Thursday, 31 January 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful



This week as gone super quick!  Papa penguin was working away up north from Monday early morning to last night so he has been missed loads!  However I survived without him and we actually all got lay in's as there was no alarm going off at 6am waking us all up!  Tuesday morning I woke up to find toddler penguin in bed next to me.....I hadn't even heard his door squeak let alone felt the bed move when he got in....just shows how tired I've been!

With my mum visiting just before the weekend we went swimming.  Baby penguin absolutely loved it....she wasn't phased by her first visit at all.  Toddler penguin wasn't much of a fan though and wanted to be held the whole time....I don't think I've ever had so many cuddles.  Turns out he prefers to paddle with just his ankles in the water....any more and he freaks out!  Glad my mum was around to help as I wouldn't have been able to do take them otherwise.

The weekend I took baby penguin up to St Paul's in London to visit some friends for lunch, she was an angel on the journey and I think she enjoyed her train and tube ride.  Can't believe she is now 15 weeks old!

Sunday we welcomed home papa penguins sister.  She has been working as a photographer on a cruise ship since July and loved every minute of it.  She is such a fab auntie so toddler penguin is glad to have her home....not sure how long for though as I think she is desperate to go back already!

I received an offer code from photobox this week for 50% off orders for one day only.  I ordered about 300 prints and a canvas to match one I had of toddler penguin...I can't stop staring at them!



Wobbles Wednesday

I'm a day late with this because my scales broke over the weekend.  Luckily I got some new ones delivered yesterday evening which meant I could hop on the scales first thing this morning. 

Now the new scales do show a weight loss however no two scales are the same.  I've treated myself to some Salter digital scales that also measure my BMI, body fat and water content.  Its quite interesting to read these figures and also compare to papa penguin.  Turns out we are both similar and both want to lose a stone.


Original Weight  74kg (163lbs)
Goal Weight  63kg (139lbs)
Last Weeks Weight  69.5kg (153lbs)
Today's Weight69.3kg (152lbs)


I am quite impressed with the weight loss if I have in fact lost any so next week will be interesting! I didn't make an exercise class this week as papa penguin was away but I did managed some power walks with the buggy.

Check in with Naked Mum for more Wobbles Wednesday posts.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Weekly Meal Plan - January 28th


Gosh what a depressing week I have coming up!  Papa Penguin is away on business for three nights.  This means that I will eat with toddler penguin and once the kids are in bed I'll have all evening to myself....I'm actually quite looking forward to it!  So here goes this weeks exciting meal plan...

Monday - Freezer Food - Chilli Con Carne
Tuesday - Omlette and ActiFry Chips
Wednesday - Nuggets, Waffles and Peas....yum!
Thursday - Salmon Risotto
Saturday - Chicken and Okra Curry
Sunday - Casserole from Freezer served with a Pie Topper

Liebster Award

I love these sorts of posts!  I was tagged in by Sarah at Ups & Downs, Smiles & Frowns. The award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers who deserve acknowledgement and encouragement to keep on blogging.
The rules are as follows:
1. List 11 facts about yourself. 
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you. 
3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award. 
4. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.  
5. Choose 5 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate. 
6. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award. 

11 Facts about me:
1) I'm a red head.  Hated it when I was younger but proud of it now.  More so as my kids are red heads too!
2) I hate cruise ships!  Just the thought of being on or near one makes me feel sick.  They are just soooo big and the stuff that can fit on them is creepy.  I can just about stand car ferries so long as I can sit outside.
3) I'm addicted to cake.  The taste and the texture is what its all about.
4) I'm lactose intolerant so make a lot of my own cakes.
5) I'm a real weeper when it comes to watching sad plot lines on the television.....I cry at practically every episode of Private Practice and Greys Anatomy.
6) I can suck my big toe.
7) Whilst on the subject of feet I only have 9 toe nails.
8) I'm originally an Essex girl
9) I have a degree in Management Science....not really needed as now I'm a full time mum - best job in the world!
10) I have two tattoos
11) I'm 50% orphan :(

11 Questions from Ups & Downs, Smiles & Frowns
1) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
I would love to live in Southern France.
2) What is your favourite child hood memory? 
Being in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the London Palladium with Philip Schofield when I was 9 years old!
3) Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? 
Hopefully being a slimmer yet still fun mummy of two!
4) What is your ideal night out? (Or night in if you prefer)
A good film at the cinema, few drinks and a meal then a nice walk home and in bed by 11pm!
5) Who inspires you the most? 
All the supermums out there
6) What's your favourite all time movie? 
Practical Magic - I just love the magic of it all
7) What made you start blogging? 
I guess not so much boredam but knowing that I'd be giving up work I wanted something that I could focus on that would still require me to use the computer.  Its one of the best hobbies I've ever taken up! 
8) What's your favourite flavor ice cream?
Good old Vanilla! However being lactose intolerant I love the Swedish Glace Vanilla Ice Cream
9) Do you prefer winter or summer? 
Can I cheat and say Autumn?  If not then I guess summer as I'm not a fan of snow and frost that comes with Winter!
10) What is your phobia? 
SPIDERS! 
11) Post a photograph of your family :) 
This was taken a few days after baby penguin was born

11 Questions from The Organised Penguin
1) When you were little what did you want to be when you were older?
2) What is your favourite room in your house and why?
3) What is your morning routine?
4) What beauty item and can you not live without?
5) When do you find the time to blog?
6) Have you got any exciting holidays planned for 2013?
7) What is your favourite season?
8) Do you iron?
9) What of your childrens toys do you enjoy playing with the most?
10) Do you love or hate marmite?
11) What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Who I have nominated:

Friday, 25 January 2013

Recipe Review - Spring Chicken

This is a review of the BBC Good Food Spring Chicken recipe. It was yummy!  I made this for myself, my mum and my husband and we all readlly enjoyed it.  Its a much better way to serve up what basically is meat, potato, veg and gravy.

It was so easy to make, I do like one pot dishes.  Was cheap as well as I already had the chicken thighs in the freezer so just had to buy the veg.  I used cabbage instead of spring green and 3 tablespoons of Sainsburys Frozen Pesto. This is a fab product to have as a staple ingredient in your freezer.    I also used Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon for the stock - as it has reduced salt.  It is shocking how much salt some stock cubes have in them.



I don't think it looks amazingly colourful but it tastes so fresh and healthy and its the kind of meal that could be eaten no matter what the weather.  Perfect for a winter day but yet I think it would be fantastic in the summer as well.  I would also consider serving this with maybe some garlic bread or a crusty roll but to be honest it is perfect as it is.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful


1. It Snowed !



2. Then it melted which meant my mum could visit! She got to give Olivia a bottle of breastmilk!



3. And she brought cake.....cake made with TOMATO SOUP !

Hope everyone is having a good week.  I'm so glad the snow has melted.  It looks pretty but this happened to me once upon a time which has made me scared of driving in the snow ever since. We were in Iceland and I hit a patch of ice and spun the car off the road.  The picture doesn't show it but the left side is a sheer drop....had we gone the other way we probably would've died :(

So on a brighter note....roll on spring! 


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Wobbles Wednesday


I'm still using My Fitness Pal app on my iPad, Mac and Blackberry to record all my meals, snacks and exercises. I've been finding it really helpful to keep track of what I'm eating.  At breakfast I sit down and work out what I'm going to be eating that day then I can see what snacks I'm allowed.

Last week I said I would do more exercise but I haven't :( Unless you count the walking....I do wonder how many extra calories you burn pushing a double buggy in the snow/ice especially uphill!  I didn't make combat this week because of the weather but I'm looking forward to it next week.


Original Weight  74kg (163lbs)
Goal Weight  63kg (139lbs)
Last Weeks Weight  69.5kg (153lbs)
Today's Weight69.5kg (153lbs)


So once again I'm a bit dissappointed with the lack of weight loss this week.
However I haven't exercised much and I had a bad weekend with lots of chocolate.

My goal for next week is to exercise a bit more!

Check in with Naked Mum for more Wobbles Wednesday posts.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Weekly Meal Plan - January 21st

It seems that this week we have run out of loads of staple cupboard supplies such as rice, cereals, detergent, squash etc....so our shopping bill is huge....therefore we really need to eat on a budget this week.  Hopefully, weather permitting, my mum is coming to visit so it will be great to have some help in the kitchen!  Mum I hope you are happy with our menu this week!

Tuesday - Turkey Curry from freezer (leftover from Christmas dinner)
Wednesday - Pad Thai
Thursday - Spaghetti Bolognase
Friday - Spring Chicken
Saturday - Pitta Pizzas
Sunday - Casserole from Freezer served with a Pie Topper

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful



Finally back to a proper routine now with toddler and baby penguin.  We've started attending a new playgroup on Tuesday's at a local church which toddler penguin loves.  Mainly because he has made a good friend who also attends Wednesday's playgroup.  Having not really been around kids over the Christmas period I really noticed a change in him after this week playgroups and meeting with friends.

So much so that I have enroled him in a local nursery Thursday and Friday mornings.  He doesn't start till the end of February but I know he will love it.  We viewed another nursery last week and I had to take him with me and he didn't want to leave! I'm really looking forward to him starting, it will benefit him loads and I get some alone time with baby penguin!

Its one of my best friends birthdays today....if you are reading you know who you are!  Sadly she lives over 6000 miles away so I can't celelbrate with her but hope she has had a wonderful day !

And finally baby penguin gave her first chuckle this week - aged 13 weeks !




Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Wobbles Wednesday

Since last week I have really watched what I eat using My Fitness Pal app on my iPad, Mac and Blackberry!  I've recorded all my meals, snacks and exercises. My exercises have been in the form of lots of walking, housework and Monday night I did Body Combat.  Pre kids I was a regular body combatter at my local gym and went generally 3 times a week.  I took it back up in 2011 but stopped at the end of the year due to other commitments then I got pregnant again. So I absolutely loved it last night, such an adrenalin rush and I can't wait to go again !

Original Weight   74kg (163lbs)
Goal Weight    63kg (139lbs)
Last Weeks Weight    70kg (154lbs)
Today's Weight 69.5kg (153lbs)


So I'm a bit dissappointed with the lack of weight loss this week.
My goal for next week is to exercise a bit more and I'm also going to reduce my calorie intake by 100.  Hope it isn't too much of a shock to the system!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

My favourite cleaning products

I actually don't mind doing housework.  I like to have a clean house, especially the areas that you can see!

These items below are what you can find in my cleaning cupboard that I can't live without!

Kitchen/General
Fairy liquid
Cif Power Pro Naturals Spray or Ecover Multi-Surface Cleaner
Dettol Anti Bacterial Surface Spray
Astonish Stainless Steel Spray
Mr Muscle Window Cleaner
Supermarket own brand thick bleach
Cellulose Sponges
J-Cloths
Non-Scratch Sponge Scourers
Scouring pads
Kitchen roll
Appliance Descaler

Bathroom
Bathroom Cleaning spray (whatever is on offer)
Daily Shower Shine Spray
Cif Cream Cleaner
Limelite Spray
Viakal Limescale Treatment
Microfibre Cloths
Old toothbrush

Cleaning appliances
Bosch hoover (own the model Bsgl3126gb)
Black & Decker DV7210N Dustbuster
Black & Decker SM1620 Steam Mop


Monday, 14 January 2013

Weekly Meal Plan - January 14th

Monday - Steak Casserole for papa penguin (light supper for me as did my first trip to the gym since having baby penguin)
Tuesday - Chicken Korma, Rice and Naan
Wednesday - Prawn Stir Fry
Thursday - Bucatini Amatrician - missed this last week as papa penguin worked very late and I was too tired to cook
Friday - Chilli Con Carne from the Freezer
Saturday - Chicken in a Tomato Smoked Paprika Sauce and Rice
Sunday - Bangers and Mash

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful


I've struggled today to think of reasons as I am sooooo tired! Baby penguin has been up all night for the last two nights with really bad wind! 
She did however do a massive poo this morning in our bed which went EVERYWHERE so I'm hoping tonight will be better. This did coincide with her having a massive bottle of expressed milk before bed. She took her first bottle Tuesday night aged 12 weeks, I was so worried she wouldn't having been only breastfed but she did and didn't bat an eyelid!  Now fingers crossed she sleeps well tonight!

Luckily toddler penguin aged 33 months still has a nap in the middle of the day so I've managed to squeeze in a half hour nap which has help the bags under my eye lids loads!

Saturday my mum (grandma penguin) celebrated her 60th birthday!  She wasn't planning much except a trip to an open mic night at a pub near our home town (we've both moved away from there since).  So   I surprised her with a visit with a few of my mates and I really think she was shocked....in a good way as there were tears to prove it!  Mummy I love you and you don't look 60 at all !
Our new bed arrived today and I can't wait to put it together.  However we still need to buy a mattress.  We decided to get a king size now we have 2 kids to share it with!  When we got married two years ago we received a king duvet and some bed linen as presents so can't wait to get them out. Its called Ivory Atlantis by Bentley Designs and we would love to get the matching furniture but can't afford it.  I want to redecorate our bedroom so this is a good start.  Just need to go mattress shopping!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya

This is the best Jambalaya I have ever made and I think when I make it again I will add prawns too!

We were so hungry that we ate it before we got a chance to take a picture !

Serves 3-4 people

Fry one red onion in some olive oil and then add three cloves of garlic. Add 225g Chorizo (I used the Spicy & Smokey Chorizo Ring from Sainsburys). Add 170g Basmati Rice and a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes along with 300ml of vegetable stock and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper.  Simmer until the rice is cooked stirring every now and then.

This is approximately 434 calories per portion and 26g of carbs.  I am logging calories for me to help me lose weight and carbs for papa penguin as he is diabetic.

Wobbles Wednesday

New Year New Me !

I'm joining in with The Naked Mum and her quest on losing weight!

Now I know most people consider me to not be fat but I have wobbly bits and an obsession with food.  I also have a goal weight and a wardrobe of clothes that I don't fit into yet since havng baby penguin (12 weeks ago).

So laying down the facts I'm 30 years old, 5 ft 9 inches and on New Years Day I was just under11½ stone.  Pre kids I was 10 stone which I never got down to after having toddler penguin.  I went up to 13 stone with him and 12½ stone with the bubba.  I lost the baby weight from baby penguin quite quickly but over Christmas started putting it back on.

Since the new year I am now 11 stone exactly (I weigh myself in the mornings) - thats 70kg.  I can't believe I've lost half a stone in my first week of trying.

I've decided to use MyFitnessPal (littlemisswala if you want to add me as a friend) to keep track of everything I eat.  I'm aiming to eat max 1500 calories a day plus an extra 500 for exclusively breastfeeding. 

I'm also going to be walking as much as I can and once baby penguin takes an evening bottle I am going to do a gym class a week....most likely body combat as its my fave!

So week one 4 lbs lost (just under 2kg) and I'm super happy with that !

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Weekly Meal Plan - January 7th

Monday - Chicken with Lemon and Courgette Cous Cous
Tuesday - Fragrant courgette & prawn curry
Wednesday - Shepherds Pie
Thursday - Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya
Friday - Bucatini Amatriciana
Saturday - Chilli from freezer as papa penguin has to work :(
Sunday - Steak Pie

Daily Routine - 2.5yr old and 3 month old

Now that I am a full time stay at home mum I have come up with the following daily routine for me and Toddler Penguin (aged 2.5 years) and Baby Penguin (3 months)....

645amMama Penguin up and dressed
7amToddler and Baby Penguin up, milk and a bit of tele
730amFree play
8amBreakfast 
830amToddler and Baby Penguin dressed
9amGet ready to go out or...
Various Assisted Play Activities if we stay in
Baby Penguin naps
930amLeave for daily activities....visit friends, playgroups, soft play
10amBaby Penguin Milk
1130amBaby Penguin Naps
12pmHome for Lunch
1pmToddler Penguin Naps
Baby Penguin Milk
3pmToddler Penguin small snack
Assisted Play Activities
345pmBaby Penguin naps
Bit of Garden Play before it gets dark
4pmBaby Penguin Milk
Toddler Penguin free play
430pmMama Penguin gets dinner ready inbetween Free Play with Toddler Penguin
5pmToddler Penguin and Mama Penguin tidy toys away
515pmToddler Penguin dinner
530pmBaby Penguin Naps
6pmToddler Penguin Free Play with Mama Penguin
630pmBath time and brush teeth with Papa Penguin
Mama Penguin starts sorting dinner then takes over Baby Penguin's bedtime routine of baby massage before bed
7pmToddler Penguin story and bed
730pmMama and Papa Penguin dinner
8pm-930pmVaries each night....vegging in front of tele, ironing, laundry, housework, papa penguin working
930pmMama Penguin showers
10pmMama and Papa Penguin Bed

I love a bit of structure to my day but I won't stress out too much if things don't go to plan!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful



Happy New Year everyone!  We had a wonderful Christmas and I can't believe its over already.  You spend so much time planning for it and saving its just such a shame its all over in a week :(

We spent the weekend before Christmas at my mums stuffing our faces.  Christmas day we hosted with the in laws and Boxing Day was spent chilling.  I was in the land of nod when everyone else in the UK welcomed in the New Year.  Having a 13 week old baby meant we were in no rush to go out at all! We also celebrated our two year anniversary on New Years Eve by going out to dinner the previous Friday whilst todder penguin was being looked after by the in laws.

New year means New Me!  I'm loving the My Fitness Pal app as I've started counting calories.  Its a real eye opener as to what I eat every day and I'm struggling to eat within my limit. However I really like the way you have to think about what you are eating and if you want to eat more then you need to exercise.  Also this app not only records your calorie intake but also your carb intake which is really useful for papa penguin.  He has diabetes type 1 and is currently being encouraged to count his carbs and adjust his insulin levels accordingly.  Its a learning curve for us both.

Toddler penguin and I checked out a new soft play group in town today and I decided to walk there instead of drive.  We left a little late so I literally had to power walk....it was tough but so rewarding.  We walked along a nearby river and I came up with the following take on the popular Row Row Row Your Boat nursery rhyme....

Row Row Row your buggy
All along the path
If you see daddy there
Don't forget to laugh

Row Row Row your buggy
All along the mud
If you see mummy there
Go give her a hug

Row Row Row your buggy
All along the water
If you see a Spanish Girl
Go say hello and Hola



I'm sure there are lots more that people can come up with I found it a good distraction technique for my 25 minute walk and keeping toddler penguin occupied from not wanting to get out and jump in the river!

We've managed so far to escape the bug that seems to be going around all our friends and family (touch wood).  Toddler penguin had a runny nose and a bit of a cough for about 2 weeks at the beginning of December and I woke up one morning with a sore throat which soon disappeared.  Not sure how we have escaped it but I won't complain!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Years Resolution

Wow 2012 is over and 2013 is just beginning.  My most recent Reasons to be Cheerful post pretty much sums up what an amazing 2012 I've had. New home, new baby, end of a career, a start of a new one...the list is endless.

I'm looking forward to seeing what 2013 brings and like I do every year its time to make some resolutions that I really hope to stick to....at least a good few months!

1. Blog More
Since having a baby in October my blog posts have only been about weekly meal plans and reasons to be cheerful and I do feel I have lost my way about what my blog should truly be about.  The title being a big clue, Organised.  Since baby penguin's arrival I feel like I've had a lot less time to myself let alone myself and my mac!  

2. Find more time to myself
Toddler penguin is now no longer at the childminders and I until I get offered a morning place at a local preschool I'm going to be having both kids to occupy every day.  A full time job some might say so come tomorrow when papa penguin is back to work I'll be getting us into a daily routine.  This will also help prepare me for becoming a childminder later in the year. My resolution here is come rain or shine to get out the house everyday and organise my time better so I can relax a bit more - even if its only one evening a week.

3. Lose 7kg
Along with a good 90% of the population I will also make losing weight as one of my resolutions.  However I hate the word diet....I can not diet.  I like to eat a huge bowl of cereal for breakfast, after luch I like to have a something sweet at mid afternoon I like to eat cake. I'm addicted to the texture of cake so I'm always baking...however therefore always eating them (more than one a day) so I'm going to make a batch of cakes every so often and freeze them and only allowing myself one a day. I plan to make my portion sizes smaller and also exercise.  Its the only way I can lose the baby weight which has now become Christmas weight.  I was so proud at the end of November for getting into a pair of pre pregnancy jeans - you can imagine the horror when I tried to get in them this week and failed!
I have signed up to My Fitness Pal - add me "littlemisswala" and give me the encouragement I need.

4. Better use of family time
We've made a few family resolutions.  This includes going for walks together more often and exploring Surrey a bit more. We are thinking about becoming National Trust members as there are loads of gardens near us that papa penguin and toddler penguin would just love to explore!

Watch this space !