Saturday, 9 August 2014

Saturday Chit Chat

Miniature railway 30p a person, park, bbq, cycling, park, cleaning, ironing, weekly shop, fun day - a free event for kids including go-karts, bouncy castles, pet animals, fire engine etc, McDonald's, Sainsbury's, Doctors, Library, Dry Cleaning, Butchers, Visiting Cath & Co, cycling competition, bowling party, McDonalds, beauty appointment (the best one even if it was bikini line, eyebrows and facial - I was lying down in peace and quiet) and car garage is what I've been up to this week.  I hope you're suitably exhausted reading this and doing it with 3 children in tow (one of which needed a poo in the shampoo aisle at Sainsbury - cue running with trolley to the toilet before re-commencing list) doesn't leave much time for anything else. I'm very much looking forward to 'popping' somewhere in September which has been a rare event in these nearly 11 years.

Still, I'm not complaining as jobs go its not so bad. Yes, I am harassed continuously and if that's not happening I'm stepping in to mediate the "he said/she said" arguments. And, as my friend points out (and I quote) "our basic human right to go to the toilet without interruption" is regularly being abused. I'm not sure anyone currently residing in the Bangkok Hilton, reliving Midnight Express or a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay will agree with this sentiment but hey, who am I to argue?! She has a point!

Having said all this, the holidays are wonderful! The sun has been shining, the kids have enjoyed their excursions and activities and I think there has been a fair distribution for each one as to their particular likes etc. I find this is getting harder as when they're all younger they all like the park but now my son is 10 he likes specific activities. So whilst its been good fun its been fairly non-stop and I'm looking forward to an extra pair of hands and our holiday next week.

Its been most enjoyable even if I may have had a screaming banshee moment when I couldn't find the cyclocross course. I was struggling to get the bike back in the car with the kids having wandered around aimlessly whilst the clock was counting down to the start time. I'd parked too far away from the course.

That is the beauty or should I say deceptive nature of facebook isn't it? You see a nice sunny picture of my son standing proudly with his mountain bike complete with new Omega Pharma Quickstep top.  What I didn't upload was a video of me trying desperately to get the darn bike in the car and then forgetting to give him his asthma inhaler so he had to abandon the race!  He was doing so much better this time around too - he was halfway in the main pack before it all went tits up.

How cool this kids jersey - I got it from this great site that sells all the professional cycling jersey's for children http://www.bobshop.com
Whilst driving to the Bowling party yesterday the car decided to keep beeping to tell me my seat belt wasn't in when it was. It kept doing this (with me regularly pulling over asking everyone to check their seat belts) until it was doing it is so loudly and quickly you'd think the car was about to blow up.  It did this for about 4 miles and did one final beep before all the lights on the dashboard went out. Wonderful. So on the way back I had to go to the garage (which is still under warranty) to book it in for Monday. Thankfully I'll get a courtesy car but just urgh and with the risk of sounding like a prepubescent teenager FML!

I still haven't touched a crisp - heading into my 5th week now, nor a cookie. The cake and chocolate are still proving problematic let me try again next week.  I was doing exceptionally well until the 2 x McDonalds visits this week whilst out and about so am feeling a little bloated! I don't feel that flabby as being out and about and doing all the walking etc has helped.

So that's all my news folk. Be back soon....







Friday, 1 August 2014

School's Out For Summer!

Which means this blog has taken a bit of a back seat so apologies for this.  I will, of course, resume normal service in the Autumn. Now if my sister would pull her finger out and write a guest post that would be one post done!

We've been to the Dentist (another filing for me WTF!) and am pleased to say none of my kids have filings. I'm hoping to get them to 16 without any - they don't have sweets very often and have no fizzy drinks so fingers crossed. We had a new stripey stair carpet fitted to go with our hall and landing make-over. Although the stripes didn't match at the top so they're doing it again. I didn't even notice!

The kids went to crazy golf with granny and grandad, crazy splash with me (which made me want to sleep from 3pm onwards), track cycling club, park, more crazy golf, cinema (The Nut Job - okay film but wait for it to come out on DVD) and cyclo-cross.

Cyclo- Cross Bike - pic Google Pics 

My son took part in his first competitive cycling race. If you go onto the British Cycling website it details all 'Go Ride' competitions which are meant to be a taster into competitive riding which anyone can turn up for. Its a great idea and one so happened to be near us.  He doesn't have a cyclo-cross bike which is essentially a road bike with sturdy tyres so he took his mountain bike. He didn't come last but nearly! He was in gear 4/5 for the best part of the course. I think the excitement and what not of it all made him forget that he does actually know how to ride his mountain bike and to change the gears depending on terrain. This course was huge and they had to do 2 laps - the more experienced youth riders did 3.

It was very hilly and I reckon 4 miles in total. He was exhausted by the end but I was so pleased he didn't give up and to my surprise he wants to repeat the "brutal" course again next week at a different location.  I'd imagine a cyclo-cross bike is far easier to ride but they are in excess of £300 so he'll have to wait a bit if he wants to take it up properly.

He's back into his cycling in a big way and I may find myself ferrying him to the local track every weekend soon. I don't mind this though - its good for children to have a passion for a sport/interest of some kind.  I want to give him every opportunity to progress as far as he wants to. It may last less than a year or may be something he continues to do. I don't want him to be an adult and think if only my parents had bothered to take me to this then I could have be involved in competitive sport.  A little bit of effort goes a long way.

One of the many activities during the summer holidays. I am partial to bit of crazy golf it has to be said!

So school is out for summer. It's always a bit mental leading up to break up - sports day, parties, pre-school break up, teacher gifts, end of year production - this year it was Mary Poppins and so on.  There was also a lovely achievement assembly for the end of term with medals, trophies, certificates, singing etc and it just (like I need to!) made me realise that mum did good in swiftly removing my children from their old school into this new one.  Feel the fear and do it anyway - isn't that the saying? Well it all worked out. My little fella starts full-time (no staggering) on 3rd September with the other two. That will be a strange day indeed but its a little easier to swallow knowing what sort of school he'll be going to.

The final step does not line up with the stripes! 
So what of the exercise? Nada. Nowt. Nothing. I have been active taking them here, there and everywhere which leaves little time for fitting in exercise. I have, however, been fairly contained on the food front so no weight gain for me.  I will be entering week 4 of not touching crisps next week, week 2 of not touching cookies and have yet to conquer no cake or chocolate which incidently I have started again today.  I am determined though as the facebook group I set up for motivating all things healthy and weight loss is a wash with success stories. In particular, one member has lost 4 stone with Slimming World, another has lost 25lbs not eating cake, chocolate or crisps and another has lost about 2 stone and is looking very fit.  I would like to add myself to the mix shortly.

5 years married and the hubster trumps me on the present front - yet again! 
Since my last blog post, we were finally seen by another surgeon about Buddy's tongue tie and would you believe it he wasn't going to cut it. He was merrily spouting off about how a child at even 10 years old can have speech problems, spitting, drooling etc can be unrelated blah blah blah. I couldn't believe it and was glad I took the Hubster who has a poker face at the best of times for moral support.  The surgeon slipped up though as he said "well I can do it.." and was about to say but to which I said "good, I'd like his tongue tie cut please". What really angers me about all of this is the amount of time and money wasted in telling me to go away when it could have so easily been done when he was a newborn.  It clearly is about money and not about the patients need. I am pretty sure (this chap runs a private practice) that had I been seeing him privately he would have told me all the reasons why I should get Buddy's tongue tie cut along with an invoice for approx £2,000. And that is where the NHS will be in 5 years you'll be told that it can't be done but can be done privately at a cost. Unless its life threatening you won't stand a chance. The problem with the NHS (asides from the fact that the government have more or less no control over it anymore - its been outsourced to private companies and the final nail will be when the muppets of this country vote to the Tories again) isn't immigration, the amount of people etc its the shockingly piss poor administration of it.

For example, we were asked to arrived at 11.00 for an 11.15 am appointment - we were seen at 12pm and it lasted 5 minutes max. What are they doing between appointments - all the computer info was done whilst we were there?

There is no sense of urgency - people meander about without a care in the world. I reckon you could save millions just by making the NHS staff walk faster! Enough of this as its quite depressing as I'm pretty sure when I'm an old woman I will be saying "in my day you got free health care by paying a little every month and we didn't need costly private insurance".

Tempestuous at times - very true!
Finally, it was our 5th wedding anniversary last week.  As ever, the hubster trumped me on the gift front. It was wood and I purchased what is now referred to as the 'Blackpool Tower'. This was a sentimental nod to our 3 day Honeymoon in Paris (please have children before you get married if possible as it can limit your Honeymoon options regarding childcare depending on your support network).  I received a lovely cube with various references to our relationship (no it didn't have 'jaded' or 'shit' - not yet anyhow!).  How does he do it?!! Bastard.

One year, one year I'll get him on the present front.

Until next time.....

Monday, 21 July 2014

The Letter C Diet

Ah ha ha ha. That's all I can remember of Count Dracula from Sesame Street I'm afraid. Not too sure of his intro but anyhow this leads me nicely into my thoughts for a revolutionary new diet. I should ditch The 1970s Diet and call it The Letter C Diet. Millions will rush out and snap up my simple, no nonsense and rapid weight loss words of advice in paperback or hardback. I might even see if I can get a picture of Count Dracula on the cover. What do you reckon?

Count Dracula from Sesame Street - picture google pics 

Actually what am I talking about? See, this is what happens when you write a blog post at 10.00pm. It was Cookie Monster who did the letter of the day on Sesame Street. He is perfect for this post of which I will explain below.

C is for Cookie Monster and most things that make you fat! 
I wrote, what seems like ages ago and most probably was, giving up the three 'c's. If I can recollect it was crisps, chocolate and cake? Well, I revisited this on Monday last week. Yes, my friends a whole 7 days. I have not touched a crisp and I have had no desire to eat them.  They were sneaking back into my lunch alongside my ryvitas and popping into my mouth without any consideration whilst dishing them up to Buddy at lunch time.  In fact, I think I consumed 3 x child frazzle type packs in one day which equated to just under 300 calories. Now, its all well and good logging it and saying its part of your allowance but ultimately I think I have a crisp addiction. I am a crisp addict. I've said it. I decided I need to go cold turkey with the intention of giving them up until it was my holiday but now I'm just like actually I'm just going to give them up.

Then I started thinking about all the things that begin with C that I like and are actually not condusive to losing weight in a hurry. Here goes...

CRISPS

CHOCOLATE

CADBURY (SEE ABOVE!)

CAKE

COOKIES

COLESLAW

CHORIZO SAUSAGE (possibly the world's most tastiest sausage - matron!)

COKE

CREAM (whipped, poured or clotted)

CHINESE TAKE-AWAYS (very rare these days but see what I mean!)

CURRY (see above)

CROISSANTS (all butter) 

CHEESE

CAULIFLOWER CHEESE (its lovely but still cheese) 

CARBS (I'm okay with carbs but some people see them as the enemy) 

I'm sure there's lots more - feel free to add any C's to my list.  What do you get if you eat lots of C's in your diet. CHUBBY! Another C. Now this may sound basic but I reckon if you cut out the letter 'C' from your diet then you will lose weight instantly!

Now, I don't drink Coke anymore, the chinese/curry aren't really an issue. I'd like to say I eat lots of cauliflower cheese but my roast dinners are piss poor and I can't see anyone making me this fab dish for me anytime soon.  I've cut out crisps and also cookies as from today. I don't eat lots of them but I always manage to find a way of eating one at the weekend when the husband buys those giant ones for the kids. Chocolate mmmmm not a massive problem, having said that I did have a 99 flake Corneto at the weekend! Oh dear, I do have problems don't I. I have been known to accept a slice of homemade cake (especially on my Wednesday lunch date with Em) so that's another one on the list that needs to be cut out. Come to think of it do I eat anything that doesn't start with the letter C?

Mostly I'm feeling good that I've just said no more on the crisp front. I'm excited to add cake and chocolate also. Cream - I should go cold turkey also. I've been having a dash and I mean a dash on my strawberries at lunch time. These are all Calories that just add up - I'd say at least 300 a day.

Well that's my ground breaking decision pre holiday. My stomach has gone down a bit already and I will take a bikini shot this year also and you can tell me what you think. I haven't weighed myself for ages but I reckon a couple of 1lbs off. I managed two workouts last week the swimming and the kettlebells which I think I told you about.

More news later this week on kids, the NHS and more!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Happy Bastille Day!

Picture my own! Yay I own this object!
Bonsoir, Bonsoir and all that jazz. No more football - alas the Argies didn't win (I had them in the family sweep stake and was set to 'win' £50) which, on balance, was probably a fair result. The German's were awesome in the tournament. How things have changed though - I used to hate Argentina. In fact, I can barely talk about that ill fated football match where Beckham was sent off and we were down to 10 men. It was a great match and I don't believe an England side since that game have really had the same amount of passion. Many a fan cried that night including myself. Its still raw, still raw!  Anyhow, they're not a dirty tackling side anymore are they? I quite liked them and Messi seems quite sweet cue some sordid tabliod story. The last time I said "oh he seems like a nice family man" was about Ryan Giggs....

So, I can now fully concentrate on the Tour De France and I feel also I've got back to concentrating on my health and fitness. I set the alarm this morning for 6 am and did my kettle bell workout, although, I'm not sure how effective this is as I am still half asleep and don't push myself as much if I'm more awake. Still, I suppose its better than laying in bed. I re-charged my fitbit and have done over 20,000 steps today - that is going to be the aim. I also filled in my food diary and (get this) I have given up CRISPS. Oh my, I realise I have a bit of an addiction thang going on so have decided to go cold prawn cocktail and cut them out altogether.

Tomorrow, we're off to hospital to tie up the consultant and make him do Buddy's tongue tie. I shall return then with an update.

Ta ta for now or should I say Au revoir ...


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Allo Allo

Barny has been a tad pre-occupied with the world cup also

Its been too long. The World Cup and The Tour de France - did you really think I'd have time to blog?!  I didn't even see a single bit of Wimbledon either! The past few weeks have been busy, busy and some more busy. My youngest finishes pre-school next week - cue wailing! I'm so sad about this I cannot begin to tell you but I shan't dwell on it, however, it does mean getting cards (already purchased), sunflowers (purchased and about to die), pot plants (painted and varnished), wine bottle and bag for the teachers. My eldest two children have an end of year performance of Mary Poppins and I have lots of buttons to glue on a hat and make a sash as my daughter is the pearly queen.  I will also be watching their performance in the evening and day. Let us not forget Sports Day!

If a chocolate sponge cake bear could talk he would say "I like your flags"

Then its our anniversary at the end of the month so present purchased - its wood this year. I got a mallet to twat him over the head with - just kidding. Its a wooden Eiffel tower as that's where we honeymooned. I like it anyhow. The car had a tow bar fitted and a bike thing to attach to it arrived also in preparation for our family holiday in France. Oh, and our hallway has been re-decorated, the playroom has been cleared out of rouge bits of toys (2 bin liners full) and another room has been sorted. My daughter's bedroom is at defcon 5 and I need to psych myself up for that one.

So there you have all my excuses. On the exercise front I managed 2 x kettle bell workouts and 1 x 50 lengths of swimming last week. This week has been somewhat dismal - 1 x kettle bell and its Thursday already. I haven't logged onto myfitnesspal or been wearing my fitbit. I have derailed somewhat but thankfully I'm no bigger - I am the same weight. I need to start the before and after pics again - perhaps I'll do that next week.

I feel better for writing this as when I don't blog it makes me forget about trying to lose weight.

Finally, we were sent these bad boys to review....

Meet Chocolate Barny
These are little cake bears with chocolate or strawberry in the centre. They come in little foil packets and the kids woffed them down. I mean how european do they look?! My eldest who is 10 said "I'm going to rip his head off" I don't suppose the manufacturers would want that to be a slogan anytime soon but it made me chuckle!  I will certainly be getting some for the beach in France and given that they originate from there it will be very fitting.

How cute is he and not babyish for my 10 year old!

Love the packaging


we were given two packets of Barny to eat free of charge for the purpose of this review. As ever I've been honest! These will be great for the beach

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Coffee and Kettle Bells


Any excuse to show off my Hermes typewriter sitting proudly on my 1970's piece of furniture

This is a review about coffee!  I was sent (for free!) 4 packs of these expresso coffee capsules from CafePod. I don't do many reviews - I only do the stuff I know I will like or want.  So when I was offered them I said tah very much. There is also a prize if you post 4 pictures of where you like to enjoy your expresso. I'm probably the worst person to enter a photography competition as they are poor at the best of times. Anyhow, I had a go and like to think they are creative?!

So here they are my 4 sample boxes from CafePod. You can check them out on their website here.



I love coffee. I love expresso and we even have our own little expresso cups so it wasn't a tough gig.  I also like to drink a cup prior to working out - not always but on occasions I do. I don't know if it makes a big difference but we can live in hope. I once read that if you drink coffee before a work out it speeds up your metabolism so I'm going to believe the illusive 'they'.

I can live in hope on this one - do you like our expresso cups?  I used a 1972 filter  for this photo - I think I deserve to win based purely on this!

Let us not forget that you can add expresso into your baking. These are perfect for adding into a coffee cake which everyone loves in this house.

Don't forget to use expresso in coffee cake - it is far superior than granulated coffee

I drink at least 3 cups of coffee a day. I don't drink diet coke/lemonade anymore - or very rarely i.e when I'm out (again very rarely!) - I love coffee. I do visit the local coffee shop but that's more of a social thing and I'm not really into walking around with a coffee cup surgically attached to my hand. I am a coffee at home kind of gal! Okay middle aged woman.

Another fancy glass if you please - lungo with frothy milk and The World Cup!
I was given the expresso smooth, expresso intense, arabica lungo and expresso ristretto. My favourite was the arabica lungo as I like a lungo so I do.  I'm not sure what a lungo is but I like it. The expresso intense is just the ticket for a coffee cake as it has hints of dark chocolate and chestnut as does the ristretto - dark chocolate and ripe red fruits or you could whack in the smooth - chocolate with hints of walnut.  The ristretto one will knock your socks off if you drink as an expresso and I did have it prior to work out. I was on fire!

So there you have it - CafePod nespresso compatible coffee capsules. Check them out at www.cafepod.com and tell them I sent you!

As mentioned above I was given 4 x boxes of coffee capsules for free in exchange for a review on my blog. I only review stuff I like so I said yes please and hope they pick my pictures! 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Sunday Chit Chat

Haven't done one of these for a while now have I?  I'm writing this quite quickly its the World Cup don't you know. My daughter has been sick today - both ends! Lovely and now the husband is lying down also.  I, on the other hand, have a cast iron stomach and have yet to be struck down.  A child at my son's pre-school was sick last week in a small room. As the mum came to pick her up she said "oh yes she was sick this morning!" You have got to be kidding me. As my friend said this is the ultimate mum sin. Taking your child into pre-school/school knowing full well that they are sick. Its just selfish - how desperate you gotta be for a few hours of 'me time'.  The rest of us all then have to suffer. I wouldn't dream of taking in my children if they had been sick in the morning.  Anyhow, I don't really think its that as my youngest hasn't been ill - I think my daughter is lax on the hand washing front at time. We're quite strict on it in this house. You have to be if you don't want worms (sorry if you're eating your tea), tummy bugs etc etc.  My children wash hands before every meal and if they've been out in the garden or touching the guinea pigs. However, my daughter is a bit hit and miss and I'm sure its that. Or she could have picked up bug yesterday when she was at a party. Who knows?

Talking of all things illness related. My children have never had nits.  Touch wood. Touch wood. I used to always wash their hair with tee tree oil and double platt my daughter's hair.  I like to think this has done the job. However, they have all had something that was never around when I was at school but, by all accounts, is very common if you google it. I am talking about Molluscum Contagiosum. Its just an awful thing to get rid of. My son first got these pearly spots (they look a bit like warts but are white hard spots) on the back of his legs over a year ago. I thought they were from cycling but as they didn't disappear I took him to the doctors who printed out the sheet on the subject. If you go to the doctors they will tell you they are harmless and will go away of their on accord.  They can take up to two years to go away!! I firmly believe he caught it at his old school where he was in a manky old hut. Luckily there were only about 15 of them and to get rid of them you have to squeeze them. My son did this and they cleared up very quickly once he had. You have to make sure you get the white stuff out and onto a tissue as these buggers multiply.

I have purchased this from Amazon but the crushed up tablets have worked also
My daughter then got them - they can easily be passed from bath water or towels.  Unfortunately for her she has eczema and it was worse for her. She had them  in clusters on her torso and in the crease of one arm. She got them about October last year (again in another festering manky hut at school - they have since moved to a better school). Unfortunately she screamed when we tried to squeeze them and also they spread. I tried everything and googled and found (see mumsnet forums) other mum's were also at their wits end.  I even paid £25 for a tiny bottle of liquid which is meant to burn them off - again nothing.  Anyhow, I thought I'd leave it - as they do clear up eventually.  But the other day I thought I'd have another google and found a blog detailing a mum's nightmare with this pox like virus.  Anyhow, she recommended Apple Cider Vinegar. By chance I had some tablets in the cupboard so I smashed them up and dissolved them in hot water. I dabbed them on my daughter's spots and tah dah - FINALLY something that actually works.  They are nearly gone (some turn black before they go) she does have a few scars but I'm hoping they will go. My youngest has a few on his neck about 10 so nothing major - some parents have had to contend with 100's on their child's body.

I'm writing this as I want to tell anyone who has had to treat a child for these spots is to get Apple Cider Vinegar. You can buy it in liquid form which I have coming my way but you could also do what I did. Its worked for us.

In other news, I completed 5 x kettle bell workouts, 1 x swimming (34 lengths) and 1 x 30 minute bike ride with my eldest which involved lots of little hill climbs. So a big giant tick for exercise this week. Food and drink = average.  I will start to track everything again etc after my two weeks off and throw myself into July.

My sister, Ness, is due to give an update on her low carb diet which heavily involved eggs! I look forward to reading her update.

See you soon.