Staying Sane Over The Festive Period.

Christmas can bring out the stress in even the most placid of people if your not careful.

Filling days with lots of activities, buying loads of gifts that are unneeded or unappreciated. Going overboard on the Christmas dinner menu and not practicing any form of self care!

So I thought I would leave a list here to remind myself and any of you of what to do to keep away the stress a little over the next few exciting weeks.

  • Create a  Plan – This for me is most important. I have to have a plan for the whole of December if not I feel overwhelmed or double book things in already busy schedule.
  • Say No – You really don’t need to accept every invitation and if your schedule is already full say no!
  • Cut down – There is no point getting into debt to pay for Christmas if you cant afford it dont buy it! The kids may moan that they didn’t get some thing yes I’m not going to lie and say they wont care because if they are anything like mine they will. This year however I am focusing on a couple of main gifts and a few little gifts If they moan they dont have much they will just have to moan. I’m not getting into any more debt or cluttering up my home for fear my kids will be disappointed!  That good old rule of “Something you want, Something You Need, Something to wear, Something to read,” Is a good thing to stick to!
  • Take some me Time – During the chaotic times take a moment to breath and relax, Paint your nails, go for a coffee, a walk in the park, even a bath when the kids are in bed.
  • Vitamins – Stress can be exaggerated if there are vitamins lacking in your body so take a supplement each day  I take Wellwoman Max vitamins which contains a multi vitamin, omega, and calcium as well as that important vitamin D thats lacking this time of the year!
  • Don’t attempt new recipes on the day of your big meal or party. If you really want to try something new why not have a trial run before your big day? However dont go overboard with your menu. Its better to spend time eating with your family not stressing that you dinner isn’t going to plan.
  • Create a Menu – Dont just wing Chritmas lunch create a menu for yourself with timings of cooking and preparing on it Above I said dont go over the top but If your like me I love to entertain and I have 15 for dinner so i really do need to plan my menu in advance!
  • Dont turn to Alcohol – There is nothing worse than trying to entertain the in-laws (or worse your husbands ex wife. Yes I have my step sons mum for dinner this year – Long story but we do get on)  than trying to entertain them with a hangover. or getting so drunk you end up arguing. So sure enjoy a tipple or two but dont go overboard.
  • Get some air – Ive mentioned getting some me time but getting out in the fresh air is also a good way to take 5. Even if its as a family, Just wrap them up warm and take them for a walk. pick up some fresh veg or head to the woods. just get some air.

I think thats all for the moment. If you can think of any more please leave them in the comments below.

Enjoy the festive season everyone!

Nina x

Odd Socks Day – Monday 12th November

When I was at school I had my fair share of name calling and bitchy comments directed at me.

I can’t say it was full blown bullying even though the names did make me really really sad.

However Bullying is something we are hearing more and more about.

40% of Children experience bullying each year.

Now I have children at school of my own I want to do as much as I can to keep them safe and happy and most importantly teach them to treat people as they want to be treated.

Bullying can affect mental health and can impact children right through their lives.

On Monday 12th November its Odd Socks Day


Its a chance to raise awareness of individuality, Show that being individual is a good thing!

Wear odd socks and  donate to the anti Bullying alliance.

Of course you dont have to donate simply wearing your odd socks to stamp out the stigma of individuality is enough

Is your child

The Anti Bullying Alliance has some top tips for Parents.

  • If your child is being bullied you should reassure them that you can work though this together and that its not their fault.
  • We should teach our Children that whatever the circumstances Bullying is never acceptable.
  • Being bullied doesn’t mean you should retaliate .
  • Taking part in activities that can build your child’s self esteem could be a great way to build confidence and make friends away from the place they are being bullied.




If you need any more information or advise head on over to The Anti Bulling Alliance 

Nina x

Getting Fit For Forty!

Last week I posted about turning 38 and only have two years until I hit the big 40!

I’ve mentioned before that I have bad habits when it comes to eating and exercise.

When we hit 40 it is easier to gain weight and we have to work harder to get fit!

40 is often classed as middle-aged and can bring on such things as aching joints and bone loss.

I am really not in a good shape. Although I try to swim a couple of times a week and am often found chasing twins I could do with fitting in more exercise.

So with only two years to go before it gets harder to get fit I am taking stock and finding out what my starting point is!

I mean the past year or so has been a bit of a health rollercoaster. I’ve had more blood tests and observations done than I care to remember but there were just two on my list that I needed to know for my getting fit for forty mission.

My stats at the start of my mission.

Cholesterol 6.0  (Average for the UK is 5.7)   *Drs blood test

Diabetes 37 ( This is within the normal range) *Drs Blood test

Waist circumference 112cm  (Anything over 80cm and you should try and lose weight anything over 88cm and your at high risk) *NHS Website

BMI 31.5 (Obese) Ideal 18.5 – 24.9

Body Fat 43.8 %  Ideal 25-32%

Muscle Mass 45.9% (Normal 24 – 30)

Bone Mass 2.4% (Average 3-5%)

Hydration 41.1% (Ideal 45-60)

Visceral Fat 11 (1-12 Healthy anything over 12 is excessive)

The last few measurements were done on the Activ8rlives Body Analyser   so I’m not sure how accurate they are but I work better working to a goal so have decided that these are what I will aim to change!

So with this all in mind I need to work on lowering my cholesterol, lower my waist circumference and drop my BMI and my body fat!

The plan

Healthy Eating

Plan healthy meals for the week including breakfast and lunch so that we don’t turn to fast food or processed food.


How will this fit in with our family’s travel plans?

Well while we are traveling we often book into AirBNB so that means we have a kitchen to cook and prepare healthy foods.

This needs to be a lifestyle choice though not just a diet. This has to be something that can be followed for the rest of my life. Leading a good example to my children.

So if we are on holiday and are visiting a the beach where there is an ice-cream parlour I will have an ice cream. I will sometimes have a cake and coffee with friends.

It just means that 70% of the time I will choose the healthy way and the rest I can have a treat.

Healthy to me means Home made from scratch where ever you can  using fresh ingredients anything that is bought in a packet should have less than 5 ingredients.

Also a good rule is looking at a packets nutritional info

I use the fat and of which sugar should be under 10g’s in any 100g’s .


This is a hard one for me. I struggle to fit in a workout with 4 children and trying to run a business.


My goal is to have a workout every day for at least 30 mins a day 5 times a day.

I would like to think that I can achieve 5 mornings of yoga each week too.

Mental Health.

I know we are mainly focusing on physical health however my mental health has always been up and down.


For improving my Mental Health the above will make a difference anyway. But on top of this I want to add things that will add to a positive wellbeing.

  • Journaling
  • Creative activities
  • Eliminating stress
  • Stepping out of my comfort zone a little.

I will try and update regularly on here.

I will also add posts to Instagram using the hashtag #ARCfitfor40

If you fancy joining me use this # and I will repost some of your posts on my instagram stories.

If you have any tips for keeping up my will power to do this let me know.

Also spam me with your realistic mum fitness blogs, vlogs.

Let’s do this.

Nina x

The post too long for Instagram.

I was going to just post this to Instagram. Then when I started rambling found it was just too long.

Right I’m going to just say it. I’m suffering with depression of late. Im struggling.

When my mood is low I reach for the crap food. My nemesis is cake! I could if left probably demolish all of these in one day. I know that eating crap makes you feel crap and then yo feel crap so reach for the cakes. It’s a vicious circle and I’m quite deep into it.

Since having my gallbladder out I’ve put 2 stone on! I’m not proud. I’m disgusted to be honest.

Why am I feeling like this?

Well I blame the kids constantly But truth is is my fault.

The house is a mess and I don’t give enough time for things so am constantly running behind.

The kids behaviour is probably like it is due to me feeling like I do. Due to me not giving them enough time.

I tried to homeschool but I’m not cut out for it.

I get shouty when they don’t grasp something and it’s no good for anyone.

Right now I’m secretly waiting for September to come so I can get into a better routine with everyone.

I also know this isn’t good waiting for tomorrow. And all that. But it’s the only light I feel I have at the moment.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

What’s your go to when you feel low?

Nina x

Getting a Better Nights Sleep 8 Tips

Last week I had a terrible night of sleep. It wasnt purely down to the kids though they did factor into it.

It’s hard to sleep well if you’re a mum to babies, or children that don’t sleep well but sleep is so important.

Your body repairs its self while you sleep. Especially important if you’re recovering from an operation.

When I’ve had a good nights sleep I feel like I can tackle anything.

To give myself a better chance of getting a decent night of sleep here are 5 ways to give me a head start.

Screen Time 

This is a big one for me my phone is the last thing I check at night and the first thing I do in a morning, Also myself and hubby often fall asleep with sleep timer on the TV listening to some kind of sitcom. I really need to banish the phone from the side of my bed.

It is advised to give up the screen for at least an hour before bed. instead I will try to read a book.

Sleepy Tea

I often opt for a decaf tea towards the end of the day as full caffeine tea contributed to insomnia and reflux after a certain time. However I think going to opt for a naturally caffeine free tea like clipper Sleepy Tea or a green tea.


We’ve all heard people say when a child nods off after a trip to th park or seaside, “It will be all that fresh air”  Well it seems regular stints outside can get your body into a better rhythm. Being outdoors in fresh air & sunlight regularly will help your body regulate melatonin which will help you fall asleep more easily and help your body get in to better sleep cycles.

Eat Better

This doesn’t just mean eating healthy it means eating at least 2 hours before bed to enable food to digest before laying down. As a sufferer of reflux and indigestion in the past, laying down after a meal can cause all sorts of pain and discomfort. Touch wood since eating less fat I have had no symptoms lately.

Write It Down 

If my head is full of things to do It’s hard to fall asleep, I sometimes have a note-book at the side of my bed to write thoughts, things to do, ideas, shopping lists. It helps to stop my brain whiring at night.


I started a habit a long time ago of doing yoga in a morning and at night I fell out of doing this when I became pregnant. I need to get back into it now I’m feeling better after my op. I opt for following a Yoga with Adriene  bedtime sequence on YouTube.


We have just had our bedroom redecorated and still need to put some finishing touches to it to make it our sanctuary.(Currently the babies are still sleeping in our room as we are till having to settle them a couple of times a night. I need to get them sleeping through and into their own room soon though but this is a sleep post for adults not babies. that’s a whole other ball game! ) Id like to get some plants in there and a nice Cheval mirror. Making our bedroom an area that feels tidy, and clean helps you feel more relaxed and therefore sleep better.

Sleep when your tired 

This may sound obvious, but if you go to bed when your wide awake chances are you wont sleep. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and cant get back to sleep. When this happens I get up make a cuppa and sit in a different room so I don’t wake everyone else. Normally I would get out my phoe and check the world but I’m going to try to read if this happens to get myself back to sleep.

I am in no way a professional sleep therapist if you are struggling with insomnia I suggest you consult a professional or talk to your doctor. There may be an underlying reason for your insomnia.

Nina x

Village life


You wanna go where people know, people are all the same, You wanna go where everybody knows your name.

– Cheers Theme Tune  Where Everybody Knows Your Name by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo

When I was a teenager I did everything to leave the small town that I have lived in since birth. I moved to Skegness, Whitby, for the summer seasons, moved to a town nearby & even spent 6 months in Sheffield at 17 years old.

However, when I got together with my childhood crush (who is now my husband) I ended up back in my hometown. We planned on moving to Whitby after a few years however this never happened and instead we focused on making a family.

Now I’m a mum, I have actually made friends in the village! When I was growing up I had a couple of friends but we lost touch a little.


They do say it takes a village to raise a child and we’ve now got 4. Our little town is more like living in a village.

Since being home from the hospital I really have a better appreciation for the village life!

I can walk around the block after school. Call into friends for a cuppa. Head to the coffee shop for breakfast and a chat with the staff.

People in the street that I’ve really only before said hello to ask me how I am and tell me how worried they were about me.

I feel so much stronger than I thought I would after all that has happened in the past few weeks and I believe it’s down to the support from not only my family and friends but also the people around the village that have asked how I was and shown me that people do still care.


At the moment I feel lucky to be able to let my kids grow up in a village lifestyle. There are a couple of play parks that we can walk to – Yes sometimes they could be tidier, sometimes there is glass that idiots have broken. but this happens everywhere.

I am part of the WI in a nearby village and last week was the first time I’ve been in ages.

Out of the blue one of the members brought me a freshly made apple pie that she had made! I think really she wanted to meet the new babies 🙂 but it was so thoughtful and made me again feel lucky to not only be part of the WI but part of village life!

I also have my online village, the ones that give me a shout out from time to time, the ones that have been messaging me to see how I’m getting on and to give me moral support while I was in hospital, the ones that give advise on parenting and the ones that don’t even know I exist but keep me entertained with their vlogs.


Nina x


I survived….. Just! Part 4, I’m Home well for a while.

As I’m writing this we have been home 7 weeks!  My recovery is going well but slower than I would like. I try to push myself and then end up feeling poorly so I need to learn to take it easier.

We arrived home Tuesday evening quite late. I needed to sleep and was in a little bit of pain. However, I also wanted to see the big twins.


Grandma brought them over and we all had cuddles then they went back to grandmas for the night!

IMG_3239 (1).jpg

The first few nights we slept downstairs – It just felt like too much stretching for me to get upstairs (besides I thought id be more comfy in the reclining chair I’d been used to the hospital bed that I could sit up!

While it was nice to be home I was anxious that we were now on our own! I wasn’t under constant monitoring to check for infection, or to make sure my wound was healing.

Though I did have visits from the midwife team, Who checked my wound, asked how I was.

For a week or more I was paranoid about my bowel movements worried that I wasn’t going enough or that It somehow twisted again!

The first week the furthest I walked was next door to my InLaws as she cooked almost every night!
Everywhere I walked I was still having to hold my belly.

By the end of the week, however, I had managed to do a school run & a trip to the coffee shop on the way home!

download (4).jpg

The week after however things took a turn for the worse!

Monday Morning I started with a pain in my back that slowly throughout the day radiated through to my chest and under my ribs!

It was that painful in the evening I ended up at A&E – they gave me some morphine and took some bloods. I was put in an observation bay to wait for the Dr, when he came he said that he thought it was just gastric distress and he sent me home!

download (3)

Meanwhile, My mum had the 4 children.

The Next day came and after a week at home hubby had to go back into work (He had used up all of his paternity and more while we were in the hospital)  So I had my mum and Hubby’s mum on hand as I wasn’t healed enough to lift and carry. I woke with a similar pain to the night before though not quite as bad. Again by tea time, I was in agony.

I ended up ringing 111 who after I had described my pain decided to send an ambulance! After they had monitored me at home they decided to put me in an ambulance straight back to A&E.. Hubby came to me straight after work, I was still waiting to be seen at that point. Once I had been seen they took some more bloods and gave me some morphine again the bloods came back and it turns out my liver wasn’t functioning properly and was actually infected. I needed to be transferred to another hospital to see the surgical team as they don’t have a surgical department at our local hospital.  They would send for an ambulance and take me to another hospital. The one I was sent to when they found my placenta issue.

download (2)

Hubby went home when I was told my ride was here. (3rd ambulance now and still no blue lights and siren)

It was midnight before I got to the new hospital,  I was given antibiotics, fluid and some painkillers had my observations taken and managed to get a little sleep!

The next day I was taken for an x-ray, as they suspected I had gallstones. They couldn’t see enough from that so was sent for an ultrasound which confirmed yup there were gallstones.

Now for some more blood to be taken to see if my liver was responding to the antibiotics.  I was told as there were gallstones in my gallbladder I was to have an MRCP which is done in an MRI scanner but they take the images of the chest area not like before when I went for my placenta.

The MRCP was to make sure none of the stones had migrated to any of the bile tubes as this could be what was causing the pain!

Unlike before they talked me through each section of the scanning process helping me to feel less anxious!

Hurray, they have not migrated. Though I am told that my best option is to have a routine operation to remove my gallbladder. But don’t worry its done under general anaesthetic, but it’s only a keyhole surgery  (Oh well that’s ok then it’s not like I’ve had two major operations in the past month or anything!)

A couple of days of antibiotics, and painkillers and I was allowed home!

I’m sent home with more antibiotics, and instructions to start eating low-fat, no grease, no spice diet! I was told I would get an appointment soon to discuss taking out my gallbladder.

Having spoke to others that have had gallstones they have recommended anything under 10g of fat in 100g, with a low saturated fat content.

I’m now feeling so much better, however, struggling to remember to take it easy – something I need to remember as I feel good one day and end up doing too much then end up feeling lousy.

I’ve now had my appointment through for early January.

Meanwhile, I have to stay on my low-fat diet!

Let’s hope when I’ve had my gallbladder removed that’s the end of my problems and I can live a fit & healthy life!

Thanks for all your support, good wishes, prayers & thoughts over the past couple of months.

Also thanks to Jessops and all the staff there! They were amazing!


Nina x