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Showing posts from December, 2014

Wishing you a Happy 2015!

So 2014 is drawing to an end. It has been an awesome year. The year that saw the completion of our (not so) little family with the birth of our Freddie, saw Georgie start nursery, Tom start school, and Jack start Beavers, and begin their adventures away from the comfort of Mummy & Daddy.

My Dad once said to me that with a child's first steps they are in fact taking their first steps away from you. HE said it with great sorrow in his voice. I say it with pride. I look at little Fred, and at each of his older brothers in turn, and I can see how they have / are / will grow from tiny dependant babies to wonderful brave and independent young boys - soon to be young men.

And while this has been the year I "finished having babies" it is also the year I "started to look after my body" as I rekindled my pre-pregnancy diet and continued my personal challenge to drop 75lb. I'm 2/3 of the way there!

Add to that the fact that we seem to all have our health (as far …

Weigh In #17 - Mid Christmas Break!

OK, so this weigh in is a little late. But we've been away for Christmas, only just got home yesterday, and I wanted my weigh in to be "normal", i.e. My scales, my house, usual time, usual circumstances etc. I didn't want to do what my Hubby did which was get on his sisters scales, fully dressed, half way through the day, with a belly full of food.... it was not a good result for him. But it was also not an accurate result! He refused to get on the scales this morning, saying he was going to "wait until weigh day on Sunday".

I am NOT waiting for the next weigh in, I am weighing in now for last Sunday.

Aaaannnnnd...... 

I have lost 3lb! That 3lb that I gained in the week before Christmas, when I was eating cake mix and loads of junk, has GONE!

I have not been following WW at all over the last 9 days since my last weigh. But our eating has been all over the place. Christmas morning was one of my Mum's famous giant breakfasts, and Christmas Dinner at my Sister…

Freddie's First Christmas

It's Freddie's First Christmas!

And how cute does he look...?!

It's not been easy finding presents for this lad. Being the 4th boy born in 7 years means that you already have everything that a 5 month old baby could ever possibly want or need! But we managed to get a few things wrapped up for him. Mostly clothes and things to nibble now that he's showing signs of being ready to eat bits of things. Mostly I have just put money aside for when he is older!

It was great to break out that Baby Santa Suit that all of his brothers have worn for their First Christmases. I admit I am a bit sad that it is it's last outing for this family.

But anyway, before I start getting all tearful about no-more-babies, let's talk Christmas! We've had a great time! I took the kids to my Mum's a day early this year (to avoid some major stress) and then went home on XMas Eve to fetch the Hubs from work and bring him back to his boys. The had a good Christmas Eve, putting out a m…

Review: "Sent With A Loving Kiss" Personalised Artisan Chocolates

Now this is my mind of review!

Sent With A Loving Kiss make delicious and beautiful chocolates, and not only that, they package them in adorable gift tins. They have sent me the Christmas Baubles And More gift tin from their Christmas Range, it sells for £23.99 and is currently on a 3 for 2 offer (still available for delivery by Christmas if ordered by 2pm 23rd Dec 2014 within the UK).

If you are anything like me - or my husband, my mum, most of my in-laws, and most people I know actually - then you will appreciate a nice Tin. Remember when you used to get chocolates in tins instead of plastic tubs? Tins were the ultimate in recycling. I don't know ANYONE who binned a tin! They get reused as cake tins, craft tins, keepsake tins... All sorts of things!

Well how's this: Not only do Sent With A Loving Kiss send you your artisan chocolates in a tin... it's a PERSONALISED TIN! 

You can wish a couple a very merry first Christmas together, or a first christmas with baby, or decla…

Review: Gro-hush Baby Calmer

We are big fans of The Gro Company already, and we know they made good quality products for babies; we still have and use the Gro Egg and Gro Bags that we bought for Jack 6+ years ago and have used them for all four of our babies. So when I was offered the chance to review the Gro-hush Baby Calmer I was keen to give it a go with Freddie.

The Gro-hush uses white noise to help sooth Baby. Did you ever see that episode of Peppa Pig where it takes noise to help Baby Alexander sleep? ("The Noisy Night") Well it works a bit like that - only better! And there's no need to worry about your baby sleeping "too much" and missing out on feeds or other essential needs (like a nappy change) because it only soothes a baby without an actual pressing need.

Research into White Noise: They acknowledge that white noises such as the noise of hair dryers and vacuum cleaners is known to settle infants and promote sleep. They state that white noise acts by masking other external remo…

Weight In #16

Oooh dear... Whoops... and other such noises of a "I made a bit of a gaff of this" nature.

It's been a FAT week this week. I have baked 5 large Sticky Date Cakes, which each make two loaf sized cakes... so 10 in all. 2 have been given away already, 6 are allocated at gifts, and the remaining two.... well they were never sliced in two OR given away. They stayed as a whole cake (briefly) and have been almost completely scoffed by us. And by us I mostly mean me. These Sticky Date Cakes are 162pp per whole cake, or 81pp per gift sized cake: 10pp per slice. Total food heaven.... and absolute diet hell. I only make them at Christmas, and not even every year!

I have also made 6 mason jars full of chocolate bark (something I saw on Pinterest that looked easy, pretty, and nice). I haven't pointed the bark as I am not intending to eat any of that myself. But I'm such a picker and nibbler that I wound up munching on chocolate as I went along. I pointed that. I might have been…

Giggles Christmas Party

We very nearly didn't go to Giggles Christmas Party.... the kids have NOT been on Santa's good list since school kicked out. In fact, if it had been me that paid for the tickets instead of their Nana they would not have gone.... But I hate to see other people's money wasted.

For £10 per kiddy you get 2 hours of play, a cooked meal (pizza & chips or hotdog & chips, although you could arrange something else if you needed to), party games, entry to the raffle, and a visit to Santa with TWO presents. I think that's a pretty good deal to be honest! Although with 3 kids to pay for (Freddie didn't take part, just cuddled with me) to mounts up.

The boys couldn't wait to hit the soft play - Giggles is one if their favorite places locally anyway. As we went in we were told that there were baubles hidden throughout the play area; find one and you got a prize! Well Jack went and found at least 3! The prizes were mini bags of Haribo! He shared them with his brother…

We're "on a break"

This diet is on a break for Christmas - because as much as I want to lose weight, I want a gluttonous Christmas more! Awful, isn't it?! Hahaha!

I want a break from the diet because I want to overindulge without lying or cheating, because I know that banning myself from all the treats and goodies I want at Christmas will mean that I will lose interest in my diet all together, give up, quit, break up with Weight Watchers!!! It's happened to me before. Instead I am making an informed decision to take a break over the festive period. With an official start and end date. And I fully expect my weight to get all "Rachel" about it and remind me of every little foodie indiscretion I make in that time.

Jokes aside, I am still making the usual healthy meals while we're at home - cereal for breakfast, zero point soup for lunch, and balanced dinners, but I am allowing myself indulgences such as; biscuits and mince pies the kids have made at school and at Scouts; the cakes and b…

School Christmas Show

My Mum came with me to see the boys in the show, and we took Georgie and Fred with us. Hubby is going tomorrow so that they have someone in the audience both days. I have been worried about this show for the last few weeks. With Jack being in trouble there was a very strong chance that he wasn't going to get to be part of it! But fortunately he managed to pull himself together enough to get to be a narrator "No. 3 of 6".

Tom had landed the roll of one of the Wise Men (or King, if you prefer), just like Jack did in his first year. He was very proud of this! He has been practicing his "camel walk" for ages, and singing the shows songs day and night. He's such a little showman (read Diva) and I imagine he will get nice parts in school shows as he gets older - if he doesn't get attacks of shyness which he does from time to time. He would certainly do well in the choir if he felt to shy to take on a big part.

The show was a good one, much the same as in pre…

Review: toucanBox - Kids crafts in a box

The fun people over at toucanBox.com have sent my boys one of their crafty boxes to sample. Jack got the honour of getting to open the box after his brothers went to bed. We didn't quite grasp what was going on to start with.... but the further into the box Jack explored the more excited he (and me, too) got excited!



We have two projects in our box, it's a Grande Box worth £16.95. The Super Boxes have 4 projects and cost £19.95. Two projects was just right for us, as Jack & Tom are both in the suggested age range. Georgie is a bit young - and although he did join in he's too little to claim a project for him self.

Our first project: Building a catapult! Perfect for my boys!

How much fun....!?
We saved the castle till last. It looked like so much fun! And I figured that once the castle was made, and all the characters were coloured in and decorated with glitter glue they would want to just get on and play. I was right!

So when I asked the kids what they thought of touc…

Weigh In #15

I need more motivation to get outside in winter.... Or motivation to do exercise inside. Did you catch my post on Serotonin earlier this week? Well this weeks weigh in has proven my point to myself. I've recorded a "Stay The Same" this week, although my weight has reduced a little and my BMI is a little lower, it wasn't enough to register on the Wii Fit which only works in whole pounds. I have given myself a 1/2 lb drop on my Weight Watchers tracker based on the chart I have on the Wii Fit which did show about that much of a drop, but not on anything else. 
I have nibbled on silly things, allowed myself to make bad choices, and wallowed in my laziness, all because the weather was bad and I didn't feel like taking Baby out in it. I could have used the Wii Fit at home... but I didn't. I could have made better food choices... but I didn't. I know better than to have coffee and cake at Costa TWICE in one week... but I did it anyway. And I really didn't nee…

The School Christmas Fair

It's becoming an expensive business, these school events. But when the money does actually go to the school I don't really mind. It is a GOOD school and the kids love going. This year I took an extra wodge of cash as Georgie is up for spending money too now. And I knew that Jack & Tom both wanted to visit the Secrets Room and buy me and Daddy a present each, that they would want to visit Santa, and that Jack was likely to attempt to bankrupt me once he found his ways to the tombolas!

So, first off they harassed me for £2 each for the Secrets room. Fortunately Georgie doesn't fully understand this yet - I'm hoping it'll wait a couple of years until he is in school himself. We've donated to the Secrets Room and I suspect we might be getting some of the same stuff back... They queue was too long though so I got to pocket that for later and wound up giving them £2 each to spend on the stalls. Me, Hubby, and the two younger boys went and found a table and a f…

Serotonin.... My ally against winter weight gain.

Right now I would sell a kidney for a kilo of milk chocolate, but I know that what I am really lacking is serotonin.

What is it? Well I didn't do brilliantly at science in school, and worse at psychology at college, but just because I'm not gifted doesn't mean I'm not interested in some areas. I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder which basically means I get depressed in winter when I don't as much daylight as my little brain needs to keep on an even keel (there's more to it that that, you can check out SADA for more). I used to suffer very badly from it, taking time of work, staying in bed for days on end only moving to eat and use the toilet. I was on medication from October till February year after year. And every year I gained weight which never came off!

Since having the kids I have had to find a way of dealing with it that didn't involve medication. My Dad bought me a light box some years ago and I still have and use that when required. But I have f…

Tom's 1st Jujitsu Grading

It's that time of year again! Jack and Tom have been preparing for their grading since September. Jack is used to the whole process now, but for Tom it was the first time. This time we were taking Jack's friend Rory with us - he goes to a different school but does jujitsu with the same club.

Tom was trying for his first belt which is white. Rory was going for orange, and Jack was going for blue.

As usual parents can't stay to watch, so after dropping the three of them off I went for a wander to get some steps in for my own fitness (and a coffee and mince pie) with Freddie. In the freezing cold and bitter wind of Morecambe in December! Lucky old Hubby and Georgie stayed at home in the warm! Freddie didn't rate it at all - if he wasn't still 100% a boobie baby I wouldn't have dragged him out in it and left him home in the warm too.

When I got back to the school and queued up to get in and watch the belts be awarded I wound up chatting with another mum. We got on…

Weigh In #14

I've been ill this week. It was only a matter of time with most of the kids being poorly last week. I thought I had managed to fend off the germs... but no. They got me GOOD! I lost the whole of Wednesday. Me and baby Fred stayed in bed pretty much all day. I only surfaced while Hubby went on the school runs as we were expecting deliveries. Although it could have been much worse; my poor walking buddy has mumps and it totally out of commission for the whole week and more. On reflection one day in bed with "man flu" and the rest of the week with a stuffed up head and almost no voice seems like nothing! So the upshot of this is that I did very little in the way of exercise this week. I made one trip into town. I didn't use the Wii Fit. It was all a bit poor really. I did eat into my "Weekly" points, but didn't go over them!

I did spend 3-4 hours wandering round a shopping centre on Monday (where I bought some size 12 jeans that fit!!!) but was pushing Fred…

Recipe Review: Hairy Bikers liver & bacon with onions & gravy

I need a bit of comfort food at this time of year. I really love this recipe from The Hairy Bikers: Liver and bacon with onions and gravy and freely admit that I have whipped this from the BBC Food website.

I follow the recipe (but sometimes chuck some mushrooms in too) and split it four ways at 11 pro points per serving. It's a classic, and even my 6 year old likes liver cooked like this - the 4 & 2 year olds need a little extra ketchup to convince them.


The Hairy Bikers’ traditional liver and bacon makes a simple supper packed full of flavour and bursting with vitamins and minerals Ingredients450g/1lb lambs’ liver, sliced and fully thawed if frozen 25g/1oz butter 2 tbsp sunflower oil 4 tbsp plain flouronion, halved lengthways and sliced 125g/4½oz rindless streaky bacon rashers, each cut into 4–5 pieces 1 beef stock cube 500ml/18fl oz just-boiled water 1–2 tsp tomato ketchup salt and freshly ground black pepper Preparation methodRinse the liver in a colander under cold water and drain …

Review: I Am Lost - Wrist bands and lables

I think most parents have a "lost toy" story to share. I know I have! And I also know that the more kids you have the more stuff you have to lose. My lot seem to be especially good at losing things. Only a few weeks ago Jack went on a camp with Beavers and managed to lose an entire days worth of clothes without having even worn them! With my boys taking up so many clubs and activities that require changing clothes and carrying various things around with them the probability of losing things is ramped up almost daily!

It doesn't help that my kids have all wound up with names that are very common popular at the moment. So simply scrawling their names on labels is rarely enough, even our surname is pretty commonplace!

So what can be done? 

The creators of "I Am Lost" seem to have hit the nail on the head here. Their system allows people who find a lost item to key in a number on the "I A Lost" app or directly on their website. You are given a number when…