About Me

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I am a full time mummy to an amazing but tiring little toddler of 19mths. We live with faithful daddy, and our 2 cats and 1 puppy. I also work part time as a nurse, and predominately work with children with learning disabilities. I am interested in losing weight, dieting and fitness, and have managed to lose 2 stone since May 2011. I also enjoy reviewing products, especially within the children and weight loss areas.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Week 2 of the 30 day play challenge!

Well this is my review of the second week of the 30 day play challenge put on by The imagination tree and Hands on as we grow.  For more information on the challenge, or to sign up (its not to late to start) see here.

This weeks challenges were varied and interesting and this is how we got on:

Day 8. Challenge: Water Play!
This one I was holding out a lot of hope for.  It is something I have been meaning to do with mini-faithful for ages as she is a complete water baby and has started to 'help' with the washing up.  But I have never had time to set up for her.  Adding in the idea of using food dye to colour the water took it to new dimensions too.  We spent nearly an hour doing this, as she had so much fun moving the coloured water into different containers using cups and mixing the colours up to make new colours.  I must admit I did not completely follow my mission statement, as she was having so much fun I couldn't resist taking a photo or two...

Day 9. Challenge: Sensory Tub!
This one was less successful.  The plan was to make a tub full of objects from around the home, and let them explore it.  I got mini-faithful to help choose things to go in her tub, we even went looking for twigs and leaves while on the dog walk! So our box had twigs, leaves, cotton wool, rice, pasta, polystyrene balls, pipe cleaners, blocks, her odds and ends of materials, hair brush and some kitchen roll.  After collecting all our things together and placing them in her old textured play box (from when she was a baby and we did this type of play more often).  We did spend a few minutes separating the stuff into piles, but then got distracted with her books of the week, and so we spent the rest of the time reading her books.  I'm not sure whether it is because we used to do this last year, so she has got bored of it or whether its just not her 'thing' but we did still spend the time together uninterrupted.  

Day 10.  Challenge: Mixing Concoctions!
The idea with this one was to mix together vinegar and baking soda, maybe with some food dye to make magic.  Unfortunately this one happened on a day I was working, and so had only a small window on free play time, and our house has neither vinegar or baking soda in so we have been unable to do this one.  We did however do some messy play for 15minutes instead.  

Day 11. Challenge: Outdoor adventures!
This one is right up mini-faithfuls street.  She adores spending time outdoors.  So I planned to take her to the local woods for an adventure.  She did however when she worked out we were going for a walk, insist that the dog came too.  So although in my mission statement I wanted the time to be me and mini-faithful only time, on her request the dog came too, but the dog actually helped add something into our adventure! Once there, mini-faithful decided that we should have running races, which the dog always seemed to win.  Then we played follow the leader, and our leader was the dog, so we went off the paths and into the woods for a while.  We found big piles of leaves to jump in, and sticks to throw for the dog and rolled acorns down the hill.  We had a whale of a time, if not a little tiring.  

Day 12. Challenge: A field trip day!
Unfortunately do to other commitments we couldn't manage a full day, however decided to do a field trip afternoon, we went to the beach.  We usually go in the summer, but figured that there wasn't much going on in the cooler months of the year, and as its only a 15minute drive from us we went to check out what we can do in November at the beach.  Amazingly there was little in the way of the usual attractions, no donkey rides or ice cream vans, but we still managed to have some fun.  We collected stones and shells before dropping them in the sea, we did some mark making with some sticks in the sand.  We practiced walking in a straight line, walking along the sea wall.  We looked at some different types of seaweed (while faithful mummy tried to remember her A level biology work she did on seaweed) and mini-faithful realised seaweed feels 'funny' and smells!

Day 13. Challenge: Sticky Art!
We have a whole section of mini-faithfuls play room set aside for craft based activities most of which can be used in making sticky art.  So I decided to only get a small selection of everything out and see which mini-faithful used.  First off, we stuck down lots of googly eyes, then the stickers came out and we used lots from many different sheets, although we did have to name each one before it went in place.  After that we added glitter glue and normal glitter to the paper before adding the more sparkly bits onto the page.  It did take less than 15 minutes before we declared finished, and no apparently making one was enough.  But this is our finished product...

Day 14. Challenge: Act Out A Story!
Now this really called for a story rather than a book, but I use sensory books as part of my normal job, and have recently been collecting things together to make mini-faithful a sensory version of one of her favourite stories, we're going on a bear huntgloop for the mud, a bag of sticks and leaves for the forest, a mixture of polystyrene balls and white hole punch bits for the snowstorm, and a den for the cave (with one of her teddies in).  First of all we read the story normally, then acted out each of the 'scenes' using the props.  Mini-faithful loved it, she then tried doing the story with one of her dolls although mixing up the order a bit.  Before getting me to read the story again in the den. 

What we have learnt from week 2...
I have learnt I need to start doing some of these activities I have been meaning to do for ages and just haven't got round too, especially things like the water play.  I have decided that we need to buy sticky back paper to do sticking with as that would make things so much easier.  I have learnt that it doesn't matter what we do, but doing something is important. I have learnt that almost anything can be fun, and it doesn't need to be massively creative but just something fun.  
Above all, I have learnt that I love my daughter more than anything, and this time together is so very precious. 

Looking forward to the next weeks worth of ideas....

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Poppy pictures

This is or second poppy related craft for this week.  Mini-faithful adores sticking, so I thought this would make a great poppy picture for Remembrance day tomorrow.

What you need:
White card or paper
Red tissue paper
Green card
Black card
Glue stick

What we did:
First of all, I cut big circles out of the red tissue paper, small ones out of the black card and leaf shapes out of the green card.  Older children (or ones who can be trusted with scissors can help cut the shapes out, mini-faithful is not one of them)

First of all we covered one side of the green leaf with glue (mini-faithfuls favourite part)

Then stick down on the paper, before adding a small amount of glue to the base of the leaf.

Next stick down the red circle of tissue paper, before sticking and adding the black circle to the middle.

Poppy printing

Tomorrow is November 11th, Armistice day, here in the UK, and this coming Sunday is classed as Remembrance Sunday.  As poppies are the symbol of this remembrance day, I thought it would be fitting to do some poppy related crafts this week.  First up, after the success the other week of pumpkin printing, I decided to try poppy printing.

What you need:
A potato (sponges can also be used)
Red paint
Green paper (or white if you have no green paper)
Black felt tip

What we did:
First of all, I cut the potato in half then shaped it into a rough poppy shape (sort of like a figure of eight shape).
Then I poured out some red paint and let mini-faithful print the poppy shapes onto the paper.

Once dry we added black felt tip circles to the middles to complete them.

Weekly update 09/11/11

Feeling disillusioned...
The reason this is a day late, is because I have put half a pound on.
Im being to get fed up of this lark, I'm finding it harder and harder to loose weight, possibly because I'm finding it harder and harder to continue dieting.  I think I have hit my dieting brick wall. I currently struggle to not have at least one 'bad diet' day a week.
I have realised Im now 3lbs off my 3rd stone mark, and I set a target of losing that 3rd stone in August (and to of lost in by mid october, that in itself is nearly a month ago) and Im still not there.
I working my butt off (quite literally if todays class was anything to go by) at the gym, I go every day I can work it around shift patterns and childcare, sometimes even twice a day.  This week I even braved a personal training session, which I am still struggling to move my arms after.  I have to admit though on the whole I am loving going to the gym.  It just doesnt seem to be helping the weight loss, even when wearing hot pants (review to come later this week).
Anyway, after a long hard look at myself (and lots of support from some lovely friends), Im going to keep going.
This weeks challenge is a basic one.  To stick to the diet for a whole week, and see how I get on at next weeks weigh in.
Wish my luck!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

5 a day habit- week 3

Well I cant believe it is that time of the week again.  This weeks theme for our books, is moving.  Mainly ones that get mini-faithful and usually me as well, moving.  There is one exception, but we do move along when we read it and its one of mini-faithfuls first books, and I love it....

First book this week is: Heads, shoulders, knees and toes.  This book is simple, and shows you the moves to the traditional song.  Faith loves this song and the book as well.

Our second book is: Monkey and me. We love this book, we use not only does it have a lovely pictures of animals it also shows you some moves those animals make, we then spend some time making those moves round the room.

The third book this week is: Animal Boogie. I first used this book at work, and knew instantly mini-faithful would love it.  Although it does cheat as it has a CD to help you sing the words.  But its a great book for getting you moving...

The fourth book is: Giraffes cant dance! This is a lovely book, that doesnt get you moving, but is about a dancing giraffe.  This is one of my favourite books to read to mini-faithful, we have been reading this book together since she was a month old.  Its a lovely story.

The final book is: Doing the Animal Bop! This is a lovely book, with great rhymes.  It gives you actions and noises to make so you look like the animals!

On a side note, why not pop along to Rainy Day Mums blog this week (find it here) as there is a competition to win a lovely recipe book....

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Tomato Chicken and Rice

This is a recipe my mum used to make me when I still lived at home, and although mine never tastes as nice as hers (wonder if some of this is down to mother magic, and maybe not having to cook it myself!) this low fat version is still very tasty!

4 skinless chicken breasts
400g of tinned chopped tomatoes
2 stock cubes (chicken or vegetable)
Onion, diced
1 tbsp of dried mixed herbs
1 tbsp of tomato puree
1 garlic clove, crushed
200g uncooked rice

1.  Pre heat a non stick saucepan
2.  Add the chicken breasts and allow to brown on both sides, once brown add the onion and garlic and cook until they are soft.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and mixed herbs, stir before adding the one of the stock cubes in 400mls of water, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4.  Whilst the chicken and sauce is simmering cook the rice in the remaining stock cube.
5,  Once the rice is cooked, serve on the plate, before adding the chicken breast to the top and drizzling the remaining sauce over the chicken and rice.

Fat content: 3g
Calorie conent: 455 calories

Monday, 7 November 2011

One of the many firsts...

Well, today was mini-faithfuls first full (well 9-3!) day at nursery.  I thought I was going to be fine with this, we have spent months deciding whether we wanted her to go to a nursery or a childminders, then looked round serval possibles before making our final decision.  Last week, we went and had her settling in sessions, she loved it, I was happy with the staff, and I even left her there for an hour.  We had this week all planned, faithful-daddy had no meetings on, as works 5 minutes away, so could be on hand should she need it.  I was off work, so could collect her if needed.  Yet leaving her there, going back to an empty (well  nearly empty, still had the dog and cats) house was hard.
I had sit on my hands to stop me calling them every 2 minutes to check on her. Im amazed at my restraint, I called them once (in 6hrs I think thats impressive) and she was doing fine.
When I collected her, she was happy to see me, had managed to sleep for an hour (not bad for her first time there) and only took 20 minutes to get to sleep, which is a small miracle considering the weekends screaming arguments over sleep.  She ate reasonably well, she had fun, she wants to go again tomorrow (which is lucky as she is going for a long day tomorrow, 8.30-5.30!)
I have everything crossed that tomorrows day goes as well, and that maybe I find time to finish the cleaning, as well as going to the gym!