Weekend in the Shire – back in the saddle

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I’ve not written a “Weekend in the Shire” post for a while, they all seem to have rushed by in a blur of cottage renovations!  This weekend was no different in terms of renovations, we spent last week camping in our spare room and living in a make-shift “fort” atmosphere in the living room as we were surrounded by bits of bed, our mattress and various pieces of furniture that just did not belong in that room. Not a calming week for somebody who is a bit of a tidy and clean freak! The reason for the mess was that we were having our bedroom re-decorated and a new carpet put in. I’m so excited to have a freshly painted and newly carpeted bedroom to move back into this week and we are also now on the hunt for new curtains, lamps etc to really finish off the room. Once we are done it will be the first room in the house that will have been totally revamped since we moved in almost a year ago. This coming weekend we will be starting to experiment with painting some furniture to give it a new lease of life too, so I will let you know how that goes… Anyway watch this space for some country cottage style mood boards as we hash out different ideas for our rooms.  Continue reading

3 Things Thursday

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It has been a manic month with work, getting ready for holiday and then being away – not that I am complaining about the holiday! Complaining about going back to work yes, complaining about the holiday no! But here I am back in my routine and reflecting on the three things that have been on my mind this week. If you blog you can also join in with three things by checking out Salma’s blog over at The Write Balance or her fellow bloggers blogs Pink Chai Living and Love, Laugh, Mirch.

1. Holidays (vacations) and travel planning:

My husband and I were both super ready for a holiday and some sun, so spending a week chilling out on the beach in Spain was exactly what we needed. The holiday also gave us the time to reflect on where we fancy spending future holidays so we got our wish lists together and picked somewhere! As I mentioned in my “travel wish list” post I thought it was only fair that my husband’s travel wish list should take precedent as he has done less travelling. Next year we are going back to Disney (where we spent our honeymoon) to celebrate my 30th birthday; I wasn’t looking forward to this birthday so thought where would I most like to be and Disney was most definitely the answer, so with the promise of some pixie dust, just like magic, I am now looking forward to this birthday! However, we also decided on our 2017 holiday and it is…. Japan! We are also hoping to tie it in with a trip to Hong Kong to catch the Hong Kong Rugby 7s, this also ties in with the ski season in Japan and Tokyo is home to reportedly the best Disney park in the world, Tokyo DisneySea so it looks like we will be able to tie all our biggest passions into one trip: rugby, skiing, travel and Disney – amazing. Good call husband! Better start saving! Do you have any holidays or adventures planned? Let me know in the comments!  Continue reading

Healthy Baking – chocolate & banana protein muffins

Great healthy baking recipe to try! Chocolate and banana protein muffins. Sugar free, gluten free and high in protein. #Healthybaking #Protein #snack #chocolate #fitness | www.notesfromtheshire.com

As part of my crusade to get my ultimate bikini body I’ve started some experimenting with healthy baking, I’ve made coconut and banana macaroons and done some experimenting with quinoa too… you can read about those here and here! However I think the most successful yet is my recent experiment using coconut flour and protein powder to bake muffins, yummy!  As a bonus these are gluten free, sugar free and can be adapted to be vegan friendly (using an egg substitute). They are also (as you may guess) high in protein so great when you are trying to build lean muscle and burn fat.  Although I’ve not quite mastered getting them to rise particularly well, they taste yummy none the less and it’s great to have a treat without the sugar/bad fat impact. They are also particularly yummy topped with a teaspoon of almond butter as an afternoon/post work snack. You can find the recipe below and let me know how you get on!  Continue reading

Tips & Tricks for getting yourself into the gym

Definitely need to try this! 10 tips for getting yourself to the gym. Motivational tips for a healthy lifestyle|NotesFromTheShire.com #Fitness #Motivation #Health #Gym #TipsandHacks

I know some mornings I just want to turn the alarm off, hide under the duvet and go back to sleep but I don’t, I stagger around, find my gym gear and get to the gym! If you’re struggling to make the transition from bed to the waking world or sofa to gym then these tips are for you!

1. Have a goal – I want to have my ultimate bikini body before I am 30, one year and counting – that keeps me motivated to keep pushing. Before I set this goal I wanted to be toned for our wedding/honeymoon. My intermediate goal is being bikini body ready for this summer. Having a goal to focus on makes getting to the gym and working out a lot easier!  Continue reading

Tips for waking up and getting up!

How to get up in the morning, 8 tips to get yourself out of bed| NotesFromTheShire.com #lifehacks #MorningPerson #GettingUp

Over the last couple of years I have been teaching myself to be more of a “morning person” and wean myself off the comfort of my duvet. Not the most fun task ever! Plus being married to somebody who is so decidedly not a morning person makes this even harder. But! I think I am getting there, I now almost like getting up and getting going, the only tough bit is actually going from horizontal to vertical but the extra hours in your day make up for it. If you too struggle with getting up and about then here are my top tips for becoming a morning person.  Continue reading

The pre-30 Pressure List

All the things you *think* you should do before you're 30|The pre-30 pressure list|www.notesfromtheshire.com

I just celebrated my 29th birthday… Last birthday of my twenties and last year of my twenties. I have many friends who have either turned or are turning 30 this year and unanimously there seems to be a bit of a mental block about this particular birthday, but why? It seems to me that the general consensus (rightly or wrongly) is that your 20’s are for fun but you need to have your life in order by your 30’s – queue the late-twenty-something-panic! Continue reading

Getting summer skin ready!

Summer skincare routine. Cleanser and cleansing brush review. NotesFromTheShire.com

One of my best friends raves about her exfoliating face brush (hear from her below!) and I had always been keen to try one so I was super happy when Magnitone asked me to review their new Magnitone Lucid skincare brush! The lucid comes in a range of colours (blue, pink, yellow and green) but I am having a major green moment so it was green all the way for me. It also looks very cute in our bathroom, which has green splashes – handy!

I’m a bit of a creature of habit when it comes to my skincare routine so this was another brilliant excuse to mix things up a bit and at the same time I’ve felt my skin could be clearer so there was no better time to try this out. My normal routine is to use Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser but I’ve found that once you wash the cloths once they lose their ooomph and my skin doesn’t feel so tingly/clean.I do still love the actual cleansers though, especially when there is a limited edition to try out, and their stuff is all natural so it’s great for sensitive skin.   Continue reading

Three Things Thursday

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It’s three things Thursday again, where I like to join in with Salma from the Write Balance with the three things that I have been thinking about this week.

1. Travelling
I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to explore some really interesting corners of our planet. My biggest adventure was probably the months I spent travelling around the Middle East (Egypt to Jordan to Syria to Lebanon [back to Jordan] to Israel and back to Egypt). I look back on this trip the most because now it is impossible to do the route due to the conflict raging in Syria. I often think about the people I met on that trip and wonder what has happened to them, I hope their country will find peace again soon.

I really believe that everybody should travel and explore our planet, Continue reading

101 Tips for Safe and Smooth Travel

Some really good ideas in here! 101 Travel Tips| NotesFromTheShire.com

I love travelling and I have been lucky enough to have ventured to some really diverse corners of our world. I’ve travelled for business, with family, with friends and alone, I’ve therefore learned by experience some real travel do’s and don’ts and this is my list of how to travel safely and smoothly. The list read in a oner may make travelling sound a bit scary/dodgy but this is just tips from years of different travel experiences from luxury travel to backpacking on a shoestring, you’re unlikely to need to adhere to all of these tips on each and every trip you take, so don’t be put off it’s not meant to be scary just helpful! Go pack a bag! (there’s tips for that too…)  Continue reading