2014 Goals a review

Every Year I set some goals ready for the year ahead. 
My 2014 list was rather small as I wanted my goals to be achievable. 

But did I stick to any of them? 

Here are the goals I set myself : 

- Find a Job 
- Get to my target weight by April if possible
- Be more organised
- Read more often like I use to
- Bake more 
- Keep Comping
- Be more positive 
- Continue to blog 

Find a job
I got myself a little ad hoc job working in a little shop in town which I love. 

Get to my target weight by April
This didn't happen as I was 1 stone 3lb away from target when I found out I was pregnant. 

Be more organised
In a way this has happened but I could do so much better

Read more often
Yes I have read a lot more books in 2014 than I did in 2013

Bake more
This just hasn't happened

Be more positive
I think I have been but it still needs more work on. 

and last of all

Continue to blog
Yes i defintly have done this and my blog has come so far this year and I hope
2015 is even more better for me blog wise. 

2014 in review

January
January was a rather quiet month for us. 
I went back to SW after Christmas with a gain but not a massive one and 
was concentrating a lot on trying to get to my target weight.


February
The 4th was our second anniversary so on the 3rd we went out for a meal 
at Jimmy's world bar and grill and did some shopping spending vouchers I had received at Christmas.

There was of course Valentines day which we gave each other small gifts and just enjoyed time with 
each other with a meal at home. 

I also got my job working in Reasons to be cheerful on an ad hoc basis. 

March

I got my 6 stone award at Slimming World meaning I only had 1 stone 3lb to get to target. 

There was mothers day at the end of the month where we cooked a meal for my mother in law the day before
and then went over to my mum's on the actual day to spend some time together. 


April

The month on which we had a lot going on 
First of all was the trip to the Gu Kitchen on the 4th in London where I got to meet Fred the chief and
was shown how they made up my pudding idea. 
For those that don't know I came up with the idea for the White Chocolate and Raspberry flavor pud 
that you may have seen on the shelves this year. 
You can read about the visit to the factory here.


As part of my prize I also got to spend the night away in a fab hotel called the Westbridge 
you can read my post about the hotel here and also about the food here.  



We also decided to make the most of our time in London by going to see a range of attractions. 
During the first night we went to Ripley's believe it or not. 
The next day we went to the sea life center and also to the science museum you can read more about it here




Also during April I found out I was expecting Blake after being ill for a good week or so I did 
a test which came back positive. 



May

The beginning of the month saw us go to Wales for the weekend to see my Mum's friend Claire
and her family. It was Claire's daughter Sam's 18th Birthday party so we went there had a fab time.
It was lovely to see Claire again as it had been 7 years since I had seen her and she got to meet Stuart. 

We also had a fab Mexican meal at Chimichanga in Milton Keynes which can read all about here.

June

On the 9th of June we had our first scan we loved seeing Blake moving around loads
and was such a relief to know all was fine. 

On the 17th it was my 24th birthday and my day was made more special by 
having a 2nd scan in the evening as Blake was a wiggle bum in the first scan meaning that 
they were unable to do the measurements needed. 


July
We got to have a lovely meal out at our local pizza express to review which was lovely
you can read my review here.



We also had our anomaly scan at the end of July it was lovely to see
Blake again but was strange knowing it would be the last time we saw him before he
was here with us. 

August

August saw us move to a 2 bedroom flat so that we had more space and a room for Blake. 


Followed by a holiday to the New Forrest with family for a caravan weekend. 


September

Stuart turned 29 on the 7th and we had a bbq over at his mum's chocolate cake was included. 




October
Another quiet month but I decided to get into the Halloween spirit by doing 
my make up like a Zombie thanks to Asda. 

November
We got the cot for Blake's room and all his other bits and bobs set up. 
Blake's travel system also arrived so we got to have a play with that. 
We also had our antenatal classes where one women's waters broke in our first class.



December
Blake Philip Miles was born on 16th December at 12:16 am.
We had Blake's first Christmas 
and now the new year is upon us! 



December Degustabox

Christmas came early with Degustabox this year! 
I was in hospital with Blake and Stuart when mine arrived so one of our neighbors took it 
in for me. 

For those of you not familiar with Degustabox they are a food box subscription service and 
every month they select and send out an exciting range of new and limited edition products from
a range of fab foodie brands.

The box has 9 treats for December inside. 



I'll start off with Pukka Herbs which is natures finest fairly traded 
green tea. 
Let the herbs dance in your cup for awhile to release a zing of lemons and freshness of dandelion root.
We are not really fans of green tea in our house so this will be passed on to someone who does. 

Next up we have Eisburg alcohol free wine which I am looking forward to drinking on New Year's Eve to celebrate the start of 2015. 
This alcohol free wine is made the same as the wine you love but with the alcohol removed. 
Available in Chardonnay, Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. 
This sparking alcohol free wine is also a third of the calories from your usual wine. 

Gloworm is up next which is an ingeniously different first of it's kind premium mixer. 
spesfically blended to compliment a selection of spirits. 
The unique formula is sugar  and taurine free.
Gloworm is available in 4 flavors: 
- Raspberry and Orris for vodka
- Cucumber and Apple for Gin
- Pear, spice and lime for rum
and
- Ginger and Lemon for Bourbon.

Pukka Herbs £2.39
Eisburg £3.49
Gloworm £1.50 
The Frylight Infuse Garlic is one item I had wanted to try for awhile 
since it was mentioned by people from Slimming world for making your own 
garlic bread and other slimming world friendly meals. 
The Frylight infuse Garlic does away with the need of poured oil and the need of peeling and crushing of garlic.
It's perfect for adding flavor to all sorts of pan fried and roasted for food at the touch of a button.

Popchips is an item I have tried before! They are never fried or baked but popped with heat and pressure 
to make a natural and delicious crisp's. 
The crisp's are full of flavor and less than half the fat of fried crisp's.
There are less than 100 calories per 25g serving too.

Kent's Kitchen have also appeared again with their meal kits which are a 1, 2, 3 step to an authentic delicious meal in just 20 mins.
Use the three clever pots and add a few fresh ingredients to create a restaurant quality meal.  
Ideal for keeping in your store cupboard for when you need some inspiration. 

Frylight Infuse Garlic £2
Popchips £1.79 (sharing bag)
Kent's Kitchen meal kit £2.50
The Chia Co oats and chia are wholegrain oats and chia blended with the finest quality fruits and coconut oil.
These just add water oats deliver a smooth and creamy texture without dairy. 
Chia seeds offer the highest combined plant sauce of omega-3, fibre and protein and is packed
full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Bonne Maman coarse orange marmalade is fresh and zingy and made with thick shred orange peels for more character. 
Spread on toast to let the full flavor of oranges fill your mouth or use it as an ingredient that will make a difference in your savory and sweet recipes.  

Last of all is the Bahlsen Choco Leibniz finest milk chocolate wrapped around an original butter biscuit or oozing with caramel. 
with more chocolate than biscuit its fresh and crisp when you bite it, but so chocolaty when you taste it!



The Chia Co Oats and Chia £1.70
Bonne Maman £2.30
Bahlsen Choco Leibniz £1.79
With regards to this months box I was disappointed with the contents not being Christmassy but overall 
the items in the box are a great combination. 

This month you can get £3 off the Degustabox when quoting the following code: 
W6EWF

Blake's Birth Story

I have decided to share with you the story of Blake's birth, although a more edited version for my 
blog on the basis I want to keep some things private after all. 

I had been having pains from time to time from the 4th of December and when I spoke to my midwife about
it she told me there was a chance I could be in pre-labour. 
A week later and still no baby; I just thought that it must have been strong braxton-hicks rather than pre-labour. 

On Sunday 14th of December my mum had come over with my sister and helped to put up the Christmas tree and to see how I was doing. We were joking that now the Christmas tree was up maybe baby would come! 
 We had also been over at Stuart's mum's for a dinner later that day and after I had eaten
I felt the pain a bit again and asked Stuart if he minded us leaving as I felt rather uncomfortable
and wanted to be in my own home. 
We had even joked about the bumps in the road bringing on my labour as we were dropped off back to the flat. 

Once home I just relaxed, read a book and then headed for bed about 11pm. 
At approx 1:30am on Monday 15th of December I woke up for the 2nd time in the night to go to the toilet.
I just made it in time to the bathroom before my waters broke. 
At the time I was unsure if it was my waters but I kept dripping so assuming it was 
we rang the delivery suite who told us to come in straight away. 

On arrival we were shown to a room and I was allowed to go to the toilet to sort myself out and then 
I was checked over by a midwife who told me she thought baby might be distressed so they wanted to put us both on a monitor to see baby's heartbeat and if I was getting contractions and also to monitor my blood pressure. 
Luckily baby's heartbeat was fine but they decided that they wanted to induce me to get my contractions started but eventually before they had a chance my contractions had started on their own so they chose to see if my contractions would progress on their own. They kept monitoring my blood pressure though as it was higher than normal. 

At about 7am I was checked over and told that I was 2cm dilated so they would check again to see how I was progressing a little after 1pm and then if nothing had progressed I would be induced. 
It was at this point that I needed gas and air which was the only pain relief that I had planned to use. 
After lunch when I was checked over again. I was told I was still only 2cm dilated so they would be putting me 
on a hormone drip to be induced. 
Throughout the afternoon the pains gradually got worse and I was using gas and air a lot combined with 
Stuart helping me to do deep breathing so I could get through some contractions without the need of it. 
A lot of the rest of my story is a blur from then onwards as I was very tired and of course there was the effects of using gas and air so Stuart has filled me in so I can complete this story. 

At some point during the day, I'm not sure of the exact time but I was put on a saline drip to 
make sure I didn't get dehydrated. At 4pm I was checked over once more and was told I was still 2cm dilated and that they would keep putting up the dosage on the drip to make my contractions more closer together. 
I was told as the machine monitoring Blake wasn't picking up his heartbeat well as it kept coming off (I think he kept kicking it off!) so
I would need to have a monitor attached to his head. 
So once this was done I was then given the epidural. 
I can vaugely remember the epidural being done but finding that it only worked on one side of my body and 
I could still feel pain on my left side so had to continue with gas and air. 

I was checked again at 8pm where I was told I was now 9cm dilated which was a huge relief.
At some point during labor I had a temperature and my blood pressure was still high. 
Also as I suffer from absence epilepsy I had a few blank outs which in general tends to happen when I am tired anyway. By 11pm I was still 9cm dilated and exhausted so they started having discussions on what was
best for me and Blake. 

I was told that it was in mine and Blake's best interests that I had an emergency C-section. 
I signed the consent form and then preparations were made and I was sent to theatre at 11:50pm.
At 12:16am on Tuesday 16th of December Blake Philip Miles was born weighing 6lb 9 oz. 
I can remember a tugging sensation whilst they performed the C-section but still felt a tad of discomfort as
they sewed me up so had to have gas and air briefly.
Once Blake was born they took him over to see us and that's when Stuart told me that we had a lovely baby 
boy which was such a lovely moment. 

Once out of theatre I was able to show him to my mum who was my 2nd labour partner so she got to have lots of cuddles before she had to go home. Luckily for me I was told that Stuart was able to stay with us since 
I was unable to move around due to the C-section. It wasn't until later in the day when we were up in the ward 
that I was able to gradually get up and move about. 

I had to stay in hospital up until after 9pm on Thursday 18th of December which was really frustrating and
I absolutely hated it. I had to have an antibiotic drip in my hand as when my temperature went up in labour it was
apparently due to infection and then eventually was given antibiotic's in tablet form which I had to have 
for a week after leaving hospital. I also had to have daily injections to prevent blood clots after having the C-section.

What we got for Christmas

I know quite a few bloggers love to read these types of posts so I decided to share with you
this year what I, Stuart and Blake got for Christmas 2014. 

We didn't really ask for anything specific this year from people as we didn't really know what we
wanted. Plus as Blake was due so close to Christmas we were more focused on his arrival 
than on Christmas and gifts.

I'll start off with Stuart's gifts. 
- Micheal McIntyre the complete laughter box from me
- Baylis and Harding set from Blake
- Class of 92 Book and DVD from me 
- Tool set from my mum 
- Amazon Voucher from his Aunt and Uncle
- Ryan Giggs and a history of Football books from his sister as part of the round robin we do. 

He also got some items not pictured: 
- A black shirt from me 
- New Pjs from Blake 
- a cashmere scarf from his aunt and uncle 
- Some beers from a client at work 
- A bottle of prosecco and chocolate's set from work
- Money from my Nan


I also got some fab gifts: 
- Jack Monroe a year in 120 recipes book from Stuart 
- A girl called Jack recipe book from Stuart
- Russel Hobbs Mini chopper from Stuart 
- Champneys set from Stuart's Aunt and Uncle
- Polargear lunch box from Blake
- W7 In The Buff Lightly toasted eye shadow set from Stuart
- Nicky Clarke DesiRED the next generation hair straighteners from my mum. 

Not pictured: 
- Superdrug gift card from my sister
- Cath Kidston print mug from Blake
- Money from my Nan. 
- I am awaiting to see what I got from the family round robin this year.


We were also lucky to get some joint gifts: 
- Red Towel set 
- The Hairy Bikers complete Mum's know best cookbook.
 - Tin of sweet shop favorites 
These were joint presents from Stuart's Mum and her husband. 
We also got a George Foreman 5 person grill from Stuart's Dad which we needed
as our small 2 person one was heading for the bin.  


Onto Blake's gifts: 
- Baby Ocean Tummy Time Play Mat from Stuart's Aunt and Uncle
- Cuddly dog toy from Blake's Granny and Jim (Stuart's Mum and husband) 
- Cuddle toy giraffe from his Auntie Annie (my sister) 
- Cute little booties from Auntie Annie
- Lamaze Freddie the firefly from Mummy and Daddy ;)
- Teddy shape Money box from Mummy and Daddy
- Teddy Rattle from Mummy and Daddy 
- Nuby Teether  from a family member 
- white knitted cardigans x2 from Nanny (my mum) 

He also got: 
- Money from one of Stuart's other uncle's 
- Tesco Voucher from Grandad (Stuart's Dad) 
- Amazon Gift Card from Granny and Jim
- A cute christmas outfit from Auntie Annie 


As you can see we have had an awful lot of presents in our home at the moment 
combined with gifts that were given the previous week when Blake was born we really need to organise things
before Stuart goes back to work in January.


Welcome to the World....


Little man.
On Tuesday 16th at 12:16am Blake was born weighing 6lb 9 oz. 
We are both doing well and I'll be having a break from blogging for a little
while. 


The Christmas Tag

I recently came across the Christmas tag over on Becky's blog Milk Bubble Tea and had to join in. 


1. What is your favorite Christmas Movie/s?
It's very hard to pick just the one I love Miracle on 34th street, Elf and The Snow Man to name a few.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning although we use to open one little present on Christmas Eve which we decided we wont do anymore though. 

3. Do you have a favorite Christmas memory?
Waking up in the morning as a child and having a sack of presents at the bottom of my bed. 
Then going downstairs and getting to open even more presents. We always used to have chocolate
for breakfast and my Nan and Grandad from my mum's side would come over for Christmas dinner and stay late
into the evening. 

4. favourite festive food?
Mince pies, Turkey, roast potato's, cranberry sauce and my mum's homemade bread sauce. 


5. Favourite Christmas gift ?
It would have to be my cuddle toy Tom cat (from Tom and Jerry) which my Nan and Grandad 
got me for my 1st ever Christmas when I was 6 months old. I still have him tucked away. 

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
Christmas dinner and mulled wine

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Not really it's something we will be doing though we plan to start making traditions for little one from
next Christmas. 

8. What tops your tree?
My parents always had an angel but when I moved in with Stuart we wanted to have star on top of the
tree unfortunately the tree we have wont keep any star on top. 

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
Not really sure am sure it was something really expensive that parents couldn't afford. 

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Spending time with my family, eating way too much food and just having fun. 

November Degustabox

At the end of November I was sent my third Degustabox which is the winter box! 

For those of you not familiar with Degustabox they are a food box subscription service and 
every month they select and send out an exciting range of new and limited edition products from
a range of fab foodie brands.

The November box has 8 fab foodie treats and a mini sample sized item. 


So first of all we have two cans of Cool Dawn which is a herbal detox drink that helps cure 
and prevent hangovers. It presents a complex and unique combination of citrus and liquorice. 
It contains no stimulant ingredients and is not carbonated. 
I let my hubby try these out since I don't drink that often and also 
as I am not a huge fan of liquorice.
To be honest Stuart wasn't that keen on the taste and was unable to really tell if this worked 
for him or not. 

Next we have the Montano cider which is an elegantly crafted Italian cider 
made from apples grown in the foothills of the Trention region of northern Italy. 
Again I let Stuart have this but I did have a cheeky little sip. 
Not being a huge cider fan myself (unlike my hubby)  I was very impressed with the taste 
and would definitely see myself having a glass or two of this in the future.
Stuart also enjoyed this and thought it was a lovely treat after a hard week at work.


Cool Dawn £1.49
Montano Italian cider £2.79
 Next up we have a sample of Drink Me Chai's award winning spiced Chai latte. 
A blend of exotic spices, milk and sweetened tea the product is a just add water or milk
for that instant taste of India. 

Moving on we have Pip Organic fruit juice in apple. 
The fruit juice was really lovely and I really enjoyed it! 
Pip Organic is a family run business that produces an award winning range of pure
organic juices and smoothies.


Pip Organic £1.50


Lindor My Melting Moment is a fab chocolaty treat that is hand lovingly crafted by Lindt. 
The 20g chocolate allows you to melt away in a moment of pure bliss. 
Elegantly wrapped in the snowflake shape is filled with irresistibly smooth melting Lindor milk chocolate.
Perfect this Christmas.

Lindor My Melting Moment 65p

Holy Cow! was these sauces such a lovely delight making our dinners
taste authentic with natural ingredients. With no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. 
They are gluten free and suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs.
We enjoyed both of the flavors the Korma and the madras chettinad that we were sent
 
Kent's Kitchen flavor shots are high on my list of items to buy in the future. 
They are brilliantly quick and are an easy way to jazz  up  diced meat or prawns. 
These clever gel shots coat the meat or prawns whilst cooking and add a delicious taste to enhance meals. 
These are perfect for wraps, with rice or jacket potato's, on salad or even to coat pasta.  
We were sent the BBQ flavor which we love as we are huge BBQ sauce fans in our home. 

Holy Cow Indian Curry Sauces £1.69
Kents Kitchen Flavor Shots £1.85

Back by popular demand are Kettle Chips two most loved seasonings as limited editions for Christmas.
We were sent the lovely Salsa and Mesquite which was one of the original seasonings when the brand launched 
back in 1988. It combines tomatoes, chilies, peppers and the aroma of barbecues.
We really enjoyed this bag of crisps which was gone pretty fast! 
The other limited edition flavor is Stilton and Port which is a rich and distinctive flavor which brings together
the creamy notes of Stilton cheese with the sweetness of port wine. 

Last of all from the popular brand Branston we have the new Branston Chutney! 
Create your perfect dining experience with one of the fab flavors. 
The Caramelized Onion Chutney works perfectly with any after dinner cheese and bread or if like us
we had some on the side of a cheese toasty and also when we had a curry. 
The Mediterranean tomato goes well with smokey meats, cheddar and biscuits.

Kettle Crisps £2.19
Branston Chutney £1.50


What do you think of this months box?

To get £3 off use code: 2CWTW



39 Weeks Pregnant

This week I had my 38 week midwife appointment which as usual went well. 
Midwife told me baby is a good size and definitely grown since she last saw me. 
I will next see her at 40 weeks and 1 day if I've not had baby by then and 
will have a stretch and sweep. 

How far along? 39 weeks today 
Symptoms:  I've been feeling tired all the time, also had cramp like pain around my tummy, lower back and pelvis since Thursday.  
Sleep: I feel like I could sleep all the time at the moment. 
I'm still waking up during the night though. 
Miss anything? Feeling comfortable 
Movement: Loads of wiggles as usual
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy 
Looking forward to: 
- Meeting our little one really don't want to go over due.