You crafty thing….

Despite only using it it for the past six months, Pinterest and I have had something of a bumpy relationship. I avoided it for so long because I worried that, once I jumped in I wouldn’t find my way back out! To be honest I have had moments like that, but all in all I have found it to be a great resource. I don’t tend to pore over it, looking at interiors I would never be able to replicate, and homes so tidy I’d be scared to breathe in them. Doing that tends to make me feel a tiny bit miserable. So instead I tend to use it to find ideas for specific projects, like when we redecorated our room, and the Pretzel Pumpkins I made at Halloween. Just lately I’ve been trying to be a bit braver when it comes to crafting with Oscar. I wrote recently about how he’s started to really enjoy play dough, so last week, with the rain pouring down and me without a car, I decided to pull my finger out and try some ideas for entertaining toddlers with cabin fever.

The first thing I tried was home made Moon Sand (using this post from the wonderful frugalfun4boys.com) and I can’t tell you how easy it was or how successful it was. To make it I emptied one can of shaving foam in to my maslin pan and mixed in a few drops of blue food colouring in until it was evenly distributed. Then I mixed in one box of cornflour a bit at a time to make sure it was all mixed thoroughly. The end result was the texture of damp sand and smelt like my Grandad (I’d forgotten he used to use Gillette Sensitive until I squirted it out!).

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I then dumped the whole lot into a cheap underbed storage box (wide and deep), covered the kitchen floor with a plastic dust sheet (I had no idea how messy this stuff might get, so thought I better play it safe), put a few of Oscar’s toys in it and called him over. I couldn’t believe I’d managed to prep and set up a craft in such a short space of time and with the boy in the next room!

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He was a little cautious at first

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Then he realised he could bury things in it

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His favourite game was driving the car into the drift of moon sand. I think he was re-enacting the episode where Thomas (the Tank Engine to those not in the know!) gets suck in the snow!

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We played together and when I tried to leave him, he came and got me and sat me back down – most unusual for the boy!

We had a great time together. He listened when I asked him to keep the stuff in the box and I loved making little sandcastles with him

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He’d fill the ‘bucket’ and I’d press it down. He’d then shout Ready, GO! and I’d turn it out

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His favourite thing to do was to pick up the ‘sandcastle’ and crumble it back down.

This stuff was amazing. Let’s forget for a moment that I got the recipe from Pinterest and it actually worked for me (Yay!), he absolutely loved playing with it. The sand stayed pretty much in the box and what did get on our hands, clothes and the floor came off so easily (I patted myself on the back for the bright colouring – it meant I could see it to clear it up!). It was easy to assemble, the ingredients were easy to get hold of and cheap. But the best bit was it is reusable. After we finished with it, I shook as much off the toys as possible and pored the sand into a smaller airtight container (you could leave it in the box you used to be fair, it was just easier for me to store it in a smaller container). Then on Sunday we set it all up again and Daddy got to have a play with it too!

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Second time round he had just as much fun. As did Daddy!

Buoyed by my success with the moon sand I decided to have another crack at my own playdough, with a recipe I’d been given by our local Children’s Centre.

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I didn’t use glycerine in mine and I coloured it red. I would say 1 minute was probably enough in the microwave for me, but your machines may vary so start with a short burst and keep checking it. It came out a treat. Wow! I can do crafting after all and the boy loved it!

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I was so proud! Really pliable and not at all the colour of surgical stockings

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Not sure Percy was so thrilled about the set up though! Looks to me like Toby is smirking in the background! Don’t worry Toby, your time will come!

I think I just need to be a bit braver when it comes to crafts (and mess). I’ve been looking into making my own paint and I found an awesome post of how to get any stain out of children’s clothes. I just need to find a good, reasonably priced craft supplier. Where do you guys get PVA and glitter from? I miss Woolworths!

 

 

 

Slimming World Update – Week 69

Hiya!

Have you’ve had a good week? Despite it only being midway through November, mine’s been full of Christmas. Be it weeping at supermarket adverts (seriously Waitrose and Sainsburys, this needs to stop, it’s getting embarrassing) or visiting the mother of all Christmas Fair’s with my great buddy Helen, this week has truly marked the start of the festive season for me.

Now, I don’t know about you, but for me Christmas always, always means food. Any celebration in my family was usually marked with food, but Christmas is traditionally when things go a bit bonkers. It’s not just the main meal, although I have eaten Christmas dinners that have literally been the biggest meal I’ve eaten all year. It’s everything that goes with it. Its the party food, it’s the nibbley bits, it’s the crisps, the snacks, the nuts, the chocolate, the cakes, the biscuits. You get the picture. It’s almost as if the season cannot take place unless everyone has at least one high fat snack screwed into their hand at all times. And in previous years I’ve gleefully joined in this ‘tradition’. It wasn’t until last year that I took time to stop and look at what I expected of the food of Christmas and had to ask myself why? I understand Christmas is a time of generosity, of giving, of plenty and I don’t disagree with these sentiments at all. I just don’t want to push my body into a near diabetic coma in order to prove I’m feeling the Christmas spirit. Surely the fact that I’ve already got “Oscar’s” (yeah right! hahaha) advent calender up should give you a clue as to how much I enjoy Christmas 😉

But the thing is, it isn’t Christmas yet. We have 6 weeks to go. And I know the next 6 weeks aren’t going to be easy. I know that from last year. This time of year can be hellish for those with any kind of food issues and I know I count myself in that group. And it’s not helped that the enormous marketing machine behind Christmas is already in full swing. You think this is full on, you just wait. Every week between now and Christmas will see supermarkets pile on the pressure, with offers and deals and selling you things you need in order to make your Christmas complete, most of which will be food or drink. So OK it’s their busiest time of year and competition for your hard earned buck is fierce. I get that. But I also understand that what is being sold at me, will not make my Christmas. Gorging, will not make my Christmas. And gaining huge amounts of weight, weight I’ve fought every day for months to lose, will not make my Christmas.

So I guess the question is what will make my Christmas? Our plans for this year are pretty much the same as last. Christmas isn’t going to be syn free by any means. But it will be more considered. We’re going out for dinner. This will have the joint benefits of average sized portions and no left overs. We will be drinking Baileys in our coffee and Veuve in our pyjamas. We’ll be getting small pieces of our favourite cheeses and one box of our favourite chocolates. Every indulgence will be planned and anticipated. And every mouthful will taste all the better for it. That and spending time with the people I love the most in all the world. Yeah that’ll make my Christmas 🙂

Right, all talk of Christmas. Enough!

So this week’s weigh in was one I approached with some trepidation. Helen and I had such a great weekend and while I worked really hard to abstain from tasters of cheese etc, I did have a glass of wine here and a bag of popcorn I couldn’t syn there. So all in all I was hoping for no less than a maintain. Which I why I was thrilled with a loss. 1.5lb off. Get in! But more to the point that 1.5lb took me, rather neatly, to my 6.5 Stone Award! That’s right I have now lost 6 Stone and 7lb (91lb).

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Yay! AT LAST!

Added to the collection

Added to the collection

It’s been something of a long time coming, this one. Five months to be precise. I haven’t gained or lost a lot in that time. Had I been trying to maintain I’d have been doing a bang up job, but that wasn’t ever my intention. Don’t get me wrong, I know the results I’ve seen over the last five months have been entirely down to me and If I’d really wanted to have been regularly losing I could have been. But I’m not sad about it. I don’t feel I’ve lost the last five months. I am at peace with the fact that this journey will take as long as it takes 🙂

So I have 7lb to lose before the last Christmas weigh in. There are 5 weigh ins to go. 7lb in five weeks. Totally doable. I’m going for another good loss this week to send me flying towards my 7 Stone Award. I’m concerntrating on SuperFree foods and particularly those that Slimming World class as Super Speed (foods that will speed up your weight loss). I have also decided to have another crack at eating a better breakfast, than a coffee and a banana. This morning I had 35g porridge oats (as my Healthy Extra B) mixed into a Vanilla Muller Light with half a punnet of raspberries (first Speed food right there!). It was delicious! It didn’t taste like eating yogurt for breakfast (which I personally have struggled with in the past) but neither did it just taste like porridge. It was great. Thanks for the tip Sara!

Hope you have a super week, not letting the marketing departments of big supermarkets dictate the food you eat 😉

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Slimming World Update – Week 62

Wotcha (does anyone still say that, other than cockney children in the 80’s?)

How’s your week been? If it’s been nothing else I hope it was fun!

Mine’s not been too bad as it goes. Busy, but productive for the most part. There’s few better feelings than getting stuff done. It’s just so satisfying. I couldn’t even tell you what I’ve gotten done, so many little bitty things, but then it’s the small stuff that makes up life isn’t it?

OK, so firstly I have a confession. Last week I set myself two goals. One was to lose 1lb and the other was not to weigh myself on my own scales in between weigh ins. Truth is, I actually found not weighing myself at home much harder than I anticipated. I found myself thinking I’d just ‘check’ and having to stop myself all week. And on Tuesday morning I finally caved. I couldn’t even make it a whole week. I’m disappointed in myself, but I also know leaving the scales where they were was tempting fate. I should have just done what my mum said and put them in the shed! They didn’t give me the actual weight I was at weigh in anyway, so why did I bother? Seriously! This coming week I will ask Ben to hide them. I want to see how it feels to go a whole week without just ‘checking’. And also I figure if I can make it through a couple of weeks it’ll get easier – I didn’t weigh myself at home for the first 6 months of this journey so really it’s just a silly habit I need to break.

As to the other goal, well you’ll be pleased to hear I lost 1.5lb at last night’s weigh in, taking my total lost to 6 stone 5.5lb (89.5lb). I’ve finally lost more than the lowest I got to this summer. I’m really pleased with this and finally feel I’m losing weight again, rather than just paying off the interest (if I can use a financial metaphor for a moment!). This summer has been a funny one really. I got my 6 stone in June and then spent the next three months on some kind of  wiggly detour. It would have been nice to have followed a more linear route, but hey, I’m still going. I’ve said it so many times you probably get sick of hearing it, but this is a journey, not a sprint to the finish. It’s about losing weight, yes. But it’s also about learning and trying and failing and persevering. Of becoming someone I can be proud to be. Losing weight alone wouldn’t give me that. I don’t believe you’re a better person just because you’re ‘thin’. For me it’s all about the process.

And that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot. Earlier on in the week I read the most marvellous post by Weight Loss Bitch (if you’re interested in weight loss, Slimming World or indeed motivation this blog is for you. This lady has so far lost 21st with Slimming World and her writing regularly inspires me.) It’s all about not comparing yourself and your weight loss journey to anyone else’s. If you have the time I heartily recommend reading it. From a personal point of view, I have people tell me from time to time, that they wished they could be as motivated as me or lose as (mostly) consistently as I do or as much as I have. And I mentally shake my head, because I know the struggle I go through to do it and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But then I know I’ve been guilty of it myself in the past, particularly when people lose large chunks of weight at a time. Thing is, I don’t know their situation, the emotional impact their weight or their body image has on them. And it came up in group this week, when someone made a comment about our consultant Sara’s figure. Sara has done brilliantly well on Slimming World, losing weight and keeping it off. But as she said “just because I ‘look like this’, what makes you think I’m happy? We none of us know the issues the other deal with every day. You can be inspired by others, absolutely , but comparing your journey to anyone else’s, as far as I can see, really will bring you no peace.

Just a thought.

Anyway, so the coming week has a couple of small challenges for me, mostly in the form of wine. I don’t really drink, unless it’s a special occasion (night out, wedding etc). This weekend we have Ben’s mum coming to visit and sitting around chatting with guests and a glass of the ole Chardonnay (said in best TOWIE accent) is one of my fave things to do. I wont be going mad, but it’s best to be honest with yourself. If I can maintain this week I will be happy. I know it’s only 1.5lb to my next award, but you know, I’ve been waiting for it so blimmin’ long, another week wont kill me, especially if it’s in the name of fun 😉

And to end I thought I’d share this with you. Not sure if you remember a post I wrote back in May about my shopping trip to Fat Face? I was so happy I could finally fit into proper brand names. Any who I recently added that post to a blog linkup called All About Me and it got an amazing response, even from Fat Face themselves (welcoming me as a customer – sweet). Only then I realised, I’ve lost a stone since then and I wondered if I could see a difference. I think I can.

What a stone looks like from the back. May to Sept 2014

What a stone looks like from the back. May to Sept 2014

Have a great week people

xxxxxxx