I’m Holly, a fitness instructor, personal trainer, massage therapist, assessor, tutor, and pre and post natal exercise specialist.
Born and raised in rural Northumberland I am passionate about the outdoors, health, fitness, and general wellness. I believe it is important to look after body through exercise and nutrition, and finding “me-time” to look after your own physical and emotional well-being.
Along side providing health and fitness advice, I also offer coaching and lifestyle advice; helping clients work through their stresses and reducing daily pressures through coping mechanisms which are easy to access and perform.
As I come to add content to this blog, you will get to know me through everything from the food I eat, the exercise I do (and don’t do), the books I read, how I like to spend my free time (yes, free time!), and probably a lot more along the way.
I’ll be sharing more information shortly but for now, I wish you a very enjoyable day!
So lockdown was announced after it seemed a large quantity of the British population couldn’t do as politely requested and stay at home. Instead we have now been told that we are to stay in our properties with the exception of going out for essentials when necessary, and an hours exercise each day.
As it happens in our house, we have pretty much been doing just that since Isla had chickenpox three weeks ago (Dan is still going out to work as he is classed at NHS support – makes sense making sure all the machines and tables are working). Needless to say, it feels like we have been restricted for an eternity all ready. We have however found some activities that definitely break up the day and help pass the time:
Baking – Isla’s absolute FAVOURITE of all the things we have done. She loves to make and decorate cupcakes! It’s super simple, really inexpensive and teaches the little ones a bit of patience while they wait for the goods to bake and cool. We generally make up a simple cake mix that will do 12 cupcakes – 4oz Marg/Butter, 4oz Sugar, 4oz Self-raising Flour, 2 eggs, 1tsp vanilla flavouring, milk (or variant) to get the batter to the right consistency. You can even just chuck it all in a bowl at once and give it a good mix. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at about 170C for 15 minutes. Check a scewer comes out clean and your done. Allow to cool and decorate with simple water or butter icing (icing sugar and very little water or icing sugar and butter to taste) and whatever sprinkles, chocolate etc you might have kicking around.
Garden time – we got all of the garden toys out of the garage, including the sand pit and this makes for some very easy entertainment for the little one. And it allows Mam and Dad the chance of a quiet cuppa.
Board games – ok, Isla is generally a little young to understand the rules to a lot of games HOWEVER if you can allow yourself to let your little people makes there own rules up and just let loose, it’s a good hour of entertainment.
Painting and drawing – get out the colouring books, paper and colouring stuff, print off some pictures for free from Google, and off you go. Nice thing is, if you as a parent enjoy art then you can actually get some time to relax too.
Jigsaws – We have some normal and some that have maths puzzles on them. Either way the concentration required for this one provides some peace.
Crafts – similar to drawing and painting, set it up and revert to childhood. There’s some great kits you can get your hands on but you can just use empty boxes, toilet roll tubes and whatever you have at home already.
Reading – Isla loves a good book. She enjoys having us read to her but she also enjoys “reading” to her little brother where she looks at the pages and makes up her own story. It’s super cute.
Facebook LIVE Classes – toddler groups such as Captain Fantastic and Tumble Tots are providing free classes at certain times each day.
Chores – Got jobs to do around the house? Give the little one something to do too – Isla loves to clean so I tend to give her a cloth to go round with when I am cleaning the kitchen or dusting.
Lego – I know that most people cringe at the sound of the Lego box being tipped over BUT it does provide a decent period of entertainment. You’ll probably find that either you or your other half can get fairly taken away with it too; remember to let the kids have fun!
For the Adults:
Video Calls – call friends and family via one of the video call options. It’s an easy way to see people when we can’t actually be with them. Zoom, WhatsApp, and FaceTime are just a few options.
Outdoor time – doing up or tidying the garden, tending to your plants, spending evenings by the firepit, get outside if you can and relax.
Start a blog – document how you get through each day, see what you get up to and you never know who you might inspire. You can set up a blog for free on a platform such at WordPress or Wix.
Pick up a hobby – what have you always wanted to learn but never had the chance to? Now is the time.
Clean and organise your home – this might not be one for everyone but there are thousands of people who find cleaning and it’s results incredibly relaxing and fulfilling. When I get the chance I am one of those people though with kids it doesn’t last for long!
Have a date night – cook a nice dinner, have a bottle of wine, turn the TV OFF and talk. Remember the old times, when you first got together and some of the best memories you have made.
Start a gratitude log – there are so many things to be thankful for and I think that many people are starting to see this now. Write down the things that you are grateful for so you can look back at them on more difficult days.
Get fit – if you’re generally well and there’s no medical reason not to, get yourself active. It kills the boredom and make you feel a million times better. There are all kinds of free workouts available via Facebook or YouTube, just search and see what you fancy.
These are just some of the things that we have found, I’m sure there are lots of other things people are doing and I would love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments.
Following the increase of Covid19 cases and the response of the Prime Minister, I am saddened to say that I will not be offering any further KIT days until further notice.
I have made this decision for a number of reasons; the major ones being to protect YOU, my loyal clients, and also to take care of my young family and minimise risk to them.
I believe we all must do everything we can in order to limit the spread of the virus and be calm and understanding of others in this time.
Please look after yourselves and, if you are in a position to do so, check on your vulnerable friends, family and neighbours as much as you can – drop a note through their door with your mobile number offering help with collecting essentials, or even just state you’re available for a friendly phone call to fight the loneliness that the isolation is bound to cause to individuals living alone. Be good to each other.
I’m reaching out today. I want to start a mum and buggy walking group. My thoughts are:
Mondays at 9.30am (day could change depending on demand). The first few to be at the QE2 Lakeside at Woodhorn. Have a walk around the lake, or as far as you would like to go, followed by a coffee in the pub/softplay afterwards.
Just want to create a free group for new and experienced mums alike, who would like to get to know some new people and have some time with other adults during the week. Can buggy or sling with your little one(s).
I will be looking to start this from April (my daughter currently has chickenpox so just want that totally out of the way before trying to get anything going).
Please drop me a message via the contact page or on my facebook if you’re interested.
I’ve been feeling a bit crappy about the last couple of days; with very little sleep and eating any old thing as well as being quarantined by chickenpox (thanks isla), I bit the bullet and got on the sad step (scales) to see what was going on…
I’ve lost another 3lbs!
Now, I can only put this down to breastfeeding and expressing as I have been a lazy bitch while housebound.
My point is – it is not always how you feel. The action you take make a HUGE impact on how you feel in yourself and about yourself. Lazing around, not getting your steps in or getting fresh air in your lungs MAKES YOU FEEL SHITTY!
If I’d been out and about as normal, getting things done, going to the park etc I’m going to say I would have had no desire to even look at my weight.
So, if you’re feeling wick – DO NOT JUMP OFF THE WAGON, a binge will not help you. Instead – GET UP OFF YOUR ASS and get some fresh air.
Saturday 7th March marked Fynn being one month old and what a month…
Isla has had a cough for what seems like forever and since getting home from the hospital with Fynn it has had her up EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Some nights have been worse than others but it has meant that even if Fynn has been asleep, Dan and I have been awake – all the time! On top of that she now has chicken pox so I can’t even get her out in the day time to play as she’s fully contagious; thinking it’ll be about 2 weeks and Fynn will have them too. Love a good incubation virus!
Anyway, other than the illness, life with two is interesting but now I can’t judge what is normal transition for Isla going from only child to sharing Mummy and Daddy and what has been caused by the development of the chickenpox. She has been a diva, and she has been misbehaved but it’s a huge change for her and a lot for her to deal with all at once. I think Dan and I would probably deal better with her tantrums if we were getting decent sleep but hey ho, this is real life.
I have had one KIT day back at work and it was wonderful to see some of my regular clients, catch up with them and have some adult, none child related, conversations! I’m not sure Dan would agree that the day was quite so enjoyable as it was his first time home alone with the two kids. There was wine that night. Ha.
I’ll be putting another KIT day in at the end of this month (a regular work day I am able to do whilst on maternity leave). If you are interested in an appointment for sports or deep tissue massage on this date please message me via the contact page or text 07771522312. I look forward to these dates coming up I feel a little lost being off work even though I know that this time will fly by!
So there’s my little update to everyone. I am hopefully going to get back into producing some regular content sometime soon too, lets just get the pox and viruses out the way first and back to a bit of normality. Whatever that is!
I’ve probably done this the wrong way round as I have posted it on my Facebook page prior to writing a blog post but I want to share it anyway…
My truth around post partum body reality:
2 weeks post partum and I am 10lbs off my pre-pregnancy weight but resemble nothing like the body I had before and THAT’S OK!
It took 9 months for my body to grow and nurture Fynn into the healthy 7lbs 14oz baby he was at birth and I am fully accepting that it will take TIME and effort to get back to anything remotely like where I was before.
With this pregnancy I was unable to exercise for much of it and unable to work at the end due to SPD and sciatica. I took time out. I ate what I wanted (which I do regret a little but when those cravings take over they’re hard to ignore). And now I am waiting, not so patiently, to get back into exercise.
For anyone going through pregnancy, enjoy it. For anyone waiting for your bundle to arrive, good luck. For those who have recently had a baby, try not to be too hard on yourself. Enjoy your new addition and look after yourself, for a healthy, happy mum and baby are far more important than anything else at this stage.
I wanted to share these images of my belly straight after birth to show you what to expect if you haven’t seen – it’s not pretty, and it’s not celeb washboard abs. It is a vessel which has just produced a miracle. Don’t hate on it.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone. I hope your day is filled with love all of all kinds. I know mine is…
At one week old today, I introduce to you all Fynn Daniel Pickering, born on 7th February 2020 at 10.10am weighing in at 7lbs 140zs (just 2 ounces more than his sister was at birth).
As many of you know, our baby boy was due on 30th January but it would seem that I created too cosy a home for him in my belly and so we were admitted for forced eviction via induction on 6th February at 6pm before Fynn eventually arrived at 10,10am on Friday 7th February. Though not straight forward the birth was fine. We were to stay in hospital through until the Monday though as Fynn had a temperature and the hospital advised a course of antibiotics for him. It was a long 4 days and a long time from saying bye to Isla as she went off to the childminder on the Thursday morning until I saw her again on the Monday evening – I’ve never been away from her for that long before.
We got home to be greeted by the animals and had an hour before we collected Isla from the childminder. When she came in and saw Fynn I’m not sure that she even knew what to think. After a short while and the realisation that her little brother was now home to stay she has already proved herself a most excellent big sister. She is helpful and attentive towards her brother and very loving with him. It’s a pleasure to experience.
Fynn is now one week old (already!) and it’s coming to the end of Dan’s time off with us in our little bubble. Next week brings new challenges of being able to get a toddler and a baby up and ready to go to the childminder on time as well as keep them both clean, fed and watered whilst it’s just me and them! I’m sure it’ll be fine…
As my labour didn’t result in any surgeries (after Isla’s birth I had no idea how this one would make it out) I will be looking to come back to work to do KIT days as soon as possible. I’ll be sending a message out to those of you who asked to be added to the list regarding appointments on these days shortly. If you would like updated on the days I will be working whilst off on maternity leave please drop me a text or whats app to my mobile number (on the contact page). I’ll be offering the appointment times on a first come first served basis.
Thanks for your time folks and i look forward to seeing you all soon. Xx