Slimming World Update Week 70 something ish!!

HI guys

Yes it’s me, remember me? I’ve been so busy these past couple of weeks that I barely remember who I am. Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat of late and for that I apologise. Only when I start to think about it, have I really been that busy? Well I guess I have been out and about in the evenings a lot more than I usually am, but really the thing that’s changed is that Oscar is edging closer and closer to dropping his daytime nap. I know – abandon hope all ye who enter here!! I find it so hard to write, or at least write anything of any value, when he’s around, that it’s just easier not to try. But actually the thing I’m finding the hardest is the lack of ‘down time’ I get these days. I’ve said it before and I don’t mind repeating that I know I have only been able to stay at home with Oscar as long as I have because he has, until recently, been a good, consistent napper. I wish I could say I revelled in his company 24/7 and wish it didn’t bother me quite as much not to have time to myself, but it does. Something has had to give and of late it’s been this.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt quite so much like I’m dragging myself towards the end of the year as I do this year. We’re all exhausted. The past few months in particular have been draining for all the family. Whereas last year I was excited to see what 2014 held, this year I can’t wait to get 2015 going, to make some changes. In some respects I feel nothing is still, nothing is constant and in other respects I feel like I’m static and somewhat stuck in a rut. Its the most bizarre feeling – like standing stock still in the middle of a storm.

I know my weight loss journey isn’t really a journey at the moment, more of a stop off. Like I’m taking a break at the motorway services of me. I don’t know, I think I’ve lost my mojo somewhere along the way. Don’t get me wrong I haven’t slipped into old eating habits, I’m just not moving forward anymore. I’ve maintained for the last few weeks and last week I gained¬†1lb (total lost 6 Stone 6 lb (90lb) ). And do you know what? I was fine with that. It’s not that I don’t care so much, just that I was fine with it.

I weigh in tomorrow for the last time before Christmas and I promise to update you on that on Wednesday, in between taking delivery of our Christmas food shop (Yay for Ocado and yay for me booking my Christmas Eve slot back in November!) and cooking our Christmas Ham. Oh and visiting friends and generally getting ready for the big day. Yeah, it might not be a long one on Wednesday ūüėČ

Anyway, I’ll let you go – you probably have a tonne to be getting on with. I’ll just leave you with this picture. It was our Slimming World group party last Friday and boy did we let our hair down. Well, you know me, I don’t get out much, poor old thing!! We had a right old piss up riot and it was great to meet people from the other groups and to hear how they’re getting on. It was especially nice to have people who read my blog come and introduce themselves and tell me how much they enjoy my writing. It’s always slightly baffling but very flattering to think actual people are reading my actual words. And big thanks to the lady who couldn’t get over how I looked. She kept saying I was slimmer in real life than she’d thought I was from my pictures. How sweet!!! The dress I wore was gifted to me by our Miss Slinky, Sarah Jane, who wasn’t able to join us for family reasons on Friday. She was really missed. I wasn’t sure about wearing it, but I’m so glad I did. I felt fab all night. It wasn’t a size I’d have ever picked off the rail and it just goes to show, sizes differ so wildly that it’s not about a number but about what fits. So anyway that picture

Last year’s Christmas party outfit, size 22. This year’s, size 12!

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Have a great few days and we’ll speak on Wednesday. Promise!

Xxx

Silky Smooth Dough

OK, I know this looks like I’m writing a crafting/messy play series and I promise this wasn’t the intention. If I’d been more organised I guess I could have done. Ahh well, next time!?

So next in the line of crafty activities I’ve been doing with Oscar involves a different kind of play dough, that had been recommended recently by several friends. This one was¬†even easier to prepare that the Easy Playdough I made recently.¬†This one has two ingredients: cornflour and hair conditioner. I know right!!?

I don’t use hair conditioner myself (what? I don’t regularly use moisturiser either – it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just I never remember to), so bought the cheapest bottle I could find at our local supermarket. I plumped ¬†for a pale green one, with a minty fragrance. I thought this would add a nice sensory touch to the dough. Which it did, although it did leave me with a craving for Soft Mints all day!

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I mixed one cup of conditioner with two cups of cornflour. I didn’t use colouring this time, but you could! ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Mix and knead. Simples!

This dough is quite a different texture to the flour based ones. Its a smoother consistency once kneaded but dries quickly. A quick knead though and you’re back to silky smoothness.

Smooth!

Smooth!

The best thing about this dough is the stretch you get from it! Due to the non-Newtonian properties of the cornflour (can you tell we have a nerd in the house?) it can be both soft and hard at the same time. The boy played with it for ages, burying Thomas the Tank Engine in it, then pulling the train back slowly to see how far he could stretch the dough.

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Poor old Thomas!

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Like I said, a craving for chewy soft mints!

A real sensory experience

A real sensory experience

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As far as it could stretch

It looks wet....

It looks wet….

... but it's really not

… but it’s crumbly at the same time

Despite it’s silky, smooth appearance, this dough is actually very crumbly, meaning it was also much more messy than regular dough. Had I realised this beforehand I would have let him play with this in the kitchen on the tiles, not in the lounge on the carpet! That said, it cleaned up with a damp cloth and a hoover, so it wasn’t all bad. The only thing I would say is I wouldn’t give this to babies or children with a penchant for putting everything in their mouths.¬†Hair conditioner is really not something you’d want them to chow down on.

So , yes it was pretty messy, but clean up was easy enough. It wasn’t my fave, but the boy loved it and at the end of the day that’s what matters when it comes to messy play.

I need some more ideas of things to do now. Something less about the end product and more about the process. Any ideas would be greatly received. And before you ask I’m think I’m going to save Ooblek for the garden months! Well, wouldn’t you?

Shaving Foam Paint

So I’ve written before about my hitherto lack of both desire and nerve to get crafty with Oscar at home. We’ve avoided it for several reasons, one being his previous lack of interest and another being the mess it makes. My house is tiny.¬†I’ve always figured I don’t have space for getting our painting freak on. Then recently I decided to throw caution to the wind and try out a couple of crafty/messy play ideas, all at home, all indoors. He’s that bit older now and anything that encourages him to concentrate is great for his development. I wrote recently about our success with homemade moon sand and playdoh and this week I decided to bite the bullet and let him try painting.

I wanted to try making my own paints, mostly to see if I could, and found this beginners paint post on learnplayimagine.com, a great resources for sensory and messy play ideas. It had two ingredients: shaving foam and some form of colouring. You could either use a squirt of paint, or as I did, food colouring. I have some tubs of Wilton Candy Colours, which meant I was able to mix up Blue, Red, Yellow, Green and Orange. I tried purple, but for some reason the red just wouldn’t mix in with the blue, so I gave up on that one.

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I mixed up the colouring first

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Then mixed in the shaving foam. I moved his small table into the kitchen and completely covered it in lining paper (I bought a huge roll for ¬£3 from Wilkinson’s), stuck down at each end. This provided a non slip area for him to paint on.

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The paint stays ‘foamy’ which is great to touch!

It was super quick to set up. Probably longer than just squirting ready mixed paint into tubs, but I figured if I could start with this I might get the nerve to move up to that.

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I didn’t have any brushes, but used a mixture of sponges, a roller and toilet rolls. He soon started to get the hang of it.

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Making his presence felt on the paper

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He was so good at keeping the paint on the paper. I was worried he might try and paint the whole house, but I should have given him more credit I guess. Plus¬†this shaving foam/food colouring combo came off his clothes really easily, so a bit here and there wasn’t the end of the world. It is after all just soap with colouring!

After he’d painted all the paper and mixed the colours I changed his paper and he went to get one of his trains. Clearly what he felt was missing from this art project was some train tracks! Not sure why poor James got a lump of green in the face. I think he was trying to feed him!

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Eat your greens James!

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Dynamic!

Because the base of this paint is foamed soap, it doesn’t quite dry like ready mixed paint. I read that if you want it to set better, you can add PVA glue to it, but we didn’t bother this time. I hung the pictures to dry and dabbed the excess foam off with a tissue. It’s dried pretty well. But really this wasn’t about creating a masterpiece. It was partly getting Oscar to engage with something and partly to grow my confidence with craft projects in the house. ¬†And all in all I think this was a great place to start.

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A great place to start

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I love the energy in this one