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Diving into the realms of a vegetarian diet.

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I’ve never been a big meat eater or a fan of meat. Growing up my family were not vegetarian and we were taught to eat what was given to us, whatever that may be. My Mum was big on home made, hearty meals. Mince and tatties, stews, stovies. All the classics.

However into adult life, and especially post partum my diet has changed substantially and I no longer opt to eat meat through choices and opinions of my own.

In recent years, I’ve come to not really enjoy cooked meals, meat included. I much prefer to snack through the day and eat foods such as pancakes, Cereals, fruits and nuts for meal times, skipping out key nutrients that my body requires.

Now that I have my Daughter and we are beginning the weaning process, I can’t stress to myself enough how important it is that she can see myself and Euan eating a healthy varied diet and take on good habits.

With this notion in place and keen to change my own dietary habits, I have decided to live life as a vegetarian. This will be of no difficulty to myself (and I’m not bragging by the way) I just mean that I would often opt for the vegetarian option when out for a meal or have something other than what Euan has at home when he eats a meat based meal. I love fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, breads and a variety of beans and lentils.

With the variety that is out there, I don’t think I’ll struggle to find foods to eat and have been living a vegetarian diet most days as it is, without the title of vegetarian over my head.

I really went off meat when pregnant, it was the icing on the cake to give the push to become a vegetarian. The smells, textures and tastes. I remember the nausea that came with the smells and I couldn’t bring myself to chew through certain foods. I realise I can’t live my life eating merely fruit, Yogurt and Bran flakes so through a vegetarian diet, I hope to gain nutrition and strength that my body lacks.

I am keen to make this dietary change a fun experience. To begin to cook more often, especially from recipe books. To pick a recipe, gather the ingredients and cook with Euan on a weekend. I’m quite excited to get stuck in and embrace the culinary experience.

I’ve never been a good cook and meals are kind of just slap up and quick plate fulls that you can’t really call a meal. I didn’t have a child to protect and tend to before now and so diet was not something I took good care of,  I mean, if I could get away with eating porridge oats and pancakes three times a day, I would!

Now, it is changed days and I find it so important to show Eleanor good habits and have her set for life and nourish her body through healthy eating. Of course a meat based diet is just as healthy as a vegetarian diet if followed with a good range of other foods, and I’m not against people eating meat but I just feel it is not right for me and I don’t want to raise my Daughter as a meat eater.

Getting busy in the kitchen is an inexpensive yet fun way to pass the time, especially with having Eleanor at home. The opportunity to go out and do as we please does not come so easily anymore so we need to find good habits and hobbies that we can have at home. I think cooking weekends are a great way to get back into the kitchen, learn to love food again and all the whole, teach Eleanor about food, balance and living a healthy lifestyle.

If anyone has good vegetarian recipe books or recipes, please add a comment at the end of the post. I’m keen to hear from you on this and take on board any ideas and help available. I want to make this a fun experience and have a good range of recipes and foods to try. Build up a bit of a portfolio on the kitchen o suppose. I know that not everything I make and try will be a success, there will be downfalls, disasters and foods that I hate but it’s all part of the fun. Of you would like my journey to be documented, let me know. I’m happy to share with you all.

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I am hoping to raise Eleanor as a vegetarian too, Euan is on board with this and keen to try living the same lifestyle of I can incorporate filling and nutritional meals without the need for meat. I think it makes sense to be in this together as a family and discover a whole new healthy lifestyle as a family and give our daughter, Eleanor the best start on life that we can offer.

If she later in life wishes to dabble into foods and try meat, I’m happy for her to try and to find her own feet, discover new tastes that she too can love. At this stage of her life though, I’m keen to take control and offer her as much nutrition and variety as I can without the addition of meat. With there being so much available at the markets in this day and age, I don’t feel that meat will make or break a diet. There are so many other alternatives that you can draw balance and key vitamins from to supplement the lack of meat.

I encourage the use of daily vitamins and have through my whole life. Currently I take omega 3, vitamin D and a multi vitamin. As I’m breastfeeding right now, Eleanor too gets the benefit of the vitamins but when she is not having her breast milk, I’d be keen to supply her with vitamin supplements suitable for her age. If anyone can recommend a good vitamin for children under two, please, fire away. I’m. Happy to take some ideas and advice.

So far we have made vegetarian pizzas from flat breads and added our own sauce and toppings. Sunday evenings cooking experience was Halloumi fajitas which I will be keen to make again and again. Fajitas can never get boring either, there’s a variety of sauces and vegetables that you can throw in the mix to keep them fun and new. Like I said, fire away any recipes you have that are vegetarian friendly. I’d love to hear from you all. I’m. Happy to try most things and have a strong love of fruit and veggies. If I make meals that look presentable enough, I’d be happy to share the results on my blog and give a wee review.

Remember, keep it simple, I’m new to this gig.

Keren x

Reflecting on the past, working for the present. Cheers to 2017.

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As we reach the end of another year, I wave goodbye to what seems an era. I can’t help but to think that 2017 has brought so much good to my family and it has been a year of some very important firsts. First trip to the States, the first time I practiced yoga,  first pregnancy, first baby. The list goes on.

I am not a “new year, new me” kinda gal, rather I am waving goodbye to 2017 with many fond memories and a heart full of love as I look forward to the pending year ahead and all that 2018 has to bring to the table.

I reflect on 2017 as one of the best years of my life and I feel that during the course of the year I really did discover myself more as a person, hold relationships close and love harder. 2017 was the year for me, there’s no hiding that fact.

I discovered I was pregnant on January second and ever since, the news just kept getting better. At first, the news was a little daunting and quite hard to take, especially as I didn’t plan to conceive at this time. It didn’t seem the right time but in hindsight it was the best time to begin a family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They say what’s meant for you won’t pass you by, I’m beginning to believe that.

I passed my driving test and obtained a license, flew over the Grand Canyon on St. Valentines day, birthed my beautiful girl, Eleanor. I said yes to the one I love. The year 2017 not only brought a host of good memories and achievements but it brought my family and that is something I will be forever grateful of.

I end the year as a Mother and a Wife to be, a Daughter and a friend. As I step out of one year and into the next, I can only hope for a bigger and better year. I have goals I would like to reach and milestones to hit.

I hope to be a great Mother and a partner and I hope to find my feet on the career path. I wish to be happier and healthier than ever and for this to shine on through to my Daughter so that she can be taught good lessons for life and follow on from a good example.

I wish to become more confident both as a Mother and as a person. Since birthing my daughter I have found that I have become more anxious than ever before, this is something that I want to work on and improve. I’ll never be the most confident woman in the room but I want to be able to speak up and step out without fear. Not just for myself, but for my Daughter. I wish for her to grow to be independent and strong with the ability to stand her ground and hold her head with a great confidence.

I wish to become healthier and find happiness in food. I would like to experiment and try out different foods from porridge oats, fruit and chocolate. I want to restore my faith in the kitchen and get back to cooking healthy and nutritional meals to share with my family.

The shopping cart has been filled with goodies of all variety and I hope to continue to keep a healthy balance and a meal plan to regain strength I have lost from years of eating scarcely. I am ready to enjoy food and the benefits of food once again. Enough of skipping proper meals and cutting foods.

I would like to travel some places, first up, Cyprus come April – First family holiday as the three of us. I wish to read more books, a past time that I once loved yet has drifted from me with the recent course of events and a whectic schedule and I wish to plan a special wedding day. I’d love to say that I’d stop biting my nails but that has been a life long habit that I can’t seem to kick, no matter what the year has been!

I sit here and write this with my baby in my arms as we await Euan to arrive home from work. As a family we will be bringing in the New Year with a tin of fizzy juice (full fat, how dare we?!) and a midnight kiss goodnight.

No party animals over here, just two tired parents and a lively baby looking forward to the year ahead and all that it may bring.

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Here is to 2017,the best year of my life to date and to 2018 – let’s try to do one up on this year. Onwards and upwards we go as we carry on our journey into the New Year as a family of three.

Let the wedding planning commence. I wish for you all a very happy New Year, let’s hope it’s good to you all and brings to you the joy that I have experienced from this year.

Happy New Year and all the best, Keren x

Do blondes have more fun?

I thought that after a recent transformation, I should share my new look with you all. No plastic surgery involved, don’t worry. I have changed my hair colour and style once more.

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Having sought after a glossy blonde head of hair for years and years, I finally took the plunge and transformed from a dull brunette with long hanging locks to a short blonde bob. I’ve never suited long hair, I tend to grow through phases if growing my hair then realising that I hate long hair on myself before chopping it all off. Exactly what I have just done.

Give me a wavy bob any day. As a new Mum, I have little time to faff around with long hair and styling. Too much maintenance, I’m lazy and I like an easy life. I’ve decided to grow my fringe out also, just for a little bit of a change. I have a large forehead and find a fringe hides that nicely but, for a while I’ll embrace my forehead. I suppose.

Thats right, blonde! Yikes. I never thought I’d achieve the right hue and tones, especially with being so dark but after several trips to the hair salon, I’ve finally got the perfect balance. It still needs work and a few hours more or chair time bit I’m pleased to say that I am almost there.

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I was so happy when my new colour was revealed, I didn’t expect such a great outcome. Especially with being so dark previously, to reach this stage has taken quite some work, I must admit. Turning to look on the mirror of the salon, I was a little shocked. My hair was, my hair is, actually blonde.

To be blonde was something I’ve wanted to test out for years. It’s never too late. Within the New year I hope to maintain my colour and work towards an even brighter blonde. I’ve got my hands on a good silver shampoo treatment for use twice weekly along with a really great serum that I swear by from loreal. I’ll get to platinum some day.

It’s taken a long time and many hours, a lot of serum and TLC and the maintenance will certainly have to be upheld but I think I might have found the cut and colour I will be sticking with for the long haul. At long last.

You see, I’m never pleased for long, I usually find that I get bored with my hair and my look super easily.  I cut it frequently and dye it with home dye kits more often that I should. It’s an easy way to update a look, to change your identity. This time around, I’m hoping to settle.

Do blondes have more fun? Time to find out.

 

Keren x

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Five years of friendship, two years of bliss, one baby and an engagement later..

_20170907_211238.JPGAround five years ago by a chance encounter on my birthday night out, I bumped into Euan who was out on his brothers stag do. Now I don’t recall much details of this night, it was my birthday. I was young, drunk and celebrating. Euan claims he can recall the whole night, much of it spent propping me up to stop me stumbling. My bad.

From that night forward we remained in touch and built a firm friendship online yet never went on to be anything more. We would spend days and evenings chatting on Facebook or texting but didn’t get around to meeting up. A lot of it was down to my reasoning. I didn’t want to be involved with anyone in a romantic way at that stage of my life. I was having too much fun with my friends to care for another. It was silly. Had I taken up the advances sooner, we may have been celebrating a seven year anniversary! Scary.

After several attempts to try to meet up and many conversations, I finally bit the bullet two summers ago and decided to meet for coffee and cake. I was certainly very hungover and not feeling my best, I didn’t know what to expect of the date. We chatted for a few hours and instantly, I knew. From the moment we began to converse to being dropped off back home afterward. I knew that someday we would be married.

Since the first date we were almost inseparable spending as much time together as possible. Weekends were spent going to the cinema, taking our dogs out for long walks to the beach, chilling at each other’s home and generally just enjoying getting to know one another more and more. I think for the first time I was truly at ease in someone else’s presence and felt happy. He made me feel special and continues to do so on a daily basis. Even if I don’t always tell him that. Shh.

After months of dating and relaxing together, we finally got together on September 4th 2015. Euan had just moved into his home and little did I know, I would soon follow. In the March of 2016 on our way to out first holiday together to Tenerife, I was asked to move in. It wasn’t long into our relationship and I was a bit uneasy. I had never lived with a male partner before and didn’t know what was to come of this. However, being with Euan was where I wanted to be and since we spent each day together it seemed right to give it a try. I am so glad that I did and proud of all that we have achieved together since doing so.

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Several holidays were enjoyed. A visit to London to meet friends and attend a star wars convention, a birthday trip to Prague and a valentine trip to LAS VEGAS. (I really am spoiled, unnecessarily too!). We have owned a dog together but that didn’t work out and sadly, we had to say goodbye to Penny as her temprament was just too wild to keep up with and when we found out we had a baby on the way, it was the sensible approach no matter how difficult.

In December 2016 I fell pregnant with our first and only child, Eleanor. It was a time of mixed emotions and feelings. It was testing and hard. I couldn’t get my head around the idea of becoming mum and dad, especially not so soon and I didnt know the pressure that this could put on our relationship. I was so wrong, if anything our relationship became stronger and better. I have never been more loved nor have I been so in love. Getting through a pregnancy and child birth with Euan by my side made me realise how lucky I am to be as fortunate to have someone like him in my life. So compassionate, so kind, loving and gentle. I was, I am in love with my best friend.

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On 31.08.17 at 7.36pm we welcomed our gorgeous little baby girl, Eleanor Paisley Ross into the world. Instantly my heart was full. It was happy tears all around. I am so excited for the future together and family life. I have a feeling it will be pretty great.

The morning of our second anniversary September 4th 2017, four days after our baby was born and two days into settling at home,  I had assumed we would be celebrating quietly at home and enjoy a take away in the evening. I was in for a shocker. Standing half dressed and frizzy haired in the kitchen, desperately trying to cool myself down (breastfeeding is sweaty business), Euan approached me with a sleeping Eleanor in one hand and before I knew it, he was down on one knee and had asked if I would be his wife. EM,  WHAT?

A proposal on our anniversary. I was to be engaged. A fiancée and someday a wife. My heart can’t handle all of this love. I’m hopelessly tired and full of excitement for now and the future. After the good news and a lot of squealing, we decided to take Eleanor to the Registrars and register her birth on our anniversary.

September fourth will now forever remain the most important day of the year, our anniversary and the day we registered our baby girl. Who knows, when the time comes for wedding bells this could be our save the date!

For now, I am going to take it easy. We will take it easy and enjoy the time out we have as a family and getting to know our Eleanor. Already at one week old she is changing daily. Wedding planning is definitely on hold, there is simply too much going on and we are in no rush to walk the aisle. I can’t take any more excitement, I’m all out for now.

What a week it has been and one I will forever hold the closest. I couldn’t be any happier or more in love if I tried. I’m ready for family days building forts, long walks with our dog Fern, playing dress up with Eleanor and bedtime stories.

2017 has been the best year in my life to date and it isn’t over yet. Already I can’t wait for what 2018 has to bring.

Here’s to family life and a whole lot of love.

Keren x

 

Taking a leap of faith.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears”

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Into my mid twenties and baby ready, I suppose you might say that I am a little late to step into the world of blogging. I am currently feeling motivated at this stage in my life and ready to branch out from the comfort of my Instagram account, get creative and begin a new online adventure. An adventure to use as a learning process, a tool for my own personal growth.

 

My name is Keren Polland. I have chosen to begin a blog to capture moments and experiences of every day life. I have always wanted to start my own blog, to create something that is solemnly mine. As an introvert with little knowledge of blogging, I shied away, allowing my hopes of blogging become a pipe dream. I couldn’t possibly create something that others would want to read, could I?

With a new found focus and the want to do well, to create, I have decided to give this a shot. To get stuck in and give it a spin. Better late than never. I thank my boyfriend Euan very much for doing the background checks and setting up this space for myself. Without his help, knowledge and guidance, I would still be mulling over the blogs of others, desperate for my own. I am preparing to begin family life with my best friend. Expecting a little girl at the end of the Summer, the start of a new chapter in my relationship. What could be more exciting? I am going to focus my blog on this new family life, to put focus on my child, my relationship and my experience as a new mother. The good, the bad and the ugly. I want to open up and share my stories. Reach out to others and create an online following of not only followers, but friends. Others in a similar situation, experiencing the same as I.

This blog, MY blog is set to be a personal reflection of my own thoughts and views, a personal yet public journal. An outlet to unwind and to share. An accout of daily life, yet a brief escape from reality. With a spell of maternity leave on the horizon, I needed some sort of hobbie to occupy my mind and a place to share and reflect in order to keep myself sane during those long days and nights of no sleep nursing a newborn.

Broken routines, daily change. I can feel the anxiety build up just thinking about what is soon to come. I am someone who has to have a plan for EVERYTHING. My life is almost timed to perfection; feeding times, bathing times, leisure times and bed times. My biggest struggle I face with becoming a new mother is the sudden lack of routine. To have to adapt to a whole different take on life as we currently know it is a scary concept. For now, it is 10.20pm. I am tired and quite heavily pregnant. Time to rest my eyes – until the heartburn kicks in and sleep fails me ( this happens a lot lately) but I’ll take whatever rest I can get.

Goodnight, Keren x

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