Dressing up for Christmas day?…

Ever since I was a child, one of my favourite Christmas traditions is picking something nice to wear for the big day..my 7 year old self would excitedly pick a dress with some sort of velvet and sparkle, feeling a million dollars rocking up to grandmas to see what my cousins would be dressed smartly in.

That feeling has never left me although, dont get me wrong I am not talking full gown but if I wear jeans and a top, I try make sure I feel great in it and its not just one of my normal ‘go to’ ‘running around the house’ outfits. It goes for Sonny too, I like him to have something new on, smart yet comfortable enough to play in and yes it may only stay clean until 8am but its just a nice feeling to have your best attire on.

Luckily when I met Ian, I realised he shared a love of Christmas and followed traditions similarly which was a massive bonus point, I mean I couldn’t be with someone who didn’t get excited when the Coca cola advert popped on our screens. Its funny listening to other peoples take on traditions, its made me think…Why do we get all dressed up to simply sit in the house all day and eat delicious food?  Joey had the right idea with his ‘eating pants’ in the thanksgiving episode in Friends, much more comfortable clothing with expanding waist lines for the bottomless pit of Quality Street.

I’ve heard of some families wearing Pyjamas all day and if they are smart ones, you know festive Joules then I can totally see the appeal to that! One day I may go down that route but this year I will stick to what I know best and find something with some sparkle or christmas theme!

What do you all do?

Love Harriet x

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Podcasts…Late to the party

So I am 100% late to the party with this one but I have just discovered my love for Podcasts, I think its the fact that I can play them whilst carrying on with other things…I’m not good at sitting still and focusing at the moment, I think I just feel like my never ending job list wont let me take proper time out so a Podcast fits perfectly into the pace!

I thought I would share my favourite Podcasts that I’m listening to at the moment:

 

  • The High Low – Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes touch on a variety of current pop culture subjects from the ‘#Metoo’ campaign to chatting about the ‘Legacy of Playboy’ their Podcast is just like sitting with your girls mates and sharing opinions on a crazy range of subjects. Its light but not in an air head way!

 

  • Happy Mum Happy Baby- Giovanna Fletcher is by far one of my favourite mums (see my post which features her book here) I feel like when she talks she’s voicing all the same thoughts as me, I know we could be best friends! Gi’s  guests include Fearne Cotton, Rochelle Humes and Clemmie Hooper among other fantastic ‘celeb’ mums ohh and dad in the form of her husband Tom Fletcher – A must listen for any mums and dads who want some light relief and to know you are not alone in this parenting game!

 

  • The Girls guide to the galaxy – This is a fairly new Podcast hosted by Caggie Dunlop and Jennifer Jaden and so far has covered ‘Saying goodbye to Diets’ and ‘Your Inner Self critic’; what I really like about it is that both girls aren’t afraid to share their personal experiences and are willing to talk openly about the issues. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next!

 

  • Ted Talks daily – Everyone knows about Ted Talks on YouTube and this is just the Podcast version, I love TT because the episodes are so dramatically vast, covering every topic imaginable.  One minute you are listening to ‘3 Fears about Screen time for kids and why its not true’ to Ronald Sullivans ‘How I helped free innocent people from Prison’ I always feel way more educated after I have listened to an episode! I guarantee you will find something to suit you!

 

  • The Glossy Podcast – I particularly like this Podcast because it typically covers fashion and beauty brands but in the business sense, discussing the economic climate and how the industry has had to adapt accordingly. I really liked the Rachel Zoe episode and have the Phil Picardi one ready on my unplayed list!

 

My unplayed list as you can imagine is building rapidly and I have yet to listen to Breaking Beauty Podcast, Bryony Gordons Mad World and The Mothering Kind so I will report back once I have given them a go…

Let me know if you have any favourites that I need to check out!

Love Harriet x

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Bovey Castle our Afternoon tea spot this weekend

October, the month that brings lots of birthdays, not only my lovely Mum but 2 of my closest friends, both called Laura, both 30 this year, both amazing and both deserving something extra special to celebrate this milestone!

Bovey Castle was the perfect place to gather the group and enjoy an afternoon giggling, sipping tea and indulging in sugary treats until we hit coma status. The smartly dressed waitresses greeted our table with plates of delicate deliciously filled finger sandwiches, warm homemade scones with lashings of cream and jam plus a cake layer to put a smile on even Paul Hollywoods face…we were in our complete element, 100% my happy place!

Bovey with its 5 star AA and luxury listing was amazing from start to finish, from the valet parking through to the velvet chairs in the dining room the vibe of the hotel felt so much more welcoming then I had experienced in previous years, a castle can easily feel stuffy but Bovey felt light, friendly and glam! The afternoon flew by in a haze of giggles, stories and present opening and even though it was typical blustery October weather, we still managed to soak up the views of the Moors

 

 

 

An afternoon with my girls was exactly what I needed and Bovey Castle played the most perfect host!

Love Harriet x

 

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A Simple Banana Loaf….

There’s nothing better then a warm cup of tea with a slice of homemade banana loaf, its so simple to create and can be changed up by using agave or coconut sugars for a refined free version or easily made gluten / dairy free; you can even get creative and throw in chocolate chips, drizzle with caramel sauce or even sliced and toasted Australian stylie!

Ingredients

  • 3 Over ripe large bananas (Ignore the photo above- The ones I used were black- over ripe the better!)
  • 150g Butter
  • 160g dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 200g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Method

  • Pre heat oven to 170 degrees and line a loaf tin
  • Cream together the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy
  • Mix in the eggs, vanilla extract and then add the flour and baking powder
  • Add the banana and make sure all combined
  • Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 45 mins
  • Allow to cool and then on this occasion I drizzled loads of toffee sauce over the top

Enjoy!

Love Harriet x

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Home workout : HIIT

HIIT is everywhere, since the likes of Joe Wicks exploded over youtube and insta a good 3ish years ago, High Intensity Interval Training is THE buzzword in the fitness industry right now.

I have been incorporating a HIIT workout or two into my weekly routine for about 3 years, throughout my pregnancy and not missing a session post pregnancy. This way of training, raising the heartbeat and working to your maximum for only 20-30 minutes is such an appealing trait; no slogging for hours in the gym when you can achieve some major fat burning in the comfort of your own home.

30 minutes won’t give you enough time to get bored especially as the programme usually has 40 seconds on and 20 off…40 seconds to squat jump your little heart out and trust me that’s enough when you are putting in 100%!

I recommend subscribing to Joe Wicks (The body coach) for some killer videos, a good starting point and then once you have been bitten by the bug, its easy to make up your own routines.

Some tips on creating your own routine :

  • Download an interval timer – I use the app ‘IntervalTimer’ and pre set it with my length of exercise (1 minute) and length of rest (30 secs) and repeat it however many times desired. These apps will take care of the timings allowing you to just focus on the workout.
  • Write down your planned routine, make it easy to read with varied moves then save it somewhere for when you have a quick 20 mins spare
  • Pay attention to moves that make you really sweat- I always start my HIIT with a sprint on the spot to really raise my heart rate. Burpees is another killer move that I love to hate!
  • Work all over the body- I love picking moves like jump squats to really work the lower body and press ups to target that chest/ arm area, make sure you target all different areas for maximum benefit.
  • Research moves and their techniques – Spend time to look online or through other videos on how to perform a move, technique is important to prevent injury and also of course research will make sure you are getting the most out of your workout

A good HIIT session will get your body moving and blood pumping in the convenience of your own home, garden or hotel room (yep I love a good holiday jump around) without eating into too much of the day. I like to mix up my sessions with body pump, running and spinning; that way I wont get bored and my body doesn’t get used to just one form.

Disclaimer: I’m no way a qualified expert, just a keen bean when it comes to exercise and a mum looking to make my life easier!

Love Harriet x

 

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