Sunday, 26 June 2016

Silent Sunday : 26th June 2016

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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Celebrate being a Mum with a brand new home style

When you become a parent your home will start to change. First, you will almost definitely set up a nursery. That’s one of the great, fun parts of being a parent - you get to create a whole room designed for your child. You can paint the walls beautiful colours, buy all the furniture you need and that’s before you even give birth. So if you don't know the sex of you little one yet and have no intention of finding out until they arrive, you might want to think about gender neutral styling. However, it’s not just that one room that changes in your home. You can restyle your home and reshape it to be the perfect place for your growing family.

Family Photos
One of the great parts of how your home changes after you have children is the family photos. Rather than having art prints on your walls, you can have pictures of your little ones. Within a few years your walls might also be dotted with art that they created at school. For now, though, you could think about getting a baby bump photo for your wall. You can have these taken professionally and they are the perfect accessory to show you’re proud to be a mum. A selection of grouped picture frames are a lovely way to preserve your greatest memories of being a Mum.

Safety Proofing

This is perhaps more of a need than a want. You should make sure that you safety proof your home and all of the different rooms. In particular, make sure that you safety proof cupboards that are low down. You’d be surprised how quickly your little one learns to crawl and starts to find their way into all the dangerous areas. For instance, many people keep bleach under the sink. While these bottles do have safety tops, you still don’t want to risk your kids getting their hands on it.

Furniture For Kids
As well as a nursery, you might also have a playroom. This can be great for when your kids are a little older and require some private space to play. It can stop your entire home from beginning to look like a bomb full of stuffed toys went off. If you’re setting up this room, make sure you buy some furniture for kids. This tiny furniture looks adorable and creates a miniature play area for your child.

An extra tip is to have old papers or cloth stuffed in a draw that kids can pull out for messy play. That will stop your floor being covered in paint as well as other hard to remove liquids and substances.

Laminate Flooring
If you have extra money available before the baby comes, you may want to consider renovating your home with laminate flooring. This flooring is in style right now so it will make your home look modern. But there’s another advantage, and that’s clean ups. Like getting a pet, you’ll be lucky to get through the first few months without at least a couple cleanups. In fact, it will be nothing short of a miracle. Cleaning a laminate floor is one hundred times easier than carpet, trust me.

* Contributed Post

Review: The SML Diet

Last week saw me start the SML Diet, a very low calorie diet (aka "VLCD"). 

Whilst I've been unsure whether I could follow a VLCD, I was keen to try and it appealed to me for a number of reasons - its easy to prepare, takes the guess work out of making a low calorie meal and, of course, can give quick results.  That's not to say that its an easy option, as I found out.  

The Plan

Initially I had planned to follow the simple plan but with a number of things cropping up I decided to swap to social. So what does the social plan entail?

3 products per day plus one meal.  
200g of vegetables from an allowed food list or a SML Diet snack
100g protein (e.g. chicken, fish or a vegetarian alternative)
Drink at least 2 litres of water daily
No fruit or alcohol. 

Due to the low amount of carbohydrates being consumed, the body enters a process called ketosis which helps the body to burn off fat quickly and efficiently and, in turn, allows you to lose weight rapidly and safely.


It would be fair to say that I went into this plan with low expectations. I was dubious about what the shakes and replacement bars would taste like and whether I would be able to stomach them for a week if I disliked them. 

And, of course, I was expecting to be extremely hungry and perhaps a little grumpy with it. Did I expect to lose a huge amount of weight? Honestly? No. I hoped I'd lose a few but my weight fluctuates so much I wasn't entirely optimistic. 

The Reality 

The first day was tough and I was extremely headachey. I found that between 12 and 1/1.30 was the toughest time for me but I think part of that was habit, knowing that I would normally be eating in that time.  Instead, I had my shake and drank a large amount of ice cold water and I was pleasantly surprised - and relieved -  at just how nice the shakes and bar tasted.

The second day was much better. I didn't feel as desperately hungry as on the first day but I was very tired, headachey and light headed. Rather than sitting down and having my shake in one sitting, I kept them to one side and sipped them over a longer period.  Again, I had a lot of water and I finished day 2 feeling confident.  

The third day was my office day and I wasn't looking forward to it as I often sit at my desk and pick. My MiL had done lunch for us so I had my meal at lunch instead of the evening, when D finished off some leftover Chinese. I also took a tub of chopped up celery with me and munched on that in the afternoon when I felt like I desperately wanted to eat something - it didn't help that my colleague was chomping on chocolate! 

Day 5 saw us out for dinner and a little confession from me. I had planned on having something from the lighter menu but in the end ended up with a hotdog and it was delicious but also taught me something new. It had been several days since I last had bread and I found within a couple of hours I was absolutely shattered and my IBS flared up (bloating, cramp and an upset tum).  That feeling of exhaustion followed me through to the following day and I've had the same reaction since. 

I've seen lots of people talk about side effects from VLCDs, including bad breath and constipation, neither of which were an issue for me.  

I was surprised at how easy I found the plan to follow. The shakes are mixed with 200ml of cold water and should be consumed within 10 minutes, I presume this is because the mixture starts to separate. I did take a little longer to consume some of mine and made sure to shake them up inbetween. It was nice not having to worry about whether I had enough milk in the house as previous plans I've followed require the shakes to be made with milk.  I also like the fact that all the shakes are portioned out so they were easy to take out with me - I just measured some water out before hand and mixed it when I wanted it. 

The shake flavours I chose were banana, chocolate, chocolate orange, white chocolate, chocolate mint and cookies and cream.  There were also a number of other fruit flavours but I stuck to what I thought I would like. I find banana flavours can be very hit and miss but this was nice without being too sweet.  The only flavour I wasn't entirely convinced on was the chocolate, I could taste honey in it and that put me off some what. The bars were also nice, particularly the chocolate chew!

So after my time on the plan, how did I do? I lost 5lbs. Having measured myself the day before I started, I also lost an inch off my waist, hips and bust which I was very pleased with. It also got me drinking more water and helped me cut down on my snacking/picking, I was really thinking about what I was doing rather than just jumping in and doing it.

I'm seriously considering doing the SML Diet on a long term basis as its so quick and easy to do, once you get past those first few days, and I'd like to say a big thank you to The SML Diet for sending me the products to review their diet. 

The SMLDiet were kind enough to send me the products I needed to complete a week on their plan in return for my review. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Wicked Wednesdays : 22nd June 2016

This week's photo for wicked Wednesday was taken a few days ago whilst I was trying to get some photos for my last What they wore post.

I took 4 or 5 photos on my phone, not knowing how they had come out, when T decided she had had enough.  In fairness to her, she had been at nursery in the morning and was in desperate need of an afternoon nap!  

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Living Arrows : 20th June 2016

The photos for this week's Living Arrows post were taken at my in-laws.  

We usually go over once a week for dinner and she often tries to include the girls in what she's doing in the kitchen, mostly in the hope that they'll eat better! This week she found a quick and easy recipe for a pizza base so homemade pizzas it was. 

Even though she hadn't added anything to it, T was still keen to share hers!  

Needless to say, after all that effort they hardly ate any of it! T has had a heavy cold and has been off her food and I don't quite know what was wrong with E, I think it was simply that she was overtired.  Still - we enjoyed it!

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Living Arrows
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