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Showing posts from October, 2014

Halloween 2014 at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester

Awww! It's Freddie's first Halloween! And despite the look on his face he was ok in the Baby Bat costume! Georgie wore a Spider costume because he is currently obsessed with "Mr Skinny Legs" (thank you Peppa Pig), Tom wore the Pumpkin costume that he'd asked for last year and then refused to wear in favour of one of Jack's old Skelly costumes, and Jack was a Zombie for the second year running.

Since last years trip to Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester being such a hit with the kids we thought we'd do it again this year! It's Brick Or Treat time!

We pre-booked out tickets online and got in pretty quickly and the kids collected their limited edition Halloween 2014 Lego Brick at the end of the Factory Tour! It was great to see all the ghosties had taken over Miniland again, it's super spooky and the kids thought it was great. Perfect for Halloween! We rode the Kingdom Quest ride and got our photo put into a fridge magnet - me and the Hubby look t…

Spam me your...... Pumpkin Recipes! (Link Up)

Halloween means Pumpkins!Spam me your pumpkin recipes!
And since it's a holiday, they don't have to be skinny healthy ones either  (but they would be nice for the rest of the season) Rules:Share as many pumpkin recipes as you like,  ideally ones with pumpkin in them but decorated like pumpkins is ok too. I'll share them on Pinterest, and post some to Facebook, Twitter & Google+ too Have fun, be kind and check out other peoples posts, share this link up on social media as much as you can.


By participating, linkers agree to be added to the blog.family-walker.co.uk email newsletter list, but don't worry, I wont spam you! I'll just email you invitations to linkups. You can opt out at any time




Facebook has changed it’s policy for posts to Facebook pages like mine. They are only showing posts to a few likers unless I pay to boost the views. Since I don't earn money from my blog (or at least not much, not even enough to buy one posh a coffee a week) I wont be doing that.…

Docker Park Farm during October Half Term

We went to Docker Park Farm this Summer and the kids had an awesome time, so I had promised them a return trip at Half Term.

This time Nana came with us, and because it's Autumn now - and dark and damp - the prices are slashed. Adults go free, and kids aged 2+ are only £5!

The paddocks are closed at this time of year, but the play areas are still open and you can still visit the pigs, goats, and petting zoo animals. These are my boys favourite parts so it's perfect for us.

We were lucky to have a bright and sunny, if cool day. But it wouldn't have mattered if it had been pouring with rain because pretty much everything is under cover.

The boys had a brilliant time playing in the barns and riding about on the tractors. Me and Mum managed to sit back and relax with a couple of extremely nice coffees and catch up on all the gossip confident that the boys were adventuring in safety.

We did also treat them to lunch in the cafe - the food is lovely - and they had a play with so…

Stay out of the kitchen!!!

Who else gets like this?

You go into the kitchen for one reason... like get your kid some juice, or pin something to the notice board, or put the washing on... and come out again eating something.

You'd never consciously planned to get something to eat, but i just happened. You were there... the food was there... it just happened.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person this happens too. For ages it was "just one spoon of nutella" as I passed through the kitchen for any reason. For my Hubby is was "just one bit of cheese" when ever he was in the kitchen. And for both of us there was the irresistible draw of what ever snacks our eyes fell upon. It still is now! We've swapped usual junk for low fat/low calorie options, but the habit it still there.

So this is how we're trying to beat it (since bricking up the kitchen door isn't really an option):


Buying less of the tempting stuff (small amount for kids only)Putting away out of sight and easy reach …

Rainy half term holiday = Giggles!

Half term madness... it's really not easy keeping these lot happy and occupied at the moment. Freddie still monopolises my time through the day and my bigger boys need to run off their energy.

Yesterday they actually ASKED for a chilled out day - I think the excitement of the weekend combined with the late nights from sharing a hotel room had taken it's toll. Today, however, they were full of beans and raring to go! I was still knackered!

So what better for a soggy holiday than an indoor play area? Giggles Play & Adventure fits the bill perfectly on a day like today, we come here a lot. It's so handy being right here in Lancaster. I get to put my feet up and snuggle the baby (while having a read of my book on Kindle and having a sneaky look on Facebook thanks to the free WiFi), they get to run around, climb, scream, shout, play with other kids, drink fruit shoots and eat snacks. It's a win-win from the moment we walk in the door!

It's a fab place. The staff ar…

Premier Inn - Rotherham East

This weekend we went over the Pennines to visit family. It was our nephew Ben's 4th birthday party. Bob, Rach, Ben and baby sister Holly travelled up from Birmingham for the day to have the party with family as that's where most of this side of the family live, and we travelled over too. We used to stay at Jenny's house but now that there are 6 of us it's not as easy to do that as it used to be. The boys are very boisterous, and no respecters of other peoples desire for sleep in the mornings! So although Jenny is more than welcoming we chose to book into the nearest Premier Inn: Rotherham East.

We've used Premier Inn before, this April when we went to Clare & Miles wedding, and liked it so much better than other chain hotels we've used that we didn't really consider any other options. Plus there was the added bonus that this hotel is pretty close to in-laws, Jenny included.

We booked a family room which gave us space for everyone. In addition to the king…

Weigh In #8

I got my next 7lb award star! So I am super chuffed about that. It means I have lost 16lb since having Freddie, and a whacking great 3 stone since November last year.

I am now only 2 stone and 3 lb off my target weight. I am more than half way to target!

However..... this weekend we have been away (we are still away) and have not been following the diet. Breakfast for me has been cereal and a cooked breakfast like I normally have when we stay in a hotel. I did choose Special K instead of Honey Nut Cornflakes and Quorn Sausages instead of regular pork ones... and ditched the bacon all together. But it was still way more than I should have had. I also plumbed for my usual scampi and chips for our pub lunch and followed that up with another cooked meal for my dinner - although it was a "Slimming World" approved meal (my Sisters In Law do Slimming World).

They way I see it.... I have let my hair down for a weekend. For the last time before Christmas. I over indulged, but made some …

Rouges Gallery

Take a look at this lot!

The next generation!

We got together this weekend for Ben's birthday, he's the blond down on the front not looking at the camera. It's really not easy getting 9 kids to look the same way and smile all at the same time! I'm not the only one who tried to snap this and I'm still waiting to see if anyone got everyone!

On here are my four boys, their Aunty Rachel's three boys Chris, Nicky and Alex, and Uncle Bob's son Ben and daughter Holly. The only girl. Born just a few days after our Freddie and officially the youngest of the brood (for now, not that I plan to have any more!)

There are two faces missing from this photo of cousins - but with modern families being what they are getting all the kids together in one place at one time isn't always as simple as you might imagine. There should also be Megan, Clare's daughter, and Harry, Amy's son. One day we'll have them all in one place at the same time!

Looking at this as …

Recipe: Soya Mince Tortillas

Hubby recently started stocking up on soy mince because he had heard - rightly - that it was much less fattening than meat. I admit that I had not been keen to try it. I am very much a meat eater! But one evening he cooked for the family, used the soy mince, and guess what... it was nice! The kids ate it without question (we didn't tell them it wasn't meat) and when I worked out the Weight Watchers Propoints value I was sold!

So while we haven't given up meat, I do use soy mince instead of meat in recipes that would be very expensive in propoints if we used meat.

This tortilla meal is one good example of this. We like it with beans, and rice, and cheese, and dip! Swapping beef mince to soy mince makes it a much lower points value meal. Guilt free!

What we use:

8 Old El Paso "Stand'n'stuff" tortillas
50g Soya Mince (we use Granose)
100g rice
10 sprays of low fat cooking spray
1 onion
1 pepper
5-6 mushrooms
1 tin tomatoes
1 tsp Chilli powder
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cumin
2 …

More Sock Critters

Oooh! I have been having fun with this! After making Eddy the Sock Teddy a few days ago I found myself back browsing round the pound shops for more....

I bought a ton of socks, all different sizes, patterns, and styles, and started to experiment with different toy designs.

The kids love it! Jack wanted an "undead" toy, so he has black toy with stitched up mouth and skull "tattoos" made up to be a zombie / vooodoo doll inspired toy. Tom wanted an Angry Birds Bad Piggy inspired toy, so his critter has a piggy nose like button nose, and a close match for the green in the stripes. Georgie just wanted a toy. Any toy. Well..... all the toys actually!

My sewing is still not the neatest in the world, and my toys have a certain look and feel to them that I consider unprofessional. Hubby calls it "rustic" (love him!) But they are surviving the rough, tough love and playing with that my boys will inflict on them. So they can't be that bad!



Facebook has changed…

Slimming Clubs While Pregnant - YES or NO?

Browsing through Facebook today I came across this article from Mumii: MPs say overweight pregnant women should get free slimming classes, and just had to go and take a look.

The gist of it being that the government are thinking about sending overweight pregnant mums to slimming classes such as Slimming World to encourage them to eat healthily and not "eat for two" - which even the slimmest of mums don't really need to do if their regular diet is a healthy one. The reasoning behind this is to reduce obesity in families which will reduce the costs to the NHS long term by improving the health of both parents and kids.

Personally I am all for it. And it doesn't need to cost the NHS a fortune either because they don't need to be sent to a world famous slimming club like Slimming World or (my personal choice) Weight Watchers, it can be done as part of the ante-natal classes with many of the existing resources. In theory, anyway. It's the encouragement and the suppor…

Loom Band Lucky Charms

You all know I'm nuts about loom bands! I was given a free packet of pink, green & white loom bands from Paddy Power Bingo to have some fun with. So I thought that making some "lucky charms" would be fitting!

Snake Charm! I adore making these snakes. I've made them for my kids before and they like playing with them. Snakes are the first toy animal I tried making with loom bands and still the one I like best!
I got the tutorial for this from MarloomZ Creations

Owl Charm! How cute is this owl? It's perfect for a phone charm or to fasten onto a little bag. Owls were a request by my kids and took a lot of practice to get right! Georgie loves the owls almost as much as he snakes - in fact he's claimed this one for himself before I've even finished the blog post!!!
I got the tutorial here: TutorialsByA
Charm Bracelet! My own :-)  Because you can't do a loom band post without at least one bracelet! 
This is an "inverted fishtail" which you can…

Freddie at 12 weeks!

Awww! Our Freddie is 12 weeks old already! How did that happen? How has it been 12 whole weeks?

He really is Fantastic Freddie too.

His brothers still adore him to the point of smothering him. He still screams when ever Daddy picks him up (on account of being "not da mama!") and he still loves Mummy best. He is still exclusively breastfed. He is still predominantly worn in a sling over being pushed in a pram (coz he hates lying in the pram). He still spends a LOT of the night in our bed! And he is a very happy little man.

In the last few weeks he has found his smile - and it's a cracking one! He's becoming very chatty and he giggles. The boys love that he says the same thing they did as babies "Ahh-goooo!" He hates having a mucky bum and is the only one of my babies who has ever liked having his nappy changed. He seems to love it! If he's crying because he's mucky and then realises that he's been laid on his change mat, he is suddenly all smiles…

Weigh In #7

Poor Hubby has not been looking forward to this weeks weigh in, he has serious trust issues after the unexpected 5lb loss recorded last week. This week he has a gain of 2lb... but really it's what we thought might happen. Last week he was (I think) still quite dehydrated when he got weighed. The hang-over kicked in a couple of hours after.

I don't want him to get disheartened though. So we looked at his chart. It has been a steady loss since the start, 2lb off one week, 3lb off the next, and then 2lb off again. We saw that if we ignored the big dip from last week that todays weight followed the same line on his chart. So he's happier now.

However, this week my mum turned up with a very expensive and very delicious looking chocolate fudge cake - a belated gift for Hubby's birthday. We've not touched it, saving it for today after weigh in so we can have all week to work it off!

This week I have lost 3lb, much happier after last weeks Stay The Same. I have made a few cha…

Recipe: Pigsty Pie

This is one that we made up, although we are far from the first or only people to make a pie using pork or pork mince and call it a Pigsty Pie. So let's just say that this is our version of it. It smells great and reminds me of stuffing at Christmas, making it feel much more "naughty" than it is!

This serves four people and it a nice 9 points per serving.

You will need these for the mash:

400g potatoes
400g sweet potatoes
4-5 good sized carrots
Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg

Simply chop the roots, boil in salted water until tender, and mash! Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

The pie filling:

10 sprays low fat cooking spray (e.g. 1 cal)
1/2 lb lean pork mince
2 onions, finely chopped
3 apples, diced
1 leek, chopped
5-6 big mushrooms
2 tbs plain flour
1 tsp sage
1 tsp parsley
Salt
Pepper
1 vegetable stock cube
1/2 hot water
2 tsp English mustard

Fry the onions in the cooking spray until they start to soften, add the mince. Once the meat starts to colour add the apple, leek and mushrooms.

Mix the flour and …

Eddy the Sock Teddy

Meet Eddy Teddy!

It's amazing some of the things you can find in the pound shops in town. I'd trawled them all this week looking for bits n bobs for Jack's homework project, and stumbled across this Sock Teddy Kit. I figured "for a pound... what can I lose if it's just tat?"

It's not just tat.

It's a Crafty Kidz Make Your Own Rainbow Teddy Bear. I'd share a link with you for them, but I cannot find them on Google at all. The kits are for sale all over eBay though.

In the kit you get a sock, some stuffing, thread, needle, and the buttons for the belly, eyes, and nose. And very simple instructions.

I spent a very chilled evening sat with my feet up and the telly on, snipping, sewing, and stuffing. And voilà! One cute little bear. Although - as someone on Facebook said - it looks less like a bear and more like Henry's Cat on Acid. That suits me fine though!

The kids adore it! I have been ordered to return to the pound shop and buy another 3 kits s…

Breaking up with Nutella

Nutella!
I flipping LOVE the stuff! Seriously! Tell me I had to choose between my Husband or Nutella and I'd have to give it some careful consideration.... So imagine how delighted I was to find out that a teaspoon of my beloved nutty chocolatey gooey treat was only 1 Weight Watchers Pro Point?!

Ecstatic!

I believed that an odd teaspoon of chocolate spread of an evening would be a nice treat for me. Just 1 teaspoon. Just 1 point. I didn't need to spread it all over bread - where I would use much more than 1 point of spread and around 5 points for the bread - because I just wanted "a TASTE of chocolate to take the edge of dieting".

Only...... after a day or two it wasn't just one spoon full. It was 3 or 4. And it stopped being just once an evening, it was a few times a day. I'd find any excuse to go and have some chocolate; the kids wound me up, Hubby was annoying me, I stubbed my toe... Before I knew it I was eating my way through a 750g jar of Nutella EVERY WEEK…

School Reading Books

I love the kids bringing work home from school. You know I do. Right now I am loving listening to Jack and Tom read their school books more than I ever have before - and I've always loved listening to Jack. Now that Tom is getting into his reading it's just even more awesome.

Take this evening for example. The kids have been driving us BONKERS since school kicking out time. They wanted to play in the woods after school but frankly the weather is awful and I just wanted to get them home in the warm and dry. But without that mental half hour to work out their "school's out giddies" they are a nightmare at home. Too much pent up energy.

All while I was cooking dinner they were scrapping, arguing, shouting, whining, complaining, telling tales on each other.... All through dinner they were up and down "I need a wee", "I need another drink", "I don't like this", "he's got more than me", or simply messing about with anyth…

Weigh In #6

We're recovering from a naughty couple of days food-wise. It was Hubby's birthday on Friday so we had an Indian Takeaway - including starters and sides - and then we had cake too. And more of the cake on Saturday too.

So I'm not in the least bit surprised that this week I have a "Stay the same" result from the weigh in.

Hubby, on the other hand, has lost! He is now 17 st 8 lb! The Wii Fit cheerily announced he had lost 5lb this week... and Hubby doesn't believe it! Especially since he went out drinking with his buddies on Fri night after that takeaway. I reminded him that last week he had a 2lb loss that only recorded as 1lb so some of it will be balancing out from that, and there was the possibility that he was still a little dehydrated from the booze.... but honestly, he should take the 5lb loss result and run with it! I would!

Weigh In:

Me: STSHubby: -5lbMy total loss since Nov 2013:  38lbMore than half my target weight lost since November!!!!
Things I have lea…

Hubby's Birthday aka Skylanders Trap Team Day!

Skylanders Trap Team! *Homer Simpson style drooooooool*

We have all - me, Hubby, and the kids - been jumping up and down impatiently for Trap Team for MONTHS! The kids, especially Tom, have been watching tons of promo stuff on YouTube, and we adults (I use the term loosely) have been counting down the days since before the Summer.

Luckily for us, Trap Team Day also happens to be Hubby's birthday! So I had a good excuse a perfectly valid reason to spend an obscene amount of money on Skylanders merchandise.

For months we have been scouring the interweb looking for exclusives, best deals, "delivery on the day of release", and so on. We also bagged a wee discount from our local Game store in exchange for some Twitter promotion - social media truly is a wonderful thing and our local Game store staff are genuinely FAB.

By the end of the day we had accumulated Wii U and Wii Dark Edition games, all the available trap masters and minis, all the available new standard characters, …

Amazing Soups - Weight Watchers Recipe Reviews

This week is the Hubby's Birthday and there WILL be over indulgence. So in the run up to his special day, and in the aftermath, we are closely watching our food!

We have been trying out some of the Zero Point Soups I have discovered on the Weight Watchers website.

Curried Butternut Squash SoupRating: 4 stars

We liked this one. It smelled great and tasted good too. It takes a while to make though because I find butternut difficult to handle when it comes to the peeling and dicing, and then there is the time it takes to bake the flesh... but it's totally worth it. One to plan ahead for though.

Pumpkin, Ginger & Apple SoupRating: 3.5 stars

It's probably because I couldn't get hold of a pumpkin (this close to Halloween? I'm stunned! They'll be every where next week I bet) and used "assorted squash" from Asda instead, but this - as nice as it is - isn't our favourite. I've made it twice though and enjoyed it. I can't wait to try it with ACTUAL p…

International Babywearing Week

This is AWESOME! And I didn't even know about it until this year! International Babywearing Week!

I am a big fan of babywearing, although my journey to comfortable, workable babywearing was a slow one. With Jack and Tom I tried a variety of strap and buckle slings and they never really suited us. I gave up with them and thought that babywearing was for other people.

Then when I had Georgie my step-mum gave me a Moby cloth wrap sling that she had found at a car boot sale. It came with a book of instructions for how to tie the sling and how to fit baby in safely and comfortably. I gave it a try.

Georgie loved it.

I loved it.

I was totally sold!

So from then on when ever I went shopping, or on the school run with the older boys, or to visit friends, or anything.... I popped Georgie in the Moby Wrap. He was comfortable, warm, close to my heart and his much loved boobies (I breastfeed), he could see the world around him, and was a very very happy baby!

When I found out I was expecting…

Keeping the motivation

It can be really hard to keep motivated when you're working on a long term weight loss. How do you keep motivated?

Motivation to avoid "cheating"
If you are continuing to lose weight each week at a rate you are happy with then that will be a big boost. Seeing the results of your hard work is great. But it can also make it feel easier to "cheat" when you think "oh, I've done so well, I can afford to have a little something naughty" and I'm not about to say that you can't or shouldn't have a little treat now and then. But be careful; getting away with cheating once or twice can lead to bigger and more frequent sneaky treats. Then before you know it that great weight loss streak has come to an end. This is a trap I fall into all the time!

How we try to avoid it:
This is how I try to do it (I do fail from time to time, but I try). Choose a set day of the week when you can reward yourself for your hard work. I choose weigh in day. Once I have r…

Another post men should not read (you have been warned)

I know now for a fact that we will not be planning any more kids. This is it. We have the four children we'd always said we wanted. I'm 35 now and I always said I wanted to be done having babies by the time I was 35. We cannot afford more kids, there is no more room in our house for more kids. WE. ARE. DONE.

So now I need to make sure it stays that way...

This week I underwent one of the least pleasant experiences of my adult life! I rate it as less pleasant that getting a sweep to induce labour, less comfortable that a smear test, and less dignified than just about any other medical procedure I have ever endured... I had a mirena coil fitted.

Two ladies performed the fitting (one was training), while a third "chatted" with me to help take my mind off the fact that someone had jacked open my private parts and seemed to be peering up them while supporting a head torch and wielding odd looking medical apparatus. The phrase "you might feel some slight discomfort&qu…

Beaver's Trip to Lancaster Fire Station

This week Jack and his friends at Beaver's went to visit the local Fire Station.

I dropped Jack off at the Scout Hut with his buddies at 5:30 where they all got handed visi-vests to wear, and they all walked down to the fire station together. We parents were to collect them from the station at 7pm.

When I picked Jack and two of his friends up at the end they were all so thrilled and hyped up that it took the whole walk back to the car to get them to talk one at a time and tell me what they had been doing while they were there! The gist of it was they got a tour of the station, shown the fire engines, and then they got to use the fire hoses! This was by far the most exciting thing of the whole visit... apparently they had to blast cut-outs of firemen with water and knock them off traffic cones!

Sounds awesome!

Kind of makes me wish I was a Beaver ;-)



Facebook has changed it’s policy for posts to Facebook pages like mine. They are only showing posts to a few likers unless I pay t…