At the end of last year, I really began to get a passion for fitness again. I saw the benefits it had on my mind and body and I was actively going to the gym through enjoyment, rather than it being a chore.

This year I want to focus on doing exercise for self-care. I want to use it as a form of relaxation and a way to escape when I am stressed or feeling too busy. With that in mind these are the goals I have set myself for the year.

Outdoor Running:
I am rubbish at running. It is the one form of cardio exercise that I am not good at. However, everybody I know that runs outdoors, absolutely loves it and says it’s a great way of focusing your mind.
I’ve never been able to run on a treadmill let alone outdoors but this year I am determined to give it a go. I have set a goal of being able to run 5k outdoors by the end of the year which I think is a sensible, achievable goal.
I’m going to have to buy some outdoor sports wear as even though I have things to wear inside a gym, I don’t have anything long sleeved or any jackets that would be suitable for running outdoors. I’ve been looking for fashionable ladies sportswear and I’ve found plenty of choice.



Yoga and Pilates:
I’m aiming to do a Yoga or Pilates class at least once a week. It’s a great way of relaxation and clearing your mind. I didn’t do them enough last year but this year I want to make sure I am doing it weekly. I particularly enjoy ‘Hot Yoga’ so I’ll be looking to do that class.


Swimming:
I’d also like to swim at least once a week. It’s a great way of loosening up any sore muscles which I sometimes get after intensive exercise.

Walking:
I am terrible for jumping in the car for short journey’s and this year I have to change that. It’s so lazy. I always just get in my car to pop to our local shop but I need to get out of that habit.
I am hoping to walk more with my family. I think at least once a week we should be going on a nice long walk with the dog through the mountains seeing as we are surrounded by them. It will do us all some good.




What are your fitness goals for this year?

*This is a collaborative post*



As I sit here browsing travel companies for holiday inspiration for us this year, I can't help but look at what we can't afford, what the dream would be shall we say. If we had huge amounts of money we would be travelling the world as much as possible.

In order to actually win big, I would have to play the lottery. I am rubbish at remembering to actual go into a shop and buy a ticket but with Lottoland I can play from the comfort of my own home. Lottoland is a lottery betting website (so you make a bet on the result of the official lottery draw) which allows you to bet on different lotteries from around the world. You pick the numbers that you think will be drawn and if you guess correctly, you can win big money prizes depending on how many numbers you got right.

So back to the dreaming. Here is where we'd travel if money wasn't an issue:

Maldives
The Maldives was on our honeymoon list but in the end we chose Hawaii. It is definitely somewhere we want to visit and to stay in one of the overwater beach bungalows would be a dream come true. All of the resorts look idyllic. 



Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has been on my bucket list for a very long time. It looks such a beautiful country. I'd love to see some of the Buddhist ruins and sample the local cuisine. 



Hawaii
Even though we have been to Hawaii before, we only stayed on the island of Kauai. We would love to visit the rest as it's one of the best places we've visited. It is so laid back.



Santorini
Santorini looks stunning. It must be one of the most instagrammable countries in the world. I'd love to stay in a room with a pool on the balcony.



Lapland
We would love to take the children to Lapland to visit Santa but it is so expensive, even for just one day. They would love it there. It would be amazing to be able to go for a few days and experience more that it has to offer.



Brazil
I've always dreamed of seeing the carnival in Brazil and soaking up some rays on the Copacabana.



Dubai:
Even though we've been to Dubai before, if money was no object then we would return and stay in ultimate luxury such as the Burj Al Arab.


I'm sure there are many more destinations I would visit. What would be on your travel bucket list if you won the lottery?

*This is a collaborative post with Lottoland*

Travelling is exciting, exhilarating, educational and expands your perspective on the different cultures on our planet. Whether you are travelling alone, with friends or with your family it is essential to consider the safety aspects of travelling to different parts of the world. This article aims to give pointers to maintaining safe travel in specific countries.


Before you embark on any form of travel it is important to get travel insurance that covers you for the duration. Travel insurance costs will depend on the country you’re visiting, your age and existing medical conditions. You can get specific insurance relevant to your age bracket, for example some companies offer  travel insurance for over 70s. It is important to be very exact when informing travel insurance companies of your medical conditions, age and country of travel to avoid any complications if you have to make a claim.

Once you have your travel insurance in place it is important to find out if you need to have any vaccinations to prevent you from contracting disease and infection from the area in which you’re travelling. Travel vaccinations will cover you for yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A, but will only be required if you’re travelling to countries in continents such as South America and Africa. Check with your travel company and medical practitioner for guidance.  

Many countries experience crime that are specific to their areas and whilst travelling we need to ensure we are fully aware of how to stay safe.

Mexico
Mexico is a wonderful country to visit with many attractions to offer. Tourists are drawn to the diversity of the country that can offer amazing beaches, jungles, major cities and colourful fiestas.

Mexico however unfortunately presents a fair amount of risk to the tourist too. The Mexican government has made a great deal of effort to lower crime in the major tourist destinations such as Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Los Cabos, however there were a number of shooting incidents in these areas in 2017.

If you travel away from the tourist destinations, it is essential to research properly the ares to avoid. Drug crime has increased and is often gang related.

Crime and violence is a big threat to tourists in Mexico and it advisable to only travel during daylight hours. Theft on public transport is common and if driving it is a better option to only drive on the toll roads, thus avoiding isolated roads where possible. Keep windows and doors locked.

Political demonstrations can often turn quite volatile, so avoidance of large crowds is a necessity. Keep a close eye on local media, to say alert.

If you intend to partake in watersports whilst in Mexico, check the equipment is up to date and well maintained. Also ask to see insurances and licenses.

Europe
Europe is made up of many countries all with their own levels of crime, however Europe has hit the headlines in recent years due to the threat of terrorism. In reality the risk of terrorism is no higher than elsewhere in the world. Many articles and maps have placed parts of Europe as being at a high threat of terrorism, these countries include the UK, France, Germany and Spain. The governments of these countries have their own systems of monitoring terrorism and have become extremely security aware at airports, large events, shopping centres and major tourist cities. Extra vigilance by tourists is encouraged.

Travelling in Europe is relatively safe, however it is important to be aware of the possibility of theft from pickpockets and scams carried out by bogus taxi drivers. Pickpocketing is rife in major tourist cities such as Rome, Barcelona and London and is carried out in gangs. Tips for maximising safety would be to try and blend in, in other words don’t carry expensive camera equipment and handbags. Use money belts and prepaid money cards to keep any money lost to a minimum. Ensure pockets, coats and bags remain zipped and keep vigilant at all times. It would be a good idea to keep all valuables and travel documents in the hotel safe.

Australia


Staying safe doesn’t usually spring to mind when considering a trip to Australia, apart from the risk of theft from pickpockets, which is pretty much apparent in all tourist destinations.
Interestingly most safety aspects to travelling in Australia actually relate to its climate.

Australia boasts a harsh climate to unprepared visitors. The sun is hot and unforgiving, which can cause horrific sunburn if care is not taken. There are also numerous poisonous creatures that live in Australia that have venom strong enough to kill.

The outdoor lifestyle can cause safety hazards too, as more tourists attempt extreme sports without proper tuition. This is apparent with the number of drownings that happen each year.

With due care and attention and having a respect for the climate, Australia is a wonderful country to visit and stay safe.

This is only a small snapshot of the potential safety issues that can occur when travelling. Obviously a lot more research is needed when travelling to countries in Africa or the middle east. Some areas are no longer accessible to tourists due to them being unsafe, this can change often and it’s a good idea to check tourist information regarding any country you wish to travel before booking.

Always make photocopies of your insurances and travel documents before travelling and also ensure you have relevant telephone numbers to ask for assistance if needed. Make sure you have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay, but don’t travel with cash as your sole source. Credit cards and prepaid cards are a safer option.

When you arrive at your destination take note of where the local medical facilities are, as well as how to call for emergency assistance. These points are particularly important if you’re an independent traveller without the security of a travel company.  

Once you have considered how to stay safe and you have put things in place to stay as safe as possible it is time to relax and enjoy your holiday!

*This is a collaborative post*
  

It's been a long time since I featured #beinthepicture over on my blog which is such a shame. I seem to have neglected it over the last few months but with it being a new year, I thought i'd start doing a weekly favourites post.

For those of you that haven't heard of #beinthepicture, it is an instagram hashtag that myself and Alana from Baby Holiday created. It is designed to encourage you to get in-front of the camera as opposed to behind it. I used to always be the one taking the pictures and I was never in them myself. 

You can use the hashtag on any pictures that feature you whether that be fashion, parenting, travel, with your partner etc. You name it, we want to see it.

Each week i'll be picking my favourites and showcasing them here in a blog post. 


First up this week is this gorgeous pic of the lovely Alex who you can follow here, https://www.instagram.com/alex_gladwin/. Alex and her family always have beautiful pictures but this one of just her and her husband caught my eye this week. I never get enough pictures with my hubby so this has inspired me to get more.



Next up is another fab picture of a couple which is by https://www.instagram.com/dilan_andme/. I adore the lighting in this, it's just perfect. She also wrote a blog post to go with the picture which is such a sweet read.




This fun family shot was by Colette at https://www.instagram.com/goingonanadventureblog/. I just love how silly it is, they all look so happy.


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This next picture by Rachel Anne at https://www.instagram.com/rachelanne_bee/ has had my ovaries beating. It is so beautiful. 




The last picture that I have chosen this week belongs to Helen at https://www.instagram.com/treasureeverym/. Helen always takes lovely pictures and this one was super cute. I miss the baby wearing days.






The favourite from my own account that i've shared this week would have to be the one below. I've been a bit slow at posting over there this week so there wasn't many to choose from.


Time for a change!! I’ve always been honest and open about my mental health and last year I suffered, especially towards the end of last year. I was always so busy that I had no time for myself and I completely burnt out. This year I’m going to take more time for some self care. I need to remember to look after me and set some time aside in my day to do just that. My gorgeous new watch from @icewatch will serve as my reminder to set time aside for myself and practice self care. More on that over on my latest blog post. P.S I’ve made a mental note to tan my face next time I go on holiday. It appears to be a completely different colour to the rest of my body 😂😂🤦🏻‍♀️ #ukparentbloggers #lbloggers #asseenonme #styleinspo #momblogger #lifecloseup #wiwt #fbloggers #ad #parentingtruth #mumstyle #momstyle #icewatch #parenthoodunplugged #motherhoodrising #motherhoodsimplfied #motherhoodunplugged #portraitphotography #motherhoodinstyle #mentalillness #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #pnd #pndchat #pndawareness #postnataldepression #postnataldepressionsupport #postnataldepressionawareness #beinthepicture

Make sure you join in with #beinthepicture over on instagram and also follow it to see everyone's pictures. 
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