Monday, 31 March 2014

Meal Planning Monday - 31st March 2014

I hope all you all had a lovely weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to all the mums out there. What a hectic few weeks it's been, which has unfortunately meant the meal planning went out of the window, and saw an increase in takeaways, a sharp decrease in our bank balance and a huge increase on the weighing scales!

So this week I am aiming to get back on track and not buy any takeaways!

Monday - Wacky Warehouse Birthday Party for Squiggle, so will probably just nibble on the leftovers
Tuesday - Lasagne and Mediterranean veg ( it's been sitting in the fridge for nearly a week! )
Wednesday - Hotpot with a difference. I like to put mine in a giant Yorkshire Pudding!
Thursday - child free night - anything goes!
Friday - Slow cooker day, might do a curry or something
Saturday & Sunday - probably more party food, Squiggle has 2 parties to go to - check him out and his social life, gets invited out to more do's than I do!

As usual this is linked up with Mrs M's Meal Planning, head over there to see other meal ideas or to join in the fun!

Friday, 28 March 2014

The difference between cats and dogs - a 3 year olds perspective ( A.K.A Kids say the funniest things part 2 )

Let me set the background to this.  My mum has been great at helping hubby bring up Squiggle whilst I have been recovering from my pancreatitis, she has Squiggle one night a week during the week and did have him most weekends. Unfortunately time at Grandma's has brought some bad habits, the latest being that Squiggle tries to lick his plate clean like my dad does, but that's not relevant, what is relevant is that we have a "defective" cat called Leo. Leo is a rescue cat who has been with us for nearly 5 years. He isn't a full cat on account of him having no tail. Nobody knows what happened to it but he does quite suit not having one, I don't think he is at all bothered by not having one.

The cat with no tail!

Anyway back to the story, whilst looking after Squiggle and when changing his nappies and going through potty training  my mum used to refer to him as Willy Wet Tail! As Squiggle has grown this has stuck with him, and now he quite innocently calls his willy, his tail. This was all fine, until one day he asked "mummy, you got a tail?" He's only three and I didn't really want to be explaining the facts of life and the birds and bees to him, but what could I do? So I sat him down and we had a conversation about boys and girls and how they were different. He asked questions about grandma, grandpa, daddy, in fact every family member, so he now knows who is a boy and who is a girl.

He was quite happy with this for several weeks, then last night, out of the blue, he promptly announced that he now knows the difference between cats and dogs! Dogs have bum tails and cats don't!!

I think another little chat is due!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Days 25-26

Day 25

Had a busy day trying to get things together for my sons birthday at the weekend, by the time I had a chance to get on my bike, it was bedtime, so had to do just a cycle to get some miles in!

Monthly target -            1308.05 km
Cycled today -                         32 km
Walked today -                         0 km
Total cycled/walked -      627.05 km
Left to go -                           681 km

Day 26

Today was much better, as well as taking Squiggle on a very quick trip to the park whilst dodging hailstones, I've managed to do just over 4 hours today and cycled 113 km / 70 miles, so am back on track again!

Monthly target -            1308.05 km
Cycled today -                       113 km
Walked today -                      1.5 km
Total cycled/walked -      741.55 km
Left to go -                         566.5 km

Monday, 24 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Days 21 - 24

Day 21

Just a quick update for today, I managed to do a quick 13 km in half an hour!

Monthly target -            1308.05 km
Cycled today -                         13 km
Walked today -                         0 km
Total cycled/walked -      523.05 km
Left to go -                           785 km

Day 22 & 23

Saturday didn't bring any cycling and nor did Sunday - why not - well it was my BIRTHDAY!!! and I for one am not going to exert myself on my birthday now am I?!?!?
On the plus side, I certainly managed to get fit for 35, and have a lot more energy. I've also manage to squeeze into my size 14 jeans, still can't quite fasten them, but hey I can get them on!

Monthly target -            1308.05 km
Cycled today -                          0 km
Walked today -                         0 km
Total cycled/walked -      523.05 km
Left to go -                           785 km

Day 24

So as the weekend wasn't fulfilled with miles I now need to crack on, catch up and finish my challenge. I've only got a week left to do it in.

Monthly target -            1308.05 km
Cycled today -                         72 km
Walked today -                         0 km
Total cycled/walked -      595.05 km
Left to go -                           713 km

so arrrgghhh!! - I've now to do over 100 km a day! - which is at least 4 hours cycling! ouch my poor bottom! But I'm going to do it!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon: Days 19 & 20

Day 19

So yesterday was another nice day, and again I put my bike in the garden to cycle on. Had no embarrassing moments like last week, it was recycling day today so the bins are kept out longer because it takes all day for the council to come and empty the various bins. I hope these little spells of sunshine are practise sessions for Summer, would be lovely to have some nice weather this year, and be able to take Squiddle on days out.
So I did 21.9 km in the morning sunshine and then another 25.56 km in the house!

Monthly target -            1308.05 km
Cycled today -                    47.46 km
Walked today -                         0 km
Total cycled/walked -      430.05 km
Left to go -                            878 km

Day 20

Today was International Day of Happiness and I spent it with the people who make me happy, Squiddle, my mum and grandma ( not saying that hubby doesn't make me happy but he had to go to work! ) We had a lovely day out at a garden centre and a craft/florist wholesalers, ooh I could have spent a fortune there - will have to return again another day without Squiddle as he just wanted to run around so we didn't get to see half of the stuff!

Anyway, I've managed to fit about 3 hours worth of cycling in today - as I woke in a good mood I did a bit this morning and then again tonight, and have done a whopping 80 km / 49.71 miles!!!!

Monthly target -            1308.05 km
Cycled today -                         80 km
Walked today -                         0 km
Total cycled/walked -      510.05 km
Left to go -                           798 km

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Days 16 - 18

Oh dear everything's gone to pot this weekend, Squiddle has been feeling poorly, I'm hurting and hubby is just....well being hubby!  Meal Planning Monday has gone out of the window, Squiddle says he just wants bowls of custard and I'm just about managing to eat a sandwich, so there's hardly any planning involve in that, and I'm not designing a menu for one person i.e. hubby!

I have still done a few bits on the old exercise bike but not as much as I'd like, not sure if people want to read about this every day so might just do a couple of updates a week - plus it'll keep those of you who are reading guessing on how I'm doing!

Monthly target -            1308.05 km
Cycled today -                    31.30 km
Walked today -                         0 km
Total cycled/walked -      382.59 km
Left to go -                       925.46 km

Saturday, 15 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Day 15

Wow, I'm nearly halfway through the month and have certainly started lagging behind, it's going to be tough going, but I am determined to do it! -  quitters never win and winners never quit, so I am going to persevere with it.

I have been out most of the day in Harrogate at The Great Northern Papercraft Extravaganza and will post separately about this, yet again the GPS failed me, so on record I have only walked 0.52 miles! ( I know I did a lot more than this walking up and down aisles and aisles of craft stalls! )

Any way I've redeemed myself tonight by doing just over 28 miles on the exercise bike in a little over an hour and a half.

Monthly target -            1308.05 km
Cycled today -                    45.55 km
Walked today -                    0.84 km
Total cycled/walked -      351.29 km
Left to go -                       956.76 km

Friday, 14 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Days 13 & 14 - mini update

The last 2 days I have been busy stripping the wallpaper off my living room walls. I have been up and down the ladder more times than I can remember! It's certainly good work for toning the bingo wings up, but has been detrimental to my challenge, yet again I've done no cycling for 2 days, I am starting to worry that I will fall so far behind that I might never be able to catch up!

On a plus point I had no car today so I had to walk Squiddle to nursery and back, so I am going to count my walking miles in my challenge - see first post for the rules - plus as its my first ever Mad March Challenge I'll make it up as I go along, so the next time we shall all know the rules!!!

Monthly target -            1308.05 km
Cycled today -                          0 km
Walked today -                  4.35  km
Total cycled/walked -      304.90 km
Left to go -                      1003.15 km

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon: Days 10, 11 & 12

Wow, I cannot believe it's Wednesday already. Where is this week going? I think all this exercise is finally catching me up, all I've done for the last 2 nights is sleep!

Had quite a few miles to cover today to make up for the last few days, and as the day was nice and sunny I decided to put my bike in the garden and peddle away. It seemed a good idea until I remembered it was bin day and then had to suffer the embarrassment of the neighbours looking and giggling at me as they wheeled their wheelie bins back into their own gardens!

Evil Goose is coming!
This afternoon I took Squiddle up to the reservoir to the feed the ducks, all was going well until the Evil Goose came along and started honking at us. There's lots of geese up there but there's only one that flies in and starts making a racket until he is stuffed full.
Now I am scared of geese after an encounter I had when I was a little girl with a flock of them. My mum had taken me to the park to feed the ducks, but we were cornered by at least a dozen geese and attacked and chased by them. It has made both of us petrified of geese ever since, so I had to put on a brave face as I didn't want my fear to come across to Squiddle, he picks up on things too easy and then starts to copy, so the last thing I need is to make him frightened of geese.

After tea, I had another session on the bike, but had to bring it inside because it had gone cold and dark in the garden!
And now I am already tucked up in bed ready to drop off to sleep. Everything hurts tonight, my legs feel rock hard, my shoulders ache but I can nearly get back into my size 14 jeans so will keep chanting the mantra - no pain - no gain!

I have done a total of 3 hours on my bike today and covered 47.28 miles / 76.10 km

Monthly target - 1308.05 km
Cycled today -       76.10 km
Total cycled -        300.55 km
Left to go -          1007.5 km

Monday, 10 March 2014

GoodReads Book Review: Bottles and Pots by Jacqueline Pye

The Good Reads website is a great place to hang out and read and write reviews about books or take part in pre release giveaways and get the chance to read and review books either before or just after they are released.

I have been lucky enough to have been chosen to receive a copy of Bottles and Pots by Jacqueline Pye.

My well read copy

Bottles and Pots is a collection of short stories and longer pieces that really got my brain ticking. They are dark tales of murder, betrayal and mind games. Some of the short stories are barely a page long but really set the scene and had me thinking about them long after I had finished reading them. The longer stories are filled with twists and turns that left me second guessing at the outcome often which I didn't expect.

The book is only 90 pages long and easy to read, once started I found myself hooked on turning the pages and didn't stop till I reached the end.
Like most compilations there were a few stories that didn't appeal as much as others, but that's personal choice.
My favourite two stories were The Enemy and Cobwebs, because they both resonate with two of the things I detest in life - clowns and spiders!

Have you read it? What did you think? Which story/stories did you like?

Disclaimer: I entered and won a competition to receive a copy of this book to read and write a review for the Good Reads website.

Meal Planning Monday - 10th March 2014

Good morning everybody, how was your weekend? I had a fun filled day on Saturday at the Cake International Show at Event City in Manchester and I'm now inspired to do a spot of baking and cake decorating this week. Boy am I going to be busy then, I'm still on with my marathon cycling challenge and I'm also attempting to redecorate my living room. I think it's about time, we've lived here nearly 9 years and the only thing I've done is change the curtains!

Last weeks menu was going very well until it got to the weekend and I kept forgetting to take the meat of out the freezer. The chicken didn't defrost in time so last night we simply had beans on toast with a fried egg, and boy was it good!

So this week my aim is to remember to defrost in time for tea!

Monday - slow cooked chicken with sweet potato ( that we should have had last night! )
Tuesday - lamb curry with rice & naan bread
Wednesday -spag bol
Thursday - child free night - anything goes!
Friday - fish fingers & mash
Saturday - takeaway or fakeaway
Sunday -  roast dinner

As usual this post is linked with MrsM's linky

Sunday, 9 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Days 8 & 9

To start off with I'll just do a quick update about yesterday, I thought I'd set my GPS tracker off  whilst I wandered around the Cake International Show at Event City and try to rack up some miles by foot, unfortunately this was an epic fail as my GPS failed to track me!, so despite being on my feet for well over 5 hours it only tracked the distance from the car to the event hall and back again!

So today I have had to make up the miles on my bike again.
I had a vigorous session this morning clocking up 25.65 km / 15.97 miles in an hour and tonight I've done a further 26.80 km / 16.65 miles in an hour.

Pleasantly on the weight side of things since starting this last Saturday I've lost 4lbs and 2cm off my waist, hips and boobs! My tight fitting jeans are fitting a lot better today but best off all on the BMI chart I'm no longer classed as obese - I'm just overweight now!

Property of No One's Homer
After my illness!
My weight has always been a bother to me, I was an active child but during a short stay in hospital I was spoiled by milkshakes and chocolate and soon became hooked on them. My weight went up and down over the years till I eventually ballooned to a whopping 18 stone when I was pregnant. ( I only actually gained 5lbs during my pregnancy! )  I then lost over 10 stone through being ill with pancreatitis and could stand in one leg of my old jeans!

 I was put on a high calorie diet to try and gain some weight back and it worked but over the last 3 years I have gained more than I needed to and actually ended up being classed as obese again! My mission is to try and change my eating habits and cut out the high calorie eating and start exercising again. ( Even though I was extremely overweight I was always active ) I have a couple of apps on my phone which are helping me to record my calorie intake and this challenge is helping me kick-start the exercise regime. It's all going in the right direction for me to be fit for 35!

Monthly target - 1308.05 km
Cycled today -        52.45 km
Total cycled -        224.45 km
Left to go -          1083.60 km

Friday, 7 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Day 7 ( a micro blog of somesorts )

Just a very quick post because today was another non starter. I spent the morning at playgroup with Squiggle and whilst tidying the toys away I bent over and something twinged behind my scar, so I didn't fancy aggravating things by peddling too hard.

Monthly target - 1308.05 km
Cycled today -                0 km
Total cycled -        172.00 km
Left to go -          1136.05 km

Thursday, 6 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Day 6

Just a short update today, as I'm off out for a curry for my tea!
Spent today playing with Squiggle so not much time for peddling and I doubt I'll be doing much when I get home so I'm going to call it a day.
Did 22.10 km / 13.73 miles today in 50 minutes.

Monthly target - 1308.05 km
Cycled today -         22.10 km
Total cycled -        172.00 km
Left to go -          1136.05 km

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Day 5

Had a quiet day at home today, Squiggle was certainly full of beans this morning but he has been asleep all afternoon, I think he must be going through a growing phase. All he does these days is eat and sleep ( must be getting practice for when he is a teenager! ) So today has been perfect for me to get back on my exercise bike, catch up on my peddling and also on one or two programmes that I had recorded.

So today I have done 46.30 km / 28.77 miles in just over 2 hours, not bad. Even though I've only been at this for 5 days ( or 4 if you count yesterdays non effort ) my jeans did feel a bit looser today. I'm eager to weigh and measure myself but don't want to until I've done a week. I've been obsessed in the past weighing myself every day and it's not a good idea at all because weight differs every day so one day you could be up and the other be down.

Monthly target - 1308.05 km
Cycled today -         46.30 km
Total cycled -        149.90 km
Left to go -          1158.15 km

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Day 4

Not one to shy away away from mistakes or failures, I'll hold my hand up and admit to doing to naff all today! I had a slow wander round town this morning, bought a bacon butty and a hot chocolate and retired back home to my settee where I sat and watched TV whilst contemplating where to start with packing up my living room. I want to get it decorated before my birthday, I've lived in this house for 8 and a half years and the only thing I've done in this room is change the curtains! so it's about time it got decorated.

Monthly target - 1308.05 km
Cycled today -         0.00 km
Total cycled -        103.60 km
Left to go -          1204.45 km

Must try harder and will do better tomorrow!

Monday, 3 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Day 3 - card making & hospital visit

Well 3 days in and I'm already falling behind! Not wanting to make excuses but it was my last visit to the hospital to see my surgeon and I really wanted to make a thank you card for him, which took up most of the day, because it had to be just right! I made him a cut out card, to thank him for doing my surgery by keyhole, it really made him laugh!

Aww sweet!, but appearances can be deceiving,

The inside isn't as cute!
So for those of you curious what the inside is all about, that is a gallbladder peeping out from behind the hole! I had a lot of problems from my pancreatitis surgery and my surgeon said he couldn't guarantee keyhole but would try his best, and try his best he did, so I had to make him this!

Anyway back on with the challenge, only managed to cycle 24 km / 14.91 miles, tonight, but I did this in 1 hour and 1 minute. Will be back on track tomorrow as

Monthly target - 1308.05 km
Cycled today -         24.00 km
Total cycled -        103.60 km
Left to go -          1204.45 km

Meal Planning Monday 3rd March 2014

Firstly I'd like to say hello to Mr H! *waves* as apparently he looks forward to this blog post every week because it's the only way he finds out what's for tea!

I'm really enjoying doing my meal planning and have found that we have started to spend a lot less on takeaways, and also a small amount on the shopping as we are now only buying what we need for the week.

This weeks shop is going to be another small one because the contents of the freezer are going to be consumed again this week.

I have gone through it today and made an itinerary of what's in there,
My contents are: breaded mushrooms x 2, broccoli & cauliflower x 2, burgers, carrots, chips, fish fingers x 2 boxes, hash browns,  jam roly poly, lamb, naan bread, peas, prawns, roast potatoes, scampi, smiley potato faces, spag bol, stuffing, sweet & sour chicken, wedges x 2, yorkie puds,

So as you can see we are still well stocked with fish fingers, broccoli, breaded mushrooms and fiery wedges, not sure if they all go together though?

I think the menu for the week will be as follows:

Monday: beef curry made with leftovers from yesterdays roast dinner
Tuesday: home made pizza and pancakes!!!
Wednesday: scampi, chips & peas ( fish fingers for Squiggle )
Thursday: child free night - anything goes, pub, takeaway or cinema
Friday: lamb curry & naan bread
Saturday: possible takeaway because I'm hopefully out for the day!
Sunday: slow cooked chicken & sweet potato

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Day 2

After yesterdays effort I was really looking forward to going to bed and falling fast asleep. I could feel my eyes drooping as I wrote last night's blog. I got settled into bed and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was asleep. Unfortunately it didn't last long as I was woken by Squiggle crying because he had been sick in the night. So thanks to the 4 am wake up call and struggle to get back to sleep afterwards, myself and Mr H have been walking around like zombies.

That said, I did make an effort to get back on my bike, in fact I made quite a few efforts, each attempt was interrupted by someone wanting something or other, but finally after getting Squiggle to bed tonight I've had a good peddling session - not as good as yesterday, but still enough to feel proud of myself.

So today's outcome is 35.50 km / 22.12 miles in 1 hour 35 mins and a bit of a sore bottom! - I think I might need to invest in a cushioned saddle because mine is just not comfy!

Monthly target - 1308.05 km
Cycled today -         35.50 km
Total cycled -          79.60 km
Left to go -         1228.45 km

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Kids Club Cinema and a rant 'Bring back the interval!'

So as mentioned in my previous post, I woke up this morning bright and early at 7.30 am and promptly fell back to sleep!

Two hours later a rush ensued as me, Squiggle, and Mr H desperately tried to get ready to get to Kids Club at the local cinema. We thought we might try Squiggle out with another visit and decided upon watching Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2.

Bearing in mind Squiggle is still only 3, I do think it's a bit of a young age to expect a child to sit still for an hour and half, and he wasn't alone, many of the kids managed an hour before they started getting restless and wanting to go to the toilet and run around.

It got me thinking, back nearly 30 years ago when I first started going to the cinema with my mum there was always an interval during a film, with an ice cream seller who used to come and stand at the front selling tiny tubs of ice cream and bags of sweets.

Who decided to get rid of the interval? It would be such a good idea to bring it back especially for the kids, because it would give them a little break, give them chance to stretch their legs, go to the bathroom and restock up on popcorn and refreshments. Even now as an adult there have been times I have desperately wanted an interval so as not to miss any films - Titanic springs to mind, watching that much water on the big screen did nothing for my bladder! I haven't got room really to list all the good bits I've missed in films because I've needed an interval.

What do you think? Would you be welcome of a half time break or do you prefer to sit and watch films in one go?

My Mad March Marathon Challenge: Day 1

OK, so I woke up this morning bright and early at 7.30 am and promptly went back to sleep!

After a fun filled family day I finally got home and dusted off the exercise bike ready to begin my challenge.
I checked my weight and vital statistics*, put my favourite programme on the telly and then set off peddling.

I was so busy watching the TV I hardly paid any attention to what I was doing and managed to cycle 44.10 km ( 27.402 miles )** in 2 hours 12 mins 32 secs. - yay go me!

Monthly target - 1308.05 km
Cycled today -         44.10 km
Total cycled -           44.10 km
Left to go -          1263.95 km

*I am keeping my vitals a secret at the moment, depending on how well I do I might share them with you later in the month!
** My total calculations are in km because that is what my bike registers, but I will post the miles and km cycled in my main write up.