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.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Green Fingers!

Well today, we had an impromptu gardening play.  The weather was lovely and the garden did need some attention, and apparently gardening looked very exciting!
What you need:
Flower pots
Gardening gloves
Whatever gardening equipment you have
What to do:
We started off by showing her what jobs we were doing and then got her to help us.
Some ideas of what she helped us do;
She helped put the gravel into the pots and areas that needed it (we filled a flower pot with gravel for her to sort out)
She helped weed the patio (although she did prefer pulling up the grass!)
She helped brush the patio (this is a job she always likes to do, although she tends to spread the mess rather than clean it up)
She helped put the piles of weeds in the bin (although she did also try and put some in the sand and water pit)
She also liked to play with an empty flower pot, trowel and gardening gloves.
Other ideas:
We didnt have any plants that needed planting, but getting children to help prepare the area, plant and then water the plants is always a great idea.
A few weeks ago, we picked all the ripe strawberries, which she loved helping with, although none of the strawberries survived!
Watering the garden.
Also making outdoor crafts (will do blogs at some point, with some ideas)

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Messy Foam Play

This is an idea I came across in my day job, and thought it would transfer well to playing with little ones.  We loved playing with the different textures and generally making a mess.
What you need:
Shaving foam
Pasta and/or Rice
What to do:
We used  the highchair so that she was contained for the messy play!
Then put some shaving foam, and different coloured paints on her highchair tray so she could make a mess.
We also gave her some paper so she could make ‘pictures’ of her mess.
After she had been playing with the paints and foam for a while, we introduced some dried pasta and rice to introduce a different texture.
Other ideas
I follow a few blogs done by some friends of mine, one of them (rainy day mum) asked how others do messy play.  So I thought I would use this opportunity to say how we do messy play.  We use the highchair, when baking or doing small painting etc.  For larger messy play, water play being a great example, we use the kitchen floor.  Our kitchen floor is wipe clean and dark coloured tiles.  We do now have an issue with using the floor as we have a puppy, so painting projects on the floor are a bit of a no no.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Weekly update 27/07/2011

Disappointed and the dreaded creche
Well, this week I lost half a pound.  Now I realise my reasons for only losing half a pound was mainly down to eating take out and doritos at the weekend, but I was still disappointed.
I felt that I had been so very good on monday, tuesday and wednesday that to only lose half a pound was unfair.  Logical thinking has never been my strong point.
Anyway, have decided that it proves to me take outs and doritos will result in weight gain (if I hadnt been good) and to get the benefit of how good I was, I should try really really hard this week…
So I finally, having made a decision of which gym to use and the logistics of getting there to join, today I have joined the GYM… I went for a package that included a creche and exercise classes.  I find going to the gym, boring and I dont work to my full potential, I need someone to kick my butt into gear and entertain me while I exercise.  I also have found doing exercise DVDs over the last couple of weeks hard, I have to do them in the evening, which means me and faithful daddy manage about an hour of time to spend together a night, and he ends up doing all the evening household jobs.  So I needed to find somewhere to dump my little madam, while I exercise.
This all worked out lovely in my head, until a few minutes ago.  I booked her in for her first creche session next friday morning.  I then realised, as I hung up the phone, she has never been left with someone she doesnt know, or in a place she doesnt know.  EVER.  In the whole 18+ months of her life.  Im now in panic central.  What if she doesnt like it.  What if I dont like it.  How will she cope.  How will I cope.
Now this is where I need the rational side of my head to kick in and point out, the creche is OFSTED registered, its in the same building I will be in, they could contact me if need be, its only for an hour, she goes to the same building for her swimming lessons so its not completely new and different.  But its not, all I keep thinking is Im leaving her. alone. with people she doesnt know.
So this weeks challenge is to find the rational side of my brain before next friday, and hope that she does ok at creche.  Rubbish challenge I realise, but its the most important at the same time!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Tomato Risotto

Recipe of the week: 25th July 2011
1 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove crushed
100g arborio risotto rice
750ml vegetable stock
100g tomato passata
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
black pepper, and if you like salt
1. Pre heat a non stick pan and dry fry the onion and garlic until soft.  Add the rice and gradually stir in the stock and passata until all the stock has been absorbed.
2.  Add the tomatoes and season to taste and cook for a further 5 minutes.
3.  Serve, we choose to served it with sugar snap peas, but it also works well with a salad.
Calorie content 266.
Fat content 3.2g.
You can add 2 tbsp low fat fromage frais to make the risotto more creamy, although this will increase the calories and fat content.
It serves 2.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

10 things I love about you...

Then 10 things I love about my daughter…
1. The fact that when I get a cuddle, which I get a lot, she snuggles in and pats my back.
2. I get lots of kisses throughout the day, although most seem to be given to my belly button.
3. When we get home from a walk, day out, drive or in fact anytime we get home.  She says “button please” until we let her press the doorbell, then says “who’s that”
4. Whenever she (or indeed anyone else) drops anything or falls over she says “uh oh”
5. She has to say “hello” to the cats and dog when she wakes up, every time we come home from somewhere, and every time she sees them.  Then says “bye bye” to them all when we go out and “night night” when she goes for a nap or its bedtime.
6. That she dances every time she hears music, singing or whistling, and sometimes when there is no music on at all.
7. She talks and sings herself to sleep at night and nap times, and usually wakes up doing the same.
8. That she knows what she wants and wont settle till she gets it.
9. That she makes every day worthwhile, even the ones that start too early.
10. Everything.  I realise this is cheating, but I love everything!


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Weekly update 20/07/2011

Veggies anyone?

 Well today was the BIG weigh in day.
I had such nerves as had put a lot of pressure on myself to lose weight this week, and……
It paid off.
3 and a half pounds off, so hit my first stone target and became slimmer of the week.
As my ‘prize’ to myself for hitting a target Im joining the gym.  This is going to hopefully help me keep up my weight loss and my motivation to lose weight.
This weeks focus is on hitting the 5 a day, my main issue is with veggies.  I hate a lot of them and can tolerate the rest with lashings of ketchup, not so good.  So I (well me and a friend) have come up with a plan….
Add fruit into my breakfast calories.
1 snack per day is a portion of fruit.
1 veggie portion at lunch (So far my ideas include soup, salads or salad sandwiches)
2 veggie portions at dinner, to get round my fear of veggies without the lovely red sauce, Im adding them into sauce based meals, for example adding grated carrot to a spag bol, or mushrooms to a curry sauce.
Im also planning my next weight target and prize…. Next target is to get to one and a half stone weight loss.  Current ideas for prize include new exercise trousers or a rosemary conley recipe book.
Later this week I will add a new recipe of the week and Im planning on measuring myself to prove that Im losing inches as well as pounds….

Monday, 18 July 2011

Princess for the day!

After reading the princess and the pea story, I thought it might be fun to be a princess for the day, so we made crowns.
What you need:
A4 coloured card (we choose orange to look like a gold crown)
Stickers (you could also use colouring crayons or paint or anything that takes your fancy to decorate your crowns)
What to do:
Cut the paper in half.
Measure against the child’s head to ensure there is enough paper to decorate.
Cut a zig zag pattern across one of the long sides of the hat.
Allow the child to decorate how they please, we used glittery star stickers as they looked like jewels on the crown.
Once they have finished and are dry, selotape the ends together to fit around the child’s head.
Then play!
Other ideas
Make witch or wizard hats, by using a piece of A4 paper and making a cone shape of the childs head (will add a blog on this at a later date)
Its great to go through colours and shapes, while doing this activity.  Its also great for role play activities, such as sitting on a throne, riding a horse, knighting people, playing with castles.

Spicy mexican beef

Recipe of the week: 18th July 2011
Spicy Mexican Beef
400g rump steak, sliced (visible fat removed)
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green pepper, diced
200g mushrooms, sliced
2tbsp fajita spice mix
1tbsp mixed herbs
1tbsp light soy sauce
200g cherry tomatoes
100g cooked new potatoes, sliced
chilli sauce, for drizzling
1. Pre heat a non stick pan, then dry fry onion, garlic and green pepper until soft.
2. Add the beef and lightly seal, then stir in the mushrooms, spice mix, herbs and soy sauce.
3.  Toss together, then add the cherry tomatoes and potatoes and heat through.
4. Serve drizzled with chilli sauce.
Calorie content: 192 (we served ours with 55g of rice, per person, and that increases the calories to 397)
Fat content: 1.6%
It serves 4.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Weekly update 13/07/2011

Well, I had a 1 pound weight gain last week at my weigh in, so have decided my target for this week is to lose that pound and an extra half in order for me to have made it to my first stone.
To achieve this Im sticking to my 1860 calorie daily limit and have decided to concentrate on exercising this week.
This has been going well, I have only had one plate of chips since wednesday night, and have otherwise stuck to my low fat diet. Including eating my recipe of the week which was enjoyed by the whole family.
Exercise wise, Ive done well. I went swimming on thursday for 30min, did an hour exercise DVD both on friday and sunday.  I had saturday as a day off as I was working a 15hr day, so there was no time to exercise.
I have also got a friend who is going to help coach me into better health, so think with her help I might already have a focus for next week…
Weigh in is on wednesday, so will let you know how I get on.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Glitter heart hangings

Over the last couple of days we (my 18mth old and myself) have been making glitter heart hangings.  This is how we did it and what they look like…
What you need: 
A4 Coloured card
Glitter glue
Coloured thread
Hole punch
What to do:
Cut out heart shapes from the A4 card.
Allow the child to decorate the card with the glitter glue.  We decorated one half of the heart and folded them in half to make a pretty pattern.  
Allow the hearts to dry before decorating the back of the heart as you did the front.
Once both sides are dry, hole punch the top of the heart and thread through the coloured thread.  We decided to hang ours in twos, so hole punched the bottom of two of the hearts and thread the coloured thread between this hole and one of the holes in the top of the other hearts.
We hung our finished glitter hearts in the window so they can catch the light.
Other ideas
Try making different shapes to hang.
This is a great activity to discuss colours and shapes and numbers with.  We counted the amount of hearts we had made, and named the colours of the glitter and of the card.  We also talked about different shapes.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Hello and Welcome!


I have been blogging on a different site for a while now, but I have some friends on this site and the blogs look so much better, so I have decided to make the move!  I mainly write blogs on a few different subjects so thought I would introduce them here.

The thing that got me into blogging in the first place was a way to track, record and generally blog about my weight loss.  I started following Rosemary Conley in May following an epic 10 year battle with my weight.  I had tried various other forms of dieting before, but never really got anywhere, and for some reason in May I decided enough was enough.  First I tried to get some advice and help from my GP, but they were completely useless.  So I came to the conclusion, that I needed to join a slimming class, and Rosemary Conley's classes seemed to fit into my ideas the best (it includes a fitness class as well as a weigh in and chat on dieting).  I started blogging about 1 and a half months in, and its helped me keep on track so much more!  So I tend to blog on how I am doing weight loss wise, I try to include some kind of goal of the week (not weight based but on exercising or challenging my thinking) Then the following week, I report back on how I have done.  I also have a recipe of the week.  These are all low fat meals that are usually under 400 calories.

Another thing I tend to blog about is things related to my daughter, usually craft ideas or ways to entertain toddlers and children whatever the weather.  I have decided to expand this section now Im changing sites.  So Im planning on including a section on family days out (stuff we get up to on days out, where we go for days out and reviewing local attractions in relation to toddlers and young children).  I also plan on including a section on craft activities as my daughter loves craft! (I also plan on linking in with ideas from other bloggers I know or have read)  Another section on this is going to be hand and footprint art, there is so much that you can make with hand and footprints, I wanted to write down all the ones I have come across and made.  This is also a great activity whatever the age or development of the child.  Which comes to my last part of this section, which is finding fun creative activities to do with children with learning disabilities, I havent come across a lot of sites that cater for their needs, as I work with children with learning disabilities I thought I could come up with some ideas of activities which can work well for them, although can still work well with other children.

The third and final section of my blog is dedicated to reviews.  I like to review products related to things that interest me.  This mainly includes things related to children or weight loss, but I have completed and am happy to complete more reviews on other products.  If you are interested in me reviewing a product for you, then just leave your information at the bottom of this entry.