Saturday, 31 October 2015

It Will Make You Big And Strong!

Is what I'm always saying to my kids about drinking milk and who is stronger than a 5 year old purporting to be The Hulk? No one I'd wager.  What's more it takes some dexterity to drink a glass of milk with abnormally large hands clenched in a fist like manner!

We're entering (I say 'we' as I'm sure my kids will help me spend the prize money in the form of shopping vouchers aka more toys) a competition. So this post is an entry for Britmums #MilkDrinkersMilk Linky Challenge, sponsored by Cravendale

I have to say I never really liked milk as a child in the 70s/80s - but having been nagged by my husband some 15 years ago, I now drink it regularly and actually enjoy it. It's great for us ladies and, in particular, our bones. I'm very conscious of my knees - what with my recent running exploits and all. I have been making up for lost time during my childhood. The warm milk sat festering in the school classroom has a lot to answer for! Although I always loved the thick cream at the top. That was the best thing about getting the milk off the doorstop in the morning - the cream to put on your cereal.

Children receiving their free milk in the 60s/70s
So, with that in mind and given that I'm Chief of the Sugar police in this ere house, I've always been insistent that the kids drink milk.  

No problems with my daughter - she prefers it to anything else, No problems for my youngest Buddy aka Hulk who is also happy to drink milk.  My eldest, has finally turned a corner with all things food and drink related. He realises the importance for the good of his health, in particular his ambitions to be a professional cyclist. Even better he loves the stuff!

With so much publicity about the sugar content in many drinks our children are consuming - I was more than happy to accept free vouchers for the purpose of this blog post. Milk is healthy and should be an essential part of our children's diet not to mention the huge benefits to their teeth.  None of my children aged 5, 9 and 11 have filings and I'd like to keep it that way for as long as possible!

So much easier without the fists! Drinking from my classic Cravendale glass
Every Saturday we have a movie night and that means popcorn. A treat. Any sugary treats are always accompanied with milk to counter balance the sugar element. The kids all agreed the taste was 'creamy' and 'fresh'.

The bottle makes a brilliant ghost for Halloween as its not transparent!

Did you know that Cravendale filter their milk which makes it stay fresher for longer? No. Neither did I! I also like the fact that Cravendale is farmer owned so by purchasing their milk you are supporting our farmers. Even better you can visit one of these farms with the kids. To find one near you check out the Arla Foods website. 

Making popcorn the 1970s way! 

A sprinkle of sugar, milk and a movie = perfect Saturday night
So my 1970s dieters, that is how we enjoy our milk. In its purest form accompanying something that might not be so pure. Shhhh don't tell the Chief of Sugar police! 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Save October!!!

Is an event I created on facebook recently. I naturally came on the computer to do something a tad more productive than this but there you are. Instead I faffed around creating an event that has no real purpose other than to satisfy my longing for some normality in the month of October.

To be transported back to an age where grown women acted as such and Xmas wasn't even up for discussion. Asides from my natural repulsion of the Xmas countdowns, which start in August, (of which regular readers of my blog will have heard my ranting on this one every year) I came across a banner which made me groan out loud.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

When A Man is Tired of London He is Tired of Life

Man, Woman, Child or beast I would say. Wouldn't you? Never a truer word has been spoken by so many. Penned by the writer Dr Samuel Johnson in 1777. Incredible. I have often said this and its now 2015 - nearly 240 years later and it still reigns true.  Here is his wonderful quote in all its glory.

"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

My youngest received this gorgeous wooden red bus on the day he was born. Little did he know it was really for me. He received the matching taxi by the time he was 2 - again for me! Sadly, I had to let him play with it and not treat it as an ornament. They now have signs of good use - chunks and chips off the wood and paint work!

Why am I going on about London pray tell? Well, I'm entering into a fabulous competition with Tots100. Its to WIN a 2 night break in a 5 STAR Hotel and not any old 5 Star hotel The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. Location is everything and this is just perfect for any family stay. Not all hotels are family friendly believe me but this one certainly is. It is also located on the edge of Kensington Gardens - idea for families.  What's more its a great local to visit the Natural History Museum more of which later. I don't have much luck with competitions but you have to be in it to win so says Dale Winton.

I am a London Gal even though I was born and bred in Crawley - not so glamorous granted. However, I got out of that town when I was young pup at aged 18 and have been lucky enough to live South of the river since then. Which means it takes us about an hour to get into central London. We have been a few times with the children and seen the poppies at the Tower, taken a boat trip up to Greenwich, sampled the sights and sounds of Covent Garden (an absolute must at Christmas time), Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square. I want my children to get the same rush of excitement and world of possibility when I step off the train at London Bridge or Victoria. We've also visited the Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Imperial War Museum and so much more.

However, we've never trotted over to West London to see all the delights that are on offer there. Which is why I thought this competition was perfect. A chance to roam free in Hyde Park and see the many wonderful statues.

Our youngest is a HUGE Marvel Super Hero fan - how could he not be impressed with old Achilles here? A fine figure of a man!

And my daughter would love this statue of Peter Pan also in Hyde Park.

Of course, visiting the Natural History Museum has been on my must see lists for quite some time as we have NEVER been.  We must go before they move the huge dinosaur in the main hall in favour of a whale I do believe. Whenever I think of this museum (and those of you who were born in the 70s will surely be nodding their heads - If you aren't we can't be friends. Sorry.) I think of that classic Disney film - One Of Our Dinosaurs is Missing. In fact I may have to take the DVD for the evening to enjoy in the 5 STAR HOTEL. Oh did I mention that?

I just happened to take a glance in my living room and came across my most treasured coffee table book above. I often stroke it whilst flicking the pages.

And then there's some subtle and not so subtle Iconic British images that have crept in without my husband noticing. I do love a cushion it has to be said.

How did that get there? Oh yes, I bought it! As I bought these other little items...

So competition pickers. Pick us! We Love London and we'd love to stay in Kensington and tick off our most visit on our London bucket list.

I have entered a competition with Tots 100 so please pray for me as I never win any competitions as I don't normally enter them (does help). But I really would LOVE to win this one!

Until next time...

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Sugar Sugar....

...oh honey honey as the song goes.  I've been thinking about this recently. Well the last two days gearing myself to just go cold turkey with it.  There's been a lot in the press over the last year or so on sugar making us all fat.  Even Coco Cola have buried a report that says its drinks cause obesity and its not just the full sugar versions - the diet stuff is just as bad for you.  Fizzy drinks are just a no go area for anyone wanting to lose weight or wondering why they're fat when they're eating less but knocking this stuff back. In fact, its probably the worse drink in modern history is it not?

Now, I stopped drinking diet lemonade many moons ago. In fact here's an old post I wrote an age ago all about the fizzy stuff. My dentist put paid to that even though my teeth are still paying the price - literally.

By a strange coincidence one of my friends put a link up on John Goodman - you know the huge American actor who cut out sugar from his diet and is now not so huge.  But how far do you go with this? I mean sugar is in everything well more or less.  Do I say no to wine? No to cordial?  So I googled a bit and the NHS website does have sensible suggestions. Check it out here. They reckon a quarter of our daily sugar intake is coming from drinks i.e sugar in tea (not guilty), pure fruit juices (not guilty), fizzy drinks (not guilty), cordial (GUILTY) and wine (GUILTY).

Also, cereals are a real bastard when it comes to sugar intake. You think you're being all healthy with that granola and all well think again - its packed full of the stuff. I have a small amount of bran flakes but I'm even beginning to think that's not a great start to the day. I think I'll go back to having a natural yoghurt.

Naturally (or unnaturally should I say) cakes, chocolate and biscuits are a no no. I appear to be more attracted to these the older I get. Maybe its because everyone is just surrounded by cake these days - talking about it, watching it, photographing it and making it.  Cake is cool. It has become very fashionable. All these vintage cake shops popping up where you can sit in a chintzy 'vintage' ambience eating 21st century cakes aka huge weight gainers. Cake isn't a treat these days its a daily

Even in Paris you can find a version of our vintage tea room. This is Sugar Plum Cake shop in Paris. Who wouldn't be tempted in?
I started this post 2 days ago so I've gone more or less cold turkey during this time. I have to say I've felt a tad faint and dizzy!! Oh lordy, although I'm told this should pass by day 3. I made my signature blueberry muffins yesterday and a batch of flapjacks and haven't touched a crumb of them. And lunch today with my friend Emma, again, no sweets there. She's normally awash with yummy home made cakes - nope I walked out of there without a slither of sugar induced cake.

I really believe its the key to losing that stubborn belly fat.  Obviously exercise helps and I went for a little jog on Monday and am out on the bike tomorrow but I am concerned about the health implications of visceral fat. This is the fat that surrounds your internal organs and can lead to type 2 diabetes and no one wants that bad boy. Then you have subcutaneous fat - this is the fat that is lying directly under your skin this is the type that they suck away with liposuction. But the easiest way to lose it is by exercise.  For more information on this type of fat I came across wisegeek on the subject.

In other news, my son is embracing secondary with every ounce of his being. He's this little independent soul that is living life to the full. He loves the cycling club he attends every week for 2 hours, plays indoor football for an hour every week, has made the school rugby team, got up on stage for the new parents evening and has just auditioned for a part in Oliver Twist. I'm exhausted just watching him but enjoying it all the same. Oh to have the exuberance of youth with endless possibilities ahead of you.  Not only that but he came first in his time trail and cyclocross mass start race at the weekend. Sometimes, the most unlikely people inspire you. He certainly inspires me to get out on my bike and fit in some exercise.

My other two are keeping me just as busy with their various interests brownies, netball and football! I am very much looking forward to no clubs and what not during half term. We've planned a bake off - a technical and a signature bake for one day.

Finally I'll leave you with an incredible accurate picture of me when I'm ranting or having a row on the internet.

Until next time....