Monday, 28 March 2011

3 F's challenge end of week 1 !

Well my Fit, Forty and Fabulous challenge to myself, didn't get off to the best start, it actually didn't start at all until last Monday because I'm just that motivated!
So update so far....

Weight lost .............2lb just imagine what I could have achieved if I'd tried harder
Times at the gym.........0
Hair brush found and hair brushed ...... Drum roll please......every day! I know, right!
Make-up worn.............0 but I did moisturise 3 times
Jeans and Uggs combo..... Every day even on those couple of nice days! but I did sort my wardrobe out, threw away all my old stuff so all I need now is someone to come along look at what I've got left and be brutally honest with me about what I should keep and basically give me a complete makeover, Anyone up for the job?

So all in all not a very good start though I am happy about the weight loss. So this week I have to make a real concerted effort to get my act together.

I know life shouldn't just be about what's going on on the outside and it does sound a little bit superficial but how you look does have a positive affect on how you feel so my homework for this week is to try and make an effort with my appearance and see it affects me mentally! That sounds slightly wrong but you know what I mean! And if you know me then you definitely know what I mean!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Earth Hour a small gesture in a Big world

Today at 8.30pm it's Earth Hour and all over the world people who want to show their support and raise awareness of our use of energy and the impact that our consumption of non renewable fossil fuel is having on the planet will turn off all their lights for one hour.

I turn off all electricity for one hour! In a house full of teenagers and one toddler this goes down a storm!

I personally don't necessarily believe that climate change is completely down to us, I think that the earth since time began here has gone through cycles without the need for human interference but I do think that depleting the earth of all it's resources can only be a bad thing and I introduced Earth hour to my family in order to make my children more socially aware and to realise that we take something as simple as electricity for granted.

The following information's taken from the WWF earth hour website


Why get involved?
Put simply, because our future depends on it!


Earth Hour has done a lot to raise awareness of sustainability issues. But there’s more to it than switching off lights for one hour once a year. It’s all about giving people a voice and working together to create a better future for our planet.



EARTH HOUR HISTORICAL TIMELINE taken from WWF earth hour website
2004

WWF Australia begins to look at new ways to take climate change mainstream after being confronted with serious scientific data
WWF Australia meets with advertising agency, Leo Burnett Sydney to discuss ideas for engaging Australians on the issue of climate change
2005

A campaign based on hope not fear, and the idea that everyone can take personal responsibility for the future of the planet we live on, is envisioned
WWF Australia and Leo Burnett Sydney start developing the concept of a large scale switch off. The project has the working title, "The Big Flick"
2006

Leo Burnett is tasked with the challenge of coming up with a campaign name that represents more than simply flicking off lights –Earth Hour is born. The Earth Hour name allows the campaign to broaden the focus from “lights out” to sustainability
WWF Australia and Leo Burnett Sydney take the concept of Earth Hour to Fairfax Media asking Fairfax to back the event – they agree
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP agrees to support
Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth movie is released bringing worldwide attention to the issue of climate change
The Stern Report, which discusses the effects of climate change and global warming on the world economy, is released in October. Words of warning for what lays ahead from an economist – not from a scientist - sends a warning to governments globally about the cost of ignoring the threat of climate change
31 March 2007

The inaugural Earth Hour is held in Sydney Australia 7.30pm - 8.30pm, 2.2 million Sydneysiders and 2,100 businesses participate
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases a report highlighting the risks of rising temperatures, further highlighting the need for urgent solutions
April 2007

Plans are developed to make Earth Hour a national event in Australia, but international interest is high and cities began signing up to the next Earth Hour campaign
29 March 2008

Earth Hour is held in 371 cities and towns in more than 35 countries globally at 8pm-9pm. A highly conservative estimate concludes that 50 million people participate. This number could have been as high as 100 million people
28 March 2009

Earth Hour held on Saturday March 28 at 8.30pm-9.30pm. Hundreds of millions of people in more than 4,000 cities and towns across 88 countries switched off their lights for one hour, creating a visual mandate for action on climate change effectively kick-starting the world’s first global vote.
July 2009

Earth Hour's Vote Earth campaign releases the Vote Earth symbol calling on citizens of the world to show their vote for Earth over Global Warming.
November 2009

Earth Hour’s Vote Earth launches The People’s Orb, a shimmering silver sphere encasing a 350 gigabyte hard drive with video, images and documents representing the hundreds of millions of people who voted Earth to call for action on climate change. A tangible representation of the voice of the world’s people, The People’s Orb relays from Sydney to Copenhagen in the care of a variety of custodians ranging from former heads of state to iconic rock stars.
December 2009

Global awareness of climate change soars to unprecedented levels during an historic meeting of 192 nations at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Vote Earth campaign culminates on 16th December with Earth Hour Copenhagen. The People’s Orb, is entrusted to UN Chef de Cabinet, Vijay Nambiar to be presented to world leaders. The People’s Orb takes centre stage in the plenary on the final day of the conference alongside UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, in front of President of the United States, Barack Obama, Danish Prime Minister Lars L√łkke Rasmussen, COP President and Climate Minister Connie Hedegaard and over 100 heads of state.
27 March 2010

Earth Hour is held on Saturday March 27 at 8.30pm-9.30pm and succeeds in being a global call to action to stand up, to take responsibility, and lead the global journey to a sustainable future. A record 128 countries and territories take part and iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas stand in darkness.
26 March 2011

Earth Hour will be held on Saturday March 26 at 8.30pm-9.30pm wherever you are in the world. This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, to think about what else you can do to make a difference when the lights turn back on. So save the date and keep coming back to earthhour.org to find out what’s in store.

Friday, 25 March 2011

So what is the perfect size?

Since I started on my 3 F mission, Fit ,Forty and fabulous! I've been thinking a lot about self image,confidence and size and I can't help but wonder if it's not actually size (providing you're not obese) that makes you fabulous and sexy but actually the confidence in yourself and the ability to look in the mirror and love yourself!
Over the years I have had a constant struggle with my weight and my confidence for that matter and I have been a size 8-10 at my slimmest and a size 18 at my biggest and here's the thing that may or may not surprise you at a point in my life where I was around a size 14-16 and happy I got far more male attention than at any other point in my life even when I was out with my slim friends who I considered far more attractive.
It would seem that confidence is what makes you sexy the ability to feel happy in your skin but that's the hard part isn't it, everything out there ia aimed at losing weight and granted often when you lose weight you feel better about yourself and your confidence is boosted but there we are we're back to it being not so much about the physical size but the positive effect it has on the mind.
Maybe we should all focus a little more on being healthy, being able to look in the mirror without feeling sick and learning to love and accept ourselves.

Just a little thought for the day let me know what you think

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Daisy Moon your designs make me swoon! I apologise for awful rhyme I just couldn't help myself

Ok when I started this blog the one thing I never intended to do was write a review of any kind but I was so blown away by this small business that I felt I had to share it with the world!
While I was scouring the internet looking for some personalised decorations for my daughter's bedroom I came across Daisy Moon Designs at http://www.daisymoondesigns.co.uk they offer a range of laser cut craft shapes and also offer a bespoke design service. Their laser cuts are perfect for embellishing cards, scrapbooks, pyrography, plaque making, hanging decorations.. the list is endless They also have a range of wooden boxes and craft supplies Daisy Moon Designs is a family run business from their home in the Welsh valleys.
Over the years, they have taken in many animals needing a home & are now enjoying the company of seven cats; three dogs; three shetland ponies; two goats; a turkey (one died) and 16 ex battery hens, as well as two rabbits & two guinea pigs.
They turned to their creative interests to try & raise money to help feed & care for them all.

I saw some beautiful Victorian style letters that I thought would look lovely adorning by daughter's bedroom wall but they were smaller than I would have liked so I emailed Daisy to enquire about a bigger size and she got straight back to me with a fantastic price! Daisy answered ever query I had with record speed and a such a friendly manner and when my parcel arrived it was packaged beautifully with tissue paper and a charming little wooden heart with Thank you written on it.

In short the designs on offer are beautiful and if I could figure out where to put them I think I would buy one of everything that she has on the site,so I urge you to have a look and I defy you not to order anything!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Procrastination by another name is Life!

So I haven't done any of the things that I set out to do yesterday, well not strictly true I did head out to buy a hair dye to finally bid farewell to the orange that is my head but when I got out the weather was so lovely that all I could think about was doing the garden so I thought I'll do that then weigh myself, do my hair etc but of course the garden took longer than expected and then I thought I'd better feed the children, they had that may round on each other and eat the weakest look! so I had to do something fairly quick to appease the savage beasts and a hungry vegetarian so I rustled up this which was quick( if you have the ingredients indoors) and extremely tasty, I've called it a Italian tart but that reminded me of a friend from school so the kids called it pizza tart so take your pick!

Ingredients

1 pack puff pastry
1 jar sun dried tomato pesto
1 onion
1 medium sized courgette
1 ball mozzarella
And some grated cheddar to taste

Heat oven to 200c

You just roll out the puff pastry to an oblong the size that will suit your family or baking tray! Pop the pastry on a baking tray then leaving about a 2cm border all around the pastry base spread on the pesto,thinly slice the courgette and lay that on top, next the same with the onion then finally I roughly break up the mozzarella and sprinkle it on top along with the
grated cheddar. Pop it in the oven and bake until golden in my oven around 20 mins.

I served it with new potatoes and spinach it was lovely and for all the carnivores out there it would be lovely with pancetta on top too I know this because my one daughter cried where's
the meat? And I told her there was some pancetta in the fridge if she was that desperate, she was! She dry fried the pancetta and put it on top, it was really good! So next time I'm going to do with meat one without.

So you see sometimes it's not procrastination, it's life getting in the way but I will weigh myself today and I will dye my hair although the sun is shining and there is a bit more work to be done in the garden ......


I will add a pic later honest,using my iPad to write this and can't get anything to sync with it because technology is not my friend!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

The 3 F's

I am the 3 F's fat, forty(well almost) and frumpy but I aspire to another 3 F's Fit,Forty and Fabulous I think I need Gok for that last one! I have as they say 'Let myself go' I was once an in heels, full make-up, hair done kind of person but since my youngest was born 2 years I've been more of a uggs, is it clean?,did I even moisturise where's the hairbrush kind of person! I truly admire those women that manage to leave the house all made up, hair done clothes minus the porridge stains and looking all put together, I want to be one those women, I think.
The thing is I used to be one of those women.I used to have to look professional,attend meetings and spend some amount of time and effort on my appearance so as not to scare animals and small children but all that got lost and I want to find it again! I am a forty this year and that realisation has made me panic,I mean think about who I was who I am now etc etc etc call it a mid life crisis if you will, a desperate attempt to cling on to my youth but I used to turn heads, not physically that would be an odd job, what I mean to say is I would often receive compliments, now I hardly ever look in the mirror and quite scarily when I do I often see my mother looking back, when did that happen!
So I have made this pact with myself that I will,if not find me again at the very least find the hairbrush! Seriously though my intention is to lose weight, exercise, start wearing make-up when I leave the house and try and find some element of style again not just jeans T-shirt and uggs-winter, Jeans t-shirt and Birkenstocks-Summer, notice a pattern!
So where to start I have 5 months until my fortieth how much can I do in that time and with a limited budget? I just don't know but I have to give it a try, so first thing on my list is my hair, I have to try and fix the I know I'll try blonde fiasco! It's kind of Ginger at the moment and I love natural Ginger but mine is well orange! So in the morning I shall go out and choose what I hope will be a flattering colour, I think I'm naturally a brunette with red tones but it's been a long time so who know's!
Then there's the weight, that means I have to face 'The dreaded scales of doom!' but it has to be done! So no more chocolate brownies for me!
I think that will be enough of a start for now don't want to go crazy, it might scare the children who know's I may even wear make-up to leave the house!
So hopefully in 5 months times I will be the new 3 F's, Fit, Forty and Fabulous!

Monday, 14 March 2011

I blame the parents! Oh wait that's me!

Before I start I would like to make it very clear to my children if you are reading this that I love you very much just as you are but I can't help but wonder if you'd be different people if I had been a different parent! Oh and if you are reading this, get a job! And to my children still living at home, Put your clothes away!, clean your rooms and pick up your crap from all over the house!

I was determined when I started this blog that it would not be yet another blog that focuses on being a parent but the thing is when you are a parent it is innevitable that at some point it will come up so here it is!

I have 6 children they vary in age from almost 25 down to 2. I started young, VERY YOUNG! Down to a combination of poor sex education( I went to a catholic school, I'm sure that explains it all along with why I eschew organised religion), naivety, falling in love with the wrong boy who was older than me and of course rampant teenage hormones! The thing is what the hell were my parents thinking! They just kind of left me to raise myself I don't really remember much parenting but hey easy for me to say now that I'm a parent but as a kid I probably loved the freedom see parents fuck you up and I am a parent!

So anyway I was thinking about my kids and all the many mistakes I have made and the mistakes the grown up and almost grown up ones have made and I could cry, actually I do cry, a lot! I do what I'm sure most parents do, I blame myself! I have parental guilt no matter what they do it's my fault, I wasn't strict enough, I was too strict, I didn't encourage enough, I was too pushy and it goes on and goes on.
There's a line in that wonderful film Parenthood that goes something like "with your first you worry about everything every bump every sniffle but by the third you let them juggle knives" (probably got that very wrong but you get the picture and if anyone know the actual line please let me know)and that's the thing with my first I was so young and everyone was so against me keeping him that I thought I have to do this right, I read every book there was to read, I did everything thing that I could do, I was going to be The perfect parent! The joke is really on me because there is no such thing! what I have learnt is every child is different,
every circumstance is different and every child responds to a different style of parenting the only thing that I have learnt that is important and does work for all is be consistent, if you say something follow through and don't back down and above all love your children and be there for them to talk to, something that can't be forced!

You live and you learn and I feel that I messed up alot with my three oldest children but I have learnt so much that I have had and am hopefully going to have an easy time with the younger 3, two of which are teenagers so I must be doing something right to be able to say that but still I question everything and I feel that same guilt.
Here's some irony for you as I write this I've just had a phone call from my daughters 6th form telling me She wants to drop out can I talk to her, ggrrr, see just when you think you've got it figured they throw something new at you , also just got a text from my son asking to borrow money, something I definitely need to be strong about and just say no! Anyway I digress, I think that what I'm trying to say is that no matter what we do with our kids there's always going to be something that we mess up, something that we should have and could have done differently.

When our children are born we have such hopes and dreams for them we imagine them with fabulous lives fabulous careers then the little buggers go and get personalities of there own and no matter how much you want to argue about the nature over nuture debate, where you live, the schools you go to, the people you hang around with have a massive impact on the person you become It's not just about how you were raised unfortunately.

All that being said and all the challenges and obstacles we've overcome all the stress they have caused me and believe me there has been and still is alot I am still really proud of them, for what they have achieved, for how they have dealt with and handled situations so what if its not the stereotypical things that parents are proud of as long as they are doing their best and they're happy then I should be happy too, right?

Plus hey, theres always the little one to work on! just kidding! 

Sunday, 13 March 2011

If life gives you lemons make Lemon and poppy seed cake

Blog post earlier really made me fancy this so here we go with recipe, it is easy to make and sooo delicious!

Ingredients
cake

250g butter or butter like spread both work
200g sugar
3 eggs
250g self raising flour
Zest of one lemon and juice of around 3 or about 100ml of the bottled stuff
Around 50g poppy seeds

Syrup
100g castor sugar though I have used granulated and it does work
100ml lemon juice

Cake
Put the oven on to 190c
Cream the butter and sugar together, add the eggs with a little of the flour to help it come together easily , add the rest of the flour, mix, add the poppy seeds and lemon juice and zest and mix until creamy. Pour into a greased cake of loaf tin and pop in the oven and bake for around 30 minutes or until you put a knife in and it comes out clean.
While the cake is cooling make the syrup, put the sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over a medium heat, keep stiring until all the sugar had melted and there's your syrup!

Now the part I like take a skewer and stab the cake all over as many times as you like, pretend it's someone who's really pissed you off, that the fun part!
Then spoon the syrup all over the cake, the syrup seeps in and makes the cake so moist and delicious.

I sometimes make icing to drizzle over which is just some icing sugar and lemon juice mixed together then just drizzle over the top and sprinkle some lemon zest over too and it looks lovely.

Hope you enjoy, please let me know x

Thursday, 10 March 2011

How my brain works or doesn't as the case may be!

So this is how my brain works, it can be a dark scary place be warned!

In my head if I think something is wrong then it will obviously be the worse case scenario for example headache equals brain tumour, pain in calf was quite obviously DVT, forgot something must be Alzheimer', weird bowel movements oh god I have bowel cancer and it goes on and on and god forbid my kids get ill my brain does horrific somersaults I'm sure you get the picture.

I think in my head I have decided that if I think the worse and the worse doesn't happen then it's a result. I am weird. Though you probably figured that out for yourself and the thing is I don't just do it for illness oh no I can apply it to anything, the school called worried about my daughters grades want me to come in for a chat , my brain goes I'm not encouraging her enough she'll never accomplish anything she will end up with no future no career hey she will become me aarrggh no make it stop make it stop! See I need help!

I try not to let my um shall we call them idiosyncrasies get out in public but notice the first part of that word is idio implying idiot but although I walk round with happy smiley face most of the time (alcohol,chocolate and cake help with that) I have been told that I am a glass is half empty person, well yes, yes it is I drank the other half!

Those positive all is right with the world, look on the bright side of life, if life gives you lemons make lemonade people quite frankly freak me out and I'm never quite sure if they're truly blessed or taking some really good drugs!

I would love to be a positive person but let's face it if live gives me lemons all I think is what am I going to do with all these bloody lemons! Or quite possibly on a good day when the sun is shining I might think lemon and poppy seed cake but I don't think that's quite the same thing is it?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Wonder woman ....That's me!

Ok I might not wear my knickers on the outside (though there was that one occaision!)and I don't spin around like an idiot carrying a lasso (that was another occasion and the occasional saturday night!)but to my family with all that I have to do I may as well be you see I live the life of that unacknowledged super hero I'm Stay at home mum girl! Not quite as catchy eh but just as extraordinary!

I wake up every day at 6, earlier if the little one decides it's time to get up and start playing then on a weekday it goes something like this, I wake the kids up, I iron, I chase to get ready, I help with hair, I get breakfast for the little one, I sort out lunch or lunch money while loading the dishwasher, tumble dryer and washing machine while hoping that I put the right things in the right machine! Teenagers leave for work and school, I spent 30 minutes or so playing with the little one then I unload all machines reload all machines put everything away sometimes in the right place, I make appointments,chase up calls, do paperwork,pay bills,play with Izzy, then lunch read a book to Izzy nap time for her me I sweep floors, tidy rooms, unload and reload machines, mop floors, kids start to come home I ask about days, homework, prepare and cook dinner, referee arguments, serve dinner, answer phone calls, questions, chase them about rooms, laundry and homework, unload and reload machines bath Izzy, read a story, put Izzy to bed, tidy away the stress of the day and then maybe just maybe if I haven't fallen asleep collapse on the sofa and watch tv this at usually around 11pm that's a 17 hour day! So why is it when I'm at party or function and I'm asked "so what do you do?" and I reply that I stay home with my children am I made to feel like a second class citizen or that I must be stupid or unable to get a job. They don't know how to respond and that's women too and I get the feeling that they think I have nothing to offer to the conversation but guess what I choose to raise my child until nursery age because I don't understand why I should pay someone else to raise the child that I chose to have and ok it might mean I have less money in my pocket and others might think I'm not a productive member of society( yes that opinion was voiced )but I haven't missed any milestones and I know what's going on in my kids lives, well for the most part, I do have 3 teenagers after all. I have opinions, lots of them! I read, I'm educated and I work just as hard as any paid profession, So the next time someone asks me what I do, I'm going to reply with a serious face that I am in fact a Super Hero!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Nutty chocolate tart

As promised on twitter my recipe for my nutty chocolate tart, it's really rich so you'll only need a small slice, though you might want more!

Ingredients

1 pack ready made shortcrust pastry( you can make your own if you like but mine never quite comes out short enough, anyway real recipes for real people with real lives remember!)
125g butter or one of the butter like spreads works just as well
200 g caster sugar
150g plain chocolate
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
100 g chopped mixed nuts
4 tbsp plain flour


Heat the oven to 180c/gas 4. Roll out the pastry and use to line a tart tin, line with baking paper and baking beans and bake for 10 minutes.Melt the butter and plain chocolate together, I use the microwave but just do it an 20 second bursts and stir well each time until melted.Whisk in the sugar,2 eggs,vanilla extract and plain flour. Stir in the nuts pour in the tart case and bake for 25 minutes.
Serve warm with cream or chilled both ways it really is delicious even if I do say so myself!
I will post a picture later having some technical issues at the mo! Crappy camera and phone broke!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Never enough time

Time is a funny thing isn't it, there's just never enough of it, not enough hours in the day, not enough days in the week, the day flies by, the week flies by, the year flies by but most upsettingly the years fly by and before you know it you're wishing that you'd done more,that you'd achieved more, that you'd made better use of your time!
And there's the thing, we take time for granted, 'there's always tomorrow' isn't that what we all say and we procrastinate and procrastinate and before you know it that thing that we were going to do tomorrow is forgotten left in the passages of what, time!
Time waits for no man, a time to live and a time to die, live each day as if it were your last, carpe diem, the sands of time we all know all those adages it's all about time so how and when do we slow down and enjoy our time? I envy those rare individuals you can just relax and enjoy what life has given them, for me I wake up and start thinking about what has to be done today, I make lists and think I just don't have enough time to do all that, I get upset if by the end of the day I haven't completed all those mundane tasks that just need to be done and I complain about having no time for me and I wonder if I have enough time left in my life to do any of the things I'd like to do.
I have no answers, I don't know if it's possible to change my ways and embrace each day and not thing about time, time spent, time wasted etc etc but I do know that I have used the word time 15 guess what times! I wonder how much time(16) that took me and I wonder how many times all of you think about time(17) and what you think about it all? Please let me know I am really interested in your thoughts x

Friday, 4 March 2011

One of those days

Yesterday was one of those days you know the kind where everything just doesn't go quite right, that was my day, started out ok then I had this brainwave to dye my hair blonde, what was I thinking really why didn't someone try to stop me! My hair which was a reddy brown with blonde chunky streaks which actually looked nice soon became a hideous orange mess with blonde roots, so in my divine wisdom , I thought I know I'll just get another dye and re-do the orange bits, at this point someone should have really pointed out my insanity but no my family let me carry on perhaps trying to punish me in some way! so dye number 2 goes on and I just end up with a brighter orange and straw like hair, seriously! I took a pic was going to post it, but it was so scarily hideous it would make your eyes melt! seriously small children ran away screaming, well it was only one small child and she is mine and was in shock that her mother had this bizarre colour hair but still.
I then thought after all this my hair might start to protest and decide to leave my head so best leave it alone at least until tomorrow but the thing was I kept catching my reflection and scaring myself so at 11.00pm last night I made my final mistake of the day I sent a man, a shaved head bald man at that! to the 24 hour supermarket to buy me a hair dye with the instructions of any shade except black or mahogony, I thought that anything would be better than what I had and it would be nice to have someone else choose a shade, maybe It would be a colour that I'd never thought of and it would be so fantastic that It would be a new me and that it would be my new hot colour for life! I of course gave hints toward shades that I might choose but alas and alack I should have known better, perhaps blinded by the bright orange hue of my hair he thought that this was a colour scheme I wished to continue and he brought home COPPER really did he not think I'd been punished for my mistakes enough ( I apologise to all those with naturally copper hair I actually love natural copper but thats the thing its natural and nice but hair dye copper is well ,another shade of orange its orange with a hint of red) at this point though I could no longer live with the yellow roots and orange hair look it was just not working for me 20 years ago Maybe but now ... No. So at 11.45pm last night I went for it! anything had to be better, right? and in fairness it does look better then the mess that was my head and I shall have to walk round pretending that this was the look I was going for, at least until my hair forgives me a little and anyway like I said before about regrets at least I took my own advice about this and boy did I learn from it!

I was going to tell you about my disaster of a steak pie but I'm so traumatised from reliving the hair fiasco that that is a story for another time! x