Sunday, 31 January 2016

Review: Sure Compressed Challenge

As you may already be aware I am a BzzAgent, and before Christmas they kindly asked me to take part in the Sure Compressed Challenge.

If you're aren't already aware there is a range of new smaller cans of deodorant in the shops, and the challenge was to see if they lasted just as long as the full size cans.

Sure compressed deodorants squeeze the same amount of protection into smaller cans - using 50% less gas and 25% less packaging. They claim they will last just as long and work just as well as the full size cans.

I was sent a Sure Cotton Dry 250ml can and Sure Compressed Cotton Dry 125ml can. The challenge was to use them both at the same time, one under each armpit and to see if they both provided the same level of protection and if they both lasted the same length of time.

My first impressions were that the fragrance was nice and both cans kept me dry all day. There was a difference between the spray head on both the cans and I felt that the larger can was easier to use as it didn't require much pressure on the spray. The smaller can needs more pressure to get the spray to work and having arthritis in my hands and fingers I did find the smaller can harder to use.

Although both cans provided me with the same level of protection, I felt the deodorant from the large can went on better as the smaller can left me with a lot of white powder residue which then rubbed off onto my clothes and left me with streaky white marks.

Up until this point I was convinced that Sure Compressed just wasn't as good as the standard size cans and my feelings weren't changed by the time I reached the end of the challenge, which incidentally was a whole week after the Sure Compressed deodorant had run out. Yes, the standard size can had lasted longer.

I won't be switching to buying the Sure Compressed on a regular basis but due to the size it does make a handy addition to my handbag when on a girls night out.

Disclosure: As a BzzAgent I was given a 250ml full size can and 125ml compressed can of deodorant to carry out the challenge.

Monday, 25 January 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 25th January 2016

I'm having jam!

After 2 weeks of being on a restricted fibre diet I am allowed to reintroduce something back into my diet this week, and I choose jam. Not the smooth kind, oh no, but the 'jam' packed full of fruit jam. I love blackcurrant jam and it tasted so good on my crumpets this morning, and best of all, I've had no IBS symptoms today, so maybe I do need to stick to it and persevere. I am going to have a look at some of the foodstuffs on my 'allowed' list just in case they are the culprits. I did keep a food diary and did pinpoint one or two things that set me off but there are other foodstuffs out to get me!

So sticking with the bland boring low fibre diet my menu options this week are:

lemon cod fillets & skinless potatoes
steak & chips
chicken, cauliflower & broccoli
pesto pizza
stir fry chicken - I'll have to have it with no veg, so chicken & noodles then!
pasta bake
roast dinner where I may consider a carrot!

I still feel lethargic and have started taking a multivitamin tablet as I don't think I am getting quite enough nutrients, I do seem to be lacking iron in my diet because green leafy vegetables are off the menu for the time being. So I will have to see how I get on this week. I also need to start exercising and getting out more but the weather has been terrible. Although I did feel quite good after sledging with Squiggle last weekend, maybe I need it to snow more ( Please don't hate me for saying that! )

As usual this post is part of the Meal Planning linky by At Home With Mrs M, go and visit for more meal planning ideas or to join in.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 18th January 2016

I'm a little late in posting this this week, I've debated whether or not there was actually any point whilst I'm trialing a low fibre diet as I am just so uninspired as to what to make.

Last week I said I was embarking on a low fibre diet to try and help my IBS, Oh my goodness it's had such a negative impact on my body. I personally don't think it's made any difference to my IBS, but I have noticed that I've no energy, I'm tired all the time and have even ended up having to take an afternoon nap. I caved in at the weekend and had a plate full of forbidden veggies with a roast dinner, granted my stomach didn't agree with it but I felt heaps better the morning after,

I've to keep myself restricted again this week and then next week I can slowly introduce something back into my diet and see how it goes.

So again this week my menu is going to be a little uninspiring. There's going to be lots of mashed potato or waffles, some meat or fish and a small piece of cauliflower and broccoli. My cupboard is now stocked with tins of fruit for pudding and not with baked beans!

plain cheese pizza
fish and mash
chicken, broccoli and cauliflower
fish fingers and waffles ( with beans for Squiggle! )
pasta bake

Roll on next week so I can put something back on my plate, but where to start, beans? , sweetcorn?, parsnips?

Oh stop thinking about food and get through this week first!

For inspiration or to join in with meal planning, pop along to Mrs M and see what's cooking.

Monday, 11 January 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 11th January 2016

Well here we are 11 days into 2016 and nearly half the month of January gone already!

I had all good intentions of an easy healthy diet this year, however a trip to see the dietitian last week has made things slightly harder. I suffer from I.B.S and medication hasn't helped so my next step is try a low fibre diet. I can cope with having to eat white bread, cheese, white rice, crumpets, potato waffles, cream crackers, mayonnaise, fizzy drinks and alcohol, but I can't cope with not being allowed to eat apples, pears, peaches, oranges, prunes, raisins, cabbage, spinach, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, mushrooms, sweetcorn, raw carrots, baked beans, sweet potato, coleslaw, fruit jam, peanuts.......argh the list goes on and on.

So out goes my sweet potato and chicken stew, parsnip soup, beans on toast, jam on toast, peanut butter on toast, Snickers bar ( although I suppose I could suffer a Mars bar, it's like a Snickers but without the nuts! )

Shopping is going to be interesting, no more reaching for food without thinking about it, I am going to have scrutinize everything for the fibre content.

So my menu is subject to change in case I have picked something I shouldn't be having but so far it looks like this.

Chicken with broccoli and boiled carrots ( these are allowed )
Pasta bake
Gammon with mash, cauliflower and broccoli
fish fingers and potato waffles ( no beans for me! )
cheese on toast ( still allowed tomato sauce on, black pepper is to be used with caution )

So this is my first draft at the menu, it is quite hard thinking what to have especially as my vegetable choices are limited.
I am allowed a variety of canned fruit as apparently the fibre has started to break down so isn't as high as in fresh fruit* so I may look into making smoothies as I'm not sure my body will cope with all the white bread, pasta and lack of vegetation!

For more mouth watering recipes, head over to Mrs M to see what else is cooking.

*This is what my dietitian told me

Sunday, 10 January 2016

The Age Of Loneliness

Did anyone catch The Age of Loneliness on BBC One on Thursday night?

People from all walks of life talked about their own experience of feeling lonely. It wasn't all about single people, or all about elderly people ( they did feature in the programme ) but it included people who felt lonely even though they were surrounded by other people and this is what hit me.

courtesy of Lonely 
I had never really given it much thought prior to watching this programme but during it a thought dawned on me. I suffer from loneliness, and have for quite some time. I can recall certain periods in my life which haven't helped matters. Firstly I moved away from my friends and family when I met Mr Homer, I moved 120 miles away to live with him, and even though I had a great job and actually have Birmingham ancestry in my blood, I just didn't fit in. I was that weird Northerner stuck in The Midlands. Thankfully Mr H. agreed to move back up north with me.
But things didn't really change, my friends that I had left behind had all moved on and got new friends, and even though I had managed to get an internal transfer with work, I was now that weirdo from Lancashire working over in Yorkshire! Having an hours commute at both ends of the day didn't help matters as I couldn't really stay for long after work to socialise so when I did stay, I just felt awkward.

My next major period of loneliness was after the birth of Squiggle when I was in hospital for 9 months. I spent the first 8 weeks in intensive care in an isolation room, my only company was for a few hours a day when my family visited, or when the nurses came to give me my medication or change my dressings. Things didn't get much better when I was moved onto a regular ward, I was still put into a single bed room with no contact with anyone apart from visiting time, feeding time, toilet time you get the idea. After 5 months I was moved into a 4 bed ward as the nurses thought I could use some company, by then I just didn't want to be around anyone. I was still so poorly and still bedridden when I was finally allowed home just before Christmas in 2010. I spent the days on my own with the occasional visit from my grandma, Mr H still had to go to work and Squiggle was given to my family to look after so I was home alone every day.

courtesy of Lonely Teddy
Now that I am back to better health I do get out and about more, I've made new friends and  have rebuilt some of the friendships with my older friends but I do still have moments of feeling lonely.

I think I always will.

Silent Sunday - 10th January 2016

Monday, 4 January 2016

366 Day Penny Challenge: How to save £671.61

Do you struggle saving money?

Do you want an easy way to save £671.61 this year?

Then why not join me in the 366 Day Penny Challenge. It would normally be the 365 Day Penny Challenge but we are in a leap year this year in case you hadn't noticed.

It's quite simple, starting on day one put 1p in a jar, then day two put 2p in the jar, day three put 3p in the jar and so on until the end of the challenge which would be day 366 and £3.66 would be put in the jar. At the end of a year there would be £671.61 in the jar.

I have already started this and realised one major flaw to the system which is that come Christmastime I will be putting quite a bit in the jar every day, so I am going to do it arse about tit and put whatever I have left in my purse at the end of the day into my jar. I have printed off the chart, and every time I put an amount in the jar it gets ticked off. I think it will make it easier as obviously the days I have more pennies in my purse I can tick off the higher amounts and on the skint days I'll only need to find a few pence.

Fancy joining me?

Then you'll need these 3 simple things

  • A jar or moneybox
  • Money
  • Chart/tracker so you know what amount to put in.