Before the start of the summer holidays I invested in the Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred DVD and declared that me and my Other Half would get fit over the summer.  I think we did one day of the DVD and then never looked at it again!

Since I found out I was pregnant with Meg I have done very little formal exercise. I know that running after children who are trying to escape down the road and sprinting up the stairs to get a bottle to a screaming baby does count as some level of exercise but essentially I’ve spent the last 5 years doing not very much at all to keep myself in good nick.  I’m quite a small person and I’ve watched my weight creep up and my tummy getting rounder for a while now, constantly thinking to myself ‘I need to do some exercise’ without actually doing any exercise!

Which is why I’m joining in with Shredtober.  Together with a group of wonderful ladies, I am committing to working my way through the DVD this October and to put myself on the road to better fitness levels (as I sit here and eat my chip shop dinner it’s easy to say!)

If you want to join us then we have a Facebook group where we can share updates and get support from each other.  Give me a shout if you want to join!!

I have taken ‘before’ photos but I don’t think anyone wants to see them so I will keep them for myself to give me the motivation to keep going.

Hopefully this time next month I will be trimmer and fitter than I am right now!!

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29 years ago yesterday, my mum and dad got married in Huddersfield.  29 years!!  

I can remember laughing at the way my parents looked in their wedding photos when we were younger.  Now though, I look at my mum’s dress and think I would probably wear something not too dissimilar if I was getting married again.  Funny how fashions come back around.  Maybe not the hair though…

My dad on the other hand, doesn’t look a thing like this and I still can’t believe he ever did apart from the fact that I can see my brother in him.

My parents are a great example of what it means to be married.  I think I have only ever heard them argue once in my whole life.  I don’t mean that they didn’t ever disagree and were an outstanding problem-free couple, but only that as children we were very much protected from anything that was going on around us.  Which I think is as it should be.

They have always been very real and honest and I like to think of them as ying and yang.  However much my mum might grumble about my dad being a numpty I think they complement each other very well!  

I remember watching a video recently of the UK’s longest married couple and I like to think that this will be my parents eventually…her constantly interrupting him, him going off on random tangents answering questions that haven’t been asked…

Happy anniversary Mum and Dad!!

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Last weekend we decided to embrace all things autumnal and headed out for a walk in some woods local to us.  We’d received a tip-off that there was a very interesting looking labyrinth for children to explore and so we made a beeline for it.  Meg decided that there might even be fairies there, and determined that she was going to hunt some out!

On the way, we passed a huge oak tree with hundreds of green acorns hanging down.  Eli became very excited by this and spent a good 5 minutes hunting out ones on the ground.  I’ve already shared my favourite photo of him showing one of his collection, but it was amazing to see the look of wonder on his face as he made the discovery.  We talked about how the acorns will eventually turn brown, and how they are food for squirrels.  The kids called out for the squirrels but (unsurprisingly I’m sure with all the racket they were making!), we didn’t see any appear.


We slowly made our way toward the labyrinth, it was a straight path from the car park to the labyrinth but we allowed Meg and Eli to go off the path exploring.  It’s much too boring to walk in a straight line the whole time, especially when Alfie can find such great places to run to.  It’s only natural that the kids want to follow him.


We eventually reached the labyrinth and Meg and Eli really did have a magical time exploring.  The labyrinth is made of twisted rhododendron bushes and there are hundreds of hidey holes and paths through off the main decked path.  It would be a fantastic place to play a game of hide and seek with slightly older children.  

The whole time we were exploring, Meg and Eli were just squealing and shouting with delight.  They loved disappearing into tiny gaps and climbing over twisted trunks.  It was a brilliant and natural environment for them to play in and they didn’t need much encouragement to really go for it which was great to watch.  We just followed along behind them watching them make their own fun.


We found some wooden toadstools in the very centre and we sat and listened to a story called ‘Tania’s Tales’ through an electronic speaker amongst the tangled branches.  We also had time for a little snack and tried out our the Barny samples we had been sent.  Barny is a bear shaped sponge snack and comes in two flavours, chocolate and milk.  Both got the thumbs up from Meg and Eli (and Mummy and Daddy too!)

I didn’t manage to get a picture of the kids eating as I was, erm, quite busy enjoying my own Barny treat.  We particularly all enjoyed discovering the hidden filling, it was unexpected and delicious!


Unfortunately we didn’t find any fairies, much to Meg’s disappointment but we still had a lovely adventure off exploring and discovering.  Daddy saved the day by getting stuck in a magic tree and needing to be rescued by our two intrepid explorers plus one very keen pup!


On the way back to the car whilst we were talking about the different kinds of leaves that were on the ground, a caterpillar happened to float down directly in front of my face so we caught it and Meg and Eli were equally thrilled with this discovery and spent a long time *gently* passing the caterpillar backwards and forwards.  It, in turn, did some very caterpillar like crawling on their hands which they found hilarious and kept up shouting ‘it’s sticking it’s bum in the air!’


Eventually we popped the caterpillar down on a leaf and the kids shouted their goodbyes and good lucks.


So, we didn’t find any fairies but we did have a very good woodland adventure exploring the labyrinth and finding the caterpillar.  Which I would say is pretty good!


Disclaimer: This post is an entry for BritMums ‘Little Adventures Challenge’ in partnership with Barny, the bear-shaped snack providing a little discovery in every bite.  Find out more about Barny here.

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A while ago I wrote this post, about the arguments discussions we had been having over whether we were going to have any more children.

I’d like to say that we have reached a unanimous decision but that wouldn’t be entirely true.  It is, however, something I have been thinking over a lot recently and I have come to the decision that right now, at this moment, having another baby wouldn’t be the correct choice for us as a family.

Being at home with Eli these past few weeks has made me realise that by spending my time thinking ‘oh you’re not a baby any more’ means I’m missing out on who he is now.  Feeling nostalgic about all the things he will never do again seems ridiculous when I could be concentrating on all the amazing things he is doing and will do.  I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, I can’t say definitively that we won’t have any more children, perhaps we will.  But I think it’s important that I stop wondering over the babies that might have been, or might be, and instead spend my time and energy loving and enjoying the children I do have.  Perhaps the overwhelming sense of broodiness I get when I hear that a friend is expecting or when I see a tiny newborn baby will never fully disappear but I hope it will get better with time.

I love our little family unit.  I love that now Eli is older we can hang out and enjoy each other’s company.  I don’t want that dynamic to change any time soon, and I can’t wait for the fun things we are going to get to do as they get even older.  Meg and Eli are such amazing characters with their own unique personalities, I can’t imagine adding a third into the mix at the moment.


So, although saying it out loud doesn’t necessarily change the way I feel entirely on the inside, I think it gives it more ‘oomph’ and it really is the best decision we could be making at this particular time. 

Truthfully, and honestly.

This is probably the part where I pick my husband up off the floor after he reads this and realises I’m actually agreeing with a decision he has made.  So, for the record, I am fully within my rights to change my mind at any time (just kidding!)

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