When my neighbour (and a fellow Mummy) asked if I’d join her at a bootcamp training session that evening being run across the road from us I was, unfortunately (for her), unable to join due to the large glass of wine and half a (fairly large) bar of chocolate I’d already consumed. I did, however, agree to go the next session as I knew I would benefit from some regular exercise. Now the evening is upon me!

I’ve been a member of a gym for most of my adult life and would actually go fairly regularly, albeit more so because one of my closest friends was the Manager and we could catch up, but the flip to this was that I would also maintain a reasonable level of fitness.

Since Arla my exercise regime has mostly consisted of lugging her around although in recent months I have done the occasional body coach workout so as long as bootcamp lasts no longer than 15 minutes and I’m not expected to lift anything heavier than 20lbs I’ll be fine!!

3 hours later.

I survived the bootcamp! It was tough but actually good fun, the trainer was really motivating and enthusiastic and there was a fair bit of banter (from those that could exercise and talk, I just concentrated on breathing!) But they seemed like a nice bunch of people.

It wasn’t so long ago that meeting people used to involve the local pub, vodka-soda-limes and shots! Oh how times have changed!

Doggies checking I’m alive after bootcamp.

The story of Arla

We didn’t want to name our baby Khaleesi or Theon or any other Game of Thrones inspired name, which the Registrar informed us was happening on a surprisingly regular basis. There was even a news article about parents naming their babies after Game of Thrones characters stuck up on the wall in the Registry Office. I assume this was in case any parents had reached their 6 week deadline and still needed inspiration, something else the Registrar said happened on a regular basis. Instead, we decided to go with a major dairy products company.

Bob was a teacher when we got married and so we decided to split our honeymoon into two parts, the first to Thailand straight after the wedding and the second to Sweden over New Year to hopefully see the Northern Lights. It was whilst on a chair lift taking us up to the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko that Bob told me he wanted us to start a family. The fear of falling to his death possibly spurring on his need to spawn a child.

I’d been told several years earlier that I may find it difficult to conceive and may not be able to have children naturally due to endometriosis and severe scarring and not to leave it too late before trying if I wanted children. At the time Bob and I decided that we didn’t want to start trying before we felt we were ready and that we would deal with whatever situation we found ourselves in when the time was right. Fast-forward 3 years and there we were, dangling in the air, 900 metres above sea level, deciding to start a family.

Our plan was to start trying whilst ticking a few other things off of our bucket list, so that after a year of trying we could then get the help we needed. Arla’s plan was somewhat different and within two and half months I was pregnant. I strongly believe that Bob and I having no expectations of conceiving and therefore not feeling any pressure or stress helped us to conceive quickly. We were incredibly fortunate.

Throughout my pregnancy Bob and I failed to agree on any girls names. We downloaded apps where you can list your top 20 names and these would be rearranged on an almost daily basis. Yet at no point did we have a match in our top 5’s! Finally we both agreed on the name Grace as a middle name. However the hunt was still on for a first name. Not long before my due date I suggested we look at Swedish names for some sentiment and it was through a Nordic names app we found the name Arla and fell in love with it. One of the Swedish meanings is ‘early’ which we thought was very apt and the English meaning is ‘strong woman’ which is what we will strive for, for our daughter.

It was only after Arla was born and named that we started noticing Arla lorries delivering produce, Arla milk bottles in friends’ fridges and Arla adverts on TV.

In a twist of irony, our Arla is dairy and lactose intolerant.


An introduction to us

A typical day – dog walk and lunch.

We need to be at our friends’ house at 11.15am. This means leaving the house at 10am to allow us time to stop at Sainsbury’s to buy high alkaline food for Arla, the latest in a long line of diets being tried to solve her tummy troubles whilst we wait for the dietician appointment. I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky that her being up from 1.30am-5am gave us the chance to do some research and a shopping list! Now it’s her turn to be the lucky one with a week of tofu and buckwheat groats (?!??) to look forward to!


It’ll take us 45 minutes to load up the car so this commences at 9.15am. Arla’s changing bag, some toys, her portable highchair and coverall bib, her snowsuit and carrier, a change of clothes for Bob and I in case we get caught in the rain, our walking boots, all the dog gear; leads, harnesses, water, treats, poo bags, dog towels (Diesel could find water in the Sahara!), all being crammed into the backseat of our Seat Ibiza, all whilst Buckley continuously howls and Diesel charges around the house at full speed, excited by the activity, both trying to make their way out of the front door at every opportunity!

Buckley is our soppy Beagle who loves cuddles, is the proud owner of the softest ears in the world and suffers from little dog syndrome. He is also single handedly responsible for the destructions of 2 sofas, a hair dryer, 2 phone chargers, 2 pairs of glasses and numerous socks! Diesel is our black Labrador who is ball mad, according to a vet boarding on hyperactive, renowned for twerking and gave me the experience of having to clean poop from behind a radiator under a bay window. No easy task! I can only imagine he felt his experience would be benefitted by a view!

Needless to say, Bob and I are equally surprised when we get into the car at 9.59am!!

Bob and I have been married for almost 3 years and are very proud parents to Arla who is 15 months and our doggies Buckley, 3 and Diesel 2. Our house is filled with mayhem and chaos and leaving it at any time has to be planned with military precision. It is also utterly wonderful and time with my family brings me so much happiness.

Sarah and Bob Wedding Day
Our Wedding Day – April 2014

I decided to start this blog to document my journey to finding balance in my life, balance between being myself and a wife and a Mum, balance in my personal and professional life and balance between leading a healthy lifestyle and my unrelenting love of absolutely everything considered not healthy!

My inspiration!


Wish me luck!