Monday, 24 February 2014

A Quickie

As I think another episode of House of Cards is on the cards tonight. Neflix is such a wonderful thing. If you haven't got it I highly recommend it. Its cheap and has a wealth of movies etc and sticks two fingers up at SKY. I have got over the 2 day mourning period I had when we cancelled our contract with them. We had the lot - movies, sports, multi-room and HD. The full monty which also came with the full monty price of £80 per month just for telly. Funnily enough they phoned recently to say we could come back, full package, for just £20 a month for a year. Didn't want to know when we left but how they come a crawling back. Well sorry SKY - Netflix is the way forward. 

Anyhow, back to the weight loss and I have to say  thank you Heinz as I've dropped 3lbs - was 4lbs earlier in the week but birthday cake (see previous post) and general picking on Sunday meant I put a little dent into the fat stores. Anyhow, that's awesome for a half term. In fact, I can't remember that ever happening can you? I find it incredibly depressing that I can walk 5 miles (10,000 steps) within my own house. My fitbit statistics tell me how 'very active' I've been on these days and generally it is '0' minutes. I'm still wearing the thing though and if it doesn't vibrate (oh er) to let me know I've completed my steps I do get up even more.

I took the kids to see The Lego Movie and the park and we have a lovely half term. They are due back tomorrow (inset day) so I did all my chores and the weekly shop in the evening which means, in theory, I could be back on my bike tomorrow!!! However, I have to wait in for some courier (its third attempt) to take a enamel baby bath with feet (you know the old fashioned style) my husband sold on ebay. We would have arranged delivery for £20 but the woman wanted to save all of £4 to arrange it herself and its just been a serious of cock ups.  So, in a nutshell, I have to stay in. I may have to do my pilates or new Wii dance (yes there is one called Wii dance 2014). But I am exercising if it bloody kills me.

Talking of my weekly shop - Aldi is a dark place to go on a Monday evening. Ordinarily I go on a Tuesday but the last two weeks I've gone on a Monday night. Everything looks different - the shelves aren't as stocked and I come away with a list of things I have to get and the people are all a bit strange too. Its like something from Tales of the Unexpected (remember that?) on ITV or was it LWT I don't know. Strange goings on happen on a Monday night at Aldi. Its not overly busy and I noticed people who couldn't pick up their feet!! At first I thought it was just this rather large lady who had ballet pumps (oh the irony of it) who was incapable of actually lifting her foot off the floor. Not in a nasty way, she was so large she was struggling to walk. So, I disregarded her shuffling but then I heard it again - turned around and a lady with no such weight impediment was doing the same.  "PICK YOUR FEET UP!!" I was screaming in my head. My mum used to say that to me and now it irritates me in the same way and maybe my daughter will shout at her daughter and say the same thing. I digress. So now I have a real shuffler and then I heard another and another. That was 3 legitimate feet shufflers who were incapable (and with no physical reason as far as I could see) of lifting up their feet in the traditional manner. Summer holidays with flip flops I grant you - February in Aldi no. Just no.

Finally here are some pictures of that cake... and of the cake pops that whilst tasted lovely were not my finest hour on the decoration front!
Furby death!

When cake pops go bad!!! Should have just sprinkled them - easy to make but faffy little buggers!
See you soon...ohhhh I'm now ranked 287 out of 10,000 bloggers - get me!! I've also been nominated in various categories in the Mad Blogs although would like School Days as the amount of blogs in that are small which means less competition #clutchingatstraws

p.s if you are one of the first 5 people to read any of my blog posts than I must apologise (although its too late as they've been and gone) - I tend to just hit the 'publish' button and then go through again and spot more typos etc. Of course, if you arrive at 50 then you're more or less at the standard (low) of my writing and such like.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Furby Birthday Cake

Hello, hello.  Well the diet has been going very well this week and its half term - well I never. Exercise not so good - no work out since my last blog post.  I took the kids to the park today and have completed my fitbit steps but haven't broken out in a sweat even though have been up and down like a yo-yo. Sadly, that doesn't count.

Anyhow, I have completed the Furby cake for my daughter's birthday and party on Sunday. So I thought I'd do my obligatory how to guide. Not that you'll ever make one and, in fact, you can buy a version in Asda.  So you see there is actually no need to do this.

Furby Cake by Asda

As its half term and I didn't want to be making this cake late into the evening - I made the ears, feet and face yesterday after tea-time. 

Oh, forgot to say I'd also baked 4 x chocolate cakes and popped them into the freezer - this makes it easy to shape and is perfectly fine - the taste will still be the same

Here they are all stacked up with butter cream. I used 750g of icing sugar and 250g butter with some milk and vanilla essence. This did the cakes and the 'crumb coating' below. Essentially you cover a cake with the butter cream to lock in the crumbs and fill in the gaps etc.

As you know I'm a tad slap dash when it comes to my cake creations - I don't tend to make things properly to scale - I would if I didn't have the kids around and had the inclination but I don't! This was quite a fluke as when I turned it around the back looked better than the front which I used.

I actually like him naked with his crumb coat. What do you think?  I put cocktail sticks in the ears to held with the sticking. I must remember to take them out when it comes to cutting it up otherwise I'll be strung up by angry parents. You could also shape ears using rice chocolate krispies and freeze which works quite well for this type of thing. 

Now I had to use a lot of my purple food colouring (the good stuff which is the paste) - I probably could have used a bit more to make it darker but I was conscious of the kids going wild at the party.  Also the real purple (on the actual Furby) has specks of a pinky red but as long as it looks like a Furby that's all that matters.  I used the piping nozzle which is know as the grass one - it was a bit too wiggly for my liking but out of all the nozzles it was the best one for the job. The amount of butter cream and icing I used was enormous!! My kitchen aid did me proud.

To give him a bit more definition I sprinkled him with purple glitter which, naturally, I had kicking around the cupboard. As you do. Structurally he should be shorter, in fact, I could have cut a third from the bottom to make him the right size for a Furby but that would mean less cake and who wants that?!

Until next time.... where I show you how to make a right mess of cake pops! 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Soup Dragon

That's me at the mo! I'm on a rather strict regime since Sunday. I didn't lose any weight on Monday and drastic action needed to be taken. I have lost all my Christmas weight - 7lbs to be precise. But this isn't good enough and I can't stand the thought of another summer squeezing into the same old clothes. My friend happened to mention buying some jeans in Topshop the other day - ahh those were the days. In fact, I still have a pair I wore 10 years ago festering in a drawer marked 'glory days' - that is I hope they're still there and haven't self destructed or just simply walked away having come to the realisation that they will never skim over my thighs ever again.  Or will they? In fact, that's my next goal for the Top Shop jeans to make a re-appearance by the 3rd year anniversary of my blog.

Typed in 'soup dragon' and this is what came up! I didn't realise there was one in the 1970's tv show The Clangers - pic ebay.  He looks a darn sight more cheery than I do at the moment! Pic ebay
So, by Sunday I had a fair idea (given the nominal amount of exercise - even less than 10,000 steps a day and chestgate) that the scales would remain the same. Oh and by the way, my husband says I've started snoring - I think it has lessened a bit now after my cold has gone but still. The shame, oh the shame of it. Type snoring into google and guarantee it will say fat bastards snore.

So the sun made an appearance on Sunday and that was it. I decided to put on my Zaggora wear (I don't get paid to mention them by the way, I only got the free bits to review) for maximum sweat affect and armed with my Ipod I bid a latersssssss to the kids and husband and exited the building.  I needed to get out. So I walked purposely up the hilly estate which ends with a killer of a climb and back again.  It felt pretty, pretty good afterwards.

I have ridden up this hill on my bike before now - there is no let up and my chest always feels like its going to explode even when walking.  I've also walked up this hill whilst pushing a buggy with a heavy baby inside (my baby not just anyone's). It is unforgiving but you really do have a Rocky moment when you reach the top! 

I also came up with the soup idea. For two weeks, I'll have a tin of soup (400g and heinz) with a small piece of bread for my evening meal.  I like soup. We had lots of soup in the 1970's and to be honest I'm also fed up with cooking meals that the kids turn their noses up most days of the week. For instance, one week I went into full on casserole mode.  For Christmas, you may remember, I got that lovely casserole dish that you cook on the hob and then whack in the oven. My husband loved the dishes but the kids took one look and it was like pulling teeth trying to get them to eat it. I am pretty sure, as adults, they will never eat casseroles because mum made lots of them.  Bit like I won't eat liver and bacon because my mum cooked the life out of the liver and whacked gravy on it - urgh.  So, given that its half term, the husband is proper northern and thinks a culinary delight is a curry in a tin - soup it is.  Its actually quite refreshing not to have to think about what am I cooking tonight and it does save on washing up.  

Only thing is I am very hungry!!! Embrace the hunger I've often said and I don't mind being hungry but today I've been a right old dragon it has to be said.  A soup dragon. I'm sure this a temporary adjustment and after a week I'll be fine. I've worked out (using my fitness pal ) that I'm still eating about 1400 calories in total during the day. Which is what I should be eating to lose weight.  Anyhow, its making it easy to focus and watch the calorie intake. So watch this space.

In other news, whilst at the shops the other day. I say this...

its a packet of....crumble!! I though blimey nan's and granny's the world over are turning in their graves aren't they?! Mind you I did see a dumpling mix and I've never been able to master the art of dumpling making so I may just have to re-visit this isle in the supermarket. 

Talking of shops - I've had to update my rant on charity shops (see it here). I happened to see a wicker basket (Fortnum and Mason no less) in their shop display. Yesterday, I phoned up and asked how much it was to which I was told it was not for sale - although it was no longer masquerading as a picnic table in the shop window display.  What is wrong with charity shops?!! For goodness sake you're meant to sell the items members of the public donate to you - don't cherry pick the items and use them for your little displays. If someone wants to buy something sell it to them!! I popped in today and this hamper is HUGE and its just full of all their little tat - respect the Fortnum and Mason. Seriously, I would have happily given them £30 for this fine wicker basket. It breaks my heart!! You'll be pleased to know that I simply walked out the shop all sad like and did not create a wicker basket scene. 

One purchase I have managed to make is the Richard Burton Diaries. I wanted this for Christmas but it never materialised so I ordered it this week. I do love a biography so I do - I didn't realise he was one of 13 children and that his mother died when he was 2. She died after giving birth to her 13th child aged just 44. A fascinating read already.

Finally, its half term which means we are off to see The Lego Movie tomorrow, friends are coming around Thursday, mental soft play on Friday and the small matter of making a Furby cake for my daughter's birthday and party on Sunday.

Be back very soon....

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Are we turning into George and Mildred?

My husband remarked the other day "we are turning into a 1970's married sitcom!" - he's referring to our quick witted banter we have going on at the moment. It has a decidedly 1970's feel to it. You know the type jokes about my cooking and what not. Do you remember George and Mildred? We have been watching it at the moment around about tea-time followed by Duty Free (remember that?) although this was in the 1980's. A very enjoyable blast from the past.  Anyhow, we both decided against Valentines gifts, cards and what not this year.  He did say "you don't want anything this year do you?" to which I replied "naaa" followed by "just a card, chocolates, gifts etc!"

George and Mildred classic 1970's married sitcom - pic ebay
Every year my husband groans at the ridiculousness of it all "how can you be my valentine when we're married, have shared a bed for 15 years and have 3 children together?!" he wails. But in fairness he's always gone out and done his duty and bought me a card, flowers (at a hugely inflated price) and chocolates. 

"Amy!" - pic ebay
He does have a point though I am already his valentine. Its a done deal. I agree it is just commercial nonsense. Its great fun at school and in the early days of a relationship but now its just a bit of a chore. The worse night of the year to go for a meal is Valentines night - its so cheesy and naff don't you think? All the married couples sitting there waiting for their Valentines set meal. Everyone knowing they're only eating out tonight because its Valentines night. Glancing around to see who's being romantic, who's in the early days of a relationship, who's on the last legs desperately clinging on for dear life and some who are just looking at each other stoney faced without saying a word wishing they were anywhere else. Cringe.

If truth be told I couldn't be arsed with it either. Although I did pop a box of Thorntons chocolates into my trolley in Aldi during the weekly shop. I think I was just amazed they had Thorntons in Aldi which sealed the deal. I couldn't be arsed to make a heart shaped cake or cook a special meal. I've got to make a Furby cake and stage my daughter's 8th birthday very soon (today we are making cake pops) and will be making a Tommy Helmet cake for my husbands 50th next month.  

I've arranged 3 nights away, will be calling on my sister to babysit on the 22nd (she heard it hear first!) and took receipt of a family pop art picture this week for his present. I can multi-task but I can't be doing Valentines Day as well. My effort levels will only go up so much! Besides we do things for each other during the year and my husband is by far  the most romantic out of the two of us. For instance, I happened to mention I'd always wanted a Kitchen Aid machine and didn't think anything of it. A few weeks later it turned up on my doorstep. If I mention the battery to my watch has gone dead - a new one will magically turn up a few days later as did my phone battery. Far more thoughtful and romantic than Valentines cards and what not wouldn't you say? Give me practical anyday!

So turning to this weeks events. Well its all been a bit pathetic - no exercise. I have had a bad chest (I have mild asthma) and was wheezy all week. This damp weather is really bad for it. My husband did the school run one day as I couldn't face the cold and dampness. However, it does seem to be clearing. I am pretty sure it is because I haven't done any exercise that I got this in the first place.  My fit February hasn't really panned out as I would have hoped. The kids are off for half term also but I will try and fit in Wii dance and walks if we can get out and it stops raining. I may have to consider joining a gym for its classes or get to my local swimming pool as outdoors activities are not happening at the mo.

I really hope my exercise mojo returns very soon. How are you all doing on the exercise front? Any suggestions gratefully received.

Until next time...

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Throw me a bone! Mad Blog Awards 2014

In the blogging world this is kind of like the Golden Globes/Baftas and this year I'm calling on anyone that reads my blog to throw me a bone if you please. I was nominated last year but alas never made it through to the next round. This year I fancy a punt at getting through on the wild card entry - by all accounts the blog with the most votes in each category gets put through to the final. Let's be realistic I haven't got a cat in hells chance of that happening but there is a faint hope of the judge not wanting to pick a blogger mate or someone they interact with on twitter and the like and go for a random stranger. What do you reckon? I could be that random stranger.

To the right of the blog you can click and nominate me and others. Or just click here. You can only do it once. At the bottom of my blog you'll see blogs I like to read on a regular basis if you need to find some inspiration to vote for others. Or you can just vote for me and leave the building its up to you.  There are various category's from craft to photography which are clearly not my thang but there is a category for most entertaining, best writer and best blog. I'd be happy with any of that lot but probably think entertaining or school days (I've written lots about schools, PTA etc) is a good fit? What do you reckon or am I totally delusional? Now that I've well and truly prostituted myself we shall never speak of this again.

Back to the diet - well the exercise isn't really happening - managed 3 x workouts last week and I know its only Tuesday but I haven't done any this week. Its just rain, rain, cold, cold and more rain. My cousin came to visit on Monday and today I had the weekly shop and what not and the weeks just fly by.  I have planned to work out tomorrow although I do have a very sore throat (I went back to bed Saturday as felt very ill). Having said all this I lost 1lb. So can't really grumble but could do better.

See you soon.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

My Facebook Movie is just..

....cock and cake!  Urgh how vulgar I hear some say but its true and sounds great doesn't it?! They both start with 'c' and roll of the tongue (urgh now that is vulgar!) very easily.  What an earth am I going on about I can hear you say. Its all the fault of Facebook. No doubt you would have seen all the Facebook movies to celebrate 10 years of mind numbing status updates (guilty as charged ma lord) and my life is better than yours picture sharing and what not. Essentially it takes some of your pictures, status updates and puts it against sentimental music and makes a 'movie' just over 60 seconds long.  You'll see them in your newsfeed. I looked at a couple of my friends and they were lovely - all sweet and sentimental with lovely pics of newborns and kids who were younger than they are now. I'll have some of that I thought. So what do I get? This.......!

A cake I sold (£40) back in 2008 - she wanted "naughty 40" and things relevant to her life thus far. I think I fulfilled the brief don't you?!  That's meant to be a bow tie and his penis does appear to be bigger than his limbs!

So that was the centre picture of my Facebook movie along with other cakes I have made over the years. Quality.  

Talking about cocks and what not. This man has been the news a lot recently........
A Michael Gove (Education Secretary) Voodoo Doll - picture Parentdish facebook page
Now if the Tories had any sense they would be getting rid of this chap pretty pronto. If they can't see how much parents dislike this bloke (including their core voters - the chattering classes) than they are thicker than David Cameron turning up to the flood hit regions forgetting his Hunter wellies.  

So what's all the fuss about? Well for starters he wants children to be in school from 8.30 am to 6pm and cut short school holidays. Now, this isn't to bump us up the world educational league stats, this is just to get both parents out to work and someone else can mind the children for them. I mean why don't we just cut out the middle man and hand over our children to the state and see them at the weekends? It might come as a shock to some but most parents actually like their children and want to see them. Newflash - we like being parents. Working parents in particular feel they don't see enough of their children as it is. They don't want to dump them at baby factories from age 3 months for 8 hours a day and they don't want to continue to see very little of them when they go to primary school. In any event, the children would end up working more hours than MP's. I don't see them saying they will cut their holidays and actually do a full day's work do you? In fact, do you remember a time when MP's didn't just leave public school go straight into politics for 5 years playing at running the country before they swiftly move on to poncy after dinner speaking? Yeah me neither. So listening to this lot drone on about what we should be doing when they do fuck all is a bit rich. 

There has also been talk of fining parents £60 if you are persistently late. The comments on one parent site were comical. So many excuses as to why they are sometimes late - 2 school runs (check), traffic, parking, difficult kids etc etc. What a load of bollocks. Buy an alarm clock, set it and you'll find you'll turn up on time. The thing about school is that the start of it never changes (I've spoken about it before here). I can understand if it changes on a day to day basis but it doesn't. There aren't many excuses that can cut it I'm afraid - parents don't put enough importance on it and think oh well we'll just have to be late. I don't think charging them is the answer but there are repeat offenders that piss off the ones that can get 3/4 children to school, negotiate getting up, rain, wind, traffic and other incidentals.  

Finally, on the parent front, a bloke who was moaning about the cost of school holidays had a rather successful campaign going on facebook. I think because it was shared so much it now has to be discussed in the House of Commons. For anyone who isn't aware the cost of a holiday doubles if not trebles during the school holidays. Its a parental pet hate. Some think its justifiable to take the kids out of school (in fact some can only afford it if they do this), pay a fine and still get a much cheaper deal.  

I don't agree.  I think if parents are that hacked off about it they should boycott places like centre parcs (my husbands worse nightmare and to be honest I think I would feel hemmed in subjected to eateries at inflated prices contained in the 'woods') and airlines.  I'm pretty sure the holiday companies would have to re-think if everyone decided not to go anywhere for one year only. Don't you? 

On the diet front, its been a good week and a much better one on the exercise front. I've managed 3 x Wii 40 minute workouts with wrist weights. Not as hard core as previous workouts but at least I forced myself to do it as I've really be struggling.  I went back to bed today at 11 am as my throat was killing me and I felt really run down. Its been raining non stop today with howling wind - that bike ride is going to have a wait somewhat longer.  I hope to get in a little work out tomorrow so that will make it 4 x this week.

See you very soon...

Thursday, 6 February 2014

19lbs Lost!

Sadly its not me - mine is 6lbs since January and that was Christmas weight and I still have some Vegas in there somewhere. No, Nessa is back with an update. She's doing fantastically well - I do have some reservations in that it is a 'no carb' diet and the weight loss has been very quick (no I'm not bitter promise!). I have seen this before and I will doing a blog post soon about how one diet in particular should be banned. In the meantime, over to Ness....

Hi everyone! Tash reminded me that I needed to do my next thrilling installment of my weight loss plan. Well things have been going really well and I have lost a total of 19lbs to date. This still has me in the Obese category (the BMI moves very slowly rather annoyingly!) but its progress in the right direction.

Dry January went by with only one failure. I was working in Dublin and staying in a hotel and it was rather easy to be persuaded to have one glass of red. Still, it didn't seem to do much damage ( and it tasted lovely!) so I think it was ok. I have been out several times for various birthdays and Fridays with the girls but stuck rather boringly to my water. I have been told I'm being boring so must work on the social skills whilst sober!!

Eating out in Dublin was a challenge and in one pub I ordered the lamb and asked for veg instead of the mash potato. Now in my world that means green things like broccoli and peas....but in Dublin, that means potatoes, just cooked in a different way! Oh well, I left them and just ate the lamb.

I am now heading into Dry February, although I am in Nice this weekend doing some maintenance on the apartment so I may partake in a glass then as well. For me this is a year long plan and I need to still be able to live a normal life. My drinking habits have now completely changed and instead of drinking a bottle of wine a night I am now only going to drink on a night out with company, and no, the cats don't count as company.

One thing I must try and break is the habit of weighing myself daily. And then moving the scales slightly on the floor and then weighing again! Any one else do that? Its madness really but occasionally you can scrape an extra half pound out of them that way!

I have discovered the joy of eating pork belly steak and crackling! That, together with cauliflower cheese is my staple evening meal at the moment. Its gorgeous comfort food and perfect for this way of eating!

So here are my latest pics. I think there is a difference! Until next time.....

There certainly is and I would suggest getting some new friends or put them in the saboteur category. I hate "oh you're boring now" comments - what because you're being healthy?! People feel threatened by change and makes them think they should possibly do something.  I put it to you that your drunk friends are the ones that are boring hence you zoning out of the conversation entirely. And yes step away from the scales - it can be done and this is from someone that stepped on them about 10 x a day!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Monday Weigh In

Got lots to say and not enough time to say it. I have a few blog posts brewing - education and parenting in general seem to be dominating the news at the moment so I'll be back going into one on that subject! My last post had a comment by 'anon' (I don't bite by the way and welcome all views especially ones that disagree - that's life and makes it interesting) and posed the question why don't I slag off the working classes? Why just the 'middle classes' well where to start on that one. I have lots to say and have found some great pics on twitter to illustrate my feelings nicely.  

Anyhow, back to the weight.  I haven't lost any weight this week.  I wasn't surprised I only worked out once and that was for just 30 mins with my weights. I also ate approx 1700 cals (and more Saturday) in the week. The trouble with the fitbit is you think if you do your steps that's good enough but in real terms it doesn't really count as exercise. The best thing about the fitbit is the little graphs and what not and you can add friends and get all competitive. So yes it does make you move more but its not a patch on getting your heart rate up. 

So in line with my fit February theme I forced myself to do 40 minutes on the Wii dance with wrist weights. I have really struggled to get back into the groove on the exercise front since November really.  That was my thing exercise and yet I've gone all pathetic. Its cold, its wet, etc etc.  So I forced myself and felt great afterwards.  Its not the hardest workout but it was a start.  Tomorrow I have to take buddy to speech therapy - this has been an achievement in itself. You may recall I finally got an appointment on Christmas Eve to be bounced back to a different department. I received a letter in January explaining that I needed to phone to arrange an appointment and at that appointment I may get an appointment! URGH!!! Anyhow, they gave me the 6th March and after I put the phone down I thought no I'm not having this so now I have an appointment tomorrow - a short drive away.  However this appointment is not a formal assessment its an appointment to see if I need an appointment.  I think this is minor in comparison with the hoops some people have to go through to get the treatment they or a member of their family need. 

Anyhow, what with that and the food shop my next exercise dates will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 

See you soon!  

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Everything's Changing..

....and I don't feel the same. I do believe they are the lyrics to Keane - remember them? Posh boy band who have gone under the radar for a while. In fact, most bands seem to be fronted by the middle classes these days - Bastille is one that springs to mind. Why is that? Anyhow, I wasn't overly keen (sorry) on them but their song came to mind as I reflected on the weeks events.  Plus I was bored of my 'Sunday Chit Chat' title. Don't say I don't keep you all engaged now!

So, why all the melancholy? Well, my son is now 10 and things do seem to have changed. All of a sudden he looks more grown up i.e taller, more older boy than younger boy and acts all grown up. I'm not quite at the stomping stage just yet although he is prone to mood swings (I found a good link about stress in 10 year old's here) and being a bit too precious for my liking. I am sympathetic but also try not to pander to his preciousness. Blame the parents. Our children are a product of ourselves whether we like it or not.  He is fussy with his food but he has to try dinners otherwise he'd just eat rubbish so it is a battle of wills at tea time. He does have a fair amount of freedom but I do rein in the amount of time on computer games etc as I firmly believe it has a negative impact on kids behavior.

He gets sarcasm, jokes, logic and all things semi-grown up. He is starting to understand the world in which we live.  Last week, we had 'attempted abductions' in the road which leads up to our primary school. Lovely. Now, it was in the local press and what not but the school said it hasn't really been confirmed. To be honest, we seem to have 'attempted abductions' at least 3 x a year. In addition, in the same week, there were also about 8 stabbings (amongst teenagers) in the rougher part of the borough. It generally promotes a semi state of hysteria on facebook and the general response is "X (where we live) is a shit hole" or "glad we got out" "need to move" and what not. I don't blame these comments and truth be told sometimes, very fleetingly, I have the same feelings to abandon ship.  Thankfully, no 'attempted abduction' has ever materalised into an actual abduction but naturally it makes you wonder about how safe the area you live in.

As you all know, I am a bit of an inverse snob so the thoughts of going to 'white flight' England mixing up with the middles and their "I'm not being racist but.." comments doesn't really appeal. Don't get me wrong those comments are rife here too. However, there is no denying that it would appear that the area I am choosing to bring my children up is not as safe as other areas of the country. But I still like where I live. I like the people, I like the amenities, I like the primary school, I like our house and I love being close to London. Plus you are more likely to find employment in London and the surrounding areas than any other part of the country I'd wager. So, whilst yes, I will have to negotiate safety possibly more than some other areas perhaps in the long run employment/career opportunities for my children may be better where we live? Time will tell.

So that naturally started me thinking of High School (secondary school in old money) and the minefield that brings. Now, I did (much to my husband's disgust) look at the whole private malarkey.  I looked at the sample entrance exam and thought mmmm son could pass that. Then I looked at the scholarship and bursary conditions and yup you could potentially get a private education for a nominal amount but you'd have to pay for school meals, trips and uniform and therein lies the problem.  Now, my son is going to go on a residential 5 day trip in this country (which is slightly unnerving for me), however, in a private school a school trip is not 5 days in Kent its to Lake Garda, Japan and Iceland! There is a 'grammar' school which would be 2 bus rides away and not as elitist as the private school. Mmmm can you imagine me turning up next to the Range Rovers with my Kia Sedona. I don't think so. I think my son will be mixing it up with the majority making it a 2 minute walk to school. Besides how can High Schools improve if people don't send their children to their local school?

Pic Amazon - I  have the book but couldn't be bothered to take a photo! 
On the change front, my son will be getting sex education classes soon. URGH!! No!! I can't be doing with this. But, sadly, I have to - so far I've manged to mumble away any awkward questions. I can avoid it no longer. I have purchased a book entitled "Let's Talk" which explains it all in a very child friendly way. I'll let you know how I get on as I still haven't managed to get it down off the shelf!

On the diet front, it not been great this week. The weather has been miserable I think its rained all week (one day non-stop) and cold.  My husband also decided to take down a small wall in our living room so I was banished to my friends for the day which was great but no exercise. I did 1 x weight work out and only my fitbit steps which in real terms don't mean a lot as you need to get your heart rate going. I've established that I can walk 10,000 steps a day relatively easily and I'm getting at least 7 hours sleep a night. I didn't fill in myfitnesspal on Friday or Saturday.  I met a friend for lunch on Friday and we had a take-away yesterday (Chinese - 2 x duck pancakes, lemon chicken and rice - to celebrate Chinese new year - the kids enjoyed the duck pancakes). I reckon I'll be the same tomorrow. We had a stroll earlier with the kids and their skateboards and I've not eaten a lot today.

So now that its February, I've decided on a new topic this month to get my arse well and truly back into fitness mode - Flab to Fit February.  Like it? The focus will be on exercise and lots of it.  I will go back to aiming for 5 x a week and will have some guest posts on their fitness regime.  Anyone I know who has been successful with maintaining a healthy weight has always worked out. I will also have pictures at the end of the month in my Zaggora wear to see if its all been paying off.

Until tomorrow....