Fitness Giveaway

Yummymummy.blog is excited to announce that it has partnered with Walsh Performance to offer all the lovely yummy mummy readers a chance to win a free subscription to Ultimate Fit Moms. This is an online training program that offers busy moms personalised nutritional plans, weekly workout routines and a private Facebook community where you can reach out for support and free tips. http://www.ultimatefitmoms.com/

Ultimate Fit Moms

This offer has kindly been donated by Scott Walsh, a qualified personal trainer that specialises in working with moms. Scott currently works in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but his online program is accessible to anyone from the comfort of their own homes. This means you don’t have to spend money signing up for the latest trendy exercise class or endure the cost of gym membership to a swanky gym that you only see once a year!

As an existing member of Ultimate Fit Moms, I can personally recommend the resources that Scott has to offer and I am currently following the program as part of my New Year health reboot.

As a member of the Ultimate Fit Mom program you will receive a personalised diet plan based on your current measurements and goal, which will outline your ideal daily calorie consumption alongside more detailed advice on daily protein and carb intake. This is then teamed with four weekly workouts that can be done either at home or in the gym at your own convenience. The workouts consist of some weight training and cardio but they are easy to fit in throughout the day as they don’t require much time or equipment. The website also contains an exercise library which has videos demonstrating how all of the exercises should be properly performed.

Another added benefit of this site is the supportive community of moms that are just a click away with encouragement and tips. This has been such a big help for me as all the ladies in the group post both their triumphs and their weaknesses as they battle through their fitness journey. I have seen tips on meal preparation and motivational photos to keep every mom in the group focused. This is all rounded off by an encouraging trainer, Scott, who is friendly, welcoming and always reachable for any extra guidance or advice.

I would just like to add that I have not been paid to promote the site and it is purely down to Scott’s generosity that we have this amazing giveaway for you today! If you would like to win the free subscription to Ultimate Fit Moms, simply share the Yummymummy.blog Facebook post announcing the giveaway on your timeline and you will be entered into the draw. (Click on the Facebook icon to find the Yummy Mummy Facebook page) One lucky winner will be selected at random and announced via the Yummymummy.blog Facebook page on Saturday 7th January.

Good luck and get sharing!!!

New Year, New You!

Over the next few days we are going to hear the repeated question, “What is your New Years resolution?” It’s the same cringe worthy question we hope to avoid answering every year and yet we still continue to ask people out of habit. The number one resolution year after year is to lose weight and with an ever-increasing obesity rate, it doesn’t look like our goals will be changing any time soon.

That said, the weight loss subject feels like a particularly delicate topic for most women as we are endlessly bombarded with society’s unrealistic ideal image. Now, that doesn’t mean that men are not affected by the same insecurities, as the rising obsession with bodybuilding demonstrates, but it does feel that women have to deal with conflicting ideals on a daily basis. The fashion magazines promote skinny under-aged models, the media displays endless nude female figures and even the restaurants have imposed guilt with ‘low calorie options.’

Again, and again I am surrounded by the most loving, generous women that have endured child birth, financial struggles and personal losses, to find that we inevitably talk about feeling fat. It leaves me a little disheartened that such intelligent and inspiring women have become a generation obsessed with the size of our jeans, myself included. Although I am a good mother, loving wife and a loyal friend, I still beat myself up because I don’t look like a slim twenty-year-old. The days of scoffing a whole pizza or a huge bowl of pasta with garlic bread have long passed and that over indulgence only leaves me with a few extra pounds and a guilt complex.

I have battled with my weight before losing well over 35 pounds, so I completely understand how frustrating it is to look down at the rolls of flab and feel despair. I have had my share of moments in the dressing room when you try and squeeze into the size you want rather than go up to the next dress size as somehow the increasing number on the label reflects something about your identity. I can even admit that once I lost the weight and became a regular ‘gym bunny’, I felt a ridiculous sense of accomplishment and pride to the point where I felt superior to people who were still overweight. Because being slim means you’re a great person, right?

However, since giving birth I have struggled to lose the extra blubber and I’m back to feeling insecure about my shape. When I look at my altered body I don’t see the miracle of how it grew a baby and sustained it with milk, instead I see stretch marks and a mummy belly. Countless people said that it would all disappear while breastfeeding, but it hasn’t. On the one hand, I am proud to be a woman because of the amazing things are bodies can do, and on the other, I tear myself down for not being Heidi Klum.

Over the years, I have tried a variety of different weight loss programs such as Weightwatchers, going low carb, gluten free, calorie counting and even vegan (I physically felt amazing while being vegan) but nothing addresses the underlying issues swirling around in my mind. I tell myself that my goal is to be healthy but in truth, that is really code for ‘slim’. Therefore, my New Year’s resolution is to evaluate and adjust my understanding of ‘healthy.’

This January, I will be undergoing a clean eating program and exercise regime (details to follow) in an attempt to confront the ‘baby belly’ but more importantly, I will be taking time for self-reflection in the hope of rewiring my mind. I don’t know where this mental journey will take me but as I look down at my beautiful blue eyed daughter, I know that I don’t want to inflict any of my mixed-up perspective on her little absorbent mind. Surely, she should be able to grow up and hope to be more than just slim, pretty and attractive?

Food for thought!

Anyway, my mini rant is over. Watch this space for details about my fitness journey, including a giveaway competition and feel free to suggest any good reads on this topic or simply comment if you relate to my endless frustration.

The Unexpected Gift

Yesterday my husband came from work with a Christmas present from one of his work colleagues. His colleague is a crafty lady, in that she likes to make homemade gifts such as wreaths, decorations and those wooden signs with quotes. When he opened the sparkly gift bag we found two decorated Christmas jars (picture included) which are now sitting up on our mantle next to baby Jesus.

img_1202

The same lovely lady had given us a house warming present only a few weeks earlier therefore it was necessary for us to return the gesture. We looked at each other blankly as it was too late to pop out to the shops and my husband normally starts his day at 6am, so the only option to provide a gift for the following day was to find something in the house. Now i know that no one reading this would dare think about re-gifting or potentially wrapping up something they’ve had for years as gift, it’s just our despicable behavior 😉 We wondered around the house looking for a gift idea but came up with nothing until i ventured into the spare room where i keep my sewing supplies. It occurred to me that a few weeks prior i had purchased a bag full of fabric cutoffs for only $10.

Frantically, i hunted for the bag and started to rifle through to find any suitable material that i could use as a potential gift. Thankfully, i came across some cream cotton, a beige shimmery fabric and a lovely piece of lace that had a gold sheen. I instantly thought of making an infinity scarf as i had seen numerous pins showing how simple they are to make and at once i reached for the scissors and set to work.

Now, for the experienced sewing masters reading this, I know an infinity scarf is incredibly simple and requires very little skill but this was still my first attempt at making one and i had the added pressure of it being a gift. I didn’t want to hand over an inadequate piece of rubbish to the kind lady that had taken the time to make us a unique gift, therefore i took added care with my measurements and stitching until I finished the pictured scarf. It took around an hour to make including cutting the material but once i had finished, i was rather impressed with my work. The plain cream cotton compliments the lace and gold highlights perfectly and i was almost tempted to keep it for myself.

When i returned to the living room brandishing the scarf in one hand and my pride in the other my husband glanced over it and said, “What is it?” I provided a quick demonstration of how to wear an infinity scarf, as he is not fashionably inclined and he validated my efforts with, “it will do.” Men are from Mars, i know but sometimes it would be nice if they spoke Venusian! Processed with Rookie Cam

Anyway, here is my attempt with my first infinity scarf and i hope the poor lady that receives it knows it was either this or a box of bathroom smelly stuff I’ve had since last Christmas! If anyone would like to try making their own scarf there are numerous guides on Pinterest but i have linked one below for convenience.

Have a great Christmas everyone and remember, it’s the thought that counts!!

How to sew an infinity scarf - Make an infinity scarf in just 3 steps! Perfect for a gifts or group craft projects - Melly Sews:

How to Make an Infinity Scarf – in Just 3 Steps

 

 

Save

9 Months Later

It’s been nine months since the arrival of my little honey-bun and what a whirlwind it has been. There have been many tears, giggles, and dirty diapers but every second (except the birth) has been a Godsend. I look down at my little bundle of joy as she plays happily with my shoe and wonder how I ever existed without her and at the same time I would give anything to sleep in!

When you become a parent you start to understand the full meaning of being sleep deprived and how you can endlessly prod your partner saying, “It’s your turn.” For me, I found the first few weeks the hardest as she only slept in three-hour intervals which inevitably meant that I didn’t sleep longer than two hours at a time. We took turns while my husband was off work so that we could try and stretch it out to three or four hours but that only lasted until he returned to the day job. I remember a close friend came over and offered to babysit so that we could go out but instead we headed straight to the bedroom to sleep. We curled up under the covers, wrapped our arms around each other and I immediately burst into tears from sheer exhaustion.

My husband stared at me blankly while my hormonal overload manifested as a water filled meltdown, sobbing that we didn’t snuggle anymore. The poor man just wanted to sleep but instead, he had to comfort his unstable wife. After my emotional outpouring, I snuck out of bed and jumped in the shower which felt like pure luxury. Every T-shirt I owned was covered in baby vomit, I didn’t know when I had last washed my hair and any opportunity to wash normally involved having the baby nearby in her rocker; so having an actual chunk of personal time to shower felt like being at a spa.

After a few weeks, things started to settle down and her sleeping pattern greatly improved but I still remember a salesman telling me that his wife was expecting their second child and all I did was glare at him and say “Why?” I couldn’t understand through my sleep tortured daze why anyone would have more than one child. Obviously, now that my little girl sleeps through the night and I can function like a human again, I understand the impulses to reproduce but I certainly have a newfound respect for people with twins or multiple children.

Now that nine months have flown by, I still get surprised when I catch myself beaming with pride because my honey-bun has learned to crawl, clap or stand. Never before have I admired any child’s ability to perform basic bodily functions but when my own child laughs, rolls or farts, I find it entertaining beyond measure. The simple joys in life really are childlike and even though there have been times of struggle, I would not have traded a single moment with my daughter for an extra hours sleep. (I might alter this last statement if a second baby comes along!)

Blackout

Yesterday we had an unexpected downfall of snow. The weather man predicted some light flurries which turned into a full blown blizzard dumping buckets of snow and keeping us trapped inside for most of the day. Granted, at this time of the year every one is hoping for a white Christmas and the picturesque white covering that sugars the trees adds a cold beauty that is needed during this dark season.

The full day passed uneventfully until the power went out at 7pm, leaving us in darkness. A various array of scented candles were lit and the drawers were searched for our torch lights until an amber cinnamon laced glow filled the recreational room where our wood stove is located. Eager to fire-up the stove, my husband secured our source of heat and we sat happily playing cards for the first hour or so until we raided the fridge and munched on leftover party treats.

A few hours passed with us becoming more surprised that the power was not back on but we still enjoyed our unexpected quiet time. Our wifi was down and obviously the TV was off so we curled up in front of the laptop and watched one of the few movies we had on our old computer, Speed. We giggled our way through Keanu Reeves’ bad acting and then headed to bed. The house had considerably cooled even with the wood stove burning away in the basement so we all curled up together under the blankets and drifted off to sleep. My honey-bun normally sleeps fine in her own crib, but tucked up next to me she rolled around and endlessly slapped me in the face. At one point she had fallen asleep, mouth open on top of my husbands cheek.

In the morning, after a very sleepless night, I was surprised to find a message from my neighbor across the road inviting us to wait out the power cut at their house. We had never met this neighbor before but somehow they had been able to find us on Facebook and offer their help as they still had power. I was truly touched to think that relative strangers had gone to such a length to find and help a family they didn’t even know.

All in all, we had a lovely romantic evening snuggling in the candlelight and enjoying some much needed down time. We now have befriended our neighbors and extended our gratitude for their kind offer and hope that the next time we have a storm we might be able to return the favor.

The Sewing Bug

Teddy hamper for my honey-bun.

A photo posted by Yummy Mummy (@yummy_mummy.blog) on

 

I recently purchased a sewing machine in a burst of optimism and daydreamed that i would become the nun from ‘The Sound of Music,’ happily singing away while making my little honey-bun dresses from old curtains. At this point I would normally say that the bubble burst with my husband saying, “I told you so.” However, to my great surprise and delight I have taken to sewing like a wobbly child on their first bike! I may still have the stabilizers on, but I’m still enjoying the ride.

After unpacking the machine with it’s bobbins, needles and other parts that I’m pretending i haven’t seen; I eventually sat down and watched the DVD of instructions. Normally I would leave the DVD in the box, quickly scan the instruction manual for useful pictures and then launch into my new found hobby, but sewing machines are not that simple. I quickly became daunted by the levers and bobbins, realizing that i had seriously underestimated the skill involved with navigating the various uses for a sewing machine. These things don’t just sow in lines, there are zig-zags, levers for fabric tension and feet for needles; who knew?

After deciding that i would make a cover for my machine, I made my first mistake by taking a trip to my local Fabricville. To my virgin eyes, the mysterious land of fabric became a treasure trove of fine silks, Italian wool’s and irresistible baby motifs which left me seriously in the red with my pocketbook and my husband! I declared that i would master my sewing machine and become the household of handmade clothes, bags, scarfs, tea-cozy’s and anything else i could make with my hands. I jumped in, feet first and ended up with a wonky machine cover, a slightly bent mermaids tail blanket and the toy hamper in the picture above. (The toy hamper was by far the easiest to make, hence the picture.)

Although my first few attempts have not been entirely successful, I have still decided to march on and struggle through this steep learning curve. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel where there are perfectly hemmed bags with zippers that don’t fall off. Wish me luck!

Say Cheese!

T’is the season for the inevitable family Christmas photo, whether you opt for an all inclusive family shoot or just one cute child on the front of your Christmas card, it always brings out the smiles, groans and cries of everyone involved.

This year we decided to go big and use the opportunity to get a family photo shoot taken by a professional photographer in her private studio. Having had a bad experience with our wedding photos, we decided that we would take the time to do some extra research and hunt down a professional with glowing reviews. We found a lady not to far from home and her portfolio showed the usual happy squidgy babies wrapped in soft linens and lying peacefully asleep without a diaper in sight. The aim for us was to get a great family picture so that we could get a large canvas print made for the dining room, therefore we didn’t want anything that was obviously just for Christmas as we needed it to look good all year round. Thankfully, when we arrived at the studio our photographer had laid out several versatile outfits for our little one which mainly consisted of a plain white dress and soft textured blankets which meant that we could use the included picture as a Christmas card.

For the first couple of pictures our little one smiled happily until boredom hit in and then we all pranced around like buffoons to keep the giggles rolling. Outfit changes added needed distractions and the occasional chew toy provided helpful moments of peace while we put on our happy faces for the camera.

After only two weeks, we had our digital copies from the photographer which looked amazing. We had paid a considerable amount for our 40 minute shoot which we thought was a reasonable price for a professional set-up, however when a friend inquired as to the cost, she looked at me as though i had lost my mind. They had gone for a Christmas shoot at Costco, which is very reasonably priced and she was perfectly happy with her pictures. However, we wanted something that would be the pride and joy of our living space for years to come, so for me, it was worth the extra pennies.

Once I had the pictures, I jumped on Vistaprint and got the cutest cards made up which had falling snowflakes all around my little honey-bun. Her gummy little smile in the cotton vest and cap couldn’t be more adorable and I was beyond proud at her precious chubby face. On the back of the cards we printed our family photo so that relatives and friends had an updated image which they could use in picture frames. The site also gives you the option to add a yearly summary of family activities which I know many people do at this time of year.

All in all, our quick photo session was stress free and extremely fruitful. It was perhaps, a little pricey but i know we have images that I will cherish forever. Feel free to share your cute Christmas pictures and any funny anecdotes that you might have from your own family shoot!