Currently…3rd August

Currently 3rd August

Each Monday I start with a sum up of what’s currently happening around these parts – especially when some weeks seem to fly by quicker than others!

I had a bit of a blast from the past and so watched 13 Going on 30 and started watching 27 Dresses. Also been watching DIY SOS, a handful of TED Talks (including John Green) and Agent Carter.

My friend lent me the The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins before I went on holiday – I’m now on Book 4 (Gregor and the Marks of Secret). I’ve got one more to go which I’ll be starting today.

I’ve been learning and making Pinterest friendly images for my blog. Hence the redesign of the Currently image. The background is a Canva default one but I figured while I’m still getting the hang of it I’d start with the defaults and work on my own ones in the future.

Last week was a real mixture eating wise. I was trying to be good but there were leftovers and we were living on tinned stuff left over from holiday while I sorted out the food shopping. I missed the cut off on Monday so the food order could be delivered until Wednesday. However now we have lots of Slimming World friendly food in the house which is helping. I’m determined to stand on the scales with a lose on Thursday. Since Run Bedford I’ve been meaning to walk the 10k route, for one or another reason I keep putting it off but the weather is predicting that August is going to be drier than July so hopefully I’ll be able to get out and do it. I can walk a 5k in 50 minutes ish so I should be able to do it in 2 hours in theory so should be able to chuck it in one afternoon after lunch, just make sure Jaxon is lathered in sun cream and had some toys to play with in his buggy.

Working On:
So having learnt all about Pinterest pins, I’m going to go back and work through my posts hopefully creating some better pins as I go. I’ve also learnt about improving SEO so now my links have the titles in them rather than by date (apparently this was a better system to use than how I had it previously).

Slimming World Sunday #1 (BEDIA)

Super Busy Mum

Blog Every Day in August

Good Morning! It’s August and I’m joining a few of my blogger friends to blog every day this month. Be sure to check out their blogs too.

Ashley | BethBrittney | Hannah | Karen | Michelle | Shelby

Today I’m also joining with Debs and Amy for Slimming World Sunday.

Two years ago yesterday I started my Slimming World journey. I was fed up of looking like I was pregnant even though I wasn’t. I was fed up of not being able to climb the stairs at work without feeling like I was out of breathe. My friend Jess had been round to hang out with us and Chris commented how good she looked and how much weight she’d lost. 

2011 - alrewdy knew therr was an issue.

Summer 2011 – not quite my heaviest but close.

 So on Thursday 1st August 2013 I headed up to Bedford Athletic Rugby Club and went to see Kim who I used to go to school with. Following the birth of her daughter she’d been a Slimming World Consultant. She explained it all to me and got me signed up. I stood on the scales and was filled with dread that she was going to judge me on the numbers that appeared on the scales. (Think of that sketch that used to be part of Little Britain). 

But she didn’t judge me. She encouraged me. She answered any questions that I had and sent me on my way. I could do this – couldn’t I? 

Around a stone lighter than August 2013

Around a stone lighter than in August 2013

Needed a new dress. It wasn't quite a size smaller but there was more room!

Needed a new dress. It wasn’t quite a size smaller but there was more room!

I ended up moving group to join the same one as Jess and another friend who had also decided she needed to do something about it all. By the end of October I found out I was pregnant with Jaxon. I decided to let my Consultant know so that she could tell me what I needed to eat. Because Slimming World is about making wise choices rather than dieting it’s approved by the Royal College of Midwifes so you can do it while pregnant and breastfeeding. You do have to notify your Midwife too so that if you’re losing too much or it’s affecting baby they can advise you to stop or change what you’re doing. Because I was nearly three stone overweight to start with I was encouraged by my Midwife to keep doing it as in the long run if I could get my weight down or at least keep a handle on it, it would benefit Jaxon and I in the long run. 

Fast forward to Christmas and I collected my Stone and a Half award. I was really chuffed but it was going to be a hard one. Between Christmas and Jaxon being born last year I put all the weight back on that I had lost. It was nearly all baby and fluid etc but it was really hard going to group and trying to discuss what choices I was making when I was often eating really bad because I was hungry all the time! 

It’s now two years since I started. I have lost just over two stone and I’m struggling. That fire I had in the beginning has gone and I need encouraging to lose those last 12lbs and kick some butt.

I bought a pair of Size 14 jeans last weekend and already they are too big. I want to stand in the charity shop and have to buy a pair of Size 12. 

I have nearly a stone to go I can do it. I started as I mean to go on and started yesterday with a mammoth walk also food wise tried to be good for the majority of the day as I was out in the evening at a Hen Do. 

My August Goals (BEDIA)

August Goals

Blog Every Day in August

Good Morning! It’s August 1st and August is going to be a little nuts around here, you see I’m joining a few of my blogger friends to blog every day this month. Be sure to check out their blogs too.

Ashley | BethBrittney | Hannah | Karen | Michelle | Shelby

Today is the first day in BEDIA, that’s Blog Every Day in August and it does what it says on the tin so to speak. I figured I would start the month by sharing my August Goals. I used to do this on a monthly basis but stalled a little while ago and then didn’t do it any more.

  • Get to my target weight.
    • Today I have been doing Slimming World for 2 years. I’ve lost 2 stone 2 pounds  (that’s 30 pounds) since I started including having Jaxon in the middle of that. I was getting there but I’ve started to become unfocused and now I’m putting weight back on again. I’m around 12lbs away from my target, if I get on with it and focus there’s no reason why I can’t get to target or almost be there by the end of the month.
  • Eat on plan for more days than off (Aim for 20 out of 31 days)
    • This sounds like it should be really easy but somedays it’s really hard especially if you’re invited out for a coffee date or a meal. Hopefully I can manage to do it and be focused.
  • Walk the Run Bedford route.
    • Back at the beginning of June there was a new running event here in Bedford that had a 10k route around the town. Part of the course runs close to our house so rather than starting on the start line like they would have, I am starting at my house and walking to the course then joining it and following it around the town.
  • Drink more water – I’ve got really bad at this so time to fix it. 

Five Tips for Camping with a Baby

Five Tips for Camping with a Baby

Before we went on holiday I looked around for tips about what to pack while camping with a baby/young toddler. What I did find didn’t always answer my questions so while I was away I started on a list of tips for camping with a baby.

1. Layers
Depending on where and when you’re camping along with what the weather is doing you may find you need extra layers at night. We found that Jaxon would go to bed really toasty but by about 2-4am his hands would be cold because of the drop of temperature in the tent. The temperature in the day usually around the low 20s (Celsius that is!) which was warm enough to go out without a coat but need a jumper. Although baby will seem really warm and not need the layers at bed time, around 2-4am the temperature drops (even in Summer!) and so I would advise that you put them in the extra layers at bed time. If you’re restricted for packing space, day layers can double as night layers – if the onesie is clean (or only a tiny bit dirty) it could still be worn overnight. Keep a jumper or coat handy should it turn cold and/or wet unexpectedly. Even in the summer it might be handy to put on a vest under normal clothes.

Towels and blankets can be used under the baby’s bed to insulate them from the cold ground – even if during the day the towels serve their intended purpose (just make sure the are dry before they go back under the cot/bed.

2. Babywear
Four of us, three tents, three sleeping bags, three air beds, four bags of clothes plus all the kitchen stuff soon added up in our car so we were unable to fit our buggy in there too. We took our Boba 4G and Connecta carriers to use in place of the buggy, in the end the Boba was used as a carrier and the Connecta got tied round one of the camping chairs to try and double as a high chair while Jaxon ate his meals. On quite a few day trips we found that if we had used the buggy we would have really struggled. By carrying Jaxon it was just like carrying an extra backpack.

3. Toys
If your child is like Jaxon and is into everything you will probably find that they keep trying to play with the things that you don’t want them to play with. Jaxon liked pulling himself up on the camping chairs and the camping table and trying to walk round the tent. He also liked moving the food tins around too. We had take a selection of toys but it turned out that I’d picked the wrong ones. I’m not sure what would have been the right ones but it seems the fire engine he got for his birthday would have been a good starting point.

4. Storage
Back to those tins, okay we might not have had space for storage boxes but if we had, had a storage box with a lid it would have removed the temptation for Jaxon to play with the tins. Also it would have been handy for packing away other bits that it shouldn’t have been playing with.

5. High Chair or Alternative
Some children will sit still at meal times and so sitting on someone’s knee or on a camping chair will be fine. Some will even sit on the floor and stay still to eat their meal. Others like Jaxon are wriggles and so won’t sit still. Some days he was cooperative but on the days that he wasn’t it was a real challenge. At one point I attached the Connecta to the camping chair so that Jaxon could sit in it while he ate his dinner – it wasn’t ideal and I don’t think he was entirely comfortable but it did work. We had planned to take our IKEA high chair to bits and then fit it in with all the packing but in the end it just wasn’t possible. (I guess if we’d had the buggy that could have also doubled up. I had suggested using the car seat but Chris said in this case it would have probably ended up stained with food!).

Bonus: Okay so when I was sharing this on social media it suddenly occurred to me that I’d missed one and it was all too much to change it so this is a bonus tip! In the summer in a tent it’s going to get light around 5am, clearly you don’t want your baby getting up that early if you have a busy day exploring. Jaxon has a Little Life Travel Cot (this is the newer version) which has a zip up top with a fly screen, we found that if we put a blanket (one of those spare ones mentioned above) over the cot it meant that he couldn’t see us in the main part of the tent and then get worked up and bed time, and because it went over the top of the cot too it kept it a bit darker in his cot so he was sleeping until around 6am instead.

Image from here. Text additions my own.

Book Review – His Endless Love

His Endless Love

Another book I read while on holiday was His Endless Love by Samantha Sali. In comparison to the other two books that I read while on holiday this was very different (I read the rest of The Boatman by Jonathan Holt and The Underland Chronicles: Gregor The Overland by Suzanne Collins).

In 2011, Samantha Sali created a simple blog to help her family and friends see the importance of love in the world, specifically God’s love. Within months, the blog went from 2 readers to 2000. The words that she wrote inspired thousands to start living a love-filled life. Read her personal testimony of how she overcame pain, hatred, guilt, abuse and started living a life filled with love, compassion, kindness, and empathy. Follow her journey as she learns what love is, who created love, and what it feels like to be loved. *Includes exclusive interview with Dr. Buck Blodgett, founder of The LOVE > hate Project.
The book was interesting. It was interesting to read Samantha’s story and what she had been through. Hearing about Buck’s experiences following the death of his daughter and how rather than holding onto negative feelings and the pain he put all that energy into the positive and came up with The LOVE > hate project. It’s really inspiring.
There was a lot of information as far as personal experience and other people’s experiences but I think there could have possibility been a little more biblical content but other than that I did enjoy it.
You can find Samantha’s blog here. You can find more information and purchase His Endless Love on Amazon US, Amazon UK and Goodreads. (affiliate links)

Currently…20th and 27th July

Currently - 20th and 27th July

Each Monday I start with a sum up of what’s currently happening around these parts – especially when some weeks seem to fly by quicker than others!

While we were on holiday, I saved a lot of links to videos to watch when I got back and had wifi. We watched a couple of clips of Wallace and Gromit while we were at the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes – it was set up so it was in black and white but they still looked just as good as when they are in colour. Did you know they’ve been working together since 1996? It all started with a postcard from Aardman Animations to the Creamery telling them to tune into the new Wallace and Gromit on Christmas Day – I think by the New Year or at least by Easter they had the Wallace and Gromit branded Wensleydale cheese. I remember my Grandparents bringing my Dad a lump of Wensleydale one year when they got back from their holiday – we repeated that by bringing Dad back a packed of branded cheese.

I finished Season 3 of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries thanks to YouTube. I’m also up to date on Pretty Little Liars. There was a really interesting documentary about the centenary of the WI presented by Lucy Worsley. She’s a historian and TV presenter and I imagine having a coffee and hanging out with her would be seriously good fun – we could be history nuts together.

I finished reading The Boatman while on holiday. I also read Gregor The Underlander (Book 1 in The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins) and His Endless Love by Samantha Sali). I started and finished The Prophecy of Bane (Book 2 in The Underland Chronicles) and so far it’s okay. It’s technically YA fiction so it’s fairly easy to read. Then I started Book 3 of the Underland Chronicles.  

I’m still working on the granny square blanket – it seems to be getting somewhere now, I’m working on edging the squares so that I can sew them together soon. I’m in two minds whether to start putting them together now and keep making squares or to make all the squares and then sew them together so that I don’t end up with lots of one colour together.

We came home from holiday and it was a bit like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard – however we’re living off left over tins and bits from the freezer. I needed to go shopping but I was trying to stall it so that I could do a proper shop and restock. It was Chris’s birthday party on Saturday so we now have even more birthday cake floating around. Rather than take it home we left it at church so that it could be handed out with refreshments.

Working On:
Now that both the birthday parties are done and the house is back to some kind of order following the camping trip, hopefully this week will be calmer! Back to work, back to being a WAHM mummy!

Yorkshire Dales: Day Six and Seven

Yorkshire Dales: Summer 2015

Last week we were on holiday in the Yorkshire Dales. There was signal but it was minimal and patchy so when it come to blogging it was a bit impossible. I made notes so I could share of our adventures once we were back.

Day Six (Saturday)
It was a bit of a mission on Saturday morning, having slept really bad last thing I wanted was to have to get up and do stuff. On one of the times that I woke up there was a loud bang, I thought I had imagined it so didn’t think any more of it but while I was lying there trying to motivate myself to get up, Chris had got up to check the tent and the whole porch of the tent had collapsed. I think because we were almost on a hard standing bit rather than proper grass it meant the pegs hadn’t gone in far enough to secure the tent properly.

Chris decided what would be best would be to pack as much as we could into the car, take down the big tent and squish us three plus the stuff we needed to keep out into a two man tent. Some bits went into Our Sidekick tent given that there was just him in a two man tent (Actually I think Chris told me it was a three man tent when we got home).

After moving the tents round we went into Hawes for a wander around the shops. We then headed back to the campsite so that we could get some lunch. On our way Jaxon had fallen asleep in the car so I sat with him while Chris sorted lunch for us. I actually ended up dozing in the passenger seat and Chris made me jump when he tapped on the window with my food.

Following lunch we went to the Dales Museum. I think had I had more sleep I would have been a bit more receptive and interested in what I was seeing. There was a whole section about the Wesleyan missions around the area which was quite interesting. When we finished at the Dales Museum we went across the road to the Chapel Gallery. I got a bit excited as they had wool dieing kits. I have a couple of balls of undyed wool and it would be nice to do something with it rather than it just sitting there taking up space. I also watched a lady turning roving into wool that could then be crocheted or knitted.

Chris and I then went to the sweetie shop while Our Sidekick stayed in the car with Jaxon. The lady who was serving us was so friendly. She used to be a teacher and then gave that up to run the sweet shop. Chris got super sour bon bons and a bag of chocolate buttons for Jaxon. I had Thunder and Lightning Ice Cream. It had caramel sauce and piece of cinder toffee – it wasn’t quite as good as the chocolate brownie one earlier in the week but it was still yummy all the same.

We headed back to the tent for tea – I cooked pulled beef sweetcorn and new potatoes. I’d misjudged how much food we needed to Our Sidekick and I also had pasta as well. Chris and I had pineapple for pudding.

Day Seven (Sunday)
Today was all about packing up and getting on the road. By the time Our Sidekick surfaced we were getting on with packing things away. It seemed to be lots less stressful than when we were putting the tents up when we arrived. On our way home we were driving via Chris’s Aunt house, because she lives in Yorkshire we don’t see her often as we’d like. She’s so lovely. She had ham sandwiches ready for us and chocolate cake. Jaxon was being very good and eating what he was given but when Auntie offered to stew an apple for him you could have thought it was Christmas – he loved it and wolfed it down. Clearly it had a good effect as Jaxon slept for a chunk of the second half of the journey. He started to get grouchy towards the end of the journey and we just thought he was fed up of being in the car, we later figured out what the actual problem was and realised it might have made sense to have tried that on the way home.

Once he was in bed, Chris and I worked on putting the tents away. Then the mass clear up operation started.

Passing the time on the A1(M)

A video posted by Hannah J (@hannahjblogs) on

Yorkshire Dales: Day Five

Yorkshire Dales: Summer 2015

Last week we were on holiday in the Yorkshire Dales. There was signal but it was minimal and patchy so when it come to blogging it was a bit impossible. I made notes so I could share of our adventures once we were back.

Day Five (Friday)
Following yesterday’s crazy long walk we decided we’d have a sort of chilled day.

Well sort of chilled. Chris decided a drive round the countryside would work.

We started in Hawes with a quick visit to the chemist as Our Sidekick needed some lip balm. It was really cool while I was in there. Another customer came in and she must have been a local or a regular because the lady behind the counter called her by name. Now to me that’s the cool thing about living in a village. Yes I go to the Post Office in Renhold or specific cafes in town and people know me but I can go in other places in town and people don’t know me.

From Hawes we took the B6255 and then the B6479 towards Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

Ribbleshead Viaduct

Our Sidekick got really excited when he thought it was the one from Harry Potter. I couldn’t check them but when I did check it turns out it’s not the one from HP although it looks like it. (The one in Harry Potter is Glenfinnan Viaduct near Fort William).

We headed around the local area stopping off at interesting places like Malham Cove – we were going to get out the car and go to have a proper look but it was really busy and we could kind of see it from a distance from the road.

In Kettlewell, I spotted these and some other bits of yarnbombing and got a bit excited. They were all group in colours for example these two were mainly green and red. On a bench in the middle of the village they were all pink. I’m not sure if the yarn bombing was for something specific but the village do have a wool and ale festival in May. They also have the Scarecrow festival coming up in August – would have been interesting to see it but we were there too early. We stopped for a coffee at Zarina’s Tearoom. It was really lovely and the staff were super friendly – although it seemed to be a tourist spot I can imagine that in off season all the locals pile in there for a cuppa lol. Although it was tearoom it really felt like we were in her living room or kitchen rather than being in a shop. I believe we were served by Zarina who was lovely and welcoming. When we asked for a high chair, Zarina explained that they did have one but it was a fabric one that you tie on the chair. We said that was fine and she brought it to us promptly. Jaxon was wiggling around in it so in the end I took him out of the chair and let him explore a little. The service was so friendly even the other customers were lovely and welcoming. One gentleman was there with his daughter who was a similar age to our son, they stopped and said hello. When four older gentlemen arrived they were welcomed in like old friends. It was lovely! I had a scone and it was served warm with butter, cream and jam! Chris loved the range of gluten free choices and at one point asked if we could get one of each option. I guess if we’re in the area again we will definitely be stopping. Maybe I’ll have to see if Zarina would do us a take away portion of something too! I posted a review on the FB page when we got back to the campsite and genuinely couldn’t believe that out of all the reviews on there 1 person voted a 2 whereas everyone else had voted a 4 or 5. Oh well each to their own – you can’t keep everyone happy. 

All in all it was good fun to have a look around the local area, the country roads were making me feel queasy though so I think in future we might need more walk around stops rather than spending that long in the car (how strange is this – prior to having Jaxon I would have been fine!).

It was a lovely drive and it was really good weather too – it wasn’t too hot or too cold and it was dry so if we wanted to stop and look at the scenery and things like that then we could. The wind was getting up but we figured it was because there were no buildings to shelter us. Also because we were in the car Jaxon could then nap when he wanted rather than fighting it.

When we got back to the campsite, Jaxon’s end of our tent had collapsed due to the wind. Chris worked on putting it back up and securing the guide ropes some more. We had dinner and Jaxon went to bed as normal. Between being tired and just cold we headed to bed around 9:30. I really couldn’t sleep and so laid there reading or watching the tent ripple in the wind. (haha if ripple is even the right word!) The wind got up even more to the point that it woke Jaxon and he was quite scared by it. In the end I made the choice that he’d come and sleep in between Chris and I in our side. I moved around some blankets and bits to make sure that Jaxon was insulated from the cold floor. Unfortunately Chris was already asleep by this point so I was struggling to get Jaxon and I back in the slot where I had been lying. I slept really bad between trying to get comfortable, trying to block out the wind and generally trying to sleep on a camp bed.


Yorkshire Dales: Day Four

Yorkshire Dales: Summer 2015

Last week we were on holiday in the Yorkshire Dales. There was signal but it was minimal and patchy so when it come to blogging it was a bit impossible. I made notes so I could share of our adventures once we were back.

Day Four (Thursday)
A while back I asked Chris about climbing Snowdon this Summer, I think my brain must have been separated from my body or something like that because it’s nuts and so not me

Chris had picked up a map earlier in the week that had walks around the local area, mostly using footpaths and bridlepaths. He came up with a slightly crazy plan that included climbing to the top of Drumaldrace.

We headed out of the campsite and headed along the road. Chris worked out that we then had to cross the road and then find the footpath. The slightly confusing thing was that the footpath ran through someone’s garden and you then crossed into the field behind the house via a gate in the bottom of the garden – so random!

On this first field, we were following Chris who hadn’t noticed he’s just stomped through a puddle until we followed him and I yelped that I had muddy water filling my shoe! Yuck! Chris decided it would probably be better if we took a different route so we made our way back round the muddy bit and back into the person’s garden.

We got back on the road and walked a bit further. At that point it was all on the same level so you really couldn’t see where you’d got to.

I ended up being navigator so each fence we crossed I’d be checking which way we needed to go across the field. In this next picture, our campsite is virtually right in the picture – if you look at the people, then there’s a barn just above their heads and then a house a bit further above. That’s our campsite. I was stood up the hill from the couple in front of us. They were really lovely and each time we overtook them or they overtook us we’d say hello and have a bit more of a conversation. At one point they were so far in front of us that we couldn’t catch them. Our Sidekick was impressed at how quick they were going given how slow we were going!

I didn’t manage to snap many pictures given how little battery I had remaining. I wanted to save my battery firstly to snap a picture at the top but Chris said a sensible thing which was to make sure I had enough battery to try and call out if we needed to in an emergency – he is a clever sausage isn’t he? I managed to snap this picture, we were almost at the top and I was shattered but also excited to be able to be at the top of what is classed as a mountain! (EEK!)

The only picture I did manage to snap at the top involved Our Sidekick (and because of foster care stuff I can’t really post the pic – I did think about cutting him out and then posting it but that seemed really mean). All the way up and most of the way down we’d been going on about how we needed chocolate cake! Like NEED URGENTLY! We headed back to the tent so we could each grab a shower before heading out for dinner. We went through Hawes and had a look at the pubs to see if one would be good for dinner but they all ended up being kind of pricey (like £10+ for a Main Course). In the end we tried the local YHA in case they had non-residents for dinner but they didn’t even answer their reception door for me to ask the question – I did get a response via Twitter but it was like two days later!

In the end, while Chris drove us to Kendal, I was on the phones ordering Clubcard vouchers to pay for our pizzas at Pizza Express. I gobbled my whole pizza down without needed to take a breather which is unusual as I usually stall in the middle or towards the end and that didn’t happen. I stuck with my usual margarita pizza – I am so boring. I would have Quattro Formaggi but they don’t do one. I knew Jaxon was a bit rosy but in these pictures he looks *really* rosy! Although we put sun cream on him we didn’t do it prompt enough and he ended up a little pink. We got after sun on our way home and lathered it on his face. (Note to Mummy and Daddy – cake the baby in sun cream regularly!)

Yorkshire Dales: Day Three

Yorkshire Dales: Summer 2015

Last week we were on holiday in the Yorkshire Dales. There was signal but it was minimal and patchy so when it come to blogging it was a bit impossible. I made notes so I could share of our adventures once we were back.

Day Three (Wednesday)
On Wednesday we headed for Aysgarth Falls. Our Sidekick and I kept saying it wrong so between us became Asgard Falls which regularly made us fall about laughing.

Aysgarth fall is a set of three waterfalls over about a mile stretch. It’s part of the River Ure. The rain that had fallen in the days before we were there meant that the falls were in full swing – Chris commented how when he’d been in the past it had been really dry and it was the middle of summer so the falls were a bit rubbish.

We started with the Lower falls and then worked our way back up to the top. It was good we did them this way round other wise I think we would have been disappointed when we’d made it down to the bottom.

When we got to the top, the boys all had fun paddling in the river. I held Jaxon so he could try and paddle but he wasn’t so sure – I guess the water was a little cold for his tastes.