Happy and Getting Healthier

Among my New Year’s resolutions was the obligatory ‘lose weight’. Except I want it to be more than just about how much I weigh, I want it to be about health and fitness too. I have a ridiculously over active 9 month old baby boy (he’s almost 10 months but I’m pretty much in denial) who is on the verge of walking. I struggle keeping up with him as it is, let alone when he starts sprinting off somewhere!

I broke down my overall weight loss into goals, the first one I reached and was very happy. But the second one I missed, by miles! And with the third goal set for the end of April (ready for our first family holiday abroad!) I really needed to make some bigger changes to my lifestyle. Calorie counting and extra walking just hasn’t been cutting it.

So this week I’ve gone back to the gym. When I say back, I mean I used to go for about a year before my wedding, and haven’t really been since. Just a 3 and a half year break…. although I did manage to fit pregnancy and post c-section into that. But still, enough is enough. So I’m back on the curves circuit, and I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it. I’ve even joined in with the monthly ‘squats and thigh’ challenge. I’m hoping to get myself a Polar or fitbit watch to help monitor my calorie burn more accurately to. If eBay is my friend that is!

I’m still sticking with the weight goals I’ve set for now, but I am prepared to adjust, as I’m also hoping to build muscle and I know this can affect how much I weigh. Mostly I’m hoping to lose a lot of inches and hopefully a dress size or two by the next goal.

And just as a recap, here are my goals as they started at the beginning of January.

Current weight (1st Jan 15) – 202lb Goal weight – 150lb

Goal 1 – 194lb by 29th January (made it)

Goal 2 – 182lb by 1st March (failed…big time)

Goal 3 – 166lb by 25th April (on my way!)

Goal 4 – 158lb by 23rd May

Goal 5 – 150lb by 1st July

Goal 6 – MAINTAIN!!!

Like I said, these may need to adjust due to muscle weight, especially as currently about 3% of my body is muscle!

Here’s to a healthier me :)

Mrs H xxx

Bara Brith

With St David’s Day coming up soon, I’ve been flicking through my little book “Favourite Welsh Tea Time Recipes” which I got from a little shop in the Gower, where we go camping every year. I think it’s a book you can get in a lot of gift shop type places in Wales, and there are probably English, Scottish and Irish versions all over too. But I got mine down the Gower, and so just reading the book makes me feel happy feels. Good memories.

Despite having read the small recipe book cover to cover at least a hundred times, I think I’ve only made one recipe from it, and that is the traditional Welsh treat, Bara Brith, which means Fruit Loaf. But it tastes better when you use its Welsh name…obviously ;)

As the book suggests, this is a great tea time recipe, but I’m also partial to it as a breakfast alternative! Any guesses as to why I’m trying to lose weight! No, it’s not something I eat for every breakfast, I rarely bake this more than once a year really, but I always mean to. It fills this house with such comforting smells!

10oz mixed dried fruit (today I used a mix of raisins and sultanas, because it’s what was in the cupboard!)

2/3 pint hot tea (no milk)

3oz soft brown sugar

Grated rind of 1 lemon

12oz self raising wholemeal flour (I’ve made this with white flour before and that’s fine too)

1 tsp mixed spice

1 large egg

Soak the dried fruit in the hot tea, cover and leave to stand overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 180c, and prepare a 2lb loaf tin (grease, or be lazy like me and use the paper liners!)

Strain the fruit, and reserve the liquid.

In a large bowl, mix the fruit together with the rest of the ingredients.

Add the reserved liquid a little at a time, until a soft dropping consistency is reached. If, like me, you’ve left the fruit stand for too long (and they’ve soaked up more liquid than you need to reach the right consistency) just add a little water or tea if you’ve got some cooled. I used water because I couldn’t be bothered to wait for tea to cool!

Pour the mix into the tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch.

Once cool serve sliced and buttered.

I’d recommend baking this when you’ve got visitors due, it’ll make your house smell scrummy, and it’ll stop you eating the entire loaf. Unless you’ve baked it just for yourself, in which case, enjoy!

Mrs H xxx
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Story Time Is My New Favourite

There are so many times of the day that I love, they’re all my favourite things and times, and there are also times I like less (bottle washing for example!). But lately we’ve got better at this whole routine thing with G, especially at bedtime, and teaching him to put himself to sleep without the help of my cuddles and rocking, so I have to make sure I get some good cuddle time in before I put him in the cot.
I’ve also had great fun growing a little library for G, I splashed out earlier today on 3 books to add to the collection…£1! That’s right, one whole pound for three books! Many of you will know the secret of course; it’s one I’ve indulged in for my own book collection for many years, the wonderful charity shops!

Another thing I love about our new daily addition to the routine is the bi lingual books I got given by my sister. I get to practise using the little Welsh I know, and learn a bit more and I get to share a new language with G.

Nothing beats sleepy, snugly cuddles with my gorgeous little boy, especially now he’s getting far too lively to sit still long enough in the day to cuddle!

Mrs H xxx

Writers Block Sucks

I’ve been suffering from ridiculous writers block. Nothing seems to be good enough or exciting enough for public reading. But after a chat with the #welshbloggers on twitter, who knows who’s reading this or what you may find interesting. How would you or I know unless I wrote it, whatever it may be. And what’s the worst that could happen? You’d stop reading and I’d be talking (writing) to myself, it’s hardly life ending. I’m usually found waffling to myself anyway :D

So here I am. Waffling, whinging, and moaning about writers block, hoping that it might clear my writers block!

Do you have any tips for curing writers block, or anything you can suggest as a topic? Please let me know!

Mrs H xxx