Post Christmas Detox: Day 4

Fell off the wagon slightly today, although I don’t like to think of it as ‘failing’ or ‘cheating’ because that makes it sound like I’m doing something righteous the rest of the time, and I’m not. I’m just trying to eat a healthy, balanced and clean diet the majority of the time and respect that if I want to have something a bit less healthy occasionally then that’s ok too.

This is what I ate today.

 

Breakfast…

Overnight bircher (oats soaked in oat milk topped with grated apple, seeds toasted in coconut oil and cinnamon and natural yoghurt

Glass of coconut water and a mug of hot water and apple cyder vinegar

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Lunch…

Home made vegetable soup with a slice of sourdough toast topped with marmite and a handful of raspberries

Snack…

Handful of mixed nuts and raisins

Dinner…

Take away Chicken Tikka Saag with mixed chickpeas, bulgarwheat and lentils flavoured with apricots and harissa paste

Exercise…

None I’m afraid, I slept in too late!

Post Christmas Detox: Day 3

In contrast to my reference in yesterdays post about it being okay to feel hungry, I read today about eating what your body tells you it wants, when it wants it. I’m quite interested in this. It seems sensible, I suppose, that if you really listen to your body it will tell you these things but the worry is that I suspect my mind and my body are not working together. In fact I think my mind is trying to trick my body. If I listen to my mind it will tell me that I’m hungry when I can’t possibly be and instead of nutrient rich food, it will tell me that I want chocolate. Or at least, it always used to. Recently I’ve noticed that foods I used to enjoy just don’t seem as appealing any more and foods that I would have previously turned my nose up at, I really like eating! That isn’t to say that I don’t get cravings or steal longing glances at the office offerings (today it was red velvet cake…) but I think there is a definite improvement there from this time last year which is something to feel proud of I think.

As for listening to your body and giving it what it needs, this is certainly something worthy of more research in my opinion, but I think it would need to be executed with some care and responsibility. Watch this space for more on this.

Here’s what I ate today.

 

Breakfast…

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1 slice of sourdough toast with marmite, scrambled eggs and fried tomatos

Glass of coconut water and a mug of hot water with apple cyder vinegar

Lunch…

Home made vegetable soup, full fat natural yogurt with cinnamon and a green apple.

Snack…

Handful of mixed nuts and raisins

Dinner…

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Wholemeal spaghetti with brie, tomatos and basil

Handful of fresh organic strawberries and raspberries

Evening…

Hot chocolate made with cacao powder, oatmilk and a dash of cream

Exercise…

I woke up a bit late this morning and managed 20 minutes lower body work out on the Wii Fit. I’ll try to get up earlier tomorrow and do an extra 10 minutes.

Post Christmas Detox: Day 2

So it’s day two of the post Cristmas detox, or getting back on track as it’s also known. I always find it much easier when I’m at work not to concentrate as much on food and not to snack inbetween meals, simply because I’m just too busy! We joked in the office when we returned after the Christmas holiday that by 2pm we were missing our afternoon cheese and crackers, but there’s some truth in this. I don’t know about you but in my house over Christmas we tend to pick at food throughout the day leaving us too full to eat proper meals. This all made me consider how long it takes us to learn now habits and how quickly we un-learn them leaving our stomachs screaming out for food when we really shouldn’t need it! With all this in mind I decided today to try and get back into not snacking between meals. I read the other day that we are often terrified of feeling hunger, but actually feeling hungry is okay, I’m not talking about starving yourself or missing meals here, but recognising that you feel hungry and managing to wait until your tea is ready rather than scoffing biscuits “while you wait” can be beneficial to your health.

Here’s what I ate today.

 

Breakfast…

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Full fat natural yogurt topped with strawberries, raspberries and pumpkin seeds toasted with coconut oil and cinnamon

Glass of coconut water and a mug of hot water with apple cyder vinegar

Lunch…

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Home made vegetable soup, 1 apple and a handful of mixed nuts

Dinner…

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Gluten free sausages, sweet potato chips, sugar free baked beans and fried egg cooked in cocnut oil.

Exercise…

I managed 30 minutes of Wii Fit this morning and then about 20 minutes of running away from a pretend Molly Dragon this afternoon.

Post Christmas Detox: Day 1

 

I tried to be really sensible over the Christmas period with regards to food and drink and actually I didn’t go wild. I did however let my boundaries slip a little and I think when that happens it can be really difficult to reset. I’ve had a couple of failed attempts to get back on the clean eating wagon, the first was made prematurely on News Year Day and, predictably, was destined to fail due to the fact that we still had leftover “Christmas food” in the house. The second was made when I went back to work and that fared better than my first attempt but has been thwarted slightly by a meal out (plum pie, ice cream and prosecco) and the naff weather making me feel like the only thing worth doing upon arriving home is drink hot chocolate (maple syrup).

I have ientified my main problem as being that I didn’t define what I meant by “getting back on the wagon”, I didn’t set myself any realistic, achievable or measurabe targets. For example, if I’d said “for January I’m going to cut out alcohol or reduce the amount of gluten I eat” I think I might have been helping myself to make choices that would have allowed me to stick to my goals better whilst still being realistic. Instead, in my head I’d decided I just needed to have an overhaul and eat “clean” and only “clean”. Not very realistic or measurable.

So here it is, for the rest of January I would like to set myself the following targets:

  1. Cut out all alcohol
  2. Reuce the amount of sugar I eat to two portions of non-refined sugars a week
  3. Increase my vegetable intake
  4. Get back to exercising 5 times a week for 30 minutes
  5. Try to be in bed by 10.30pm every week night

 

Like I say, I didn’t go wild at Christmas, I made all our deserts using non-refined sugars and we just didn’t buy chocolates, mince pies or cakes. I drank a little more than I woud have liked but it was mostly red wine and prosecco which are lower sugar drinks. I think the issue was probably not the quality of the food we ate, but more the quantity. Where as usually a desert would be a weekly or even sometimes monthly treat, we were eating raw vegan cheesecake and sticky date toffee pudding most nights which still left me feeling like I’d over indulged (albeit on densely nutritious foods). I don’t dare weigh myself but I feel like I might have put a little bit of weight on and so I’d just like to take control sooner rather than later, if to achieve nothing else than putting my mind at rest.

 

Here’s how day 1 of the post Christmas detox went.

Breakfast…

Porridge made with oats, chia seeds, oatmilk, frozen raspberries and blueberries and cinnamon, topped with pistatio nuts

A glass of coconut water and a mug of hot water with apple cyder vinegar

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Lunch…

Couscous with roasted vegetables and a “detox” smoothie containing kale, parsley, beetroot, apple, lemon and ginger.

Mug of peppermint tea

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Snack…

2 brown rice crackers with marmite

 

Dinner…

Home made gluten free beef and mushroom pie with sweet potato mash, peas and sweetcorn

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Molly’s big girl bedroom

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I’ve been waiting with anticipation to share this post with you but it was neccessay to keep it absolutely top secret until after Christmas as we decided to give Molly her big girl bedroom as her Christmas present from us. That’s not to say that at 2 years old she uses my laptop or frequents my blog particularly but we felt that Molly had to be the first person to see it so the door was kept firmly closed until after she’d had first nebs on Christmas morning.

 

A lot of time and careful planning went into creating this room. There’s a lot of hours spent on pinterest that I am just not getting back. But all the inspiration seeking and searching for exactly the right bed (seriously, me and the husband nearly divorced over her big girl bed!) was definitely worth it because I’m really pleased with how it turned out and more importantly Molly LOVES it! On almost a daily basis she can be heard to say “my bedroom is soooooo lovely”. That’s  good enough for me.

 

When planning the room I thought long and hard about what Molly enjoys doing; dressing up, drawing, reading, and playing with her train set. I then spent a lot of time looking to see what other people had done to incoporate these sorts of activities into their kids bedrooms. There were so many beautiful rooms which linked to the most gorgeous online shops selling childrens furniture and accessories and I think it would have been very easy to get carried away budget wise had we not tried very hard to be sensible (the husband probably more so than me I must admit!)

 

Based on the rooms that I saw on pinterest we decided on a neutral colour scheme which we also happen to have throughout the rest of the house and after deciding on what areas I wanted to have within the room (i.e. reading area, craft area, dressing up area) I set too sourcing lovely things to create these areas with.

 

The reading area…

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I sourced the bookshelf on ebay and we went to collect it as it was fairly local (athough I do remember driving over the moors late at night in deep fog and rain to go and get it and thinking what am I doing?!), it’s an old school foldway bookcase on wheels but my clever husband removed the wheels and mounted it to the wall so she couldn’t close it and catch her fingers.

The pom poms I fund in various places, some from Ikea and some from a little vintage shop in Hexham. The fabric storage boxes were one of my best finds and they came from TK Maxx. I love this shop so much but obviously with their rolling stock it is just luck of the draw whether you manage to find what you were looking for. I guess I hit luky that day! They also have dinosaur patterned ones in stock and I stood in the shop with one of each in my hand for way longer than is normal, trying to decide which to go for. In the end I decided that the zig-zag pattern would probably have more shelf life in it because she might grow out of dinosaurs (although I hope not!) and these might stand the test of time a bit better.

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The owl wallstickers were a last minute purchase  which I made the day before Christmas Eve. They came from a shop called Tiger which sold really quirky homeware and childrens stuff for amazingly reasonable prices. It was a bit of a mad dash around the shop because I was really supposed to be looking for arrowroot to make a pumpkin pie with but I just can’t resist popping into shops like this when I see them, and I did manage to pick up a few other bits and pieces too!

I wanted it to be cosy and we thought a bean-bag would be best because she could use it on her own or we could sit with her to read together.

 

The Craft area…

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This cute little desk I found, strangely enough, at the same place as I bought the bookshelf from which I was over the moon about, but it did cause me to lose a bet with the husband that I wouldn’t, when faced with a room full of vintage furniture and hearing that they were closing down, be able to resist the temptation to fill the car with as much as I could cram in. I assured him this wouldn’t be the case but ended up buying this desk and matching chairs and a dolls bed as well. Ahem. The desk was in need of restoration, someone had stencilled all over it (why?!) but I couldn’t resist it. The top two sections lift off and are reversable to reveal blackboard slates on the othersid and a hidden compartment to store colouring books, pencils, chalk etc… we painted it in a neutral gray colour and then covered the seats with a gorgeous fabric from Dashwood studio. I must say I’m rather pleased with the results.

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The little house shelf I’d seen on lots of pinterest pictures and I really loved the idea of it to store little treasured trinkets. We ended up finding one in H&M for a very reasonable price.

Mr.Bear I had originally seen for sale on a beautiful online shop called Mollymeg but the husband decided to get in touch with his artistic side instead and painted this one. If you love it but don’t want the stress of doing it yourself you can purchase them at the link above (which is what I would have done!!)

The Teepee…

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The teepee was something I’d always wanted to do for her but her bedroom was just too small, so when she moved to the bigger bedroom I was determined to make it happen. They then, all of a sudden, became really popular and loads of online shops that I looked at were stocking them. We actually made this one out of lengths of wood and an old duvet cover that we had lying around. The rugs are from Ikea and the cshions are from all ovr the place. The “Molly” bunting was made for her by a friends mum when Molly was born and the little banner is by Sass & Belle (who else!)

…sorry, I just got a bit distracted realising that Sass & Belle have a January sale when I went to fetch that link…

Okay I’m back with you.

The wardrobe…

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The wardrobe was probably the only thing that I genuinly had no vision for at all. I hit a complete block when I tried to figure out what sort of clothes storage space she should have. In the end we decided that we wouldn’t put a wardrobe in at all, we’d just put a clothes rail in and then this would force me to be more minimalist and more capsule with Molly’s clothes (something that I’ve been trying to do with my own wardrobe but more on that later!) We found the fabric storage boxes, again, in TK Maxx and the shelves are were just from B&Q. I love the simplicity of it and Molly loves the fact that she can pick her outfits for the day because it’s all very easily accessible for her.

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Dressing up area…

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As she gets older, Molly’s enjoying more and more dressing up and admiring herself in the mirror so I wanted to encorporate this into her new bedroom. I looked at loads of different was of doing this on pinterest and even visited one of our favorite Children’s Museums Seven Stories who have an amazing dressing up area in their storytelling space. But in the end we decided to go very simplistic with a mirror from Ikea and a large storage box with all her dressing up outfits in for her to rummage through. We also placed one or two dressing up items amongst her regular wardrobe because I really love the idea of merging the two so that everyday clothes become a little bit magical. The little mountain stickets are from Mollymeg as well (I love this store, and not just because of it’s excellent name!)

The big girl bed…

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So, the bed was a source of much anxiety to me because it had to be JUST right. I actually found the bed that I wanted pretty early on in my search but just couldn’t justify the cost. If you’re looking for a toddler bed and are feeling flush, try Nubie or Echo (pricey right?) After what seemed like endless searching, throwing up the same search results everytime and after my marriage nearly breaking down when the husband couldn’t undersand why I had seemingly gone mad spending every waking moment searching for a bed that apparently didn’t exist I eventually, in a moment of total clarity and excitement, found this bed from Very of all places. My dad described it beautifully as looking vintage but modern at the same time which I think is probably, in my head, exactly what I was going for. Marriage back on track and toddler very happy in her big girl bed. Phew.

We then added a few other key pieces to finish off the room…

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This amazing rug by OYOY tuned me into one of those insane, “my child is all that matters and I will trample you to get to the last toy on the shelf before Christmas” sort of mums.  I discovered it, I loved it, I tried to buy it and I found out that it is the single most popular rug in entire world and nowhere was stocking it in time for Christmas. That is except for two sites that were promising one more delivery but on a first come first serve basis and they weren’t taking pre-orders for it in the interest of fairness. So naturally I rang them and casually explained that it was imperative that I have one of these rugs before Christmas and what could they do for me? Decobaby is an absolutely gorgeous online shop selling stylish and contemporary accessories for children. They also happen to have the best customer service on the planet. They promised to call me back when the rugs were in stock, which they dutifully did (although this didn’t stop me checking every day in my lunch break like a demented person to make sure they hadn’t snuck them back on without me knowing!) they then waited for me to get myself to a computer so I could be ready to click and buy before they listed them as being for sale again. At this moment I loved the good people at Decobaby more than I loved my own Mother.

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The man in the moon lightshade was another husband special, having discovered his creative side he then decided to have a go at creating this little beauty as well and I must say I’m very impressed with his new found talent.

 

The dolls house, I’m planning at some point to do a whole seperate post on as it’s quite a bizarre story but basically, we picked it up at a car boot sale for £2.50 as a restoration project and then found out that it had been made in a mental asaylum in the 1960’s, which in my mind just makes it all the more interesting. We had to overhaul it, painting the exterior and using sticky back plastic (Blue Peter style) to create lino inside but it’s turned out okay I think. The little dolls we found on Etsy and are inspired by the Montessori way of learning (more about that at some point too I think!)

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So, after all this hard work, blood, sweat and tears (literally!) did she love it? Of course she did. I think the thingt that we all appreciate the most is the space she now has to play. We woke up on the first morning of her being in there to her shouting “Echo!” Says it all really.

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Some of the places I looked for inspiration:

www.babyccinokids.com

www.chalkkids.co.uk

www.mollymeg.com

www.lullabuy.co.uk

www.scandinaviandesigncenter.com

www.camomie.london/

www.emiandnell.co.uk

www.decobaby.co.uk

www.ivycabin.com

Wardrobe Edit: Day Fifteen

I am afraid to say that I am losing momentum a little with my capsule wardrobe challenge. This morning, for the first time, I looked in my wardrobe and thought “I don’t have enough choice”. I think the trouble is that although I have spent a lot of time and effort on paring back my wardrobe, I haven’t actually created a “capsule” wardrobe yet so not everything in my wardrobe, at this moment in time, goes with everything and this is limiting! I don’t like wearing the same thing again and again but if I could make it look different, I wouldn’t mind wearing the same jumper or pair of jeans. I suppose that is what a capsule wardrobe would allow me to do.

I think I need to persevere because ultimately I would like to see this challenge through to the end but you’ll have to excuse me if all my outfits start becoming very dull!

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This is what I wore today:

Jeans – vintage Levi

Jumper – H&M

Boots – Primark

 

This outfit isn’t exactly mind-blowing but it is paring a different pair of jeans with a jumper I’ve worn before to achieve a slightly different look. I wasn’t 100% happy with it but you have to try these things don’t you?!

Wardrobe Edit: Day Fourteen

After a night of partying I didn’t feel much like making an effort today, it was also freezing so I felt it was a jeans and jumper sort of day.

I think sometimes a really simple outfit like this can look really effective as well as being comfortable to wear and easy to put together. Less is more if you get my drift. This look is definitely something I’d like to move more towards with my daily wardrobe but it’s easier said than done. Why is it so hard to achieve effective simplicity?

 

This is what I wore today:

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Jeans – UNIQLO

Jumper – warehouse

Trainers – Adidas

Wardrobe Edit: Day Thirteen

Okay confession time, I forgot to take a photograph of my outfit for today but I did remember to take a photograph of my party outfit for my work’s Christmas party and I WAS going to try and convince you that this is what I wore all day because I am THAT glamorous but I thought maybe you might not believe me so I’ve come clean.

I will say this however, since paring back my wardrobe to, a not quite minimalist but reduced none the less, version of it’s former self, I found getting ready to go out super easy and efficient! Okay I had decided what to wear before hand which helped but I had fewer shoes and fewer bags to decide from and as a result was able to make quick efficient decisions and we got to the part on time and un-flustered!

There has got to be something in this I think as all the research I’ve done around minimalist and capsule wardrobes has promised me less stress as a result of less decision making. I always thought that having less options would equal more stress but now I’m starting to wonder whether they might all be right!

 

This is what I wore tonight:

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Sequined jumper – Topshop

Ballerina skirt – Topshop

Shoes – Vintage

 

Wardrobe Edit: Day Twelve

Taking a photograph of the outfit you wear each day really forces you to consider that outfit with a critical eye. I have a tendancy to over-consider everything I do with a critical eye so I don’t need much help in this department but looking at a photograph of myself and the clothes I’m wearing each day, which let’s face it IS different to a quick glance in the mirror to check your skirts not tucked into your tights or something equally horrifying, has led me to re-think some of the outfits that I might otherwise have worn again and again thinking they looked fine.

 

Let’s take today’s outfit for example. I love this jumper, it was a Christmas present from the husband last year and it’s my go to item of clothing when I want to be warm and comfortable but still look reasonably nice. The thing is, I’ve lost weight since last Christmas and it’s now a size too big. I think I’d been kidding myself that I was going for the baggy grunge look so it was fine, but actually I think it just looks too big, baggy and shapeless. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, it’s time to let go and invest in a new jumper that I’ll love just as much I’m sure, but will also fit me. There can be no room in the capsule wardrobe for anything that doesn’t fit properly. This must include beloved jumpers.

 

This is what I wore today:

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Jumper – Topshop

Dress – Dorothy Perkins

Tights – Florence & Fred at Tesco

Boots – Mango

Wardrobe Edit: Day Thirteen

I don’t know what it is about cold days that make me lose all sense of style. My instinct is just to get as warm as possible and so my default is jeans and jumper which is not the most interesting of outfits. It’s true that simple can be very stylish, tres chic in fact, but I never quite manage to pull it off.  I’m hoping my capsule wardobe will be both effective and stylish allowing me to pull off winter chic with ease…not asking too much from my wardrobe is it? This capsule wardrobe lark is not as easy as it seems!!

 

This is what I wore today:

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Jeans – Florence & Fred at Tesco

Jumper – H&M

Boots – Mango