Weekly Meal Plan ( Family Of Four)

So, right now… I am writing this blog post with one eye open and the other is fast asleep. I have just got home from family swimming night at our local swimming pool…And I am exhausted. In a good way though! We all are. I dressed the children in their pyjamas  after we hit the showers, so as soon as we walked through the door, they slid into their beds and I haven’t heard a peep since.

Noah did so well. He is swimming under water like a bit of a boss really and has surprised us all considering that less than a month ago, he was terrified of the water being in his face. I talk a little more about this in my ‘family life, lately’ video (link to video here) but basically, he has transformed in to a water baby and it’s amazing to watch. I still can’t believe that I managed to teach him to swim in twenty minutes. If there was ever a moment that I felt like super mum, that was totally it. Ellenah has come so far in a week too. It’s incredible how quickly such little legs build up strength and memory to learn a skill.

As I say, I’m a little tired by it because I try and get a good chunk of exercise in too, while we are there. It would be silly not to considering how much I miss going to the gym and how much I love to work out. I’ll ache tomorrow but it will be worth it because it makes me feel so good about myself.

I’m trying very hard to be as healthy as I can now. I’ve noticed so quickly how a well-balanced diet and a bit of exercise can make you feel like a million bucks… or at least, a lot less sluggish with a little more energy to play with the kids and to live life well.

This is one of the reasons why I wanted to share my meal plan this week. It is quite well balanced in my opinion, quite healthy…and that’s a hard feat when you have a family to feed.

I have really enjoyed watching grocery haul videos lately too. I really feel like I’m not alone and I have someone to help when I have been stuck in a food rut in the past. Food ruts can be soul destroying if you are the person responsible for the groceries and cooking dinner for your loves. You want to do right by them but sometimes the inspiration just doesn’t come naturally and you are sick of the same old meals that you churn out, week in and week out.

I hope my haul helps you out a little mama?

Let me know in the comments, if you have any healthy, family friendly recipes that I could try also, I would be forever thankful?!

With love, Ria x

P.S. I love my fruit bowl on grocery day. It’s the little things that make me so happy x

Weekly Meal Plan (Family Of Four)

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I live in Kent, The Garden Of England.

And Autumn hasn’t yet come by here. It’s biding its time, waiting. And all of us are waiting back.

All of us who long for the the season of browns, golds and berry. Us folk, who simply prefer forrest walks, crunching through fallen, crispy leaves as the chill that hangs in the air surrounds us. Us who have waited for the scent of suncream to fade into the memories of ‘the summer just gone’. Us who are desperate to pack away the sandals and say goodbye to the sunshine so that us, the typically British, can get on with starting to miss it, instantly.

But I think I saw it…

Last night!

I think I felt it brush past me as I was walking home. I pulled my burnt, orange cardigan closer to me and watched it dance with the leaves, as they aged along the side of the road.

I felt it wrap itself around my toes, before I pulled on my warmest socks and closed the bedroom window.

Autumn came in to my home.

My home that has no spiced apple or cinnamon candles. My home that needs more cozy throws. My home that will quickly accommodate the season in wait.

The season that will be here soon.

My favourite season of them all.

I was an October baby, so to me it makes sense that this would be the time of year that I love the most. Even though it is colder, less shiny and bright… Autumn always feels like a fresh start to me. I love that we don’t have to say goodbye to quality family time, just because the summer days drift away. Autumn is the perfect time for families, in my eyes. Autumn is the perfect time for me and my family especially.

And so, I have made an Autumn Bucket List for my family and me. To tick off. To get the most from it. To make us soak it up. So it doesn’t pass us by. So it doesn’t go to waste.

With Love, Ria x

P.S. What is on your Autumn Bucket List with your family?

 

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The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

The 'Leaving For University' Party

It was raining. All day. Our plans for a garden party, to send our niece off to university in style, were looking less likely. We checked in with the weather forecast that told us it was brightening up. We looked outside. Heavy rain. We waited. We deliberated. We remained hopeful that the empty promises would show up for us after all.

The 'Leaving For University' Party

The 'Leaving For University' Party

The 'Leaving For University' Party

The 'Leaving For University' Party

We catered for thirty- something. A gorgeous, continental feast waited in bags while we ran around in the heavy rain, fixing fairy lights into the trees and hanging bunting all around. It was literally raining on our parade, ‘pissing it down’ all over our vision. And we checked the weather again. It was meant to be brighter by now. It was meant to have stopped. But the rain fell, straight down…No messing about, with the lone intention of making everything wet and ruined. And still,  like mad women, my sister and I set out the garden tables with jars full of flowers and tealight candles that we hoped would flicker in the night sky.

The 'Leaving For University' Party

It would have looked beautiful.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

It did look beautiful, in the end.

The 'Leaving For University' Party

Fifteen minutes before everyone arrived, we pulled the party inside. It was ‘The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof’ and the fairy lights looked beautiful against the slightly steamed up glass of my conservatory. It mingled with the bunting and we scattered the jars of flowers everywhere. I think, in the end… It looked better.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

The decorations blended in perfectly with the buffet for all, jugs of pimms and strawberries and cream. In the end, the raindrops set the perfect scene as they enveloped the glass and looked quite beautiful. It felt warm, cozy, friendly and the perfect place to say ‘cheerio’ to one of the most lovely people that the world now gets to know.

*Deep breath Ria… You can write this!

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

The reason that we wanted the night to be so special, is because it was for someone pretty amazing. Our niece. The beautiful Erin. The girl with the kindest heart.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

I am from a very close knit family and we like to celebrate each others successes in life. Erin has been accepted in to her first choice of university and will be taking a huge leap, away from her family and away from home to be one step closer to the career of her dreams. It was absolutely something to celebrate.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She is about to embark on such a wonderful journey. She is about to meet a lot of incredible people. People who will change her world completely. People who will challenge her. People who will sit with her in the library all night, in their pyjamas because the night they were meant to finish their work, the student bar were selling shots for 50p…Something crazy like that.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She will learn about chance, change and all kinds of things about who she is. She will have a lot of dodgy photograph’s taken of her in this time… but they will always make her smile / laugh/ feel something.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She will dance. She will drunk dial her beautiful mama in the night to say hello (her mama will most probably answer!), she may sing karaoke and she may fall asleep in a fair few lectures (if she remembers to set her alarm for 2 o’clock in the afternoon and makes it in.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She will eat way too many noodles. She will down too many drinks because she will lose at too many drinking games. She will regret this.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She may do this, for many consecutive nights.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

It will not make her feel better.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She will probably ponder this over a dominoes pizza because she had a voucher, somewhere!

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She will get to be exactly were she is meant to be, at this time in her life. She will get to do all the things that comes with being young, with the world in the palm of your hands.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

And yes, even though I told her all of this the other night while drinking prossecco straight from the bottle, I have to say it out in to the world so that she always knows it…

I am really proud of my her. She has always been so smart. Smarter than I ever was. But… in the last couple of years, she has had to fight for her next steps in to the big wide world. She hasn’t been the girl that everything just goes right for. She has been knocked down…and so she brushed herself off and stood back up. She did not crumble under pressure, expectation or fear…and that is what makes me most proud. Because like always, she holds herself with strength, courage and belief in herself… Even when it probably would have felt easier not to. Easier to give up.

She didn’t!

We have all watched her grow into such a beautiful young lady, so mature, comfortable in her skin and well adjusted. She used to be someone who remembers listening to ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ by Green Day with me, in my teenage bedroom when she was small and then, as if by magic she became the person who I watched Bridget Jones with for the very first time. And we laughed like mad people. Like friends.

So, even though it will be emotional to see her go. It is bittersweet. She is ready for this. She has got this. She is going to love this. And as I’ve said it a million times before…

I am so proud of her and she truly deserves to have this chance, to follow her dreams and to be all that she can be.

With Love, Ria x

 

 

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Ellenah starting school is naturally something that I want to remember. Something that I would like her to look back on and remember too. So I tried my hardest to capture as much of the day as I could in a vlog (on my second channel). This new chapter for us both has at times made me feel afraid, made me feel sad, made me feel awfully strange…As bittersweet as it is, I am truly excited for her. I am excited about being a part of this new adventure for her. I’m excited for the school plays, school projects, school trips that I will nominate myself to chaperone…The school disco’s, church service’s and sports days.

In years to come, I want her to know that we chose a place that we believe to be right for her. A place that will make her happy. A place that she will enjoy going to, five days of the week. I want her to know that we chose her school in love. I want her to see how much we love her and how much these precious moments, milestones and times matter to us. How much she matters.

So I will probably show her this when she is older. And I will no doubt watch it time and time again when I am too!

With Love, Ria x

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The Feral Children

I want to remember you like this. When I’m an old lady and I’m looking up our memories in photograph’s. I want to see how the wind blew your hair in the breeze but you stood firm, strong. I want to see that I tried to dress you nicely but your knees were grass stained and perhaps a little scuffed. I don’t want to see you smiling primly in every photo, I want to see your laugh. I want to see those faces that you make when you are deep in thought, pulling together your next batch of questions. I want to see you find yourself throughout your years. I want to see that you understand what the meaning of ‘human’ is.

Some people will think of the word ‘feral’ in such a bad way, but I can’t.

I grew up on a farm and as my mum worked with many other mums, picking fruit for the day in their rows… I went off to explore, play, climb, build camps and when I felt hungry, I ate wild fruit from the bush or tree. My siblings and I never really looked, well, clean. Of course, we were. We were scrubbed spotless and our clothes would be washed to try and rid of any strawberry stains on the knees. We just didn’t stay that way for long. Come the next day, we were too busy having fun, finding ourselves and figuring out the world that we knew.

That world wasn’t so scary as it is now. It’s not the same. It can’t be. And all I want is for you both to feel how I felt as I bolted through the trees, bright blonde hair shining in the sunshine, without a care in the world and feeling as free as a bird.

So sometimes I let you. Sometimes we run as fast as our legs will carry us, shout as loud as we can, sing our happiest songs, pick wild fruit and eat it, get down in the mud to see what we can collect, build camps, climb trees…And it’s very rare that you look neat.

It surprises me how much people stare!

The Feral Children

And I know other mums might not like it. I know other mums may stare and tut as we pick and eat blackberries along the roadside on our way home. They judge you when you run fast at the park. They don’t realise that you don’t have problems. You don’t have any disorders or behavioural issues…. You are just energised and happy. And. That. Is. All. Other mums find you too bold when you join in with their children’s games and you have the confidence to introduce yourself and have ideas. You just want to make friends. You just want to play together. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t sensitive, gentle, kind and sweet.

I know they think that you are a little wild; feral…Like they used to think about me. But that’s okay. I’m proud of the person I am at thirty (almost) thirty years old and I’m already proud of who you both are, so we’re doing okay.

This version of the world is so full of worry and sometimes it feels like all I do is teach you how to retreat, keep yourself safe and to ‘be alone’. The world is so busy teaching us how to be afraid of everything and each other…but I don’t want you to be alone. We aren’t meant to be alone. The world is too lovely. I just beg that you both always try and keep your eyes open, to see past the fear…and you will see what I used to.

The Feral Children

Of course I want to keep you safe. You are my most favourite people in the world. You are my world. And, if I try and define how much I love you both from my whole heart and the pit of my stomach…There will be no words. It is likely to come out as a tear, a laugh and a smile like you have never seen before. You both leave me speechless, that is what the overwhelming love that comes with being your mama, does to me.

Remember when I said that I want you to understand the word ‘human? You can only do that if you have the opportunity to feel everything that you are meant to. You are meant to feel freedom. Feel love, disappointment, anxiety, fear…hurt! From scraping your knee to having your heart broken, as much as that will hurt me too… These things will help you grow up with an understanding of your emotions and other people’s. Human. It’s what we all are. Despite where we are from, the colour of our skin, how we grew up…none of us better or more worthy than the next person. The beautiful world that I talk to you about… There is room in it for us all. We can make room.

Noah and Ellenah, The world is incredible…but it’s not perfect. So, you certainly don’t have to be. You don’t have to look flawless. You don’t have to be shy. You don’t have to be aware of how others may see you. You don’t have to care about judgement. You don’t have to be afraid to ask questions. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AFRAID TO BE YOU.

And if that is a little ‘feral’… I’m okay with that. Perfectly okay with it.

Love, Mama x

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