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, 30 October 2011

Halloween Themed Week

I have been thinking about having a theme for each week (or two!) in the faithful household..
So all our craft, our 5 a day book habit, etc relating to a theme.
If you hadnt guessed this weeks theme was halloween.
We started our 5 a day book habit, with books relating to halloween, see here.
We also made witches hats, see here and pumpkin masks, see here, for fancy dress play.
We made spiders out of yoghurt pots, see here, for imaginative play.
We made pumpkin prints, see here and handprint ghosts, see here, for messy play.
We also made spider cakes for a halloween party we went to, see here.

Next weeks theme is going to be bonfire night and fireworks.  So lots of craft, pictures and reading about bonfire night and fireworks.

Handprint Ghosts

This is my last craft for halloween (I promise!).  Its really easy to do and babies can do this as well as toddlers and older children.

What you need:
Paper (we used orange and black to make a more dramatic effect)
White paint
Silver glitter glue
Googly eyes

What we did:
We covered mini faithful's hands in white paint, then made handprints on the paper.

Once these handprints have dried, we added silver glitter glue to the edges of the handprints, which mini faithful then 'rubbed in' round the bottom of the ghosts.

After this had dried we added the googly eyes to finish our ghost handprints.

Pumpkin masks

This halloween based craft, is great fun and easy to do.

What you need:
Paper plates
Orange paint (we mixed red and yellow paint to make orange)
Green tissue paper
Black card
Black ribbon or wool
Glue stick

What we did:
First of all we painted one side of the plate orange, and leave to dry.

While waiting for the plate to dry, we teared up some green tissue paper.

Once dry, we put some glue over the top area of the plate, before sticking lots of the torn up green tissue paper to the glued area.

We then cut out a mouth shape out of the black card and stick to the bottom half of the plate.
After doing all that sticking we measured where mini-faithful's eyes were on the mask and cut holes in the plate so she could see out, as well as two holes at either side of the plate, before threading the ribbon or wool through the holes to secure the mask to mini-faithful.
Then we let her loose to play with her mask, which ended up going on the cats and dog as well as faithful mummy, daddy and herself!

Pumpkin printing

Yet another halloween craft!
We used a potato cut into circle shapes as our printer, but circle sponges and even heels of your feet can make the prints!

What you need:
Potato cut into a circle shape (or an other circle object that you dont mind getting covered in paint!)
Orange paint (we mixed yellow and red to make ours)
Green glitter glue
Black felt tip pen

What we did: 
First of all we covered our potato with the orange paint, before stamping it across the paper (we used a mixture of white and black paper)


After we made all our prints, mini faithful had fun painting the potato and lots of paper!

Once they were dry we used the black felt tip pen to draw on the eyes and mouths.

Then added green glitter for the leaves.

These also make great halloween banners, just cut them out of the paper and make small holes at the edges before stringing them together to make the banner.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Spider cakes

We thought although these are bad for the diet, we would try and make these yummy spider cakes for a halloween party.

What we need:
200g dark chocolate
30g unsalted butter
30g golden syrup
75g rice crispies
Packet of mini chocolate fingers
Chocolate icing
Packet of mini smarties

What we did:
First we broke up the chocolate into a saucepan, then added the butter and syrup before heating on the stove.


Once the chocolate had melted we added in the rice crispies and mixed well.

Then we placed the mixture into 12 cake cases and added the mini fingers as the spiders legs (we only added 4 legs per spider as there was no more room for more!) and place in the fridge for at least 2hrs.

Once they are completely hard take them out of the cases and turn over.  Add a small amount of chocolate icing to secure 2 mini smarties as eyes.

Then enjoy...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Yoghurt pot spiders

Another halloween based craft.
We were originally going to make egg box spiders, but we didnt eat the eggs in time, so we used yoghurt pots instead.  I think it made them easier to make...

What you need: 
Empty small yoghurt pot
Black paint
Black pipe cleaners (2 per spider cut into 4 pieces each)
Sticky tape
Googly eyes
Glue sticks

What we did:
After washing out the yoghurt pot, (mini faithful enjoyed 'helping' with this part of the craft almost as much as the rest!) we made sure it was dry before painting the whole of the outside (including the bottom) black.

Next we left it to dry.  Once it was dry, we stuck 4 pieces of pipe cleaner to the inside of the yoghurt pot using sticky tape, before doing this to the opposite side of the pot.  Once we had done that we used a glue stick to add two googly eyes.

Mini faithful had lots of fun playing with 'incy' the spider including helping incy up and down the water spout, before our little incy got played with by the cats... We will be making more of these at a later date, as she enjoyed making them and then playing with them so much...

Witches hat!

This is one of our many crafts to do with halloween.  Its really easy to do and doesnt involve a lot of mess...

What you need:
Black card
Glitter glue
Sticky tape

What to do:
The first thing we did was a decorate the card with stickers, we choose purple and silver stars to decorate the card with.

We then decorated the rest of the card with silver glitter glue.  

Finally once mini faithful had finished decorating the card, and it was dry, I twisted it into a hat shape and secured with sticky tape. 

Now let the fun begin! 

The 5 books a day habit- halloween.

I have always been a big fan of reading, and was very keen to get mini faithful into it from a young age too (I even started to read to her before she was born!).  This, it seems, has paid off.  Now she loves books and we have 2 bookshelves full to the brim of her own books.  She also has learnt (well as much as a toddler can do) to treat books with respect.  She tries to turn pages and lift flaps etc gently and we are even getting to the stage now of putting books back, so they can be kept for another day.
Anyway a lovely friend of mine, over at rainy day mum, suggested that I look at the imagination tree's 5 books a day project. So I did, and thought this was a great idea.
So this is our first 5 books a day post, and to be topical to this weeks theme (more on that later) this weeks are all (loosely) to do with halloween.
This first story is Room on the broom.  I first came across this book at work, and I loved reading it to the children there, so just had to get it for mini faithful to read, and this was my excuse!  Its possibly a bit long, but it does rhyme and repeat...

Our second choice is Funny Bones.  This is one I remember from my own childhood and adored reading.  I can actually remember some of the lines from it off the top of my head after all this time! We have had this book for a while, but it hasnt been read in a while, so its time to get it out again and have another read.

The third book of the week is Gruffalo.  This is another favourite of ours, and has been read time and time again.  Its got fab rhymes and lovely pictures.  Its also a firm favourite for the bedtime story slot.

The fourth book is slightly more of a fun easy read, its Thats not my monster.  We love the textures and the fact mini faithful can get involved in this book.  The whole collection of them is great.

And last but not least on this weeks list is Dora's Halloween Adventure.  Dora is a firm favourite in this house, due to our links to Spain, and her books/DVDs etc having some basic spanish in them.  Its a great way of teaching mini faithful some of the language without much effort.  

So thats our first list done.  Im very excited about the books we have chosen and also looking forward to telling you about our next book list next week.  

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Weekly update 26/10/11

Blaming the hot pants!

Well this week I have put 1lb on.  Its not a lot, and Im blaming it on being the first time I have worn my hotpants (will be reviewing them after I have finished trialling them) to the weigh in class (although this might be a cheeky prospect as it possibly has more to do with the 2 take aways and the meal out I had this week) its my excuse and Im sticking to it.
I have done my membership to my new gym this week and go to my first exercise class tomorrow am (eek) so Im hoping that will help with next weeks weight loss.
I have also got a dinner out planned for this week, I have decided to try and be slightly restrained (last week I was not) so my plan is to choose either no starter, a healthy main meal and allow myself a pudding or an unhealthy main meal and no starter or pudding or a healthy (ish) starter and main.  This will hopefully reduce the risk of added pounds.
Another big challenge, is to get through halloween without eating a house worth of treats.  This challenge starts on friday at mini faithful's halloween party, then getting through having treats in the house and not eat them myself.  Then finding a way of getting rid of any excess without eating them...
Im also planning on using the hotpants (mentioned above) for at least 30min per day.  So on my 5 days exercise wearing them for that, and then the exercise free days (due to nasty night shifts, and giving my body a aerobic break) I will wear them for the dog walks (which are between 30-45min long)


Well, as a fairly new blog I like to get all the help in making my way in the blogging world.  I recently noticed a post by BritMums about a mentoring scheme.  This is where newbie bloggers like myself get hooked up with more experienced bloggers, who offer advice and support on an number of things including bloggers content and blog design.  For more information on the scheme please click here.

I thought this was a great idea for me to do and signed up for it, and earlier this week with a couple of fellow newbies got hooked up with my mentor, the lovely Hayley.  Her blog is great, it can be found here, and is all about life with two children.  Its well worth following.  
I will keep you updated with the changes I make to my blog as well as how the mentoring programme goes on...

Monday, 24 October 2011

My top 5 toys.

This is from Kate's blog (katetakes5).  Basically, its a list of your top 5 (or your childrens top 5) toys of all time.  She is then going to compile them into the top 10 toys as voted by parent bloggers.
So this is mine (well mini faithful's list of toys)

1. Happyland

At the moment in the faithful household, these are our absolute favourite toys.  We currently like to place all the people in the caravan, drive the caravan round the room, then move them all into different parts of the windmill farm.  We also make note of the different people ("girl, mummy" "solider") their colours ("orange" - one with orange hair, "purple" - one in purple dress) and what they are doing ("walking" "dinner time") etc.  It is the first thing she plays with in the morning.
2. Books
We spend most of the day reading books, we have two bookcases full and then some usually scattered across the floor.  It has got to the stage that I know most of the words to Tabby McTat, any from a large number of Topsy and Tim, We are going on a bear hunt and Time to Rhyme.  Not that I have a problem with this, Im very happy that she is turning into a bookworm like her mum, but I wish we had more variety, particularly when it comes to bedtime books.  Having said this, they are always on our lists for christmas and birthdays.

3. Dolls and anything related to dolls.
This is a fairly new one, but boy are we now obsessed.  We see a doll's buggy, and no matter who's it is and whether they are playing with it or not we have to have it and play with it NOW.  The other day I caught her putting a dolly on a chair and ramming banana in her mouth.  We also have to 'bath' them and let them watch 'beebies' (on their own chair, usually the one I was trying to sit in).  Although it is a new obsession I have no doubt that its going to be around for a while (much to Daddy Faithful's disgust).
4. Dressing up
This is something she has been doing since she was quite small.  As soon as she could roll (yes before crawling) she would roll to a pile of washing and play with it all.  Her favourites at that time were socks and ties.  Currently its hats, bags, and scarfs.  We recently got her a cycle helmet fitted, she wouldnt take it off, the guy fitting it was amazed, apparently no other child wants to put one on let alone not take it back off.  We also have 'discussions' when we go out about the lack of hat.  We have to wear a sun hat, even when its raining.  Although she does also accept wooly hats.  We have a huge basket full of dressing up clothes (mainly funny hats, and bags, but also outfits and scarfs) also doesnt stop there, she will dress up the dog too.  

5. Bricks
We like to stack them, sort them into colours, make them into musical instruments, place them into bags etc.  We talk about their colours and shapes and count them.  They may seem boring to you and me, but to mini faithful they are great, they also are not too bad on mine and daddy faithful's wallet. So everyone is happy.
So thats what mini faithful enjoys playing with, what about you? Have a think, make a list and link it up to Kate's list and then find out what the final top ten is...

Quarn Chilli and Rice

Recipe of the week: 24th October 2011
First off apologies for not doing one of these for a while.  With being ill then being away things have got on top of me so this has taken a backseat.  But this week they are back!!
This is a lovely recipe that combines my all time favourite chilli recipe (Gordon Ramsays, if you were wondering) and a healthy (for both the wallet and the diet) one from Rosemary Conley's magazine.

Quarn mince 200g
Red onion, diced
3 Carrots, grated
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
Vegetable stock cube
400g Chopped Tomatoes (tinned)
Tin of Red kidney beans
100g Mushrooms, chopped
1 Red chilli
1 tbsp Ground cumin
1tsp Paprika

1. Dry fry mince, with the spices for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the onion, carrot and garlic, until the onion is soft.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well, simmer for 30 minutes (adding more vegetable stock if needed)

Serves 4.
Calorie content 255.
Fat content 4.

We served ours with rice, but please remember this will alter the calorie and fat content. This can also be made with beef mince, but again, remember this will change the calorie and fat content.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Weekly update 19/10/11

Shocking week.
Well, I havent felt very motivated this week, and have been at my old tricks of eating chocolate or anything naughty when nobody is looking, so mid week to try and find my motivation from behind the sofa, I went clothes shopping.
I thought it might help me to see how far I have to go before a size 12 would fit.  So off I went and picked up a size 12 pair of trousers, from one of my usual shops.
I can do them up, granted they were tight, and I suspect would cut of my blood supply if I sat down, but to do them up is a big bonus.  To get them over my bum and able to skim my thighs is amazing.  This worked as an amazing motivation boost.  So back on the band wagon I went, and then I lost.... 4lbs this week.  Never have I been so shocked. I nearly fell of the scales.
I think the lesson I have learnt this week, is even if you have had a bad start to your week, getting back on the band wagon can mean you can reverse the damage in time.
This weeks challenge: To kick start my exercise routines again.  Since being ill I have found it hard to find my motivation to exercise. This week its going to change.  Im no longer ill enough or injured enough to have any excuse not to exercise.  I have also found a great groupon deal so Im joining a different gym with better classes and closer to work in the hope the motivation to exercise returns.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Weekly update 12/10/11

Oh dear.  2lb on this week.
Now I thought this would happen, but Im, again, not feeling bad about it.  I had a lovely time away and have noticed how much my attitude to food has changed.  Yes I ate some cake, on a couple of occasions.  Yes I didnt always eat the right food at dinner (think burgers and chips or pancake house) but I did always have a good healthy breakfast and one other meal that day.  So, for example, the day we arrived I had a naughty lunch, but then had a jacket potato and beans for dinner.  The next day was good at breakfast and lunch but went out for dinner.  This was a big change from the old me, who would of eaten everything under the sun because it was there...
I also hired a bike, and went on bike rides every day as well as trying hulahoop-a-cise.  I had so much fun at hula hooping I have bought one for home! It really worked my abs.
So yes I have gained, but overall Im proud of myself.
Next weeks goal is to of lost what I have gained, in the hope of soon hitting that 3 stone mark.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Weekly update 05/10/11

Deadline week.
My plan was to of hit my 3 stone weight loss by this week.
I havent.
But instead of getting down/upset and depressed Im just accepting that it hasnt happened (possibly not being helped by being so ill) and Im moving on knowing I will hit that deadline at some point.  Im still hopeful to hit my size 12 by 14th November.
This is a very new feeling for me.  I dont usually make goals, simply because if I dont meet them I go very badly off the rails.  This goes with life in general, as well as with dieting.  But somehow I have managed to change my mind set and Im able to accept that and move on.
New challenge for this week.
My friend is supporting my weight loss and offering me lots of helpful advice and motivation see her blog here.  She had a post recently on how to handle holidays.  Im off to centre parcs for the weekend, and my challenge is to try and follow the advice she lays out in her post.  I am also still finding exercise hard, so still taking it slightly easy...