I’m sticking with a fitness theme for the minute, mainly as a way to inspire you to keep your fitness motivation going in the hope my last post gave you a few pointers to get started, and also to give myself a gentle prod along as I’ve not made it to the gym this week.

It’s been one of those where work deadlines and family have taken precedence over pouring myself into my lycra, although I did sneak a few lengths in at a kids swimming party to quash some of the exercise guilt that was setting in.

My aim for this year is to keep working on my ab’s and general overall toning.  Daily planks and weekly gym trips as well as runs, have really paid off but it’s not like you can stop once you’ve reached your goal, there’s nothing more disheartening to see your hard work slipping away. There’s ALWAYS room for improvement and it helps if you’ve got an end goal in sight.

Mine, along with many others I imagine, is a holiday. Somewhere hot where I can wear a bikini (or swimsuit if there are any water slides involved!) which, although months away no doubt, it’s still an end goal and knowing I can walk along a beach without worrying about having to suck in my stomach is my motivation!

Track your changes

Taking stage photos really helps, you don’t have to show anyone (put them in a hidden folder if you have an iPhone and you’re worried about anyone seeing them) it’ll really help you track your progress. Just make sure they’re taken in the same spot and pose. It’s amazing how different you look in various poses, just check out this post from Finish health blogger if you don’t believe me. I’m still to crack the perfect Insta pose if I’m honest, so I try to stick to the same room and background. Just remember not to try look as though your modelling swimwear but do hold a steady pose rather than a slump, you’re only cheating yourself, this is for your own motivation only, no one else.

how to keep the up the motivation to get fit Keep A Bench Mark

If your goal is to solely improve your fitness rather than toning up, then a fitness tracker with heart rate monitor is your friend. I use to judge how fit I was by how quickly I got out of breath speed walking up 2 very steep hills on the way to pick my kids up from school. Although useful, and boy did I notice it after school holidays, I soon realised it wasn’t a consistent way to gauge my improvement.

Now I’m doing a lot more exercise, I try to stick to the same treadmill or runtime then using my Fitbit and a NikeRun app, I’m able to push my pace up and see how my heart rate changes. Just remember illnesses will affect it so don’t be downhearted if you dip.

You can try upping your pace even if you’re walking to see your fitness improve gradually. I love seeing my weekly progress report on my Fitbit app and seeing how far I’ve come.

Find A Motivation Friend

And lastly, why not buddy up. Any challenge is more fun when you have someone to motivate you, a little healthy competition goes a long way. I’d stick to just the one though, no one likes being bottom of the group and it’s a shore fire wat to feeling downhearted and dipping out.

If it’ just the 2 of you, and you’ve have a bad week, you’re 2nd. Not last!


Keeping Toddlers Healthy Over Christmas

Simply having a Toddler-Sized Christmas time

Earlier this year I took part in the Toddler-Sized challenge, encouraging parents to use the evidence-based guidance on feeding toddlers, developed by the Infant & Toddler Forum, into something easy and practical. For me, it helped to take the guess work out of feeding my toddler healthy, well-balanced meals and snacks.  T

Along with my own ideas on how to create toddler sized lunch boxes, there were many others who took part in the challenge and you can meet the winners here. And the advice now extends to the festive season with the Infant & Toddler Forum’s festive menu to give little ones a healthy balance, while still enjoying some treats while the festive tips for active toddlers give lots of active play ideas.

Infant & Toddler Forum’s festive menu to gives little ones a healthy balance, as well as tips for active toddlers

Toddler menu and healthy hints and tips for a happy festive season

Christmas is a time for families to be together, to relax and to celebrate the season. It can also be a time of extra pressure as families get swept up in the holiday madness of parties, shopping and cooking! In such a busy period, everyday routines may go out of the window, and it can be hard to keep track, and make sure your toddler is eating the right foods in the right amounts and in the right balance. Some toddlers may become extra sensitive as routine changes influence moods. Nap-times are essential for toddlers but at Christmas these may be later or cut short, not to mention meals and snacks may be rushed and regular activity may get forgotten.

To help make the most of this busy period, the Infant & Toddler Forum has developed resources to help maintain a happy, active and healthy holiday season for all. Our festive tips for active toddlers (see below) have plenty of ideas to keep the little ones busy, and our festive menu is full of suggestions to give little ones a healthy balance at Christmas dinner, while still enjoying all the seasonal fun.

Facts and stats on parent toddler diet confidence

A recent parent survey (parents of children 1 – 5yrs) by the Infant & Toddler Forum found that:

  • Only 14% of parents follow the recommended serving frequency for each of the food groups when feeding their toddlers
  • Over a third (35%) are worried they do not give their children the right balance of foods and more than a quarter (26%) feel their child is not getting enough variety
  • Whilst 80% of parents correctly identified the key food groups that when combined form a balanced diet, only a third (28%) take the advice given to them by experts on what they should be feeding their children

Infant & Toddler Forum’s festive menu to gives little ones a healthy balance, as well as tips for active toddlers Infant & Toddler Forum’s festive menu to gives little ones a healthy balance, as well as tips for active toddlers

This is a collaborative post 

Stepping out in Vionic Shoes For Autumn

I’ve pretty much lived in my Vionic sandals this summer, as well looking pretty darn fabulous, they bloody comfy too. Definitely on my must by list next year, I’m sure my leopard print beauts will last another season but when I say lived I MEAN lived; dog walks, town trips, beach days, holidays. You get the idea! Being podiatrist designed footwear, featuring patented FMT orthotic technology, I’ve not managed to trash these as quickly with my slight over pronation. The knock on effect has been a much better gait over all. So I’m sold on how a decent shoe can help.

It’s time now, though, to put those tootsies away as cold feet just ‘aint ma thing (unless it’s a night out, then it’s all about the pedicure bearing heels) so I’m swapping my sandals for some Vionic trainers for out and about days. The nice thing about this style is it’s more of smart / casual trainer which I can wear with jeans and still look relatively cool, although my teens aren’t too impressed that Mum’s sporting the must-have black and white footwear which they both own!

I on the other hand relish at any opportunity to ‘get down with the kids’ and embarrass my brood.

Fancy following suit? It’s all about the share game on here so if you’re looking for funky yet practical, no reference to age here, it’s all about combining comfort with looking good without compromising on style, something which any age can follow. Then read on…..

My latest Vionic shoes are all about combining comfort with looking good without compromising style, something any age can follow
If you’re still reading and haven’t scooted off to their website to see what I’m on about, I’ve teamed up with Vionic to share offer you 20% off their entire range using the code below


20% discount site-wide VIONIC shoes UK website.

Valid from today until midnight Tuesday 19th September 2017.




This is a collaborative post 




What’s your mantra? Healthy body – healthy mind is one I try live by these days, being a self employed solo mum, I mentally, physically and financially can’t afford sick days, so I do the utmost I can to keep in tip-top shape. Not so much obsessive ‘my body is a temple’ and all that malarkey health freak stuff, consciously careful is probably the best description of my lifestyle.

Wondering what that means exactly? For me I guess it means balancing out sitting at a desk with trips to the gym and occasional runs, I’m a pescatarian and eat healthy yet happy eat pizza on those days when I’m not in the mood for cooking, and my end of the day treat is a glass of wine, sometimes more if its night out but I always keep 3 days alcohol free.

It’s not a difficult lifestyle to maintain and so far so good, all’s looking pretty ship-shape. But that’s only one side to feeling good, as it’s also about what’s going on mentally. Many years ago, I’m talking like 25 ( crikey, did I really just say that out loud?!) gripped by the doom and gloom of being a teenage goth, my mum bought be a self-help book on positive thinking. While I admit, it probably took a few years to sink in and understand, it did set the path for me being an optimist  and to this day, I’m a huge believer in P.M.A – Positive Mental Attitude.

It’s a stance which has seen me through many a tough moment and was tested to the core in the first few months of my marriage ending. For a while, like a few weeks, I hit rock bottom as reality of failing at the basic task of being married set in and I realised the enormity of raising 3 kids on my own, trying to study, run a business and start divorce proceedings. Overloaded was a word bandied around quite a lot. But stubborn me didn’t want to succumb to the black cloud trying to drag me down so on the suggestions from a friend, I tried some alternative therapies.

I called it my first aid kit and it all started with a belief that it would work.

I try keep onto top of my health by eating well and exercising, as well as taking a holistic approach to my mental well being with a 1st aid kit of vitamins, homeopathy and Bach Flower Remedies Number one in this kit was a bottle of Bach Flower remedies. I’d used Rescue Remedy to get me through my driving test and the kids SAT’s and GCSE’s (them not me, I should add) so reaching for an alternative remedy was nothing new. This time though, I sought out some specific formulas tailored to my state of mind. I needed something to help me balance my emotions and get me back onto my positive outlook on life. Sweet Chestnut was my first choice, 2 drops every few hours with the promise of serenity

 Embrace optimism and peace of mind. The positive potential of Sweet Chestnut is having hope

And while life’s pretty god damn fabulous right now, I just need a little reminder to follow my gut feeling now and then when making decisions. There’s been moments when my heart and head have clashed so those days, when things are a little foggy, Cerato is my go to;

Trust your inner wisdom and don’t doubt your own judgement. The positive potential of Cerato is shown in those who trust their own inner wisdom and follow it.

And finally, it’s not all about my mental wellbeing. I come as a unit, and as any parent knows, your  children’s happiness has a massive effect on your own. So when my son was struggling with some negative thoughts, we tried a couple of drops of White Chestnut in a bottle of water.

Don’t let those repetitive thoughts get in the way. The positive potential of White Chestnut is peace of mind.

Knowing that I’m willing to listen and can offer a gentle solution was the first step in helping him retrain his thoughts. Along with a hope that by the process of osmosis, my PMA will filter through to my little hormone fuelled teens.

This is where a supportive, holistic lifestyle has helped us all with our transition through rocky waters. Rather than waiting until you have to treat something with a ‘top down’  approach, I’d rather the boys and I live a preventative take on life, keeping things in check, looking after our wellbeing by getting outside as much as we can, keeping fit, eating healthily and looking for signs when things are slipping. Sort of a nipping it in the bud stance I guess.

Meaning we’re free to indulge, now and then, with the odd lazy day or, my own personal trait of burning the candle at both ends, without it impacting on our health.

Give it a go, if you’re not already, it’s ace!

How to maintain wellbeing with a holistic approach to healthy body and healthy mind

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This is a collaborative post with Bach Flower Remedies, and they’re available to buy from www.amazon.co.uk