Friday, 28 February 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge

OK, so last June I took part in Juneathon, a fitness challenge where you jogged, logged and blogged every day for the month of June. The challenge also ran in January under the name of Janathon, unfortunately I wasn't able to take part due to my operation, so in order to make up for this I have decided to do a challenge of my own and call it Mad March Marathon.

Entering the spirit of the aforementioned challenge my aim is to cover 26 miles a day by foot or bike, log my miles, and blog about what I've done.

My ulterior motive behind doing this is to get fit for 35, which I will be in 23 days.

So tomorrow morning, I will weigh and measure myself, get my exercise bike out and attempt to cover 26 miles a day on it. Allowing for the possibility of getting saddle sore, I will take into account any miles I've walked and if I can do more on one day to have a rest on the next then I'll allow that too - my challenge - my rules right?

So as my bike only works in km let's do some maths,

marathon = 26 miles 385 yards = 42.195 km
31 days in March = 31 x 42.195 km = 1308.045 km , ( might as well make it 1308.05 km )

Best get to bed then, I've got a lot of peddling to do tomorrow!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

How big should my 3 year old be?

Answer: (raise childs arms) So big!

I have found myself asking this question ever since Squiggle turned 3 in March 2013. In fact the Christmas before started the curiosity as my brother wanted to buy him a coat for Christmas and ended up buying an aged 5-6 years coat. It was a little big for him but by his 3rd birthday he had grown into it. At playgroup he towers over his friends whilst wearing his aged 5-6 clothes and size 10 shoes.

There isn't much information on the internet about what height a child should be, but so long as they are a healthy weight for the height then that's really all that matters. So after checking his BMI on the NHS website, Squiggle is perfectly in proportion, but still doesn't answer my question! I did some further searching and what I found out about his height at 2 years old made me pause with disbelief though. There is a general rule of thumb that at 2 years old your child is half their adult height. Squiggle was 36 inches tall ( 3 feet ) when he was 2, so that means he could be at least 72 inches or 6 feet tall when he's an adult!

Clothes shopping is becoming tricky because I'm never quite sure what size to buy, do I stick to what fits him now or buy a size or two bigger that will need hems/sleeves rolling up in the short term but will last him a bit longer?
Last night my husband and I decided to buy him a new coat for nursery and spent most of the time disagreeing over the size. Hubby wanted to stick with a 5-6 year old coat which I duly bought and then spent the rest of the evening trying to squeeze Squiggle into it when we got home. I had to take back today and swap it for a larger size ( which I wanted to buy in the first place ), the only size left being for a 9 year old!

Needless to say Mr Homer wasn't happy with the thought of his 'little' boy wearing such a large coat and thought it would look silly on him. It fits perfectly! I tried to explain to him that he shouldn't get hung up on the size but just to go with the flow and buy clothes that fit - speaking from experience here, I have been known to buy clothes 2 or even 3 sizes bigger just because they fit better, doesn't always mean that I am that size. Each manufacturer must have different measurements because no 2 shops have identical sizes.

The only downside I find is that whereas the young and smaller boys clothes have cute designs, the bigger and older boys clothes are more grown up and not cutesy. They don't seem to have the cartoon characters printed on them like George Pig or Jake & The Pirates, Squiggle is still my baby boy and I want to keep him like that for as long as possible because I did miss out on the first 12 months of his life with being in hospital.
I want young childrens clothes and designs but in bigger sizes, is there anyone out there that sells them?

If you spot any whilst out shopping, pop back and let me know please.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Meal Planning Monday 24th February 2014

Well back to normal this week, nursery is back open and I'm taking back my motherly duties of doing the school run and looking after Squiggle on his days off.  I have "recovered" from my gallbladder operation,  it's been 3 weeks and the scars have healed, not sure the insides have recovered as I have an horrendous niggling pain that comes and goes but the doctor said not to worry unless it carries on after a month has passed! - a month will be next week and I can't see it going away by then.

The meal planning helped last week both with the diet and with my recovery as they were simple foods and I could actually get in the kitchen and cook them. There was a slight chop and change towards the end of the week with what meal to have on what day but all meals were accounted for.

This week looks like a fairly easy week judging by the contents of my freezer. Fish fingers everyday it is then! They must have either been on offer whilst I was in hospital or my husband is desperately trying to deplete the fish stock of the Atlantic Ocean!

Anyway after searching further into the snowy wasteland of the freezer, past the fish fingers there is something I can make a meal out of for the week, so I have constructed the following meal ideas and made a firm decision to not buy any more freezer food until I have defrosted the freezer. As a bonus though I did come across a jam roly poly and half a dozen frozen margaritas which will go down nicely at the weekend!

Monday - Leftover Spag Bol
Tuesday - lamb, mash & peas
Wednesday - fish fingers!!!!
Thursday - Child free night so possibly the pub or a takeaway
Friday - chicken fajitas
Saturday - spicy chilli sausages & mash followed by frozen margaritas!!
Sunday - roast dinner- using up the half empty bags of veg from the freezer, plus the jam roly poly!

Now after reviewing that I may have to go shopping for foodstuff because by the end of the week the freezer will just contain a bag of chips, some peas and fish fingers!

Thanks again to MrsM for arranging #mealplanningmonday, if you're in need of meal ideas please feel free to click through to her site.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Are you a credit card tart?

I'm a bit of a credit card tart in that I like to chop and change and swap balances on my credit cards in order to keep the APR down, and try to eventually get them paid off. Unfortunately like many promiscuous people, my past has finally caught up with me!

A few years ago I did a bit of swapping onto what I thought was a lifetime balance transfer of 5.4%, all was going well until my credit card statement landed on my doorstep this morning and I nearly had heart failure. At a second glance I thought this cannot be right, they've made a mistake and duly rang to tell them so. I felt smug sitting there waiting for the call to be answered, that feeling soon wore off and embarrassment took over as I was put in my place. The promotional rate was only valid for 2 years and had now expired, so the regular rate of 28.9% !!! would take effect from next month.

Panic set in because I hadn't got another card spare to tart my money off to, and there was no way I could afford to pay 5x more interest than what I had been used to. By my rough calculations it would have been equal to my current minimum payments which means I would probably never pay the darn thing off.

Thankfully Mr Homer came to the rescue this evening and we managed to shift the debt onto a new lifetime balance transfer of 6.9%, I'm gutted that it's more than what I've been paying but so thankful that it's a heck of a lot less than what I could be paying.

So lesson learnt, if you are going to be promiscuous with your credit card tarting make sure you take precautions and check the fine print before jumping into bed with a new credit card provider!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Meal Planning Monday - 17th February 2014

So I'm officially back in action, gallbladder removed, no serious side effects, had my 2 weeks of recovery and it's driven me insane, so I'm back in the kitchen this week cooking. I am pleased to report that I did lose a little bit of weight following the restricted diet so I'm eager to continue but not to that extreme. I'm going to try calorie counting which will allow me to still eat what I like but with smaller portions.

So my plan for this week is as follows

Monday: Fish fingers, mash & alphabet spaghetti

Tuesday: lamb steaks, mash and peas

Wednesday: lemon chicken & rice

Thursday: child free night so off out somewhere!

Friday:  slow cooker day will raid cupboard and see what sauces I have lurking in there

Saturday: possible leftovers from yesterday

Sunday: Roast dinner with all the trimmings

For more inspiration or to join in with meal planning Monday follow MrsM's! blog

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Craft Nomination

I must say I have been lucky enough to escape the stupid Nek Nomination craze that is currently doing the rounds, for those of you who don't know what this is, I'll explain as best I can. You nominate a 'friend' to drink a pint of alcohol in one go ( i.e. neck it ), they have to do this within 24 hours of being nominated and film themselves doing it. Once completed the Nekker become the Nominator and picks one of their friends, and so it goes on and on. I used the word 'friend' loosely because why anyone would ask a friend to do such a stupid thing is beyond me but some of my friends have partaken in this craze. I am of course excluded on medical grounds, my pancreas just won't allow it.

However I am all for being RAK nominated ( Random Acts of Kindness ) and a new one which I received yesterday - Craft Nomination.

I was nominated to do something crafty within 24 hours. Now this is just the kick up the back side I need to get back into card making & paper crafting. My News Years resolution was to make more this year, I think I managed to make just a single card last year, which was a pretty poor effort on my part.

I bought some cute Forever Friends London/British papers and stickers in the New Years sale but up until tonight I hadn't got round to using them. I decided to take up the challenge and make a card.

Chosen items from Docrafts Best of British &
Papermania Portabello Road collections
End result!
I was so impressed with my effort that I went on to make another card from the same packs.

On a roll!
Two cards in one night is enough for me! It's 100% more than I made last year and it's only February, so I think I can safely say that my New Years resolution of making more cards this year is well and truly in the bag!

I'm off to sit down and congratulate myself with a cuppa, but for those of you reading this I now nominate you to do something crafty within 24 hours and post about it. It can be big or small, card making or cake baking, you could do something you're already good at or try something new, something simple like following a step by step guide to origami or if you fancy something more challenging try painting a full blown self portrait, the only limit is your own imagination. 

Come back and let me know what you've done.