I am an emotional eater! There I said it!

When I am stressed, down, grieving or just hormonal I gauge on chocolate, cookies, pizza and ice cream, and boy is it good. But since the hell that is September (Poppy’s Anniversaries), I am trying to establish when emotional eating ceased and just general gauging began? All I know is that in recent weeks my clothes have felt more than a little snug!

You see since September I have been slowly gaining weight and when I dared get on the scales at the beginning of this year I realised I had gained just over 10lb! Thankfully since clean eating last Monday I have already lost 4lb of that and hope by the end of Feb to be in better shape than I have been in a long time.

I wish i could say I didn’t care about being 10lb heavier and that I have body confidence whatever but that is totally not true. That extra 10lb puts me over 11 stone and it makes me feel unhappy! My mum tum was so podgy and bloated that I felt I was probably deceiving people to think I could be with child again, and whilst I have had 4 kids and some stretch marks and loose skin is natural, a spare tire, over hang of belly fat, back fat and rolls under my bra strap certainly are not!

I don’t say these things lightly, but I say them to make the point that I am not happy with these areas of my body and whilst I see many people posting about body confidence and embracing what they have, I actually want to make a change, because the reason I am like this is no other than eating crap day in day out and that is not something I want to embrace!

I want to feel happier when the sunshine comes and free to wear less layers comfortably and confidently. I have always been content around the 10.5 stone mark (if not slightly under), and I have always been content as an average/medium UK12. I carry it all well with my height and look healthy but slim. This size gives me confidence and at this size my clothes fit well with no unwanted bulges. At this size I can say yes I have had 4 kids and look… I’m still the same size as when I got married and the same size as I was in my early 20’s.

But its not just about size for me. Yes this is one reason I want to lose at least 10lbs, but it’s also a lot about Self control! I realise I eat too much refined sugar and general rubbishy foods and whilst I want to not cut out treats all together, I do want to have greater balance and self control at what I am putting in my body. And so self control and curbing cravings is just as much of a motivation to eat better as well as shedding lbs to look better and feel better about myself.

Clean eating 

Clean eating refers to eating foods in their most natural state and cutting out carbs where possible, as well as refined sugar, processed foods and alcohol (never an issue). It Is a lifestyle choice that really works for me once I am into it and able to rid myself of sugar cravings! I saw the benefits a few years ago when I lost all of my baby weight (and more) after Megan, just by eating more naturally!

Calorie counting on the other hand stresses me out and makes me feel anxious. I hate over thinking food and counting every morsel, I much prefer to know whats good for me, what will help my body get rid itself of stored fats, and then eat it in abundance! I did try calorie counting right at the start of the year but ended up deleting the app as it took up far too much of my thoughts and made me carry guilt for the sake of 50 blumming extra calories!

I am confident with clean eating – it isn’t a diet, its about changing your thoughts and eating habits to make good choices for plant based foods, and when I do it gives me a boost and makes me feel that I have more self control and am putting good things in to my body. I will of course still have the odd pizza now and then, or a chocolate bar because I enjoy these things. Ill even enjoy a KFC or McDonald’s every now and then too when on the road. But the truth is the more used to eating clean you become, the less you want these things anyway. And its all about remembering that to have these often, and alongside other Carb heavy (Pasta mainly) easy foods on an evening leads to being sluggish and therefore more chubby than I’d ever like to be!

So here’s what I’ve been enjoying this last week and a half that has helped me to shed 4lb already and Nathan 3.5!


I’ve always been poor with eating breakfast and go through peaks and troughs with it. I understand though that for energy and a good day I really do need to eat well right away. I also know the benefits, and so I always start the day now with a big glass of water and then eat one of the following, which are all things I love…

Poached eggs with spinach
Berries with Honey Greek yogurt
Banana and almond milk smoothie


Before I decided to commit to eating cleaner, my lunches were anything from some sneaky chips (not often) to the more usual sandwich and some crisps. Occasionally I’d have a healthy wrap, or just skip lunch altogether if I was mega busy! Most recently it was Quesadillas or tinned tomato soup – Heavy on the cheese and 2 wraps whilst delish isn’t the best!

But now I have cleaned up my act and lunch has been..

Homemade Soups (Butternut Squash, Lentil & Tomato or Parsnip)
Poached eggs and asparagus
Falafel wrap
Tuna salad
Hummus and Pitta with chopped raw veg


I’m very good with dinners and mostly always have been. I really enjoy cooking and making a hearty family meal.

It’s usually healthy and made with fresh ingredients but as I have already mentioned – pasta is a staple, and that’s been the biggest challenge! Most of the dinners I have made over the last week or so have been our family faves with a twist to make them cleaner. Its essential that you have very minimal carbs on an evening as your body doesn’t have the time like it does in the day time to burn them up!

Butternut Squash Lasgna
Red Pesto Quorn Pieces with veg cous-cous
Chicken Tikka and Mint yogurt
Bean and lentil Chilli
Coriander/Lemon Fajita Salad (The kids had it in wraps as normal)
Roast Dinner with out the mash
Gluten free Chicken pesto Pasta
Quorn Bolognese with small Jacket and salad
Quorn Bolognese with Courgetti

And Snacks 

Wholeearth Peanut butter with apple slices
Nak’d Bars

I wish I could say I’m happy whatever my size but that’s certainly not true. I don’t like that I have rolls and generally knowing I am not in my best shape. I don’t like being able to wear what I want to because it makes me self conscious or feels tight! And so I am really excited about being more trim and not needing to hide under layers, but being happy with how I look in fitted clothes and especially T-shirts!

I plan to clean eat strictly as a kick in the forth coming weeks to reach my goal and then just be sensible in my choices and eat well all week with the odd treat now and then. I will likely introduce a bit more pasta or wraps but the key is that I don’t want to be gauging any more, and that I will have way more “on” days than “off”!

I basically don’t ever want to look in the mirror and feel naff with what I see and know that it is a result of my own doing! I want to feel energised and well and I am doing this for self control and to be my best self. I don’t mind my C-section scar or faded stretch marks anymore from my 4 kiddies, but I do mind my self inflicted rolls and sluggishness, and therefore whilst I can do something and take control, I will!


Hello and Happy New Year to you all! I hope it was a good one. I am still somewhat in Christmas mode – craving lazy days and lots of chocolate, but am trying hard to get the kids out and enjoy the school break, as well as get cracking on losing that mum tum! I have, all of a sudden been frantically planning my life and wondering what this year will bring (and what I will go and get!). I have generally just being trying to get into January mode and back to normal life, whilst embracing a new year with new opportunities.

With that you may notice a few changes over here, specifically with a new header and a few other little things. There is something about this new year that has made me want to once again faff with my blog layout/design, as well as think about content and perhaps what I may want to start writing about and then change!

I have now, lots of personal goals, as well as goals for my blog, but the focus at the turn of a new year seems to have been about the family and what we hope to see, achieve and do together in 2018.

Our Hopes and goals for 2018

I have been somewhat in denial with this new year approaching, and subsequently the sudden need to make goals and plan our life. But after several days of pondering and chats in the car together, we have set some goals of things we hope to do this coming year.

Improve our home / Family life

First of all we spoke a lot of the need to improve our home both physically (hello DIY) and also with how we speak to one another.  The kids name call, we fall out sometimes, raise our voices, and get cross. Yes we are a normal family, but I always feel bad when I shout/lose my temper, and I cringe when I hear my kids being rude to one another or Nathan and I!

We want to shout less, be firmer in our discipline and help them be less lazy and rude to others! We want to do better at daily scripture reading with our kids, and help Ethan understand more about church…He turns 8 in October and will then be old enough to be baptised which we are all excited for, so we want to help him prepare for that and know what he is choosing.

Discover New things and places each month

Looking at the adventures and exploring side to life, we were rich in ideas of what we wanted to do and places we wanted to see. I guess this is where our 2018 bucket list comes in. We obviously plan stuff to do each season/holiday to make the most of that moment in time, but we often take that from a general yearly bucket list too that we have created at the beginning of the year. So for 2018 we want to:

Go to America…see our friends & family / Have an epic road trip
UK Water park
Climb a mountain
Go Glamping
Chatsworth House
Go to a Castle
Beamish Museum & Durham
The York Dungeons
London Eye / Christmas Lights
See a musical
Steam train to the coast
Norwich to see family / The Norfolk Broads
Scotland with cousins
Flamingo Land
Eden Camp
Air Museum

Take more time for the kids

I find I spend a lot of my time, when at home, cleaning, doing laundry, and cooking meals. I rarely take time to just ignore it all and play with my kids or do things together. Whilst I am good at being in the moment and taking them out, when in the home I see so many things to do that I often get on task with those and leave them to it. Talking with them in the process.

I played with them more over Christmas, building new toys and such, and had a stark reminder of what I was missing out on and what they needed more of from mummy. So yes – I really need to take more time for them and either work smarter in the home when they’re at school, or just let it go for an hour or 2!

We also want to take them each on little regular one to one dates, alternating between mum and dad. Just so we can strengthen our bonds, get to know them and their troubles and hopefully give them more. We hope it will increase respect and relationships, but more so give them confidence that we are in their corner and they can tell us anything – because we have the time to listen.

New years a such a great opportunity to reevaluate life, relationships and work, and I look forward to hopefully improving and building each of these, as well as creating some wonderful memories through some epic adventures with my loves! Let me know ideas you have to make this year great – you may have something I would love to adopt too.


I don’t know about you, but I really love this time of year of newness, ambition and a clean slate.

I love the time we have to reflect on what has been, what we have learnt. lost and achieved, and what lies ahead and what can be created. I like that we can be whoever we want to be through goals and work and that life never has to be the same, and this is really a focus for a lot of people at the beginning of a new year!
422fbe5dbfc62202c8873392664479212015 was possibly one of the lowest years of my life, and with that a very difficult season for me. It held for me months of just surviving the 1sts and ploughing on in life following the stillbirth of our daughter at the end of 2014. I had a lot of run in’s with people as I tried to make sense of everything and deal with various stages and emotions that came with grief, but I also saw the immense kindness and love of people (family, friends and strangers) as they helped our family and tried day in day out to support me in my pain!

I found being out with my children made life great, the clarity the outdoors brings helped me breathe again and see the beauties that were still there in life and the world. I felt joy and appreciation as we had adventures, fun and travels and these helped me take steps forward in my healing.
instagramcapture_4c960f9d-9b1e-4f38-a358-ab0c515fe9c1I am grateful for a new year, that whilst I still carry pain from loosing Poppy, this year I do not have to face the 1sts, because I have conquered those. I have started traditions and little things that help me remember her, keep her close and alive within our family. I look forward to this year to new memories, new adventures and new experiences.

Whilst I do not make news resolutions, I do make goals, but these are not bound to the new years.. I find evaluating my life every so often and making a plan for the foreseeable future with measurable goals helps me to feel confident and have direction. Last year I missed that in my life and felt I was very much drifting, but despite wanting to have goals my energy and mentality couldn’t take on anything other than survival!
wp_20150630_15_10_38_proI hope this year, as I say, is different though. We have some obvious goals to reach which are exciting and life changing, those being Nathan finishing university and the prospect of a new Job and home! Then We have Megan Starting school in September and a family holiday in the summer with Nathans side, which are all exciting things to work for. In addition to these family goals and milestones, I also have some personal goals to bid farewell to the old and bring in the new and a hopeful 2016 they’re not my usual lofty ones of learn a new language, instrument and who knows what else, but they are things that will stretch me and help me in my new normal and loves:

– Continue to grow my blog, work with brands and raise awareness of loss and Trisomy 18, both via my blog and other ways
– Become a SANDS befriender and help on their committee
– Improve my photography and invest in a camera – It brings me more joy than I ever realised
– Start my own book! Its about loss that’s all I am saying, but not what your might expect!
– Read more and watch less – I bought some books recently and really want to get into them!
– Use my phone less when with my kids – make the moments count
– Visit a new country (one I have every year)
– Look at having a number 4 baby (Did I just write that?) and hope its not 4,5 & 6!!!

And that’s about it, take each day as it comes but always try and make it better, find joy in life and be grateful, and finally look after myself… if I need a rest, a break, a cry, a chocolate bar… im doing it guilt free!! I still battle grief and so time outs are needed. I also have small character things and habits I am always working on, and don’t think these need to be titled “Goals” as its a working progress. The things above however are things that next year can be ticked off as “Yes I did that” just as for 2015 I can put a big fat “YES” next to “survive baby loss and its 1st year”!!
What about you? What do you hope this year will bring your way?

Run Jump Scrap!

Tomorrow Mr Smith officially starts back at university, and now with less than a year to go until he finishes his degree in “Logistics and Supply Chain Management”, our thoughts and conversation are often turned to where we will end up and what he will be doing as a “real Job”. I really cannot believe the 4 years are almost over and our ordinary will become a new one.

It has been a hard thing for both of us for many reasons, but I am also so glad that he has done it and persevered. We are grateful that we both have pulled together for the benefit of him, his goals and dreams and also for the future and benefit of our family. I have loved seeing him stretch, push himself, learn and grow and increase in skill and confidence. I love to hear him tell me things iv’e no idea about and love the way we have worked together and sacrificed in various ways to make this possible. It has definitely being the right thing, has brought us closer and blessed our marriage and lives and we hope it had been the investment we thought it would be for our family and future.
WP_20150919_12_28_57_ProHe has pretty much narrowed down now what area he wants to work in next year and for the foreseeable future. He has looked into some companies and programmes he finds exciting, offer a good salary and can open for him the doors he seeks. He is in work mode to get the marks he needs (hopefully the 1st he is on track for but a 2:1 will do), has a plan and deadlines calendar, a good work placement reference behind him and that is pretty much it and all he can do now…work hard and hope for the best. Ahhhhhhhhh!

I worry a lot about  who will want him? like him? see his potential? Will they think he’s too old? shy? can offer them what they need? There are so many things in the balance like what if he finds the dream job and he doesn’t fit the mould? or What if he doesn’t find/get anything and its been a waste of time? What if next year rolls round and were flipping skint instead of climbing the ladder?? Its so much to think about when our Ordinary for the last 3 years has been this student life of a tight budget, crazy schedules and always planning and evaluating of what our future will look like and now we are on the verge of the unknown and taking a step into the dark not knowing what is next to be written as our story.

I have been very aware over these “my husband is a student” years that it is not reality or a realistic way to live, but rather a stepping stone chapter to where we want to be. Right now life means there are days when he or I sleep in and don’t do a whole lot, I like it but know it can’t last forever and never does, because then there are the the ones where I never see him because of revision, deadlines, lectures and studying and for weeks at a time we are like passing ships. We both feel that as this chapter closes real life will and can begin, our finances will be healthier and schedules more realistic. We just really hope that it actually pans out that way.
WP_20150925_12_56_39_ProThis home we have, whilst lovely, to us was only ever intended to be a stepping stone too to see us through the student period, and so now as change approaches I like to think of the many places I wouldn’t mind living. We spend hours together on ‘right move’ dreaming of where we might end up living once he graduates. We talk about what is essential for our next home (a hallway, dining room, driveway) and what we can compromise on. Its such an ordinary scene of us sat together, him on his Ipad me on my laptop, having these repeated discussions and getting  giddy or going nuts when we see an amazing house that we could see ourselves in with an affordable price tag. Its also ordinary to then follow it up with “ahhhh if only it was next year”!!
WP_20150810_10_11_06_ProIv’e never really had a dream location of where I would like to be long term as I get bored easily and enjoy new adventures in my life. I do often dream of this dreamy looking family lifestyle with amazing scenery (coastal or country) and a slower pace of life. Somewhere where people are more aware of others and make time to say “hello”. I always think I’d like for us to be somewhere where we can be outside and enjoy the world and nature. Somewhere that definitely doesn’t remind me of loosing my baby and having such a difficult year…a place with a new vibe and energy and more space for everything and room to grow.

As I write this though I have to say that I also love the ease of access into Cities…the diversity, endless amount of stuff to do, wide selection of shops and culture right on our doorstep. Throw in then to the mix that we have frequently discussed possibly some time abroad to see the world and experience life in another country and it culture and you pretty much have our ordinary nights of being absolutely clueless of where our next adventure and chapter lies and what our lifestyle will be. To me though that right there is the exciting part – that we are both on the same page with being open to living literally anywhere in the world as a little family, supporting one another in our goals and dreams and having a new adventure together. We know that we will work out the specifics and requirements when the time comes and things are clearer, but we have fun now imagining ‘what if’…

So now as we continue to work hard together for our families future we are moving further forward in the direction that we dream of – a new Job in possibly a new location, definitely a new home and the start of a new chapter with a lot more adventures and learning opportunities for all. This year will be the most intense yet for his career path, but we will make the most of the random days and afternoons we get together and continue to pull together and sacrifice when he needs more time for revision and deadlines. We are ready for it and can do it because it is our ordinary and we know that it is the key to our future and passage to fulfilling our dreams.