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My February Goals

monthly goals

My February Goals

Ok we’ve got through January, it’s noticeably lighter and spring is on it’s way!  January surprisingly didn’t drag as much for me as normal.  Ok so I still had no money, other friends were feeling the pinch so no socialising to get rid of the January blues.  Setting my own January Goals helped me to focus on things and be more pro-active about getting things done instead of mopping around the house.  I consciously made a plan and effort to achieve each of the goals that I set, 10 in total.  Some were easy, some were harder and took a while to complete.  It’s given me the motivation to carry on setting monthly goals and see what I’ve managed to achieved at the end of the year.

New month, new monthly goals. Getting things done one small step at a time #blogshare Click To Tweet

So here are my new monthly goals:

  1. New Fitness Challenge for the month – Abs and Squats Challenge
  2. Repost one of my very first workouts (ideal for a beginner), I’ve got loads so why not share?
  3. Freezer Meal Prep Session – check out these ideas that you can through into your Slow Cooker from livingrichwithcoupons.com and more ideas from smartschoolhouse.com
  4. Put together a meal plan for my children’s suppers and use it! I’m using a printable meal planner from shesaved.com found on Pinterest.
  5. Re-think my fitness goals and put a new plan of action in place
  6. Organise a cinema trip with my daughter and a couple of her mates to see ‘Sing!’
  7. De-clutter the Living Room (phase 2 of my whole house de-clutter)
  8. Go Sugar free for February, read this infographic if it all looks a little daunting!
  9. Revamp some of the images on my Busyfitmama blog
  10. Create a Photo Gallery for my Kitchen

Looking back to the goals I set for January (read my blog post My January Goals) I’ve noticed that they generally focus on fitness, health, blogging, family and my messy house!  I suppose it’s what I’m all about but here’s to hoping the messy house will be a goal I achieve sooner rather than later!

Do you set goals each month?  What are your February Goals?

My January Goals

january goals

My January Goals

 

Welcome to 2017!  A brand spanking, new year!  No more resolutions, instead I’m going to concentrate on monthly goal setting.  It might give the opportunity to focus instead of just feeling overwhelmed by what needs doing or what I would like to achieve.  My January goals are a mixture of blogging, fitness and home life  So let’s just see how it goes!

Setting monthly goals gives a clearer focus, helping you create a more manageable plan to help achieve them. Click To Tweet
  1. Post a new Gym Workout on my Blog
  2. January Press Up Challenge; 30 a day
  3. Completely de-clutter, deep clean my kitchen – boy it needs it!
  4. Get back into a proper sleep routine; if you too are struggling check out this useful Infographic
  5. Put a new Workout Music Playlist for the Gym; need inspiration checkout my Pinterest Workout Playlist Board
  6. Begin to look at re-designing my blog; staring with the theme so back to WordPress for some inspiration!
  7. Re-vamp, update and repost one of my older blog posts
  8. Get outdoors and take some photos
  9. Set aside a day to do some baking with my daughter
  10. Add a new healthy dish to my children’s meal plan; such as these Salmon and Sweet Potato Fishcakes (Charlottes Lively Kitchen) or One-Pan Pesto Chicken & Veggies (Julia’s Album)

What are your goals for January?

My daughter’s Second Blog Post

Imogen Online

My Daughter’s Second Blog Post

Ok, so it’s been a while but life’s busy when you are 10!  Anywhoo, my daughter decided to post a Pizza Pinwheel recipe on her blog today.  My contribution apart from taking pics was of course the washing up.  Still it was nice to see her doing something she loved, being creative and away the ipad for a whole Saturday afternoon.

So from Imogen Online,  enjoy the second installment; Easy n Cheesy Pizza Pinwheels Recipe.  Easy to make, better to share!

blog post

Second blog post and recipe from my daughter; Easy N Cheesy Pizza Pinwheels. Yum! Click To Tweet

My Enforced Digital Detox

Detox

My Enforced Digital Detox

Just back from my holidays.  10 days in Cornwall; ok not very glamourous but I love it there.  Beautiful beaches, incredible surf, a slower pace of life, picturesque fishing harbours, Cornish pasties, cream teas, BBQ’s at the beach; the list goes on!   Did I mention there was virtually NO mobile reception?

It’s weird.  There was I  looking forward to 10 days of chilling, family time and just getting away from the hum drum of life when I suddenly got cold sweats as I watched the last bar of my mobile signal disappear as I was greeted by the ‘Welcome to Cornwall’ sign.

No mobile reception, no Wi-Fi, no emails, no social media.  Surely this should have been liberating?  The kids were not better either.  The minute we got to the campsite, my eldest asked what the Wi-Fi password was.

So how did we cope?

Ok, admittedly, I was able to get a signal when we drove 15 miles to the nearest town where I did manage to get a digital binge, but we only did that a couple of times.  We did cope.  We did manage to suppress our irrational FOMO panics.  Without our heads buried in a screen we were all able to enjoy what was going on around us, enjoyed being silly together, slowed down, chilled out.  What I did notice is that the kids adapted to being off-grid quicker than I did.  Even without the distractions of surfing and  body-boarding, they were out playing, kicking a football around, playing tag, making new friends on the camp-site.  I took to reading more and just enjoying my surroundings, focusing on the now and not fretting on what I was missing out on at home.  I enjoyed the conversations I had with my kids, enjoyed listening to their slant on things, enjoyed their sense of humour.  My eldest son took to reading the newspaper and all 3 kids got the hang of Sudoku.

Setting a good example

Back home, we have digitally ‘re-toxed’ but maybe I am now more aware of what a pointless distraction and drain on my time being constantly glued to my phone or tablet can at times be.  I’m also aware that I am just as much to blame when it comes to influencing my children’s digital habits as are their peers.  In the past I’ve joked that my iPad is my virtual Childminder; it’s faithfully kept the kids occupied so that I can get on with things or allow me to have a cuppa without interruption.

Yes I do have a ban all digital devices at mealtimes, a bedside ban and that they are switched off an hour before bed (including me).  But I think as a parent I should be more aware of my actions; if I’m constantly looking at a screen my kids will think that is perfectly acceptable behaviour.

My digital detox has made me aware of how much I influence my children's own digital habits. #parenting Click To Tweet

Should we switch off and do something more worthwhile instead?

I know I am not the only one that is guilty of becoming addicted and obsessive with technology and our mobile devices.  Now it seems that more and more people are making a conscious effort to disconnect.  A recent report published by Ofcom claimed that 15 million internet users have voluntarily undertaken a ‘digital detox’ from technology in order to ‘strike a healthier balance between technology and life beyond the screen’

Yes of course there is great value in using digital technology, mobile devices and being able to connect digitally; they help us do our jobs, simplify our lives and help us connect with others that we perhaps wouldn’t be able to so it’s not all bad.  But perhaps maybe we should enjoy focusing on the now; live in that moment and appreciate what is going on around us?  Enjoy that walk through the park on a Sunday morning without having the need to check work emails?

Step away from that Smart Phone!

So don’t you think we all need to switch off sometimes?  Step away from the Smart Phone, put down the tablet or maybe try and resist the nagging urge to check social media for the squillionth time just in case we have a friend request or the comment about what you had for lunch has received anymore likes?  Maybe maintain our friendship’s face-to-face as opposed to status-to-status?  Shouldn’t we all just try and get over this fear of missing out and maybe just enjoying focusing on the now and enriching our own lives rather than coveting the edited lifestyle of others via Social Media?

I bumped into a really good mate today at the Gym; I was leaving as she was on her way to a metafit class.  I hadn’t seen her properly for ages.  Let’s meet up?  What have you been up to?  Nowadays we all seem to know what’s been going on in our friends lives without us actually seeing them in the flesh.  After being off-grid I honestly didn’t know what my friend had been up to for the last few weeks.  So we arranged to catch up over drinks next week, now isn’t that novel?

Have you ever forced yourself to take a digital detox?  If you have kids do you set boundaries when it comes to digital devices in the home?

Detox

Get your legs summer ready

Summer

Get your Legs Summer Ready

Today was probably the first decent day weather wise that we have had up in Newcastle upon Tyne.  It doesn’t happen very much up north if you consider the amount of times I hear warnings of a mini heat wave happening down in the South East of England. Believe me when it happens where I live you really do make the most of it. So there was only one thing for it.  I put my shorts on.  Ok so I’ve sat in my garden most of the day and haven’t inflicted my legs on the unsuspecting public just yet.  But still it’s been nice to strip some layers off and finally get in the mood for summer.

So if you, like me wince at the thought of getting your legs out in public here are some tips for getting your legs summer ready.

If the thought of wearing shorts fills you with dread some tricks and prep will get your legs summer ready! Click To Tweet

Get rid of the Fuzz

The colder weather is great because you can get away with not de-fuzzing the pins for ages; it’s great! But there comes a time to get rid of the fuzz, you can’t conceal it any more.  Whatever method you choose; whether shaving, waxing, using hair-removal creams or something more permanent like electrolysis or laser hair removal get back in the habit.  Treat your pin’s to a scrub and apply some ‘fancy schmancy’ moisturiser.  At the moment, I love The Body Shop’s Body Butter Range, however an all time favourite of mine is Johnson’s Baby Oil, applied on wet skin straight after a shower.

Fake it

Yep if you feel that the world isn’t quite ready for the glare given off by your sun starved pins then a little bit of fake tan is in order. Either get it done at a beauty salon or use many of the readily available lotions that you apply yourself.  I personally like the moisturisers that also contain a tanning agent so you can build up the colour gradually; my favourites are Palmers Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze Gradual Tanning Moisturiser and Dove Derma Summer Revived Body Lotion.  Last summer I also discovered St Tropez Gradual Tan in Shower Lotion.

When you do feel brave enough to wander round in a pair of shorts please make sure you always wear sun screen. Burning is no fun and legs are a common body area to develop skin cancer; it’s simply not worth the risk.  Slather on the SPF!

Cellulite

I can go into why women are prone to cellulite but it’s not really going to change the fact that us ladies are prone to it. It can also be genetic so not purely a reflection of your lifestyle. It’s tough to shift (if that’s possible) and you can suffer from it no matter what age and how greater a shape you are in.  But there are things you can do to minimise it’s appearance.  Tone up, interval ‘fat burning’ cardio, drinking more water, eater a healthier diet and getting more sleep can help.  There are firming lotions available to buy but I’ve never tried them.  Also disguise those really cellulite areas with what you wear, floaty layers, slightly longer shorts.  Remember 90% of women have cellulite so if you are not alone if you do suffer from it!

Tone up

 OK I always think that if you are wanting to get in shape it’s best to exercise your full body but if you want to concentrate on your legs these are the following exercises I tend to focus on when I am training my legs.  With any exercises it can take time to see results but if you keep at it you will start to notice a difference particularly if you are incorporating cardio into you exercise plan as well.  The exercises I’ve listed below will target the leg muscles (and bum which is always a bonus) and can be performed at home as bodyweight exercises.  With the exception of the Box Steps and Side Step Ups no additional equipment is required.

Squats – target Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Calves

Hip Thrusts/ Glute Bridge Raises – target Glutes, Hamstrings

Alternating Lunges – target Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings

Side Lunges – target Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads

Walking Lunges – targets Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings

Wall Sits – targets Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings

Box Step Ups – targets Quads, Hamstrings

Side Step Ups – targets Quads, Hamstrings

Calf Raises – targets Calf Muscles

Check out My At Home Bodyweight Leg Workout

Perhaps aim to perform a leg workout out a couple of times a week and alternate with cardio or do the cardio before your leg exercises. The leg exercises will tone you up and the cardio (think intervals) will burn fat.

For more Leg Workout ideas check out Pinterest.

Whether you are happy or not with your legs, it’s always a brave step getting those legs out for the first time in the summer. There’s still time to get those legs summer ready, so what are you waiting for?

How do you get your legs summer ready?

My Top Ten Gym Bag Essentials

Gym Bag

My Top Ten Gym Bag Essentials

In previous blogs I’ve advocated that it’s all about thinking ahead, being prepared and having a plan when it comes to incorporating training into your lifestyle. Along with always having my workout outfit always sorted the night before I may sure that my Gym bag is packed and has the essentials I need to make the most out of my Gym workout.

Not sure what to take? Have a look at my Top Ten Gym Bag Essentials

 

Water Bottle – Fill up at the gym or at home and leave in the fridge overnight. Plus after a workout you need to re-hydrate.water bottle

Deodorant – Quick squirt before and after. You don’t want to be referred to as the ‘One’ by others in the gym and let’s face it we can all get a bit pongy!

Hairbrush – Keep a spare one in your bag, I use a compact one that you can fold.Hairbrush

Hair ties/ Bobbles – nothing worse than when you forget to bring one? I tend to tie them around the handle of the spare hairbrush that I keep in my Gym Bag.

Make-up/face Wipes – I don’t always have time to shower at the gym and as I live close-by I tend to get back home and shower before going to work or after work! I use wipes for a quick freshen up post workout.  If I’ve dashed straight from work they are essential in taking off my mascara before it has the chance to stream down my face mid-workout!  Not a great look!

Gym Towel – You will need one to wipe down equipment so make sure it’s small, compact and lightweight.

Headphones – I also keep an mp3 player in my bag which I charge weekly and update the play lists (when I remember). But if you don’t have a spare mp3 player/iPod to keep in your gym bag having headphones means you can always plug them into your phone.headphones

Spare Clothes – knickers, socks, maybe a spare t-shirt. I don’t pack much as generally I dash home straight after.  But nothing worse than having a sweaty bum post work-out.  Yuk!

Combination Padlock/Key – Most Gyms will have lockers, I bought an inexpensive lock specifically for the lockers at my local gym so no need to take it out of my gym bag unless I’m actually there working out!

Healthy Post Workout Snack – for a post workout snack make sure its protein rich, healthy but with an element of carbs; you need to re-fuel and repair those muscles. My favourite snacks to pack in my gym bag include protein bars, tubs of mixed nuts and dried fruit, a protein shake or smoothie, humus and carrot sticks, apples and peanut butter.healthy post workout snack

Of course the list could go on, especially if you need to go straight to work after a gym session. I will put that in a separate blog post.

My gym bag essentials help ensure I'm prepared so there's no excuse for not working out! Click To Tweet

So what are your Gym bag essentials? The above are essentials that make my Gym visits a much better experience, what are yours?

My top tips and advice for a first family ski holiday

First Ski Holiday

Family Ski holiday – tips and advice for your first time skiing with your family ski

Christmas 2015 saw my family and I embark on our first ski holiday! Although the rest of the family had skied it was the first time for me.   We booked with Crystal Ski Holidays and went to Les Deux Alpes, France.  Ive put this blog together in case you are about to embark first family ski trip.  There is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into this type of holiday especially if you have not skied before so to take some of the mystery out of it I have put together my top tips and advice for a first family ski holiday.  Prior to prepping and planning I did find this somewhat of a daunting task and not as straightforward as our holiday in Cornwall last summer.

family ski holiday

This list of tips include what I packed, was advised to take and in hindsight what I should have taken.

Read more

Time to start blogging

blogging

Here we go! Time to start blogging

Ok so this is my first blog ever

Scary stuff but here goes!  I’ve been told by a fellow blogger friend that you look back at your first blog and cringe.  I suppose it’s like that ‘bang on trend’ haircut/style/colour you had back in the day and now your toes literally curl when you look back at photos of you with said haircut/style/colour (mine was a perm).  So I need to post something in order to get said opportunity to cringe at it.

 

I’ve always wanted to blog but have felt that I can only do this when I feel that I something worth saying and about something I feel deeply passionate about.  Think it’s always been a question of what to blog about.  Then it came to me recently that perhaps I should write about my passion for Read more

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