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The Weekend Just Gone...

on Thursday, 21 August 2014.

Last weekend we had one of those 'bits and bobs' weekends- you know the ones where you don't have any set plans but you end up being quite busy doing different things.  It was quite welcome after being away so much over the Summer.  As usual either my DSLR or my phone came along for the ride too.

Here is a glimpse of the weekend just gone...

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On Saturday we went over to see my Dad for a BBQ cause my grandparents were visiting from Wales.  I became like an undercover detective trying to snap candid moments without them seeing.  I love this one taken of Mads and my Nana from outside.  I truly treasure experiencing these moments.

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Isn't it funny how children instinctively know the good ones?  I know they are family but even when they haven't seen them for a while, my little ladies just fall straight back into place with their Great Nana and Grandpa. 

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My 93 year old Grandpa and my 3 year old little girl sharing a moment.

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My happy girl.

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Reading a story with Nana.  My Nana is an ex headteacher and she partly helped influence my love of reading and words.  Everytime we visited them she would spend hours reading, doing puzzles or playing Scrabble with me.  I loved watching them from a distance reading together.

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I couldn't love this photo anymore.

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I love this photo for it's innocence and the fact it captures a childhood favourite- playing hide and seek.

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On Sunday I took part in my first ever half marathon.  Considering I have only been running since January and I hadn't really trained properly for it, I was absolutely terrified.  To top it all off, it actually chucked it down with rain most of the time, with the sun finally coming out towards the end. This photo was before- I can see the fear in my face!

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It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, especially as I was ill the next day so obviously had a bug and felt so awful at the end, but I am so proud of myself for doing it. I finished in a time of 1 hour 58 which I am so pleased with considering it was a hilly course.  I didn't enjoy it at all, but would I do another one?  Definitely!

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To celebrate my half marathon, we decided to go to Zizzi's Cambridge for a meal as we had been invited to try it out as a family.  We went to the Bene't Street branch which is just gorgeous, it's in an old converted bank and the decor is stunning.  

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To start we shared a garlic bread and a bread bucket between the four of us, the girls had starter's with their kids meals but couldn't get enough of the different breads, which to be fair were very yummy.

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As a family we could eat pizza constantly, even my fussy little ladies will wolf it down.  For mains Mr E had a delicious Rustica Piccante pizza which we all had a little bit of because it was huge.  I had the Skinny Pollo Piccante pizza which was on smaller wholemeal dough and came with a side salad.  It normally would have been the perfect size for me but I was so hungry from my race!  The girls had Margherita's which got the definite seal of approval with an empty plate from both.

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For pudding I had the Panna Cotta which was just delicious, Mads had the ice cream cones and popping candy which she thought was the best thing ever, and LL and Mr E had sorbet. 

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LL finished her dessert and the proceeded to eat half her sister's!  All in all we couldn't fault Zizzi's, the food was fantastic, the venue gorgeous and we had a great time.  A special mention had to go to our waiter who really was so lovely with the girls- something which just makes the experience of dining with children that little bit easier and nicer.  We have eaten at Zizzi's a fair few times and will continue to do so- what's not to love? 

 

 

NB: We were invited to try out Zizzi's as a family- all words, photos, and half marathon accomplishments are entirely my own. ;) 

 

Our Weekend Camping Adventure- Part Two.

on Tuesday, 19 August 2014.

A couple of weekends ago we had our first camping experience as a family when (I say camping but we cheated and went for a more 'luxury' option!) to Pembrokeshire in South West Wales.  I posted some photos last week, but I took so many as usual that I decided to split my posts in to two parts.  

 

Here is a little more of what we got up too...

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I *may* have prettied up our tent with these super cute lanterns from The Little Things.  

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We decided to go to South Wales because Mr E used to holiday in Wales a lot as a child, and we heard the beaches were beautiful.  We googled 'Britain's best beach' and it came up with Barafundle Bay, and then when Lucy and her little family then posted about their adventure there, our minds were made up.  It didn't disappoint, it was absolutely beautiful and because we went late in the afternoon, it was practically deserted.  For those thinking of going there, you have to walk over the cliff to get there, it's probably a good 3/4 of a mile walk up some steps and hills, but once you are there it's 100% worth it.

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So worth the climb- how beautiful.

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'You better give me that spade soon Daddy.'

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This girl is an actual liability when it comes to sand- she gets it EVERYWHERE.  Whereas Mads was never fussed when she was a baby, LL just wants to eat it and put it places she isn't supposed too!

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No trip to the seaside would be complete without some competitive sandcastle building.  Obviously.

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We sat and had dinner on the practically deserted beach.  Which was lovely bar the sandy sandwiches, which were a little crunchy.

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She is still at that stage where she is 'waddling' - she's getting faster on her feet every day but still holds out her hands to steady herself most of the time which is pretty cute.

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Sisterly sandcastle building.

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The next few photos are basically all of LL prompting Mr E to say 'You are aware that we have more than one child?!  It's just the light was so nice and she was sitting still!

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Ahhh pretty light and a baby in romper shorts.  Perfect.

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I love this photo of Mr E and LL.  He really is the best father I could ask for for my little ladies.

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'I have sand up my nose.'

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'If I am quick he won't catch me and I can put some more up there.'

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'Damn he caught me- let's have a sulk.'

 

All in all it was a fantastic weekend, and I am glad we had such a memorable first camping experience.  I am still definitely not sold on the idea of full camping just yet, but glamping suits us just fine!

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #30 'Ordinary Moments To Treasure'

on Sunday, 17 August 2014.

I have spoken a few times on my blog about my Grandparents.  I am lucky that I still have both sets of my Grandparents around, which at my age is pretty rare.  My Mum's parents live near us and we often see them, but my Dad's side live on the border of Wales so as such don't get to see them as much.  We try to see them every couple of months, whether that's us going up to see them or them coming down to see my Dad.  This weekend my Dad travelled up to get them and brought them back down to his house for a few days.

My Grandpa is 93 and my Nana is nearly 90, so as sad as it may be, it almost feels like we are on 'borrowed time'.  That is the inevitablity of life, and as much as you try not to think about it, I often do, especially after we have said our goodbyes.  Therefore every time we see them it is so special, and I am so thankful that that they have got to develop a relationship with my girls.  On Saturday afternoon we went over to my Dad's and Step Mum's for a BBQ, where we spent a few hours making yet more unforgettable memories.  Both Mads and LL were such good girl's and I managed to catch a couple of sneaky snaps of them when they weren't looking.  The fact that they are unposed and capture such raw emotion, are even more special for me.

These are ordinary moments, but actually they are some of my most treasured.  We will continue to make them for as long as we are lucky enough to do so...

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'My Fitness Mission'- July.

on Friday, 15 August 2014.

I cannot believe how fast the month's are whizzing by, July has been and gone and it is now time for another one of my fitness updates.  I was really overwhelmed with how kind everyone was after I braved putting my wobbly bits on the internet last month, so thank you for whoever took the time to comment on that post.  

It's been a relatively slow month when it comes to fitness, but here is how I got on...

 

Exercise.

 

We have been so busy over the Summer that I am really finding it hard to fit exercise in on a regular basis.  I always said that you can always find time, but I find that looking after two children, being self employed, going away so much on day trips and weekends over the Summer, working plus blogging too, means that I have been struggling to find the time recently.  That said I have still been running at least once or twice a week, but I really want to be doing more.  I went back to my local Park Run one Saturday, which I really enjoy, but haven't been able to go back since as we literally have been busy every Saturday.  I am hoping that come October when we aren't so busy, I will be able to go on a more regular basis.  I also did something pretty brave for me and went along to one of my local running clubs weekly runs, it was good but also I found that they stopped a lot and chatted when I kind of just want to get on with it.  I want to go back but again I just haven't had time and now I feel a little bad and nervous about going again after not going for few weeks.

I haven't beaten any of my personal best times for ages, which I am a little disapointed about as I like to set myself challenges, but I did run my furthest so far in July.  I ran ten miles one Sunday afternoon, which was a killer but I was so pleased I did it and I did it again a week or so later.  By the end my knee's were really sore though and I felt really weak so I need to read up on fuelling a bit more and learning what's best to take with me on my longer runs.  This month sees me tackle my first half marathon and to say I am nervous would be an understatement- I am absolutely terrified.  I haven't trained anywhere near as much as I should have done and therefore feel really unprepared.

I have also been doing mini kettle bell sessions a couple of nights a week.  When I say mini, I mean mini- usually around ten minutes.  I watch kettlebell workouts on You Tube and myself and Mr E have a good collection of weights now.  I am definitely starting to see definition in my tummy now, while the bottom still sticks out and I have a small amount of excess skin, (hello 9lb babies) I can actually feel muscle at the top which hasn't happened before ever!  I enjoy using kettlebells as I can work out in the comfort of my own home, although you definitely need a reasonable sized space as you do have to swing them around a fair bit!

 

Food.

 

My diet hasn't been great this month, but compared to what it was like in January, anything is an improvement.  We have eaten out a lot this month due to days out, weekends away and other bits and bobs.  I am still finding that I am ok with food unless we have lots of treats in the house, then I just don't have the willpower to stop.  For example I got a tub of Ben and Jerry's the other day (the new Greek Yoghurt one- try it!) and ate the whole thing in one sitting.  If there is chocolate or anything sweet in the house I just can't resist it, and of course I can't resist yummy food when we are eating out. However we are still making a conscious effort when we are at home and eating to think a little more about what we are eating, having smaller portions etc.  I have a huge obsession for greek yoghurt and strawberries at the moment, which still is pretty full of sugar but a lot better than having chocolate every evening like we used too.

My diet coke obsession is still getting worse, I am finding I crave the sweetness more than ever, especially if I am having a 'good' day and not treating myself to anything else.  At the moment, I probably don't even drink a glass of water a day, I was so good at the start of the year, but I find it boring and just forget.  I really need to get back to drinking two litres if I can as I can really notice the difference in my skin and also my headaches if I dont.

 

Overall.

 

Overall I am still so pleased with how I am getting on with my twelve month fitness mission I set myself in January.  I am now 2lb shy of having lost two stone since January, and while I have put on a couple of pounds since last month, I am pleased that I am actually starting to see some muscle poking through my wobbly bits!  I am so pleased I have stuck to it for this long, after not having done regular exercise for years, it has completely transformed the way I feel about myself, and has helped me regain some confidence when it comes to buying clothes and just generally the way I look.  But above all, I genuinely do enjoy the feeling that exercise gives me and that is something I never thought I would say.  I love starting to feel stronger, and the fact that I no longer get out of breath walking up the stairs.  I feel that this is just the start of my addiction to fitness and I love that even though I have bad days, I still want to learn and do more.

 

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Running in exotic locations in July- first up in Rhodes.

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And with some new mates in Wales.

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My new obsession.  Beats chocolate buttons.  Although I still eat those too. ;)  

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