GIVEAWAY: Pink FitBit Flex (and Extra Wristbands)

 Giveaway!!! 

Today is the eigth anniversary of my blog being up and running (in some form!). 

This year I thought I’d host another giveaway. 

I bought my FitBit Flex back in April last year when I was regularly walking to and from work. I would often joke that in my day I would have walked miles up and down the office and probably should keep track of those steps.

It soon became a bit of an addiction – could I beat yesterday’s steps with today’s steps? 

 Pink Fitbit Flex  

Two slate wristbands 

Even on the day Jaxon was born and I was pacing up and down the living room it’s funny to see how it changes. We were in Morrison’s for some lunch around 3:30/4ish. Then the big peaks around 7/7:30 was me walking around the hospital. It then drops after that because I was sat in a hospital bed or just pottering around the ward. The big peak at 11pm was when my Fitbit was in Chris’s pocket because I had to remove all my jewellery etc before going to surgery.

Fitbit Tracking 9-7-14

Back in February, I lost my Fitbit. It had been in my pocket when I’d been out and about because it didn’t always register when I was pushing the buggy and it fell out my pocket. Those lovely people at Fitbit replaced it as a goodwill gesture but in between it being lost and them telling me the replacement was on it’s way I’d already been out and bought a Charge HR. So I had a few days of dilemma and then I came to a conclusion. Use the Charge HR and giveaway the Flex. So here we go….

Enter here:


Just a few notes

  • Prize is a Pink Fitbit Flex along with a large and a small Slate Fitbit Flex wristbands.
  • Although you may be able to get assistance from Fitbit, this giveaway hasn’t got anything to do with Fitbit itself.
  • Open to all.
  • The giveaway opens on the 28th March when this post goes live. It closes at MIDNIGHT GMT on the 11th April.
  • I will announce the winner by the 16th April and will make contact direct with them with regards to delivery address and estimate delivery time.

 

Posted in Getting Healthy, Giveaway, Goals, March | Leave a comment

TGIF: Things I’m Grateful For

Vintage slate chalk board hanging on wooden background

Each Friday I join with Ashley from Hello Nature and Laura from Ginger + Co to share the things I’m grateful for this week.

Uncle S
This was our last week on the Marriage Course. Uncle S and his sidekick for the evening came to boy-sit (I would say babysit but Our Sidekick would argue that he’s not a baby!). Uncle S was on a mission on Wednesday, he took over from me feeding Jaxon so that I could head out, he also sorted dinner for Our Sidekick. The three of them were having takeaway for tea so I think Our Sidekick was a bit excited!

Mum and Dad
Again my parents are in here, my Mum has been helping me with various crocheting projects that I’ve been working on, a couple of weeks ago I kept delivering the next bundle of squares to my Mum who was stitching them all together. Later today, Dad is going to have to Jaxon so that I can have a meeting with one of my clients.

Better Weather
Although the weather can’t quite make up it’s mind, it has been a bit better this week which has meant, Jaxon and I have been able to get out and walk about a bit more. On Tuesday we caught the bus into town for Knit and Natter at YMCA Foutain. We were then able to walk home rather than catch the bus. We got to Mum’s and Jaxon’s hands were getting cold so we spent some time there and defrosted. As we walked from Mum’s house to our House it did start to spit but thankfully it didn’t get any worse than that.

My Car
I’m grateful for my car this week because it meant that I could go and meet with a lady about baby wearing. Her third baby is due imminently and she doesn’t think that she can get to the next meeting of the local baby wearing group so we met at a local soft play place and chatted though the carriers that I have and what works for us and what didn’t work for us. (We loved the Hug-A-Bub when Jaxon was smaller but I now prefer the Connecta because of how quick and easy it is to get Jaxon in and out of it especially as the supermarket for example).

Our Adventures this week

Jaxon has been very happy and smily this week. He’s also been more mobile. In the bottom middle picture I had propped him up against the table and he managed to hold himself there for quite a while. The bottom left he was rolling round the floor entertaining people at Slimming World last night.

Posted in Friday, Gratitude, Jaxon | 6 Comments

Let Your Blog Shine: Truth or Dare

LYBS March Blog Prompts

Over on Facebook I’m part of a blogging group. On the Wednesdays of each month we have a group prompt that we’re all going to answer. This weeks’ prompt is…

Truth or Dare…

1) Truth: What is the most embarrassing tv show you like? 

Glee probably! First few seasons I did enjoy but the last two or three were only aired on Sky here and although my Mum would record them for me my poor Dad would sit through them under duress lol. I gave up in the end. 

 2) Dare: Show us your prom photo. 

Since we got the prompt I’ve been attempting to find mine. Both my proms were prior to Facebook and although I managed to find one photo, it’s literally my left shoulder that you can see in the picture. My Year 11 Prom (Valedictory Ball) was 12 years ago and I’m sure I must have pictures somewhere but I think they are down in the Summerhouse or in the loft. My Year 13 ones are probably in the same place. If I manage to get to them I’ll share the love. 

3) Truth: When was the last time you peed in the pool?
Haha! Erm….well I’ve only been swimming twice since Our Sidekick moved in with us so it’s got to be over 5 years ago if ever lol. 

4) Dare: Post a photo of yourself when you first wake up. 

 Wakey Wakey! Picture of me in the morning  

You can usually guarantee that the morning starts with feeding Jaxon. This one he’d decided to lie pretty much right across me and then feed rather than being on the bed next to me or across my lap. 

5) Truth:What is your favorite thing about the opposite gender? 

Sense of humour I think. Chris has a quirky sense of humour – it often came out in his dress sense. When we first met he’d often wear bright crazy Hawaiian shirts. 

6) Dare: Show us all the contents of your purse. 

Didn’t we do this one…? (I’m writing this post while sat in the driver’s seat of the car. Jaxon fell asleep while we were out so rather than move him I figured I’d leave him where he is! Emptying my purse for a picture could be a challenge…..)

7) Truth: What was the worst thing you ever cooked or baked? 

When I was a teen I tried to make a Victoria sponge cake and used plain flour instead of self raising. That turned out like two biscuits rather than two sponges! That would probably one of the worst. 

8) Dare: Show us a photo of your goofiest face.

(Probably not the goofiest but it’ll work lol)  

Goofy face! 

9) Truth: What is the stupidest thing you have done because someone dared you to do it?

When I was about 19 I was on a short term mission trip to Turkey and on one of the last days we were allowed to go in the pool. I was dared to (or I was showing off) jump in the outdoor pool. It was October and although the air temperature and had been fairly warm the water temperature had been really cold all week. Well I bombed into the pool and it was that cold that I got instant pins and needles in my hands and feet. What I hadn’t realised until I’d turned round was that two of the younger girls had followed my “lead” and we’re panicking because of how cold it was. I rescued the one closest to me and we both swam to the other girl and all got out. Oops! 

10) Truth: If your life was a movie, who would you want to play you? 

Anne Hathaway (then again she’s older than me so not sure that really works!)

Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada 

EXTRA CREDIT: Post a video of you singing!

About five or so years ago I thought it would be a genius idea to have a YouTube Channel, well I have a channel, I even have subscribers, but not much else happened. This was one of the few videos I made. How To Save A Life by The Fray…

I’ve written this from my phone and I’m not convinced the formatting is behaving itself. Will try and amend issues once I’m not in the car! 

Posted in Blogging, Blogs and Sites, Challenges, LYBS | 1 Comment

Currently…23rd March

Currently...

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

Watching:
Elementary – Chris and I hang out and watch this on a weekly basis – then again at one point we were watching about two or three episodes in one sitting!
Forever – Another crime drama to add to the list – this one has the added supernatural idea of not dying.
Critical – Another medical drama on the list – apparently all the actors when through a crash course of trauma medicine so that they actually got it right when it came to what the procedures were.
Guardians of the Galaxy – I’m part way through it at the moment – I think I’m going to have to watch it again though because I kept missing chunks.
Criminal Minds – Penelope is the best!
Muslim Beauty Pageant and Me – I happened to spot this on iPlayer yesterday afternoon, the idea of a beauty pageant and the wearing of the Hijab and Islamic faith going together didn’t seem to work for me but it was interesting to listen to Dina Torkia talk about her experiences.
Cookery shows – I’ve been watching tons. There’s been barious didfernt

Reading:
Doctor Who: Eleven Doctors (Up to Doctor 3 now)
If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher. (I am almost finished – I think I must be on the last chapter now!)

Listening:
Jaxon’s lullaby mix right now. Acoustic version of Kumbaya is currently playing.

Making:
I finished a project and following some news yesterday afternoon I started making some squares that I already had into a new project

Planning:
Working on the next stages for my small business and how I fit that around looking after Jaxon. It’s still a tiny business in comparison to some small businesses but I’m getting there. What tools do you use for scheduling blog posts and social media updates?

Loving:

Posted in Stuff to sort | Leave a comment

Spring Link Up: Ten Top Tips for a Spring Clean

springclean

This weekend is the arrival of Spring – or at least it’s on the calendar as being the start of Spring because of the Equinox. (Yep I went to read what qualifies the start of Spring – it’s certainly not the weather that’s for sure!). Each year I make the intention to do what needs to be done round the house. The last few years I’ve always struggled around work, then last year I struggled with not being as mobile because by this point I was around six months pregnant. This year it’s going to happen, starting with the household audit mentioned in the post yesterday. This started as a Spring Clean post then I realised that actually a lot of the things on the list were more of a clean out sort of path. I hope they are handy either way!

So here we go with the tips for a good Spring Clean or clear out of sorts…

1. Write a List
Whenever I have a big project to do I always start with a To Do List – it means I can cross of what’s done and see what I have left to do. This is where I always start, I start with a list of the jobs that need to be done and the rooms that they relate to – often along with a shopping list of things that I need to purchase to be able to get on with the job

2. Get your Kit Together
Now you’ve written a list of jobs to do round your flat/house, check your cleaning materials – do you need anything like bin bags, recycling bags, dusters, cleaning products etc?

3. Clear Out Your Wardrobe
Firstly make the bed. Secondly get all the clothes out the wardrobe. Work your way through the pile by clearing out the clothes that are too small/too big or you no longer wear it. Bag them up for the charity shop or a hand-me-down pile as you go (rather than forming a pile then bagging it!). When you put the clothes back in the wardrobe hang them up the wrong way round so that the hanger points towards you, when you put the item away after washing put it in the right way round. That way the next time you clear out your wardrobe you can clear out the items that still have the hanger the wrong way round.

4. Book/DVD/Games Collection
I’m the worst for holding onto DVDs and books that I no longer read or watch. I recently had a big clear out of my DVDs and got rid of something like 30 films. I’ve still got a chunk to go. Try a service like Music Magpie if you’re getting rid of DVDs or Games. MM in particular has a mobile phone app so you can scan the barcodes, they also have their own courier who will collect your package of DVDs so you don’t have to attempt to get it to the post office. Books wise, some libraries will take donations if they are in good condition, if they don’t take them try local charity shops as they often have book sections. Some charities like Oxfam actually have their own bookshops.

5. Windows
Before you reach for the glass/mirror spray, open the windows and sweep out any bugs, dust or other debris, that way those bits won’t clog up your cloth. Try to clean the windows on a cloudy day, if there is direct sunlight on the window then you might find the cleaner dries too quickly and leaves streaky marks. If you can reach both sides of the windows (for example ground floor level windows) when you clean the inside wipe horizontal, then do the outside and wipe vertically. That way it makes it easier to see the streaks and the bits you need to wipe again.

6. Dusting and Vacuuming
This only recently occurred to me which is really silly. Start from the top and work down. Get the feather duster out and clean the top corners for cobwebs etc. Then dust the surfaces (Working high to low). Then last of all vacuum or sweep the floor, that way you don’t end up having to do the job twice. If like us you have units on legs in the kitchen, use the broom to get right to the back under the cupboards, we sometimes find stray bits of carrot or pasta under the units.

7. Dishwasher
Some dishwashers come with an actual function that will clean the dishwasher itself but if like ours it doesn’t have one you can do the following. Start by removing all the dishes, cutlery etc from the dishwasher – it needs to be empty. Take out the filter and tray from the bottom, fill the sink with hot soapy water and put the filter and tray into the sink (We’ll come back to that in a sec). Make sure that there is no debris left in the bottom of the dishwasher or in the cutlery tray. We get a bottle of dishwasher cleaner from the supermarket, it’s the own brand and costs like £2 a bottle. Follow the instructions on the bottle and place it in the dishwasher. Now go to the sink and clean the filter and tray, this catches all the odd bits of food or jar labels so make sure all the holes are clear – it’ll run more efficiently then. Once clean put them back in place. Set the dishwasher to the hottest setting (Ours is 80 or 90) and leave it to run. It’ll depend on your machine to how long it takes, and the manufacturer make recommend different so it’s worth just checking your manual before running it if it isn’t something you’ve done before. Once it’s ran you can load up the next run of dishes and get on with those.

8. Fridge/Freezer
Time to clear out those stray bits that have started to grow legs and whistle the theme from The Great Escape. Some items like vegetables can go to the compost heap rather than being binned. Things that have been cooked like leftovers can’t be composted so will need to go in the bin. Work on clearing out all the items that are no longer useable. In some cases just because the best before has past the item might still be usable. (Check out this article). So the bits that really can’t be used clear out. Stack the remainder on the work top and set about taking the actual shelves out of the fridge. Grab a cloth and your usual cleaning spray – like the room start from top to bottom. If you find that fridge smells. Grab a pot (think yoghurt pot size) and put in some bicarb of soda, then put it in at the back of the fridge. The bicarb will absorb the smells from the air and you should find it will smell better within a few hours.

9. Recycling
It varies across the country depending on your local council but ours takes various items in the orange recycling bins at the same time as our black bin for general waste. It’s always worth checking what they will take as you can load your bin up with those items. Our local council however don’t take glass, so this has to go to the bottle bank. While we are using lots of jars of baby food, we are having to make extra trips to the bottle bank or the recycling centre to deal with these. However the most recently two loads were despatched to other people, one to refill the jars with jam and the other to decorate them a la Pinterest for their son’s Christening decorations. The ones that I do need to take to the recycling centre, I run through the dishwasher so that even if they are stored for a couple of weeks before the next trip they don’t smell. Also it means that if they are being reused they don’t need to be washed first.

Recycling

When you’re loading up your recycling bin, be sure to flatten big items like cardboard boxes as they will fit in the bin better and you’ll be able to fit more in. If you’ve got plastic milk bottles, run warm water into the bottle then empty it, while the bottle is still warm you should find that you can squash the bottle. This is the same with big fizzy drinks bottles, if you release the cap so it’s still screwed on but the air can escape you can then crush the bottle.

10. Worktops
I try to work my way round in some kind of order – usually starting next to the microwave in the kitchen and working back to the sink. I also have the broom to hand so that I can sweep up the debris into a pile as I go (Again working top to bottom is quite handy). For a deep clean, I wipe down the fronts of the cupboards at head level then I move all the items on the work top onto the kitchen table then wipe down the worktops starting at the back nearest the wall and working towards the front. I then wipe down the units. at waist leg height. Then I sweep all the crumbs etc from the floor and sweep that into the bin. I use the Multi Purpose Cleaner on the top of the hob (we have an electric hob) then use the glass cleaner if needed. Our oven has removable dials so I take them off to get rid of the crumbs etc from around the dials. If I’m cleaning the inside of the oven too I tend to do this first so that I can work round the rest of the kitchen while the cleaner does its job in the oven. I recently discovered that you can remove the oven door completely which is handy for getting out the burnt bits of food from the bottom of the oven.

These are just a selection because I imagine with some deep thinking I could add a whole bunch more tips but this is it for now.

Do you have any handy tips? Maybe you have a method not mentioned above but works well for you. Please share in the comments.

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Posted in Stuff to sort | 6 Comments

House Projects for 2015

DIY

Having spent the best part of 2014 being pregnant or caring for a small baby and Chris working 6 days a week at some point, keeping the house on track hasn’t always happened. 2015 is going to be different though and we have a list of house projects that we’re working on over the next few months.

Household Audit
While doing the Marriage Course, we ended up discussing how the house is a state. We’re going to work our way round each room working through each cupboard, nook and cranny and clearing out stuff. This includes all the kitchen cupboards, the pantry and fridge/freezer, bookcases in the living room, the cupboard and the wardrobe in our bedroom. I think I’m also going to include clearing out old paperwork from our filing cabinet and tidying up the filing system. We’re then going to head down to the summerhouse and do a similar job.

Our Sidekick’s Room
This is already on the cards. The upstairs of our house seems to have a damp problem. I think it’s to do with the fact that our house is a glorified concrete block. We seemed to have solved it when we decorated the nursery last year and took the wallpaper off the walls but it’s come back on top of the paint job so we probably need someone to have a proper look at the house. The plan is to strip the wallpaper and repaint Our Sidekick’s room during the Easter Break and go from there.

The Summerhouse
I imagine if we were properly organised this would be stripped and repainted every year or so. We’ve been at our house six years in November and it hasn’t been done since we’ve been there. As the weather gets better we also need to work on replacing the roof. I was supposed to go out there and do a patch up job at least for the time being but between not being great leading up to Christmas and then being sick or the weather being too cold to take Jaxon outside for too long has meant that it’s now March and I’ve not got it done.

Nursery
The windows in the nursery need a good clean and the nursery full stop needs a good clear out. We have a bunch of clothes for Jaxon that are the next size up, at the moment he’s too small for the clothes but they need to be tidied away rather than just abandoned like they are at the moment.

Our Bedroom
It’s a bit of a dumping ground to a certain degree – it needs a good clearing out. Especially around my side of the room, if things are on the bed they often get dumped on my side and don’t always get dealt with.

Outside Walls
We’ve been looking into external wall insulation as we have solid walls rather than cavity walls. Hopefully it’ll help all round sorting out some of the issues within the house.

Posted in Challenges, March | Leave a comment

Let Your Blog Shine: My Biggest Fears

LYBS March Blog Prompts

Over on Facebook I’m part of a blogging group. On the Wednesdays of each month we have a group prompt that we’re all going to answer. This weeks’ prompt is…

List Your Biggest Fears and Why…

Rollercoasters

Alton Towers NemesisThis is one of the few rollercoasters I’ve been on and not freaked out – mainly because I was sat next to my Mum and she screamed all the way round which made me laugh instead of freak out!

I can’t do rollercoasters, I go on them once in a while to prove that I still don’t like them but other than that I hate them. Last time I went on a roller coaster was two summers ago when I went on The Grand National ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach with Our Sidekick and Chris. We were in the queue and said to them that one of them needed to sit with me and we weren’t going at the very front. We got to the front of the queue and lined up, they ended up sitting next to each other in front of me so I ended up sat on my own in one carriage bit. NOT GOOD! We climbed the lift hill and I was sort of okay but we got to the top and I started to freak out. I ended up crying pretty much all the way round, I vaguely remember Our Sidekick turning round to see if I was okay then his face dropping when he saw that I was having issues.

This is a big problem because Chris LOVES rollercoasters! I mean like really adores them. The best deal we have found that works for us is at Blackpool Pleasure Beach because he can get a full ticket which means he can go on all the rides whereas I can get a park only ticket which means I can potter round the park with the boys but not pay for the rides part which I’m not likely to use. I guess when Jaxon is a bit older I can always go on the little kiddies rides with him then look after him while Chris does the big scary rides lol.

 

Posted in LYBS, March | 8 Comments

Currently…16th March

Currently...

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

Watching:
Elementary
Critical – I might have got a bit animated while discussing the episode where the guy comes in with crush injuries to his legs. Oops! My poor sister in law was a bit green.
NCIS: New Orleans – I’m not sure I like it as much as the normal series or Los Angeles but I’m giving it a go.
The People’s Strictly – Oh these people are so inspiring. I clapped when the titles for the final came on because they were just like the normal show.

Reading:
Doctor Who: Eleven Doctors (Up to Doctor 3 now)
If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher.

If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher

Listening:
I keep listening to the Frozen soundtrack. I keep singing Fixer Upper in the car to Jaxon as well as Love is an Open Door. If I had the right type of camera I could add my own YouTube version.

Making:
Finishing up on a project, the deadline may move so it needs to finished as soon as possible

Planning:
Blog posts and ideas coming up soon. Trying to figure out how to develop audience too. Any ideas?

Loving:
The time I got to spend with the boys this weekend.

Posted in Currently... | 1 Comment

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day

Twenty-nine years ago, my Mum would have been pregnant with me (about eight months ish). This time last year we were discussing whether I got an official or unofficial Mother’s Day as I was pregnant with Jaxon. In the end I think we left it and now today is my First Mother’s Day.

We’re off to church as normal and then we’re off to my Mum’s for lunch. I’m sure there is something wrong in the calculations there and we should be having Mum round for lunch at ours or something like that but I’m going to make sure that my brother is primed and we help with clearing up even if Mum had the cooking in hand.

I have friends out there who will be in pain today too, either because they’ve lost their own Mum or because they can’t have their own children for one reason or another. I don’t know the pain of losing my Mum but I know the pain of losing my Grandma. So lovelies, if you fit in either of those categories today (or in a couple of weeks if you’re stateside) I send big hugs.

To me Mother’s Day is celebrating not just the lady that you call Mum but celebrating the ladies in your life who encourage you, who guide you and who inspire you. I am blessed with a lovely group of women at church who look out for me. There’s a lady we call Mummy S, her youngest child is the same age as me and she’s always at the end of the phone if I need someone to speak to. There’s E, V and H, all of whom I can just text or ring for a chat if needed. All four of them are Christians and go to my church so they encourage me in the way I seek God and make sure he’s at the front and centre. But then there’s also Ashley, Shelby, Laura and the other ladies in the Lifestyle Bloggers Group and the Let Your Blog Shine group that I’m part off. They are all similar ages to me but they encourage me to be better and to achieve the goals that I set for myself.

So go and say thank you to those ladies who fit that description, give them a massive hug and tell them how much you appreciate them.

Have a great day lovelies.

 

Posted in Jaxon, Our Sidekick, Parenting | 1 Comment

TIGF: Things I’m Grateful For

Vintage slate chalk board hanging on wooden background

Joining up with: Ashley from Hello Nature Laura from Ginger + Co


Uncle S Uncle S babysat again so that we could go to this week’s Marriage Course session. Just one more to go then Wednesdays go back to normal.

Parents Yes they get a mention every week okay? Mum babysat Jaxon on Monday so that I could help Chris (see below). They also took OurSidekick to his Trampolining club so that he didn’t miss it. When they got back and we were about to head home my Dad offered three or four times if I wanted a lift home if I was feeling really bad. 

Our Sidekick On Monday Chris ran a team building evening for his current staff and new staff. I cooked dinner for everyone and part way through the evening I started to get a headache. By the time I collected the boys from Mum and Dad’s, my head was absolutely banging. Our Sidekick was amazing though. He took Jaxon upstairs so I could get him settled for bed then he went back out to the car and unloaded everything in the house from the car that needed to go in. 

Chris For wanting to work on our marriage and make it stronger. Marriage Course isn’t about fixing it because it’s broken it’s about going from strength to strength to make it the best we can make it. 

Mum It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday so my Mum gets a bonus one. She’s amazing. Even when she’s busy she’ll make time if I need her help whether it’s me personally or looking after Jaxon. She spent chunks of her free time helping me on a project this last week and the finishing line is in sight. She’s my “help desk” with all things self employed ness. I love you Mum. 

Posted in Being Grateful, Friday | Leave a comment