My Slimming Journey 

So following the miscarriage I didn’t focus on what I was eating or drinking so all the amazing work I’d put in prior to the wedding (3 stone loss) slowly crept back up. 

Until the point where you realise your trousers don’t quite fit and to keep buying new clothes just isn’t ok anymore. It’s time to stop. 

So here I am again. Back on a slimming journey. Naturally we have for the last year been trying to get pregnant again but so far no success. Maybe it’s the pressure. Maybe it’s the gaining weight. Maybe just not my time. We don’t know. But all I know is I was almost 2 stone lighter last time and healthier. So if I fix and focus on that maybe the other will get the hint and we get some good news…. 

We are also moving house! I’m so excited to be buying a dream house. What I’ve called ‘Pinterest House’ so as you can see things are hectic to say the least. 

I figure if I can take control of one part of my life the other parts will somehow follow suit. 

So I’m just finished week one of Slimming World and I’m so over the moon to report I’ve lost a massive 4lbs. Honestly I can’t believe it. 

When I was doing it for the wedding I don’t think I ever had that big a loss. So what I am doing differently. Well firstly I’m doing it all online. With work, the move and everything else I just don’t have time for classes. So to give me the Image Therapy side of the meetings I’ve created a new online community using Instagram and Facebook. If I photograph everything I eat it will help me stay on track as I have to declare it. 

Also having your food diary digital you can’t fudge your totals. It is what it is. Your more focused on your amount of speedy foods and Syns. Well… my theory anyway. Let’s see how next week pans out…. 

You can find me here 

I will be writing a weekly (ish) update on here too. 

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Taboo

So it’s been 8 months since the wedding. The best day of our lives. I won’t lie, the come down post wedding was really hard. The honeymoon was so relaxing. So fabulous. It was exactly what we needed, but then reality sucks you right back in. 

Suddenly one month after the wedding. I found myself staring at a positive pregnancy test and I felt somewhat dumbfounded. It wasn’t that we weren’t trying, it was more the shock that it actually really worked. 

What surprised me the most was how much you have to pee. All the time. I literally couldn’t sleep longer than 2 hours before my bladder was pushing down. 

Aches, anxiety. Strange emotions. Protective of something you can’t feel or see. Worried of everything you eat and trying to stay calm. 

10 weeks in and not a sign of morning sickness. I was beginning to think I was a lucky one. That somehow I’d escaped the rough side of pregnancy. Two weeks until the scan I was feeling home and dry, getting excited to be nearing the second trimester. 

Then during a date night with the bear, a trip to the bathroom resulted in tears as I saw spots of blood. I’m calmed that this can be natural. Can be just a breakthrough bleed. But then the cramps started. 

Trips to the doctor and then emergency search for a private ultrasound scan as I just couldn’t wait for the NHS one. Only to reveal my little one was only 6-7 weeks not the 10-11 we thought. 

A rip roaring cry emerged. A primal growl I didn’t even know I had emerged. This was not good. Somehow I had confirmed something that had been lingering in my mind. My lack of symptoms. Sometimes morning sickness can be reassuring! 

Next stop A&E as the pain forced me to all fours. Pain coming in waves, cramps and contractions confirming that my body is preparing to say goodbye to my pregnancy. 

Despite that it didn’t let go. And sadly it took an emergency surgery ERPC (Emergency Removal of Product of Conception) how glamorous a name to remove it. 

Now, 5 months later we are still trying to conceive again. What seemed so simple before seems to elude us. 

Coupled with the loss, I discover I’m BRCA2 positive. In layman terms I’m a genetic carrier of the breast and ovarian cancer gene. My risk far outweighs the general public. I need to start thinking of my options and smart decisions. Do I want to do an Angelina!? 

Why is my life so complicated all of a sudden. Newly wed and clouded with loss and confusion. All I want is to glow in being a wife and focus on extending our family. But instead it’s hospital appointment after hospital appointment and talking through choices until your no more clear than you were before. 

Having lived through my mums breast cancers twice and seeing her struggle and defeat it is a very grounding reality of the risk. 

But a 10 hour surgery for natural reconstruction following a bi-lateral mastectomy is not any easy call to make. 

And delaying starting a family at 35 is hard. A year minimum until strong enough to start trying. Then how long to conceive… I could be 37… my risk of healthy pregnancy… 

So here I am writing this down, sending this into the ether of the world, trying to make sense of emotion and desperately searching for a rational conclusion. 

I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to not do something.  Do I see a fertility doctor. Do we try and get pregnant and then focus on surgery. 

At the same time I cling to work and my marriage. Try to have stability wherever I can. 

To be continued…. 

The Wedding

It happened. It really happened. #ToriMarriedBear

I honestly can’t quite put into words how incredible being married feels. It’s only been two 1/2 weeks and I love it. 

Despite months and months of preparation, nothing prepares you for this feeling. A wholesome, secure feeling that radiates from within. It has somehow consumed the almost daily anxiety I had. Whether this feeling is shortlived I can’t say, but it is and has made me feel amazing. 


The day, as everyone told me, was a blur. Too fast. Too much to take in. Too incredible to completely comprehend. Feeling like you constantly need to press pause to just take everything in. Absorb the emotions. Photograph in your brain everyone’s reactions. Play over and over the ceremony. It’s all just over before you can catch your breath. 

Our dream was to be married outside in our favourite Cotswold hotel, The Hare & Hounds in Tetbury. The place we became a proper couple, decided to live together, to buy a house and then in fact get married. You could say that the hotel is as much part of our relationship as the Bear & I. There was no other alternative. 

Two months of daily if not hourly weather watching ensued. I have never been more interested or scared to watch the weather. We say English people can talk more on the weather than any other nation and I can quite believe it. Somehow. Despite all the threats of cold, rain, cloud, thunderstorms and generally typical English spring weather. We awoke to beaming sunshine. Our outside ceremony seemed totally possible. Nothing would stand in our way. With a ceremony booked for 3pm we just needed the sun to stay with us. With my girls around me, we popped a cork and set about getting ready. The hair & makeup artist, Holly Anderson, arrived promptly at 7.30am and with seven of us to make up set about making as all look and feel amazing. The best bit was being able to have my wedding day present from the Bear. Opening it on the bed to find the most exquisite Claudia Bradby pearl necklace. So chic, elegant and yet a hint of blush pink to add a modern twist on the so thoughtful wedding gift. I love them so much. Sadly the pearls didn’t match the rest of my outfit so I wore them up until I got into my dress but have worn them every day since.By 9.30am I couldn’t stay in the room. I skipped over to the wedding venue room and inspected the weather and grass. Everything was looking good. Better than good, my dream for the room had come together and  with my maid of honour and mum had a little cry of sheer happiness and a little bit of surreal knowledge that this was all for my wedding. My florist arrived shortly after 11am and whilst the tables and button holes were incredible the bouquets were not what I expected or briefed. I was so disappointed. I love flowers and had diligently made a whole PowerPoint presentation to the florist on what i wanted. I couldn’t fathom what had gone wrong. I felt slightly faint and a little ashamed that this could upset me so much. So I decided not to look at them. In retrospect, I can now see that they were pretty and worked with the theme but can’t quite get over that they weren’t my dream flowers. The ones I had lusted over for more than a year. But I guess that’s the thing about fairytale weddings. Sometimes despite our best efforts the reality isn’t always the same. I told myself I’d rather have the weather and everything else ok with the day. As long as I can zip up my dress it will be fine. At 11.30am it was my time to get in the hair & makeup chair. Despite having a trial it felt really exciting and all of a sudden very very real. With my hair done, my makeup perfected and my hair piece affixed it felt like a thousand butterflies had been released in my body. The only thing that stood between me and the alter was now my rather snug Pronovais dress. 5 months of dieting had resulted in 2 1/2 stones of weight loss and a hope and prayer that I would be able to zip up and breathe in my beautiful dress. With some slight miracle of last minute stress weight loss the dress zipped up a dream and I even had to have the shoulders sewn tighter. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I had hardly slept in days with worry it wouldn’t fit. Rather crazy but believe me in the run up to the wedding nothing in your head is very rational. Suddenly it was 3pm and I was about to get married. I bustled out the door and greeted my dad. I’ll never forget the look he gave me. That proud amazement was quite overwhelming. I still had to get through walking down the aisle and my vows. This stuff is not for the faint hearted. 

I had somehow picked 4 inch heels and an outside ceremony. Thank goodness for Clean Heels to stop me sinking into the grass. I had to literally kick forward to stop my dress trapping my legs. No one teaches you how to walk in your dress! One thing is for sure go to the toilet a billion times before you get zipped into it as you don’t want to try it when you are in it. But with my dad at my side telling me jokes the whole walk down towards the aisle to keep us calm, I have never appreciated him more. The ceremony was magical and rather blurry.  Trying to look at Bear, not cry and say my vows was a challenge. Thankfully the mother of one of my bridesmaids is a registrar and had agreed to marry us. Without her guidance and reassurance it would have been hard. All I seem to remember next is looking and seeing our wedding staring at the photographers. Desperately trying to see if everyone is enjoying the Pimms and Champagne on the lawn and secretly really wanting one. My cheeks ached from so much smiling, you honestly can not stop yourself beaming like a Cheshire Cat.  Like a blur suddenly it was time to enter our reception. Everyone was smiling and I was desperate to go and chat to everyone. I barely ate a thing. We were whisked off again to have some couple photos and when we returned the main was being served and I can’t quite believe that the day was half gone. We cut our cake and I could not wait to try it.  After 5 months of dieting the idea of an unadulterated feast on cake frosting was almost too much. Quite simply I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Be it the artistry of the baker, the magic of the day or my sudden desire for sugar I can’t tell you. All I know is there was absolutely nothing remaining after the wedding. Three tiers, Chocolate & Guiness Velvet, Chocolate & Salted Caramel with a top tier of Apple & Cinnamon. I know I stole away 2 pieces for the Bear & I to devour after we had hung up our dancing shoes. Feeling faguely guilty yet in the knowledge that it was our cake we’re allowed to take it. The evening called for outfit number two. There was no chance I would try to whirl my huge train around on the dance floor. Big huge Pronovais dresses are not built for power ballads. So I slipped into a vintage inspired Amanda Wakeley gown, gorgeously embellished and very twenties in style. We had a surprise in store, with a live band, Three Bags Full, as well as a DJ and they did not disappoint. Everyone was up, laughing, dancing and having such a great time. Our dream had come to life and even our photographer said she really wanted to stay and party as the atmosphere was so infectious. 

I’ve never felt so exhilarated. If this is love it truly is the definition of bliss and security. I never knew marriage would be so elating and grounding. Someone said to me ‘welcome to the best club in the world’ and he could not have been more right. 

It’s now 2 1/2 weeks since we said I Do and I’m still smiling. I can’t wait for our next adventure. What I do know is that marriage is great and I couldn’t have found a more perfect day if I’d tried to pull it kicking and screaming from Pinterest.

Wedding planning – 8 weeks to go! 

With only 8 weeks until our big day I am going to spend time posting my thoughts and final prep on here. 

I haven’t posted before now mainly as I haven’t wanted to bore everyone. Plus it’s taken this long to get most things sorted. I also want some elements to be a surprise to our guests (and indeed the Bear). But I feel ready to share a little of my journey to the aisle. 

Planning.  

  
Now I work as head of marketing. So planning is integral to my career. So rather than getting stressed about what I needed to do I approached it as I would any other launch. I made a list. A big list. And started prioritising. 

A big part of my early planning, was on Pinterest. This is such a fabulous source of information and ideas. However. I will give one slight health warning. This can make your wedding snowball. A little country wedding can soon become bigger budget… Try and be focused in your searches and limit what you look for. Be clear in your mind of your budget at all times. 

Budget 

 This is the biggest thing you need to plan. And stuck to. As per my previous point it’s so easy to get carried away. Be realistic and work through what you need. I will add a  separate post on this. 

Venue.  

 For us this was the easiest part as we already knew where we wanted to get married. For others this but can be a challenge. 

Theme.  

 I had a theme in my head and on Pinterest but it wasn’t really coming to life in reality. So I changed my theme. Don’t be afraid to have a second thought on things. In retrospect the second idea was better than the first. 

This also happened for my wedding dress shopping. I went with a really prescriptive vision in mind but in reality I chose something very different. 

However, once you start buying. Keep to your theme. You will have second thoughts and doubts but remind yourself of the excitement and delight at making the original decision and go with it. 

Stay tuned for more pre-wedding posts! 

Weekend Renovation

This week the Bear and I have been really poorly. So much so our plans of visiting my parents had to be postponed. 

Yesterday was a write off. The Bear and I having a competitive cough session. 

Today, feeling slightly more human I ventured outside. As far as the front fence. 

After the Bear had ‘cleaned’ the fence with his beloved Kartcher it had blasted the existing paint right off. 

We have been wanting to re-paint it for a few weeks but other jobs have taken priority. So with my coughing slightly abaiting I donned my renovation kit and headed out. 

Here’s the before snap     We picked Cuprinol Forest Oak as we were keen to have it a dark shade.    

  


 

 Painting fences is I found out quite laborious. A good sense of achievement and love that the front of our house looks more in keeping with the neighbourhood.    

  

 Thankfully by the time I got to the front of the fence the Bear joined me. It’s far more fun with two! 

What DIY have you tackled? 

Green Goddess

Since Bear created Bear Juice I’ve been quite excited by it and have addictively been having it most mornings. However, I have been experimenting on my own with great results! I wanted to create my own version of a Green (ish) juice. But one that would also double as a breakfast replacement, otherwise it’s goodness slightly goes to waste when I team it with some carb naughtiness. I’m not anti carbs (I wish) I just know I get drawn to buying naughty things in the morning. After my morning commute from Sunny Surrey into the masses at Waterloo and battle to Mayfair. By this point I’m starving and Pret is my safe haven before work becons. 

So I wanted the Green Goddess to do two things. One be good for me. Two stop me spending crazy money EVERYDAY in Pret (at least at breakfast time) and THREE be filling, to make number Two actually work! Ok that’s actually three things. Even better. 

So here it is! 

Green Goddess Juice

Inside it, a pear! Yum. 

Spinach (a good handful) 

Kale (a good handful) 

Half a frozen banana (cut in chunks before freezing) 

Frozen strawberries, blueberries, red berries, blackberries and raspberries 

Oats! I pour in a nice little heap 

Water. Key ingredient to make it juicy (unless you want to eat it with a spoon!) 

Blend! Add more water if needed. Blend again. I like a smooth consistency. 

Serve or if you are like me. Lid on. Commute. Get to work. Load up your computer and sip away feeling gorgeously smug at your yummy healthy breakfast. Enjoy.  

Tip: if the green colour scares you, add more berries. But remember green is good. Taste it before you dismiss it. You may be surprised!! 

   

Bathroom Renovation

When we first saw our house the Bear and I agreed on one thing. It needed a new bathroom. Whilst the other one was functional, it was not up to our standards. As the Bear’s brother was a plumber we didn’t worry too much about the size of the work involved. Silly us.    The journey to our new bathroom was a lot harder and emotional than either of us anticipated. Our first task was to pick a style and concept. This, I thought would be easy. In fact, it was really hard. At first we thought we wanted a traditionally inspired theme. However after a little pep talk, and a zillion magazines, from the Bear’s family we decided on a more modern theme.     Once we had a general design in mind the demolision began. The Bear and his brother set to work on what they thought was an (easy) tile removal job. Little did we realise the previous occupants had wondrously tiled upon tile. So removal turned out to be a much bigger job. In fact, the boys had to go right back to the brick work. 

Seeing our bathroom in this state was really emotional. When you have spent so much money on a purchase to rip it to shreds is very hard. Especially when you are not 100% sure what the outcome will be. Plus with only one toilet in the house when it went out of action it was rather tricky!  



     Picking tiles…. Oh my! The Bear and I had so many sleepless nights over tiles. Looking back it seems hilarious that it could be so hard. But after 7 trips to different tile shops, finally we made a decision. We both feel we made the perfect choice. For anyone about to embark on a bathroom renovation, here are my top tips: 

  1. Take lots of time to make your decisions. 

  2. Get lots of opinions. 

  3. Get samples from the shops and bring them home. See the colour in the light of your room. 

  4. Decide how you want them laid. The more modern look is vertical grid, to make your space appear clean and big. Traditional is a brick formation. 

  5. Whilst large tiles are ‘the thing’ at the moment, make sure it’s in keeping with your space. If you only have a small bathroom a super big tile will only draw attention to the size (as you will only have used a few tiles to cover the whole area). 

  6. Once you have a tile, make sure your flooring matches! We opted for a complementing stone grey tile for the floor, with a dark grout. Whilst the white granite we choose for the walls brought out the bright white and chrome of our chosen suite. Of gorgeous flecks of grey and Flint. 

In order for us to get to tiling we had to have the entire room re wired and re plastered. Just seeing this made us feel one step along the way!    

After waiting what seemed like a lifetime for the plaster to dry. Finally the tiles could be laid. We opted for a professional tiler to come and lay them.  

   Just seeing this made my heart sing. The transformation then came thick and fast as the suite got installed.    

        Finally the last piece of the jigsaw was installed. The Bear’s little extravagance. His de-misting mirror. It lights up so you feel like a movie star, with just a wave of your hand. It charges razors or toothbrushes. It doesn’t mist so you can shave straight after your shower. No rubbing the mirror! Plus it even has a clock so you can see how late you are running! This was a seriously expensive outlay and took three mirror to ensure it worked and was fitted correctly. But it has finished the room and really complements the five star modern hotel bathroom look we wanted to achieve.  

   The little things are the best. Whilst a little bit more expensive, the things I love most about our bathroom. The fact we can turn on the shower or bath before you get wet or even step into the bath. 

Soft close. Both our toilet seat and the drawer in our double sink soft close. I am still not yet bored of this added extra! 

Regrets. Underfloor heating. The Bear and his brother debated putting in under floor heating. I stupidly couldn’t justify the added expense. With such a small surface area I couldn’t believe it was necessary. I was wrong. Our beautiful stone floor gets mighty chilly in the winter! Slippers are essential. But other than one small regret I love our bathroom. 

Bear Juice

Recently Bear came home from work stating he had ordered us a nutri bullet. We had been discussing getting one for quite a while. Like kids on the run up to Christmas we awaited our delivery. Upon arrival we realised in all our excitement we had forgotten to stock up on vital ingredients to blend. 

Here, is Bear’s morning juice. He likes a simple nutrious boost, one that has oats to keep him feeling full and not craving for his old breakfast naughty foods.  

     

First up, half an apple, quartered. 

Spinach (a handful)

A banana, broken into chunks. 

Blueberries ( we use frozen for ease) 

Strawberries (again we use frozen) 

Water (just about 20 mls to loosen the juice) 

If not using frozen fruit we recommend adding ice. 

Blend for 10-20 seconds until smooth  

Add oats (approx 25g) 

Add more water to keep loose. 

Blend again for another 10/20 seconds.

You may need to add more water and re blend depending on your consistency preferences. 

Pour into your glass of choice and enjoy! 

   

 

We love Bear Juice pre gym for a great blast of energy and is nice and filling for breakfast. We hope you enjoy trying it.  

Garden Renovation : Part Two 

Today we waved good bye to our potting shed. Since we bought the house we have been wanting to take down the ‘monster’ size shed. Whilst a really well built and nicely painted shed it literally took up half the garden. It had to go. 

The bear had taken a liking to the main shed, after filling it with boy tools, namely his prize possession his Kartcher Jet Washer. The ultimate in boy’s toys! 

Following part one of our garden renovation, we couldn’t wait to get back outside for challenge two. Shed demolision, made difficult as we only wanted to take down half of it. 

This was a job for Bear. He loves to get into Hulk Smash mode. This was the starting point.  

                   

 

Amazingly it took Bear only 1 hour to demolish the shed. Super impressive! 

After cleaning out the remaining shed, 10 rubbish bags later. And moving all the wood from the demolished shed. We re arranged the shed and enjoyed our work with a well earnt beer.   

The next phase, laying turf in the patch now unveiled and weeding and edging will have to wait a day as we are visiting family on Easter Sunday. 

Garden Renovation : Part One 

Before today our garden was beginning to resemble a jungle. Since buying the house in the depths of winter last year we haven’t raised a finger to the garden. With the house now becoming a home, we have been anxious to get outside and cut through the weeds to reveal its inner beauty. 

With a long bank holiday weekend begun, we joined the DIY army, at our local Homebase store. Our last garden had been a small walled courtyard affair so suddenly we needed garden tools, lawnmower, a hose… Basically everything! This was our trolley after only 10 minutes… 

We fell for some new garden furniture, which we realised after filling our trolley so rapidly, will be an online purchase. 

After a quick stop off to deliver an Easter Egg to the Bear’s dad. Off we ventured to the jungle. 

Like total amatuers we approached with caution. With the Bear on the lawn, I tackled the wild flower beds. 

The lawn before we tackled it. 

   

After a fair bit of research we had opted to buy a Flymo Hover Mower, they float above the grass (apparently) and is light weight. Even I could move it around super easily. You can check out the lawnmower buying guide we used here

The bear set the mower to the highest setting, as our grass was jungle length. This can be reduced so you can achieve a short beautifully manicured lawn. Well we are hoping this is the case.    

We are pleased with the result so far. A great arm work out too! 

My weeding task is rather epic and so I started in one place and aimed to get it cleared today so we could start a new section the following day. 

You can see the bed before I took a fork to it.  

  

This was really really hard work. Forget Nike Workouts on your phone. This was a toning muscle worker. Thankfully we had inherited a compost heap so we had somewhere to put the weeds! Below you can see the result of my labour. The plant I left in the bed is a bamboo, really cool. My mum, an incredible gardener, had identified it via FaceTime two weeks before.    

   

Above you can see the lovely spring planter we bought, they really offset the slate beautifully. 

Tomorrows task… Take down the glass side of the shed. It’s just too dominant in our little garden. We have a gorgeous (my favourite) Cherry Blossom tree behind the shed so removing the glass half will reveal its glory.         

Plus, of course the weeding continues! 

To mine, and the bear’s surprise we can’t wait to get back out there. Weather permitting.