Saturday, 23 August 2014
You have to negotiate around obstacles that they have set up around the house such as belt trip wires dressing gown tie door handle traps.
The seat is never down and cleaning the toilet is now a 3x daily occurrence.
You sigh when people ask if you are going to try and make your next one pink.
You sigh even deeper when people say the old adage 'a son is a son till he takes a wife'.
You know all the names of all the superheroes and you know the difference between James, Henry and Thomas. James is a miserable git.
Your fridge is never full, even though you fill it daily.
Your heart melts when you are given a posy of daisies.
Nobody can ever speak to you on the phone during the hours of 7am - 7pm due to the overwhelming noise of screaming, shouting and whining.
You know how to correctly pronounce Ninjago and Bakugan.
The back seat of the car is littered with odd socks, crumbs and jam like sticky marks.
You threaten having to go to hospital daily when negotiating with them to get down from terrifying heights.
Talk about poo and farts replaces polite dinner table conversation.
You are not fazed when you walk into your livingroom and your butt naked boy is using his winky as a sword.
Everything can be a sword. (see above)
You have stopped the car randomly at the side of the road to look at horses and construction vehicles.
You have rediscovered nature. You now know more about living things and science than you did when you were in school.
Your life is complete and you are starting to think that pink is overrated.
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
|Just look at those beautiful eyes|
|The Head Tilt|
|The Riddick Look|
Thursday, 17 July 2014
|Was £14 - Now £5|
Saturday, 5 July 2014
Firstly, it isn't a diet.
The 'lose xxx lbs in xxx days' can suggest that it is just another diet craze but if you look at it like that you are unlikely to succeed as diets, in my opinion, don't work or certainly, they don't work for me. I have been on a diet since I was 16 and all I have achieved is to gain weight. Juicing for me is about getting the best quality nutrition into my body is the most efficient way. Since starting juicing I have had periods of weight loss, stability and gain. However, I have felt great. My moods have stabilised, I have more energy, I sleep better, my skin is clearer, I am free from allergies, my digestive problems disappear completely and I feel in control around food. It isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle choice. Jason Vale talks more about why juicing is the bees knees here.
You don't have to replace all food with juice
The detox programmes such as Jason Vale's 5lbs in 5 days or Natural Juice Junkie's 'Juice Reboot' are designed to give your body a kick start. It is a way to reset your system and detox your body from sugar, caffeine and the numerous nasties contained in processed food. It isn't necessary to do a programme like this although there are many benefits. Having a young family, I find it difficult to do a total food replacement programme as I am still cooking and sitting with the family at meal times. The first 3 days are the worst as your mind is urging you to fail. We are in effect, addicted to sugar in the same way a drug user or alcoholic is on a biological and mental level so you do have to initially fight through that. As I can't avoid food, it is easier for me to only replace breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. I still have my dinner with my family, I just try to make it as plant based and as healthy as I can (stir fry, salads etc). My eldest son is almost 4 and is very aware of what I eat. I don't want him to see me not eating so that is another reason I don't often do total food replacement.
You can involve your kids
I want to be a role model for my children and as this isn't 'another faddy diet' there is no reason not to involve him. Making the juice is so much fun and he loves helping me squish all the fruit and veg down the chute. This is him having his green juice before our 5k Race for Life last week. Since I have started juicing his tastes have really expanded. He has always been a good eater, loves his fruit but not keen on salad veg. He now eats cucumber, lettuce, celery and pineapple. All foods he would have turned his nose up at before. He calls the juices Elf Juice (green) Santa juice (red) and reindeer juice (orange).
You don't need an expensive juicer
By the best juicer you can afford but don't worry if you can only buy the £30 one from Argos. I started with this cheap and cheerful Cookworks juicer and can honestly say it has been fine. The quality of the juice isn't as great, it can be a bit foamy and you do need to shake it up once it's juice to get rid of the layers. You don't get as much juice using a cheap juicer and that is my biggest gripe. I am just about to buy a new juicer and I am upgrading to an Optimum 400 as I have proven to myself that this is something I will continue to do regularly.
My Typical Day
8am - start the day with a ginger shot (sometimes I make a batch of these and freeze them in ice cube trays)
8.10am - Green Juice
10.30am - Herbal Tea
12 noon - Juice (usually another green juice)
3.30pm - Juice (usually a red/orange juice)
5.30 - Family Dinner
7pm - Herbal Tea
Sometimes if I am hungry through the day or later in the evening I will have a piece of fruit, veggie sticks with houmous or a Raw bar such as these .
If I stick to this routine and don't eat rubbish in between I typically lose about 3lbs a week (6lbs if I juice for dinner too) however, as I said before, weight loss isn't really my focus.
I bought the '5lbs in 5 days' app which I loved as it had video demos! I didn't follow the plan but I made all the recipes then picked the ones I liked the best. I can't stand beetroot and couldn't take any of the beetroot recipes from this plan. I am aware of all the health benefits of beetroot and I wanted to find a way to drink it so I kept experimenting and looking around juicing sites. I then came across 'The Red One' on the Natural Juice Junkie sight and can honestly say I really enjoyed it! You do have to just look around and find different recipes to try. My go to guys are Jason Vale (The Juice Master) and Neil Martin (Natural Juice Junkie) and their recipes are really my juicing safety blankets but I have found a few good Facebook pages with hints and tips.
You can make your juice the night before
I don't tend to but you can. I find I am much quicker at juicing now and it takes me about 20mins to juice 3 juices in the morning and clean up. The important thing you need to know about storing juices is that they should be kept in airtight containers (filled right to the top) and in a cool dark place, ideally the fridge. If you intend on freezing them, leave a gap at the top to allow expansion when frozen. Juice made in a centrifugal type juicer can be kept in the fridge should be used with 12 - 24 hours max. Juice made in the masticating juicers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Neil Martin has great info about storing juices that you can read here
It doesn't need to be expensive
If you buy a masticating juicer, several Kilner jars for storing your juice and shop for all your fruit and veg in the more expensive supermarkets then yes, it can be pretty costly. However, if you buy a cheaper juicer (to begin with anyway), use old rinsed out pasta sauce jars for storage and insulated flasks (I bought mine from Asda at 99p) and shop in places like markets, Aldi or Lidl you will drastically cut the cost of juicing. My weekly juicing cost for fruit and veg is about £30. Natural Juice Junkie even created a Budget Juice Reboot which uses less expensive and more readily available ingredients.
Just move yourself. That's my mantra of the moment. I am trying to move more. I am steadily increasing my exercise. My body hasn't been the same since the birth of my youngest son. I am finding it really difficult to get back into exercise and for the first time in my life I don't want to go to the classes I loved before because I feel really self concious about my current physical condition (nothing to do with weight). This is really my next hurdle.
It's not the same as Juice Plus
I've been hearing the words 'Juice Plus' being thrown around. This is not the same thing. There are no pills or powders here. This is real food. I don't claim to know much about Juice Plus other than this is not it. I want something real that is not overly processed. "But juicing them myself is hard" I hear you cry. It's not hard. Beating Cancer is hard, child birth is hard, living with a 3 year old is hard. Juicing fruit and vegetables and god forbid, cleaning the juicer for 10 mins is not hard. Man up and get on with it.
Go forth and Juice x
Thursday, 3 July 2014
Another day, another review of delicious summer chocolates by Hotel Chocolat. Blogging life is so hard!
I was impressed with the quality and quirkiness of these chocolates when I reviewed their Easter range and I have to see I am just as impressed with their range of summer themed chocolates. I tried out the Summer Fusions H-Box which contains edible luxury such as Key Lime Pie, Strawberry Cheesecake, Summer Pudding, Kiwi Smoothie and Blackcurrant Bombe. As you can see from the picture, they not only taste delicious but they are also beautifully presented. Each chocolate is a delight to all the senses. This would be a perfect addition to a summer garden party or an after meal treat if you are hosting dinner. I am so pleased with the quality and presentation of these chocolates that I have ordered some for a friend who has a birthday coming up.
I have recently embarked on a gluten free diet due to health problems and I am pleased to tell you that I can eat all but two of the chocolates in this pack as apart from the Shortcake Bite and Key Lime Pie, the rest are Gluten Free. There is a mixture of white, milk and dark chocolate so if you are dairy free you can eat the dark ones worry free!
There are 14 delicious chocolates in the box (Summer Cooler, Frappuccino, Summer Pudding, Pineapple and Coconut, Key Lime Pie, Peanut and Banana, Strawberry Cheesecake, Lavender Caramel, Kiwi Smoothie, Peach and Hazelnut Gratin, Blackcurrant Bombe, Burnt Caramel, Choc Fudge Sundae, Shortbread Bite). The price is £13 which might seem a bit steep for a box of chocolates but for a special occasion like a birthday, fancy dinner party or just a special treat for yourself, they are worth the price.
I also sampled delicious Lemon Truffles (my personal favourite) which are silky soft truffles with a lemon curd flavour inside. Truly scrumptious. A true bargain at £3.85. Perfect for a little thank you gift or a treat for someone special.
Disclaimer: I received both products to review but all opinions are completely my own.
Monday, 2 June 2014
I have been on a contract phone since I left school (which was a wee while ago, ahem). Recently I've been thinking about changing my contract to try and reduce my monthly outgoings. Being on Maternity Leave is a drain in money terms so any savings are a bonus.
Strangely, after looking at Pay as you go on Three deals, a few days later I was asked to review a pay as you go mobile phone with a 3 sim card.
Nokia Lumia 520 was what I was sent. As a handset it's not an overly expensive one. You can buy one from around £80 and for the money I think it's a great little phone. The phone I received was in Cyan colour making it fashionable looking, a look that would appeal to a younger person too. It works with a Windows phone 8 operating system which took me a while to adjust to but it's very simple to navigate. It has all the functionality you would expect from a budget smartphone.
The main use for my phone (other than texting and phonecalls) is to take pictures. This worried me slightly as I wouldn't want to compromise on the photo quality too much. I was pleasantly surprised. It's not to the same standard as the most recent iPhone or Galaxy handset but with 5 mega pixel it takes good photos and you can download great photo editing apps.
I really liked the little touches such as being able to link your lock screen photo to your Facebook albums so it will show you a different screen saver every time you pick up your phone. I also like the radio mix option which creates a personalised station based on your favourite artists.
As for the contract, I was most impressed. For a £15 top up you get
* All you can eat data
* 300 mins
* Lasts for 30 days.
This type of price plan is perfect for me. I don't text or call even near that amount and mostly use wifi or 3g for messages through WhatsApp. I will be switching to Pay as you go on Three once my contract is up (which is roughly the same deal but a steep £38 a month!!).
I currently use a Galaxy S4 so I may have to compromise on the quality of handset or pay more than I would with a contract but after seeing what I can get for less money, I am pleasantly surprised.
I received a handset to review and a PAYG sim card but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Sunday, 25 May 2014
To be honest, I didn't blog about doing this because I really didn't think I would do it. Like pretty much everything else in my life, I thought I would start it and be passionate about it for a few weeks only for my enthusiasm to wane and eventually give it up a few weeks in. But hey! I surprised myself. Tomorrow is my Day 100 and guess what? I am pretty happy.
The point of 100 happy days was not as some Facebook trolls suggest, a means of bragging or attention seeking but a way to point out the little things in life that make me happy everyday. What I have learned in the last 100 days is pretty profound. I have realised who makes me happy, where my joy lies. I have learned about my priorities in life. Looking back on my phone photos each night was an interesting process. Weeding out the dross in my mind and replacing it with an image that encapsulates a moment of happiness has provided me with a more positive outlook on life.
When my friend Angela posted on Facebook about the project I was a bit sceptical about whether this would a) last and b) make any difference to my mood. The space of time between giving birth to Jamie and starting the project was a difficult time. Not because of any mental health issue this time (thankfully) but just because I was feeling bogged down in that new mum territory where all I do is lose sleep, change nappies, feed children, clean up mess, discipline my 3 year old, shout, swear, shout some more, feel guilty, beat myself up a bit about being useless, feed them again, clean again, feel undervalued by my husband who comes in from work to the chaotic mess that I have tried so hard to prevent all day.
I had lost sight of the light. One of the most prominent lessons I have learned is that even on the darkest days there is always light. You might need to try a bit harder and look a bit closer to see it but it's there on the horizon. I look into the eyes of my children, the warmth of touch from my husband, the sunset or rise, the ways the clouds move, the unconditional love of a pet, the acceptance of family, the closeness of friends, the escapism of music, the taste of a favourite food and the wonder of life as a child would see it.
That is where my joy lies.
I am happy. I love and I am loved.
Here's to the next 100 days . . .
Check out my Instagram feed for my 100 Days of Happy