Last September, when Baby J was four months I decided it was time to shift that post baby weight that wasn't disappearing on its own. I documented my weightless with my mummy tummy memoirs and lost over a stone. Now it's a year later and although I have kept the weight off I have never been happy with my tummy.

I was inspired by Charlotte who blogs at Write Like Noones Watching who in August undertook the 30 Day Shred with fantastic results. Via Twitter and Instagram she shared her journey with us and I followed and cheered her on from my sofa. Not anymore.

I have declared October Shredtober and will be taking on the Shred myself. My goal is to tone up, maybe lose an inch or two across my midriff, and get healthier.

I am not taking on this journey alone, though. I have been so amazed by how many people asked to join me and we now have over 40 members of the Shredtober group on Facebook! Anyone is welcome to join the group and together we will motivate, encourage and inspire each other to a healthy October.

Here is my before, I'll keep you updated on my progress!

Starting Weight 7st 6, Waist 32", Hips 35"

Are YOU Beautiful?

I recently took part in a Story of Mum chat on Twitter. If you haven't heard of Story Of Mum, it is the brainchild of the lovely Pippa Best who, along with mum Penny, wanted to create "a community of supportive mamas doing creative stuff to celebrate the ups and downs of motherhood." During the chat Pippa asked us all a few questions to get us thinking about our bodies and we shared our thoughts and feeling towards ourselves and how we wish our children to feel about theirs. There was one question in particular that seemed to strike a chord in many of us, that question was How do you want your children to feel about their bodies? 

Here are some the responses:

Making Memories - A Giveaway with Truprint

There's nothing more I love than sitting on my sofa, snuggled up, flicking through old photographs. My mum and dad weren't massive on cameras but they still have a lovely collection of memories gathered over the years. Since I was at university I have loved taking photos. My walls at various uni accommodations were covered in the photos I'd taken over each year and often friends would stop by my room just to have a look at them all, remembering each cherished (and often stupid) occasion.

Jumping In The Deep End

Last week my mum, the children and I took a trip to The Deep in Hull. I have only been to Hull a couple of times before, however that was when I lived in Yorkshire and it was only a 45 minute ride away, this time it took us just over two hours! Fortunately the children were great and I planned ahead and brought a few books and the dvd played, which definitely helped.

Today and Yesterday

I completely forget about today's counselling session, so I was asleep when my counsellor arrived. I answered the door, groggy and tired, and tried to rally myself around. These sessions are important to me, as part of getting better, and I want to make the most of them.

As it quite often does, the session started with me telling my counsellor how tired I was. She listened and discussed, I'm sure she is getting quite bored of me telling her I'm tired now, though. As we discussed my sleep, we also discussed my dreams. Over the years I often dream about the girls at school, the ones I called my friends but who actually were anything but. In my dreams I finally find the strength to stand up to them and they listen and realise they were wrong. Of course this is only a dream.

There were six of us in our group at high school, all girls, and generally the class misfits thrown together because nobody else wanted us. We came together aged eleven and stayed together until we were eighteen. Looking back I can see now there was a hierarchy from an early stage - the girl who seemed in charge but was often just a voice for the leader, the real leader who controlled us all, taunted us all and told us all what to do via her mouthpiece; the second in command - this flitted between two girls, whoever was in favour that day. The peacemaker - the girl who everyone loved because she just wanted everyone to be happy. The girl who was her own person, who hung around with us but if they didn't like something she did she didn't care. And me, the quiet one; the one who wouldn't talk back; the one they didn't really want around but who they maybe needed to be their scapegoat.

I wasn't perfect, I had my issues and I didn't always like everyone or everything. But for the most part I was quiet, didn't disagree and just wanted to be liked. An easy target.

I remember many a time when I should have left the group - realised how nasty they were and how unwanted I really was. Quite often I think they tried to push me out, but I was too naive to see. I remember 'private chats' where one by one each of us would be called over to the other side of the room, eventually just leaving me stood there not included. I remember them running into the classroom, throwing their bags down and running back out for lunch, me stood there without an invite and knowing they didn't want to give me one. I remember one girl going from one to the next, offering everyone a biscuit, but when it got to me just walking away. I remember notes being passed, whispers and laughter and having no clue what all the fun was about. These are silly insignificant events but over seven years they left their mark, along with other silly incidents I can no longer remember. In the end I was left feeling worthless, unliked and alone.

Discussing this today and reflecting back as an adult I realise now I should just have left - found friendships elsewhere, ones that were real and gave me self-worth. But back then I was too afraid of being alone. I know that in order to move on from all this I have to let it go, but I don't know how. I know maybe they had their own issues and that was why they treated me like they did. I understand that is often bully mentality. My counsellor suggested that to feel powerful they had to made me feel powerless. None of these make it ok in my eyes, though.

Hopefully one day soon I will find a way to let these things go and move forward. I am no longer that little girl, and I no longer need to cling to people like that in my life. So to those girls, they know who they are, if you are reading this you were mean, you were cruel and you were ruthless and I will never, ever, ever forgive you for what you did to me.

Aged Ten

Daddies Need Time Too

Mr H loves his Xbox - in the days pre-children he would spend hours on it, particularly Call of Duty. He was often buying the console latest game and coming home desperate to get started on it. When we lived in California when H was born he would get up at 5am on the weekend so he was on the right time to play with his friends in the UK. I remember many a time he rocked H to sleep in her bassinet with one foot, whilst he ran around shooting people on the TV!

However those days are gone and he doesn't often get much chance for his own time. When my mum comes to stay he occasionally gets time for a catch up on the Xbox, however for the most part it is gathering dust in our dining room.

Recently he has been very drained and often states he is 'just tired' when I ask if he's ok. Although we are gradually coming out of the difficult period with J, having just moved house there has been a lot of work to do and for the last few months he has barely had a weekend free. The recent weekend in Wales wasn't really enough to give him much break, especially with H having croup.

So we have recently discussed him having his own time - maybe one evening a week where he can meet up with his friends and go play pool and sink a pint or two. There is also the chance for a break on a Sunday morning when he could play a round of golf or a game of squash.

I do think daddies can often be forgotten when it comes to their own time - we do forget that just because they aren't at home 24/7 with the children, like we are, that they get worn out too. Although I find it hard being on my own with the children, so any time when daddy can help is precious, I think it is important for us to find a balance. Mr H is my rock and steps in many a time when I am struggling, but if he isn't 100% it affects us all. It's not an easy time for us at the moment so it is important for me that my hubby is ok. If this means I take an extra few hours with the children whilst he has a break, then so be it. We all have to pitch in if we are to get through the tough times and I want to be there for my husband as much as he is there for me.

*This is a sponsored post

The Yorkshire Three Peaks 2014

After attempting to climb the Yorkshire Three Peaks, and only successfully completing two, I decided pretty quickly that I was determined to finish it. So after a brief discussion myself, Leyla and Amanda all agreed we would sign up for next year. This time, though, we would train properly. We are planning on taking on a significant walk once a month to try and get ourselves and our bodies more prepared for the 25 miles hike.

How To Manage With an 18 Month Age Gap

As we gasped at the positive pregnancy test in front of us, Mr H and I had mixed reactions. Amazement - it had taken four years of trying before Holly arrived. Happiness. And dare I say trepidation? At the time Holly was only nine months old and still completely reliant on us. She still had bottles, was only just weaning, still in nappies, still slept in a cot. She was still a baby.

Ballerina Girl

Over the last two and a half year H has owned a couple of tutu's - her last one being for her second birthday. However I have always wanted to put her in one of those you see that just take your breath away. You know the ones, big swirly skirt, lots of layers. The kind you always wanted yourself as a little girl, and even now would love to own one just to twirl and twirl in.

These Shoes

These shoes are heavy, sometimes they weigh me down
Making me drag my feet
Making every task a million times harder.

These shoes are old and worn
Much like the feet in them
Battered and bruised
Ready for a change

Sometimes these shoes get a break
Whilst a new pair take over
Sometimes beautiful strappy shoes
All shiny and new
Ready to take on the night
Come out to play.

Sometimes boots give me a rest
All cosy and fluffy inside
Keeping those toes cushioned
And away from the cold
Making memories

Or even sandals, open and proud
Bringing the joys of summer
Dragging sand everywhere they step
Making life a little lighter for a short time

But much of the time these shoes stay the same
Never-ending, never changing
Oh how I wish I could throw them in the bin
Like a worn pair of slippers
But instead I place them on each morning
As I get ready for the day
Grey and foggy, never rested
Aching from beginning to end
Often crying from the length of their stay

But wear them I must
As they are my shoes
They may start to get lighter
Maybe even sparkle occasionally
But they will always be my shoes
And I must learn to love them
Once and for all

*This is a sponsored post

Prose for Thought

Round & Round The Garden #7

I am very excited about this week's Round & Round The Garden. Yes, you guessed it, the tyres are done!!

The Baby & Toddler Show Manchester 2013

Have you been to The Baby & Toddler Show before? I haven't been have always heard what a fantastic event it is! The Manchester Baby Show this year is being held at Eventcity, at the Trafford Centre, on 27-29th September, and I am going to be there with bells on! There are so many amazing brands that will be there, to name a few:

Cosatto - a brand with a massive personality and a huge Hollybobbs favourite

Kiddy - who have designed those innovative carseats with the Impact Shield

Bugaboo - a yummy mummy's dream and one I would love to know more about

SnuggleBundl - the creators of the amazing carry blanket, if only I'd have known of them after my c-sections

Puddleducks - who I really wish I'd taken my two to from the start, as I want to get them used to water.

Chicco - popular choice for baby items in our house, we've had a highchair, walker and many toys from them

The Babyworld website include some top tips for making the most of your day at the show, here are a few of my own:

  • If you are bringing a little one with you, plan your journey around nap/feed times. You don't want to be trying to find the best deal and chatting to brands whilst your little one is screaming for a feed, so try and work this into naptimes. 
  • The nearest place for food is at the Trafford Centre food court, just across the road. Be prepared to leave them event when you need food and give yourself time to get there just before lunchtime when it will be packed out with shoppers.
  • If you can be there at the end of the show, you are more likely to find a good deal. Brands often don't want to be transporting bulky products home and you can often negotiate a bargain.
  • Save £10 on your ticket by using the code WF18 here, kindly provided by the people at The Baby Show.
  • Have a great day!


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