Wednesday, 31 January 2018

My Monthly Challenge: January



This month I set myself the challenge to write very short stories within a 30 minute time limit using daily writing prompts. I am sad to say I failed this challenge pretty quickly. I didn't get 31 short stories written. I didn't even get close. Here are the 10 stories I wrote:

1. Unopened.


People say some doors are best left unopened. I wish I had listened to that warning. Things were so much simpler before I knew the truth. Now I can’t even look at my girlfriend the same way. She’s not the same beautiful tom boy I’d grown to love. The electric blue streaks running through her wavy brown hair that I used to love playing with, I can’t even bring myself to touch. Her glistening green eyes that used to resemble pools of emeralds, now remind me of a slippery serpent holding back her lies. The grunge clothing she wears that scream “I don’t give a fuck” is just a front to hide who she really is. She was the perfect girl. I thought she was the perfect girl. But no, I was wrong. Why did I have to open that door? A woman’s bedroom is a sacred place. A sacred place where they hide their deceit. It seemed so innocent at the time. Just a bit of harmless fun that would lead us to her bedroom. I was caught up in the moment. Unprepared for what I was to face when I opened that door. Pink. Everywhere. Hot pink, baby pink. Pink walls, curtains, carpet. Little fluffy pink cushions polluting her bed. And the teddy bears. Who could forget the teddy bears. They were pink as well. Maybe I could’ve handled all the pink had it not been for the posters stuck to her wardrobe. “How to be a better Barbie.” “Unleash your inner Barbie.” “You’re a Barbie girl and this is YOUR material world!” Then I saw it; the make-up, the clothes, the shoes! She was a closeted Barbie wannabe. I couldn’t believe it. My perfect tom boy had a deep dark desire to be Barbie. Suddenly everything I knew about her seemed a lie. Now I sit alone in my apartment. My cold, dark, very not pink apartment, wondering how I can ever be with someone like her. I don’t even know her. Things were so much simpler. I guess some doors really are best left unopened.

2. CD.


I decided it was time to get my life together and be more organised. I’m twenty-nine and just lost yet another boyfriend. My life is a total mess. A spiralling web of chaos. I’ll never be able to hold onto anybody until I get my together. But how does one begin to get their life in order? I guess I could start by decluttering that old cupboard. I never use anything in there anyway. The door is even a little stuck, it hardly ever gets opened. Look at it, so much junk. A mess just like my life. Why do I even hold onto all this crap? A deck of cards with six cards missing. A giant foam flower. A stack of old time detective novels I’ve never bothered to read. These all seem like random objects with no sentimental value at all but with each one I hold in my hands, memories come flooding back. The deck of cards from when me and John went camping and our house of cards accidentally caught fire resulting in the top six cards being burnt to a crisp. The giant foam flower that Simon had won for me on our second date to the carnival. The stack of old time detective novels that Jack loved to read and gave to me when I expressed an interest in them. These things were memories from all the loves I’d had and lost. I pull the rubbish bin closer to me and hold the deck of cards close to my chest. It’s time to let go. Dropping the cards into the bin takes a weight of my shoulders. Next the flower and the books, with each item I feel myself getting lighter. It almost becomes easy. Before long the cupboard is empty except for one item. A small CD. I found it on the top shelf covered in dust. I let myself slide down the wall to the ground, holding it in my hands. Wiping the dust away I see the words “To Anna, love William.” This item doesn’t just bring back memories, it also brings back pain. William; my first love. The one where it all went wrong. My one that got away. I thought he was it, the one. I thought we were happy. The day we broke up he gave me this gift. Hoping it would be enough to mend the pain when he told me he’d been seeing someone else. “How could it?” I thought. It was just a CD. He begged me to put it in my computer and see what was on it but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead I threw in my cupboard and told him to get out. Told him I never wanted to see him again. I was hurting. He obeyed my wishes and left. But I wish he had stayed. If he had stayed he would still alive today. On his way home from my house a speeding 'driver ran a red light and hit William as he crossed the road. He died instantly. In the aftermath of his passing, I had completely forgotten all about the CD. It’s been six years since that day, maybe it’s time I actually find out what is on it. What did William put on here that he thought could make me forgive his betrayal? I insert it into my computers CD drive and wait while the file loads. The moment I see what he left for me, my eyes begin to fill with tears. “Oh William...” I whisper.

3. No more staples.


“I am so sorry if this hurts but the staples have been left in longer than they should have been.” the midwife remarked looking down at the eleven staples still holding together her young patience body. She very gently began pulling the staples out one by one. “I looked over your hospital notes and there is no mention of you having staples at all.” she continued.
“I didn’t even know I had them until I removed the dressing covering them the other day. No one told me.” the patient replied.
“Well they really shouldn’t have been in any longer than a week. It’s amazing that after two weeks, your skin hasn’t started to heal over the staples.” the midwife stated as she pulled the final staple out. “There, no more staples.” she added as she helped her patient up off the bed. “I will have to inform my boss of what has happened though and an investigation will be launched to find out why there was no record of your staples.”
“That is fine, I’m just happy to finally have them out! They were starting to get really itchy.” the patient said, rubbing the wound through her jeans.

4. Buy Milk.


Take dog to the vets, check. Take kids to karate, check. Order flowers for mother-in-laws birthday, check. Buy milk, uncheck. “Saved the easiest task for last” I say aloud to myself as I start up the car. The corner store isn’t too far from our house so easy to swing passed on my way home. We live in a quiet little suburban town where not a whole lot happens. Anything that does happen however is always gossiped about by Fran, an old crow of a woman who owns the corner store. She means well, bless her heart but she doesn’t know when to keep her mouth shut. Mind you, I think she does it because it keeps people in her store longer. She doesn’t have anyone really. Husband died a few years ago and they never had any children. All she has is the customers in her store. I can understand her filling the void with idle gossip to fight off loneliness. Still, it’s not nice when you know she has dirt on you. Half the town will hear about it. Of course everyone acts like they haven’t heard anything but you can always tell when someone knows your embarrassing laundry. I don’t know what the town will be like the day Fran passes on. I imagine everybody will attend her funeral. Pay their respects to the woman who told everyone their secrets. If you think about it, she’s not a very nice person but yet we all like her. “Why?” I think to myself as I pull up outside the store. Fran is outside sweeping the footpath. She looks up and smiles fondly as we lock eyes. As I get out my car she hurriedly shuffles over to me.
“You’ll never guess what I’ve heard” she starts.

5. Leftovers.


Thursday night, leftovers night. “What concoctions can I create tonight?” I wonder as I begin raiding the fridge. Hmm, tomato and basil pasta from Monday with a couple of rice balls leftover from the curry on Tuesday and a slice of the meatloaf from last night. That sounds like a truly horrible combination but I’m gonna love it. I really do look forward to leftovers night. I think I look forward to it more than take away Fridays and Date Night Saturdays where me and the Mrs go out to all the swankiest restaurants. Sunday roasts are always good but nothing quite beats leftovers night. I like being creative with the meals we never quite finished. My wife isn’t a fan of leftovers night like I am. She usually chooses to have a few slices of toast and a cup of soup for dinner. I think she’s missing out. One day I’ll get her to come around to my way of thinking, but not tonight.

6. My Charger


Amber’s phone buzzed loudly on her desk. A message from Brittany flashed across the screen
“Oi I left my charger at yours. Can u bring it to skool 2moz?” Amber rolled her eyes and let out an exasperated sigh as she began thumbing her response.
“Cant soz. Cadence n I r skippin skool to go see a concert.” she paused before she hit send. They hadn’t invited Brittany to the concert and she might flip out if she finds out about it. She’ll probably snitch to the teacher as well. She quickly clears most of the message and begins again.
“Cant soz, feelin sik. Will give ur charger to my sis Delilah 2 take 2 skool. K?” smiling at the updated message, Amber hits send and places her phone back down on her desk.
“Delilah!” she yells. Down the corridor she can hear the sound of a door opening and foot prints thumping towards her room. Delilah pushes the door open and stands looking unamused in the doorway.
“What?” she groans
“Cadence and I are going to art exhibit tomorrow so get some inspiration for a class assignment we’ve got and we haven’t invited Brittany to come with us as she just doesn’t get art. She wants me to bring her phone charger to school tomorrow so I’ve just lied and told her I’m sick and that you’ll bring her charger in for me. So yeah, give her this will ya?” Amber replied, throwing the charger at her sister.

7. Cable


“Excuse me miss, have you seen my dog? He broke off his leash chasing a squirrel.”
“No, I’m sorry. I haven’t seen any dogs on loose. What does he look like?”
“He’s brown and scruffy. His name is Cable.”
“Cable? That’s an unusual name for dog. Why did you name him that?”
“Oh! Well when he was a puppy, he wouldn’t leave my tv cables alone. He liked to try and chew on them. I was worried he was going to electrocute himself. Every time I see him chewing on them I’d scream out cables and after a while he just assumed that was his name and it just stuck.”
“That is such a cute story. He sounds like such a mischievous dog.”
“Oh he is! He still likes to chew on cables if he can reach them.”
“Really? Because I passed an open switchboard box just down the path. That could be a good place to try and find your dog. There were plenty of cables for him to sink his teeth into.”
“Oh shit! Thank you for letting me know. Here’s hoping he doesn’t cause any damage. It was nice to meet you.”
“Likewise. Maybe I could come meet Cable sometime too?”
“Yeah of course!”
“Cool, here’s my number. I’m Trish”


8. All gone.


Ash and dust fell slowly to the ground like little snowflakes of sorrow. The tragic result of mass destruction. Everything was gone. Burnt to a crisp. Drake stood a broken man, staring at what was once his world. A single tear dropped from his sea green eyes and soaked into poorly groomed brown beard. The world had been at war for years now but finally it had caught up to his home town. He had been on his way home from work when the bombs started falling. He had been spared but his home had not. He stood beside his car, staring at the wreckage that used to be his home. His girlfriend Trish had the day off work today. Drake had no idea if she and their dog Cable had been inside the house when it was destroyed. He prayed they weren’t. He tried to call her but there was no signal to dial out. He slipped his phone back into his pocket and walked towards to pile of rubble that stood in place of his home.

9. Goals.


12:02am. January 1st. 2018. Trish sat alone at her pristine white desk, illuminated by nothing more than her bright pink desk lamp. A pink notepad sat in front her and a fuzzy pink pen in her hand. It was another new years eve that she was spending by herself. No family, friends or a boyfriend to bring it in with. On her notepad read the words “Goals for 2018!” She was fulfilling her annual tradition of writing out her new years resolutions after the stroke of midnight. Usually she could fill her notepad with resolutions but this year the list was blank. Her heart was heavy. She thought this year she’d finally be able to bring the new year in with someone but not long after he’d seen her bedroom, he broke up with her. She loved the colour pink so much and Barbie had been her role model since she was a little girl so it was only natural for her to fill her room with the things she loved so much. But every time anyone saw her bedroom, they ran for the hills, laughing at her and calling her childish. With a tear in her eye, she wrote down her first goal for the year.
‘Remove all Pink and Barbie from my life.’ She looked at what she wrote and let out a sigh of sadness. “It’s time to give up who I am and become someone new.” she whispered to herself.

10. Exercise



Every year I make the same new years resolutions. Exercise more. Get Fit. Don’t be a fat slob any more. I start the year off so full of optimism and motivation but two weeks later I’m back to my old self. Sitting in front of my computer, stuffing my face with delicious chocolate biscuits, neglecting my health once again. I scroll through Pinterest, pinning hundreds of workout regimes but never actually trying any of them. I create a list of fitness clothes I want to buy from Amazon, but they sit in my basket, saved for a later date. I see my friends posting statuses on Facebook of them smashing their exercise goals and oh how I envy them. How I want to be like them. No! I won’t let this year be the same! I’m putting down the biscuits and lacing up my trainers. It’s time to exercise.  

Monday, 29 January 2018

My Health and Fitness Journey Commences

This week marks the beginning of change for me. Come Wednesday, I'm allowed to start exercising properly again and in preparation, I weighed myself and was extremely surprised by the number on the scale.

This time last year I was starting my weight-loss journey weighing a shameful 117.2kg. I set myself a
small goal to lose 10kg, with the overall goal to eventually get down to around 70kg-75kg. In just a couple of months I'd dropped down to 109kg; but then I plateaued. I was calorie counting to ensure I wasn't consuming too much and I was hitting the gym at least three times a week, yet the weight kept fluctuating between 109kg-110kg. Being so close to my first target and failing to lose any more, my motivation started to drop and I began feeling increasingly frustrated. We were about to start trying for a baby and I'd hope to be out of the triple digits before I conceived. I expected it to take us many months to fall pregnant but it happened first try. My final weigh-in before I discovered I was pregnant was 109.6kg and at my first midwife appointment I weighed in at 110.5kg. I didn't weigh myself again until the end of the pregnancy when the gestational diabetes set in. My heaviest weight during the pregnancy was 118.6kg. I couldn't weigh myself straight after Flynn was born as conveniently the battery in our scales had died. I eventually got a new battery and weighed myself. 105.3kg! Not only am I 4.3kg lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight but I also finally smashed that first weight-loss target!

That brings us to today. Today is when my health and fitness journey properly commences. I wanted to say it was my weight loss journey that was beginning but this is more than just losing weight. I don't just want to slim down to my goal weight; I want to be living a healthier lifestyle, I want to be and feel physically fit and I want to be a better role model for my children. Today I start moving towards accomplishing my fitness goals for the year and I am so excited! I can't wait to start smashing my goals!

Until next time,
Alli xo


Sunday, 28 January 2018

Friday, 26 January 2018

My top 5 must have baby products

I've had a few people ask me about what products I use with my 1 month old son. Does he sleep in a moses basket or a cot? Does he sleep with a blanket? etc etc. So I have decided to share my top 5 must have baby products with you. These are all products that I use myself and swear by. I love them and hopefully if you're an expectant parent and give them a try, you will love them too.

Next 2 Me Cot 

Definitely the best purchase made! I cannot praise the Chicco Next 2 Me cot more. It has been absolutely perfect for our family. I had an issue with Vala wanting to sleep close to me all the time when she was born and I was afraid of having the same issue with Flynn. The Next 2 Me cot eradicates that issue though. I can have Flynn right next to me but still have my bed to myself. I can reach him, soothe him and even breastfeed him without having to move him, helping him to drift back off to sleep easily. The adjustable height means it fits perfectly with our bed and being able to have the cot on a slant helped ease Flynn's congestion when he was sick and is also perfect for babies with colic.  I would highly recommend the Chicco Next 2 Me cot to everyone I know. 

Slumbersac Baby Sleeping Bag

With my first born, I was very scared of blankets causing her to suffocate and as a result I lost a lot of sleep from worry alone. Wasn't until she was several months old that I discovered sleeping bags and they were amazing! This time around I decided to use a sleeping bag from the beginning and it is one of the best decisions I've made. I ordered the Slumbersac Baby Sleeping Bag off Amazon and I plan on ordering more. The material is so soft and well padded that Flynn must feel like he is sleeping in cloud. We've found that he sleeps a lot better and calms faster when he is in his sleeping bag compared to being in a blanket. The button poppers and zip make it super easy to get on and off and we can even change Flynn in the middle of the night without waking him. Unlike with velcro sleeping bags, the poppers make it impossible for Flynn to unfasten himself and kick the sleeping bag off in the night. It's remarkable how much better Flynn sleeps in his sleeping bag. I can't rave about this product enough. We're definitely going to be stocking up on more sizes so he can keep sleeping soundly as he grows. 

SnuggleBundl

I was very skeptical when I first saw the Snugglebundl advertised on Facebook but after learning more about it and seeing all the awards it had won, I decided to give it a try. It's amazing! To put it simply. It does exactly what it says it's going to do; assist you moving your sleeping baby without waking them! The brilliant design allows you to lift, move and put down your sleeping baby without them waking by supporting their head at all times, just the way you would. You can move your baby from the car seat to their pram and from their pram to the cot without ever waking them. Not only that but you can gently rock your baby to sleep with the handles and then place them in their cot without having to worry about them waking when you put them down. It's like a little hammock for your baby. Once they are asleep in their cot just tie the handles together, make sure the face is uncovered and you are free to get on with daily tasks or maybe enjoy a little relaxation yourself.   

Junlan Maternity Nursing Bra

I have to admit that I love these nursing bras. I ordered mine off Amazon and for the low price I was expecting something flimsy. You know, a kind of "get what you paid for" kinda deal. But I was pleasantly surprised when mine arrived and I tried it on because it is unbelievably comfortable! The material is so soft that sometimes I honestly forget I'm even wearing a bra. It is so easy to unclip to breastfeed that I can even do it one handed whilst half asleep. Even with my bigger bust size I don't feel like I'm going to pop out the bra at any point and I feel very supported. Compared to some other bras I've worn, this one feels luxuriously comfortable and for such a cheap price, I can't stop myself stocking up on them. I can put my hand on my heart and honestly say that this is the comfiest bra I have ever worn and it makes breastfeeding so easy.  

Sconfid Baby Wrap Carrier

I have always wanted a baby wrap carrier but know very little about them. I see posts from other mums about these wraps made from special cottons that cost nearly £1000 each and I think to myself "how can someone spend so much on a baby wrap?" I started to think I'd have to sell a limb to be able to afford a wrap so I could try baby wearing. But before doing that, I decide to try a more affordable option and bought this Sconfid Baby Wrap Carrier off Amazon and honestly, I don't see the need to buy any other wrap. I love it! The material is soft, breathable and stretchy. It fits perfectly around my larger body and it is super comfortable to wear with my son. It took me a few attempts to learn how to put Flynn in it properly (the photo is from my first attempt) but now it's my go to method of transporting my son. If I'm going for short walks, I'll always choose my baby wrap over the pram. It's quick and easy to put on and I really love having my son so close when we go out for walks. There's no need to spend hundreds of pounds on flashy wraps because this one is great! Comfortable, easy to use and most of all totally affordable!

I cannot praise these products enough. They've made life with a newborn so much easier and this why they are my top 5 must have products! Do you have any products you swear by and would recommend? Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you and maybe try the products out myself. 

Until next time,
Alli xo.

*This post may contain affiliate links*

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

5 Home Date Night Ideas For New Parents

It goes without saying that when a new addition enters the family, life as you know it changes.
Everything becomes about the baby and pretty quickly you start to feel more like baby servants than you do an individual person. You're very quick to neglect yourself sacrificing sleep, food and personal hygiene to be on the beck an call of your little screaming bundle of joy. It's bad enough that we neglect ourselves but we also start to neglect our significant others which has the potential to cause problems later down the line. My first marriage didn't survive the first year of our daughters life for a number of serious reasons but a very big reason was neglect. At the end, we barely even spoke to one another, we only ever fought and we weren't even sharing a bedroom, let alone a bed. Now with my son turning a month old, my fiancé; Jordan and I have already started addressing the importance of "us time". Every Saturday night is our date night and whilst we are confined to our house for the time being, we've still found a few date night ideas that work for us and I'm here to share them with you today.

Watch Movies

Probably the most go-to date night idea even without a newborn in the family. Watching movies together is perfect even if your little poop factory doesn't want to be put down to sleep. Cuddle your baby close and let them sleep on your chest. This gives plenty of quiet time for you and your partner to get through most, if not all, of your chosen movie. Whilst one parent is holding baby, the other can hold them and together you are all snuggled and getting valuable bonding time.


Cook Together

If like me you have more than one child, dinner time is a major priority. You may be skipping meals but your other kids won't be so you still have to prepare an evening meal for them. Turn this everyday, sometimes mundane, task into something you and your partner do together. Experiment with new meals you've never cooked and learn how to make them together. Put a little bit of music on and have a little dance break in the kitchen. 

Of course there are more opportunities than just dinner time, to cook with your significant other. Shakes things up a little and give baking a try. Baby has you both up at midnight? Bake some cookies! Or brownies! If you're using a box mix, it only takes minutes to prepare and a few minutes more to bake. Then before you know it, you're enjoying fresh cookies with a glass of milk and talking with one another while settling your baby. You can also save some of your creations to enjoy when watching a movie together!



Candlelit Dinner

Whether cooking is your thing or not, there is always room for a candlelit dinner. Too tired to cook? No problem, order something in and make it a fancy occasion. Set the table, pour some wine (or non-alcoholic beverage for breastfeeding mums), put on a little background music and light those candles. Turn your regular Chinese take out into a restaurant quality experience. 


Play Games

Playing games is a definite favourite in our household. Whether it's video games or board games, you have endless choice of what you can play with your partner. Anything that is at least 2-player is sure to fill your home with lots of laughter and maybe even some competitive banter. A personal favourite game of mine and Jordan's is the card game "Exploding Kittens". It's a short game that usually lasts no more than 15 minutes but gives plenty of entertainment and has left lasting memories with us. I highly recommend this game to anyone looking for a little bit of silly fun.


Give Massages

Saving the most sensual for last, giving each other massages is a sure way of keeping that spark alive even when you're ankle deep in poopy nappies and baby vomit. It's something special you can do for one another even with limited time. A 10 minute massage here and there will do wonders for your relationship. Shoulder massages are great for dads who may have been out at work all day and foot massages are great for mum who has probably been on her feet most of the day. Of course nothing beats a sensual full body massage if you have the time and who knows, it could even lead to something more. Whatever type of massage you give is bound to keep you connected to your partner and will help both of you cope better with the added responsibilities and stresses of being a new parent.

Romance doesn't have to be die when you have a baby. Little gestures and compliments will go a long way and do wonders for your relationship. I can personally attest to that. Just make sure that you don't neglect each other. Through the tears, nappies and sleepless nights, you keep each other going. So make sure you set a little bit of time aside to be together. I know it can be hard to date when there's a new addition in the family but it's not impossible. So give it a go!

Until next time,
Alli xo

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

Monday, 22 January 2018

Flynn Monthly Update: 1 Month

Two days ago Flynn hit a month old. We're struggling to comprehend where the time has gone. It feels like just last week that I was in hospital being prepped for my section. While the weeks have flown by in blur, they've still been filled with some wonderful memories.

How Flynn is doing:


At one month old, he is weighing 10lbs
04oz. That's almost 2 whole pounds since birth (8lbs 5.5oz) which we are all very happy about! We celebrated our first Christmas together, went on Flynn's first bus ride and enjoyed some time in the snow as a family. We had his birth officially registered and have been seen by the midwife for the last time.

Flynn feeds like a champ and loves to smile with a mouthful of boob. He LOVES to be cuddled and it doesn't matter who by. He really dislikes having a bath but enjoyed his first shower with mummy. He fights sleep but sleeps soundly once he finally gives in. He has recovered from his first cold but still has a tiny cough. He is changing every day and we can't wait to see what is going to happen this month.


How mum is doing:


As sleep goes, I'm barely getting any. Sadly I have been suffering from insomnia as well as a lack of appetite. I mentioned this to the midwife and she feels I'm dealing with a minor case of postnatal depression. Admittedly, I have been having a lot of low mood swings but they usually follow a terrible night sleep. The midwife told me that if a decent nights sleep doesn't help with the low moods, then I'll need to speak to my gp but for now, intervention isn't needed.

Physically, I have mostly recovered from the pregnancy and section. The scar is healing nicely and there's no pain left. I am still suffering from minor SPD but thankfully I only feel it in bed at night and not when walking or doing errands. I am eager to get back into exercising properly and have started counting down the days until I hit the six week mark. I've got nine days left.

This has been a wonderful month despite it going by so quickly. Hopefully I'll start sleeping better and the weeks will start being less blurry. Our family is still adjusting but I love it.... I love our little family.



Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Friday, 19 January 2018

Cooking Something New: Creamy Basil & Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Pasta is a family favourite in our household. I LOVE pasta probably a lot more than I should but luckily my daughter does too. It's one of the only things she will eat at the moment as she goes through her fussy eater stage. Trouble is we're not very creative when it comes to our pasta dishes. Spaghetti Bolognese, Philadelphia Carbonara and Lasagna are pretty much the only pasta dishes we tend to eat. We've started pushing the boat out a little by trying this One Pot Alfredo we found on Buzzfeed but last night I pushed myself a little further and tried a recipe giving to me from a friend. Creamy basil and roasted red pepper pasta. Here's the recipe details and how I got on...

Recipe:

2 cups penne pasta, uncooked.
300g jar of roasted red peppers (drained well)
125g Philadelphia light cream cheese spread.
1/2 cup skim milk.
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves.
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese.
500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces. 

Instructions:

Cook the pasta as directed on the packet and put to one side.
Place peppers, cream cheese, milk, basil and parmesan cheese in a blender; cover and blend until smooth then put aside.
Cook chicken in a large skillet on medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in the sauce you set aside earlier.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add cooked penne pasta to chicken mixture and stir gently until well blended. 
Serve immediately. 

My experience:

I have to admit, this meal was very easy to make and it tasted amazing! Sadly Vala refused to even taste it because it wasnt Spaghetti Bolognese but Jordan and my best friend Adam gave it their approval. Jordan even went back for seconds. Looks like this will be a regular meal in our household. Such an easy meal to make; the hardest part is getting miss fussy eater to try it.



Until next time,
Alli xo

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

My Fitness Goals for 2018

It's hard to believe we're already passed the half way mark of January. Where is the time going? I've got just under 2 weeks left until I'm allowed to start properly exercising again which means my attention is now turning towards my fitness goals for this year. I know I have to be realistic, there is absolutely no chance that I can get down to my ideal weight in a single year. So I'm asking myself, what is realistic? What is achievable? I'm thinking I'll set myself monthly goals that'll helped me towards an overall goals for the year. So what are my overall goals for the year?

Lose the baby weight.

I am proud to say that this pregnancy I didn't actually put on too much weight. I was 110kg at time of conception and at my heaviest during pregnancy, I was 117kg. My consultant was happy with my weight gain as I managed to keep within an acceptable range. I think I can thank 11 weeks of a gestational diabetes friendly diet for keeping my weight manageable. But even though I didn't put too much on, it still needs to come back off. Breastfeeding will definitely help me drop a few pounds but I'm not going to rely on it alone to help shed this extra weight. First order of business is to find out how much I currently weigh. And there's the first hurdle - my scales battery is dead. I tried to weigh myself the other day and nothing. I know we have a spare battery for it somewhere but I have absolutely no idea where it is. So that's step one, find the new battery and weigh myself so I know what I'm dealing with.

Return to the gym.

I never intended on leaving the gym but health problems during my pregnancy made my gym workouts too difficult to do. Not to mention actually getting to the gym practically impossible. I'm speaking of the tachycardia of course. The 20 minute walk would be more than my heart could safely handle and I'd be exhausted before even starting my gym workout. I suspended my gym membership and I'm hoping to return in a couple of months. I'm aiming to return sometime around March or April. Of course I won't be able to go as often as I'd like with Jordan's work hours. To start, I'll only be able to go on weekends but hopefully during the summer months (when it stays lighter for longer) I'll be able to squeeze in a quick work out session in the evening. I am determined to get back to the gym.

Start using my Acti-Labs weight loss products again.

Before I fell pregnant last year, I was using Acti-Labs weight loss and slimming products to assist with my weight loss and they were really helping! I had to stop using the products during pregnancy because the effects on an unborn baby (if any) are unknown as Acti-Labs have not tested their products on pregnant of breastfeeding women. Of course I'm breastfeeding so I can't dive straight back into using the products until we've started weaning Flynn. Once some of his breastfeeds have successfully been replaced with solid foods, it should be safe for me to start consuming the diet shakes, soups, strip tea, noodles and potentially the Hydraslim again. I will probably hold off using the inch loss slimming wraps until Flynn is fully weaned at a year old. So I'll be weaning Flynn off breastfeeds and weaning myself back onto Acti-Labs weight loss products. Admittedly, I can't wait to start using them again, they helped so much with my weight-loss last year and taste great!

Add yoga and stretches to my workout regime.

One thing I didn't have in workout regime last year was yoga and stretches aimed towards increasingly my flexibility. I did standard stretches before and after a workout to avoid injury but I never pushed myself the way I used to back during my dancing days. I've been looking into acquiring a yoga mat and some proper yoga clothes and spending 30 to 60 mins a couple times a week, practising yoga positions and stretches at home. Maybe then once my confidence and abilities have improved, I might look at trying to get to the odd yoga or Pilates class providing I get some free time away from the kids. 

Bring back the Zumba!

I am the proud owner of  Zumba DVD's and toning sticks and I love them. I LOVE Zumba! However, they've been gathering dust for well over a year now. The only reason for that is because we live in a first floor flat and I am very self conscious of how much noise my stomping, jumping and dancing will create for the downstairs neighbours. I have missed getting my Zumba on for ages and this year we're hoping to move to a new home. We're looking at moving to either a terrace house, a semi-detached or at the very least, I ground floor flat to make it easier to get the pram in and out the house. If we are successful in finding a new place and moving this year, the Zumba DVD's will be coming back out and I'll be grooving the afternoon away in the comfort of my own living room. I've always loved the workout Zumba gave me.

Attempt Running.

This is my last goal for the year and it's one that I may not be able to do. I have the strong desire to get out and running but two dodgy knees make running a bit painful. On top of that, I actually don't know how to run. That might sound weird because who doesn't know how to run, seriously? Well I spent 8 years doing gymnastics and 7 years dancing and those two activities encourage you to run on your toes and be light on your feet. As a result, I can only run on my toes which is the incorrect way to run. So in order to feed my desire to run, I first need to learn how to run but I also need to find a way to make it less painful for me. I do need physio done on my knees but it's a bit difficult when you have two children to work around. I have an image in my head that one day I am able to run properly and go out on runs with my daughter. I want to make the image a reality one day. It may not be this year but one day, I want to running around our local lake with my daughter by my side. I also have on my bucket list that I want to complete a colour run and one day I plan on working towards being able to cross that off my list. That is a goal for another year but gotta start somewhere and this year I intend to attempt to make a start towards running properly. 

I don't know my current weight (though I know it's above 110kg) but my ideal weight is anywhere between 65kg-75kg. I know it isn't possible to get from my current weight, done to my ideal weight in this single year alone so I've decided that rather than setting a weight goal to aim for this year, I'm going to set a dress size goal instead. I'm completely ashamed to admit this but I am currently a size 18-22 up top and 22-24 on bottom (depending on the clothing brands) and the goal I'm setting myself is to be fitting into size 16-18 tops and size 20 trousers by the end of the year. I don't think that goal is too ambitious but we will see where we are come December 31st. At the beginning of each month, I'll post about what my fitness goals for that month will be and at the end I'll report on how the month has gone and whether I met my goals or not. So on that note, all that's left to say is... Wish me luck!

Until next time,
Alli xo

Monday, 15 January 2018

Becoming Dad: An Interview with Jordan.

For most men, becoming a dad for the first
time can be a daunting and confusing time. Their partner is going through so much and forming a special bond with their unborn child whilst dad stands in the corner, hands in pocket, unsure how he can be of any assistance. After conception, it's all pretty much mum until baby is born and then dad is handed a wrinkly pink bundle that's screaming at him. It understandable that it can be daunting for men to become dads for the first time so since it's been nearly a month since our son Flynn was born, I asked my fiancé Jordan about his experiences with becoming a (blood) dad for the first time.



How did you feel when you heard the news that you were going to be a dad?

Absolutely scared and panicking about what was going to happen and how we were going to cope. That was after the initial shock and wave of happiness to find out I was going to be a dad. It was really a mix of emotions. Financially we were not in the best of places so finding out your girlfriend (now fiancée) was pregnant when you didn't expect it to happen for many months is kind of a big shocker.

How did you cope with the pregnancy?

It goes without question that the pregnancy had its ups and downs for the both of us. Of course I was never going to go through what Alli was going through so I had it easy in that regard. It was difficult seeing her in pain and not really being able to do much about it, As the pregnancy went on and she could do less and less it was on me to take over most of the jobs around the house as well as keeping up with the day job.

Don't know how normal people do it but for me it was a huge transition regarding being relied upon. In the middle of all of this it did kick start me to finding a new job (One which I can, thankfully, say I'm still at) which is a 50 minute drive one way. Attempting to balance that all did become quite stressful and, admittedly, I don't think I was the best at coping overall. We, however, made it through these stresses and now we have a healthy baby boy. In my eyes all of this has been worth it.

How did you feel seeing your partner go through pregnancy?

It wasn't the best of feelings. I tried to do what I can in order to make it a more comfortable experience for her but ultimately there wasn't a whole lot I could have done with the problems that developed later on towards the end of the pregnancy. I wish I did do some things differently but as they say the past is the past.

9 time out of 10 if she asked for something I would get it in order to make her feel better but this was also pretty draining. I can safely say that I've done the 3 o'clock in the morning trip to McDonalds in order to get her something that she was craving (In this case it was chicken). Seeing the change in emotion from one minute to the next was pretty difficult at times and it was pretty tough seeing her cry for no reason. Also the odd time where she'd be angry at me it was hard to not take that personally.

Pro Tip: Saying "Everything is going to be OK" doesn't help things. Trust me,

What did you fear most about becoming a dad

How, financially, we were going to cope with a new arrival in the house.

Did that fear come true?

It's early days yet but with Flynn breastfeeding that certainly takes a load off. We're going through nappies like it's a closing down sale at Woolworth's so seeing that stock dwindle down is pretty daunting. Luckily throughout the pregnancy my parents have been helping us buy the baby essentials such as nappies, Nappy bags as well as the bigger purchases like the pram and the cot.

If it wasn't for them I think i'd have lost most of my hair by now or at least gone gray. 

What was labour/child birth like for you?

For me personally the birth was a surreal experience. As Alli opted to go for an elective C Section due to all the problems that were occurring she didn't go through actual labour. When we were in the operating theatre they allowed me to sit besides her head and within 15-20 minutes Flynn was crying his lungs out letting us all know that he had arrived.

Hearing your child cry for the first time is definitely a sudden wave of happiness. I'm not ashamed to say I was crying with tears of joy as a result.

What do you love most about being a dad?

Definitely the cuddles. Coming home from a long work day and picking up my son (If he's not sleeping of course) and just laying on the bed with him on my chest. Think every time I've done it so far I've fallen asleep with him. It's a funny thing really but Alli has plenty of incriminating evidence of this occurring to embarrass our son with later in life.

What do you dislike about being a dad?

You know, I don't think I really dislike any aspect of it. Even the nappy changing is somewhat of a good experience because I do feel useful doing it. He has yet to really get me with his stream yet but I know the day will come. He has tried at least 5 times already so I don't think we've got a quitter.

Can't really mention lack of sleep either because, for the most part, I'm actually getting enough of that (Which Alli absolutely detests). I suppose getting him to actually settle in the first place is actually pretty difficult as he REALLY doesn't like being put down in his cot. We've found a little trick which seems to work 80% of the time involving white noise but I'm sure that trick will stop working before we know it.

I can see this becoming a back and forth from now until he most likely becomes a man child.

How has becoming a dad changed your life?

It's definitely been added responsibility and worries. Worrying about every little thing that may potentially be wrong is actually me feeling what Alli felt when she was pregnant with him. As Alli already had a child from her previous relationship living with us I think I was already eased somewhat in the role of being a dad.

In a sense, this is just me living the first 2 years of a person's life from scratch. I've got a lot of learning to do but I'm ready for the journey ahead.

Do you have any favourite memories so far?

There are quite a few memories that have been made already. One favourite memory of mine was when we were showing Flynn off to my old work colleagues. They were pretty much like a second family to me so showing them just filled me with so much joy.

Pretty close to this was the time where we dressed him up in an Elf outfit and put him in a box. What's that? Babies don't belong in boxes? Well he is practically a gift considering the time he was born so why not put him in a box for 10 seconds to forever immortalise that memory in our minds.

My favourite memory though was looking at him and hearing him for the first time. That very moment nothing else mattered to me, all of life's problems just disappeared and it was just an overwhelming sense of happiness and joy. Looking down at him on the table and being offered to cut the cord (Which I initially thought would be incredibly gross. Turns out that it literally is like cutting through a sausage.They even tell you where to cut) is a memory that will forever be with me. Along with the overwhelming sense of love every time I look at him of course.

If you could go back in time and give yourself some fatherly advice, what would it be?

"Step up your game you idiot. You're going to be a father now so it's time to get serious."

Admittedly I did go through half the pregnancy not really ready for the gravity of the responsibility that was going to be bestowed upon me. Up until that time I really had just been going with the flow of life. Whatever happens happens kind of deal. Having that kind of attitude meant that things needed to happen pretty quickly.

If I had gotten serious at the very start it may have been a smoother ride all over.

Anything else you'd like to add for first time expectant fathers?

"Life, er, finds a way". Don't get too bogged down with the details. You're going to be a dad! It's a real moment of change for any man's life but being stuck with your head in the short term won't really help you or your partner. The end result is worth it. You can deal with the money side of things when that comes. Of course I'm not saying to not worry about those kind of things. You are most likely going to be the one providing for the family in that regard but if you get too bogged down in those details you won't be able to enjoy what is a most wonderful period of creation.

Have fun with it!

I would like to thank Jordan for collaborating on this post with me. You can follow him on Twitter: @dante556 or on Twitch!



Until next time,
Alli and Jordan xo.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Friday, 12 January 2018

5 Things you might not know before you breastfeed

There comes a point during pregnancy that
all women decide how they're going to keep their offspring alive after they've exited the womb. Some choose to breastfeed exclusively, some express and some formula feed. There's huge debate over which is the best way to feed your new baby but truth be told, as long as your baby gets fed, that's all the truly matters. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing their feeding method and no mother should ever be belittled or bullied for her choices. Just do what is best for you and your baby and remember that you're doing a great job. I personally chose to breastfeed for the health benefits to my children and also for the bonding experience. I breastfed my daughter for the first year of her life and plan to do the same with my son. I thought I was prepared for breastfeeding but turns out there were some things I didn't know and weren't prepared for. So if you choose to breastfeed your baby, here are 5 things you might not know about breastfeeding.

1. Your baby probably won't latch straight away.

Might be obvious to some but a lot of mothers begin to panic when their baby doesn't latch on and start feeding straight away. They worry that their baby will starve and immediately jump to the conclusion they've failed and are already a terrible mother. Relax. It's perfectly normal for a baby not to latch first try. It can take several attempts for them to get a proper latch and even when they do, they may not stay on for very long. They will get it with practice though. Also don't worry about them not feeding much straight away. Straight after birth a babies stomach is only the size of a marble so it will fill very quickly. If baby isn't latching a midwife will be on hand to help you express some colostrum and will syringe feed it to your baby. This process may leave you feeling like a milked cow but it will help ease some concerns that your baby hasn't had anything to eat. 

2. Your breast milk won't come in for a couple of days.

You might expect your breasts to balloon up as soon as baby is born but don't be surprised when they don't. For the first couple of days after baby is born, your body produces colostrum. Colostrum is a form of milk produced during pregnancy. It is very rich in antibodies that help to protect your newborn against disease. Even if you choose to formula feed, a midwife may still suggest expressing colostrum on the first day to give your baby those important anti-bodies. After about day 2 you'll notice your breasts getting heavier and fuller, this is your breast milk coming in. If you have been expressing you'll also notice a change in colour of your breast milk as well. 

3. The first few feeds will drain all your energy.

This is something I really wish someone
had warned me about when I first started breastfeeding my daughter. The sensation is almost indescribable. It's like your baby is literally sucking the life energy out of your body. I felt weaker and more exhausted by the minute. It was a fight to stay conscious. A fight I actually lost the first time it happened. Thankfully I had Vala's dad by my side to ensure I didn't drop her in my weakened state. If you find yourself alone and your energy fading fast, buzz a midwife and explain the situation. She should stay close by and monitor you and baby to make sure nothing bad happens. Don't worry though, The sudden fatigue when feeding only last for the first couple of feeds so usually by day 2 you're not effected by it anymore.

4. It will hurt! For a little while.

See this one throws people off because you get told it's going to hurt but the pain doesn't come in straight away. It lulls you into a false sense of security. You might be lucky enough to go a good couple of days with no pain at all but then suddenly it comes outta nowhere. It'll start as a dull pressure at first and gradually get more and more painful to the point you may cry out, clench your entire body and scrunch your face up. It is a lot more painful than you may expect. Good news is it doesn't last. It will last a week, tops. And just as it gradually gets worse, over the week it'll gradually get better. Eventually you'll return to how it felt the first time you fed your baby; pretty much painless. Your baby will be able to latch on with you barely even noticing. 

5. It will get messy. Very messy!

Another fact that lulls you into a false sense of security at first. The reason for this is because as stated above, your breast milk doesn't come in for the first couple of days. Your colostrum won't cause your breasts to fill up to bursting point. Once your breast milk comes in, expect to find it everywhere! At first your body will produce enough milk to feed twins so unless you're actually having twins (or more), you'll find you have a lot more than your baby needs. Not to worry, once your baby establishes a proper feeding routine, your body will only produce the amount needed for your tiny human. This may take some time though. A month, maybe even two. So stock up on those breast pads! Though don't be surprised how often you have to change them. In the beginning you could be changing them every 30 minutes. I wear 3 in each bra cup and I still wake up drenched in my own breast milk. And it's not just wetness you wake up to, it's stickiness too. They say breast milk tastes just like cantaloupe juice, well it feels like it too. Think back to the last time you ate any melon with your fingers, that stickiness is what you will wake up feeling, so get used it. 

Just remember, there is no right or wrong way to feed your baby. Yes there are benefits to breastfeeding but breastfeeding isn't for everyone. Don't give a woman a hard time if you see her bottle feeding instead because you don't know her situation. Some women can't produce milk. Some babies can't latch on. The women you see bottle feeding may have tried breast feeding and been unsuccessful. A fact that could be quite upsetting to her. So keep your opinions and thoughts to yourself. None of the "breast is best" nonsense. Unless you know her and her situation, it's better to just keep your thoughts to yourself. Just remember she is doing what is best for her baby just as you are doing for yours. Just keep doing what you're doing mum, because you're doing great!

Until next time,
Alli xo.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

How Gestational Diabetes saved my health.

It's something you never want to hear
you've got when you're pregnant; Gestational Diabetes. But for many pregnant women, it's something they must deal with. I was one of those women in my last pregnancy. I successfully passed my first Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) at 16 weeks but unfortunately luck abandoned me during my 28 week GTT. I left the hospital feeling so positive that I'd pass with flying colours and then hours later I received the dreaded phone call; I'd failed.

What is a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT)? 

Well it's 2 blood tests completed at separate times to determine the glucose levels in your blood stream. First you must fast for 12 hours before the first bloods are taken. You'll then be given a glucose based drink to consume within 10 minutes. You must then sit and wait for 2 hours before your second blood test. You're not allowed to eat or drink anything during this time. In order to pass the GTT the glucose levels from the first blood test has to be 5.5 or less and 7.8 or less from the second blood test. Mine were 5.7 and 10.5! Way over.

Naturally I was angry and disappointed in myself. I felt like I had failed my unborn son because the gestational diabetes would effect him more than me.


How does Gestational Diabetes (GD) effect your unborn baby?

GD is when your body stop producing
enough insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels, leaving you with high blood sugar. The extra sugar passes through the umbilical cord to baby who then uses their own insulin to regulate sugar levels. Whilst this is handy for you, it does mean that baby ends up growing bigger and bigger depending on how much sugar passes through to them. Very large babies -for example, weighing over 9lbs are more at risk of sustaining injuries during birth, becoming stuck in the birth canal or needing a c-section. High blood sugar levels in the mother can also result in early labour, potentially birthing baby before his/her lungs have fully matured. Babies may also be born with low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures in the baby. Flynn was born with hypoglycemia but quick feedings and extra feedings of formula from a cup ensured his sugar levels normalised within 24 hours. If babies blood sugar levels don't normalise after regular feedings, they may end up on the neo-natal unit for treatment.

So how did Gestational Diabetes save your health?

Well to be honest, at first I thought it had ruined my life. Until I got accustomed to it. See there are 3 ways to treat GD. First is with a strict diet that cuts out sugar. Second is with medication and third is with insulin injections in the stomach. Everyone with GD starts on the diet and only moves onto medication or injections if they cannot maintain their sugar levels through diet alone. Thankfully I could. The first couple of weeks were horrible. I have a serious sweet tooth so I really struggled to adjust. I wasn't allowed sugary cereals (which is most of them). I couldn't have white bread. I had to use sweeteners in my tea instead of sugar. And no chocolate! That was by far the worst of them. Chocolate is my one vice. It's my go to when I'm feeling emotional and when you're pregnant, you're emotional A LOT. The diet isn't only about severely cutting down on the sugar, it's also about increasing your consumption of vegetables as well proteins and good carbohydrates. 

So for 10 weeks I mostly lived off chicken, potato, vegetables and wholemeal bread. A typical day looked like this:

Breakfast: 2 slices of low sugar, high protein peanut butter on wholemeal toast.
Snack: Piece of fruit.
Lunch: 1 egg, scrambled on wholemeal toast
Snack: Handful of cashew nuts
Dinner: Chicken, mash sweet potato, vegetables
Snack: Cheese and crackers

It wasn't the most exciting of diets, I'll be honest but it kept my blood sugar levels down and kept me from needing medication or insulin injections. Now that I've had Flynn, my GD has gone and my body is producing the right amount of insulin. So I've started consuming sugar again. Hello chocolate! But I did learn from the experience. I was so determined to eat right to keep my unborn son healthy and safe that the chances to my diet have stuck. Some things admittedly have come back, like the chocolate, cereals (I love crunchy nut cornflakes) and glasses of fruit juice with toast but the changes I made have mostly stayed. I lost the desire to eat white bread and actually want to continue with wholemeal bread instead. Peanut butter on wholemeal toast or vegemite on wholemeal toast has become my regular, go to breakfast now. I eat a lot more fruit and vegetables than I used to and actually find myself craving fruit more often. I don't see the point in adding sugar to my tea or coffee anymore as the sweeteners work just as well. If it made financial sense, I'd even still be drinking lactose free milk. But at £1.40 for a 1L carton and 3 people drinking it, it ends up being very expensive.

Before the gestational diabetes, these simple little changes seemed horrible to me. I liked to eat my junk foods and loved sugar! Yes, I do still love sugar but I don't feel controlled by it anymore. Having GD forced me to eat clean and healthy and because I had to keep to my strict diet for almost 11 weeks, it became a habit. A habit I wasn't able to form in the past. For the first time in years, I finally feel as though I'm eating properly again. Once 6 weeks have passed from my c-section, I'll be back exercising too and hopefully the combination of the diet change and the exercise (along with the breastfeeding) will result in the weight slowly falling off me. Lowering my weight/bmi will dramatically reduce my risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on in life. Something I really want to avoid! 

So whilst it seemed like the end of the
world at the time, I'm actually really grateful I went through it. I think it was the best thing to happen to my health. Not whilst I was pregnant obviously but now. It gave me that kick, that determination, that discipline to make better choices and helped me to stick to them. I feel incredibly optimistic about the future and I believe the GD helped with that. 

So to all pregnant women out there who may be suffering with Gestational Diabetes, I know first hand how horrible it can seem at the time but believe me, it can make you a healthier person. Good things can come from it so just hang in there. If you are experiencing GD currently or have had it in the past, drop a comment below with how you managed it and what impact it had on your life after baby was born. I'd love to read other people's experiences.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Writers block

Last year I set myself a new years resolution to write a novel. I thought if I could write at least one page a day, I'd easily have a complete first draft by the end of the year. Needless to say I was insanely ambitious. With the pregnancy and raising Vala, I found myself struggling to stay motivated and my novel would be neglected for weeks, sometimes months at a time. By the end of the year I'd not even managed to finish my third chapter. Something I'm still currently working on. The major problem is finding the motivation to sit down and actually write but when I do sit down to write, I find that the words don't want to come out of me. I know writers block is a very common occurrence for any writer but this is the worst I've ever had it and honestly, part of me doubts I will ever get this novel finished.

Sunday night, after Vala had gone to bed and Flynn was sleeping with a full belly and a dry nappy, I decided to get cracking on finishing that third chapter. But of course writers block happened. I sat staring at my screen for hours, maybe writing a sentence or two every half hour. The ideas were all there in my head and I knew exactly where I wanted the story to go. The trouble was everything I wrote sounded completely terrible. I couldn't get into the zone and just write because I was constantly editing and rewriting every sentence in my head. I took my netbook to bed with me and read over the page and a half I'd spent the entire night writing and suddenly the creative juices started flowing and before I knew it, it was 4am and I was having the internal struggle of whether to keep going whilst the words were there or to get some rest before Flynn woke for his morning feed and Vala wouldnt be far behind him. I forced myself to close my netbook and get some rest but doing so caused me to lose momentum. Upon opening my netbook later in the day, my brain didn't want to comprehend where the story was going. Writers block had returned and it's stuck around.

I've spent the past hour reading over the last couple of pages and trying to get into the zone again but to no avail. Instead all I could think about was getting my frustrations written out in blog form and now here I am. I just don't know what to do, the writers block is really defeating me at the moment. The ideas are there, I can see the story in my head so clearly it's like watching a movie but yet I can't get that image into words that sounds remotely decent. So I'm putting feelers out to any fellow writers out there... how do you overcome writers block? Any tips or pearls of wisdom you have to share? Drop a comment below and together we'll see if I can push passed this mental barrier and actually manage to complete chapter three!


Until next time,
Alli xo

Monday, 8 January 2018

100 Blogger Truths

Just for fun I thought I would take part in the "100 Blogger Truths" created by Debbie from My Random Musings. I wasn't tagged by another blogger but I wanted to participate still.  I also won't be tagging any other bloggers in to participate (mainly as I'm only just meeting new bloggers) but instead I'm leaving it open for everyone to participate in. And if you do participate, feel free to send me a link to your blog post and I will add it to this post.

The basics
1 What’s your name? Alison 
2 Any nicknames or aliases? Alli & Netirial
3 Your gender? Female
4 Your star sign? Scorpio
5 How old are you? 27
6 Your relationship status? Engaged
7 Any children? 2
8 Any pets? 2 cats
9 Any tattoos or piercings? Ears pierced.
10 What do you like about yourself? Not a whole lot
11 What do you dislike about yourself? Pretty much everything
12 Righty or lefty? Righty

Lasts

13 The last thing you drank: Cranberry & Raspberry Juice
14 The last thing you ate: Cheddar Crackers
15 Your last phone call: From my fiancè
16 Your last text message: Happy New Year to my best friend
17 Your last email: To my daughter to read when she's 18
18 The last song you listened to: Imagine Dragons - Whatever It Takes
19 The last book you read: Scarecrow & The Army of Thieves - Matthew Reilly
20 The last time you cried: 2 nights ago.
22 The last person you spoke to: My daughter
23 The last place you visited: Fiancès old work; Wilkos, to introduce our son to his old colleagues. 
24 Your last holiday abroad: Technically never had a holiday abroad.

Have you ever?

25 Have you ever gotten back with an ex? Never. Came close though.
26 Have you ever been cheated on? Sadly yes
27 Have you ever cheated on someone? Never! I know how much it hurts.
28 Have you ever lost someone special to you? Multiple people
29 Have you ever been so drunk you threw up? Too many times to count
30 Have you ever fallen out of love with someone? Multiple times.
31 Have you ever met someone who changed you? Definitely! And not for the better either :(
32 Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are? Again, sadly yes
33 Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have? Yep! Instant regret. I was drunk & he was desperately trying to get out the friendzone. It gave false hope.
34 Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back? Happens more than it should
35 Have you ever broken someone’s heart? More than once.
36 Have you ever kissed a stranger? No.
37 Have you ever had your own heart broken? Badly, yes.
38 Have you ever had sex on the first date? No.
39 Have you ever been arrested? No.
40 Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive? No.
41 Have you ever done something you regret? Of course. 
42 Have you ever had a threesome? No.
43 Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public? Do it all the time.
44 Have you ever misjudged someone? Yes but it's a rare occurrence. I am usually a very good judge of character. 

Your beliefs and opinions

45 Do you believe in God? Yes and no. I'm Agnostic.
46 Do you believe in yourself? Not as much as i should
47 Do you believe in Santa Claus? Not since I was a kid
48 Do you believe in ghosts? Have actually seen one. Scared me so much I vomited and made me cower under a sofa.
49 Do you believe in aliens? I don't believe were alone in this universe but I prefer not to use the term "Aliens". They're other life forms to me.
50 Do you believe in miracles? Yes though I do think they're extremely rare.
51 Do you believe in the power of positive thinking? Sometimes
52 Do you believe in love at first sight? I didn't until I met my fiancè in person.
53 Can money make you happy? Not happy but it takes away stress and worry which can result in you feeling happier.
54 Would you describe yourself as a feminist? Somewhat, yes.
55 Are you pro-life or pro-choice? Pro-choice.
56 Do you have strong political beliefs? Not really
57 Do you have strong religious beliefs? No.
58 What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is? Love.

Right now

59 Are you eating anything right now? No
60 Are you drinking anything right now? Vanilla Coke
61 What are you listening to right now? My friend JonOfAllGames streaming on Twitch 
62 What are you thinking about right now? Not being sick anymore (im full of cold).
63 What are you waiting for right now? My fiancè to come home with stuff to cook dinner.
64 What are you most excited about right now? My children.
65 What’s your pet hate right now? My ex husband messaging me every single day since my son was born.
66 What’s your favourite thing right now? Definitely my children.
67 If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now? Resting in bed watching JonOfAllGames Twitch Stream.

Firsts

68 Your first best friend: Girl called Stephanie
69 Your first kiss: Honestly don't remember. I was kissing boys as a child haha.
70 Your first celebrity crush: Joseph Gordan-Levitt when he was in 3rd Rock from the sun.
71 Your first holiday: Queensland, Australia (I think)
72 Your first pet: A rabbit called Mikelopolis
73 Your first regret: Honestly cannot remember.
74 Your first job: Wendy's Supa Sundaes. I served people ice cream, milkshakes and hot dogs
75: Your first childhood memory: Watching a family friend participating in Dragon Boat racing when I was 2 years old

Which would you choose?

76 Love or money? LOVE
77 Twitter or Facebook? Both
78 Hook up or relationship? Always a relationship
79 Dogs or cats? Dogs
80 Coffee or tea? Coffee (just)
81 Beer or wine? Beer
82 Sweet or savoury? Sweet
83 Introvert or extrovert? Extrovert
84 Vampires or werewolves? Vampires
85 Seaside or countryside? Seaside
86 Summer or winter? Winter
87 Books or movies? Movies
88 Horror or comedy? Comedy

A few random questions to finish on

89 Do you wish you could change your past? No. If I did, I wouldn't have my family now.
90 What’s your dream job? An author.
91 What’s your guilty pleasure? All things unicorn! And I also really love My Little Pony.
92 What are you afraid of? Losing my family.
93 What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up? A mum. Seriously.
94 If you could have any super power, what would it be? I'd like to be able to make things appear out of thin air. Like "im craving chocolate" boom chocolate appears. 
95 If you could change anything about your life what would it be? I'd be thinner and healthier so I could keep up with my daughter and play with her more.
96 Would you want immortality? Only if my family had it too. If they didn't then hell no. I couldn't live without them.
97 If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose? My favourite author; Matthew Reilly
98 Would you say you are happy? Happiest I've ever been in my life, so yes. I'm definitely happy.
99 What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen? Never stop believing in yourself. Someone will come along and try to squeeze all self-confidence out of you and crush your self-esteem. Dont let him! Keep believing in yourself!
100 Where would you like to be in five years’ time? Married to my amazing fiancè, with one more child so we have 3 in total. Living in a house we own and I'll have finally finished my first fantasy novel, published it and be working on my second!


There you have it 100 Blogger Truths about me. Remember, if you participate, post a link to your blog post in the comments below and I'll add it to this post. Grab the questions below if you would like to take part.

Until next time,

Alli xo

The basics

1 What’s your name?
2 Any nicknames or aliases?
3 Your gender?
4 Your star sign?
5 How old are you?
6 Your relationship status?
7 Any children?
8 Any pets?
9 Any tattoos or piercings?
10 What do you like about yourself?
11 What do you dislike about yourself?
12 Righty or lefty?

Lasts

13 The last thing you drank:
14 The last thing you ate:
15 Your last phone call:
16 Your last text message:
17 Your last email:
18 The last song you listened to:
19 The last book you read:
20 The last time you cried:
21 The last blog you read:
22 The last person you spoke to:
23 The last place you visited:
24 Your last holiday abroad:

Have you ever?

25 Have you ever gotten back with an ex?
26 Have you ever been cheated on?
27 Have you ever cheated on someone?
28 Have you ever lost someone special to you?
29 Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?
30 Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?
31 Have you ever met someone who changed you?
32 Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?
33 Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?
34 Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?
35 Have you ever broken someone’s heart?
36 Have you ever kissed a stranger?
37 Have you ever had your own heart broken?
38 Have you ever had sex on the first date?
39 Have you ever been arrested?
40 Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?
41 Have you ever done something you regret?
42 Have you ever had a threesome?
43 Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?
44 Have you ever misjudged someone?

Your beliefs and opinions

45 Do you believe in God?
46 Do you believe in yourself?
47 Do you believe in Santa Claus?
48 Do you believe in ghosts?
49 Do you believe in aliens?
50 Do you believe in miracles?
51 Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?
52 Do you believe in love at first sight?
53 Can money make you happy?
54 Would you describe yourself as a feminist?
55 Are you pro-life or pro-choice?
56 Do you have strong political beliefs?
57 Do you have strong religious beliefs?
58 What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?

Right now

59 Are you eating anything right now?
60 Are you drinking anything right now?
61 What are you listening to right now?
62 What are you thinking about right now?
63 What are you waiting for right now?
64 What are you most excited about right now?
65 What’s your pet hate right now?
66 What’s your favourite thing right now?
67 If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?

Firsts

68 Your first best friend:
69 Your first kiss:
70 Your first celebrity crush:
71 Your first holiday:
72 Your first pet:
73 Your first regret:
74 Your first job:
75: Your first childhood memory:

Which would you choose?

76 Love or money?
77 Twitter or Facebook?
78 Hook up or relationship?
79 Dogs or cats?
80 Coffee or tea?
81 Beer or wine?
82 Sweet or savoury?
83 Introvert or extrovert?
84 Vampires or werewolves?
85 Seaside or countryside?
86 Summer or winter?
87 Books or movies
88 Horror or comedy

A few random questions to finish on

89 Do you wish you could change your past?
90 What’s your dream job?
91 What’s your guilty pleasure?
92 What are you afraid of?
93 What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
94 If you could have any super power, what would it be?
95 If you could change anything about your life what would it be?
96 Would you want immortality?
97 If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?
98 Would you say you are happy?
99 What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?
100 Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
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