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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A little Headspace….

As I get further into my twenties (only 6 more months of being able to say that!..ah!) I’ve started to really understand the importance of looking after my mind as well as my body.

I’ve exercised hard for well over 15 years and consciously eaten for my body but its often our minds..one of the most important parts!..that gets neglected, it needs a dose of TLC, a little breathing space in order to keep healthy and I feel like its only now that its all suddenly clicked.

There is no hiding from the fact that the pressures of everyday life are increasing at a rapid rate, with anxiety at an all time high and mental health discussed so openly, more and more of us are turning to mindfulness to undo our muddled minds or calm the traffic in our head.

After being an avid list maker to calm my thoughts and firm believer of a problem shared is a problem halved, I realised that sometimes this isn’t enough and maybe I needed to learn how to take myself off to a quiet space and just ‘re-set’ myself. I downloaded the app ‘Headspace’ and have been following the guided mediation programme. One session a day, 3 minutes long, it was so simple and surprisingly easy to follow, the voice taking you through the session is gentle and relaxing plus the programme itself acknowledges that this may all feel strange to begin with but encourages you to stick with it.

After quite a few sessions I can honestly say just having a bit of quiet space and time to focus myself has been really amazing! I feel calmer, stronger and feel a similar buzz to after a sweaty workout. I 100% recommend trying this app, just give yourself a few minutes of you time!

Let me know if you try it!

Love Harriet x

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Tag Team Parenting…

I never really paid much thought to how I would parent or the choices Ian and I would make once we had a family together but what we seemed to have developed is some sort of tag team?? I don’t even know if its a known term or if I’ve made it up but it very much sums up the parenting style that has found us and also I think saved me from going insane!

I couldn’t imagine parenting alone, I am not weak , challenge me to a challenge and I am the most competitive person with a strong mind however, gone are the days (thank god!) where the women is expected to bring up the children, run a household, hold a job together  whilst spinning on her head and applying a slick of lipstick at the same time.

I’m not ashamed to say I need my husbands help & support, I need him to equally take on the challenge of bringing up Sonny, after all he is both of our responsibility  plus I work hard too, I love my job so I need him to chip in and help run the household for the good of our family (and marriage).

Ian is so good at the above but wow I get told how hands on he his far too frequently, don’t get me wrong it is so great but no one has gone to him and said how lucky he is that I am hands on, that’s just a given that the mum is involved.

Through this parenting journey we’ve found that we both need time to have a breather, whether its time for exercise or meeting our mates, we tag team so that we can allow the other person that piece of space.  Sonny has 2 happy parents and a strong bond with both of us, he gets to see Mummy and Daddy working together whilst having an ‘hour or so off’ and coming back refreshed and revived ready for a happy family life.

I am so thankful we live in a time where dads are typically stepping up and the roles are more equal. I don’t know how the women generations before stayed sane..maybe they didn’t! Seriously though maybe its because they didn’t have to go back to work or other commitments outside of the home?

The only thing we personally need to consciously continue to do is keep allowing a day free for family time, time as a 3 ohhh and also time for date nights so we don’t do too much separately!

Love Harriet x

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