteins.

Below are some random shots from my camera roll and Instagram of my typical diet.

Breakfast for me usually consists of one of following. Since becoming pregnant it is probably my most valued meal of the day as I’m so hungry when I wake which is totally new to me so I like to have something which is going to fill me up until lunch.
IMG_7425IMG_8212IMG_8976On weekdays bowls of fat free yogurt and tonnes of fruit are my go to, especially when I’m working and have limited time.
Weekends are for pancakes! (I started making these flour free ones a while ago and am totally addicted! They only have 3 ingredients! (1 whole mashed banana, 2 eggs or eggs whites and a teaspoon or so of flaxseed.) They are so delicious and taste just like you are gorging on the real deal. ❤

IMG_7863IMG_7733IMG_7950Eggs are also a weekend fave, usually with lots of added avocado or spinach.
IMG_8148IMG_8446
Lunch is usually a salad of some kind 🙂

IMG_6983
This is often what I eat if I go out for lunch and is one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten, packed full of fruit, veg and yummy seeds.

IMG_7932IMG_8243
Dinner is definitely my favourite meal of the day and I try to make it as low carb but as filling as possible.
Fish or lean meat, sides of cous-cous, lentils, sweet potato or similar and a mountain of steamed vegetables <3. I always load up more on the veg to fill me up and go heavy on the kale and spinach as they’re super good for Mama and baby.

IMG_8875IMG_8071IMG_8566IMG_8534IMG_7629I absolutely LOVE sushi and it has been one of things I’ve missed most this pregnancy, but when cravings are at the max, go for some yummy avocado maki, not quite the real thing but still nearly as good! ❤
IMG_8197 IMG_8206

LOve x

Follow me
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest

New York, New York

I finally found some time to sit down and write a blog post on our holiday to this incredible city! So here goes…

IMG_6720

Where to even begin?! I’ll start with how much I love this place. I fell in love pretty much as soon as I stepped off the plane! It’s such an amazing city. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, perhaps something similar to that of London or Paris. But how wrong I was, it is unlike any city I have ever visited before. The size of the city and everything in it is extraordinary and the architecture is out of this world.

For such a big city it felt incredibly clean and safe. A dramatic contrast to that of other cities we’ve visited in the US.
We stayed in the West Village with my brother which is right next to the Hudson river. Their little apartment was super cute and had amazing views of New Jersey. I even managed to do a couple of 10k runs first thing in the morning (Ava was still waking around 5am up until we left due to the time difference) and the views were incredible. I ran right along the river and down all the piers (along with countless others running at that time of morning, many with pushchairs in tow, pretty inspirational!).
Whilst out running I fell in love with the place a little more. The number of beautiful parks all around the city is amazing! And there seems so much to do everywhere, I ran past tennis courts, basketball courts, netball pitches, dog parks, climbing walls and more! Not to mention all of the great kids play parks which Ava loved.

Also, the Food there is out of this world! I love good food, and I like to try and stay as healthy and fit as possible and it is so well equipped for not just nutritional food but for every type of dietary requirement out there, something which is seriously lacking back home. There is just so much choice. We went to Wholefoods the second day we were there (I’m totally obsessed with that store!) and I was in food heaven. We went back so many times and since being home I’ve been missing it like crazy! I so wish we had something even slightly similar here.

The best thing of the whole trip though was just having time together as a family. It was heaven having hubby to ourselves for a full week! And with things about to get a whole lot more crazy when the new baby arrives, it was nice to just relax and enjoy our last holiday as a 3!

IMG_6253

My brothers apartment was in a great location and it was pretty easy finding our way around. We did do a substantial amount of walking whilst we were there, despite the subway being of relevant ease and the weather being freezing cold it was nice to see as much of the city as possible. Although it did mean carrying Ava ALOT, which wasn’t so much fun 🙂
We also shopped. A lot. How could we not! Although going out on Black Friday was a huge mistake, we had no idea what we were walking into and after half an hour of mayhem we quickly retreated to return another day.

IMG_6252
The New York Library was a favourite for little miss, it was complete book heaven for her and we thought we’d never get out of there! It’s such a beautiful building too, we spent such a long time just walking around the whole place admiring the architecture.

IMG_6568

Our trip up the empire state was one of my most memorable highlights. The view is absolutely out of this world and is probably second only to that of the view from the Grand Canyon (a polar opposite) in my top spectaculars I’ve seen in the world. Pictures just do not do it justice which is exactly the way I think now when looking at pictures of the canyon.
I’m glad we went at night, the whole city lit up looks magical. It’s obviously incredibly high, but until you get up there you can’t really contemplate just how high. And be as it may that we were completely closed in, it was a pretty terrifying experience.

IMG_6567
Times Square at night is also a pretty spectacular sight and very bustling and lively.

IMG_6430
Sleepy pumpkin. Ava was poorly for a day or two whilst we were there which meant carrying her everywhere all day long! (Never have I wished for her pushchair so badly!)

IMG_6503
The view from the Brooklyn Bridge. I loved Brooklyn, it’s insanely hip and pretty much exactly what I was expecting. My brothers girlfriend took us to a little flea market where we got some adorable little handmade bits for the new baby! It was great seeing the whole of Manhattan from across the river too. The views were spot on yet again.

IMG_6604
The statue cruise was a total tourist day, but we loved it all the same.

IMG_6629
Lady liberty.

LOve x

 Follow me
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest

A Healthy Lifestyle = A Happy Soul!

“Run faster, eat better, sleep longer, try harder, aim higher, love more, be happy.”

IMG_4660

A healthy lifestyle is something that’s really important to me and something I try my hardest to live by. In my opinion being healthy and active is the key to happiness, and LOVE of course! 🙂

Mainly I run, and I love to run. For me nothing compares. If I’m stressed, worried, tired or feeling generally rubbish, I force myself to run, even when I’m really not feeling it, because afterwards I feel great no matter what. I love to work out in the morning, then I feel like I have the rest of the day ahead of me and it’s much easier to achieve more when you’re up early and energised.
I do work out in other ways too though, I love my kettle bell classes and Yoga is probably the highlight of my week. I would recommend Yoga to anyone who has never tried it, I’ve honestly never met anyone who has tried it and disliked. It’s so peaceful and relaxing and yet pushes you to limits that are completely different to those experienced in other forms of fitness.

I started exercising and trying to eat healthy after having Ava, I guess mainly to loose the baby weight, and since then it’s become a bit of an addiction, and there are worse addictions to have as long as you have a balance. Of course I have days I don’t want to exercise or eat right and that’s fine as long as the right balance is there and that mentality doesn’t become the superior one. I try and stick to a workout of some sorts 3-5 times a week, sometimes it’s more, sometimes less. When it comes to eating I go through stages of being strict and a little more relaxed. I always try and keep it healthy, then if I’m wanting to cleanse I cut the carbs and sugar. And I do love food, love love it, but you don’t have to eat unhealthy to enjoy amazing food. Being creative and doing your research makes it so satisfying when you create or discover something delicious that’s also amazing for your body.

My main tips for a healthy diet are:
– Water, water, water! I try and drink at least 2 litres every day.
– Portion control – commonly the problem isn’t in what we are eating but how much so I tend to eat small and often.
– Preparing snacks – snacking is my weakness so I always make sure I have healthy options ready for when cravings strike.
– Try to stay away from any processed high sugar foods.
– Double up on fruit and veg – If you’re a big eater and finding it hard to cut down portion sizes or just feel extra hungry I always make a huge portion of steamed veg to fill the extra.

My usual day is fruit salad or muesli for breakfast, salad for lunch and I always make it more filling by adding lentils or mixed beans, then fish or chicken with steamed veg for dinner. Below are a few pictures of some recent meals I’ve made which are typical of my usual diet.

IMG_4659

IMG_4275
One of my favourites ‘oven baked salmon with mediterranean style cous cous and steamed veg’

IMG_4656
My current favourite breakfast – these cereals are heaven and packed with goodness.

IMG_4487IMG_4661
‘Spiced lamb with puy lentils, steamed vegetables and sautéed leeks’

IMG_4662IMG_4358
‘Tofu stir fry’ with courgette and carrot instead of noodles

IMG_4611
‘Spicy chicken stuffed pepper, quinoa and homemade guacamole’

IMG_4657
This last one is anything but healthy but you have to allow some treats 😉 and when it comes to dessert, pancakes are definitely a weakness of mine. These American style pancakes are to die for and incredibly easy to make.

LOve x

 Follow me
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest

Another bun in the oven – baby #2

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll probably know Adam and I announced we are expecting bambino number two in March next year. We’re both so so excited but it was rather unexpected. We decided to try after our wedding in June, obviously not quite expecting it to happen in the first month!

IMG_4435

In all honesty hubby has been ready for number 2 for a while now, not that I wasn’t but I just felt we had enough to contend with with Ava, moving house and planning the wedding all of last year (not to mention fitting into my wedding dress!) So I was the one putting the brakes on a little. We always knew we wanted more than one and not too far apart in age to Ava, so with the wedding done and dusted, now is the perfect time.

I’m almost 14 weeks and have all my energy back finally, which feels great! I had some serious sickness up to about week 10 which was definitely much worse this time around. I remember getting some nausea with Ava but this was on a whole other level, morning till night day after day. I had zero energy to do anything which is a little inconvenient when you have a demanding 2 year old running around! I feel amazing now though and am getting so excited, it’s going especially fast too (again, probably due to being a busy bee with the little munchkin) which I love, I remember with the first it’s all so exciting but extremely slow and you have no idea what to expect. But this time I’m just going with it and it feels so much more relaxed. I’m a little anxious about having two and the huge change its going to bring, but we’re both so excited for this next chapter of our lives together (challenges included) and it somehow makes it even more special to be able to share the excitement with Ava this time.

We told little miss straight away, and to be honest its a miracle she didn’t blurt it out to anyone considering she’s such a chatterbox. But she’s so cute with it. She already kisses and strokes my tummy and her preference for whether she’d like a little brother or sister changes almost daily. The thing that doesn’t change though is that she’d like him/her to be called ‘Thomas’, something I’m hoping she’ll change her mind about, because she is rather demanding about it. I see tantrums coming for sure!

We did an announcement shoot this week so thought I’d share some of the pictures with you all. I’m planning on doing weekly pregnancy updates too for those interested.

Zoe Against Wall

Zoe and Ava Against Wall

Zoe and Ava Walking 2

Zoe and Ava Close Crop

Zoe and Ava Crouched

Zoe and Ava Walking Away

LOve x

 Follow me
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest