This morning the children & I baked our favourite stove to oven brownies! These brownies are a huge hit in our household; in fact anyone who tastes these always asks me for the recipe and claims they are the best brownies they've ever had! I'm really proud to say that this recipe comes from a book that was written by an friend of my family's...we go way back to when I lived in Baltimore! Kerry Dunnington was our neighbour and a friend of my mum's but since we moved she has written several cook books. The first one, This Book Cooks contains this amazing brownie recipe as well as an upside down cake (the famous "Auflauf" you've probably heard of in the vlogs!) that was a recipe of my mum's! There is also a recipe in Kerry's second book Tasting the Seasons, called "Anna's Pasta" which is inspired by me! I'm so excited and honoured to be featured in a cook book...ha ha! I actually really recommend these recipe books - especially for someone like me who isn't a very confident cook. These are very easy to follow, simple yet delicious family friendly recipes. You can check out Kerry's books on Amazon here! And as you can tell, Emilia had a blast baking (and eating) these brownies! We will be following up with a recipe video tomorrow so stay tuned for that!
It feels kind of silly to go from the topic of baking brownies to fitness, ha ha! But in a way it's nice because after all I do believe in balance ;) So to justify all those brownies I worked out with Lucy again today! And hit a pretty important milestone that I'm quite proud of. I did 30 push-ups today!!! Not all in one go mind you, I did 3 sets of 10. And believe me they were KILLER. But I did it and I'm so happy! So many people ask me why I continue to work out when I "don't need to lose weight" or why do I bother if I want to get pregnant again...etc. etc. and to me the answer is obvious but I suppose to a lot of people it might not make sense. So I wanted to touch on that a little bit here & let you know my feelings on working out and how they've changed.
Let me start by telling you that I was never a fitness or exercise person...I didn't like sports in school, I never liked working out and I suppose I've always been kind of lucky to be able to eat normally & be naturally pretty slim without having to exercise. I gained about 25lbs with both my pregnancies and lost it very quickly and easily through breastfeeding. Again, I did not properly exercise whilst pregnant. Then in March/April of this year I slowed down & eventually stopped breastfeeding and gained a little bit of weight...it was only about 1/2 a stone but my clothes felt tighter and annoyingly it wouldn't seem to shift no matter what I did. Which is what got me thinking "maybe I should give this exercise thing a try".
What started as an effort to lose a little bit of weight has completely transformed into something so much bigger and better than that...this has totally changed my life! I'm now back to my pre-pregnancy weight and have been for a while, so yes - exercise has helped me with that but it has also given me SO much more confidence. I feel like it's made me happier, stronger as well as obviously fitter and leaner. It's become like a sort of therapy for me and as much as there are some days when I'm tired or don't feel like doing it, it's become a part of my daily routine so I feel like "off" if I don't work out. Like I said in a previous post, I work out with Lucy now about twice a week where we do about 30 minutes of HIIT. Then on the other 5 days I do a 4 minute cardio HIIT workout in the mornings and 15 minute one at night. When I work out now, it's not to lose anything it's to gain something...muscle tone, strength, confidence, happiness and energy. These are the reasons I do it now, and I only wish I would have started / known this stuff earlier! If you want to begin working out & exercising but are lacking motivation I hope this helps. Because honestly if I can do it anyone can! And remember you only need to do short workouts & small amounts of HIIT to see amazing results. No hour long cardio workouts...because let's be honest, ain't nobody got time for that!