Tuesday, 31 December 2013

It's New Years Eve!

It's the 31st December already I cannot believe how quickly time has gone by this year!  I've had a great 2013 and hope 2014 will be just as good!

Tonight we have some great friends coming over for a takeaway and some silly games.  What are you up to? Anything exciting or will you be staying in like us?  To be honest we have never been huge party goers on New Years Eve - I've always found the whole thing a little contrived and forced! So in true rebellion fashion I like to stay home. 

In fairness it is pretty difficult going out on New Years Eve when you have young children as I am sure most of you will appreciate but this suits me just fine! Excuses? Yes!  

Happy New Year Everybody..Love Sophie..xxx

Monday, 30 December 2013

I'm Back!

Hi Everyone, I hope you had a fabulous Christmas!  We certainly did despite some rather stressful OMG our house is going to be flooded moments (more on that later)!

We had a great Christmas Eve where we went to the cinema to watch Disney's Frozen - what a great film! We all felt really Christmassy by the time we left and ready for Santa's arrival! Of course we set out the obligatory goodies for Father Chrstmas including a mince pie, a carrot for Rudolph and don't forget the strawberry milkshake and candy cane from our 6 year old!

So I've had a bit of a Christmas holiday from blogging but I am back now and ready to blog! 

See you soon..Sophie..xxx

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Friday, 20 December 2013

This Week I'm Loving...My New Coat!

Check out my new coat, like it? I Love it! It's from Mango and cost £79.99.  

I had a bit of journey reaching my decision on my new winter coat and originally went for the long version of this.  Unfortunately when I received it, it didn't fit me like it did the model in the picture.  Instead of coming to mid thigh it came to mid calf and I looked like a I was wearing a giant black bin bag! So if you are vertically challenged like moi avoid the long version.  Of course if you are blessed with supermodel heights I would definitely recommend it! 

So as you can gather it did look a bit rubbish on me but it was warm, really warm, so I decided to go for the short coat which was the same minus the fur collar.  It is filled with feathers and is soooo cosy!  It's also perfect for most occasions, the school run or going out it really is quite versatile.  Another plus for this coat is that the hood is really big and I like this because I find big hoods stay up better and look better too.  I have also found a few internal secret pockets which is always fun! Lol!

Love Sophie..x

Thursday, 19 December 2013

The Christmas Dilemma!

So Christmas is nearly upon us and as someone who likes to be fairly strict when it comes to my exercise regime this poses a small dilemma for me! 

It would be ok if Christmas day was on a weekend then I would feel no guilt as I like to take it easy every weekend by not worrying about the calories! But as Christmas will be on a Wednesday I will need to relax my keep fit regime next week for at least Wednesday and probably Thursday...Maybe Tuesday too?! 

To many people this is probably a no brainer it is Christmas after all! And although I completely agree I don't want to have an entire week off only to find I have put on half a stone! 

It really is a funny thing once you get into exercise and a healthy regime, it really effects your entire life, routine and outlook! Although I know I deserve a rest I also know I will be feeling guilty for having a break over Christmas and with the children off school as well, it really leaves little time for exercise!

I still haven't come to a conclusion but I know I will try and squeeze some exercise in over the week, this way I may be able to balance out all the eating I will be doing!  

Maybe I'll go with this equation:

Christmas Dilemma Sorted = Eat Loads Of Food + Exercise = No Guilt!

I hope everyone has a fab Christmas!


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

I Dont Mean To Brag But...

...My daughter is Mary in the nursery Nativity!

You can imagine the pride I felt when my three year old Sasha was chosen to play Mary in the nursery Nativity play this year!  I don't think anyone in our family has ever been chosen to play one of the main parts in a show before and I told everyone I bumped in to, literally!

It was a short play but she was perfect, looking after the Baby Jesus and singing really well! Here are a couple of little pics for you...

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Can I Workout When I'm Ill?

The best advice I have ever had when exercising when feeling ill is to follow the above/below the neck rule! If your symptoms are above your neck i.e. runny nose or sore throat then you can continue with your exercise although it is best to go at a lower intensity then usual. If your symptoms are below your neck then it may be best to skip the workout! Apparently studies have shown that exercising at a moderate intensity will not make your cold worse or compromise your immune system.

For more information on exercise and working out visit Jillian Michaels' website here.

Friday, 13 December 2013

This Week I'm Loving...Cold, Crisp Walks

Check out these great photos of our walk through Bournemouth Gardens the other day.  We were actually on our way to the park after doing a bit of shopping in Bournemouth town centre and I just couldn't resist capturing some of these wonderful autumnal colours on camera.  I must say since starting this Blog I have really started to appreciate capturing the moment and getting the camera out to 'stop and smell the roses'.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Parenting Epic Fail!

Oh My God! We forgot the Tooth Fairy!!!

My six year old daughter's 2nd tooth fell out on Sunday and she was very excited about receiving a visit from her Tooth Fairy Violet. Me and my hubby had the coin ready and then the worse thing happened....we went to bed and completely forgot about it!  
The next thing I knew, I was being woken up at 6.45am by my daughter telling me (in floods of tears) that the tooth fairy hadn't come! Oh Sh*t what an epic fail! 

Of course I consoled her in my half asleep state and came up with all the reasons why she hadn't come, including maybe she got lost, maybe she was too busy, maybe you weren't fully asleep, maybe your head was on top of your tooth and she couldn't reach it..... Basically anything I could think of!

I am telling you now that I have never felt so guilty!

It is Tuesday now and I am happy to say that all has been rectified in Tooth Fairy world.  Brooke went to bed with her tooth under her pillow (again) and this time we didn't forget.  Violet the Tooth Fairy also left a note explaining why she was so late! Of course she was very busy and the door got stuck!  Brooke was very happy with this explanation and I am happy that she hasn't given up on the Tooth Fairy. What a relief!

Love Sophie..x

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Is Santa Real??

Yes of course! Is my immediate reply to my six year old daughter! My three year old has quite rightly and somewhat obviously never questioned his existence...yet! But my six year old has asked on a couple of occasions now. I feel really disappointed when she asks as I feel like she is already beginning to lose her childhood innocence and I put it down to her poor fellow classmates who already know Santa is not real! To be honest I feel quite sad for these kids and wonder why their parents don't want to encourage the wonder and excitement of Father Christmas? 

I've quite rightly, in my opinion, told my daughter that he is definitely real and if she doesn't believe then he may not come and leave any presents.  I hope this is good enough and the magic will stay strong for a few more years yet! As a child I loved the excitement of Christmas and truly believed my Mum when she told me Santa was real - I really wanted to believe and feel it did no harm to me and does no harm to anyone else.  In fact I think I believed in father Christmas until I moved out of home! 

Well now I have finished with my feelings all I have left to say is GO SANTA!

Check out this great page from Netmums which gives you some perfect answers to all your children's difficult Santa questions! It also has contains links to some fab Santa apps! 


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Are You Addicted To Chocolate Too?

Is it just me or does everyone have some sort of vice? For me it is definitely chocolate! 

Before I started trying to get fit I can honestly say that I ate a 200g bar of chocolate every night...it was my way of relaxing once the girls had gone to bed.  The funny thing is that the more chocolate I ate the more I would crave.

Once I decided to lose some of my baby weight I had to cut out this naughty habit and restricted myself to only eating chocolate at the weekend.  At first this was really hard as I thought about chocolate all the time but after a few weeks the cravings subsided! I would not say I have an addictive nature to anything else but chocolate now that's another story!

Ok generally researchers believe that it is not possible to be 'addicted' to chocolate but there is no denying the feel good factor of eating any your favourite chocolate.  It melts in your mouth and and tastes really good and it does contain chemicals which trigger feelings of giddiness, attraction, euphoria and excitement! Wow this stuff is good, no wonder I like it so much! 

Did you know? Chocolate is also know as Theobroma Cacao meaning chocolate from the tree in it's purest form. Theobroma is Greek for food of the gods!

Hopefully I've got all of you Chocoholics in the mood for some food of the Gods, let me know what you think! 

Love Sophie..x

Monday, 9 December 2013

Jillian Michaels Work Out Review - No More Trouble Zones

NO MORE TROUBLE ZONES was the 2nd Jillian Michaels DVD that I purchased and it is currently £7.54 from Amazon. Once I had been working out to Banish Fat Boost Metabolism for a good month I decided I needed to mix it up a little and I purchased this DVD. No More Trouble Zones requires an exercise mat but also a set of weights/dumbbells. I bought my first set of dumbbells for this workout which you can add or take away extra weights to. When you first start working out to this DVD the weight of your dumbbells will be very light (around 3lbs) and as you get better and progress you will find you can use heavier weights. This DVD goes at a good pace and is not too quick.  Jillian explains how to carry out each move at different intensities for every level of fitness and I find her little speeches motivational.  Don't be too put off by the music though as it is quite bland and in my opinion more like background noise to help you keep the pace really. Personally I prefer this when I am working out compared to more current dance tracks as sometimes these are not to everyone's taste and can actually put you off the exercises.

Again this DVD is split into seven circuits and you repeat each circuit twice just like Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. There is a 5 min warm up and a 5 min cool down.

Section 1 focuses on shoulders and quads including shoulder press with squats, back lunges and press outs.
Section 2 contains chest and ab exercises including chest press with sit ups, chest fly with leg raise and bicycle crunches and push ups.
Section 3 is biceps and glutes with dead lifts with hammer curl, static squats with bicep curls and side lunges.
Section 4 focuses on triceps and quads including tricep kickbacks whilst in chair pose, surrenders and crescent lunges. This section is quite difficult.
Section 5 is based on core and back and the moves are mostly carried out on the mat including double crunch, twisting plank, side toe tap and windscreen wipers.
Section 6 includes exercises for your stomach and glutes such as plank rows, superman, scissor kicks and hollow man.
Section 7 contains moves for your core and thighs and includes side planks, leg lifts and donkey kicks amongst others.

Personally I do like No More Trouble Zones, it's a good mid-week workout that will make your muscles ache but not tire you out too much.  I don't feel completely out of breath with this work out like I do with some others mainly due to the lack of cardio but I do enjoy the feeling of my muscles being used and worked hard so would definitely recommend you incorporate No More Trouble Zones into your weekly rotation of DVDs to help give you a well rounded workout and a fresh set of challenges!

Check out my FITNESS page for more Jillian Michaels Reviews.

Friday, 6 December 2013

This Week I Am Loving...Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Honestly what's not to love?  I have been chomping at the bit to watch the latest Dracula series starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers!

Having watched every series of The Tudors I really must say how happy I am to see him back on our screens in this fabulous new take on Dracula! If you haven't seen it yet, tune in...you won't regret it! 

So I will round this love fest up by letting you all know - All I Want For Christmas Is...Jonathan Rhys Meyers!

Love Sophie..x

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Converting US Recipes For The UK

Wow check out this amazing recipe from Buns In My Oven (my absolute favourite food blog)!  If you love peanut butter you will love these Chocolate Peanut Butter Reese's Sandwich Cookies!

The only problem with this American recipe is trying to convert the recipe for us Brits, but I have found this conversion table from The Good Food Channel which should do the trick:


1 cup US = 240ml
1 pint US = 480ml
1 quart US = 950ml


1 cup flour = 125g flour
1 cup butter = 225g butter
1 cup brown sugar = 170g brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar = 170g granulated sugar
1 cup icing sugar = 100g icing sugar
1 cup uncooked rice = 170g rice
1 cup chopped nuts = 100g chopped nuts
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs = 150g fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup sultanas = 140g sultanas

If you have 'cups' to measure the ingredients then of course you can use these. Apparently it shouldn't actually matter what size the cups are as long as you use the same 'cups' to measure all the ingredients for your recipe this way all the quantities will be relevant.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Try The Stick Man Trail With Your Kids

Last weekend we thought we'd take the kids for an outside adventure and get a bit of fresh air while we were at it. We visited our local Forestry Commission Moors Valley to take part with their Stick Man Trail. At £2.00 per child you get a Stick Man guide book and also some pipe cleaners to use when making your very own Stick Man. There is a route guided by signs and hidden Stick Men which provide activities as you go and instructions are given on how to make your own Stick Man too!  We all really enjoyed ourselves and made sure we found each and every hidden Stick Man along the way!  The Hubby was engrossed in making the girls their own Stick Men with their hand picked sticks and we ended the day with a trip to the adventure park.  Of course no brisk winter walk is complete without a glass (or two) of mulled cider and hot chocolate and we all warmed ourselves feeling satisfied with our great day out.

With most trails running until the end of January I would definitely recommend you give this a go! 

Love Sophie..x

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Stereophonics In Concert

Me and the hubby went to see the Stereophonics in concert last week at the BIC! It was fab, I never used to be a huge fan but I have really enjoyed listening to their latest album, Graffiti On The Train.  After seeing them live I was really impressed and we both really enjoyed ourselves.  

Let me let you in on a little secret...never come to a concert with us! We tend to buy seated tickets as I am so short I find it hard to see over all the bodies when standing.  At every concert we have ever been to we are always surrounded by the most miserable looking people you have ever seen, they look like they have been dragged to these concerts, they don't sing, they don't clap and they definitely don't dance! It is honestly quite hilarious and as I am someone who is full of beans and looking for a bit of a dance, being surrounded by these miserable people is not good.  Despite this we had a really good time and the atmosphere was amazing, here are some pics of the concert for you:

Also before I go I feel I must mention how gorgeous the lead singer Kelly Jones is!  After asking my husband if Kelly is married (I couldn't help it...it just slipped out!) my hubby replied "I don't know but he's really short"! Oh well you can't have everything, let's just sit and stare at Kelly's photo for a moment...or two!

Love Sophie..x

Monday, 2 December 2013

OMG..It's December!

I don't know about you but I cannot believe how fast 2013 has gone! In case you didn't realise it is the 2nd of December today - wow! I started the Christmas preparations a little late this year (I'm blaming my new hobby - the Blog) but I am nearly there and feeling a little chuffed with myself!  We are going to the In-Laws for Christmas this year and I am really looking forward to it especially as all the responsibility is being taken on by them and not me (until our turn next year)! 

My children have been asking about the Christmas tree already and although I am a huge fan of Christmas this is one thing I try to put off for as long as possible.  

I'm not sure why I dislike the Christmas tree so much but I just can't stand having it up.  I guess the main reason is that it takes up too much space and just gets in my way.  It does however act as a good storage space for all the presents (not the kid's) I have bought and are currently piled up against the wall in my bedroom. I always aim for around two weekends before the big day and put it up then and try and get it down again before the New Year - I'm such a Scrooge! 

There is also the question of who will decorate the tree - ugh! This is a hard one for me as I am a bit of a control freak and like to have a stylish, neat tree however the girls like to stick on anything they can find!  My three year old likes to hang all of her decorations on one branch and my six year old likes to stick on A4 bits of paper with her drawings.  In the end I let the girls hang their decorations and then secretly move them when they are not looking (I know, there's that Scrooge again)! 

Apart from the dreaded Christmas tree I do like all the other Christmas decorations and have invested in some new ones this year so will look forward to putting them up.  My Husbands job is to put up the outside lights.  There isn't that many just a few icicles to hang up but last year they didn't make an appearance much to the girls dismay, this year I will be cracking the whip!

So here's wishing you all a great December! Please let me know what the Christmas preparations are like in your house - I'd love to hear from you!

Love Sophie..x