What going to Betty’s Cookery School is really like

Anyone who know me knows I love to bake, and I also LOVE Betty’s! So for my fortieth birthday I was treated, by my family, to a day of baking at Betty’s Cookery School! Heaven!

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Getting my Bake On

It was everything I hoped it would be, it was so brilliant to just bake without the constant worry of watching the clock or being interrupted by something or other in the household breaking my stride! It was such a luxury!

On arrival the seventeen other guests, on the course, and I, were were treated to a Betty’s croissant and a welcome drink. Then it was form filling in for health and safety etc and then straight on to learning about what we would be making!

Course Demonstrations and Instructors

The course instructors were really welcoming and friendly and you felt like you were being well looked after and not judged at all. They were SO patient and happy to answer any questions and most importantly impart their skills and experience expertly on to all of us! I felt like I was in good, calm hands all day!

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There were regular demonstrations throughout the day on how to do create what we were going to be making next, with full instructions and recipe notes. The demonstration area also had camera and wall mounted TV screens so everyone could see very easily.

Work Stations

The work stations for the participants were set up so we were three to a kitchen space, each with two ovens and two sinks but enough space for all of us to bake comfortably.

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As you would imagine, all the people on the course were really nice, Betty’s going people who obviously loved to bake too and had been gifted the course or were treating themselves!

Our Three Signature Bakes

We baked three different bakes, all with additional elements and we came back and forth between the finished dishes over the course of the day.

The chocolate mocha cake was the recipe that got us started, learning tips and tricks about making the perfect cake and learning how to ‘drum line’ a baking ring for a clean finish.

Then we set about making the lime curd filled sponges and shortbread biscuit dough which we left to chill over lunchtime.

Betty’s Lunch

Lunch was a Betty’s mushroom quiche served with new potatoes and carrots – which was so delicious! We even go to enjoy it with a  glass of wine! Desert was a to die for blackberry cheesecake which tasted as good as it looked!

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One I did’t make earlier!

Italian Meringue Making

After lunch we set to making Italian meringue to top the lime curd filled sponges and baking the biscuits. I loved learning to make the meringue as I normally just bake a standard pavlova in the oven, but learning this new skill has given me the courage to try it again at home. Basically you cook the sugar and water solution to reach 120 degrees and then slowly pour it into your whipped egg whites, all the while whipping the mixture. Adding the boiling liquid to the eggs cooks them and leaves them softly smooth, like marshmallows.

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Lime Curd Filled Italian Meringue Sponges

Assembling the Finished Bakes

After another break for coffee and biscuits, it was all about assembling the finished bakes! We filled the sponges with the lime curd, topped them with the meringue and used a blow torch to finish them off. Then we sandwiched the shortbread biscuits with Betty’s raspberry Jam before dusting with icing sugar. Finally we sliced and iced the chocolate mocha cake with a mascarpone and Tia Maria covering and decorated it with Betty’s chocolate cigarillos.

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Chocolate Mocha Cake – I made this!

The finished results were all pretty impressive! The kids went crazy when they saw them and throughly enjoyed eating everything! The biscuits being a particular favourite! The great thing is that you get to bring all the recipes home with you, so I can recreate the Betty’s magic all over again and earn myself some more serious brownie points with the kids!

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Raspberry filled Shortbread Biscuits

I absolutely loved my experience at Betty’s Cookery School and would love to do it all over again! It was very relaxed, yet I felt like I was learning something at the same time and it’s brilliant that you get to take your bakes home. The course is so well designed that all your bakes even fit nicely into Betty’s boxes so getting them home is easy too!

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Safely boxed up ready for home!

I loved that all the ingredients are all laid out for you and the kitchen equipment is all perfect for the tasks at hand, making small things like grating a lime so much simpler and quicker than they are ay home. You do have to do some washing up, but it’s very laid back and in my group we all helped each other out and if there are items left to clean at the end someone from the Cookery School comes in to finish it off for you. You get your own apron to keep and take home as a souvenir too!

Taking the time for yourself to indulge in a passion is a real treat and something I wish I could do more. It’s lovely to be able to spend time doing something you really love. I’m so grateful to my husband for the thoughtful gift and for taking the day off work to be ‘me’ for the day so I could have time off from being ‘Mama’ and just relax doing something I love to do!

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The three bakes we created on the Betty’s Cookery School Baking course

It would be amazing to do another course; one on ‘family meals’ would be a brilliant one to take part in, I’m always looking for new meal inspiration, and surely the kids would eat the dish if it was a Betty’s recipe!  Alternatively a course where I could take my older twin girls and we could all bake together for some Mother/Daughter time would be lovely too! Just sharing my ideas Betty’s 😉

If you’ve toyed with a Betty’s Cookery Course before I would highly recommend it. You don’t need to be an expert at all before you go and the course leaders are so helpful and friendly it really is a very relaxed, fun experience and you come away feeling like you’ve achieved new skills too! I can’t wait to go back!

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I was lucky enough to be gifted the Betty’s Cookery School course as a birthday present. Courses are around £180 and I took part in a ‘baking’ day.
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A New Year’s Resolution you can actually keep!

I’m not one for making New Year Resolutions. Mainly because, like most other people, I know I just break them after around 10 days and then hate myself even more for not even managing to do anything about the thing that I wanted to do something about! Gah!

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New Year, New You

But this year I decided I was going to make a positive resolution, you know, something to do more of and not less of! And I landed on a great one that I’m pretty sure is possible for everyone to keep! It is simply this … To Do More Of What I Love!

Do More Of What You Love

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By just giving myself the permission to do more of what I love I already feel like I’ve treated myself! As Mamas we’re notoriously poor at self care, we’re always at the bottom of the list for everything and sometimes it’s important to not only put yourself on the list but put yourself at the top of it! After all, if you’re not around to pick up the pieces when you fall ill (which you will if you don’t care for yourself), who else will?

Self Care Matters

You are responsible for your own happiness

And although I love jetting off to a sun soaked beach, doing it more often is realistically very unlikely, so it doesn’t quite work like that. In my head it works by making some positive choices in your life.

I love reading, but don’t often make the time to do that. So I’m choosing to go to bed a little earlier to spend time doing something I love. I love catching up with friends and family over a coffee, so I’m choosing to have a quick cuppa before starting my work for the day. I love to cook family meals, but don’t feel I have the time so I’m making time. Before making a choice about whether I should do something or not I’m thinking, ‘do I love doing it?’ and if the answer is yes, I’m just doing more of it!

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Mastering the Art of Appreciation

Choosing to do more of what I love is a state of mind rather than a tangible thing. I was struck by a ‘pause for thought’ on the Radio Two breakfasts show on Monday morning – which was a reminder of something we all know, but fail to listen to often which is; happiness is not a destination – it’s a state of mind.

While we’re all busy rushing around to get things done, work finished and project plan for our future lives, we’re missing the point. Happiness comes from mastering the art of appreciation and choosing to enjoy what we already have.

Have you made any resolutions this year? What do you love to do and what will you be doing more of this year? Are you aiming towards choosing to enjoy what you have already?

Lucy xx

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Fancy Some Mid-Week Mama Escapism, Just For You?

Mama Time

With the nights drawing in and the kids back to school, how about indulging in some mid-week escapism just for you?! Harrogate Mama Movie Squad – Fizz and Flicks is on Tuesday next week (7th November) and is strictly for grown-ups!

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Everyman

This is your chance to indulge in some Mama Time with a movie screening showing a film you probably wouldn’t get to see otherwise, since the Smalls are not allowed and your other half much preferring to see Blade Runner instead!

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Bridget Jones’s Baby

This special showing will be in Everyman’s Private Hire screen with their incredibly comfy sofas and outstanding sound system. The film, as chosen by you lovely readers is… Bridget Jones’s Baby.

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Fizz, Flicks and Food

I always think watching a fantastic film with a glass of Fizz is the epitome of movie luxury and Everyman have done an incredible offer for all the Harrogate Mama Movie Squad on their glass of Fizz for just £6 (usually £7.25)!

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AND if you want a bite to eat on the night too they are offering the Harrogate Mama Movie Squad a Everyman burger for ONLY £6 (usually £10.50) – that is a total bargain!

Discount Prices

It’s the perfect child free night out on a plate for you. Doors open from 7.00pm and the movie starts at 8pm. Simply book online to get your tickets.

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Prices work out at a total bargain of £10 for Flicks, £6 for Fizz and £6 for Food.

Book now

Tickets are in the form of a one off membership, just simply book online and bring your ticket with you on the night. There’s no seat reservations though, so come early if you want to save seats for your Mama Squad.

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Stella and Dot loveliness

The lovely Charlotte from Stella and Dot Jewellery is coming along too to showcase her fab Christmas sparkly range and is also running a FREE giveaway on the night too, so you could be walking home with a lovely gift for yourself!

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I’m planning to hold half-termly movie meet ups on an ongoing basis! I think it’s going to be a brilliant way to catch up with your Mama friends and enjoy some down-time and escapism, in our increasingly busy lives , it’s important to look after our needs too!

Book here…

Click to Book

Can’t wait to see you!

Lucy xx

 

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Three Pink Hair Products I Can’t Live Without…

All about the Blow Dry

When I was growing up I always had short hair, so I never learnt blow-drying techniques or ‘hair-up’ ones either. When I got to Uni I had the classic ‘Rachel’ cut and then in my ‘baby-years’ as a Mama was all about the high-pony tail, show me someone who has time for much else!

 

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School Run Mama

 

Now my Smalls can almost get themselves dressed on a morning, and if I haul my bottom out of bed in time, I can just about get it together to wash and blow dry my hair into a semi-decent state before the school run!

I was recommended a hairdryer by a friend a few years ago and I now can’t travel without it, it’s that good. I often get asked if I straighten my hair and the answer is, I don’t!

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Three pink ‘go-to’ hair items

My hairdryer, along with these other two items do all the work for me, which saves me SO much time, which as a Mama is what it’s all about. And ask anyone who’s ever done my hair, it’s not naturally straight and they’ll also tell you it’s a total pain to dry!

So here are the three pink things that adorn my dressing table that save my hair-style life on a daily basis

1 – The Parlux hairdryer

The hairdryer to end all hairdryers. The Parlux are pricey, at around £100 a pop, but I’ve had mine three years already and it’s already paid for itself. It’s powerful and while it doesn’t dry my hair any quicker than any other hair dryer, it dries it much better and makes it a lot straighter.

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2 – The Tangle Teezer

Not only does the Tangle Teezer save my life when it comes to swimming lessons, as the peace it buys me from the big girls screaming from it not ‘pulling’ on their hair when I use it is immeasurable, but it totally stops my hair getting split ends as it de-tangles rather than snaps the knots. We may have four of these in our house!!

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3 – V05 Heat Protect spray

The V05 Heat Protect Spray is one of the best heat protectors I’ve used and I find it so much better than an oil based serum for styling too. The Argan oil ones tend to leave my hair a touch greasy, where as this one protects and leaves it shiny!

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Maybe I’m drawn to pink, maybe these products are pink because the marketing folks are so clever at their jobs they know their target market spot on! Whatever the reason, they work for me and give me a little bit of joy in my life when I spy them collectively, accidentally, matching on my dressing table!

What are your go to hair items of choice that you can’t live without, I’d love to hear them!

Lucy xx

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Eyelash Extensions at Spruce Moose and an Exclusive 40% Off Discount Code

Eyelash Extensions at Spruce Moose

The lovely folks at Spruce Moose in Harrogate invited me into their fab treatment rooms lasts week to try out their individual lashes treatment.

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The gorgeous space they have at Westgate House, at the site of the Everyman Cinema, opposite Pizza Express, is really quite large, the treatment rooms are over two floors, with lots of space and a feeling of relaxed luxury.

Relaxing Treatment

I’ve never tried lash extensions before so was a little unsure what to expect but the lovely Katie set my ease reassuring me that it was a relaxing treatment, and she was totally right.

They simply attached individual false eyelashes to the base of my existing lashes with a dot of glue. The precision in the placing is key and Katie did a marvellous job with mine.

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All I had to do was lay still for around 45 minutes with my eyes closed – pretty ideal when you’re a Mama if you ask me!

Amazing Results

Katie placed a strip-pad under my eye (I guess so she could see the lashes better) and set about gently applying the lashes.

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Once finished I was amazed, she showed me the finished look in the mirror and it was such a transformation, I was really surprised what a difference it had made!

My eyes were lots more defined and it made the shape of them so much nicer too, plus it was really natural, and they didn’t look ‘false’ at all to me. Just longer and lusher than before.

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Simple Aftercare

The aftercare treatment is really simple too, just don’t use oil based eye-make-up remover near them and be careful not to rub them, else they will come out.  They’re expected to last two weeks, but will start falling out, just as normal eyelashes would over that time.

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They’d be perfect for a weekend away or a special occasion, although some people have them all the time, a little like getting their nails done. I’m really tempted as I know I’ll miss mine once they’re gone!

Looks Amazing and Saves Time

Plus they have the advantage of saving you time both morning and night, as there’s no need for mascara (though you can use it if you want – I haven’t) and therefore no need to take off the eye make-up at night either! Double bonus!

I like that they make me feel like I have some make-up on, without having any make-up on and instantly make me look more awake! A real bonus as a sleep deprived Mama!

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Overall, I really loved the treatment it was relaxing to have done and the benefits were really impressive.

Get 40% Off at Spruce Moose

The best news is if you’d like to have your eyelashes done with the individual lash treatment you can get an exclusive 40% off with this blog post! All you need to do is quote HarrogateMama40 when you make a booking. Which means instead of the treatment being £42.00 it’s just £25.20 – a total bargain!

Spruce Moose is the only salon in the UK that offers a membership, giving members a 40% discount off ALL treatments, every time you visit! That means for £9.99 per month you are guaranteed your 40% discount (plus there is NO CONTRACT!).

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Discount Code for 40% Off

You can also get 40% off any other FIRST treatment at Spruce Moose too by just quoting HarrogateMama40 when you book!

Lucy xx

Disclaimer: Spruce Moose invited me to have my eyelashes done with their compliments.
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Harrogate Mama Movie Squad Fizz and Flicks Film Reveal…

So the film you’ve picked as your stand out favourite to see at Everyman Cinema’s private hire screen on Tuesday 7th November from 7pm for the first Harrogate Mama Movie Squad is…

Bridget Jones’s Baby!

Nicely done Harrogate Mama Squad!

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Bridget Jones’s Baby was a clear front runner from the off, and continued to poll well across Facebook and Instagram too.  I’m totally thrilled so many of you picked it as it’s one of those ones I’ve been dying to see but never got round to going to – making it a perfect candidate for the Harrogate Mama Movie Squad! Lion was a close runner-up and another film I’m also desperate to see!

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If you’re choice was something else, don’t worry – I’m definitely looking to run this again, so you might be in luck next time! I still want to see all the films in the running, particularly Jackie, which didn’t seem that popular! Ha!

 

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Come and Join me at The Everyman Cinema Mamas!

 

Fizz, Flicks and Food (and zero Smalls)

So, if you fancy a night tucked up in the comfort of the Everyman Private Hire screen, sipping a glass of Fizz, and indulging in a peaceful bite to eat with not one Small person in sight – then get booking your ticket!

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Fizz and Flicks

Book your tickets now!

This event has been hugely popular on social media, so if you fancy it I strongly recommend booking early. Grab your Mama squad, or come along on your own and meet some like-minded Mamas in a relaxed grown-up setting,  where you can chill out and just be YOU for a little while and enjoy a little luxury escapism!

 

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Private Screen at Everyman Cinema

 

Stella and Dot Jewellery Preview

To make the night even more special for you the lovely Charlotte from Stella and Dot is going to be showcasing her gorgeous range of jewellery in the Private Hire Space of the Everyman Cinema too – from 7pm – giving you the chance to check out her amazing delights of the latest sparkle just in time for Christmas.

 

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Stella and Dot Gorgeousness

 

Charlotte’s also running a FREE prize draw on the night so you could be walking away with a gorgeous new Stella and Dot purse or some sparkle stud earrings! If you ‘like’ Charlotte’s Facebook page between now and the event you’ll get a draw entry, plus everyone coming to the movie squad will get one entry to the draw too!

Tuesday 7th November from 7pm

We’ll be welcoming you in the Everyman Private Hire space from 7pm if you fancy a pre-movie drink, a catch up with your Mama squad and a peek at the fab Stella and Dot range before the flicks commence.

 

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Private Hire Space at Everyman

 

The film starts at 8pm and Fizz and Food can be served at your seat – what luxury, no planning, cooking or clearing away. It’s like breakfast in bed, only in the evening in a cinema, with zero guilt!

How to Book

Simply book online for Tuesday 7th November from 7pm  at https://moviesquad.eventbrite.co.uk  you can choose tickets for any combination of  the following;

1 – Flicks = £10

2 – a glass of Fizz = £6

3 – A house-burger with hand cut, skin-on fries = £6

4 – A veggie-burger with hand cut, skin-on fries = £6

Please note that there is a booking fee involved on all ticket sales imposed by the booking service.

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Can’t wait to see you there.

Simply book, turn up and relax!

Lucy xx

 

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The Importance of a Spa Break

Last week I had the totally luxury of heading off on a Spa break for a night with one of my besties and while it’s always great to catch up with friends, nothing beats doing it in the comfort of a cosy dressing gown!

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Titanic Spa in Huddersfield

We went to Titanic Spa in Huddersfield which was amazing, it’s been open 10 years but it’s the first time either of us had been and it was simply perfect!

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Spa Facilities

The facilities were spot on, the relaxation room was heavenly and the treatments were tip top!

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Treatment rooms

The food was impressive too – I enjoyed a gorgeous pan fried seabass cooked to perfection and we stayed in their apartments for the night, which were huge,  complete with a full kitchen, lounge and balcony space!

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Amazing Food

But the best thing by far about going on a Spa break is that head space you get from it! While it’s brilliant to go away on a girlie break to sunny climes or head off on a city break to hit the bars and shops what’s really nice when you’re a mum is just to simply be! And of course have a decent night’s sleep!

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Apartment bedrooms

The two of us chatted about this, that and the other, lost hours in small talk over what was driving us nuts most about our Smalls at the moment and set the world to rights. No other break gives you the time to do that, without external interruptions from anything.

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Gorgeous outdoor space complete with hot tub!

The other benefit is, of course, the treatments which mean you can actually lie down, legitimately, in the middle of the day – is there anything nicer than that? And you come out feeling totally relaxed, unwound and chilled (and a little fresher of face – bonus). A Mama’s paradise!

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Apartment life

One thing I always notice when I go away on a short break is that I’m a much nicer person to be around when I come back. I have that slight holiday air about me, which means everything in the world looks a bit rosier, I feel a little bit more like me and the worries I came in with aren’t as huge when I leave!

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Titanic Spa

You can not underestimate the importance of spending time with the friends in your life, children and families take over and you can easily loose a sense of who you are. It’s important to maintain friendships and share what’s going on in your life, the highs and lows matter and when you get chance to sit and chat and set them straight in your head you feel nothing but better for it!

Lucy xx

 

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Introducing OneWellness Harrogate; a new approach to wellbeing

OneWellness are an organisation of health professionals who are all experts in their field. They are all passionate about helping the people of Harrogate to stay healthy and reach their personal fitness goals.

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Experts helping Harrogate stay healthy

The organisation are a team of permanent and associate professionals offering a range of flexible services which will include; physiotherapy, nutrition, mindfulness and physical fitness. The OneWellness team have set themselves the goal of improving the wellbeing of Harrogate’s residents through tailored healthcare programmes.

Onewellness are based in Harrogate at the site of the Mowbray Square Medical Centre, just off East Parade. They are set up with a large specially designed gym space and state of the art equipment along with another impressive separate space for treatment rooms.

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Reception area at OneWellness Harrogate

Tailored Wellbeing Packages

The organisation offer a range of classes and packages to suit different healthcare needs, from new Mums to Personal Training packages, reproductive wellness to Junior Sports Team physio-led exercise classes. From Pilates, to HIIT classes to Clinical Yoga; to nutrition advice to acupuncture, there are experts at the centre for all your wellbeing needs! You can of course book to see one of the physios for initial consultations and follow up physio treatment too. Their website shares all the details. I took part in some physic-led Pilates and loved it!

Physio Led Pilates

I went along to a couple of their OneWellness Pilates classes to find out what makes them different from the average gym class.

For a start all the services offered by OneWellness are clinician led, by health professionals. Stephen Kirk leads the physiotherapy department he’s had over 17 years of experience working in the NHS, private and elite sport settings. There are an additional three associate physiotherapists who work alongside him. All of which have been trained and qualified for number of years.

This means when you attend a Pilates class you know you’re working safely and that the exercises you’re undertaking are really going to be of benefit to you. Working under the guidance of highly trained physiotherapists means you’re much more likely to be working the right muscle groups the right way.

Emma Davies led our Pilates class which is held on a Tuesday at 8pm, which is a good Mama friendly class time! Emma’s been a physio since 2006 and has taught Pilates for over eight years. She’s recently had her second baby too, so knows all about the practicalities of getting back into exercise after having children.

Having recently been pregnant and as a new Mum, Emma really put our minds at rest that we were going to be excising safely and to maximum effect all the areas that suffer the stresses and strains of growing another human inside you! Emma explained that it’s working the lower abdominal muscles that actually help your tummy to become flatter, and no amount of sit ups will help achieve that as those exercises focus more on your higher abdominal muscles.

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OneWellness Gym space

The class was at a relaxed pace and there were a few newcomers, which meant you felt at ease quickly and Emma was really hands on, coming round to correct positions to make sure you were undergoing the moves in all the right ways!

I really enjoyed the Pilates class, it was great to find a different head space and to exercise at a slower pace – rather than a cardio workout. I found I left energised and that I’d started down the line of engaging my core muscles again, which have been a long time neglected! I’m looking forward to heading back next week!

Classes are £55 for a six week course. OneWellness offer other differently priced packages for Pilates too, for a more personalised service.

Mum to Be and New Mum Packages

OneWellness are offering a Mum-to-be package and a New-Mum package which both include specialist physiotherapy massages and six specialist Yoga or Pilates sessions – which would make perfect new baby or baby shower gifts at £175 for the package. More details can be found on their website www.onewellnessharrogate.co.uk.

Personal Training Packages at an Introductory Rate

There are also a number of Personal Training packages on offer for a bargain introductory price at the moment.

For £135 you can get take part in the OneWellness PT-Fit package which includes all of the following;  a one to one physical assessment with a specialist physiotherapist, a tailored plan to help you support your fitness goals, six PT-Fit sessions with a personal trainer in the OneWellness gym (up to six people in a class), a follow up physiotherapist session to measure progress and free telephone support throughout the package. (More details on their website, prices correct at time of first publishing).

HIIT and Clinical Yoga

Along with the Pilates, PT sessions and additional wellbeing packages, OneWellness also offer tailored classes which are all led by experts in their field. On Mondays and Wednesdays at 6.15pm HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) classes are available and from Thursdays at 1.30pm they offer Clincal Yoga.

Coming soon to OneWellness

OneWellness also have a host of other exciting offerings in the pipeline. From the 24th April they will be starting their own brand of HIIT classes (called OneHIIT) which will target the early-risers running at 6.30am – 7.15am. There will also be some parent and child classes coming in the not too distant future too.

Experts in their field

The organisation prides itself on working with experts in their chosen field and are excited to announce that they will soon be working with a clinical physiologist who has worked with Olympians Alistair and Jonny Brownlee. Dr Matthew Campbell is a senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and an expert in exercise nutrition, OneWellness are more than thrilled that they’re going to be able to offer experts with that calibre to all their clients.

Saturday 8th April – Launch Event

OneWellness are holding a FREE event open day on Saturday 8th April from 10am, where they are offering free classes, a chance to chat to experts, opportunities to win prizes and a chance to see the amazing facilities for yourself!

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OneWellness Gym equipment

OneWellness the Future

I think OneWellness is set to be a great addition to Harrogate and I look forward to seeing how their journey develops in the growing market of health and wellbeing. The organisation are set to be collaborating with more and more health professionals over time, which makes the offering even more exciting for the future. We all know looking after ourselves is the key to a happier, healthier life and OneWellness are around to help us do that in safer way.

Lucy xx

Disclaimer: This post has been written in collaboration with OneWellness

 

 

 

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Six Things Mama’s Really Want for Mother’s Day

I’ve been a Mum for almost ten years now, and over that time I’ve had a few insights into how Mother’s Day goes down.

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As a new Mum, I held the misguided belief that Mother’s Day was a day for everyone to be grateful for what I had done for them; from wiping their noses, to playing jigsaws, from hauling the food shop in from the car to loading the dishwasher, to nurturing and growing a tiny human to soothing them to sleep in the middle of the night. It was the one day I could put my feet up and hear everyone just say ‘ Thank you! You’re doing great!’

Well in years gone by it’s not always gone down like that. One memorable year I recall spending the whole day cleaning and vacuuming my car so I could then list it on AutoTrader – not how Mother’s Day was ever due to go down in my head.

So I’ve learnt now I’m coming up to my tenth Mother’s Day, the best way to get what you’d like from the day is to be totally explicit with your expectations! That way there’s no margin for error and everyone is happy come the end of the day!  So here are the six golden rules for a successful Mother’s Day round ours!

1.) A Lie in

A totally uninterrupted lie in, on my own, where I can possibly sleep, or even read a few pages of an actual book.

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2.) Breakfast in bed

Nothing too fancy, maybe a bit of granola, a croissant and a cup of tea.

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3.) Thoughtful gifts from the Smalls

Usually the Smalls make something at school, Brownies or pre-school which fits the bill nicely. A homemade card, better still a thoughtful poem, that thanks me for the lovely things I do for them, if it makes me cry it’s a winner!

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4.) Little gift

Yes a lovely bottle of perfume or a coveted necklace would be ideal, but I’m really not that bothered, 1, 2 and 3 are much more important to me, so a new mug or small box of chocolates and I’m happy. Honestly 😉

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5.) Flowers

This is a personal one as Mr P doesn’t agree with buying flowers as ‘they just die’ 😬 So if I get just a small bunch I’m totally over the moon, as I know, he knows, it means I know, he’s really made an extra effort to do something that goes against his feelings just to make me happy!

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6.) A little TLC

Not too much pampering, I don’t need whisking off on a Spa day – just to not have to clear the table, an offer of making up the packed lunches for tomorrow or bathing the kids. And it’s the offering that counts, I’m happy to do the things, just someone else thinking if I do it, then you don’t have to, is enough! Though to be honest, someone else doing the things is up there too! 😆

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What’s on your explicit Mother’s Day list – have you had any shockers in the past?!

Lucy xx

 

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Beating the January Blues as a Mama

Let’s face it January is pretty bleak! We all start the year with the best of intentions and believeing all the most positive memes you can find and by now, well, everything’s just sort of lapsed a bit!

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My start to 2017 hasn’t been the greatest, my Granny is very poorly in hospital, the Small Boy is crying at every pre-school drop off and the noro-virus is back at Harrogate Mama Heights to haunt us again! Gah!

The finances are all a bit ‘post -Christmas’, the nights are too dark and cold to get out and the morning school runs are tinged with the internal ‘FFS’ that accompanies hats, gloves and scarf wearing!

However all is not lost! Here are three things I’ve done this week to cheer myself up which are all FREE and focus on self-care (as let’s face it – when you’re a Mama you’re so busy caring for everyone else you need to put yourself on that list too!)

1.) Went to bed at 8.30pm and caught up on Christmas Telly on the iPad

While I do love sitting mute on the sofa next to Mr P while we both flick through our iDevices and occasionally build up to an episode of a box set on the TV, sometimes I just want to watch a good period drama in peace and he wants to catch up on some NFL! So one night last week I headed to bed early with the iPad and a cuppa and indulged in ‘The Witness for the Prosecution’ – the Agatha Christie two part drama (BBC iPlayer – expires on 25th Jan). I also have ‘To Walk Invisible’ about the Bronte sisters on my watch list too (BBC iPlayer -expires 28th Jan).

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2.) Went for a beauty counter make-over

I totally hadn’t planned to get a make over but I needed a new foundation, I went to the No.7 Boots counter (as sometimes the pricier brands can be a bit salesy). I just asked for some advice as to what foundation to choose and the lovely girl asked me if I’d like her to put some on for me. It was such a luxury to have someone take my make-up off with nice cleansers and take some time putting a fresh ‘face’ on. She ended up adding some primer and blusher too and by the time she’d finished (ten minutes later) I felt relaxed, refreshed and really pleased with my new make-up look!

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3.) Went to a friends for tea and chats on an evening

Sometimes I get to meet the Mamas for a day time coffee with the Small Boy. But one night last week a friend invited me round to hers for a catch up on an evening. It was really chilled as the kids were in bed, no babysitters needed, and although it feels like a bit of an effort to leave the house after 8pm when all you want to do is put your PJs on, it was actually really nice to sit and chat over a cuppa at a more relaxed time of the day!

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Me time is always valuable and cherished when you’re a Mama and in January it’s even more important to make some time just for yourself too! What have you been up to to beat yours? Any ideas to share?

lucy-xx

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