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Category: Lifestyle, Thoughts, Family, Kids

  1. What’s in our fridge? One year on.

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    A sneak peek inside our family fridge after a weekly food shop

    Just over a year ago I posted a blog post ‘What’s in my fridge?  A typical week’s food in our household'.  It still gets a few comments when I share on Twitter, especially about the broccoli! 

    I always find it fascinating to see what other people are eating.  I love programmes such as Secret Eaters and there’s another one where they see what a typical family eats, then try to save them money and make them cook more from scratch.  The name escapes me.  Years ago I also read a magazine that showed the inside of a famous person’s fridge each month and analysed its healthiness!

    If you’re like me and love having a nosey at what people eat, then read on!

     Whats In My Fridge February 2017

    I thought a one year update would be quite interesting to see how our eating habits have changed.  The fridge this year actually looks pretty identical!  Though my beloved broccoli is still in its wrapper near the bottom and not in glasses of water.  I took this photo around one month ago and I can only assume Ben put this food shop away.  Ahem.

    I always take everything out of wrappers when I put it away and make things accessible and easy to grab.  So if I buy a pack of cans, I’ll remove the packaging and put the cans away so they’re ‘ready to go’.  Ben just puts everything away as it is.  Annoying!  I especially don’t like fruit/veg left in wrappers as it goes off a lot quicker and gets all condensation-ey.  I somehow missed that off my list of 5 Annoying Things My Husband Does, but maybe I’ll add it to another one!

    In my last fridge blog post I said I was thinking of cutting out refined sugar and this year I have!  I was thinking about it a lot towards the end of last year and thought of stopping in 2017, but wasn’t entirely sure I’d commit so kept it as an idea in my head.  After Christmas and New Year I decided I was going to give it a go and I’ve stuck to it all year, as far as I know!  I’d already cut out all sweet food containing added sugar last year and stopped eating any adult crisps/junk food.  Cutting out refined sugar completely seemed the next logical step and it’s been a lot easier than I thought.  Now I’ve done it, I don’t want to go back.  I’ve watched and read a lot about refined sugar and I really believe it is a poison that builds up over time in our bodies causing serious detriment to our health.  It’s also responsible for a lot of illness and disease in later life and I want to avoid this if I can. 

    To find out more about what inspires me to be healthy read my blog post Trying to be healthy?  Read this

    Our eating habits are pretty much the same as one year ago.  I do a weekly shop and the bulk of it is vegetables.  The one change is I now order a lot more online shops.  I started doing this to take advantage of all the cashback and offers at supermarkets on Top Cashback.  I worked my way through the list of supermarkets to get as much cashback as possible.  The new customer offers are really good and you can save a lot on your grocery shopping if you’re new to them online.  I saved loads with Waitrose as they gave me vouchers off my first five shops, up to £20 per shop.  Plus at that time they had a huge half-price sale on so we got more than usual for the same amount of money as our normal Tesco shop.  At the moment I’m shopping with Sainsbury’s.  They’re not on Top Cashback unfortunately, but they’ve sent me four vouchers for £10 off £40+ online food shops which is a great deal.

    We still get Little Yeos yoghurts and I’ve not noticed any other brands jumping on the sugar-free train with yoghurts just yet  That jam you can see in the corner of the picture in the fridge door is only made from fruit and is just as delicious as sugar filled versions, if not more so.  It makes me realise companies must just bulk food up with sugar to make more profit as half the time they don’t need to add it. 

    There’s a pizza in the fridge from Waitrose which has a wholemeal base and no sugar!  Wahoo!  It’s right up my street too as it’s a green vegetable pizza.  Ben doesn’t like this one (it’s not pizza enough for him), but I just love it.  I get seriously excited every time I find something new without added sugar!  There’s a green smoothie in there with parsnip which is quite an unique flavour shall we say.  A couple of pots of fresh soup and a cheese sauce.  Even many cheese sauces have sugar added, but fresh ones don’t.  I literally read the ingredients on everything now

    If you’re wondering why I’m harping on so much about added refined sugar read my blog post Why you need to reduce your refined sugar intake

    We’ve started eating loads of eggs.  Perhaps subconsciously because we are getting chickens this weekend so we could be preparing ourselves for an influx of eggs in our diets!  I love eggs though and so do the kids.  Bella’s favourite breakfast is a dippy egg.  She’ll polish off two no problem.  Eggs are so easy to whip up quick nutritious meals and we look forward to having fresh eggs from our garden very soon.  We’ve been ordering 36 eggs per week recently!  Bella can easily have two a day if we let her, so they disappear quickly in our house.

    Our meal planning is pretty much the same.  I loosely think about a week’s food and sometimes plan a menu, but most of the time I look on the day to see which fresh produce needs using up first or is starting to turn and invent a meal on the spot dependant on this.

    One of the things I was most upset about when giving up refined sugar was Heinz baked beans.  My favourite comfort meal has to be beans on toast with grated cheese and ketchup.  Luckily Heinz now has a No Added Sugar variety which is sweetened with stevia instead!  Hurrah!  I also visit Wholefoods to get some Real Good ketchup which is sweetened with xylitol instead.  There are two types of wholemeal bread at our local Tesco which doesn’t contain sugar, so I can still have my lovely beans on toast!

    Ooh next to the Country Life (one of the least ingredient spreads I can find) is Tesco avocado spread – yum!  Great for those cutting down/avoiding dairy and with not too many ingredients either.  It’s really yummy and now my spread of choice.

    I’m not sure if Ben was entirely convinced a year or so ago when I said I was cutting out the crap.  I’m sure he thought it would just be a phase, but I was deadly serious.  For me this is a lifestyle choice, not a fad diet.  I’ve watched too many things and read too much about how bad foods affect your body and health, especially in the long term (even if you feel fine now), so there’s no going back for me.  To be honest I don’t even miss the rubbish food and there are plenty of natural, raw, wholefood alternatives that are far more scrumptious in my opinion.

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  2. Back To Basics: Finding The Joy Of The Simple Life *

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    Ways to take a moment for yourself without technology

    We live in a world that never stops. There's no moment when things aren't happening in all of our lives. From the moment you wake up, there are things happening, screens flashing, speakers blaring, people rushing around, it's enough to make your head spin.

    It's close to impossible to go even a few minutes without some sort of gadget going off and trying to get your attention. Now, don't think that this is some kind of anti-technology rant, technology is incredible. Smartphones and computers have changed millions of lives for the better. But it can be all too easy to find yourself getting sucked into the world inside your phone so that you miss what's going on around you.

    People are more stressed than ever, and a big part of that is because life simply doesn't give them a chance to pause for a moment and just stay still.

    But does it have to be that way? Just because the world is constantly moving, does that mean that you have to be pulled along by its tide? The short and simpler answer to that questions is no. You have control over the pace of your own life and if you want to make things a little slower and a little simpler than that's entirely within your power. You've just got to be willing to make some simple changes and to resist the temptation to rush around at all times trying to keep up. To help you achieve just that, here are some incredibly simple, yet potentially life-changing ways to slow the pace of your life down, simplify and get back to basics.

    Wake up earlier

    alarm clock, black coffee, book

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    A lot of people hate waking up in the mornings. That's fairly understandable, not everyone is a morning person and, let's be totally honest, who doesn't love the idea of getting to stay in bed all day every once in awhile. But one of the most important things that everyone needs to learn is that the snooze button is not your friend. Hitting snooze to get that extra ten minutes of shut-eye is the worst thing that you can do, for a bunch of reasons.

    For one thing, it's going to make you feel even more tired because your body's going to try and settle into a new sleep schedule that will be very rudely interrupted. Secondly, you're just going to end up with way less time to do the things that you need to do. Whether you need to get the kids ready for school, head off to work, or do any number of other things, the less time you leave yourself, the more stressed out you're going to be.

    The key is to set yourself an alarm that gives you as much time as possible to deal with everything. You might not enjoy getting up earlier at first, but you'll get used to it surprisingly quickly. Not only that but you'll find that the pace of your mornings has suddenly become far more relaxing and less hectic. Setting the right tone in the morning makes a huge difference to how you feel for the rest of the day.

    Bake your own bread

    baker, bakery, baking

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    This is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to simplifying and slowing down your life that there is. You might not think it will make that much of a difference, but it really can work wonders. Instead of just slumping onto the sofa in front of the TV after work, find a recipe that you like the look of and start baking. The most obvious benefit of baking your own bread is that it will cost you pennies. The ingredients that you need are far cheaper than buying pre-made loaves of bread. The second benefit is that you're able to dictate exactly what goes into it. The salt levels, the kinds of flour, etc. You can limit any preservatives and make sure that your bread is one-hundred-percent natural.

    The third and arguably most important benefit of baking your own bread is that it forces you to slow down and focus on a single task for even a little while. The act of measuring out the ingredients, mixing them together, and kneading the dough, all give you something to occupy both your mind and your hands. You'll find it's a fantastic way to get rid of much of the stress and tension of the day as you focus on turning a bowlful of ingredients into a soft dough, then turning that dough into a delicious crusty loaf. Not only that but there really is nothing better than a house that's filled with the smell of baking bread.

    Grow your own veg

    hand, ingredients, onions

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    Few things are more stressful in most people's daily lives than taking trips to the supermarket. They're crowded, noisy, overlit and generally unpleasant places to be. Luckily there are things that you can do to avoid them. For one thing, you can try to buy as much as possible from local sellers instead. You'll get better deals and more high-quality products from your local sellers than from the supermarket any day. But the best thing to do is to start producing your own food.

    Of course, there are plenty of things that you'll always need to buy, but if you have a garden or even a patio, then you can grow your own fruit and vegetables with ease. There is nothing quite so satisfying than planting your own veg and watching the first sprouts starting to appear. If you ever needed something to help you learn patience, then this is it. It can be a little scary to know where to start, but things like Grow Like Grandad by Matt Peskett will give you plenty of great advice whether you're a total newbie or a green-thumbed expert. Growing your own veg is an incredible way to help you slow down and enjoy watching something happen naturally, rather than the instant gratification that we're so often taught to crave in the modern world.

    Read

     Person Holding and Reading Book during Daytime

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    For good or ill, we spend our lives looking at screens. Whether it's our phones, our computers, or our TVs, screens are everywhere. It really is a good idea to just take a break from all of the screens every once in awhile. This is especially true in the evening. The kind of light that is given off by many screens actually prevents your brain from being able to shut off and go to sleep so checking your phone right before bed is never a good idea.

    Instead just find a good book and read for twenty minutes or so. The same goes for a slow weekend afternoon. Instead of sitting in front of the TV, why not sit in the sunshine and read something instead. You really will come away feeling as though you've done more with your time than you would if you'd spend the same amount of time flicking through your various social media pages. It doesn't matter what you read, as long as it's something you enjoy. Don't feel like you have to read the classics or the bestsellers, it's your life and your free time, spend it reading something that's going to make you happy.

    Keep a diary

    Black and White Organizer Besides Red Click Pen

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    With the world moving at such a breakneck pace all of the time, it can be hard to just take a moment to stop and appreciate it all. Being able to pause and take it all in is so important and yet it's something that many of us simply aren't able to do. That's why keeping a diary is such an amazing thing to do. It allows you to take some time at the end of each day and simply reflect on things. The good, the bad, the exciting, the boring.

    You'll end each day with a better understanding of what you've done, how you spent your time, and even who you are as a person. If you want to learn to truly appreciate and understand your own life in a way that you never really thought was possible then keeping a diary is the perfect way to do just that. You don't have to write essays upon essays every day, and no one is expecting it to be some great work of literature. Just a few lines about what you did that day and how you feel about it is enough to give you a far greater understanding of your own life than you would ever think possible.

    Unless you're planning on going completely off the grid and living in the wilderness, you're never going to completely abandon all technology, and nor should you! After all the world around us has improved to no end thanks to advances in technology. People are healthier, happier, more connected, and even living longer! But there's nothing wrong with needing to do something to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life every so often, even if it is just for a moment or two.

    You Baby Me Mummy

     

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  3. Will you grow old with grace? Or have a sneaky injection here and there?

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    HELP!  I’m turning into a man!

    I have just had to pull out no less than five dark and quite thick hairs from my chin. 

    What is going on?

    Is this something that happens when you enter your 30s?

    Do you start turning into a man?

    If I leave them, will a beard grow?  I’m tempted to see, but then again I’m not that tempted.

    HELP! I’m turning into a man!
    Ok, not quite, but maybe when I'm in my 40s?!

    Why won’t they just stop growing?  I realise now this must be why women have chin waxes.  I’m sure I’ve seen a chin wax on a list at a beauty salon before.

    I’m freaking out.  Tell me this is normal and not just me!

    Growing old gracefully

    Isn’t growing old funny, how we change and age and look so different.  I always thought I’d age with grace and stay natural, but now it’s beginning to happen and the lines and wrinkles are setting in, I’m seriously considering some Botox!

    I saw a comedian/journalist type lady on the recent Faces documentary thingy (which is really good to watch by the way, not just for vain people as hubby first thought) say she had a RBF.  Well, I have one too.  I’d never heard the phrase before, but it suits me to the ground.  It means Resting Bitch Face.

    Bah ha ha!

    I’m getting wrinkles in the two front vertical frown lines, just between my eyes and above my nose.  Ben always asks ‘why are you so grumpy?’

    I’M NOT – THIS IS JUST MY FACE!

    Arg.

    ‘Why are you frowning at me?’

    Do you want a divorce. . .

    When I’m deep in concentration I do frown and those lines are there.  Problem is, they now stay there even when I’m not frowning.

    So I look permanently frowny and moody.  Great!  Just the look I was going for. . frowny RBF

    I do wonder if I’ll ever go down the route of Botox or similar just in these frown lines.  I’d like a more welcoming friendly face for a few more years please!  It worries me it will go wrong though, like those people who have injections in their lips and they balloon!  I don’t fancy that look in the middle of my forehead either.

    What do you think?  Will you grow old gracefully or will you happily have procedures?

     

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  4. 2017 So Far: I CAN AND I WILL

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    Believe in yourself and good things will happen

    I don’t know if it’s luck or four years of slogging away day and night at my little business and blog, but I really feel so positive this year as things are going really well.  I do wonder if a positive outlook helps people to be successful.  I’d had a pretty crappy 2016 and I’d already decided in my head that 2017 will be a great year and a great success.

    I really believe if you put the hard work in then eventually it will pay off.  Here are some of my favourite inspirational mottos.

    success positive thinking i can i will attitude lylia rose blog make income

    1. I CAN AND I WILL

    This is my new top motto!  I couldn’t get this out of my head the other day as I was driving around the countryside mystery shopping.  It was a beautiful sunny day and I was making my own money doing what I wanted to do.  It felt great.

    I’d caught up on blog posts (for the first time in months) and felt like a change of scenery rather than sticking my head into my laptop for hours on end, as I usually do all day.  It was a beautiful sunny day, so I thought I’d check my Roamler app and Streetbees app for tasks.  There were loads so I got right to it!

    Reuben was in nursery for the morning and Bella was at school.  I managed to make £42 that morning and drive around some beautiful countryside in beautiful sunshine having a break away from the computer screen.  It was bliss.

    When I returned I’d been emailed two blog opportunities and also made £30 from some matched betting bets I’d placed in the morning.  Perfect!

    2. SHE TURNED HER CAN’TS INTO CANS AND HER DREAMS INTO PLANS

    There are so many great ways to start earning a living from home, even as a mum of two young children with a part time job.  If you put the work and dedication in you can succeed.

    I get scared this is all a bit of a dream and suddenly my self-employed income will grind to a halt, but for five months now it’s been steadily increasing and I am more determined than ever to make being my own boss a long term reality.

    3. WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY

    Thanks to the internet there is so much free help and advice out there for anyone to make the life they want.  I read as much as I can every day and soak up as much information as possible to continue to learn, grow and develop.  I’m learning new things every day.  There’s never been a better time to start following your passion.  Everything is so much more accessible nowadays.

    How is your 2017 treating you so far?  I hope it is a great success?

    You Baby Me Mummy

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  5. Imagise Review: Make teaching the time fun with a personalised photo wall clock

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    Imagise Review: Personalised Photo Gifts

    We’ve all seen custom calendars, photo mugs and personalised collage books, but have you ever seen a clock you can design yourself?  I hadn’t, until now.  You can now unleash your creative skills and order your very own custom wall clock online.  Anything is possible. 

    The team at Imagise, a digital print and design specialists company, contacted me to see if I’d like to review one of their personalised products.  Having two young children, and an absolute mountain of photos, I’m always looking for new innovative ways to display our treasured memories around the home.  Imagise offer some unique products I’ve not yet noticed anywhere else.

    imagise review personalised custom photo clock children uk lifestyle blog

    I decided to go for a clock as Bella is becoming interested in learning the time.  We have a large clock in our living room which she tries to use, but it has Roman Numerals rather than numbers.  Quite tricky when you’re learning!  A personalised photo clock with a picture of Bella and Reuben seemed the perfect solution.  Plus, I could hang it in their playroom as a fun addition to their colourful creative walls.

    Imagise also sell wrap around iPad covers, phone covers, jigsaws and even hanging photo slates.  The slates look really appealing too and perfect for gifts.  They’re another item I’ve not come across before – either rectangular or heart shaped slates with your chosen photo printed on them, but within the texture of the slate.  I never even knew printing on slate was possible.  These would make a really bespoke and thoughtful gift.

    Another great use for the clocks is for a business or blog logo.  As you can upload any design (it doesn’t have to be a photo), you can create a custom clock with your blog or business logo to hang above your desk or in your office.  How professional would this look!

    imagise review personalised custom photo clock children uk lifestyle blogge

    Ordering the clock was easy, though I do recommend watching the quick tutorial first before jumping straight in to the design screen!  I had to go back and watch it a couple of times so I could work my way around and find where the different layers were.  I uploaded my photo, added a faded white layer to the edge to make the numbers stand out more and finished it with some black numbers.  The whole process was super quick and I’d placed my order in around 5-10 minutes.

    I did wonder how the clock would look when it arrived.  Would it be plastic-y and tacky looking like some personalised products can be?  I needn’t have worried as the clock looks amazing!  It’s of very high quality and actually made from glass.  I was so impressed when I opened it.  It’s hard to tell what some personalised items will look like in real life, but these clocks are superb. 

    The children love it too.  My husband hung it on the wall last night whilst I was at work and Bella couldn’t wait to show me as soon as she was up this morning!  Even Reuben loves it, though he’s only two so points to it and says ‘cock!’

    Does anyone else get all giddy and excited when something so fab arrives in the post?  It makes me want to jump onto their website and order 100 as Christmas gifts so everyone can see how amazing they are and how adorable my children look on a clock!

    Find Imagise at www.imagise.co.uk

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