Tuesday, 28 February 2012

What was number one in the charts when your baby was born?

I have been tagged by @chelseamamma to list what was number one in the charts when my children were born and with my eldest being 20 I have to admittedly use the internet as I can't remember back that far!

With research done I offer the four songs that topped the charts with one from almost as far back as the days when we used to tape the Top 40 on a Sunday!!

Eldest Son:  Shakespears Sister 'Stay'
I loved this song and it was number one for ages, they did have another good song but nothing as great as Stay.

Pre-Teen:    Westlife - 'If I Let You Go'
Never been a Westlife fan - enough said!

Middle Son: Afroman 'Because I Got High'
Possibly one of the most annoying songs of the time and now I have heard it I have it stuck in my head... argh!

Little Man:  Tinie Tempah 'Written In The Stars'
Ok this one is not so bad but still way to mainstream for my liking...

So can you remember what was number one when you're babies were born or like me will your memory fail and Google have to come to the rescue?

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Slimavite Challenge 2012 - Week 8

With last week being Half Term I completely forgot to update my Slimavite challenge.  Last week I stayed the same at 13st and 3lbs so this week I was determined to be more focussed on my Slimavite Bite Plan.

I have been suffering with a lack of drive recently and this has showed, I think, in my weight loss in 2012 so far.  I have not gained weight this year but my weight losses have been small 1lb or maintains so far.  It is hard with anything long term challenge to not get stuck in a rut and stick to the same foods and recipes.  I have tried a few new things this week and also gone back to using Quorn instead of minced beef as the fat content is much lower.

This week when I weighed myself I was 13st and 1lb so a 2lb loss for me this week.  I am really pleased as I hope it is the start of larger amounts of weight coming off since my 'plateau' recently.

Week 8 loss - 2lb
Weight left to lose til my target weight of 11 st - 2st and 1lb

Review disclosure

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Things I forgot about being a Mother to a toddler

Little Man is 16 months old *sob* and he is so close to walking I feel his frustration every time he loses his balance and drops to his nappied bottom.

Even though he is my fourth child I had forgotten a few MAJOR things about being the Mother to a toddler namely:

  • They never want to be held any more and wiggle like a snake to get to the floor.
  • Whining replaces babbling as their frustration grows.
  • Dust will be found and put instantly in the mouth.
  • The Sky box / dvd player / games console can and will be turned on and off hundreds of times a day.
  • They never just want to sit and have a cuddle any more and getting off the sofa to the floor is the ONLY thing in their lives.
  • Your feet are now targets for their prams and ride on toys.
  • Poo is to be investigated as nappies can now be removed by little hands *nice!*
  • Nappy change times are now a battle of wills and your toddler will win!
  • DVDs can make great frisbees!
  • A playpen is just a place to throw toys out of.
Today Little Man walked from one side of the room to the other and with the above memories of my older children coming flooding back I feel like ducking for cover!!

Monday, 20 February 2012

New Bloggers fortnight - I'm in the blogging seat today!

Michelle from Mummy From The Heart is hosting a rather helpful New Bloggers Fortnight on her blog and I am proud that I have been asked to write a guest post. 
Michelle has provided me with inspiration and many words of wisdom since I started my blogging journey and she certainly does know her stuff.
Why not take a look at todays post (shameless self promotion there!) and all the previous ones from many bloggers I admire. Go grab a biccie and a coffee and spend some time reading my thoughts on the subject of  To reveal or not to reveal - some things to think about' and the other great posts that make up New Bloggers Fortnight.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Bloggers Q & A

My lovely pal Wendy has tagged me to answer some rather awkward lovely questions about myself. 

The idea is that the person who tags you makes their own set of questions that they want answered.  Then once you've answered them, you get to make up your own questions and tag your own favourite bloggers to answer them! That way...it never gets stale!  I love the tag meme and I will enlighten you with answers to Wendys questions:

1: If you could be anyone else for the day, who would you choose and why?
I would have to say I would love to be The Queen.  All those servants, engagements and castles to chose from being royalty would be an eye opener I am sure.

2: What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
Easy one - phew! Rum and Raisin

3: If you could time travel to any period of history what era would you visit?
The 50's not because I want to be a 50's housewife but the whole American 50's with the cars, dresses and drive throughs... when men were men and women were dressed to impress.

4: If you had to live without either cheese or chocolate, which one would you never have again?
Easy again Cheese, chocolate is for life not just for Christmas!

5: If you were an animal....what animal would you be?
Hmmm a lioness because I can be a little like one when it comes to my children in a protective way and I have a bit of a bite when annoyed - roar!

6: What super power would you most want to have?
An effortless gene that allowed me to get everything done that needed to be totally effortlessly without running around like a headless chicken.

7: If you had to be genetically modified, would you rather have a third arm, a third leg, a second head or some other modification???
Geeze Wendy! I think I would have to have an extra pair of hands - with 4 children they would sure come in handy ;)

8:  Which song do you think you sing best? 
Why every song of course! Singstar was made for me!

9: On a scale of 1-10, how good a dancer do you rate yourself to be?
6 so not great but I get by.  I can't join Ashley Banjo just yet but I can swing from side to side with the best of them.

10: Which film have you watched the most times?  (Do not include films played over and over to appease your kids!)
The SAW and Final Destination films - never get bored of those and certainly not played to appease the children....

11:  Which Disney character can you most relate to? 
I think Dorrie from Finding Nemo and I have a lot in common - what did you say again?

  • The Rules:
  • You must post these rules.
  • Each person must post 11 things about herself on their blog.
  • Answer the questions the “tagger” listed for you in her post, and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  • Choose people to tag and link to them in the post. 
  • Let each blogger know that you have tagged them.

    So, here are the questions I would like the people I've tagged to answer:

    1) What did you want to be as a child when you grew up?
    2) Can you bend forward and touch your toes with your legs straight (I can!!)
    3) What is your most annoying habit?
    4) What habit would you change of your partners? (come on no-one is perfect!)
    5) Horrors or Chick Flicks?
    6) What is the most outrageous thing you have done in the back row of the movies?
    7) If you had the house childfree what is the first thing you and your partner would do (we would lock the doors - only joking!)
    8) Have you ever lied to get a job?
    9) What one thing is on your list to do before you hit 30, 40, 50 or whatever significant birthday is next?
    10) Classic or modern films and why?
    11) If you were a vampire who would be the first person you would bite?

    So that's my 11 questions and I now tag:

    Edspire (the lovely Jennie)
    A Boy with Aspergers (the inspiring Claire)

    Lets see what you got!

Do your kids love Phineas and Ferb? Even Michelle Obama does!

Are your kids Phineas and Ferb fans like mine?  Do you also find yourself signing along to the theme tune? Yes you know the one "Mum Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence"

I know I am not in the minority as it is has been revealed that one in two kids tune into ‘Phineas and Ferb’ on Disney Channel and Disney XD.  Even Michelle Obama has been working with Disney’s hit TV show Phineas and Ferbs very own Perry the Platypus, to encourage kids to get moving. 

Heres how to do the Platypus Walk as shown by The First Lady herself....

Disney will be keeping Phineas and Ferb fans happy with an announcement that a fourth series has been ordered so the BAFTA-nominated and Emmy Award-winning TV show will see new episodes rolling out in 2014.  I asked if they were happy with that news - their reply "Yes, yes I am!"

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Have you tried Baby Yoga? Persil Non Bio and Comfort Pure show you how for free..

I have been trying baby yoga with my baby recently.  It is not unlike traditional yoga but the exercises are designed to incorporate babies into the routine.

The Persil Non Bio and Comfort Pure free guide shows you each yoga move in detail meaning you can try baby yoga in the privacy of your own home.  The guide is written in conjunction with Nadia Narain who has worked as an instructor for over 12 years and specialises in pre and post- pregnancy yoga.

You can download and use the guide at home making it an excellent way for new Mums to exercise and create a special bonding time at the same time.  I found the exercises were very well explained in the guide and easy to follow.

My baby is a bit older than the baby in the guide but he happily joined in just the same.  Having neglected my abdominal muscles and my back in my pregnancy I could really feel the muscles working.

If you would like to try Baby Yoga for yourself, you can download a copy here.  As with all exercises it is best to check with a Doctor before undertaking anything new.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Helping Breakthrough Breast Cancer through memories

I am remembering My Mum to help Breakthrough Breast Cancer thanks to Kate on thin ice.

Dear Mum,

It is nearly 20 years since I last saw you, last touched your skin and told you in person I love you.  I still love you but cancer has taken away my ability to see, touch and speak to you.  It took away my childrens chance to meet and know their Nana.

I wish I could tell you in person how much you shaped my life, my thoughts and made me the person I am today.  Your love influenced my childrens upbringing as you are still part of me and always will be...

I miss you every day xx

Do younger siblings get a tough deal?

When we were out in the car earlier, out of the blue, my Middle Son asked if he could have a party for his birthday this year.

When asked why he had brought it up he simply said "Because I have never had one"  I have to admit that this year he will be 11 years old and he has never had a party.

When my Eldest Son was born he had parties up till he was about 8 years old, Pre-teen had traditional parties till about 5 and usually does something, even if it is just a sleepover, most years.  Middle Son has had none of these things. As the 3rd of my 4 children he often feels the older ones get more than him.  It made me question whether being a child with older siblings means a rough deal?

First children tend to get many things, the experience is all new and for want of a better word, exciting.  With a 7 year gap till my second child it was like the first time experience all over again but with Middle Son just 26 months behind Pre-teen it was a lot harder to hold events with 2 children under the age of 5 and so the traditional party became a thing of the past, hence why Middle Son has never had one. I myself am the youngest of 4 children that are much older than I am and I was spoilt because I was the youngest - the baby.

Hearing Middle Sons party predicament left me with some questions... Is there a better place to be within your family unit?  Do you learn from your first born and so any following children benefit/forfeit from previous parenting experiences? Do eldest children get tougher boundaries because we are learning about parenting ourselves?

I think I need to look at a party for him this year....no matter how much hard work I know they are!

Valentines Day - is there a Bah Humbug for that?!

So it's Valentines Day.  Hearts and flowers are everywhere, TV ads, films and radio.  Did you buy into the whole thing or do you have other views?

For me Valentines Day is a day full of faux love and fakeness - sorry! I am someone that believe if you can't show you love someone any and every day then just showing it on Valentines Day is just naff.  I used to dread it as a teenager, eagerly awaiting the day to see if I would get a card and usually not.  One year my Mum bought one and posted it through the door telling me it was probably from an admirer - I was elated until I realised it was from her and not that boy down the road as a teen it was not cool to get one from your MUM!

My Pre-teen daughter is off to the cinema today with card and Love Heart sweets in hand.  It is sweet to watch and I did not tell her my thoughts on the day save spoiling it for her.  I know his name is Jack that's it and I hope he has put the same effort into a gift as she (especially as I paid for it!)

So will I be receiving flowers, cards and chocolates today? Will I hell! Sorry florists but you will not be delivering here today...My husband is off out tonight to a meeting and although I got a "Happy Valentines Day - I Love You" off him as he left for work this morning I know that will be my lot and I am fine with that as he tells me and more importantly shows me how he feels.

What it boils down to for me is show your love every day not just because the day is Valentines Day!!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Warner Brothers weekend: Journey 2 - The Mysterious Island review

Last night completed what has become a Warner Brothers weekend with a trip to the cinema to watch Journey 2 - The Mysterious Island.

Highlighting Little Man and his first trip to the cinema and with 3D glasses in hand we took our seats.  Journey 2 is a follow up to the 2008 film but you don't have to have seen the first one to enjoy this one. It stars the pectoral proud Dwayne Johnson (and yes he does get those pecs working in the film) and Josh Hutcherson who, in my opinion, is turning out to be a very good young actor.

It tells the story of Sean (Hutcherson) receving an encoded distress signal from a mysterious island.  As an adventurer Sean takes off in search of the signal and Hank, his new Stepfather (Johnson) unable to stop him joins him on his quest.  The film takes you on a journey (no pun intended!) through lush rainforests, volcanos and strange life forms.  It is an all action film that really grabs you and drops you in the middle of the island with them.  The 3D version was amazing and without wanting to spoil it for you, we felt we could fly on giant bees as well!

Michael Caine makes an appearance as Seans Grandfather and although at times I can find him a little 'wooden' as an actor he was perfect for the role. Heres a taster....

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My children were silent for the duration of the film (well not Little Man as at times he was a little in awe of the huge screen) and they thoroughly enjoyed Journey 2.

Middle Son classed it as "Awesome - best film I have ever seen!" and even when we arrived home he asked if we could get the DVD when it was released.... I think I can safely say he liked it.

Journey 2 is a rollercoaster ride through a magical adventure.  Although in one place I can think of it could be a little scary for younger viewers it kept your attention from start to finish.  If you are looking for a film to enjoy at the cinema over Half Term Journey 2 could be your answer.

Little Mans first experience of the cinema .. and 3D glasses!

Warner Brothers sent us a family cinema ticket to view the film but this did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the film.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Do you ever feel like hitting the 'delete blog' button?

My blog is a bit like my life.  It has ups and downs, good points and not so good, happiness and depression.

Recently I have been hit with a lot of insecurity about my blog and blogging in general.  Twitter can be a wonderful way of socialising as a person and posts on your blog with like minded people but I have been on Twitter a lot less recently.  Whether it is because I have been feeling a little low in mood or whether it is entangled with my insecurities about my blog I am not sure. I went through a phase of whenever I turned on my Twitter timeline there seemed to be someone being negative or was it just my negative frame of mind?

A few days ago I was hit with the thought 'Whats the point in blogging?'  I do not have a goal for my blog and it is a hobby that I have to say has captured my spare time more than any previous.  I suppose I am someone that likes a plan and blogging is not always like that but, in my case, stems from inspiration in my thoughts, actions or interaction from others.  I have been inspired by many other blogs and so when I had the cursor hanging over the 'delete blog' button I had to stop and think about what I would lose or gain by its deletion.

I have spent hours and hours adding posts and updates. Personal blog posts have, at times, reduced me to tears whilst writing them so instead of hitting the delete button I have revisited my old posts and it has made me remember what blogging is all about - life, sharing, interaction, commitment, therapy and that in itself seems to be a positive list of words.

Have you ever felt like hitting the delete button?

Friday, 10 February 2012

Slimavite Challenge 2012 - Week 6

Last week I felt a bit down that my Slimavite weight loss is not going as well or as quick as last year.  Not matter what diet we follow our emotions have a lot to do with how and what we eat.

I received a lovely email from Slimavite saying I should be very pleased with the fact that I have already accomplished losing over 3 stone and not to be down on myself (in so many words) I was really grateful for the email as sometimes we look forward to what we want and are not always achieving and forget to look at what we have or are achieving.

I feel a little more positive this week and got out a pair of trousers that fitted me at the start of my Slimavite journey.  I tried them on and they were huge on me!  This was an instant way for me to see exactly how much I have already achieved and that diet plans can be measured in more ways than simply stepping on the scales...  I am looking forward to reaching my goal weight as I want to take a photo of me in those trousers so you can see in a photo how many inches I have lost whilst following the Bite Plan.

This week I weighed in at 13 st and 3lbs which is another 1 lb off and a step in the direction of my goal weight.

Week 6 loss - 1 lb
Left to lose - 2 st and 3 lbs

Review disclosure

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Listography - Top 5 Phrases That Drive Me Crazy

I am linking up this week with the lovely Kate at Kate Takes 5. This weeks Listography is the Top 5 Phrases That Drive Me Crazy..

1)  TBH or To Be Honest. This is a written phrase but the spoken one is just as annoying:  So what you saying you wouldn't be honest with me? What's worse is that it creeps into my own vocabulary every so often and I hate hearing myself saying it even more.

2)  'Innit' 
I know someone that says this at the end of nearly every sentence and I cringe. Innit? Innit? Even using the words isn't it at the end of every sentence is too much but this version - just no!

3)  You've been poned.
Argh! It may just be a local to here saying but my children seem to say this far too much.  I think it means someone got the better of you but whatever it means it drives me crazy.

4) That's how the cookie crumbles.
What cookie, I wasn't talking about a cookie....

5) But *so and so* did it first!
I must here that several times a day from my children and I never get to the bottom of who srarted what but they still seem to feel the need to use it - kids!

I bet there are loads more sayings that make you go cold and cringe.  Share them over on Kates blog here..

Slimavite Challenge 2012 - week 5

Something is wrong.  Not with the Slimavite shakes or the Bite Plan - with me.

I feel completely out of tune with my diet, my weight loss and the whole losing weight arena.  The enthusiasm is not there and I can only look to myself for that.  Whenever something is getting me down I tend to think about what I am eating less and I know I am 'not myself' at the moment and this is being reflected through my weight loss.

When I got on the scales this week I weighed 13 st 4 lbs, the exact same as last week.  Maintaining is great don't get me wrong, but I know what can be achieved on the Slimavite Plan and I am not achieving it.  I have never felt like this on the plan before and until I figure out what is wrong in my life to make me feel this way I guess I need to just go with the flow and hope for the best..

Week 5 loss - 0 lb
Left to lose - 2 st and 4 lbs

Review disclosure

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Even the baby got drawing for the Yummy Food competition!

Smallest boys entry into the Appliances Online Cookers Yummy Food Competition

I would have to say it looks like pasta, carrots and peas to me but he is only 15 months! A very full plate as its spilling over the edges....

More Yummy Food drawings for our entry...

Middle Sons entry into the Appliances Online Cookers Yummy Food Competition

Hmm nice to see he hasn't drawn anything I have cooked!!

Yummy Food competition entry - we got drawing!

Pre-teens entry into the Appliances Online Cookers Yummy Food Competition..

Needless to say her favourite comes from a well known coffee outlet (its strawberries and cream not coffee though!)

Friday, 3 February 2012

Fancy doing something different this weekend? Try Livingsocial!

Last weekend I did something different.  I attended a wonderful cooking demonstration and cookery lesson at Dillis Restaurant in conjunction with Livingsocial.

Together with Chefs Ravi and Naeem our Indian cookery experience consisted of 30 minute demonstration followed by the class cooking three Indian dishes.

For the demonstration Chef Naeem showed us all how to make onion bhajis and a rather delicious tasting Mango Lassi.  He really had an impressive knowledge and shared many informative pieces of information such as how misused the word 'curry' is here. Did you know curry simply means gravy in India?  Or that Masala is a word used to describe anything that consists of more than 3 ingredients? Well you do know. It was this and Chef Naeem obvious love of Indian cookery that made the day so enjoyable.  He had us all hanging on his every word!

Chef Ravi introduces Dillis

Chef Naeem making a delicious Mango Lassi
The experience was fantastic for Vegetarians with Paneer as the alternative to the chicken dish, so after tasting the Lassi and those superb Onion Bhajis we were each given a cooking workstation to create our own Indian dishes under their expert guidance....

Next step Masterchef!

Amazing and impressing myself at my culinary skills I made...
Dal Tarka
Aloo Palak

Paneer Kali Mirch

And much to my delight we even got to take our creations home!

How many takeaways can you say you made?
So what can you experience this weekend? Why not check out the Livingsocial website and see the huge range on offer near you?  Living Social has a selection of great deals at local restaurants, spas, on family days out and much more. Just purchase the deal that suits you and look forward to doing something new and different very soon. The weekend starts now!!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The isolation being a SAHM Mum can bring

When I decided to stop taking part in the Project 366 challenge one of my reasons was because as a SAHM 90% of my time is spent within my own four walls.

Being a Stay At Home Mother is not endless days filled with coffee with the girls or Ladies Lunches, and it can be an isolating experience.  Days can be spent doing housework and waiting for your children to finish school or your partner to come home from work.  My photos in the Project 366 challenge were becoming just one more photo of my child at home.

It made me realise that I was isolating myself and my child and that my son had never been to playgroup or nursery, something that I did with my older 3 children.  I was guilty of the 'been there, done that' thoughts and this made me stay well away from local playgroups, when I had helped run them when the older children were small.  I was on school committee's and playgroup committees and my children were always surrounded by others.

Today I happened upon a friend in town who mentioned she was off to a local playgroup and I agreed to go along.  Like me she is a mature Mum and that made me take the step.

This was my sons first experience of play with children that were strangers and I didn't know their Mothers and it wasn't in one of our houses and he loved it!  He played alongside older and younger children and tried new toys and even sat at a table with the others and had a snack.  He joined in happily and I have to admit I even enjoyed the social ability to talk to another person during the day.

The strange thing was it was not as my preconceived thoughts said it would be - full of first time Mums far younger than myself.... there were 3 Mums there that had been there, like me, with their older children and I knew from that time round! Small world and a nice surprise.  So much so I will be taking the time to go next week and to try and put my preconceived thoughts further back in my head and enjoy watching my son just play.

There is life outside my four walls and I just need to look for it.

New toys and a new experience...

ShowOff Showcase

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Why doing it daily has taken the enthusiasm away...

I love photography. An event, milestone or special moment captured forever in the click of a button.

I have taken photos nearly every day since my son was born 15 months ago and captured some precious memories. It is because of this that I am stopping my Project 366.

I have spent the last 30 days clicking and photographing my everyday life. As a SAHM I spend a huge proportion of my life staying at home (strange that!).  I have posted these daily and the one shocking revelation to me is that it has taken away my enthusiasm for taking photographs!

I have lost my photo mojo because it has become something I HAVE to do not that I love or want to do any more. It is great to see others daily insights but how long before I am capturing the exciting still life of my spider plant in the bathroom just so I can keep up the challenge and it is 11.50pm?  Yes it is a lovely spider plant but honestly do you REALLY want to see it?

I will continue to take photos, as I do enjoy it, but only when they need to be taken - quality not quantity as the saying goes.  So goodbye Project 366 and hello to new challenges. I shall catch up with those still doing the daily challenge - oh and here's that spider plant...