Post Pregnancy Diet & Fitness – Part 2

Finally I have got round to taking more photos of myself (its not the kind of thing I wake up thinking….yippee, lets pop on a bikini and take selfies!) but I needed to to be able to show you my Post Pregnancy Diet & Fitness – Part 2.  I know I promised pictures before Christmas, but I just ran out of steam.  I kind of regret it now as well as I was doing really well – then Christmas got in the way and although I didn’t eat too badly, I didn’t get to the gym as much as I wanted to.  Anyway, without further ado……here I am 5 months post pregnancy.  I’ve lost inches which is good 3.5 inches off my hips, 2 inches off my waist and 1.5 inches off my boobs so things are going in the right direction and as Mark my personal trainer keeps reminding me, I’m not on a diet.  This is a lifestyle change so dramatic weight loss isn’t the goal although ultimately I will lost the weight that I have put on.

Now that I have concentrated on my core fitness, its time to start upping the pressure and I am going to be running a couple of times a week.  I am not a ‘natural’ runner, so this should be interesting – I hold my breath when I run for the bus…….- but I’d definitely attempt a run over doing a Zumba class which fills me with fear! I am going to do 10km ‘fun’ run with obstacles and wotnot in March.  I must be bonkers!  Anyone want to join, the details are here.









Kick Start Juicing January

My personal trainer has ‘suggested’ (which means I have to do it!) that I do a 5 day juice restart.  Luckily we both sing of the same page when it comes to “detox”.  I think its a word that has been overhyped.  Don’t get me wrong, I do think there are definite merits in redressing the balance and helping your body – but I wouldn’t call it detoxing. I found this article regarding detoxing and thought it was very sensible – take a peek.

I’m not in to starving or drinking just juices.  With a 5 month old who doesn’t sleep a whole lot, I need my food.  I am also going to the gym 3 x a week and I couldn’t even contemplate that on no food!

So who is with me?  This is a 5 day kick start to get rid of the bad habits you’ve probably got over Christmas *hides the chocolate orange*.

Green curly kale

Kick Start Juicing January

Day 1-3

3 x juices

2 pieces of fruit

3 servings of raw or steamed vegetables

2-3 servings of protein (fish, chicken, eggs, pulses)

Herbal tea or hot water with lemon.


Days 4-5

2 juices

2 pieces of fruit

3 servings of raw or steamed vegetables

2-3 servings of protein (fish, chicken, eggs, pulses)

Dairy – only milk or natural yoghurt


What is on the NO GO list for the 5 days unless stated is


Red Meat





Any processed food

Starchy carbs like potato, rice and pasta

No ham, bacon or processed meats

Once you get to day 5, start to reintroduce the NO GO list back in to your diet, 1 at a time.  Avoid processed food.  Drink 1-2 juices a day varying the combination of vegetable and fruit.  Always have a ratio of 80% vegetable 20% fruit.  There are literally HUNDREDS of juice ideas on Pinterest but take a look at my Pinterest Board for some ideas on Veggie Juices.


How to make the juices (you will need a juicer!)

1 x apple or pear

2 x large carrots

1 slice lemon with rind on

1/4 yellow pepper

3 inches of cucumber

1 celery stick

2 inches broccoli stem

2 inches of beetroot

1 inch of ginger root

1 x large handful or spinach or kale

These juices will keep in the fridge for 12 hours with a little ice thrown in.







Clean Eating Chicken, red rice & roast tomatoes

I love love love love love this!  Its pretty easy to make and tastes really good. Chicken, red rice and tomatoes then add some herbs, cook slowly and you get a wonderful dish which is balanced and delicious as well.

If you haven’t tried red rice then give it a whirl.  Its lovely and nutty and takes less time to cook than brown rice.  It also has a low GI rating.



75g (2 1/2oz) red rice

juice 1 lemon

4 small chicken thigh fillets

1-2 tablespoons dried oregano

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of Lucy Bee’s coconut oil (or if you don’t have, use olive oil)

1 small onion

2 garlic cloves

4 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

1 glug of white wine (for the dish, not for you!)

300ml (1/2 pint) chicken or vegetable stock cube

4 medium size tomatoes cut into 1/4′s or a packet of cherry tomatoes on the vine.

Fresh sprigs of marjoram or coriander



Put the red rice in a saucepan and cover with cold water to soak whilst you prepare the chicken.

Lay the chicken thighs out flat and make some superficial criss crosses on the meat (like a lattice) – then rub 1/2 the lemon juice in, sprinkle 1/2 the oregano and season with pepper

Turn the thighs over and repeat on the other side with the criss cross, lemon and oregano.  Now leave them to marinade for at least 15 minutes but a couple of hours would be better.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add the onion and cook over a low heat.  Add the ginger and heat gently for a few seconds.  Add the chicken pieces (and more coconut oil if you need) and gently brown the chicken on both sides.  Pour in the white wine and let it bubble, then add the stock, the drained rice and the coriander seeds.  Bring to the boil and turn the heat down and cover.  Simmer gently for 30-35 minutes until the rice is plump and soft.

About 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, put your tomatoes into a preheated oven 180degrees/350 farenheit/gas mark 4 in a small baking dish.  Drizzle with coconut oil and season with black pepper.  Roast for 10-15 minutes.

Serve the chicken with the tomatoes placed on the top.




Revel Body SOL Sonic Vibrator….

Oh yes….a sex toy to review.  Who knew!  This blogging world is full of surprises.

Now, when I think of a vibrator…..I guess something like this springs to mind….well sort of…uur kind of!

$(KGrHqUOKp!E4jMOrEzcBOUWI!tZpg~~48_35I was asked to review the Revel Body SOL Sonic Vibrator which prides itself in being not only a vibrator a sonic one at that (think toothbrushes), but a personal massager and guess what…….it’s WATERPROOF! I wonder what would have gone through my mind pre children….YAY, I can have uncomfortable ‘standing up sex’ in the shower and we can use the WATERPROOF Revel Body Sol Sonic Vibrator….Nowdays two babies down I was just relieved as I saw The Toddler trying to drown it in the dog water bowl that he wasn’t going to get a nasty shock with it being waterproof.

Its the toothbrush thing that gets me.  Have I been living in a bubble?  Never, not once have I looked at my electric toothbrush and thought of using it as a sex toy!  I mean, I thought I was pretty liberal, I lived in a flatshare in Sydney where one of the guys had a weekly Wednesday shag.  We all knew to steer clear of any vegetables in the chiller part of the fridge as he confessed whilst drunk that she couldn’t get her ‘ooommmmm’ unless there was a carrot, cucumber, courgette, sweet potato – well you get the picture…

Anyway, back to my sex toy review (I tell you its easier reviewing a cookery book!) – I’m going to be honest, having had a baby 3 months ago – there ain’t a whole load of shenanigans going on in our household and if there is, its with my husband…not a vibrator!  Quite apart from that, the instructions say “not for internal use” (this is the size of a small tennis ball)…..and its a fair bit smaller that the head of the most recent child I birthed – my imagination got the better of me and took me down an avenue of headlines in the local rag.  “recently birthed local womans’ noo nee swallows sonic vibrator!” – urggghhh.  So instead of a “review” and I am pretty sure that none of you want to here about the oohs and ahh’s of my relationship.  Here is a photo review of the Revel Body SOL Sonic Vibrator.

The packaging is amazing.  Think iPhone style and quality and for the price tag, I would expect that.  Its pretty lumpy at £99 – I mean thats got to be a hell of a good orgasm to shell out that kind of cash.


It comes with various attachments.  These are for massaging muscles and then ones for massaging your bits……they attach using a magnet – pretty cool really and if anything, attaching and un attaching them kept me amused for a while just putting the various attachments on!


Its pretty discreet and in all my urr ‘experience’ I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sex toy that looks like a camera for a computer!


This is the attachment that apparently with the help of the sonic vibrator will have you singing your head off!  Or if you turn it the other way (and it has a handy torch light) it has a dip in it which if you are submerged in water creates suction and gives you the sensations of passionate kisses and flicking of the tongue!



Here is the official Revel Body Sol video.  God, I’m pleased I don’t have her job….I couldn’t keep a straight face!

So there you have it.  If you have a present list for Christmas that you want to spice up – add this.  If you have a friend or partner that you are lost at what to buy. Add this.  Its got Gadget Status and if you want a more intimate review then google it – there are plenty out there!

Christmas Present Ideas

I’m being asked the dreaded question “what do you want for Christmas” at the moment. Christmas Present Ideas – I never can remember anything that I like or want and just mutter ‘oh you choose’.  I thought if I jotted down my faves I would remember them and maybe you can tell me what you want (just in case I am really missing something off my list!)

There are oodles of clothes that I would love to have, but practicality with a newborn is taking over this year (and because I’ve got weight to loose) so here are just a sprinkling of things that I like.

No idea why, but I LOVE this sweatshirt – £40 from Sea Soul and Snow.


This jumper from Woodie & Morris – St Tropez Heart Sweater £59.99 perfect for daytime or a chilled evening out.  I love a bit of sparkle!


Thanks to fellow blogger Does My Bum Look 40 writing about them……I’m loving giving and hopefully receiving any of these (take a look lots of colour ways) and a total bargain at £10 from Alices Wonders


And these little lovelies…..I am totally in love with.  Dr Denim Plenty Flocked Denim – £45 This is a denim which I have written about before – and I am the proud owner of several pairs already.  These look great dressed up or down.  I may not be able to resist these until Christmas!



Anthropologie has pretty much my dream wardrobe!  But this would be awesome under the Christmas tree! Cashmere V Back Jumper – £208




Next post will be more accessories, bags, headphones and other ESSENTIAL bits!



Clean Eating and Fitness Week 2

images-3I’m 2 weeks in to my new clean eating and fitness and I have to admit – its been tough! The first week was hard core. I gave up sugar. That REALLY hurt. Headaches, grumpy, lack of energy. Around day 7 I felt like I turned a corner and things got a great deal easier.  My energy levels seemed more consistent and I wasn’t having big energy slumps throughout the day.

Exercise wise. I’m not going to lie. Working out when you have small children is a logistical minefield – whether you do it at home or go to the gym. The only way I have been able to make it work is to book it in to my diary a week ahead that way the commitment is made and I do it – otherwise I know I would think of a hundred other things to do instead. Two weeks on, I’m really enjoying it, I feel energised, stronger and am starting to feel like I might be changing shape a bit.

My biggest motivation has to be taking before photographs – if you want a kick up the arse (or just a terrible photo of your arse) then take pictures – mine are here.

I train at Stone Barn Fitness in the Cotwolds.  Its a gym, no classes.  I like that.  I can go in train and leave, I don’t have to stress about fitting in to a class timetable.  I also don’t spend ages on the treadmill (can’t bear it!) or static bike (booooring!).  I do weights and keep my heart rate up by doing cardio (stepping onto step) or kettle bells.  I am on a programme of personal training for 6 weeks to get me back in to the swing of things and to get myself in to the habit of going to the gym again.



Here are my top reasons/tips for joining a gym or exercising regularly.

1.You will feel better about yourself – by sticking to an exercise routine and healthy eating, psychologically you will start to feel better about yourself. And as per the quote above, its such a small proportion of your day.  When you look at it like that, it is a great motivator!

2.Its a great stress reliever – Whether you are climbing the corporate ladder or herding unruly children. An hour in the gym is a great stress reliever!

3. If you work hard, you will get a nice body – no really, you will!

4. It makes you happy – those post workout endorphins will make your day a good one.

5. It makes eating healthier easier – there is something about exercising that makes you want to step away from the cookie jar. Clean eating becomes easier.

6. It teaches you to appreciate your body – when you start to see the progress, whether thats increased fitness, looser clothes or more sit ups.  Your body is responding to you.  Thats a great thing!

7. Your confidence will soar – committing to something and sticking to it is great for your confidence.

8. Be realistic about how often you can go to the gym.  I have committed to 3 days a week and potentially a 4th as a bonus.  Don’t start off going 7 times a week, you’ll get bored of it and will give up.  Better to be realistic and make it a lifestyle choice than a schlep.

9. When you exercise, you need to drink more water.  I’ve been trying hard to keep hydrated, my skin is loving it.


Apple & Bears Natural Body Products – Giveaway

As some of you may (or may not!) remember, I reviewed Apple & Bears natural body products earlier this year.  I love them, the smell (beautiful, clean and pure), the textures of the products, the packaging, the NEW and very very smart gift boxes and I also love that they donate 5% of every sale (inc VAT) to Breast Cancer Care.  Any preggers readers?  I could stomach the Honey & Hemp whilst suffering from dreadful nausea – such a gentle and natural smell!

With Christmas (I can say it now as we are only a month or so away!) coming up these are really cool gifts to give.  The Apple & Bears natural body products are stocked in Fenwicks and also online at which is a delicious website stuffed full of stylish natural products.

Here is what they are all about:




  •  ECOCERT accredited
  •  Contains extracts of real fruit and flower
  •  Paraben and SLS free
  •  Free from animal testing
  •  Safe and recyclable
  •  Socially responsible and ethically bound
  •  Suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians unless stated
APPLE & BEARS invite you to discover the power and purity of nature with our exclusive Luxury Body Care Collection – created for today’s ethical man and woman. Made in the United Kingdom, our environmentally friendly collection promotes a healthy skin and planet by using the finest sustainably sourced and Eco-certified natural and organic ingredients that harness the healing powers of nature, whilst remaining true and gentle to your skin. Pure, natural extracts and gentle aromas cleanse, nurture and nourish your skin for an indulging and renewing body care experience. Our natural and organic ingredients produce a pure blend that cleanses impurities gently and effectively, nourishes the skin delicately and naturally, whilst revitalising the senses with a full and luxurious foam and cream. Welcome to APPLE & BEARS and our truly pure and luxurious body care collection.

Our Beginning:

APPLE & BEARS started with a strikingly simple question, “Why don’t we make a truly good product, which helps make a difference to people’s lives?”

Before founding the company in 2011, Kay dedicated herself to volunteering for Breast Cancer Care and other charities, while Dean was helping an overseas company import their line of beauty products into Europe. Dismayed to discover that the “all-natural” promises on their labels didn’t live up to what was actually in the bottles, Dean had a crisis of conscience and left the position.

As they debated what to do next, Kay asked the fateful question “Why don’t we make a truly good product, which helps make a difference to people’s lives?”

APPLE & BEARS was their answer – a line of luxury cosmetics, made from natural and organic ingredients, which donates a portion of profits to worthy causes.

We believe the results are very good indeed.

Our Charity Pledge:

We are proud to support Breast Cancer Care, a registered charity in England and Wales (number 1017658) and Scotland (number SCO38104) by donating 5% of profits including VAT from the sale of our products as we continue to dedicate ourselves and support this cause by pledging to help those in need. This shows our strong commitment to this very worthy cause that affects so many men and women in the UK and around the world.

Our bottles and packaging proudly display the Breast Cancer Ribbon and affirms our continued commitment to support the Breast Cancer Care charity.
Our donation is not a seasonal contribution, but a long standing pledge for the lifespan of our Luxury Body Care Collection.

Mermaid And Koi Logo:

Our logo draws inspiration from the many men and women diagnosed with breast cancer in celebration of life, hope, courage and the promise of new beginnings. The Mermaids represent a graceful, loving and carefree being, true of heart and free to a life of adventure. The Koi fish is revered for courage and perseverance – the ability to express levels of strength and determination and a symbolism for those who have made it through tough times.

For those who have and are bravely fighting cancer, the Mermaid and Koi logo is a personal symbol of coming out on top, no matter how hard the fight to survive.



I am hosting an Apple & Bears Natural Products Giveaway (3 individual winners will receive 1 box each which will be randomly selected i.e. you cannot chose the fragrance rrp £34.95) to enter see the box below…..


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Roast Tomato Soup

Its chuffing chilly outside today.  Its definitely a day to share with you a roast tomato soup recipe from The Clean Eating Kitchen a book which I am working my way through at the moment.  I’m loving the recipes – they are easy and all of them have been quick and simple to make.

This roast tomato soup is really delicious.  If you are on a strict diet – don’t make the croutons!



3lbs tomatoes (plum preferably, but not essential) halved

1 red onion

6 garlic cloves

4tbsp olive oil

6 sprigs of fresh thyme and extra to garnish

1 3/4 pints home made stock (urrr I NEVER have that so I used bouillon instead!)

juice of 1/2 lemon

For the Cheese Croutons:

3 1/2 slices of homemade bread (none of that so went with a farmhouse loaf)

1oz parmesan finely grated.


Preheat oven to 160c/325f/Gas Mark 3.  Arrange the tomatoes, red onion and garlic on a large baking tray, placing tomatoes cut size up.  Sprinkle over  2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 a teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the thyme.  Roast for about 45 minutes or until soft.

To make the cheese croutons, reduce the oven to 150c/300f/gas mark 2.  Toss the bread with the remaining oil, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Arrange the cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer, then bake for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for a further 5 mins.


Put the tomato and onion mixture and the stock in to a blender and process until it becomes a puree.  You may need to do this on batches depending on the size of your blender.

Pour the soup into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.  Just before serving stir in the lemon juice.  Serve immediately, with the croutons and thyme sprinkled over. MMM deeeeelish.




Darling Bites – Artisan Gift Boxes – A Foodies Delight!

I love it when I stumble across a product that seems very timely in my discovery!  I’m talking the C word.  Yes, thats it CHRISTMAS…..its coming at us like a a rocket.  Anyway, whilst I stick my head back in the sand and pretend its not happening, I thought I would share this new find with you.

Its a company called Darling Bites.  Great name?  I thought so.

Darling Bites is a newbie, set up in 2013 and based in North London.  The aim is to provide beautiful artisan foods that you wouldn’t find in your day to day shops (unless you shop at Daylesford or Selfridges type foodie places – and then, I bow down to you!) and presenting them in a beautiful box, straight to the recipients door. A beautiful artisan gift box. Not only does it make a great Christmas pressie, but think of the options.  Sick friend?  Send ‘em a hamper (nice change from flowers).  New baby?  I’d have loved to receive one of these….a food parcel….yippee!

The quality of the boxes scream LUXURY.  They really have set themselves up to sit in the high end end of the market…..and thats good in my opinion.  I don’t think anyone wants to receive a present that doesn’t feel luxurious.  Obviously the content is important as well (although I am like a Toddler and could happily be satisfied with a good box!).  Inside, you get a variety of artisan products.  I’d never heard of The Grown Up Chocolate Company or Island Bakery….both products were DEEEELICIOUS!

There are loads of different combinations from Chocolate Heaven Treat Box – £27 – a nice idea for sweetening up a Mother-in-Law?!  Or for a cheeky relative The Cheerfully Fruity Treat Box – £25

So, without further ado…..take a look at the piccies which tell the story best…..This little gem of a company is growing all the time, so keep checking back as their suppliers increase and their hampers/treat boxes diversify….I definitely think Darling Bites is one to watch.

I was sent the Darling Bites ‘Late Breakfast Hamper‘ in return for this review.  It retails at £36.00.


An artisan gift box





artisan gift boxes







Post Pregnancy Diet & Fitness. Part 1.

I’m 3 months post baby and feeling just a bit ‘meh’ about things.  The weight I gained (yes I did eat a few many cakes whilst I was pregnant, and I blooming well enjoyed myself) has got kind of stuck – there’s a stone or so to shift but more importantly for me……there is a total lack of muscle tone and fitness.  When I got pregnant with Eloise, I would have said that I was fairly fit.  I was enjoying circuit classes, TRX classes and running with my dogs.  I had recently completed Jillian Michaels Body Revolution and I felt really good about myself.  My energy levels were good, my sugar cravings nearly zero, clothes fitted.  Pregnancy landed me with horrendous nausea for 3 months so the exercising went out the window.  By second trimester I was out of the habit and by 3rd trimester, I couldn’t be arsed……I’ll talk more about my arse later…..

And this is what I was running on in the latter stages of pregnancy.  The VERY delicious Lardy Cake from Huffkins.




So, when a new gym opened up a couple of miles away, I decided now was the time for me to get myself back in to shape. It was time to focus on my post pregnancy diet & fitness.  I haven’t been able to get myself back into my exercise DVDs – I can always find something better to do!  Its daunting going to a new gym, especially when you aren’t feeling particularly good about yourself.  Its horrible admitting to someone that you maaaaay have scoffed a truck load of cake and that sneaking chocolate in EVERY day was a habit that would be hard to break, but I’ve done it – I’ve confessed and got it over and done with.  I’m chuffed with myself that I have.  For local people reading this post, the gym I’ve joined is Stone Barn Fitness in Churchill.  Mark, who owns it has put me on a 6 Week Shred.  Sounds scary?  Not at all.  This is what the package includes

  • 2 x 45 minute Personal Training sessions a week (12 in total)
  • 6 week membership to the gym
  • A personalised fitness plan for me to do on the days that I go to the gym in between the Personal Training sessions
  • Nutritional Analysis – I have kept a food diary and shown him what I have been shovelling in to my poor body!  In return, he’s advised me where I can make some marked improvements.
  • Shopping Lists – for help when shopping.  Making wise choices when at the supermarket or doing my Ocado shop
  • Email/Skype/Facetime support at least 2 x a week to keep up motivation, and give added support over the six weeks.
  • As an opening offer, ALLLLLL of the above is currently £299.  Normal price would be £450.  Its ridiculous!  Who gets a personal trainer for peanuts these days!  I snapped his hand (not literally) off as the offer is limited and once he’s got 12 people, he’s putting it up to full price!

I love the fact that the sessions are 45 minutes long.  I don’t have time to waft about at the gym.  I want to get in, train and leave – simple as that.  By doing it this way, I can fit my visits to the gym around kids, husband, and the biggest excuse – no child care.  My husband and I  have worked out a rota of times when it works for him to be around and me to get to the gym.  Its all in the planning.  Its now written in my diary.  A commitment in itself.

Mark the Personal Trainer and I had a good talk about what are my goals, what I like about exercise (I personally cannot stand running machines, static bike etc.  BOOOOOORING!).  My goal is to not look like I do at the moment, I want to have definition, I don’t want to be skinny, I just want to be toned.  Everything is covered in a layer of lardy cake fat and as you will see from the photos (unedited) *faints with embarrassment* I’m in a right state.  My brain keeps telling me – you got yourself here, you get yourself back out and its true.  As much as I can pay Mark to put me together interesting and effective workouts, he can’t actually do the job for me.  He told me that a 1hr PT session is only 4% of your day, a couple of sessions a week are just 2% of your total week.  What I choose to do (eating, exercise, lifestyle) with the other 98% will really make a difference.  That made it pretty clear!

So without further ado I am off to stick a photo of my LARD arse on the fridge and I’m also going to find a varicose vein surgeon because those are just insane (and not in a good way!).  I can’t quite believe I am posting these photos *shamed face* but its reality and it shows why my clothes are feeling horrid!  My saving grace is looking at my beautiful children and thinking that my body did a GREAT job of making them.

I have no intention of becoming like this – and I know that lifting weights is NOT going to make me look butch.


So there we have it!  I will post another photo update at 4 weeks and see if there has been any improvement!  Wish me luck.  I’d love it if any of you were going through fitness campaigns if you commented below and we can follow each other on Twitter and Instagram.

I’m also going to post some interesting and delicious healthy recipes for you to try out.  If you have any I should try – send them over!

PS for you OX7 crew, Mark also does group PT sessions.

2ppl – £25 (per person)

3ppl – £18 (per person)

4ppl – £15 (per person)

All training includes nutritional analysis and support, lifestyle advice and ongoing monitoring.