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.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Kettle Bells and Me



I really love the Kettle Bells - I know I keep banging on about them but I do. I have dropped down to a 4kg weight as although I can lift the 6kg I figure its better to get the technique spot on rather than have an injury. Talking of which I'm not sure if it is totally spot on. This is because when you google Jillian and her Kettle Bells you get a lot of negative comments about her posture etc and don't do this unless you want an injury. Someone did say that she does get a lot of negative comments but that's probably because they are jealous of her success.  Good point.

I don't want to put my back out. I do feel a strain across my lower back but I also feel it in my legs and arms the day after working out. That's normal though isn't it?  There's a difference between that sore muscle feeling to pain. I've always had twinges in my hips even in my early 30's when I used to do Step (god that sounds prehistoric now doesn't it - Step not my 30's although hang on...) I have progressed myself to level 2 which I can do about 85% of.  I did the workouts Monday before the pre-school run, Tuesday at 6 am and Wednesday at 6 am and I went swimming on that day. I only swam 34 lengths as yet again my bladder got the better of me. Whilst swimming I kept thinking about food?! I was merrily doing the crawl thinking mmm would love a chinese on Saturday and then I thought I haven't made the 99 flake cup cakes for the kids in a while.

So today I had a rest day on the exercise front.  Its buddy's day off on a Thursday and the past two we have gone swimming. There's a lovely pool about 20 mins drive away with a wave machine, bubbles and a slide plus little boat floats and he loves it. I am feeling increasingly sad that this is our last summer together.  I didn't think I would - in the kind of way you say it but don't really feel it. But I do. I want to make these last few months count.

Today, we went up to the local shops and the library to renew all three of my kids's books. That's another thing we do together - go to the library to he can pick up his books, do the banking, buy a magazine, go on the little ride on horse outside the newsagents (yes they still exist 20p if you please) go to the coffee shop for coffee (funnily enough I'm on form tonight aren't I). He takes a ribenna with a rainbow cookie - me a cappuccino. Then we trot back to Sainsbury's where he sits in the little trolley (haven't been told off yet) whilst I get a few bits that I couldn't get in Aldi and normally comes to £45. How anyone affords to do their weekly shop in Sainsbury's I don't know.  By the way Aldi are selling 99p sunflower plants. Perfect for teacher gifts. I'm going to get some ceramic pots and the kids can personalise them with paint and what not.

Today, we had an extra time out buying the guinea pig supplies and a quick visit to the park.  I was going to go to the garden centre but with kids you have to know when its a bridge too far. That was a bridge too far. I love our Thursdays together.

He has also mastered his bike so no stabilizers. We just have to perfect pushing off and he's done. Another milestone.

Anyhow, back to the workouts. More of the same tomorrow and will try and fit in a bike ride. Food has been okay could do better. I definitely feel my stomach has gone down and someone even commented on it the other day.

See you soon!

Monday, 23 June 2014

#Britmums and ##############

Hashtags!! If you are not familiar with them.  That was my lasting memory of Britmums - the constant hash tagging of what was being said at the seminar, key note speakers and #having a great time with @ cue twitter name cue picture upload. It made my head spin if truth be told. Now, as you all know I'm not a techno blogger and I increasingly find myself disliking the constant social media intrusion into everyday life.  Its society in general so its not just Britmums but it was on a massive scale here. You know how you go on facebook and you have the pics of where someone is all smiles, having a great time, documenting their life.... well this was documenting every second!

I'm sure many who weren't at it thought they were missing out on all the fun. You shouldn't worry, yes I'm sure many had a nice time but I do feel it was over exaggerated which is a fair assumption given that it would seem some felt isolated and a bit low. Would that be the case if people put their phones away and actually focused on what was being said for 10 minutes minimum?  I won't be returning (I knew that before I went) but the person that didn't go and thinks they should have done based on the #hysteria will do.

Billy Butlin came to the conference in my desperate attempts to be an Ambassador!
Naturally all the hash tagging is great for the organisers of Brtimums (more of which later) you have a constant stream on Twitter (think it was trending at one point) and it hams up the event. But it did mean that people were constantly looking at their iphone, ipad and tweeting parts of speeches before the person had finished their sentence. Bloggers desperately showing people how much fun they were having.  Call me old fashioned but wouldn't it be better to listen to a speaker and not have your head bowed down with finger scrolling and picture taking and uploading the whole way through? I suppose the speakers are well used to it but I wasn't! My suggestion for next time - a phone free zone perhaps?

Let me rewind a little as there were some positives that came out of the 2 day conference. On Friday I made my way up to London for the Britmums Blogging Conference. I've never been to one of these - I knew it wouldn't really be my cup of tea but I was up for meeting up with Rachel who I'd had an on line love affair with since I started blogging way back in 2011. She did not disappoint - I would hope that she would concur that we were of similar mindset and had a relaxed time even with her poor headache that more or less wiped her out on the Saturday.

This chap is seriously worried he's standing next to a nutter! 
The conference itself is very well organised and credit to those that arranged it. They have got it down to a fine art and ultimately they are only facilitating a blogging community - they are not responsible for how that community conducts itself with others. Now, don't get me wrong there were lovely people there - I was particularly pleased to see Nikki from Stressy Mummy fame and just loved Michelle from Mummy from the Heart. However, social etiquette people. Social etiquette! Now, I don't buy this oh but people are different to their blog persona blah blah.  Granted you maybe shy but not that shy you've purchased a ticket and are attending a conference.  I'm not talking about being all leary and gregarious. I'm talking about if you are at a table - look up from your phone, smile and say Hi! Simples.  I made an effort to say "hello" but many don't bother. That's just rude.

Also if you are talking to someone and other's join then cast your eye around as you are talking, rather than just have a fixed stare on one person, it shows you are inviting the others into the conversation. There were plenty that were friendly and approachable, there were groups who had agreed to meet up (nothing wrong in that) but there were some as described above. That's life. What I would say if you do go on your own you will have to approach people and start the conversation.

I did witness the most outrageous blanking I've ever seen!! I was quite taken aback at the rudeness of one blogger.  This has nothing to do with a blogging persona or being shy its simply about good manners. I know a blogger who is very shy and has openly discussed how she struggles with this type of gig and she had no trouble smiling, saying hi and engaging in conversation.

We ordered room service after our Tapas and were in our PJ's at 9pm as we are proper hard core!! 
I digress. I used to work on the PTA and this gig was any summer fair you may have organised on steroids and more. The venue is perfect, the organisation, the printed schedules, the seats, the coffee, the sponsors and the content. That's really the key to this type of event isn't it? Great content. They had everything you could of think of to do with blogging.  I loved all the stands, in particular, Butlins of course and all the little competitions and what not.

I enjoyed the panel talk with Annie and the Fashion Foie Gras lady. I liked the founders - American ironically. The American accent just oozes enthusiasm and excitement don't you think? So when the opening welcome was trilled out by the two ladies I was up for this. I did, however, have an internal groan when their keynote speaker Emma Freud bounded on wearing a tiara. Urgh. I'm not a feminist. I'm not a party pooper but seriously tiara's?! I'm a 40 year old woman - I am not a child like adult like so many these days. It's hard to take anyone seriously wearing a frigging tiara. Would you go into an important meeting wearing fancy dress? NO! So, no my face was a picture after listening to her impressive CV and A lister tales and meeting the Queen talk. I am a republican so tiaras and royalty weren't cutting it for me.

I have to say I cringed throughout her speech - I know she wanted it to be light hearted etc but referring to her partner of 25 years as her 'boyfriend', repeating how she slept her way to the top (with said boyfriend), how she was in a band because of her big tits rather than singing and topping it all off with a tiara on her head.  I think she may have squealed at one point! I found her a bit child like (a bit like Carrie Bradshaw who someone once said is like a whimpering child like adult running through Oxfam - a reference to her fashion sense by the way!) and was just waiting for her to start skipping and clapping her hands.  There was this awful tumbleweed moment when she asked the audience to put their hands up if you have kids "yay" she said. Who doesn't have kids? "ahhh poor you". Ekk!

To cut a long story short - I headed home at 10.00 am on the Saturday. This was because my son had had an awful cough prior to me leaving (still does) and I wanted to get back.  I didn't miss the keynote speaker in the morning though. Ben (Life of a Widower) was moving, funny and a joy to listen too. On returning, I popped into his facebook page in which he said he was taking at least 6 months out and (this really struck a cord with me) instead of documenting his life he was going to live it. He wrote his blog because he lost the love of his life would he be writing a blog if the love of his life was still with him? I doubt it.

My blog doesn't interfere with the children - I blog between 8pm-9pm and maximum 3 x a week but it does mean I'm tapping away whilst the husband watches telly and I need to re-think  this.

I came away thinking about blogging in general and whether or not I will continue. I will do for the time being. But not for numbers, rankings, blogging communities, awards etc. I will blog as and when I feel like it and it will be to serve the purpose that I started with which is to lose the rest of my excess weight.

Until next time..