Monday, 1 September 2014

The start of my new journey....

Today marks the 1st of September.... The month my eldest starts school, the day that I am changing my lifestyle so I will no longer be the fat mum at the school gates....
Here is to the new me, and the challenges that lie in front of me.... it wont be easy, but I am prepared to fight for the healthy fit me that is screaming to get out of this body.

What am I doing to change my lifestyle? I have just signed up to the 2 sizes in 8 weeks body transformation challenge.

I have to eat clean... that means like the caveman.... if its grown, swam, or breathed you can eat it... if its got chemicals and names you cant pronounce its off the cards.... no more sweeteners, no more dairy (apart from goats cheese)...AND the big thing to me.... no more coffee..... this is the hardest part for me, so instead I'm going to cut it right down to social situations only, with nut milks.
I will be drinking only water.... and giving my food all the nutrients it needs through food.... the more colourful the better...
Workout wise is just 3 x a week to start, doing interval training, and I am sent a workout each day its needed, and different each time so no boredom. Its tough, and you certainly need a shower after. I did it for a few weeks at the start of the summer holidays, but with the temptations I soon reverted back to old habits. However, that trial has proved to me how great I can feel off the gluten, and I know now that my IBS is linked to Gluten. If I have the energy, I'm hoping to get back into my running, on my rest days. as I had to stop just after I started due to Daddy M having to study for his 6 monthly exam, and me going running for the 20 minutes, added extra stress that wasn't needed.
I need to start putting myself on my list to look after and nurture.
I have always battled with my weight, I have tried all the diets going, I have succeeded in most of them for a short time... and I have looked great, until old habits come back. Now I know this clean eating and no coffee wont last, but for 8 weeks I am going to give it my all... and then after that, one cheat day a week... and allow myself coffee if my body will be ok with it once I re-introduce it.
I will post once a week here (hopefully), and will probably tweet and instagram regularly about my new journey I'm about to take, and I would love some lovely paleo recipes if you have any....
But here is a quick look and some inspiration to myself that I can do it.... here is my weight journey over the past few years....
This is my favourite slim picture... not skinny just right for me... taken 2010
Wanted to be slimmer for my wedding, but things didn't work out,
but covered my arms to help me feel slimmer
August 2013, didn't realise how far I had come on my slimming world journey until this picture

January 2014, this was just before the weight started piling on... just before my depression reared its ugly head

one of the nicest pics with me at the biggest, I normally delete all the picture when I'm as big as this.
I would ideally like to loose 3 stone in total, but would be happy with the 1.5 to take me back to my comfort zone which I can easily maintain... anything lower would be amazing! 
So my first goal... 7Ib in 4 weeks.... wish me luck!!!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Potty training update.... again!

This just a quick post to update on where we are with S potty training. I haven't really had much to update on before now.

We attempted potty training with bare bottom.... and she is 100% on that now, when she has nothing on, she is trained. Within a few days of her getting dry we attempted a supermarket shop, and I was brave enough to try her with knickers.... it was a success. When we reached the checkout, she then said she needed the loo.... que mad dash to the loo's whilst the cashier packed for us... however she refused to go on the big toilet as she was scared she would fall in. When we got back to the car, I tried her on the potty... and she did it... yeay... our first outing, a success!
The next day, we did a much shorter trip to another supermarket, and she had an accident. Didn't tell me, until we got back to the car and I noticed her knickers were wet.
We decided then for our trip to LEGOLAND we would put her in a nappy again, she is absolutely fine in soiling the nappy, and will happily sit in it. After our trip away we went back to bare bum, and she was straight back to doing it. We then attempted knickers at home....
... every time she had knickers on, she wouldn't even try. They would be soiled within 10 minutes. We tried saying they were big girl knickers, they need to stay dry. She even pulled them up and down to show us she could do it.... I felt like we were going back to square one.
HOWEVER.... today, I decided no matter wha, she would be in knickers. And so far... so good... no accidents. Its only been half the day, but its another tick finally on the list to becoming toilet trained.

My Sunday Photo


Friday, 29 August 2014

Hotel stay with under 5's @ Park Inn Heathrow

This week we stayed at the Park Inn in London Heathrow. It was part of our LEGOLAND trip booked with holiday pirates. (This is a great site, if you are after some cheap trips and holidays) Our stay for 4 people in the 4 star hotel, with LEGOLAND tickets was £119... in the summer holidays!!! WOW!!! The tickets alone would have cost us £101.
We were very impressed at the hotel, we are used to budget hotels, catering for round 100 rooms. On walking up, the girls were captivated with how big it was, with revolving doors and a statue in the middle of the reception. We were greeted almost immediately, and once checked in, the children were given an activity pack each. Great start after 4 hours in the car. And Daddy was very happy, as there was free Wi-Fi too, with no fiddly passwords to enter.
We were given our room card, and told where to go for the lifts... the lifts had multi-colour changing mood lights... the girls were fascinated. We found our room easily enough, and when entering, we realised we had a great view of the airport...
View from our window
Once again the girls were fascinated. The family room was made up with two double beds. This was the only thing that let it down to me, in the budget hotels the girls had their own single beds pulled out from the big double base. But this did not cause a problem for us, the girls refused to share, so mummy had to share with S, whilst daddy shared with J.
S soon found the complimentary shampoo and soaps... I didn't get around to taking a picture of the bathroom, but it was very modern, with a glass shower guard over the bath, and glass shelves on the wall, you can tell its recently been refurbished.
The room had an extra something that we weren't used to either... a small fridge. This would have been perfect if we'd known about it before, as we could have bought some milk for the girls hot chocolate. Along with a safe and 4 cups, not the usual 2! And a bottle of fresh water, I really liked this, as I enjoy a drink at bedtime, and don't really like tap water when away... I know I am fussy!!
 ...along with the usual wardrobe, iron, and ironing board, and spare towels.
and TV, with Freeview...
We didn't try out the restaurant in the evening, but we did try out the breakfast buffet. I've never seen such a variety before. There was the full English breakfast with actual fried eggs.. and fried bread, along with the usual hash browns, sausages, bacon etc.. but also the pastries, fruit, yoghurts, ham, cheeses, breads, cereals, smoothies, juice, and noodles and a rice dish too. With hot tea and coffee bought to the table.
This cost us £21 for the 4 of us.... great deal, as the under 8's eat for free. We also did not need lunch this day as we were still full from the breakfast. I would recommend this breakfast, but the restaurant was busy, and as a result, noisy.
The hotel also has a swimming pool the children can use, but we didn't get the chance as the girls were too naughty, and as punishment, they got it taken away from them. (S refused to go to sleep, keeping J up, then when S finally dozed off, J would wake S up, then S would hit everyone trying to sleep, and run around crying, they were bot still away come 10.30pm- mummy was not impressed!)
Would I use this hotel again? Yes, definitely. They are so close to Heathrow, if we were ever to fly out from there, we would book here for sure.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Exploring Hare Hill

For J's Birthday, Grandma and Grandad have purchased the M family a family pass for National Trust, THANK YOU!! (And I was cheeky and asked for it early!)  So whilst Daddy was working, I decided to christen the pass with its first use with a trip to Hare Hill for a picnic, from the recommendation of Mummy3+1dog.  
Its not far from where we live, so didn't take too long to get there. Once parked up, we set off, and was greeted by a very helpful volunteer, explaining that there were garden games in the walled garden to enjoy, and wooden sculpture Hares to find in the gardens, so we were off to hunt them down... didn't take long to find the hares....
...we stopped off in the walled gardens for our picnic, and for the girls to have a run around playing tag, and we even got to play a game of crochet...  the sun came out especially for us....

After the picnic and games, we headed back into the other gardens, to find the other hares. Along the trail there was a prompt to get another one of the #50things to do before 11 3/4
Mummy had a quick go, and failed miserably.... even google couldn't help mummy... but we had a good try... but failed....HOWEVER.... when we came back to the car park, we found a national trust member of staff, and she very kindly showed, and demonstrated to us.... which meant mummy managed it, and very shortly after J did too.... so that's another one off the list... S will try when she is older...
We stumbled across a bird hide, which was well stocked with bird books, and a blackboard for people to note what they saw... which helped the girls tick #44 Go Bird watching off the list. Thank fully the free binoculars that came with our passes were packed in the bag!

 The next part of the trail took us to a pond, that looks magical...
We also done some climbing on fallen trees and stumps...
...then finally we found a big bound of wood chips to climb, toss, and run down....
 All in all another lovely afternoon spent with National Trust, I can see us gaining so many more happy, muddy, memories with this new family pass.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Clean energy whilst camping...

Back at the start of the month, the M family did our first camping trip as a family. We weren't sure what to expect, but went for an electric hook up so we could still have our luxuries, (yes this including a kettle, but also phone chargers) this put a few camp sites off the market for us booking so late, so when we had the opportunity to try out a solar panel product, for the possibility in the future to go powerless, I jumped at the chance.
I was given the Ventura Portable Power SPV140 14W Solar Panel from for the purpose of an honest review. I was super excited when it arrived, but didn't try it out until we got to the campsite.

As you can see from the picture it is compact, which is perfect as the car is full to the brim when camping..

And when we were all unpacked, the solar panel came out too, we hooked ours up to the front door and it easily hooked up. Daddy M was trying to get it angled with  guy rope, but it didn't stay put, so we left it dangling...
...and doing its work, (charging my mobile) whilst the girlies did some colouring, whilst us adults had a well deserved brew...

The solar panel pack comes with different attachments, so it can attach to many handheld devices and cameras, and offers various voltages.
It all just unfolds to expose the panels, and you plug the device inside the Velcro envelope. My phone even managed to fit into this envelope as handy storage.  

So... how did it work? I am not going to lie, and say it worked brilliantly, nor am I going to say it doesn't work. We were unfortunate that the weather wasn't on our side. We pitched up around 3pm, and had left the campsite by 4.30 on the hunt for an evening exploring, where we spent it at the beach. I had un-clipped the panels so they were locked away, so they were hidden from view, and also from the sun, and I hadn't thought to take it with me. In the 20-30 minutes it was all hooked up, it charged about 5%.... now I'm not sure how effective that is, as my phone, is seriously poo with the battery span, and I mean s***, so much so, I'm going to be taking it back, as it doesn't even last half a day...  but getting back to it... if you had nothing to charge the device, an extra 5% in 20-30 minutes is fantastic. The next day we were greeted with the rain, so it didn't come out.
On returning, I tried it in the garden on a sunny/cloudy day and I managed 50 minutes without touching my phone.... I'm addicted, I know.... I had it on airplane mode so speed up charging and it did 15%
So... if your camping, on the beach, or walking, and want something to give you that extra little charge, and lucky enough to have the sunshine, this is your new toy! I have yet to try it with my garmin, but I reckon it could easily be hooked up to the backpack, to charge whilst still walking. :-)
Would I give up my electric hook up?? - Not just yet.... ...but watch this space, I will be taking it out again to see what it can do, when we are greeted by a glorious summers day....
Family Fever

Monday, 25 August 2014

J's 5th Bithday Party

Friday was J's 5th Birthday party. I have previously mentioned that this is a few weeks early due to daddy's working shift pattern, resulting in no weekends off around her birthday, and September being busy as she adjusts to starting 'big school' along with re-introducing dancing, and starting swimming lessons, so having her party now meant we could enjoy the summer weather, and enjoy her cousins company along side her friends, all at the same time.
She wanted a frozen theme, and in theme, we didn't really do much in the theme as I had originally hoped for, as it was all planned in 1 week. We hired a bouncy castle from bubbly bouncers. And this kept the children occupied for the majority of the time. We also had some games as a wet weather option, but we were lucky enough we didn't have rain, but used the games as a calm down time before food. This worked great. Here is the party in pictures....
The girlies home made costumes
J welcoming her friends onto the castle
Posing beautifully
J dancing to the music whilst her friends bounce around
Close up of J dancing in the bubbles
Inside the bouncy castle

Drinks fountain came in handy for the children to help themselves to juice
J had tears, as she fell over and grazed her thigh, and ankle
Pin the nose on Olaf, one of the only themed things of the party
Was a big success, with thanks to Daddy's artwork! :-)
Pass the parcel then followed...
It then went very quiet, whilst all the children tucked into party food
Cake time....
Before they all went back out onto the bouncy castle
Whilst a few slipped further back in the garden for a kick around...
Whilst a game of tag in the bubbles went ahead...
It was then time for everyone to go home, BUT... we had promised J musical statues... so her cousins were happy to oblige.