A couple of weeks ago, whilst shopping for vests and tights for the kids in Primark, I picked up 2 new slogan tees for myself. For the Bargainous price of £2.50 each it was a right deal! I love a good slogan tee to make a statement and you can’t go wrong with a price tag of £2.50.

I am quite a casual person overall and though I love my accessories and a bit of bling and sparkle, day to day I like to be chilled for busy mum life, school runs and who knows what! Slogan tees to me are a wardrobe staple – especially in warmer weather, but work well too with a chunky cardi during Autumn and Winter too. I wear them with with everything, from all of my jeans to denim shorts, patterned trousers and even with skirts for a more fun and casual approach! Paired with either sandals, boots, trainers or pumps, they are both a stylish and yet practical look for mums on the go and I love that I have 2 new additions to work with, without costing the earth!

I went for the grey “I’m not listening” which made me laugh (and also wish I could get matching ones for the kids – sums them up to a “T” ha). I also loved this yellow one which said “Good Vibes” – so true! It’s a great colour to go with all sorts, and will be nice and bright on sunny days. I am wearing the grey one right now with my funky animal print culottes (New look Sale) and reduced H&M tassel earrings (£3) – paired with my Nike trainers I feel fab, comfy and stylish (and a little smug that it’s all sale stuff paired with a £2.50 Tee).

One of the best thing about slogan tees is you can also wear them with leggings and joggers when lounging about or exercising (not my forte), or (something I am more comfortable with) for bed with Pj bottoms when you get bored of them! To me I love them because they are comfy and bring a bit of attitude to your outfit and day. For only £2.50 you need to get some – make a statement with a new slogan Tee from Primarni – so versatile and chill!

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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!

Breakfast

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
Porridge
Berries with Honey Greek yogurt
Banana and almond milk smoothie

Lunch 

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

Dinner

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
Smoothies
Nak’d Bars
Banana

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!

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I was recently sent a Miraclesuit swimming costume to try out and review (uses unique fabric Miratex and extra life Lycra to keep you firmly in control and looking good apparently) and have been waiting for our annual “get the wetsuits on and go cliff jumping/beach day trip” to really put it through its paces.  However as you are more than aware the weather here in the UK has been absolutely PANTS and so the plug was pulled on that one and a trip to the local pool yesterday sufficed.
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I have never been an all in one swimsuit kinda girl. I am an average 12 (US 8 – always loved that) and have found all in ones to never fit right. They rarely keep me up and in and generally make me look rough! I also choose to dress modestly and this runs over into my swimwear choices and so bikinis are out of the question too. Then since having kids and the good old pooch/baby bulge it means that tankini’s and the risk of “overhang” is certainly out of the question and so other than a wetsuit I am left wondering how I can look a yummy mummy and beach babe – I know its a tough task!

With all of these little requirements it has been hard to find something that is flattering, modest, comfortable and fun, and back in June it became a complete night mare to get something in time for going to Italy. In the end I settled for a black all in one from Asda, which I hoped the black hid stuff I wanted to hide and the ties made it suitable for sun bathing, however it wasn’t anywhere near as supportive as I would have hoped and I spent A LOT of time tugging and hoisting and being aware of my baby bulge! With this “Miraclesuit” swimsuit however, there was no tugging and hoisting. I put it on…got in the pool…went nuts with the kids and was contained and felt amazing, I haven’t lost any more than a couple of pounds since Italy but I looked to have less of a bulge and less rolls and loved how covered up I was too!!!
suit comparison Ill be honest, when I first saw this swimsuit I thought “Grandma” as  the print is certainly more floral than what I would have naturally chosen, but looks can certainly be deceiving and Nath LOVES it and I actually grew fond of the vibrant colours as the morning went on (even if the pattern wouldn’t have been something I wouldn’t have gone for naturally) the bright blues and greens worked well against my hair and skin tones and I felt quite funky!

Once on I was amazed that I actually looked a bit of a babe – I loved how supported I felt and how modest it was too – no cleavage, no high leg and enough back showing to feel confident and potential tan, (if, like I said we had been on the beach)! As an added bonus I have since seen a nice leopard print number they do and crazy “wave runner” id love too.. supported and animal print? I never thought it possible!! I know what I want to invest in for next summer.
WP_20150904_11_04_26_Pro I loved wearing this swimsuit… I most definitely felt more streamline, looked good and I was amazed at how good my figure looked on the whole. Im not big but I felt slimmer and whilst I am pretty confident in swimwear anyway,  this took away all of the little niggles of:
“Is my bust supported or on show?”
“Do I have muffin tops?”
“Is my back fat obvious?” 

“Can you see my baby bulge?”
To which I would have to answer yes I was supported and no they were not on show. There was no indication of any type of muffin top and back fat was out of the question (which I am still trying to figure out how that one happened). And finally (my fave) you could NOT see my baby bulger…3 kids and my stomach for once in a very long time was flat!
WP_20150904_12_20_09_Pro
WP_20150904_11_04_21_Pro            And best of all when I sat down.. NO FAT ROLLS! Miracle suit? YES…I’d say so.
As I have already said I have my eye on a couple I would like to invest in for next summer and if yesterday was anything to go by they will be long lasting, comfortable and make me look the yummy mummy I hope to by the pool and on the beach! For now this one is amazing and will brighten these gloomy Autumn swimming sessions!
Check them out…there really is something for everyone of all ages.

Disclaimer – The Miraclesuit swimming costume was sent to me free in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. If you would like to see other options in the range please visit www.patricia-eve.co.uk

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I have a couple of things in my wardrobe that aren’t maternity wear, but that I wore last summer whilst pregnant. One is a cream lace dress from Topshop that Nath bought me for my birthday a couple of years ago which I can’t part with… I wore it a lot over jeans whilst preggers and just love it, and again over Christmas this year whilst I still had some chub – its a bit big but I really like it.

I was 7 months pregnant here!

I was 7 months pregnant here!

The other is my most fave summer top that again Nath bought me (he’s doing well), but this is far more special as it was in Mexico on our honeymoon and I absolutely love it – its gorgeous to look at, cool to wear and a reminder of a wonderful trip with my new husband. I remember the funny stories of how we came to buy it and the drama of the rabies looking dog that chased him in the process. I love to see the little old lady in my mind that made it each time I admire the stitching, its lovely and I have worn it regularly without fail, EVERY summer since 2009 and always get complimented on it too – Bonus!
WP_20150827_15_43_45_ProThere’s only one  problem now though with my favourite top, and that is that whilst it holds such happy reminders and memories, it also now has painful ones too. Because of the shape of it, and because my bump housed such a teeny baby,  I wore it a lot whilst pregnant last summer. I loved wearing it and loved that it still fitted… I never connected that it fitted still (along with my cream dress and some other things too) because there was a serious problem and she wasn’t growing very much.
1234366_10152350139271553_6603483517022976178_nI wore it for the first time since being pregnant, just yesterday and it felt weird. I have wanted to wear it all summer, but have been avoiding wearing it because the joy I felt in it whilst pregnant was so fresh. I have sent a lot of stuff to charity that hold reminders, but I  can never part with my Mexico top…its too beautiful and sentimental.  I accept that for a while it stings a little when I wear it and remember not only how fun it was in Mexico with Nath but also how I felt last year in it. How radiantly pregnant I was. How excited we were….but whilst that side of it hurts, there is another side to that of last year that comes to mind that I put up next to my mexico memories and that is that as I wear it a year on I also remember a very special lady that touched our lives.
WP_20150827_17_02_43_ProI know I will spend so many more summers rocking this and making far more memories in it in the future and then when its too tatty to wear Ill frame it or something. But through thick and thin this top is mine.  The sad memories won’t stop it being my favourite thing to wear in the summer and the good memories will always make it a very special piece!

Do you have a special item in your closet that you could never part with? 

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