Friday, 27 May 2011

Reasons to be cheerful 1,2,3 ......

Michelle has a lovely meme entitled Reasons to be Cheerful. I have done it once or twice before and thought I would again this week.  Here's my three....

Reason 1:
I am in a lighter happier mood this week compared to the last few.  Although our personal life is sad at the moment, my husband and I are determined to try and remain bright. I am some one that is affected by other peoples moods and selfishly if they are happy then I find it easier - hard to be negative when others are smiling :)

Reason 2)
Its Friday!!

Reason 3:
My eldest son is home next week for Half term - yah! 

We love outdoor adventures !

The joy of the great outdoors is that it is available to everyone and right there outside your door every day - rain or shine.

Whether you are a little one like Little Man, and seeing many sights for the first time, or like his older siblings using the outdoors as your own playground, it's all there for the taking.

So much to explore....

Little Man loves leaves!
Or pack up a picnic and head off to paddle our toes in the River.  Little Man loves to watch his brother and sister darting alongside the river to catch up with the 'stick boats' they are racing. 

Away from computers, games consoles and television, children use the outdoors as their basis for imaginative, physical and action play - and mine love it. They do handstands on the in the sand and are not afraid to get dirty.  There is a saying 'if you haven't got dirty you haven't had fun' my kids love to mention that to me when I see the state of them sometimes.

They love to take their skateboards and 'board' the free skate ramps in the park there.  So much fun for the cost of a small amount of petrol and a picnic. 

So there you have it - the 'Bloggomy' family in our own outdoor adventures. What outdoor adventures will you have?

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Slimavite Diet Diary - Week 4 weigh in....

It's Thursday so that only means one thing in my house at the moment.... weigh in day!

The last week has been so so for me diet wise - I could have been more dedicated but didn't eat anything I shouldn't have - just a bit too much of what I should be, i.e 2 jacket potatoes instead of one!

My milkshake shaker also broke but those lovely people at Slimavite soon got a replacement do me so all was sorted very quickly.

When I jumped on the scales this morning I weighed 15st 4lbs - a 1lb loss this week.

So that's exactly 1 stone loss in 4 weeks. So although I am disappointed in only losing 1lb, in reality 14lbs (1 stone) over 4 weeks is actually an average of 3.5lbs per week - you can't knock that figure!

image attribution

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

How to get what you want and not care if you influence people!

As the title suggests this is a guide to get what you want and not care of the consequences - well that is according to my daughter of course.

As (I hope ??!!) a typical female pre-teen, my daughter is going through some changes.  These are on all levels from moving to 'high school' and hormonal changes and the worst for us - attitude changes! So here is a definitive list to ensure you get what and when you want....

* Become moody, sullen and quiet at the drop of a hat and for no reason.

* Murmur underneath your breathe at all opportunities about whomever is speaking at the time.

* Slam whatever door is nearest to get the 'I'm in a mood' attitude across.

* Bicker constantly especially with younger brother and then when he retaliates call 'MUM!' to sort it out.

* Constantly 'need' anything and always 'want' everything.

* Cry and blame others when you have had a part to play in events.

* Strop at all opportunities and with as much attitude as you can - effect is everything!

* Say "but so and so are going/doing/allowed" whenever possible.

* Shrug and say "yeah in a minute" or the favourite "can't be bothered" when asked to do something.

* 'Talk' with your eyebrows - raising them at whatever is being said.

* If the above don't work then apologise (quietly preferably murmured) and then make parents a cup of tea.

I may have missed some of the guidelines out but that is the main rules of the game.

Needless to say as a parent the exact opposite is what works and it never fails to amuse and frustrate me that the guide above is followed before this clicks into place! I do not know whether it is just girls, I don't remember this with my eldest son, or my daughters generation are just 'this way' but as far as tough roles go - parenting is one of the toughest. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Listography - my Top 5 albums by a band

Kate Takes 5 is carrying on her Listography meme this week using the theme of her top 5 albums by a band and as a lover of music (although I have eclectic swaying heavily towards rock tastes) I thought I would let you into my selection in no particular order....

Foo Fighters by The Foo Fighters

After the demise of Nirvana (which I have to say I only truly like 2 of their songs) Dave Grohl formed the Foo Fighters.  They released their first album called Foo Fighters (very original)

I love this album for it's clever lyrics, amazing guitar playing and general greatness, oh and the fact that Dave Grohl is so multi talented.  The album is the first of many and all have proved to be as fantastic as the last.  Long may they carry on.

Muse - Absolution

I don't think I will ever get bored of this album - it is , in my opinion, iconic. Choosing a favourite song from it would be very difficult and the guitar solos are nothing short of masterpieces. It is fantastic song after fantastic song and they range from slow and sultry to sing along anthems.

If you haven't heard it I can highly recommend.  I was able to see Muse in concert at Wembley a few years back and they do not disappoint as so many bands do when they are playing for real. I have played this album so much and my kids love it as much as me (probably because it was on in the car for about 6 months solid)

Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill (acoustic version)

I know Alanis is not a band but sneaking it in as she plays with the same band but they use her name and because it is just so good. I loved the original of this album and so when Alanis Morissette released an acoustic version to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the original recording it was a must.

It is full of great hits like 'Hand in my Pocket', and the angsty 'You Oughta Know' which is almost stalkerish in its lyrics and so out there in its honesty. 'Ironic' is also in there which is probably her most well known song. I played this album version of 'Head over Feet' as my wedding song just after they 'pronounced us man and wife' - thought it apt. It is in my CD player in my bedroom and I frequently put it on and sing (!?) along at the top of my voice - my neighbours love me I am sure!!

Paramore - Riot

Paramore are a great american band headed by Hayley Williams - best known for her flame red and orange hair.  She has a great voice and this album proves it.  'That's What You Get' is a real sing along whilst 'Misery Business' is a close second for the best song on the album.

Sadly the band have recently split up but I am sure Hayley Williams will be back. I was pleased when she duetted with B.O.B on the recent song 'Aeroplanes'.

Kings of Leon - Only By The Night

It's doubtful that anyone doesn't know the iconic 'Sex On Fire' by KOL - it has to be one of my all time favourite songs as does the album it comes from.  This album put Kings of Leon into the spotlight although it was far from their first album.

This album is a must and although classified as more of rock genre I think it would appeal to a far wider audience.  It is the biggest selling digital album in the UK which says how good it really is. I love the song 'I Want You' and the ballad 'Be Somebody' brings me to tears. The album moves me and at the same time gets me singing - not bad for a band of three brothers and their cousin from Tennessee....

So there's my 5 - so link up over at Kates and tell us yours....

Saturday, 21 May 2011

I'm a baby.... again!

Some things just have to be done - unfortunately.

One of this things is getting my eyebrows waxed and although I do not need/want to go often for this torture it is a 'pampering' experience I dread. Why? Because I am a baby when it comes to it and have been known to cry and on another occasion leave before they were finished as I cannot under any circumstances allow plucking! I also leave the salon looking like I have been hit in the eyes as they turn bright red - I mean bright red.

To wax or not to wax?.....
It's not just eyebrows I have a problem with waxing either.I once went with some friends to a pamper day where treatments were laid on free for us.  I decided to try a bikini wax - the others were having one so I thought "how bad can it be?"

Well there I was lying on the bed,  wax was on and the strip applied and she said to prepare myself and that the first strip would be the worst.  Well the beautician tugged and it hurt so much I sat bolt upright and she had to put her hand out to stop me jumping straight off the bed! I would rather go through childbirth than a bikini wax so that gives you some idea!

Today, whilst shopping with pre-teen, I found myself in a large department store which happened to have a walk-in nail bar that also did eyebrows.  I knew mine were in need of some order so I asked prices and saw that they offered 'threading' for eyebrows.  The girl said she was told that some people found it less painful and the redness went quicker. I decided to give it a whirl as I was confident I would not cry in front of a store full of strangers.

Threading is the process of removing body hair using cotton threads and it is quite amazing to watch a professional in action.  The sensation was strange and I could actually feel the hairs falling onto my face as she worked.  With waxing you know where the strip has been applied and so that's the area that will hurt but with threading that's not the case.  I was fine to start and was pleased that I could hear no plucking sounds as she threaded - something that turns by stomach hence why the no plucking policy.  But as she continued I was starting to worry I would have to tell her to stop and bottle out of any more. Then she stooped - the lower brow was done already and the top was next and I have to say it was less painful. Certainly not enjoyable but acceptable.

The second eyebrow was the same with the lower brow being just within my pain tolerance level (strange bearing in mind I have had 4 children with no pain relief other than gas and air). But within 10 minutes of starting I was shown the results in the mirror and the redness was certainly less than I had experienced with waxing and I had survived - and no tears!!

I may just try it again next time and I have to say the results are just as good but without the stares of horror as people pass me in the street after having an eyebrow wax and see my bright red sore eyes!

image courtesy of

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Slimavite Diet Diary - Week 3 weigh in....

Wow can't believe I am on my 3rd weigh in already.  The Slimavite plan hasn't left me feeling hungry at all and anytime I have felt peckish I can have a piece of fruit or salad to fill up, which is great.

I have stuck with the 2 shakes every day and then a meal at night as that seems to be working well for me and to be honest before the plan I never ate breakfast and rarely had lunch so having a shake instead is easy, fills me up and makes sure I eat enough (yes you can eat too little on a diet and not lose weight!)

So being Thursday, today is weigh in day. I have already lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks so things are going to plan.

This week I weigh 15st 5lbs! So I have lost 4 lbs this week and 13lbs in 3 weeks, thats just 1lb short of a stone in just 3 weeks.

Every time I lose weight it spurs me on..... roll on next Thursday.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Today I cried - I'm a finalist!!

There I was tweeting away when I got a tweet saying congratulations!? I am so proud and shocked to say I am a finalist in the Mad Blog Awards.

MAD Blog Awards 2011 
My blog is a finalist in the Best Mad Baby Blog Award along with 4 other great blogs.  To be honest when I read the news on the Mads website I cried - silly though that may seem.  Blogging is still new to me (Bloggomy is 6 months old) and I am still amazed anyone is remotely interested in anything I have to say let alone enough to nominate me.

I would like to say a honest and heartfelt thanks so much to anyone that nominated my blog - sorry I sound like I have won a BAFTA! - but to me this is such a big thing and I am thrilled. I also send a huge congratulations to all finalists.

The next step is to vote for your favourite finalist in each catergory, so if you would like to again put Bloggomy forward for your choice I would be very grateful.  Here is the link to the voting form: and then choose from the drop down menu under each category.

Bring on the tissues......

Monday, 16 May 2011

It's Real Nappy Week! I dare you......

I know I mention it a lot but with this week being Real Nappy Week 2011 I wanted to write a blog to raise awareness of the activities going on as part of the campaign.

As the theme is to 'share the secret' of washable nappies I want to do just that! The Real Nappy Information Service is hosting a string of events from competitions, real nappy giveaways to a request to join in and swop just one disposable a day to a real nappy - dare you take up the challenge?!

I have used washables on 3 of my 4 children and cannot recommend them enough.  I have tried many brands (see my review pages for details!) and honestly use them every day - all day! It is far from dirty, smelly nappy pails and washing all the time. I wash once a day and that's just because I am in that routine.

With such a wide range of colours and designs, real nappies are not just functional but fun as well. Then there's the environmental aspect of not filling landfills with used nappies (nice thought isn't it!) and the savings that can be made by changing to reusable washable nappies.

So why not give one a go today?  By following the link above for the Real Nappy Information Service you can get the low down on what it's all about and even join in and receive a real nappy sample to try.

Little Man shows off his real nappy!
Nappies in all shapes and sizes!

Listography...5 Products You Couldn't Live Without meme

Kate at Kate Takes 5 has a Listography meme that I have decided to join (hope that's alright Kate?!)

This weeks theme is 5 products that you couldn't live without.... Hmmm just 5 will be tough as I take so many great time saving products for granted every day.  Do I go for luxury, time saving or downright cannot function without products?! Here is my Top 5.

5 products I couldn't live without....

Washing machine:
I know, I know how sad you are thinking but seriously as a Mum of 3 at home children and a husband that works outside, my washing machine is my best appliance friend!  I am also sad enough to wash Tala's baby clothes separately to mine and the other 2 childrens and my husband washes his separately to ours.  As I also use washable nappies these need washing every day so our poor little overworked machine deserves a mention in my top 5.

Mobile phone:
My mobile phone is great for taking photo's and is actually better than my digital camera.  I put it in my top 5 purely for this reason as I hate mobiles for their real use and pine for the days when I could go out and not be bothered by anyone - not a possibility now with not just phone calls and texts, but Twitter, Facebook and email pinging happily away on my mobile. The mobile phone is great for snapping photo's at any photo opportunity.

Yankee Candles:
I am yet to find (but am trying!) a stronger and nicer smelling range of wax tart candles for my candle burner.  As someone who doesn't drink or smoke they really are a small piece of smelly heaven for me. My favourite is the Clean Cotton smell that smells like a well known fabric conditioner right in my hallway - fabulous! I love the way my mood and spirit is lifted when a wax tart is burning.

Skimmed milk:
I really don't like anything other than skimmed milk since I discovered, aged about 13, that there was more than 'blue' milk in the world!  My Mum just bought full fat milk and it was like a miracle when my school friend gave me a glass of milk that didn't make me feel sick - aaahh skimmed milk was my new favourite and has been ever since.  I can tolerate semi-skimmed for politeness when at friends but 'skinny' or skimmed is my milk of choice.

Sky+ box:
And not for the reasons you expect... but because my husband watches crap! I mean documentaries, survival programmes and 'real life' series about tree fellers! Seriously had I known this at the beginning! I only watch a few select programmes and without my Sky+ box great things like 'The Good Wife' 'In Treatment' and 'Waterloo Road' would be lost amongst my husbands endless recordings.  Horror movies are the only thing we agree on as far as what's on the box, mind you when I am blogging he has to have something to watch so it works quite well really.

NB whilst I type this my husband is watching a documentary type thing called Warriors, which looks back at the different types of warriors through time - yawn!!

So there you go...why not visit and see what other people couldn't live without on Kate's blog.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Slimavite Diet Diary - the first weigh in.....

As you may have read I am following the Slimavite slimming plan.

Today is Day 7 so time for a weigh in.  Last week when I started I was 16st 4lbs (I know it scares me to write it!) so I was more than happy to review the plan as you can imagine.

The idea is that you replace 2 meals with a tasty Slimavite milkshake and then have a balanced meal as normal in the evening.  As I mentioned before I totally forgot and had pizza on one day - doh!

I have also not quite got to grips with the website and how to organise the balanced meal - I must really try and get my head around this.

So I hopped on the scales this morning and I weighed...... 15st 12ozs !! So that's a 6lb loss this week according to my calculations - even with Pizzagate!

I am so determined to make this work that even when I went out and met friends for lunch I just had a plain salad, no dressing, cheese, mayo or the other high calorie choices I could of had.  I do not want to count my chickens just yet, but if this is how it carries on I will be a slimmer me quite soon - yippee!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Movie meme (Week 11) book adaptations

When Hannah set the theme for this week as book adaptations, I was dismayed that the only ones I could think of were childrens films!  Firstly sprang to mind  the adaptation of the Lemony Snicket series - A series of Unfortunate Events with Jim Carey - have to admit I watch it without the kids....

So I 'Googled' the subject and out sprang the perfect choice.  It is less famous than another adaptation by the same author although equally fantastic in my opinion..

I have decided upon Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

Long before Hannibal Lector said he would eat "his liver with some Fava Beans and a  nice Chianti" Thomas Harris' first novel saw Lector as a supporting character and was focussed on a monstrous man called Dolarhyde. What was especially scary about the book was the fact that Dolarhyde was socialising in everyday life, worked, walked and talked with everyday folk but had a dark side which not only existed but evolved all the way though the book and also the film adaptation. Reading the book became addictive as I wanted to see what twist and turn would happen next - the film managed to do that very well as well.

With Lector being the supporting character the book and film are less gruesome than The Silence of the Lambs but certainly not any less able to play with your inner thoughts.  The film is well paced and the choice of the actor to play Dolarhyde was a real shock to me.. I wont spoil who it is for those who have yet to see the film.  All I can say is you wont see him in the same light again!

Would recommend this film and the book highly. here's the preview (don't watch if you don't want to find out who the surprising actor choice is!)

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Green Chain - a blog for charity

I have been invited by my friend Wendy to join in with a new blog campaign sponsored by PriceMinister called The Green Chain.

Simply by taking part and answering their eco interview questions they will donate £10 to one of these three worthy charities: Surfers Against Sewerage, Trees for Cities and the Young Persons Trust for the Environment.

Here's my interview answers:

Turning the heating down by just one degree in your house saves 240kg 
of CO2 a year. It would take eight trees to soak up this amount of CO2!
Are you currently doing anything to make your home eco-friendly?

I make sure I only boil the amount of water I need each time saving energy. I am a big recycler (ask my refuse collectors) and make sure everyone in the house joins in and all paper, cardboard, green waste, cans, bottles and glass gets put out for the recycling collection.  I use low energy lightbulbs in all lights in the house.

Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface, now they only 
cover 2%. How are you reducing your use of paper?

I do not buy newspapers myself but my neighbour keeps hers for me which I use in our kitty litter tray and recycling any that are left over.

At PriceMinister we believe that trading second hand items online is a 
great way to extend the life span of products. Have you ever thought of 
buying or selling second hand items on or off line?

I use Ebay a lot and think its a great way of not only recycling but for raising funds for any trips or holidays. I did a Carboot just earlier this month - hate the early starts but love the space in the house it creates. One mans junk is another mans treasure as they say!

One of the biggest environmental challenges we face is Freshwater
Shortages. Are you taking measures to reduce your water consumption?

As I mentioned in the first question I only use the water I need in the kettle. I also do not wash the childrens clothes unless they are dirty as my pre-teen is a great one for wearing an outfit for 15 minutes and then changing and outting it in the laundry basket...HHmmmm I don't think so. I try and get one child in the bath and then save the water for the next and never fill it above halfway.  Tala uses a BabyDam in the Bath which is great for reducing the water consumption on his baths.

How do you choose the produce that goes into your shopping basket?  
(any favorite products?) 

I am a label reading freak! I choose it based on its freshness (fruit and veg) where it is sourced from (travelling distance to me) and also try and avoid un-necessary impulse purchases that may not get used and be thrown away. All possible packaging is recycled.

What is your favourite green space near home?

At the moment my favourite is Colemere

A lovely green space to enjoy....
Which charity would you like to support and why?

I would like to support Trees for Cities as not only is it essential for survival to have trees in our lives but this charity supports projects not only in the UK and Ireland but also Internationally. It actively involves local communities and schools in it's projects.

Please give us the url of a fellow blogger (or bloggers) you would like us 
to contact to raise an extra £10.

I would like to tag: Sherieann, Claire - let's see your answers ladies.....

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Diet Diary - day 4 update....

So I have been using Slimivate for 4 days now and here's the story so far....

Day 1:
As I mentioned on my last post, I have never used a meal replacement diet product before and I was a bit cautious at first.  The milkshake tub I decided to open first was the strawberry one.  It smelled ok and as the tubs had been supplied with a very handy mixing container (complete with a metal spiral mixing ball!) I knew getting the measurements correct wouldn't be a problem.

I mixed my first milkshake and when mixed it turned into a thick frothy shake and to be honest didn't taste that bad either. Ok so it's not a McD's strawberry thickshake but that's only to be expected!

So far so good. For my evening meal I made Spaghetti Bolognaise with Quorn Mince.

Day 2:
Shake for breakfast and then we headed off for some family photos to be taken. On impulse I decided to take the children for Pizza buffet for lunch and forgot about the diet!! Argh!! I had had 3 slices of pizza and some pasta when I suddenly registered - can't believe I forgot. Although it is obviously not recommended to eat pizza takeaway as a meal I made sure I had my lunchtime milkshake for my evening meal and crossed my fingers that I hadn't done too much damage so early on.

Day 3:
Rather than do what I normally would on a diet and give up as I had messed up the day before, I stuck like glue to the recommended plan today. 2 shakes and then Jacket potato, boiled egg and salad for tea - No salad dressing needless to say. I love salad so no hardship and filled my plate with greenery and carrots. I have to say I struggled at first with using the Slimavite Bite Builder meal planner but will persevere. Everything new takes a small amount of time to become accustomed to.

Day 4:
Stayed in bed late as my back is playing up again and so missed my breakfast milkshake. Had a shake at about 2pm and then for my evening meal I made lentil bolognaise - my favourite meal! Haven't felt hungry at all today which is fantastic.  I even went out for afternoon tea with friends and just drank a diet coke - no scone for me! Proud of that.

So all in all, so far so good (ok except for the diet memory lose on Day 2). Can't wait til I weigh myself on Day 7....