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HelloFresh – Our Recipe Boxes

I’ve been a HelloFresh meal subscription user for a few years now and haven’t stopped singing their praises ever since, sharing a couple of posts on here and you can also watch the Instagram story on my highlights tab at the top of my home page (apologies if you’re viewing this link on a laptop, Insta stories are only viewable via mobile)

This is a collaborative post with affiliate links  


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 

Christmas Dinner Made Easy with HelloFresh

There’s definitely a recurring theme on here this month; I’ve already hinted that you can make Christmas shopping easier with prefilled stockings, how you can tick off some of that list for your label-loving person in your life and now I bring good news about a great, stress free way to simplifying the Christmas day dinner with a HelloFresh Christmas box.

I’m no stranger to HelloFresh deliveries and have written about them a couple of times already so it’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of their festive box. For those not in the know, HelloFresh is a subscription meal delivery which you cook from scratch. You get an easy-to-follow-recipe card and high quality, pre-portioned fresh ingredients so they time allocated on each card it true, there’s no weighing or measuring. It also takes the hassle out of planning your meals for the week, I’m terrible at thinking of new things to cook, most weeks, I don’t have time to browse through with my recipe books, HelloFresh is a much quicker way of making sure my family get fresh, healthy meals.

And the Christmas box is no different.

You get all ingredients, including a turkey, along with a step by step recipe card. It starts you off prepping for the day before, giving times and foolproof instructions. And with the music cranked up, it was all girls in the kitchen (although had I not been severely jet lagged, I’m pretty sure I’d have managed to cook this on my own.)

On the menu were;

Butter Basted Roast Turkey with Pigs in Blankets

The BEST Rosemary Roast Potatoes

Creamy Brussel Sprouts with Garlic and Pancetta

Honey & Thyme Roasted Root Veggies

Slow Cooked Spiced Red Cabbage with Apples

Rich and Delicious Make Ahead Gravy

This was the first time I’d make a ‘proper’ gravy, like mums do, and was absolutely lush, it’s quite hard to pick out a favourite from everything we cooked. The slow cooked spiced red cabbage got a huge thumbs up, the creamy brussel sprouts with garlic and pancetta were probably, at a push, top of my yum list. (for the record, I’m in camp brussels, and cooked this way took that bitter taste away making them even more delicious.

I bring good news about a great, stressfree way to simplifying the Christmas day dinner with a HelloFresh Christmas box.


Our box came pre packed with enough to feed 4 people, but I’d say it would feed a couple more comfortabl,  no need to worry if there’ll be enough. HelloFresh offers Christmas boxes for 4, 6, 8 or 10 people with the option of adding a pudding on. At £69.99 for the 4 person box, it’s not the cheapest way of doing Christmas dinner, but you’re guaranteed fresh quality ingredients (which I can vouch for having used them for over a year now on and off.) And it saves time on going out to buy everything, it’s almost too easy having a box delivered straight to your door.

It almost like cheating, but I’m all for time savers and as I said previously, there was more than enough for 4 people so you’ll still get your boxing day bubble and squeak!.

I bring good news about a great, stressfree way to simplifying the Christmas day dinner with a HelloFresh Christmas box.


This is a collaborative post, I was gifted a HelloFresh Christmas box for the purpose of this review 


Breezing the seasons with Hello Day Supplements

Have you ever noticed how your skin or general well-being takes a little adjusting through each new season. I’m always ready mentally for the change, I love seeing trees turn shades of red in autumn, the anticipation of snow in winter and gardens coming to life in spring. Physically I’m not always as good as catching up, my skin especially gives a little grumble and my winter afternoon slump isn’t as easy to embrace when the skies are blue and spring walks are beckoning.

So this spring I took a little helping hand with some carefully tailored supplements from Hello Day. My box came with the promise of vitality, libido stimulant (yeah, I won’t be sharing how I got on with that, my mum reads this!)  a digestion detox and finally something to help with my circulation. Initial thoughts lead me to think that in 6 weeks time I’d be very happy, energetic, tactile (read that bit as you like) single mum with great bowel movements. Not a bad place to be at 41, I’d say.

Joking aside, just knowing I would be on the right track to helping reduce some of the burnout tiredness which comes with my lifestyle thanks to the magnesium in the vitality supplements was enough to hook me in. I’m guilty of burning the candles at both ends; working to the early hours then waking with my 3-year-old early the next day.

I’d considered taking Siberian Ginseng in the past to help nudge me in the right direction and I had high hopes it would this time, as well as improving my mental and physical energy. The vitality supplements also contain passion-flower to induce calmness, great,  as I always stress at balancing my personal and work life.

I’m not worried about watching my weight at the moment but there’s always room for improvement to help with a body detox. The detox supplements promised to do this by improving my digestive tract health and appetite. I fell off the healthy bandwagon for a while and to get me back on it, a gentle detox was perfect kickstart.
It’s been a month now since I completed everything in my Hello Day box so I thought it was high time I reflected the effects it had had. The whole energy thing was the first thing I noticed an improvement with, that afternoon slump which always hit disappeared, helping me focus on work and be a lot more productive during the day. So much so that a month on from stopping this supplement I’m back to fighting off the urge to nap come 3pm. (Time for a new box I think!)
Hello Day boxes certainly lived up to their promise to helped see me through the season change in a nice, subtle way. It’s not so much you notice how good you feel but rather, you don’t noticed how much you’re struggling to adjust. In a not knowing a good thing until it’s gone sort of way.
You still with me? I know they’ve worked as since stopping them, I’ve finding I could do with some help with my fatigue and mental sharpness.
I’ve been browsing their site looking at what else I could do with help with and there’s certainly some scope for a stress and relax supplements in my life to see me through school holidays and ward off burn out as I combine juggling workloads, childcare and mum guilt.
And the Sleep Rest promise of some relaxation to help me fall asleep naturally is music to my ears. It combines natural ingredients such as Valerian to cope with a busy lifestyle and daily stress, and Lemon Balm for a positive mood and calm wellbeing.
I guess you could say that my little experiment worked and I’m ready to step back into starting my day with the helping hand, if only to get me through this niggling urge to take a nap while I’m trying to finish this post!
breezing the seasons with a HelloDay box of supplements
I received a complimentary box of Hello Day supplements in return for sharing my experience of using them.