Friday, 26 July 2013

Hey You!

I'm having a Wimpy - we'll be grilling, frying and singing (!) come on over to us. Or something like that. I couldn't find any 1970's Wimpy adverts just one from 1987. What of all this Wimpy talk I hear you ask? Well I have neglected the blog - what with the lovely weather et al - I fear blogging is a winter sport and when your blog is about dieting, its best to be up and at them, rather than sitting on lardy arse typing about it.

If you are of a certain age - you would have gone to a party here long before McDonalds. And you didn't have party games I pretty sure you ate, got a balloon and went home - pic ebay
So this is my catch up disguised amongst the Wimpy talk. More of which in a moment.  Gripping stuff I tell thee.

So last week I lost -2lbs and I haven't even logged it onto my weight loss chart nor did I keep up with my diary. Shame on me. I'm a bit slap dash with that especially during these summer days.  I was out on the bike from Sunday to Sunday (21st July) 4 time. Although only one of those was my 10 miler the others were 5 miles with the children.  I have not, repeat have not, been on my bike for nearly a whole week.  I felt a bit flu like Saturday and pretty sweaty, wheezy, coughy and generally bit under the weather all this week. Last night I went to bed at 6.30pm and feel much better for it. I still have a little cough but I'm hoping I can get back on the bike by Sunday. I've missed it and have found this to be most inconvenient. My husband thinks I may be allergic to the guinea pigs even though they are outside or it could be the London car fumes I inhale as I do my bike ride (I have mild asthma so not ideal) or maybe I've just got a cold. I always say I'm never ill but I'm sure I've had something similar this year so can't claim that in a hurry anymore.  I normally shrug off things within a couple of days.  So that is partly why I haven't blogged the other is I find it difficult in this hot weather especially when I want to engage with family life. Blogging is a hobby - nothing more nothing less. I do it when I have time. And tonight is that time as the hubster is out selling garden plaques at a charity event.

My lovely earrings - picture my own!

It was also our 4th wedding anniversary on Wednesday. My husband is too good on the gift front - its become a bit annoying as I can never top them. The traditionalists say the 4th is flowers/fruit. Although a card I received said it was 'linen'. Anyhow, I decided on a blueberry plant because 1) he likes plants and stuff 2) it flowers 3) the fruit is produced in July - our anniversary and 4) he's a bugger to buy for. I received some beautiful drop topaz earrings as the stone represents 4 years and just for bonus points its also my birthstone. See what I mean!! We celebrated by taking the car in for its MOT (old romantics) it passed. To celebrate we had a Thai curry on one of the hottest days of the year courtesy of Sainsbury's.  We figured that we are going on holiday and Vegas beckons.  And I am currently keeping the British economy a float at the moment.

Seeing as I didn't feel 100%, I decided to take the kids into a small shopping parade to get their school shoes. Not content with my purse being well and truly fleeced (you know who you are - Clarkes), on the spur of the moment I decided to treat the kids to a Wimpy. It was a small establishment, looking all charming like, in amongst the throngs of coffee shops and my nan used to take me there way back when. Nostalgia works every time.  Plus it must be a fine dining experience if the chairs are fixed to the floor - what is with that? They haven't changed since I was a child.  Having said this, the menu was refreshing plain and simple - not like my KFC experience last holidays (I don't frequent these establishments that much as the menus do my head in).  A pity I didn't look at the prices as I may have re-thought my choice of a chicken salad - £6.99!! I kid you not.  It was a tiny piece of breaded chicken sliced over some iceberg lettuce, onions and a few cucumbers - can't remember if there was a tomato - no dressing nothing. Still - good for the diet.  The kids had nuggets and chips and my daughter declared to the waitress that "these are the best chips ever - better than McDonalds's". They do eat off proper china plates and what not and buddy did have a poo whilst we were there so quickly brushed off the £24 bill for lunch.


I then purchased some Birkenstock sandals in red from a little boutique (where I relayed the Wimpy price story cue "OMG!" comments from the shop owner). I figured that seeing as I'd spent £24 an extra £40 on top of the £60 for school shoes wouldn't matter.  Work that logic out if you can but don't tell my husband who, incidentally, needs to sell some of these plaques to fund my irrational behaviour.  I then trotted to WHSmith another nostalgic shop and parted with £20 for 3 books for the kids.  Not content with that I picked up a "few bits" from Marks and Spencer's - and I'm not even an M&S bitch like my friend who happily lets them fleece her for the same clothes she could buy in Asda made from the same sweat shop in China (you know who you are!).  And having been used to shopping in Aldi - M&S are the slowest checkout people in the world EVER!!  Speed it up god damm it!

My friend was astounded I could part with this amount of money on this little quaint parade of shops - well, my friends, it can be done! Never let a small parade deter a financial beating like a big retail outlet would.

In other mindless tittle tattle, I purchased some (a lot of purchases have been occurring) a pair of Zaggora hot pants.  I'm not putting in the link as I am not quite at the blogging pinnacle to receive a free pair to review. But if you are reading send me some. Ta. Yes, I succumbed to all the glowing reviews of people dropping 2 dress sizes by wearing this garment. They cost £45 and are made out of material which I can only describe as a wet suit.  They squelch a bit when you walk and are meant to make you sweat and burn more calories when you work out. As soon as I am back on the bike I'll let you know if they are 'magic' like my jeans or if Zaggora have an excellent PR machine and are planting good reviews to us desperados.

And finally, I have managed to persuade a blogger to not buy a trampoline for her under five today. Now, I know lots of people have them but I can't stand them. I think they are dangerous - they are in my grapes (need to be cut in half), roller blind cord and cherry tomatoes danger department. Why the fuss about them? Surely they are okay with the netting?  Well I don't think so.  They first caught my horror when my Auntie had a party and all the kids, naturally, were bouncing (without cage) on her rather large trampoline. My son was about 3 and daughter 18months. As they hopped on up on this bouncy guaranteed trip to A&E - I saw a prominent sticker which said "WARNING RISK OF PARALYSATION". It occurred to me, what parent in their right mind would trot into ToysRus and say "mmm, yes I'll have that toy over there - yup the one with says my child could be paralysed as that looks like fun". Exactly. Then a quick google confirmed my fears that they are really dangerous to children.

And on that happy note, I wish you all a wonderful weekend and I will report back next week on the Zaggora 'magic' hot pants.....

p.s my daughter won the school's got talent competition - she did animal impersonations and had a hard boiled egg drop from her bum. Very proud to show boat that one!




Wednesday, 17 July 2013

School Show Boating

It is that time of year people. The end of another school year - no more school runs, alarm clocks, book bags, newsletters, sports days, multicultural days, assemblies or discos - school's nearly out for summer! Yeeeharrrr! Alas it is not all good news, it is also the time for the end of year show boating. What's that I hear you say? You know, the "I'm so proud of X, Y & Z because...blah blah blah " status updates.  In particular, school report showboating.  Taking it to a different level this is.

Recently I came across someone who had decided to upload a picture of their child's school report. I kid you not. Not content with this we got snip bits verbatim and an in depth analysis of their specific achievements. Firstly can we take a moment to STOP and think about these actions. Someone has taken a picture, uploaded it and then re-typed pieces of their child's school report.

Why would anyone feel the need to do this? Do they honestly think anyone cares about how well their child has done at school? Do they care how well my child has done? No, of course not and I wouldn't expect them too. I would put them in the same category as the mother that opens the book bag within the school grounds and in a loud voice proclaims "oh you've got the gold certificate - well done another one to the collection" whilst surveying the playground to see if anyone is looking. No one gives a shit! Isn't this more about the mother saying "look at me, I'm a great mother please congratulate me"?

 Should we bring back these along with the workhouse?!  Picture google pics


Now, before you say well you must be a bitter and twisted old cow who has thick idiots as children otherwise you, too, would be proud of their achievements.  No not at all. I could easily show boat should I so desire as naturally (the reckon intelligence is from the mother's side to which my husband doubles over when I tell him this) my eldest is at high school level whilst still being in year 4.  My daughter is bringing up the brains rear with above average in some subjects and average (shock horror!) in others. My youngest is also similar to my son but then I did eat a lot of fish whilst pregnant - not to mention cheese balls (hence the weight loss blog) so he could actually be at the bottom of the class. Who knows?  Who cares?!

The difference being I don't measure my own self-worth on my children's achievements nor am I self-absorbed (although I do have a blog so the jury may be out on that one).  I have never commented to the other mums in my son's year group about where he is in the league tables.  I think its a bit crass and I wouldn't want anyone to think I was show boating nor would I want to make another mum feel uncomfortable. There are children who have learning difficulties, who do struggle and mother's shoving it in their faces is just bloody ignorant. Its a shame reports couldn't be done on these types of mother's.  I think it could go something like this:-

"Is totally insensitive to other people around them. They appear to be self-absorbed and have no shame .  It is evident to me and to others that they feel they underachieved during their own childhood. As a consequence of this, they are living out their unfilled dreams via their children" Moving forward I would suggest they didn't put their child in every club going, turn off the pressure cooker to achieve, achieve, achieve and perhaps take a course in good manners (why teach your children these when clearly you are lacking some?), modesty and decorum. Failure to do so WILL have severe consequences in the teenage years"

I'd also like to point out that I really don't think teachers write bad primary school reports. Even if a child was disruptive etc I'm pretty confident it would have a positive spin.  Not only that, have people ever heard of standard paragraphs and 'cut and paste'?! I'm pretty confident teachers have standard patter to put into reports based on abilities. I did chuckle one year when one mum said the head had put how they would miss chatting to their daughter during school. I had the exact same patter on my daughter's report. It was just worded in such a way you thought it only applied to your child! Bit like my grandad would say to me "you're my favorite granddaughter" it was only after he passed away that my cousin said "oh he used to say that to me!"

So be proud - yes but maybe not so loud. Wouldn't it be great if all mum's got an A + in good manners, social skills, humbleness, decorum and modesty?! 


Monday, 15 July 2013

Monday Chit Chat

I've gone a bit AWOL I know. Its the sun and the build up to the summer holidays - its insane!! Last week was just full on and what with working on our new business venture and fitting in bike rides etc - I have had no time to blog properly.  I have moved up 90 odd places in the tots100 ranking which is good - so instead of just about scraping into the Top500 I am well and truly within it. Result!

As I won't be blogging that much in August and we are due to go away - I have a great anonymous guest post for you which I think you may like.  Strangely enough the take-up from bloggers has been absent with regard to this. I suppose they'd think why would I want to write a post I don't put my name to and advertise my blog? Well, I think if your blog is a bit tame, a bit full of reviews and sponsored posts then this is ideal. A back to basics post - writing about anything you like without the fear of upsetting any would be PR agency. If you are interested then just message me.  The names will be changed to protect the innocent!

So why have I been so busy?  Well Monday was sports day (my children both came last - runners they are not although my son says he can now beat all the runners in his class he just wasn't trying before). It was extremely hot and whilst the parents were all aloud to stay for a picnic afterwards - buddy had certainly had enough by 12.30 pm as had I.  I did get my sorry arse on the bike that evening though and cycled 10 miles.

On Tuesday, I was back at hospital to get a steroid injection into my lip to reduced a small bump (see previous post on flat mole gate) then did quick weekly shop, picked up son from pre-school and later took my daughter to brownies.

This was before the photographer came - I think I needed the RIPPstone lower down. My arms are improving though!
I sound like Craig David now (remember that song), on Wednesday I had arranged to go on a bike ride with a fellow mum who is super fit and runs. I have a lot of respect for runners as its proper hard core. I did have to wait for her at times and I was quite chuffed when she said "god, you're really fit" to which I replied "I know, I just don't have the body to prove it!" Then I had a photo shoot with the husband for our business venture RIPPstones. My husband has made pet memorials with children in mind really.  I pinged out lots of emails and have have various bits of interest. We had a free write up in Pets Gazette, Funeral Times and very shortly will be in The Daily Mirror!  I tried to place the RIPPstone in front of my belly and I am praying I look nice. I didn't want to say to the guy can I have a look - you know like you do when friends take a pic.

On Thursday, an old friend was over from Hong Kong so I quickly went over to say hello and catch up (you can't really though in the space of 2 hours) and then rushed back home to then rush back out (this is all with buddy in tow) to see my two perform at a multicultural day in the college a few doors down. It was all a bit hectic and sweaty and not very well organised but at least the week was closing in.

On Friday, I had my hair cut (buddy had his last day and party at pre-school - cue gifts and cards) and later I helped out at the summer disco on the tattoos whilst keeping one eye on buddy - this took me up to 6.15pm.

On Saturday, I dropped my son at his friends house for a birthday day and just so I could have an hour to myself I went on a 10 mile bike ride (in the scorching heat) to Sainsbury's and picked up some shopping and came home.

So I hope you can understand why my blogging has been lacking. Thankfully this week is slightly calmer although not massively!

On the diet front - I've managed to do some excellent workouts and a few people have remarked that I look much better and go in and out more. I'm waiting for the best comment that anyone can give me "you look like you've lost half your face!" That will be the pinnacle. Having said that, I haven't lost anything these last 2 weeks - maybe I lost 1lb I can't remember. To be honest I keep forgetting to get on the scales - something unheard of before now.  I will try and keep my food diary better this week and keep off the pimms!

Until next time......

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Am I A Grass?

A grassy arse. Am I? Let me tell you a little story that happened a few weeks ago. Whilst walking to collect my son from pre-school I saw a red car, in the garage forecourt, reverse up a kerb and crash into a pub wall doing a sizable mount of damage. I looked around and there was no one about. Zilch. There was no one running out of the garage screaming like a banshee "my car!" "my car!" and a young lad who was waiting at the bus stop next to the wall was so underwhelmed by it all he didn't even look up from his iphone.

I just stopped raised my hands in a "what the heck just happened?" kind of way and peered into the car. It was empty. No driver. No passenger. No robber. No nothing! The car was a tip I might add. I did think that needs a bloody darn good clean out by anyone's standard. There was a pink car seat in the front and baby doll in the foot well. I peered into the back seat just to check a child wasn't hiding after realising the error of its way playing with a handbrake.

Me aka Columbo in Kamikaze Car Gate  - pic ebay

I took a picture with my phone - a banged to rights picture - which had the number plate and the point of impact. This was just to prove what I had just witnessed and not a figment of my imagination. I then proceeded to collect my son. Naturally I relayed the story to the mum's waiting in line. Next thing the crash car arrives at the pre-school. A rather burly tattooed mum arrived saying "oh my god, my car has just crashed into the pub wall" I said "yeah I know I saw it" She then surveyed the damage of her car and remarked that her car wasn't too bad but "you should see the pub wall" followed by "I suppose I better tell them" Erm you don't say. Then she started to come up with some cock and bull story of how the handbrake can't be working as "I put the handbrake on" I suspect not you dick.

I glanced all Columbo like at her car and thought mmmm clearly the handbrake does work as you've just parked your shit heap and its not rolling back now is it? Plus, I had quickly pieced the offending evidence and came to the conclusion that she was running late to pick her child up from pre-school, kamikazed into the garage for some petrol and omitted to put the handbrake on.  She could have killed someone (the wall is enclosing a children's play area) and it was a good job that was the only thing hit by her piss poor driving ability. My ex used to shout out "where did you get your licence from? A Christmas cracker?" I digress.

Anyhow, when I got home and seeing as I don't get out much and this is probably an 8 out of 10 on exciting incidents in my day range, I told the hubster and the guy (T) that works for him. After their eyes had stopped glazing over T says "oh I know the owner of that pub."

To cut a long story short 3 weeks pass and the kamikaze mum had, unsurprisingly, failed to go into the pub and say "you know that wall that used to be upright, yeah well I flattened it" Naturally the owners were quite pissed off about said wall and T said they were scrawling through the cctv footage from the garage.

At that point, I though sod it, she's done wrong and people like that probably moan about immigrants and the like when in real terms they're what's wrong with this country. Selfish fuckers! I printed out the banged to rights photo from my phone and handed it over.  They now have the date of the accident and will have a lot less scrawling to do.

So am I a grass? Who am I to grass the mum from pre-school? Is it any of my business?  Should I have handed over the photo? Why did I feel a bit guilty about doing it?

Why should I even be asking myself these questions!? There is a right way and a wrong way is there not? Ultimately she walked away from the scene of an accident, was quite chuffed her car was fairly okay and just merrily drove home and forgot all about it.  She didn't exactly hide the fact that she had taken out the pub wall when she announced it to all the mums. So I grassed her up. She had 3 weeks to come clean and perhaps if T didn't know the owner I may never have gone into the pub. 

Naturally the pub owner was very pleased with the photo and made his job much easier to sort out the insurance etc. I doubt very much anything more than a ticking off and a claim on the insurance for pre-school mum - that's if she had insurance.  I have yet to be accosted at pre-school although I'd be quite happy to tell her the tale - you know me not one to shy away from confrontation!

So are you a grass like me?!

Until next time....which will be in the next 24 hours as I have been lacking in the update front what with the sunny weather and ridiculous busy week leading up to the summer hols.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

WHAM BAM!

A few weeks ago I received a little brochure through the post on BAM performance clothing. The garments are made from bamboo - hence the name and it looked kind of funky.  In addition, I liked the story of the chap who started the company - David Gordon, who founded this range in 2006 and has slowly built the business up from his garage.  I have a lot of respect for the self-employed/entrepreneur.

My husband is self-employed and we are embarking on a new business venture (affordable pet memorials for children to personalise) and whilst it is exciting, it is a lot of hard work.  The hardest thing is to get your product to sell without bankrupting yourself in the process. We are shortly going to be featured in the Daily Mirror (for free!) in their biz section.  I digress. I really did like the product and wasn't just after a freebie. I wanted to help spread the word.

So, without an ounce of shame, I emailed the company to ask whether or not I could have a couple of items to review.  As you know, I don't do many reviews unless I think its relevant to my blog. I certainly was tired of my usual workout get up (which, incidentally, happens to be Pineapple leggings which are mostly frayed from all the use). To my delight they said yes and sent me the following items.

BAM T-shirt - picture their website http://www.bambooclothing.co.uk/

It is so soft and of a good thick quality - like lycra - but softer.  I was a bit dubious as to whether or not my 36G boobs would be squeeze into a size 16 top but to my delight the 16 was plenty big enough and the length also covered my bum. Dare I say it, I might have got away with a size 14. So well done BAM for making great looking performance wear for the larger lady who is ultimately trying to exercise their way into the smaller sizes.

Yoga wide leg pants 

I loved these. Again, they were so soft and fitted perfectly in size and in length (I'm 5ft 5.5 - and yes the .5 makes all the difference!). Its made me want to dig out my Pilates DVD.  They also do a range of leggings which I will certainly be looking to get for my workouts.  I would love to see a cycling range and even a pregnancy range. I think you could have a lot of fun with a 'wham bam' type of pregnancy logo and I certainly would have worn the yoga pants whilst pregnant. Maybe this is a range they could consider.

I loved the products so much I have just purchased this in the sale (reduced from £40 to £20). It is a fabulous colour and I think the word BAM sums up my blog (in your face, no sitting on the fence) and makes you just want to get on and work out - no excuses!



I really hope BAM performance clothing makes its way into the main stream stores like Debenhams. In the meantime, I will most certainly be buying from their on-line store. 

I was sent two products, free of charge, to review on The 1970's Diet. I liked the product so much I purchased the jumper as seen above. 








Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Tittle Tattle Update

I went AWOL last week - sorry about that. The weather was nice and I was out on my bike and swimming. I did 3 x bike rides and 1 x swimming (60 lengths). I lost 1lb last week but didn't see anything off the scales yesterday although today I was lighter but I'm taking Monday's reading. My food diary was lacking last week - I didn't record everyday. In addition, on Thursday me and the hubster got very excited about our decision to book a holiday. This was a spur of the moment decision (the best ones) as we didn't plan on going away this year.  But we figured this is what life's all about and we have (sob) cancelled our SKY subscription. I could no longer justify the amount we pay every month just for television! As it turns out we can get everything - our phone, internet and television (albeit not the films - sob again) for less than half the price we were currently paying.

I did do a bit of research on holidays and quickly realised that I am stuck in a £300 time warp. In my day I could go away, for a week, with my friend for £300 as standard.  Even with a family I thought you could go to Lanzarote or somewhere for a quick blast of sunshine for £1,000. WRONG!  I looked at Croatia (somewhere I've always fancied) and it was about £3,500 for a week with the kids.  I also realised that going to France is a bloody cheap holiday! You can get a crossing on the Eurotunnel for £300 return for the car with bikes etc.  Holiday homes are relatively inexpensive when you compare it to a weeks package holiday and you have the freedom to roam. So this year we are going to Southern Burgundy. Last year we were by the coast and it was hot but also windy. This year we are in land with lakes, man made beaches and cycling. Perfect. I may have even persuaded Mr 1970 to hire a bicycle.

We did celebrate by cracking open (on a Thursday night no less) a bottle of sparking rose (!) accompanied by some cheese savouries and promptly got drunk. The following day we also had a few glasses and a bbq on Saturday.  Needless to say we are both reining it in as hubster has a slight belly. Pah ha ha!

I also started to look at the 'things to do' option in the holidays. And when I added it up - it did seem just as expensive to stay at home. Well I exaggerate but it isn't cheap is it? I am a great one for having free days out and that children shouldn't be constantly entertained but you do have do something. Even with the two week holiday the kids are having a refresher course of swimming lessons (which I'll probably regret as anyone who knows me well knows my thoughts on swimming lessons), a day of football/multisports and my son's track racing.

Let us not forget the guinea pigs - I have to get a travel cage for their holiday to either M's or my sisters. Then there's a new summer wardrobe for my daughter, sun tan lotion, school shoes etc etc. Why can't the lead up to the holidays be calm and relaxing?!

So, that's my news in brief. My clothes feel loser and I have dropped 2 inches off my waist. If I can drop a stone by the time I go away I'll be happy.

Until next time...