Thursday, 30 May 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

I don't know how I managed to miss last week's reasons to be cheerful but all of a sudden it was the weekend and I realised I had forgottent to do it. I'm linking up again with Michelle from Mummy from the Heart who is at Butlins this week enjoying herself!

Well it was nice to see the sunshine over the weekend, shame it didn't stay around for long. I had my mum and stepdad to stay and he finished the work to our playroom doing the finishing touches whilst mum and I were doing a spot of shopping.  It looks fab and I am totally in love with it.  Check out my blog post here.

Last weekend we went to Chessington with friends and had an amazing time.  Toddler penguin got a hug from the cast of Madagascar....a dream come true for him.  We actually only live about 15 minutes from Chessington World of Adventures and should really go more often.  I think we'll be considering a Merlin pass in the next year so I can visit weekly!

So its half term this week and although my kiddies aren't at full time school it means that none of my usual playgroups are open, toddler penguin doesn't have nursery and I've had to find other activities to do.  It was nice having papa penguin home on Monday especially as we had some sunshine but its also nice getting him back to work so I can get back to our routine.  Tuesday we chilled out at home sorting the new playroom and in the afternoon we visited a friend.

Yesterday we took the train and a bus (with the double buggy) along with two other friends who also have two kids each all 3 years and under to the Science Museum.  It was hectic but an amazing day out.  The kids were all so well behaved and we didn't manage to lose any!  We survived public transport and the lunch hour rush and explored the lower level "garden" and pattern pod.  The kids loved the bubble show and all the activitivies the museum has to offer.  We didn't make it into the shop.....probably a good thing really!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Our blue spaghetti adventures

One rainy day I was cooking some spaghetti for lunch and decided to do another saucepan with some blue colouring for the kids to experiment with in the afternoon. 

I think baby penguin enjoyed it more.  Toddler penguin actually didn't enjoy touching the gloopy stuff so used his digger to cart it around the playmat.  I attempted a red one as well but it didn't work as well.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

New Playroom

One of the most used rooms in our house has finally been redecorated.  It wasn't such a big deal to papa penguin who only generally spends his weekends in here, but being a stay at home mum and training to become a childminder I practically live in this room.  If I'm not in the playroom, you will find me in the kitchen (also been redecorated).

I bought the gorgeous penguin wallpaper from Isak before we even moved in as I just fell in love with it. I'm so glad its finally up and I am totally in love with it.  I wish I could get matching accessories!  All the storage boxes are from ikea and are fab at hiding all the toys.

We comissioned my stepdad to do all the fitted units and the wallpapering and what a fab job he did. the room was brown and dismal to begin with but now its fun, quirky and a joy to spend my days in!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Weekly Meal Plan - May 27th

We are on a strict budget this week having spent so much already on food this month.

Toddlers Dinners
Monday - Chicken and Green Bean Yellow Curry
Tuesday - Turkey Drummers, Waffles and Veg
Wednesday - Eggy bread, carrot and cucumber sticks
Thursday - Fish fingers, Alphabet potatoes and Veg
Friday - Mini muffin pizza's with cheese and ham

Grown up Dinners
Monday - Chicken and Green Bean Yellow Curry
Wednesday - Jackets with Cheese and Beans
Thursday - Beans on Toast (I'll be going to combat so need a light dinner)
Friday - Monday's chicken curry left overs
Saturday - Spaghetti Bolognaise
Sunday - At a friends

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Weekly Meal Plan UPDATE

Further to my previous post I can now provide an updated meal plan to cater for my weekend visitors.

Its been a struggle deciding especically as I have no clue what the weather will be like so here goes......mum I hope you likey!

Saturday breaskfast: Cereal or Toast
Saturday lunch: Creamy Carrot and Coriander Soup (dairy free!)
Saturday dinner: 3 course meal - Starter: Thai Fish Cakes, Main: Thai Green Curry and Pad Thai, Pudding: Peach Melba Roulade

Sunday brunch: Scrambled eggs on toast
Sunday late lunch / early dinner: BBQ - weather permitting - Spiced Lamb and Feta Burgers, Vegetable Kebabs, Sausages, Potatoes and Salad.

Sunday pudding: Rhubarb Crumble and Custard

Wobbles Wednesday

I gave up on Wobbles Wednesday back in March when my weight plateaued. Baby penguin is now 7 months old and we've just finished our breastfeeding journey which means the diet can being.

However I'm not good at dieting, I believe everything in moderation is key and I love cake!  I have to have cake or chocolate at about 3pm and a couple of biscuits after dinner with my cup of tea.  So therefore it means I need to exercise more.

I'm well aware that I've had a baby (two in fact) and I also know that there are people out there with bigger goal that me and a lot higher starting weights however with the pressure of magazines, films, celebrities in generally and a drawer of skinny jeans at home I'm still one of those people who is not happy with their weight.  Actually its the wobbly bits I'm not happy with! So time to bring on the cardio! 

Original Weight  74kg (163lbs)
Goal Weight  63kg (139lbs)
Ten Weeks Ago  66.5kg (148lbs)
Today's Weight66.3kg (146lbs)

Check in with Naked Mum for more Wobbles Wednesday posts.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

New Daily Routine

Now that I am a full time stay at home mum and training to become a childminder I have come up with the following daily routine for me and Toddler Penguin (aged 3 years) and Baby Penguin (7 months)....

645amMama Penguin up and dressed
7amToddler and Baby Penguin up, milk and a bit of tele
730amFree play whilst I do a quick tidy up and get breakie ready
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
1030amBaby Penguin Milk
12pmHome for Lunch
1230pmFree play whilst I tidy up lunch and get next afternoon activity ready
130pmBaby Penguin Naps
Toddler Penguin - Assisted Play Activities
and Garden Play if it is nice weather
330pmBaby Penguin Milk
Toddler Penguin small snack
4pmMama Penguin gets dinner ready inbetween Free Play with Toddler Penguin
5pmToddler Penguin and Mama Penguin tidy toys away
515pmToddler Penguin and Baby penguin dinner
6pmFree 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!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Weekly Meal Plan - May 20th

Toddlers Dinners
Monday - Salmon and Broccilli Pasta
Tuesday - Turkey Drummers, Waffles and Veg
Wednesday - Egg fried rice
Thursday - Mini Toad in the Hole
Friday - Omlette

Grown up Dinners
Monday - Thai Red Chicken Curry
Wednesday - Jackets with Cheese and Beans
Thursday - 
Friday - Omlette and Chips
Saturday & Sunday - to be confirmed as I haven't meal planned yet!

My mum and stepdad are visiting over the weekend and I always struggle to think of what to cook! You see my mum is an AMAZING cook so it is very hard to live up to her standards!  Mother has a bit of an obsession about making things from scratch so usually where we would have pie over the weekend I have no plans in making my own pastry!  Having spent a year of so in India she is an expert at cooking curries and has every herb and spice known to man in her walk in pantry! So I have until Wednesday to meal plan some amazing this space!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Supermarket shopping online is the ONLY WAY!

There are lots of reasons why we do not shop in store.....

  1. I hate queueing at the checkouts
  2. I hate not being able to find things on the shelves
  3. I always seem to end up with a wonky trolley
  4. People can't seem to follow the up and down the aisles system and wander all over the place
  5. I'm one of those people as not being a regular means I don't know where anything is and always have to retrace my steps
  6. Toddler penguin will loose his teeth from all the sweeties I bribe him with to keep him quiet
  7. Papa penguin will become an alcoholic from all the beer I bribe him with in turn for me asking him to keep the kids entertained
  8. I always spend way too much !

We have my mum and step dad visiting at the weekend so in order for the food to be fresher I decided to get an online shop delivered on Thursday and not my usual Monday.  This meant I needed to get a few bits today.  We budget between £70 and £90 for a weekly shop and my "few bits" today cost just over £100! Admittedly £35 was spent on clothes, nappies and formula for the little ones but for a few bits we still reached our weekly shop budget and I've still got another shop to do later this week!

Now I don't actually think its down to the quantity of the items bought its the fact that supermarkets have been discreetly putting their prices up. When I do my weekly shop online I meal plan for the week, chuck everything in my online basket along with anything else we are running low on and then look at the final cost.  If its too high I re-evaluate what I've bought, move a few meals around, get rid of the non urgent items and get the cost as low as I can.  Over the past few weeks its been a struggle.  So I'm back to online shopping only!  Its just too expensive to go in store....I can't keep track of it all!

To brighten things up here is toddler penguin pushing baby penguin around the little helper!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful

Today baby penguin turns 7 months!  Where has the time gone!

She is such a happy baby (I won't complain that she still wakes 3 times a night and is still in our room!).  We are having fun weaning.  She is a bit of a food monster with the purées and has put on lots of weight!  Still no sign of crawling but she really has mastered the art of sitting!

Its a short post this week as I'm feeling very unorganised and I need to get back in the swing of things!

Check out Mummy From the Heart for more Reasons to be Cheerful x

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Weekly Meal Plan - May 13th

Toddlers Dinners

Monday - Cheese and Ham Toasted Muffins
Tuesday - Chipolatas, Waffles and Veg
Wednesday - Fish Cakes, Alphabet Potatoes, Peas
Thursday - Spaghetti Bolognaise
Friday - Turkey Drummers, Potatoes and Veg

Grown up Dinners
Wednesday - Spaghetti Bolognaise
Thursday - Chicken Curry
Friday - Chilli Con Carne
Saturday - Thai Green Chicken Curry
Sunday - Steak Casserole with Pie Topper

Friday, 10 May 2013

Polesden Lacey

Papa penguin and I received National Trust memberships for our 30th birthday from Grandma penguin (my mum) which means we are officially grown up!

I've been to Morden Hall Park outside of Wimbledon quite a few times before having the membership as its free there (fab grounds but not impressed with the quality of the coffee shop) and we've also been to Box Hill (also free) a lot which has amazing views and a lovely tea room which sell very generous portions of scrumptious cake!

This week myself, toddler penguin, baby penguin and a family member we call GUP visited Polesden Lacey as it came highly recommended to us.

Wow the views from the house were breathtaking!  We were so lucky with the weather that we could see for miles and the trees were never ending!  My favourite flowers, tulips, were in full bloom though apparently I'd missed the best bit.  We saw some chickens sitting in a tree and toddler penguin found a scratch and sniff plant (lavendar!).  He evening picked me a daisy to "make mummy look pretty"....bless!

As it wasn't that busy we managed to get a ride in the shuttle bus to the childrens play area which is a fab obstacles course and has chalk growing up through the ground. Toddler penguin doesn't quite have the balance skills having only just turned three to do a lot of it on his own but still had a blast.

Of course we had to stop off at the coffee shop as baby penguin needed a bottle as I needed some cake.   Mmmmm it was yummy and we even managed to sit in the courtyard.

If you are ever in this area then I would definitely recommend visiting.  Next time hopefully I'll be able to look around the house as well as seeing more of the grounds!

Disclaimer: This is my own personal review. I have not been asked to carry out this review nor have I been paid to do so. 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

My Breastfeeding Journey

I'm linking this post with this weeks Reason's to be Cheerful by Michelle.

Baby penguin is nearly 7 months old and our breastfeeding journey is coming to an end :(

She has weaned herself off me except for night feeds.  Its been a wonderful bonding experience and I have mixed feelings about it coming to an end.

I found it really painful to begin with but it got easier with the use of shields. 6 months on an it was all going great.  3 hourly feeds during the day, I would pump before bed and a couple of feeds during the night.  We had a great routine. My pumping sessions created a freezer stockpile that came in use when I went on a course.  However it wasn't enough and during my first aid course she was offered formula but refused it. I was shocked but touched that she only wanted mummies milk! A week later she was offered a different formula and necked it! From that feed onwards she fussed whilst on the boob and I just found it easier to give her a bottle.  I pumped through the missed feeds and she would happily take breast milk or formual milk but bottle only.  Then during toddler penguins birthday party I needed to pump and she was over tired and wouldn't go to anyone.  So I snuck upstairs and we had our last daytime feed together.  

Baby penguin still wakes through the night so we still have our night feeds together with a bit of co-sleeping.  For the past three weeks she has had some baby rice and this week she had some puréed fruit and veg which she quite enjoyed.

I'm so glad that weaning her off the boob has been an easy process for her, even if I've have mixed emotions about it.  Some days I wanted to give up breastfeeding, other days I got all sentimental about it.  Either way I wanted to get to 7 months like I did with toddler penguin and with the night feeds we might just make it!  I'm so happy with achieving 6 months and its an amazing experience!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful

Its been a while....I've been blog quiet for  a while.  I guess life has just got on top of me and it was a very busy April.....all wonderful things!

Firstly we had the playroom refurbished  Its still a work in progress but we have gorgeous fitted cupboards either side of the chimney breast and lots of shelves and storage for all of the toys.  I've managed to do a bit of a toy clearout and a stock check of all we've got.  I've also been taking pictures of lots of the toys to put in a mini photo album so when I'm looking after minded children then can have a flick through to choose what they want to play with.

Secondly we went on holiday to Bluestone in Wales.  We were so lucky with the weather.  It was amazing.  As a family we so needed the time away and we had a blast.  Toddler penguin definitely enjoyed it the most.  Baby penguin achieved a milestone and learnt to sit unaided.  Papa penguin hired a bike with a trailer and I jogged along side with the buggy which meant I was burning lots of cals.  Shame about all the cake and burgers I ate!

Thirdly it was toddler penguin's 3rd birthday.  We had a weekend of celebrations with friends coming over on the Saturday and family and more friends on the Sunday.  It was a manic weekend and I spent the week beforehand preparing for it but we all had a wonderful time.  Its great to get together with everyone when you don't see many people that often.  We were luckily with the weather and even managed a bbq.  It was great that people could hang out in the garden as over the space of the weekend we had 50 adults round!  It was busy but I had help from lots of people.  Managed a quick post this week about this but here's the cake!

Finally the sun is out and no rain has been forcast all week.  Could this mean summer is on the way????

Hoepfully I will get a chance to catch up with other blogs over the weekend!