Sunday, 30 September 2018

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Zumba Challenge

Hey everyone! Happy hump day! I can't believe we're half way through the week already. I think I'm actually two blog posts behind schedule because the days are going by so fast that I keep losing track of what day I'm actually on. Either way, it's Wednesday and I've remembered it's Wednesday so I'm getting a post out on time! I'm taking the small victories where I can.

So, I've started a new challenge this week. It's separate from this month's challenge which is going....ok....ish. On Monday I strapped on my confidence pants and did something I've been scared to do in my home for ages.... Zumba. We live in a first floor flat and I've been so scared of our downstairs neighbours hearing me stomping about, that I've put off Zumba-ing altogether. Anyway, Jordan gave me all his support and encouraged me to give it a go and even joined me to help ease any nerves. So there we were, both zumba-ing in our living room and I loved it! Of course I'm completely unfit so had to keep taking breaks to catch my breath but I had a lot of fun and my nerves completely vanished. I woke up yesterday so sore but determined to another Zumba workout. I did the Cardio Party on Monday and Sculpt and Tone yesterday.

This brings me to my challenge. In the guidebook that comes with the DVDs is a "10 day accelerated weight-loss" plan. Basically I alternate Cardio Party and Sculpt and Tone each day while taking rest days on days 4 and 8. Supposedly, if you do the routines and follow their eating guide, you'll lose roughly a dress size in the 10 days. I don't expect to actually drop a dress size but I want to challenge myself to actually complete the 10 day plan. I am so sore but determined. I am genuinely interested in seeing what kind of result I get after completing the 10 days. I made note of my weight on Monday and I'll weigh myself on day 11 to see just how little or much I actually lost.

I'm actually really excited about this. Now that I'm not worried about how much noise I'll make while doing it, I feel a new sense of hope that maybe I can lose weight after all. And maybe it will help me get the confidence to start going back to the gym again. Can't wait to update you at the end of this challenge! Wish me luck!

Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Flynn Monthly Update: 9 months

Hey everyone, happy Thursday to you all! I pushed yesterdays post back to today because Flynn is 9 months old today! I cannot believe he is three quarters of a year old already! Time is going way too fast! It's going to be his birthday before we even know it and I am not ready!!!

How's Flynn Doing?

A lot has happened in the last month and
Flynn has developed so much. He now weighs 7.9kg (17lbs 06oz) which puts him just below the 25th percentile line. He is quite light for his age but he is a very active baby and eats quite a lot. Apparently his weight is in line with my genetics as my siblings and I all weighed between 16lbs and 17lbs 10oz at 9 months so he is just like his mum. He is putting the weight on though which is good to see after his major drop in weight last month. Also need to remember that Jordan is dad and he has a very high metabolism which I recently learned can be genetic. 

On top of crawling which he started doing last month, he is now pulling himself up and cruising. He says two words: "Dada" and "Dad". We're trying to teach him Mumma but his cheeky personality shines through when he smiles back at us and replies "dad". He still has ZERO teeth! He loves to play 'peek a boo' with us and often starts the game himself by smiling at us and then turning his head back and forth. He is getting better with bath time but only when Vala is in the bath with him. Sometimes he sleeps through the night, some nights he wakes multiple times for feeds. He has developed so much and hit quite a few milestones this month and Jordan and I could not be more proud. 

How's Mum Doing?

In a single word? Bad. I'm doing bad. I thought I hit rock bottom last month in terms of my mental health but this month and this past week in particular has been probably the hardest yet. I've been under a lot of stress this month and my sanity has not survived it. Just the other day, I did something I do extremely rarely... I opened up 100% to Jordan and told him honestly what was on my mind. All the things I'm usually too ashamed or scared to tell him started coming out and it didn't go well. It ended with Jordan getting overwhelmed and walking out and me drinking in the dark while contemplating leaving my family for their own good. Something I have since decided against. My mental state is not good but Jordan and I are working through it together. 

Physically, I am very unfit and I'm ashamed to admit that. Just walking up a hill yesterday and my normal pace, without the pram or any extra weight, left me struggling to breathe. I really felt like I couldn't catch my breath and the pain radiating from my ankle and up my calves was intense. It wasn't a good burn at all. It felt like my ankles were about to snap in half and my calf muscles were about to explode out my legs. There came a point where I honestly thought I wasn't going to make it home. But I did and when i got in, I collapsed in my chair, gasping for breath, sweat dripping down the sides of my face and my legs burning. I wanted to cry but couldn't. I'm really ashamed of how bad my fitness level has become. I want to fix it but now I'm even more afraid of going back to the gym.

So, pretty much Flynn and I have had opposite months. He has had a great month with a lot of development and growth and I've had a bad month with a lot of mental and physical struggles. I think Flynn's good month is the main thing that got me through my bad one. I can't wait to see what this month has in store for him. We love him so much and are so proud of him. 

Until next time, 
Alli xo

Monday, 17 September 2018

Creative Monday

Hey everyone! Happy Monday. The week has begun once again and today I have decided to fight off the lure of Mondayitis blues by being a little bit creative!

To start off, I'm working a lot on my fantasy world today. Trying to fill it out and breath more life into the world I am creating. I feel like it'll make writing my novel easier when the world is more fleshed out around my characters. I read that J. R. R. Tolkein did this when he was writing The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. He created the entire world just for himself. Towns that we, the readers, never saw existed, all the people in those towns had names and jobs. He created a living, breathing world inside his own imagination and then walked his characters through that world when writing his novels. I was really inspired by that and so this morning I am working on doing something similar. I'm creating a list of names and jobs and towns and I'm going to fill those towns with people who have jobs, families and lives. Many of these characters will never be seen or heard of but some will make a cameo appearance in my writings and I like the idea that they're a character in their own world.

I'm hoping to get some proper novel writing done this afternoon as well. Flynn is currently down for his morning nap but will soon be waking for lunch. Fingers crossed his goes down for his afternoon nap before the school run so I can get a little bit of time to work on my novel. I've been on chapter nine for ages and barely written anything. NaNoWriMo is fast approaching and I wanted all twelve chapters of the first draft written by November 1st so that I could roughly edit them down and work on either draft 1.5 or 2 during NaNoWriMo. Gotta get a move on to meet my deadline.

Lastly, when Vala gets home from school, we're going to work on her homework. I can't believe i'm saying this but my little girl does actually have homework. She is required to build a rocket using an old soft drink can, a small yogurt tub and a few other bits and pieces. I went out and got what we needed after the school run this morning and I'm really looking forward to helping her build her rocket this afternoon!

Here's hoping keeping creative and productive all days will help keep the negative thoughts I've been having lately at bay. I'm sick and tired of all the stresses of reality at the moment so I'm really just wanting a day where I escape to my own personal fantasy world.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Saturday, 15 September 2018


Hey everyone, this post was supposed to come out yesterday but writing my previous post about Nonna was actually harder to do than I anticipated. I cried quite a few times while writing it to be honest. Nonetheless, this post isn't a long one, it's about this new thing I've been trying recently; Journaling!

Every night before I got to sleep, I try and have 30 mins of screen free time and in that time I write in a journal, reflecting on my day or getting down anything that's in my head at the time that might potentially keep me awake. I write no more than a single page though which most of the time is fine, but sometimes can be a little limiting and I have to abruptly end what I'm saying. I don't know whether or not the journaling is actually helping though. At first I enjoyed doing it and felt it did help me get to sleep easier. However now it's starting to feel like more of a chore. I get up to go to bed and remember that I still have to write in my journal and I groan at the thought. Writing a page is so much effort when all I want to do is just lay awake in bed and do nothing. Despite my current displeasure in the task, I've managed to do it consecutively every night since first starting. That's 18 nights. 18 journal entries filled with my thoughts, feelings, fears, concerns and general ranting. I think the only reason I'm still journaling at the moment is because I've done it for this long and I don't want to just suddenly stop. If I stop, I may not start again and that would just be a waste in my opinion.

So I can't say for sure yet whether keeping a journal is actually helping me with my postnatal depression but it also isn't hurting it. I think the way it helps most is that I don't keep it private. Jordan can read it any time he wants and understand what I'm going through without us having to have a difficult conversation about it. I think it helps him understand me and my feelings better and I'd say him having insight into my inner thoughts has bought us closer together and made us stronger. So I'm not going to give it up. I plan to keep journaling for a long time to come and hopefully, it'll help me in others way in the future too.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Farewell Nonna

On Monday, Jordan and I said goodbye to a wonderful woman. His grandmother sadly passed away three weeks ago and her life was celebrated and remembered in a church full of loved ones, all there to say their final goodbyes this week.

I wanted to be strong for Jordan and be his rock through the service but Nonna touched my life too
and the moment my eyes glanced at the service program, my heart dropped and my eyes began leaking. Trying to hold the tears back only made them come on stronger. The service was beautiful though. I sat there and silently gave thanks to Nonna for welcoming Vala and I into the family. She hadn't even met us yet and she'd already bought Vala a bunch of toys and began spoiling her as if she was her actual great-granddaughter.

I still remember the very first time I met Nonna. It was unplanned and very unexpected. Jordan, Vala and I were sitting outside a small little cob shop, having some lunch in the sun. Suddenly Jordan announces his nonna was here and I panicked. I was meeting this woman for the first time and I had no chance to make a good impression. I didn't need to though, she'd already made her mind up about me long before. I made her first grandchild happy and that in turn made her happy and she welcomed me into her family with open arms...literally. I remember she turned to Vala and one of the first things she said to her was "Hello, I'm your Nonna <surname>!" (Censoring the surname for privacy reasons) She then gave Vala a big hug and a kiss and asked all these questions about nursery and stuff which Vala happily answered. She was very warm and friendly and as quickly as she arrived, she departed again to socialise with her friends. Our meeting might have come as a shock to me but it's probably the fondest memory I have. She never saw us as anything less than her family.

When she was diagnosed with cancer, I think we all took the news badly. I was pregnant with Flynn at the time and Jordan and I shared the same concern; would she get to meet our son? One night, not long after the diagnosis, Jordan went to visit her on his own and she told him that she had every intention on living long enough to meet her great-grandson. And she did. She fought her battles and not only lived long enough to meet Flynn but to also witness the first eight months of his life and many of his milestones. We took Flynn around to her house on Christmas Eve when he was just 4 days old. It was a beautiful moment to witness as Jordan handed Flynn over to her. Three generations, sitting there before me, showing nothing but love and gratitude for that moment. I remember having to hold back tears. I'm glad I got to witness their meeting.

So as I sprinkled some earth into her grave, I didn't look down in sadness, I looked down with love and gratitude for everything Nonna had ever said and done for Vala and I. For welcoming us into her family and loving us like we'd always been family. I held Jordan in my arms and together we said our final goodbyes. It hasn't been an easy week for us but I've tried my hardest to be strong for Jordan. I like imagine Nonna is watching over us right now as she plays a game or two of bingo with our friend Brian who we also lost in February this year. She's in a better place now but will forever be in our hearts.

Until next time,
Alli xo
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Thursday, 13 September 2018

Vala Started School (200th Post)

Hey everyone! I am so excited about this post for two reasons... firstly this is my 200th blog post! How amazing is that? It is my 150th post for this year alone but 200th overall. I can't believe I've spewed out 200 posts and that there are actually people out there who read them. My mind is officially blown! Thank you to everyone who does stop by, read my nonsense and support me. You guys are amazing! The second reason I'm excited about this post is because it's all about Vala starting school!

Last week Vala had her very first day of school and I could not be more proud. She's a preppy now!
For reference, in Australia, children in their first year of full time school are called Preps of Preppy's because they are in "Prep". In the UK the first year of school is known as "Reception". I don't know what the term is in other countries but here and in Australia, Prep/Reception is the class you take before Year/Grade 1 (essentially it's year 0).

Anyway, Vala was so excited to be returning to school but she hadn't fully grasped the concept that she wouldn't be returning to her nursery classroom with her favourite teachers. It took a lot of explaining the night before for it to sink in that returning to school meant new classroom, new teachers and a 7 hour day instead of 2.5 hours. I was anxious about the school run in the morning though. I was worried that I'd wake up too late and I wouldn't get myself, Vala and Flynn ready in time for the school run and she'd be late on her first day. Jordan was home and coming with us for her first day but I wanted to learn to do the routine on my own because normally he'd be at work and unable to help. The morning (and every morning since) went off without an issue. I managed to get Vala, Flynn and myself ready for school and arrived at school with time to spare. I was very proud of myself.

Not as proud as I was of Vala though. She walked into her classroom like she'd been in that class for years. She found her name and put it on the hook to register her attendance, she put her lunchbox on the lunch trolley with the other lunch boxes and after finding her dedicated hook, she hung her bag up over it. She'd learned from nursery that the school day always started with the kids on the mat and so she turned and wrapped her arms around my waist and hugged me tightly, telling me she loved me. I picked her and squeezed her tight and told her I loved her too and was so proud of her. I couldn't stop smiling. She then went and hugged Jordan and Flynn, telling them she loved them both as well. Jordan teared up with pride as he hugged her back and choked up a little when he told her he loved her too. He may not be her biological father but he has raised her since she was two years old and loves her like his own flesh and blood. Being there on her first day of school was just as emotional for him as it was for me. We both beamed with pride as we watched her join her classmates on the mat and waved goodbye to us.

She ended up having a really great day and came home bursting with energy and told us that she loved school and couldn't wait to return the following day. Now I'm just trying to get into a proper morning routine to ensure that we are always on time to school, dressed, fed and not walking zombies....ok that last one is just me but still... It has been a bit of a shock to my body as I'm NOT a morning person at all, but honestly it feels rewarding to get her there on time with all of us dressed and fed. Honestly, right now I just feel nothing but pride. This is the start of a new chapter for Vala and I am so excited to see what it brings for her....and for us.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The Ice Cream Farm

Hey everyone! The last proper blog post I did was back on the 3rd and I was very angry about not sleeping the night before we were due to go out for the day. Well, despite my sleep deprivation and terrible mood, we still made it to the Ice Cream Farm in Cheshire and I'm really glad we went.

The two and a half hour drive was stress inducing which prevented me from sleeping in the car and we were all really hungry by the time we arrived at the Ice Cream Farm but things definitely got better once we were there. We immediately grabbed lunch and I ended up having one of the most delicious chicken burger I have ever had! It was so good that not only did it put me in a better mood but it gave me enough energy to get through the day. Vala did throw a multitude of paddies but it didn't dampen the day. She started off playing on the Daisy Garden playground. Running in and out of tunnels and junping on little square trampolines in the ground. She'd have happily spent all day just on the playground if we let her but there was much more to be seen and done.

Next we had some fun panning for gemstones in sand and water. Vala was given a little sieve and with some help from myself and Jordan, managed to find lots of tiny but beautiful gem stones. We panned for a good half an hour at least! We managed to coax Vala away by tempting her with a drive on an small electric four wheeler with Jordan. They got to do a lap of the track with Vala driving for most of the lap. She did try to crash them a few times apparently but she and Jordan were both laughing and having a great time.

Next we headed indoors to the Fun Factory which is just a pretty regular soft play centre. We chose to spend time there so that Flynn could join in and have some fun too. While Vala raced off to climb, jump, slide, roll and crawl through the bigger kids play area, Jordan and I took Flynn to the baby and toddler section where he had a great time crawling around, grabbing rogue balls that had escape the baby ball pit and talking to his reflection in a mirror. It was the first time that day that we all got to be involved in something and that made me really happy. Vala was bursting with energy, zooming around chaotically and Flynn had a giant smile on his face with his new found freedom from the pram.

As the day started to come to an end, we couldn't leave The Ice Cream Farm without an ice cream now could we? Their Cheshire Ice creams are so delicious and they have so much variety to choose from! Vala chose Double Chocolate and wore it all over her face. Jordan ventured out from his usual vanilla choice and tried Blackberry Cheesecake which was actually insanely delicious! I had Raspberry Pavlova which was also insanely good. I honestly could've taken home tubs of the ice cream flavours we tried. To wrap up our day we took some family selfies and had one last play on the Daisy Garden playground. In the centre of the playground is a giant ice cream tree which shoots foam out of it every half an hour. We were lucky enough to catch some foam right before it was time to leave. It really was the prefect end to a day that had started off so bad.

All in all, despite my horrendous mood in the morning and the fact the trip nearly got cancelled, we all had an amazing time. If you're located in the United Kingdom and fancy a fun family day out that is insanely affordable (im talking no entry admission), then I can't recommend the Ice Cream Farm in Cheshire highly enough. For more information you can find their website by clicking HERE!

Until next time,
Alli xo
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I'm back!

Hey everyone, I am very sorry for my absence recently. A lot has been going on. This is just a short post detailing my absence but I do plan on making up for the 4 posts I've missed. The four posts (3 normal and one Sunday photo) will be about the reasons why I've been absent and they are:

  • Family Days Out
  • Vala's Started School 
  • Nonna's Funeral

I thought about including it all in one post today but honestly each subject requires its own post and putting them together would just make one gigantic post so keep a look out because the three missed posts will be coming to you this week along with any other scheduled post days and there'll be two photos in this weeks Sunday Photo.

Until next time,
Alli xo
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Monday, 3 September 2018

The universe is against me

It's Monday morning and I swear the universe is against me! I'm starting to notice a pattern; every time I do something positive to make me happy, the universe throws me a stinky poop ball.

Yesterday I went and got my hair cut. Not just trimmed, I got a whole new style! Goodbye long hair and hello cute new medium cut. Check out the before and after photo...

I came out of that hair appointment feeling amazing. I love my new look. It seriously filled me with such confidence and made me happy. Then the universe decided I'm not allowed to feel good about myself and broke my bed when I laid down on it. Not even joking, the wood beam underneath split in half when I laid down. If anything is gonna trigger my weight issues, it's gonna be a bed breaking underneath me.

Another example of the universe being against me.... or maybe just me being against me, we're going to the Ice-Cream Farm today. It's a fun little place for families and kids to do a variety of activities like mini golf, indoor soft play, electric car racing, pet farm animals etc. It's an awesome place that we visited 2 years ago and I'm so excited to take the kids today. So excited that I didn't sleep at all last night. Not a wink. It wasn't the excitement that kept me awake but more the stress of getting the kids ready, the 2 hour drive there, Vala inevitably tantruming several times throughout the day etc. To distract myself from the stressful thoughts, my brain decided to think about trivial things like scenes from movies and tv shows. I am so exhausted right now and have already had a massive cry. I try and do something fun and the universe is like "hahaha have some sleep deprivation!" This is so not fair!

I'm gonna try and sleep in the car but knowing the universe, it'll think of someway to torture me.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Monthly Challenge: August

Happy 1st of September everyone! Autumn has arrived! Just a short post that I should've done before August actually ended but better late than never am I right?

This (last) month I challenged myself to write lore for the characters in my novel. The challenge was to write one characters lore a week, meaning by the end of August, I should have had five characters individual lore completed. So how did I do? Erm....ok but not great. I completed two. The other three I started but never got finished. So I'd say I completed like 40% of this months challenge. I thought a week would be more than enough time to write out a basic back story for my character, especially since a lot of it is based around the events in the novel I am currently writing, but I was dead wrong. Writing out lore is hard. You don't want to go into so much detail that you're essentially writing a character synopsis but you don't want to skip out little details that help define their character.

As a result, I struggled a lot more than I thought I would but I am still determined to get the lore for each character written out. Maybe just not one a week. But we're in September now and that means it's time for a new monthly challenge. I have already started on it and hopefully I'll have it completed come the 30th. You'll just have to wait until my next monthly challenge update to find out what it is and how I did.

Until next time,
Alli xo