How to measure your bra size

Losing weight, gaining weight, having a baby, getting older – it all takes its toll. And there is one part of us that bares the brunt of it; our boobs! So many people are wearing the wrong bra size. I’m a devil for it myself, usually because the pretty lace one is just sooooo pretty that I cannot stand the thought of retiring it. Even if it is giving me quadrouple boob.

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So the first lesson here is to go get measured and regularly.¬† Marks and Spencer and Debenhams are my usual spots. But what about when you really don’t have time?

How could you not have time?? Well, in my experience babies do not like dressing rooms so unless you have a babysitter….and waiting until Saturday for me is a no go. I just cannot do the city centre on the weekend.

So what’s a girl to do?

DIY! !

Grab your measuring tape girls! And I mean the seamstress type, not the industrial. (Ouch!)

 

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Firstly, wrap the tape around where you bra will sit. Take that measurement, say for example 34 inches.

Next, wrap the tape around the boob part; the tape should sit across the nipples. Don’t pull too tight or leave too loose; think of how the cup would sit. Now take this measurement in inches. Let’s say in this example it is 40 inches.

Finally, calculate your cup size by subtracting second measurement from first.
40 inches take 34 equals 6.
Now count 6 cup sizes – a,b,c,d,dd,e.

Voila! Your bra size is 34 E.

Now I am not recommending that you stop getting a professional to do this, this is just a short cut to tide you over. Different over the shoulder boulder holders have different fits, so best to get it done correctly.

But now that you have a little boobie hack, you have no excuse to let the girls suffer anymore. ūüėČ
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And then the argument started….

To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, til death do us part. Or, until we have a newborn and I want to kill you. There are so many articles out there about how to survive the first three months of a new baby. You know, the tips on colic, lack of sleep and cluster feeding etc. But there is another challenge new parents face that can be overlooked Рgetting through those first few months and actually liking each other by the end of it!

It’s such a beautiful scene; she surprises him with announcement of “I’m pregnant!” Tears of joy, excitement and nervousness follows. He heads to the local while she orders ‘What to expect when you are expecting’ from Amazon.¬†Six months of¬†bumps, scans and buggy buying follow. All the while, the happy couple seem closer together than they ever have been.¬†The most amazing moment of welcoming their first child¬†arrives, two become three. Then….BOOM! Constant crying, nappy changes, exhaustion – having a baby is a huge shock to the system, life changes big time.¬†And so does your relationship.

Every single thing my husband did drove me mad. Why, why does he have to step so loudly when he is coming up to bed? What part of do not¬†fasten the nappy too tight does he not understand? Yes, please¬†pick¬†up the baby¬†after his bottle feed¬†and do ‘weeeeeeee’, up and down one more time! And can you imagine how annoying I was? I hate to admit it, but I run a tight baby ship. There are methods to be followed and if there is any deviation from instruction¬†there will be hell to pay in the form of torrential nagging. The point being, most couples are fit to kill each other during¬†those first few months. Most if not all really. It is a wonder homicide rates do not increase with each baby boom!

I am not a professional in the field of counseling. But I like to think of myself as a seasoned war veteran. I have served in two post baby relationship¬†battles and survived. So I cannot give relationship counseling, but I can maybe offer some advice. (Note – if you end up killing him anyway, please don’t blame me!)

  • Split the chores – if you find yourself continuously watching how much housework each person is doing, and comparing, stick a list on the fridge. Divide and conquer.
  • Respect each others parenting styles – do not let the baby nap late in the evening, it was all that I asked. Yet, the baby napped because he allegedly needed it. Let your other half parent in their own¬†way. And let them learn from their mistakes without your critique.¬†If¬†something doesn’t work, they need to pick up the pieces. Like in my example, Daddy did the feeds that night and baby never napped late again. (Me 1, Hubby zero. Ok, yes I admit that that is¬†not in the spirit of the article).
  • If you get the¬†child/kids to bed to sleepput the mobile phones down! Time alone is so rare. Do not waste it on social media. Talk to each¬†other about how hard it is. Have a whinge. Or talk about something else completely!¬†¬†It can be great to switch off from baby talk.
  • Hug – simple I know, but it takes two seconds in between feeds and nappies to give each other a hug. You are going through this together, and sometimes when a child will not stop screaming for three hours, there are just no words.
  • Be a team – give each other time away (let him play football with the lads, let her go shopping for a few hours). If she is breastfeeding during the night, get up and get her a drink, change the nappy, be there. When he does things like wake up and help while you are feeding, say THANK YOU.

I have come through the post baby relationship war twice and not without my battle scars! But you can survive, and it will make you stronger. It will get easier, and if you stick together through the tough times, you will be together to celebrate the good times. Just don’t expect miracles – he will still excessively channel flick, use selective hearing (when the baby cries at night) and use your towel when he showers. These things I cannot help you with. After all, I’m a mother not a miracle worker!

Lean in 15 – 2 weeks done

Well, I have completed 2 weeks of eating in the Lean in 15 way so its time for the lowdown.

Does it work – yes.

Did it work for me? No.

This program is a sound way of eating IF you stick religiously to it. And you will see changes if you exercise as instructed 5 days of the week using HIIT.

So where did I go wrong?

  • I didn’t prep my meals. Sorry, but I spend the whole week running around after two children, keeping to their schedules. The last thing I feel like doing on the weekend is a massive amount of batch cooking. Its just not for me unless it is for the whole family.
  • HIIT workouts – I found it very hard to fit these in. My mornings are spent getting toddler to preschool and then getting a few things done while I have just the one with me. Afternoons are hectic, evenings are the same and then it is bed. I train in Karate twice a week but I don’t think that counts.
  • Food restriction – I understand cutting out the rubbish a.k.a choccie biscuits, crisps and highly processed junk. But cutting out porridge, multi grain bread, wholegrain rice is not sustainable for me. You can have these foods post workout yes, but 3 times a week is not enough for me.

I felt deprived at times and restriction lead to grab and go incidents that didn’t end well. I find any diet that restricts something throws me off the wagon.

I think Lean in 15 will work for someone with a little bit more time on their hands and someone who is willing to sign up to the program to get the individualized plan.

I have learned a multitude from it and will keep using some of¬†the recipes, but I think I will adjust it slightly to allow an “all round” diet for me.

My planned approach:

  • Water – and lots of it, everyday.
  • Cut out processed food. If there are ingredients that I do not recognize, then I don’t eat it. Make my own sauces, no sugar loaded jars!
  • Fruit and veg until it is coming out my ears!!!!
  • Protein with every meal, and make it lean.
  • Wholegrain carbohydrates in moderation – will try to keep these to heavy training days.
  • Walking, as much as possible, aiming for everyday.

I didn’t weight myself on the Lean in 15. I felt an initial slimming down in the first few days but this then tapered off. I will be very interested to see how my “middle of the road” approach works.

The last thing I want to do is turn my blog into a diet and fitness site – I neither have the desire to do so nor the qualifications! So the next update on my fitness journey will be in a few weeks to see if the above approach works.

Has anyone else tried Lean in 15? I would love to know how others find it.

4 days down – Lean in 15 update

I have completed 4 days of eating non processed, low carb food and I must say I am pretty happy! The HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions had to be skipped though due to injury which is a pity as I think they would yield some great results. I’m looking forward to seeing the back of this injury as it is really holding me back at the moment, but at least I know that I am eating right while I recover.

An overview of what I have been eating for the last few days

I have primarily been eating reduced carb meals as I have not been training much, except for Wednesday night when I did a light Karate session. I scoffed a bowl of Kelkin Museli afterwards! Breakfasts are definitely my favourite as I love turkey rashers and sausages; it really feels like a substantial start to the day.

I haven’t made a huge amount from the cookbook; I have been improvising but following the basic principles.

  

    
   
 

 

How do I feel?

This is the biggest bonus for me. I have zero cravings for sweet things which is amazing for me. I am sleeping better and I find it easier to get going in the morning. My energy levels are definitely on the up as I am eating more vegetables than before. I was worried about low carb and training and I didn’t find I was lacking in energy which is good.

How do I look?

It has only been 4 days so no different – let’s be realistic here. However I am definitely less bloated and my tummy feels a lot flatter. My jeans are more comfortable.

What has been most challenging?

I think it is hard when other people offer you a biscuit with your tea, or the hubby says lets get a Chinese – people look at you stupid when you decline. Joe Wicks also recommends that you prep all of your meals for the week and I understand why. I have been caught on the hop once or twice with nothing ready and almost reached for the rubbish. Having eggs handy saved me as I just threw together a quick omlette to tide me over.

Not being able to exercise is killing me. I am walking each day and moderately training at karate but I know I need to do so much more. Injuries suck!

What do I like the most about this?

I like that I am not writing down what I eat, not adding up points and that I am eating according to hunger. I love the recipes and I am delighted with the amount of veg that I am eating.

I am really delighted that my cravings are gone as I am a devil for comfort eating. If I am happy, I celebrate with food. If I am down, I make myself feel better with food. I am more aware of this now and feel like it is under control a bit better.

Lean in 15 Day 1 – Enthusiasm alert!

You know that first day of the diet when you are determined to make a change and stick to it this time? The day where you are bursting with enthusiasm and energy, ready to take the bull by the horns? Eh, that was not today.

Firstly, we all slept in so it was pandemonium trying to get everyone where they needed to be. All I could manage to grab was a coffee as I changed nappies and pleaded with my son to put his shoes on. You all know how it is…..

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Finally, it was just me and my 4 month old little girl so I was able to get cracking. I did the HIIT session as she watched from the bouncy chair! It is harder than it looks but I have a very slight hip injury at the moment which is slowing me down (ahem, excuse). I felt great after it, guzzled some water and started cooking my breakfast.

After a workout, you are allowed some carbs. Otherwise this is a reduced carb plan. So post HIIT session I made my version of the Build Up Bagel for breakfast:

  • Slice of wholegrain toast (had no bagels as they are too tempting for me)
  • Topped with tablespoon of cottage cheese
  • Drizzle of peri peri sauce
  • Two smoked turkey rashers
  • Tomatoes
  • Topped with a runny egg
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Visualize this on toast…

 

Oh sweet lord, it was divine!! Would never have thought of such a combo! Washed down with a coffee and it kept me going well past lunch.

Snack time – At about 2ish, toddler was back from school and baby was due a nap and a bottle and a nappy change and I was due some food. I had nothing prepped as such (Joe advocates prepping like a “boss”) so had to reach for a snack. I grabbed some cashews but grabbed way too many. You should really only have 20/30g as they are high calorie food. I ate 145g!!!! Lesson learned.

Dinner – I made a yummy Thai green chicken curry. This is my own recipe but based on the principles of the book.

  • Heated a tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan and added my chicken pieces to stir fry
  • Chucked in some veggies – courgette and mixed peppers on this occasion.
  • I pre cooked some butternut squash in the microwave and then put that in too.
  • Tablespoon of thai green curry paste (from a jar)
  • Then added a tin of full fat coconut milk.
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Ok so this is not mine and mine did not look as good and I will start taking pics of my food from tomorrow on, promise!

 

I batched some of this away for the coming days. Hubby likes it too and has it with a microwave pack of rice.

Evening time then brought the munchies, probably because I skipped lunch. So I made Joe’s reduced carb oatmeal. Basically I took some chia seeds, ground flaxseed, oatmeal, pinch of cinnamon and added almond milk. Microwaved this, then topped with greek yoghurt and some raspberries. I also drizzled with honey which is probably not allowed but oh well.

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And I’m done for day 1! I also drank 2.5 litres of water today. In fairness, I’m happy enough except for the cashew nut incident. It feels weird eating food that I would have ran a mile from on a low fat, low calorie diet but I will stick it out to see if it works.

Joe Wicks – Lean in 15

Everyone is talking about Joe Wicks, the Lean in 15 guy and the kind of incredibly hot looking guy! I have been following Joe on Instagram for quite a while now and was going to sign up to his plan (90 day SSS) a while ago but found out I was pregnant soon after. (Saved by the bump!)

Not only are his recipes yummy…..

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I have always been keen to give it a try and was toying again with the idea recently. Joe has released his own cookbook – I had a sneaky flick through it in Eason’s (free loader I know!) and realized that I could actually give it a try myself before forking out a couple of hundred on the tailored plan. And here I am! I have decided to document this on the blog for anyone who is interested in the plan and thinking of trying it out. This will be a very honest account of things, including when and how I fall off the wagon (and I will given that I am human!), what I eat, how I exercise and how I feel.

Why am I doing this?

Well, first here is a little about me. I have two kids, one toddler and one 4 month old. I have always been sporty but naturally this declined as I had my kids. I don’t have a huge amount of weight to lose to be very honest, so my goals are

  • Fitness
  • Strength
  • Toning (I have many a wobbly bit)
  • Energy

I do karate and would like a healthy diet to compliment my training here as it can be quite intense. I would also like to have the energy to run around after my little ones every day!

I will not be using the scales to track my progress – we have a love hate relationship and the scales tend to piss me off more than make me happy. So I am going to use the mirror and my clothes for any visible results.

Note: I absolute will not be posting pics of me in unflattering undies doing before and after!

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I have tried low calorie, low fat diets before (pro points anyone?) and they most definitely did work but left my hungry and grumpy. I also found it very hard to train when on them and found I was losing shape. I was more inclined to eat ready meals and bars – basically my diet had a lot of sugar in it.

I may not post every single day as I have no intention of killing you all with boredom and I may also not have the time but I will give a summary of the days prior.

If anyone is trying this at the moment I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences and of course shout with any questions you might have.

Jesus – I feel under pressure now, I’ll have to make a go of this!!

Pip & Pear – all of the goodness, none of the guilt!

I am all for buying Irish, so was so excited to hear about Pip & Pear chilled baby food. Irene Quealy is a restaurantuer from Co. Waterford who has combined her passion for food and motherly know how to create the Pip & Pear range. The business has gone from strength to strength and after sampling some of the range I can see why they have won so many awards!

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We are not weaning in my house just yet, so I tried things out on myself and the fuss pot of a toddler I have. He is going through this phase of not really eating his porridge so I grabbed some of the Stage 1 pots to add to breakfast. I got involved too!

First up – Banana Blue (apples, blueberry and banana).

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This is delish! Really sweet and gorgeous with porridge. The fuss pot cleaned his bowl that morning! He also had some that afternoon on the spoon and he devoured it. I will definitely be getting this again when I am weaning my little girl.

Next – Spiced Apple & Pear

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This one is actually my favourite ūüôā I gave some to my toddler with some yoghurt and he loved it. So then I added it to yoghurt and museli for me – unreal! I think it’s the light hint of cinnamon that makes this one.

Finally РLamb Tagine

The reason I tried this one is that I wanted to see if it would help me to get my toddler to eat some rice. I added it to some pilau rice, which he has been having issues with of late and it did the trick. There are lots of hidden veggies in this so it was great to sneak the goodness into him.

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I will definitely be using these as a back up to my own home made stuff when weaning the little one – everything in these packs is natural, gluten free and dairy free which is so important, but also they taste amazing; so much nicer than other brands. I like the fact that anything not eaten by the weaning baby can be used up by toddler or mum as well.

Pip & Pear are available in Supervalue stores nationwide. If your local store does not have them in stock, they will happily order them in for you if you ask nicely ūüėä

http://www.pipandpear.ie