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Food Glorious Food – Slimming World & Body Positivity.

Food, glorious food!
We’re anxious to try it.
Three banquets a day —
Our favourite diet!

Oliver Lyrics

When you have kids every day you are anxious to be one step ahead of them especially when it come to food. Snack time, dinner time, what they are having for breakfast etc. The same applies to when you start dieting your day becomes about eating the right things at the right times and maybe even denying ourselves those delicious treats like crisps and cake.

But our relationships with food are much bigger than just our three meals a day. Well mine is anyway.

What do you think of if I say seaside trip?

For me I think Fish ‘n’ Chips, hot donuts, a stick of rock or some candy floss and obviously and ice cream.

  • Cinema trip – Popcorn, nachos, pic n mix.
  • Break time – Cuppa and a biscuit
  • Upset? – How about a bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate?
  • Theatre trip – Well it has to be an an ice cream in the interval surley!
  • Nap time treat for mum – A couple of chocolates and a cuppa
  • Long walk in the fresh air – Hot chocolate and marshmallows by the fire to warm through afterwards.
  • Valentines day – Chocolates
  • Halloween – An abundance of sweets & Pumpkin pie!
  • Christmas – Well don’t even go there. From chocolate oranges & toblerone to mince pies and full roast dinner.

Its safe to say food is a big thing. So many connections some many temptations so many chances to fail when your on a diet.

Body Shame

I have never really been bothered by my body shape I mean I’ve always felt like I could stand to lose a few pounds and often felt bad that I couldn’t buy cool clothes as they didn’t go up to the 16/18 that I am. But my body shape has never really affected my mental health. I see posts ranting about the diet culture and I can see the point of these I really can. The damaging diet culture that is advertised outside schools. Making kids think that slim is the way to be.

I’m heading to 40 soon and to be honest I’m actually quite proud of my body. Yes Id still like to lose a few pound as I believe it would be more healthy for me in the long run. Being overweight can have terrible effects on joints and heart health. May be it due to me getting older or being proud of my body surviving some major health complications but I’m happy to a point with my body.

So if I’m happy with my body why Slimming World

In september 2019 I joined slimming world. I joined with my in laws they joined as my father in law had been told by his heart specialist he had to lose weight. I joined as snacking at nap time had become such a bad habit that I needed something to shake me up a little. I though joining a group would have more of an impact than me just trying to do it on my own.

I can see how to some diet groups like the one I attend can really give you an unhealthy attitude to food. I can see how young girls and boys could get swept along by being “slim” but for me it’s the right choice.

I’m not going to be posting about my Slimming world journey every week or how much I’ve lost as for me it’s much more than losing weight. It’s about having the support to change my attitude towards food. So when I say let’s go to the seaside the thoughts of fish ‘n’ chips and ice cream are replaced by building sand castles, skimming stones and arcade machines.

I may sometimes mention Slimming world and dieting terms here and on my social channels but I will also continue to be proud of my body how its grown babies two at a time. Proud because despite the serious health issues I’ve had I’m still here to tell the tale.

Nina x

My Sustainability Aims for 2020 Blogger Tag

Sustainability is on everyone’s lips at the moment isn’t it? Yet some of us still don’t know the impact of the little actions we do. I’m not talking in the negative either one little swap to your daily life can have a huge impact to the wellbeing of our planet. From reusable wipes to recycling all of our packaging. Anyone can start making a change however small. So on to my Sustainability Aims for 2020.

sustainability eco swaps

My Sustainability Aims For 2020

The aim of this blogger tag that has been created by Emma Reed is to get as many people involved as possible by answering the questions below, tagging your favourite bloggers (who you think will love to join in!) and sharing some fantastic tips on how to reduce waste, reduce household plastic and how to be more sustainable in your everyday life. And it doesn’t have to be anything big. The smaller changes are often the easiest for everybody to do and if more and more people did these they would have a bigger impact. So, onto the questions…

Have you already been making sustainable changes to your lifestyle?

Yes, – The past couple of years have really opened my eyes to how much damage has been done to our planet even just little actons have an impact last year i really tried to make a conscious effort towards sustainability.

What swaps have worked for you?

  • I have been using reusable wipes for most things over the past year. Cloth wipes really are much better for little bottoms and faces as well as the planet. and they are so easy to use.
  • I have tried to recycle ever since we got the recycling wheelie bin a few years ago but in the past year i have tried much harder to grab things out of the main bin to send to recycling.
  • Instead of just binning things we have a local charity shop that take lots of items for recycling. from broken crockery to clothes for rags and books.

What swaps have been the easiest?

The easiest swap for us has to have been our milk. In fact this swap may even save us effort as now the only thing I have to do is remember to pay the bill oh and put the empty bottles out on delivery morning.

What swaps have been the hardest?

  • For me one of the hardest things has to be cosmetic care I tried toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen and shampoo bars. unfortunately all have come with niggles,
  • Eco friendly sunscreen is quite expensive and has quite a rustic smell. The coverage is more a block than a cream too so its not been a hit.
  • The toothpaste left me with sensitive teeth Im not sure if its due to the paste having little granules in it or if it’s due to the lack of fluoride
  • The shampoo bar would have been ok but I tend to only wash a couple of times a week and the bar I got meant washing every day.
  • My deodorant soon got grimey and as yet i’ve not found one with a great smell.

What is your favourite eco-friendly swap so far and why?

It has to be the milk delivery. Getting a milk delivery brings back so many childhood memories. It’s so easy to get milk delivered too. It really is a no brainer at the start of an eco friendly swap.

What are your sustainability aims for 2020?

Like Emma I am trying to cut down on our meat consumption. There are some great alternatives in shops now and you really don’t feel like your missing out by not having the meat equivalent.

A lot of things as a busy family of 4 things often slip. My aim for 2020 is to get better organised. Better organisation means that I won’t grab those on the go snacks and drinks that come in throw away packaging.

I also want to try harder with the things I have already started, reusable wipes, washing egg, not buying as much throw away plastic etc.

Have you set up a plan in order to make these happen/achievable?

For cutting down on meat meal planning is key. vegetarian options are still quite limited in our village. I guess this goes back to being organised.

What are your top tips for anybody who is just starting to make eco-friendly changes?

Start where you are. It can be as simple as stopping buying plastic water bottles or ordering in your milk delivery. If everyone tries their best at being more eco friendly it will have more of an impact on the world than one person going all in on being eco friendly.

I would love you to join in with the blog tag if you don’t have a blog just leave the answers to your questions in the comments.

Please don’t forget to link back to myself and Emma in your blog posts.

Im going to tag

Nina x

RULES (add these to the end of your post for others to refer to)

Answer the sustainability-related questions in your own blog post and tag (link to their website) your nominated bloggers at the end of the post (I would say 5-10 nominations would be about right). When you are nominated by a blogger please tag that person at the start of your post to say thank you and to also give them a link back. You can also state why you want to join in with the tag, what you hope to get out of it and that you are looking forward to reading all the others and so on (I will leave this opener up to you). Feel free to add links to relevant blog posts you may have on your site and add photos too. There’s no strict timescale as to when you need to get your posts out but within 2 weeks would be nice in order to keep the ball rolling. Oh, and if you haven’t had a tag but would like to join in, please do so! The more the merrier. If you’d like me to see them all please do also tag me on Twitter @EmReed01.

  • Have you already been making sustainable changes to your lifestyle?
  • What swaps have worked for you?
  • What swaps have been the easiest?
  • What swaps have been the hardest?
  • What is your favourite eco-friendly swap so far and why?
  • What are your sustainability aims for 2020?
  • Have you set up a plan in order to make these happen/achievable?
  • What are your top tips for anybody who is just starting to make eco-friendly changes?

Wellbeing Wednesday. – Wellness Centre Belvoir country Estate. #AD-Gifted

Last year we visited the lovely country estate at Belvoir Castle. The castle is home to the Duchess of Rutland and is the magnificent Windsor Castle duplicate in TV series ‘The Crown’.

The Engine Yard Based on the estate is home to a number of businesses From places to eat like the balloon bar to shops selling homewares, gifts and more. There’s even a playpark for those of you like us are traveling the world one play park at a time!

Last week I headed to the engine yard after dark for an evening yoga class in the new Wellness Centre.

Sunita Passi Wellness Centre

Sunita Passi Set up the Wellness Centre and Shop in 2019. It features a yoga studio as well as treatment rooms for Sunita to practice her Ayurvedic and holistic treatments.

The shop features her very own natural skincare range which I can tell you smells incredible.

Yoga at The Wellness Centre

Arriving in the evening to The Engine yard you can see the stunning brick buildings lit up in all their glory as you walk through to the Wellness centre.

Once upstairs there is a changing area and bathroom with lockers and refreshments. and a shoe rack.

On the night I met Sunita and a couple of the teachers holding that hold classes at the centre. All of them were so welcoming and have that calming zenness about them.

The room itself is quite compact but that didn’t affect how much I got out of the yoga session.

I have done a little yoga before however there are sessions to suit all abilities at the centre. There is also meditation classes that are held at the centre too.

Meditation is a great way of reconnecting with yourself and getting back that feeling of calm.

Nina x

Points to note.

Hydrate

I always take a drink to yoga sessions even though a lot of the moves are gentle you still need to keep hydrated.

Parking

I arrived after dark which means the main car park to the engine yard is actually closed. You can park across the road however in the overflow car park. If you are there before the main car park is closed and you are planning on staying after closing time (Around 4pm week days) for your yoga session I suggest you also park in the overflow. Once the gates are shut you may well be there overnight. I would also take a torch if you night vision is as bad as mine. There is no light in the car park or on the road. It is the countryside afterall.

It would be best to contact the centre to book on to any of the sessions they are quite popular.

In order to write about the Wellness Centre I was gifted a complimentary Yoga session. As always I only work with brands and companies that are a fit for my family and my lifestyle. All opinions are my own!

2020 Vision Board Workshop with Escape & Create

I’ve always loved being creative even though I’m not the best at things. I can’t knit, or paint and I’m not great at sewing or pottery. But I love having a go. In the past I’ve made collages by ripping and sticking magazines and things to a piece of paper but then I found out about vision boarding. Since then I’ve wanted to attend a vision board workshop.

vision board workshop

I had a bit of an intro into a vision board workshop with the lovely Marvellous Mrs P at the Blogon Bloggers event in September but it really was just a taster. I was on the lookout afterwards for a full workshop to help kick start 2020 positively! Then I came across an advert on facebook for one in Nottingham during January. I added it to my christmas list as experiences are high on my gift list since trying to simplify our home a little.

What is a Vision Board

Is it just sticking bits of magazines to a board?

Well yes and no.

Its a board full of pictures and sometimes text that represent the life you want to have. A vision of your future. It can be a powerful way to visualize and realise your goals for the year ahead. Often a vision board is linked with the power of attraction.

Law Of Attraction

A vision board is glimpse into your future life or goals. It’s said that after making one you feel more positive about things which attracts positivity and so you put yourself out there more or act more confidently which can attract more opportunities.

The Workshop

I headed to Nottingham on the train to At1 space not far from the university. The space was ideal for such a creative workshop.

To start off we had the most delicious brunch and a welcome talk by our hosts Jemma from Unconditionally nourished and Emma from Sweetpea Home & Interiors. Jemma and Emma collectively are the brains behind Escape and Create and the Vision board workshop.

Once brunch was done it was time for the workshop itself. Jemma and Emma shared how to create our vision boards and showed us their own boards.

They then guided us through a series of questions in order to get an idea of what our goals are for 2020.

After filling in our goals worksheet it was time for creativity. Flicking through magazines to find images or wording that jumps out at us then tearing or cutting them out and placing them around our board.

Once happy with our board it time to start sticking.

Even without the positivity around vision boarding the creative side is so relaxing. While you cutting out you can chat with others. I love meeting new people and getting to know their stories.

I have put my Vision Board in my kitchen so I can see it all the time. It a constant reminder to stay positive and to work hard to achieve those goals!

Now I need to start writing my birthday gift list I hear that Jemma and Emma from Escape and Create are planning a Hygge style retreat over the Autumn and if the vision boarding is anything to go by the retreat will be unmissable!

Nina x

Jessops Bereavement Suite Fundraising with Maple + Pea.

Since the birth of my last set of twins I have been looking for ways to give back to the team that saved my life. I am now subscribed to the email newsletters from The Jessop wing and just recently have been moved by a number of stories from both The Nicu and the recent Bereavement suite appeals. The owner of Maple + Pea has used her skills to create a unique way to give back to the staff that helped her family face the toughest time in their life.

The Jessops Bereavement Suite

Jessops sees around 8000 babies born each year and while this is a time to celebrate for many for some families the journey doesn’t turn out quite liked they had hoped.

The loss of a child is such an unimaginable pain to face for parents and relatives. A bereavement suite like the one at jessops can give families a safe haven with knowledgeable staff to give care and attention. As well as a place to spend a little time with their baby.

Update needed

The Breevement Suite is in need of an update and the Sheffield hospitals charity launched an appeal late 2019 to raise funds to help with the redevelopment of it. They aim to raise £230,000 to help fund the redevelopment.

The aim of the redevelopment is to give parents a place to feel calm and nurtured. Surroundings that are tranquil and not the usual hospital walls. Somewhere that parents can spend time with their babies.

Maple + Pea

Maple and pea is a funky clothing shop for little ones. They sell cool t shirts and leggings ideal for those toddlers that are always on the go a well as our precious bundles that are busy growing.

Items are designed and made exclusively and locally in the uk.

Honouring The Memory

Over the past few months they have been busy designing a print to help honour the memory of their brother and sister- in- laws precious children Ava & Freddie who sadly died just after they were born.

The print is a gorgeous elephant and star design. Elephants chosen because that’s what her brother and sister in law associate with the babies. The stars on the background because Twinkle Twinkle played at their funerals.

The proceeds of sales of this print will be split between remember my baby (a charity which offer free remembrance photography for bereaved parents) as well as The Jessop Wing to help support the development of the Bereavement suite.

“Each garment made from this fabric, will have a special care label sewn in which have Ava + Freddie’s footprint on. (The left one is Ava’s and the right one is Freddie’s 👣). When you see the labels and their little footprints, you’ll know that all the profits from your sale has gone to two amazing causes in Ava + Freddie’s name. A thank you to those who supported my brother and his wife in the worst time of their lives.

Jo – Maple + Pea

The items are available to preorder now! Just head to the Maple and Pea Facebook page and send a direct message.