A Mothers Ramblings: July 2012

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Smug Mode Engaged

When Big Boy was diagnosed as being a diabetic we were told by the lovely Paediatric Diabetic Consultant that we would be seeing a lot of him over the next few years. I thought that it might be like my Mum's consultants who she see's once a year or so, but a few days after getting home we received a letter to meet with the Dietician and to see our lovely Consultant in just under two weeks time. That is how on the hottest day of the year we found ourself sitting in a waiting room in Milton Keynes Hospital waiting for our name to be called. Somehow our admission notes are missing AGAIN and so our Consultant asked us for a few details (such as when was BB diagnosed, How long had he been showing symptoms before he was diagnosed, what medications is he on etc) before taking a quick look through BB's diary of his sugar levels. 


A minor tweak was made to what levels of insulin we would be giving to BB and at what blood sugar levels and then the Consultant turned to Daddy and I and told us that he wanted to take a moment to praise us for how we have adapted to the new lifestyle and the changes that the diagnosis brought.


Engaging Smug Mode

We have adapted well, but that is because it fitted into our life so neatly. It was almost like our lives were being changed over the last few weeks to prepare us for the diagnosis. If we weren't Christians then we would have called it coincidence, but we call it divine intervention and we are very thankful for this preparation.

Then we spoke with the Dietician, who asked what sort of meals we eat. So I told her, I gave her examples and explained how we eat and already check labels because of Daddy being a Celiac and trying to eat more healthily because of my weight loss and fitness plans. I was able to tell her what we had eaten this past week because of the meal plans that I write, I was able to tell her what BB has eaten for snacks and for lunch and she was quite pleased, we apparently eat healthily enough that we don't need to change our diet. Smug Mode well and truly engaged.

So now here we are, a couple of weeks in to our new routine. Big Boy is used to having his blood tests and is willing to have his injections four times a day. Daddy and I are able to tell when Big Boy is having a hypo (low blood sugar) and Big Boy is working it out too, although his reasons for working it out are a little more selfish as he just likes having the fast acting sugar (sweets or fresh juice normally) treatment to brings his blood sugar levels back into the normal range!

I'm not going to say that we have this under control, or that we know what we are doing but we are well on the way to mastering the basics.


Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Monday, 30 July 2012

Flair Paper FX - A Review

Top Ender is quite a crafty little Miss, and Daddy and I will often find small things she has made on our pillows at night. I love that she loves being crafty and when we were offered the Flair Paper FX which can turn old magazines and bits of paper into bags or other accessories I knew she would love it.

Paper FX Box

Today Tops finally got a chance to play with it and after we got home from a morning in town she hunted out some paper before starting to weave them together. Tops was determined to do it on her own and so she sat reading the instructions and working out how to do it all on her own. The instructions are fairly simple step by step stuff and there are further instructions on how to make different projects. Tops was able to follow them easily, so she knew what she was doing and as I wasn't allowed to help she was really proud of what she created.

Top Enders Paper FX Mat

I was really supportive of the work she had created, and said how fab it was but Tops was a little disappointed, so after she had moved onto doing something else I asked if I could have a go and I created this;

I know, it's fab right? No? Oh.

My attempt at the Paper FX Mat

Okay so the mats that Top Ender and I made aren't exactly perfect and they don't quite look like the examples on the box, but it's perfect for using up bits of wrapping paper, drawer liners, magazines and Tops and I spent a lot of time playing with it together, having a giggle and we think it is upcycling at it's best. We know that in a few weeks time we will have created some much better examples and we can't wait to have a go with different types of paper.

The box says it is suitable for girls age 8 and up, and it has an RRP of £19.99. Make sure that you have some paper, some glue (some is provided but we didn't find it the best glue), some scissors and several hours to create something beautiful.

We were sent a Flair Paper FX to review.

Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Saturday, 28 July 2012

What We Are Eating This Week (W/C 28/07)

I'm in holiday mode this week, we are away at the start of the week to France for a few days and so our food is all something fun and holiday like. I'm also carb counting because that is the way we are being taught to help manage BB's diabetes through diet. We aren't on the plan officially yet, we are just getting used to it ourselves and having to make notes on how many grams of carbs Big Boy eats (and the rest of us, just so he isn't different) but at our next dietician and consultant appointment (sometime in September) we will more than likely be moved across.

Saturday - Gluten Free Fried Chicken


Daddy hardly ever gets to eat KFC style chicken any more, because buying Gluten Free KFC style Chicken is near impossible. I do however have a few tricks up my sleeves and have worked out how to make it at home! We use Polenta as our flour and a mixture of Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Garlic powder and Chilli powder to give our own KFC style secret recipe flavour.

I'll serve it with baked beans and fries (not Chips because I'm pretending to be American this week!) and calories be damned!

Sunday - Sausage Roast


I've decided to do a Sausage Roast again this week, because the M&S Sausages that we've been buying are so lovely, a brilliant price and gluten free!

Last week I prepared everything and left Daddy in charge of putting the Salmon into the oven and turning the heat under the vegetables on at set times. That way I was able to nip to the Gym, get a quick weight session in, take a nice long hot shower, dress in fresh clothes and get home again ready to serve the family our main meal of the day. We'll do the same this week... hopefully!

Monday to Wednesday - No idea something French!


We're going to be in France for a few days so we'll be popping to the French Supermarkets to buy things that we want to eat, finding some nice little Cafe's to eat in and knowing my family finding a McDonald's for our other meals. Remember the children have no clue that we are going, so if you happen to speak to them before lunch time Monday (which is about when we should be in France) don't say anything to them! They don't even know we are going on Holiday!

Thursday - Fish Fingers, Swirled Mashed Potatoes and Veggies



The trade off for having Fish fingers is mashed potatoes with a swirl of spinach in it and a selection of different veggies. I'm going to serve a small amount of Sweetcorn, Petit Pois and Sesame Carrots and hope that BB will be in a hungry mood and at least eat a mouthful of each vegetable on his plate!

Friday - Lemon Chicken with Rice and Prawn Crackers


Lemon Chicken is one of my favourite foods to get at a Chinese restaurant, but Daddy is always jealous because he can't eat it any more. I read a recipe last week from Disney's Family.com that used cornflour, so I thought I would try it out! I'm planning on telling BB that they are chicken nuggets so that he will eat them and I know he'll eat the rice and prawn crackers too, but just in case I'll have some or the lemon chicken with out the lemon sauce for him.

So that's it for me this week, what are you eating or are you planning on coming round to share something I'm cooking?!

Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Thursday, 26 July 2012

I'm Not Happy!

When we do Big Boy's blood tests or injections he sometimes decides that it is the worst thing in the world and throws a bit of a strop and will storm off yelling;

"I'M NOT HAPPY!"

Daddy normally mutters under his breath "Which one are you then?" which allows Top Ender, Daddy and I to laugh and break the tension. We give it a few minutes for Big Boy to calm down before going to find him, have a cuddle together and everything is fine again and we're ready for whatever we need to do.

When I was in Iceland's with my Mum yesterday, I saw a pez dispenser that I had to get for Big Boy.

Happy Pez Dispenser

I thought it was funny, Big Boy not so much.

Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Monday, 23 July 2012

Lego Duplo Read and Build

Big Boy loves getting parcels from Duplo, as soon as one arrives he puts away whatever he was playing with so that he is ready to open the box and see what new toys are there. This afternoon he was just about to play with some trains, whilst Top Ender and I did some step aerobics, when a parcel arrived. Big Boy had put away the trains and opened the parcel before the delivery driver was back in his van!

Lego Duplo Read And Build Sets

Inside the parcel were the new Duplo Read and Build sets, which are due to hit the shops on August the 1st 2012. Big Boy saw that one was about a car and a plane and decided that was the set he would open first, he is really into anything that moves at the moment!

This is a new concept for the Duplo range, and is in conjunction with publisher Dorling Kindersley but I think it has been executed perfectly. The books are a story and instructions on how to build the bricks together to make the characters in the story. As we read the book together I was thinking how they are good for early readers as there is a great deal of text and so aren't too daunting.

Reading the Duplo Read and Build Book

Big Boy loved putting together the plane and the car following the instructions and was joining in with the book when he could. He then had a great adventure playing with the plane and car based around what he had read in the book and it was quite amusing hearing him pretending to be Penny and Joe, who are the characters in the book. It also led him to be imaginative as he had Penny and Joe wing walking and screaming in terror when he made the plane do loop the loops!

Creative Play with Lego Duplo

Big boy is still sitting on the floor playing with the first set he opened (it's been about an hour now) and he hasn't gotten bored with the role play of the two characters. I'm surprised that he has played with the set for this long, but maybe the story has sparked his imagination more than playing with Duplo just "straight".

LEGO DUPLO Read & Build comes in a plastic re-sealable pack and is suitable for children aged 8months to four years. The RRP is £9.99 and they will be available in stores as of the 1st August 2012. We were sent the three different sets as part of the Lego Duplo Bloggers programme.

Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Home Made Burgers

Daddy loves eating burgers, but unless they are 100% Pure Beef he can't eat them. There are a few brands that we have discovered we can buy but they tend to be on the small side to eat just one and eating two is just too much (for me at least) and so if we want a good burger we tend to make our own, or rather Daddy does. I decided that I was going to make some for dinner last week, and as I normally use egg as a binder it was going to be an experiment as Daddy is reducing the amount of egg he is eating, so I couldn't use it this time.

The burgers were so easy to make I thought I would include how to make them here. I made a lot of burgers so that I could freeze some for use at a later date, but Daddy ended up eating them for lunch over the next couple of days as they were quite nice.

I took a pack of low fat beef mince, and added to it a chopped white onion, a handful of chopped plum tomatoes, some seasoning (salt and pepper) and some parmesan cheese that happened to be in the fridge (I have no idea what dish I was planning on using it in so figured it was a good choice!) I mixed it all round really well so that all the flavourings were evenly distributed and let the mixture sit in the fridge for a few minutes whilst I greased some baking trays and some cooking rings.

Raw Burger Mix

I grabbed a small handful of mixture after it had chilled for about five minutes (and everything was greased) and placed it into the cooking ring (on the greased tray) to give it some shape. It was a bit of trial and error in order to find what the right size burger was, but I found the right size for us and even made a few burgers for Daddy which had grated cheddar inside.

To make the burgers with grated cheddar inside I put down just over half of the burger meat mix into a ring added a pinch of grated cheese and then made a small circle from the left over part of the handful of mixture to put on top of the cheese, before firming the meat down. I put these onto a different tray so that they wouldn't be confused with the ordinary burgers  and I let them all chill in the fridge for about an hour.

I cooked the burgers on the griddle (I love my griddle, no fat required) and only turned them once as I was worried that they would fall apart, but I needn't have worried as they held together really well and I could have cooked them on the grill or even on a BBQ. I served mu burger in a bun, with a lovely Salad and a massive grilled mushroom. 

Home Made Burger with Salad and Giant Mushroom

Top Ender and Daddy had chips with theirs and they both had two burgers as they thought that the burgers were delicious. As I mentioned already Daddy ate them for lunch over the next couple of days and as a late night snack when we got back from the hospital on the Friday. He heated them up in the microwave and he said they tasted just as nice as they did the first night.

Do you make burgers? What extras do you add into your mix? Please give me some ideas for other evening meals!

Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Sunday, 22 July 2012

What's For Lunch? (W/C 23/07)

With it being the start of the Summer Holidays for us we are trying to cram as much fun and family time into our schedule as possible. Of course at the same time we still want to make sure that we are eating a great variety of food and we'll still be having our special Friday lunch so you'll want to make sure that you look out for that too!

Monday - Picnic Lunch


We are going to be having a picnic with my sisters children (either today or tomorrow) and it will be a huge amount on fun! We are planning on a few Sandwiches, cold cuts, Boiled Eggs and a few treats but not too many as we don't want to raise BB's blood sugars too much! My sister has declared the weather to be good at the start of the week so we'll also be having some fun in the garden running round to burn off some of the sugar.

Tuesday - Cheese Toasties


Warburtons have sent me some great bread which Tops and BB said we should turn into Toasties. I've said Cheese toasties, but BB will more than likely chose to have a Hot Dog sandwich instead. We're keeping hot dogs in the fridge because they are a good snack for BB (as they are so low in sugar and carbs as they are all protein) and I know if he knows we have them he'll be after more of them!

A Selection of Warburtons Products


Wednesday - Ham Sandwich


Now whilst this sounds boring, it won't be! Honestly BB and I have been planning a fun little bento and we thought that it would be fun to do for the first week of the Summer holidays and if the weather stays nice then we think that we'll eat in the park too. I really hope the weather does turn out lovely as we'll all feel that we have all had a great Summer and we can all spend some time outside rather than hiding under umbrellas!

Thursday - Pasta Salad


Top Ender and Big Boy love pasta, so I thought that I would make a quick pasta salad for them to share today. I love making Pasta Salad as I just cook some pasta, toss in some cooked veggies and a bit of protein. I have some chicken pieces which I will add in, but will have to convince Big Boy that they are just big bits of pasta!

Friday - Friday Lunch


As of this September I'll be making special Friday Lunches for both Top Ender and Big Boy! I have a lot to learn about how to pack lunches that will help Big Boy cope with his schedule at School and are fun to eat and look at so I'm going to get in practice with this rather fun, simple lunch which Big Boy and Top Ender will actually make without me!

So that's what's for lunch, this first week of the Summer Holidays. Do you have anything special planned for lunch during the holidays?

Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Saturday, 21 July 2012

What We Are Eating This Week (W/C 21/07)

It's been a week of giving Big Boy his injections and blood tests and we've got into a nice little routine now. Big Boy needs to feel in control of what is happening so he decides which finger we will prick to do the blood test, then he reads the figure on the monitor before he decides in which area we will inject his insulin and he helps us count to ten after we have injected the insulin before pulling out the needle to make sure that all the insulin enters his blood steam instead of being left in the needle. Now we just need to work on keeping his blood sugars in check...

Saturday - Prawn Stir Fry


I had this for dinner the other night and it was so delicious that I have wanted it again since. Rice noodles with stir fry veggies for everyone, prawn crackers and spring rolls for the children and sweet chilli sauce for Daddy!

It doesn't take long to cook which is a Saturday night bonus and there won't be many dishes to wash up either which I think counts as a Saturday night bonus too!

Sunday - Roast Salmon


We are taking a break from Roast Chicken, mainly because I'm bored of cooking them! Last week we had roast sausages, but this week we are going with Salmon. I know it's fish twice in two days, but Salmon is one of the dishes that I know that we all love to eat and it's on offer at the moment too!

Monday - Seekh Kebabs with Rice (Meatballs for those who don't want kebabs)


Last week when I made the Lamb Burgers with Feta, Daddy thought that they tasted quite similar to Seekh Kebabs and I said that I would attempt to make them for him. I know that Big Boy probably won't like them because they will have some chilli in them so I'll make him some meatballs!

Tuesday - Pesto Chicken and Pasta


I love Pesto but hardly eat it as it's hard getting everyone else (ie the Children) to eat it. I read a recipe during the week where the chicken was flavoured with the pesto and I thought that this was a good way of getting the taste but without having to worry about the pesto not being eaten.

Wednesday - Jacket Potatoes


We'll cook them in the slow cooker so that they are nice and soft by the time we are ready to eat, especially because we have to go to the hospital in the morning for a couple of appointments for Big Boy and so we don't want to be spending hours in the kitchen afterwards and will be wanting to have lots of fun together to make the most of the Summer Holidays!

Thursday - Leftover Curry


We have frozen leftover curry sitting in the freezer and I think that it needs to be eaten sooner rather than later so we're eating this now! I'll serve it with rice naan breads for the children, and a gluten free one for Flyfour and I'll take a pitta bread as we have them in the kitchen thanks to Warburtons already!

Friday - Steak Fajitas


I really wanted to do steak this week, but couldn't think how to do it and then I thought that fajitas would be the best way as everyone loves making their own variation of what we are eating! Plus I think that steak is a great way to end the week.


Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Friday, 20 July 2012

Dear So and So - The One Where I Feel Sorry For Myself

Dear Friday The 13th,

You lived up to your reputation this year didn't you?

No wonder you are one of the most hated dates of the year.

Yours

Forever going to remember Friday The 13th June 2012

----------------------------------

Dear Big Boy,

I'm sorry. I know this isn't my fault, but I feel that it is.

Love

Mummy

----------------------------------

Dear Blood Phobia,

For 33 years you have made me pass out at the sight of blood, but due to recent events I'm over it.

I won't miss you, I hope you don't mind.

From

Never going to pass out at blood again... hopefully.

----------------------------------

Dear Diabetes,

So lets look at the facts shall we? You could have had me, a 33 year old over weight woman or a just turned four year old boy.

You made the wrong choice choosing him because now we're going to kick your butt.

F*** Off

Wishing you weren't here.

----------------------------------

Dear Summer Holidays,

Lets get it started, but could you possibly feel more like a year instead of just six weeks?

Love

Mummy of Two School Children This September

----------------------------------

Dear Family,

It's Summer!

Lets have picnics, and play and swim and read and enjoy this time together.

Love

Mummy

----------------------------------

Dear Fat,

You are being evicted from this body of mine, so collect up your friends and family and either make your way to my boobs (not too much of you though I don't want Playboy boobs) or find your way to the exit.

Glad To See The Bak Of You

A Slightly Skinnier (and getting skinner each day) Me



Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Princes Wild Alaskan Salmon Recipe

A couple of weeks back Top Ender, my Mum and I were chatting about our mutual love of Salmon and about how we best loved to eat it. I suggested that battered Salmon would be my favourite as it combines my love of the not so local to me local Fish and Chip shop (we hardly go *sob*) and my favourite fish, Top Ender opted for Salmon Fishcakes (which I make) and my Mum chose oven baked naked Salmon (which is sort of a family joke, but is just Salmon with no sauce). Little did we know that the next day Princes would ask if I would like to create a recipe using their tinned Wild Alaskan Salmon!

I thought long and hard about what to make. I could do a Salmon Pasta Bake, I could do Salmon Fishcakes, I could do a Thai Salmon Curry, I could do a Salmon Salad, I could do... there were hundreds of things I could do but nothing felt quite right. I even ended up swapping my meal plan around so that we ate the Friday meal on the Thursday night because I couldn't decide what to make! Then on the Friday we were at the hospital with Big Boy all day and with the panic of everything I only ate an apple and come the evening I wasn't hungry but I knew I needed to eat because tomorrow was a new day and Big Boy and Top Ender were going to need two functioning parents so I made a Pink Salmon Dip in a homage to a Salmon dip my Mum used to make for parties.

Wild Alaskan Red Salmon Dip

Making the dip is really simple and I think it's tasty too.

Peel and roughly chop one clove of Garlic and add to a food processor. Add two Spring Onions, a handful of plum or cherry Tomatoes (or whatever you have in the fridge will do), a tin of Princes Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon (take out the bones first if you want, but they get chopped finely so you don't have to and I only ever take out the spine), half a tub of cream cheese and then mix! You can add in other herbs if you want too, but I find the garlic is enough to give it a flavour.

The result is a smooth salmon dip which tastes delicious with crudities or on top of a Jacket Potato or even mixed in with some cooked pasta. Everyone in the family loved the dip, as they all got to try some and I think that it might be what I start taking to parties as my contribution to the party spread, just like the dish my Mum used to take.

We were send some cans of Wild Alaskan Salmon by Princes in order to create a family recipe.

Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Reader Appreciation Award

There are times when you are drawn to someone because you know that they are like you. I like to think that is why Leonifay and I get along. We like to read each others blogs (although I really should comment more on hers!) and when she gave me the Reader Appreciation Award I was rather chuffed as I think that means she likes me!
Reader Appreciation Award

As is common there are some questions and rules to go with the award and I can nominate some blogs that I like to read to receive the award too. So here are the rules before you can have the answers to the questions! 

 The rules of this award are as follows 
1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog. 
2. Answer the ten question below for fun, but only if you want to. 
3. Nominate 10 blogs that you enjoy, or choose how many you want to! 
4. Pay the love forward, provide your nominees with a link to your post and leave them a comment
5. Pay the love back with a link to who nominated you.

What is your favourite colour?

I'm going to have to say Red. I never had a favourite colour, although I always favoured black clothes but Red has been growing on me over the last few years. I don't mean like physically growing on me, that would be bad because it would be like a red rash and then I'd have to go to the Doctors and he'd start on me about my weight and why hadn't I mentioned the red thing before.

What is your favourite animal?

I'm going to say Cat as we have three of them and other than when they need to be fed or want a bit of attention they pretty much ignore you. It's like the perfect pet for people who aren't good at looking after things. Although I think that invisible dogs (We have two) are a close second!

What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?

If you had asked me this time last year I would have said Dr Pepper without question. I've not drunk it since last year though so I guess I will have to choose something else instead. Sorelle's nice, but I'm not sure it's my favourite... maybe Orange juice? No cos that goes through me. Hmmm. Water. I like water the best. And no that's not because it's all I tend to drink these days.

Facebook or Twitter?

I don't understand. You want me to choose between them? That would be like asking me if I wanted to go to Town on a bus or a coach. They both do the same thing just slightly differently. In fact it's like asking me to choose between my children! I refuse to chose! I won't do it!

Do you prefer giving or getting presents?

It depends. If the present is a dead mouse/frog/bird or other small creature from one of the cats then I don't want it. I don't care if it means they love me lots, they can keep it. Or even better not bother at all. If it's a box of chocolates from my MIL the same thing. I've told her a hundred times that I don't do dark chocolate, that I'd rather she didn't buy me chocolate or sweets and that whilst I appreciate the gesture she really didn't have to. I'm thinking about getting a tattoo that says as much. If however someone wants to send me say a bag for my birthday like the lovely Vic did then yes I like that. 

I also quite liked giving gifts this last Christmas I know that Jen and Emma didn't get them in time for Christmas but I'm sure that they liked them and I'm pretty sure that Sally enjoyed getting hers in July.

What is your favourite number?

Erm. 42.

What is your favourite day of the week?

Let me think about this, I'll get back to you.

What is your favourite flower?

I like self raising the best. Oh Flower, not flour. I like Gerberas the most.

What is your passion?

I guess at the moment it is going to the gym as I'm explaining over on Pippa World but I don't think it will be my life long passion.

I should be tagging people with this, but I'm sorry I'm too tired to. Pick it up and carry it on if you like, you know I read you anyway!


Monday, 16 July 2012

What We Are Eating This Week (W/C 14/07)

Last week it was an event and a half when we ended up rushing Big Boy to hospital and having a diagnosis of diabetes. We're quite lucky that I've been looking at what we've been eating more closely over the last few weeks because of my own healthy eating plans as it means that I know a lot about what changes we need to make for Big Boy to have a healthy diet along with Celiac Daddy! So next week I'm off to see a dietician who will teach me about carb counting and the like, but until then we are just making sure that the meals we are offering BB are slow release rather than short bursts!

Saturday - Lasagne



I added some linseed to the lasagne as well as grated carrots and a can of canoletti beans to make sure that the mix was not only healthy but also filling and had fibre. Nobody noticed the linseed and I managed to convince the children that the beans were baked beans so they ate them!


Sunday - Roast Sausages



Top Ender thought it would be a good idea to have Roast Sausages this week and seeing how easy it was to make I think I have to agree! The good thing about this meal (other than it took less than an hour to make) was that everyone of us ate it all up!

Monday - Home made Chicken nuggets with Chips


Big Boy asked for Chicken Nuggets for dinner this week because he knows that we don't make them all that often and that they are much healthier when they aren't deep fried! I've discovered that I like using Polenta as a batter/coating because of Daddy's gluten free diet and because it seems to cover better than GF breadcrumbs and flour.

Tuesday - Spaghetti Bolognese


When I made the lasagne on Saturday I made double the amount of the meat mix so that I could use it again later this week. We are having it with Spaghetti as it is a favourite dish and it's so quick to make when it's already half made! I however won't be eating it again as I'm going to be eating a day of Diet Chef meals which they have sent out to me to try. I have Pink Apple & Cinnamon Granola for breakfast Ham & Sweetcorn Chowder for lunch Chicken Korma for dinner and a Blackcurrant & Raspberry Bar as a snack at some point during the day. It's the Chowder I'm most looking forward to!

Wednesday - Greek Lamb & Feta Burgers


I've agreed to take part in a little challenge from McCain's to make some different meals to celebrate different countries in the Olympics. They would be great to make for parties during the summer, but I thought seeing as how you all won't be coming to my parties in the Summer that I'd blog about them so you could make them at your party!

Thursday - Jamaican Jerk Chicken


This is also a McCain's recipe, I love jerk chicken but have never made it. The recipe looks safe enough for me to follow without getting lost so I'm hoping it will taste as lovely as the dishes others have made for me in the past!

Friday - Pizza


Everyone deserves a pizza night now and then and I'm making ours tonight. Although I will be at the gym working it off after!


Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Big Boy - The Diabetic

A few weeks back Daddy and I suspected that Big Boy was a diabetic. Some tests during the half term at the hospital showed that as his sugars had returned to normal after a high keytones reading in his first wee of the morning, a diagnosis couldn't be made. The paediatrician on call was concerned enough that he thought that it warranted further tests and so the hospital arranged for us to be seen towards the end of August. Daddy and I weren't worried, we figured that the vague symptoms we had seen must have been attributed to some other yet unknown cause.

Then on Thursday I smelt a wee that Big Boy had done, there was the unmistakable whiff of sweetness with it and I knew that there were keytones in his Urine. Daddy took a urine sample down to the Surgery who did a quick test and told us we needed to call the hospital and get seen as soon as we could. We remembered what happened last time and so I explained to the Nurse who answered the phone on the DAU and she told us to come down straight away, just so we could check it all out.

So we spent most of the day at the hospital with Big Boy crying as he had blood taken, crying as he had his temperature taken, crying as he had his heart rate measured, crying because he didn't like the magic cream on the back of his hands and the inside of his elbows, crying because his Mummy and Daddy were letting the Doctors and Nurses do all these things to him.

And then we were with the paediatrician on call that day in an office just off the day assessment unit. He confirmed that BB does have diabetes and that it's Type One which means he will require several injections of insulin everyday for the rest of his life. The paediatrician just happened to be the Diabetic Specialist and so we'll be seeing a lot more of him over the coming weeks, months and years. And I think he delivers the news to parents enough to know that whilst we were shocked, we were at the same time pleased to have a diagnosis so that we could start being proactive about it.

We had a quick induction into the world of diabetes so that we could go home instead of staying in the hospital all weekend. So much of the things that I had been told about as a child by my Mum (who is a diabetic) were mentioned and it was overwhelming to know that now BB has to face the same future. We knew that we had to get back into our own normal routine as quickly as possible as it is the only way for us to learn and for BB to understand that now we have to test his blood before every meal and before bed and that we have to give him four injections of insulin a day.

My Diabetes Diary and FlexPen Insulin

And now we're here slightly shell shocked, grieving, angry and a little frightened but we are ready for the challenges ahead and we know that as a family we will get through this.

Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Friday, 13 July 2012

Top Enders Friday Lunch - Double Rainbow Bento

Top Ender had asked for a rainbow lunch again, as the Rainbow Lunch she had during the last the school year was so much fun that she wanted to revisit it. I must admit that it is my favourite lunch to make because it is so fun and colourful! I didn't want to do just a straight copy of last time though and so I came up with a few new foods to add to her lunch.

Double Rainbow Lunch Bento

In the Savoury pot we have some baked Chicken mini fillet from last nights dinner, some mashed carrot, some grated cheddar, some mange tout (again from last nights dinner as is the carrot), some blue rice and some purple rice! Creating food coloured rice is quite easy, you add a drop of blue for blue rice (obviously) and then just a drop of red to the blue rice to create purple. It looks horrid whilst mixing but as it dries it turns a lovely shade of purple.

Purple Rice

For the fruit rainbow we have Two Giant Strawberry's, a Satsuma, a Pineapple ring (cut into wedges) a few slices of Cucumber (it was going to be grapes but they weren't looking so tasty), a blue ribbon biscuit and for Purple we have three of the biggest Blackberries I have ever seen!

Big Blackberries

We finished off the lunch by putting in some Orange juice as a drink, some colourful cutlery and a silver napkin to represent the storm clouds that helped create this rainbow!


Double Rainbow Bento


So what do you think? Is this one of your favourite Top Ender lunches?

Follow my Weight Loss and Fitness Journey at Pippa World

Thursday, 12 July 2012

I Guess That's What Love Is

I hate driving on the motorway. I've done it enough times to know that I can do it (and do it well, I mean I've never been in an accident on the Motorway!) but I hate the speed and the lane changes and the other drivers and junctions that you have to come off at that look the same as junctions you don't want to come off at and I hate service stations and I hate hard shoulders and the lights down the middle and other drivers who drive with their high beams on...

Anyway.

On Sunday after we had seen the new Disney film Brave (review to come, but in short it's FAB!) we started driving home so that Daddy could watch the Tennis, as it is one of his annual indulgences (Tennis, Snooker, Air Shows and the occasional Concert). Unfortunately for us the traffic in London didn't want to help us and so an hour after we had left Chinatown we were still in London instead of nearly home as we had planned. Daddy knew that this was a risk when we went to the cinema, I guess that is what love is.

Daddy joked that he could log into his phone to watch the tennis, but that there was that unfortunate law about watching the road when you are driving. I suggested that I should drive home, even though I knew that it meant that driving on the much hated motorway. Daddy hesitated, he was clearly torn but didn't pursue the idea until about ten minutes later when we pulled up at some traffic lights and he yelled "SWAP NOW!"

So we did. Even though it meant that the driver of the bus behind us looked at us in shock as we ran round the car and Top Ender couldn't stop giggling for about ten minutes because the sight of seeing both her parents get out the car and swap seats. I think she was worried at first that we were just going to leave her in the car and run off together.

And then I drove home on the motorway (without any incidents I might add) and Daddy sat in the passenger seat watching the tennis and I didn't swear once.

I guess that's what love is.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Midnight Tango - Milton Keynes Theatre

I love my Mum a lot and so when I was telling her about the different shows that I had been offered tickets to go to by Milton Keynes Theatre and she said that she rather fancied going to see Midnight Tango I agreed to go with her, even though it really wasn't my cup of tea.

HOW WRONG WAS I?!

I know of Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace from BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, my Mum and Nan force me to watch them when I am at their homes and they are watching the show, but unlike my sister I have never really understood dance. I guess it comes from having no rhythm of my own.

MIDNIGHT TANGO - The Company 2 - January 2012 credit Manuel Harlan.jpg

The show was passionate, exciting and I was enthralled for the entire two hours, although for me the stars of the show were the bar keeper and his wife who kept me comically entertained during the entire show but they could also dance and they made it look so easy!

I know that I claim to have no rhythm, but the dancers had me so excited that I'm going to be looking into Tango lessons for me in the next few days. I think that it would be a great work out and something different to my normal Gym routine!

Milton Keynes Theatre gave me two tickets for the show.

The Olympic Torch Relay - Wordless Wednesday

Torch Relay Route Sign

Big Boy with his Home Made Olympic Torch

Sunday, 8 July 2012

What's For Lunch? (W/C 09/07)

It's nearly the end of the School year which is actually making me a little sad as even though I love surprising Top Ender with her lunches, in just a few short weeks I'll be making them for both Top Ender and Big Boy! I won't have my boy at home with me. I'm not quite sure how crazy I will be missing him but I'm sure that I'll soon get used to not having Big Boy around. This week we are doing a few of the lunches that Tops has asked for and some of her favourite from the last year.

Monday - Olympic Torch Lunch


The Olympic Torch is going past our road today and Tops and her school are going to watch it, so it's only right that we have an Olympic themed lunch! I'm going to give lots of fruit and veg because every Olympian needs plenty of fruit and veg in their diet and there will be some special treats too. Come and take a look on Monday morning here and on Facebook to see just how fantastic her lunch looks oh and whilst I remember if you have a blog enter my challenge with Coca-Cola to win Olympic Tickets!

Tuesday - Crunchy Ham Rolls


There is something lovely about a crunchy roll and Top Ender loves ham in the rolls too, I love making the ham sit in the roll in waves, so I can't wait to make this lunch.

Wednesday - Sandwich Sushi


Top Ender has been asking for Sandwich Sushi again especially because we are going to Chinatown today and there are a few items that she is after us buying for her lunches this week. We love going to The Japan Centre which is just round the corner from China Town so we might be able to grab a few more bento bits if Daddy isn't looking and we have made a promise to Tops that we will buy some more Hello Kitty crisps for the way home!

Sandwich Sushi Bento

Thursday - Ham, Cheese and Cucumber Pittas


This is one of Top Enders favourite lunches, the combination of three of her favourite foods in a handy  pocket of bread. I have some ideas about how we can make it much more exciting than just a plain pitta.

Friday - Top Enders Friday Lunch


As you know the Friday Lunch is always something special but as this week is a repeat of lunches past it has to be one of the most special lunches that I have made. I know if I tell you that it includes rice you will know what her lunch is this Friday, but there will be some changes so don't go expecting the same bento lunch again!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

What We Are Eating This Week (W/C 07/07)

I'm experimenting this coming week, I'm going to cut out all processed sugar from my diet and a lot of carbs too. It's been suggested in the comments over on Pippa World that I might find that this helps me to lose some weight and as I'm desperate for even just a lb to come off I'm willing to try! I checked with Daddy if he minded living this for a few weeks, but he said that if I hadn't of asked he probably wouldn't have even noticed. If you see potatoes/pasta/rice then just assume that I won't be eating them!

Saturday - Beef Steak Tarragon 


Many moons ago Daddy and I went on a diet together and this was one of the dishes that we ate whilst on the diet. We really loved it, it uses Creme Fraiche which I hardly ever buy, but as I'm on a diet I figured it was time to pull out the old trusty diet friendly recipes. As this one is only 382 calories per person when served with pasta. Taking away the pasta should make it around 256 calories and served with veggies should bring it up to about 300 calories for me.

Sunday - Cold Chicken and Vegetables with roasted potatoes


We are out at a Brave movie premier this Sunday, but we don't want to lose out on having our weekly roast. I have some cold chicken pieces in the fridge and I can quickly roast some potatoes and steam some vegetables to go with it so everyone will get what they like from the weekly roast and I won't have to worry about diving my time between watching the Tennis, seeing the film, going to the gym and making the weekly roast!

Monday - Chicken Satay


Daddy and I love Chicken Satay, but since Daddy has been diagnosed as being a Celiac he hasn't been able to have it all that often as finding pre-made Chicken Satay that is gluten free is a hard task. I'm going to serve it with stir fried vegetables and rice noodles for everyone apart from me.

Tuesday - Spaghetti Carbonara


It will be an Egg White Omelette for me as I'm going out with my Mum to see some Dance show at Milton Keynes Theatre (I'm really not looking forward to it!) but Daddy, Top Ender and Big Boy will be able to have a leisurely meal of creamy carbonara, I'll even make them some garlic bread if they are nice to me!

Wednesday - Home Made Burgers


I'm going to wrap my burger in lettuce but Tops and Big Boy will have burger buns and Daddy will have something from his Gluten free stash in the cupboard. I'll serve it with sweetcorn for me and Tops and chips for Tops and Daddy and Big Boy. I'll go with a nice salad with a home made salsa for me and some grilled mushrooms for Daddy and I too.

Thursday - My Very Own Princes Salmon Recipe


I've been asked by Princes to create a recipe using their tinned Salmon and they are sending me some to experiment with. I did think about making a Salmon Mousse like my Mum used to make for parties and I thought about making Salmon fishcakes too. I thought that the children would like Salmon casserole or a noodle casserole but in the end I decided to make something completely different and if you want to know what it is then you'll have to come back on Thursday!

Princes Wild Pink Salmon

Friday - Bacon wrapped Chicken Breasts stuffed with cream cheese and spinach


Bacon wrapped chicken breasts are so easy to make and are really filling too. I'll serve it with veggies for everyone to share, but I'll let BB off because he doesn't like chicken or bacon or vegetables at the minute and whilst he'll have a little on his plate I'll serve him some pasta.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Top Enders Friday Lunch - Fish

I couldn't remember what I had mentally planned for Top Enders lunch this Friday, so when I came home from my workout at the gym and she came downstairs I gave her a few options of things I could make with what we had on hand. Top Ender decided that a Sausage Roll would be the best option for her lunch, seeing as they were home made and as she loves a sausage roll. Top Ender asked if she could help make her lunch today so this has been a joint effort.

Pulling the sausage roll out I thought that I might be able to make Daddy's rocket idea, but as the roll was as big as the box I was putting it in, I realised that it didn't have space for any additions. The shape reminded me a little of a fish, so pulling out my food pens Top Ender and I quickly drew some scales, fins and an eye. Top Ender was most disappointed that the eye wasn't a cross because the fish was dead! I think she has been watching too much anime.


Sausage Roll Fish Bento

The rest of the lunch was chosen by Top Ender, cucumber and orange to make the water and sky for the fish (I think it is a leaping Salmon), a jaffa cake bar, an apple a milkshake and some cheese twists. The cheese twists are a big favourite snack of Top Enders and they fitted in the gap nicely too.

Whilst this might not be the best lunch I've ever made it was one of the most fun to make because Tops Ender helped me with it.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Late Night Swimming

Last night after we had eaten dinner, Top Ender and I were going to go swimming whilst Daddy watched the end of the Andy Murray tennis match. It should have been Daddy taking Top Ender, but Daddy had wanted to watch the tennis and so I had said I would take Tops instead. As luck would have it just as we were ready to go the tennis match finished and so we decided that we should all go as a family. Despite it being quite late compared to the children's bed times, we didn't mind we knew that a good swim would help the children go to sleep and to have a good sleep.

I've discovered over the last couple of weeks that exercise means that the sleep after is deep and relaxing and solid. I do love a good solid sleep, and I'm loving the gym even more but that's for posts over at Pippa World so if you have no idea what I'm going on about head on over!

We arrived at the pool and were soon having fun. After Top Enders swimming session with Daddy a couple of weeks ago we realised that Tops has pretty much forgotten all the swimming skills that she had learnt when I took her weekly for swimming lessons. I'm not surprised really as there was a huge gap in between when she had last gone swimming, but I knew that the memory was still there she just needed to access it. After a few widths of Tops swimming with her newly purchased Pool Noodle I took the noodle from her and asked her to swim without it.

Tops looked terrified, but she knew that I was going to be right next to her. So she pushed off and swam and swam and swam. We ended up putting the noodle on the side next to one of the lifeguards because she was swimming so strongly. It was lovely to see her confidence just explode as she realised that she was swimming without aid and Daddy and I were very proud of her.

Big Boy of course was loving swimming with his pool noodle and was doing brilliantly having races with whoever was closest to him. Big Boy is doing so great with his learning to swim that I'm pretty sure by the end of the year he will be swimming without aid too.

We ended up putting the children to bed at 9:30pm, but nobody minded because we had had so much fun together. I think that late night swimming might become a regular family treat quite soon.

Top Ender and Big Boy going Swimming several Years ago

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Sounion - Wordless Wednesday

The weather is pretty miserable at the moment, here in the UK and so I've been looking at old holiday snaps to cheer myself up. This was taken by my husband at Poseidon's Temple at Sounion on our Honeymoon in Greece. It was a long hot bus ride, but really worth it to see the temple at sunset.

Sounion Athens Greece


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Preparing For Summer - The Tasty Way

As well as preparing the freezer with plenty of ice cubes and ice lollies I'm getting it ready by filling it with plenty of home baking too. During the summer we always have a few picnics with home baked goodies when the weather is nice enough and this year will be no different... even if my baby is going to be leaving me to go to School at the end of it!

The great thing about having the freezer full of treats and home baked goodies is that you can whip something up in an instant, you know what the treats contain and also it's fun to be able to bake without any mess.

Bake without any mess?

Yes, bake without any mess. When baking make double batches and put the second batch either baked or unbaked in the freezer. If you freeze them baked you can just throw them in the picnic box and let them defrost whilst keeping other things cool and they will be ready to eat in just a few hours. Normally it's enough time to get to where you are having your picnic.

Freezing them unbaked is just as fun as you can just get a few out to bake at a time, rather than making 100's of cookies in one go and spoiling your summer diet.

Baked Cookies Ready for the Freezer

I've made the following sweet treats for the freezer and as all the recipes are available on this blog, I've linked to them in case you want to make them too.

Carrot And Oat Cookies
Carrot Apple and Sultana Muffins
Mixed Spice Biscuits
Raisin Cookies (Just replace the chocolate in the recipe with raisins)

Most of them are fairly healthy because they contain added fruits and vegetables, but when it's presented as a biscuit or cake children don't notice the health aspect and eat them up as easily as if they were dipped in chocolate!

We're also making some Savoury bits and pieces, because you can't just eat sweet treats all summer, no matter how much you want to. Things that we have made for the freezer for summer are;

Quiche (not star shaped this time, but just as fun!)
Sausage Rolls
Scotch Eggs
Pizzas


Do you stock up the freezer before Summer? Are you getting ready for picnics and easy Summer Suppers? What else should we include in our preparations?

Monday, 2 July 2012

Murder On The Nile - Milton Keynes Theatre

My Mum and I used to watch quite a lot of films together when I was young. My Mum knows everything about every actor ever and is the best person to have on your Trivial Pursuits team and so when we saw that Murder on the Nile was coming to Milton Keynes Theatre we were really pleased to be offered tickets as it was one of our favourite films to watch together on a Sunday afternoon.

Some of the Cast Of Murder On The Nile

The stage version was fantastic, my Mum and I really enjoyed the show and despite already knowing who did it and how they did it and when they did it we were caught up in the drama as it unfolded. My Mum knew who a lot of the cast were, partly due to her encyclopaedic knowledge of people in the entertainment industry (I recognised some of their faces, if not what they were from) and partly because she is really clever!

It was really nice going to the theatre and not seeing a musical as I normally go and see. I guess having my Mum as a theatre companion makes me appreciate a wider range of theatre.

We were given two tickets to see Murder on the Nile by Milton Keynes Theatre.

My Other Half – Meme

I do love a good meme and the one that Jo has created and tagged me in is about one of my favourite subjects. No, it's not about Dr Pepper (still not had any and we are already in July), no it's not about going to the gym, it's not about making up storylines for Kids TV programmes for after the water shed... it's about Daddy aka Flyfour. Thanks Jo for letting me chat about my Man!


Daddy's Cartoon Avatar


Where did you meet your partner?
    On the internet actually. I was waiting to talk to someone else I knew from work and he (being Daddy) started a conversation with me. I have no idea why, I think he was just chatting up girls who lived close to him.
What age were you when you got together?
     I had just turned 20, he was 21. I think. It was a long time ago lol.
Did your parent’s instantly take to him?
    Yes, they did like him. My Gran often referred to him as "Our People" and if my Grandfather hadn't died a few months before I know they would have got on like a house on fire.
What is the sweetest thing he has ever done?
    There is so much! I'm really lucky with Flyfour, he is pretty much the best husband in the world. I think that the sweetest thing he has done recently though was... nope can't do it. Everything he does is sweet!
Did you think your relationship would last?
     Yes, we were talking about marriage after three days.
How long after you started seeing each other did you move in together?
     We moved in together officially when we got married in 2001, so erm 28 months.
If you were to give yourself a piece of advice at the start of the relationship from what you know now, what would it be? 
    You know that exercise routine that you both start doing? Keep doing it!

The rules as always are very simple, 
  1. Thank the person who tagged you and link up with Jo's original post.
  2. Answer the questions (all that you can)
  3. Tag 5 people you'd like to hear about
  4. Read some of the other people who were tagged and enjoy finding out about them all!
I'm going to tag;

Emma at Me, The Man And The Baby seeing as how she just got married.
Tara at Sticky Fingers because I love the shots from her wedding
CJ at Crystal Jigsaw because I think I know her story already and I love it.
Sian at Mummy Tips because I've always wondered and

Sunday, 1 July 2012

What's For Lunch? (W/C 02/07)

Every morning when I get back from the gym I start making Top Enders lunch (I post the pictures on our Facebook page around 8am if you haven't already seen). I have a little routine going where I put in her drink and fruit before making her sandwich and then the last thing I add is a treat snack. Top Ender knows that the treat snack is only to be eaten if she has eaten all the rest of her meal, but she normally doesn't have a problem with this! I do make a lot of biscuits and cakes that I wrap and put in the freezer for pulling out for lunch box snacks, but recently I have been buying some multi-packs of cakes that Tops and BB like, after seeing how quickly they demolished the cakes that McVities sent us over the Bank Holiday Weekend.


The great thing about having the individual packs is that I know that as there are only five in a packet that I can't sneak one, which helps my diet too. If you want to know how I'm going then pop over to Pippa World.

Monday - Home Made Sausage Rolls


Tops Loves (with a capital L!) Sausage rolls and loves making them too. So I'll get her making some Sausage rolls on Sunday morning. That way she'll do all the hard work and I'll get all the credit for a great morning activity and a great packed lunch on the Monday. As School reports are due out this evening and the children will find out who their new teacher is for next year there are going to be a fun note in her lunch.

Tuesday - Stuffed Pittas


We're going for a Tuna and cucumber stuffed pitta on Tuesday, as it's a good way to make sure that we eat a portion of fish and tuna and cucumber are a great combination. I've made some great biscuits for Tops to have this next couple of weeks, so I hope that it will bring some fun to her lunch.

Wednesday - Star Quiche For The 4th July!


It's the last portion of the special Star Quiche, so Tops will be after me to make another one, but I'm trying to think of something just as fun but different. If anyone has any ideas please let me know in the comments. Anyway as it's the 4th July, there are going to be some special American treats, well what I say are American treats!

Thursday - Noodles


Sometimes BB and I have a different lunch to the one that we have planned for Tops. One of the most common lunches that we have is Noodles, which if I haven't done the dishes before Tops comes home and she sees then she gets really jealous. So I thought that today we would surprise her with noodles when she thinks that she is getting something else.

Friday - Top Enders Friday Lunch


It's nearly the end of term, so I'm taking requests from Top Ender for her lunches for the next couple of weeks. She has a few ideas, and some that are great so I'm going to use them next year when I'm doing lunches for Tops and BB (Sob, BB is going to school soon sob), but we thought we'd go for something super pretty today.