Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Gallery - Weather

The theme for this weeks Gallery over at Sticky Fingers is Weather.

Last week when I found out what the topic was I wasn't very excited.  All it has done here in Surrey is rain.  I know it has rained a lot every where and we are very lucky to have not been flooded but I was in no mood to take a photo of the grey clouds.

Then came Sunday!  Bright blue skies!  It was lovely so as a family we went to Polesden Lacey.  Haha boy was it muddy.  Within 30 seconds of putting the waterproofs on baby penguin she had fallen into a big muddy puddle!

We even got to see the roots of a tree that had fallen over in the wind. Was really amazing and toddler penguin was fascinated by it!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

My two weeks without sugar!

Yeah my two weeks without refined sugar has finally come to an end!

How did I do?  I think I did pretty good considering the addiction I had to start with! 

I'll admit I've had one cake.  That was a week into my ban and my friends who were supposed to be doing it with me bought me a lemon drizzle cake at 10am in the morning.  It was an expensive cake and in my opinion rude to not accept.  However I realised didn't fancy cake at 10am so I saved it for the afternoon.  Pre the sugar ban I would've gulped it down without thinking!

I'll also admit I had a bar of chocolate one week and one day into the ban.  I had a very stressful day and a really bad headache which the evil chocolate demons in my head were making worse.  I caved.  However I switched the tele off. Sat on the sofa and enjoyed each mouthful.  Previously I would wolf the chocolate bar down and without realising it would all be gone! So haha I would have another.  Actually its not funny it was that behaviour that made me give up the chocolate and biscuits in the first place.

One more confession....I had one smartie off toddler penguins cookie in a coffee shop on Saturday.  I ate it without realising but I won't let that get to me.

In fact I am really proud of how well I did.  And along with calorie counting I lost 3.5lbs!  I was 10st 8.5oz to begin with and this morning I weighed 10st 5oz.

What have I learnt? I have learnt that I can survive without chocolate and biscuits.  I now have a teaspoon on honey on my porridge instead of 4 teaspoons of sugar.  I have realised that I can get through the morning till lunch without biscuits.  Now I still crave something sweet after lunch and dinner so after lunch I've been having some fruit and after dinner a soya yoghurt.

Where will I go from here? I watched my friend today snack snack snack! Its what I used to do.  However she is a personal trainer and is constantly active.  I've realised that if I have a busy day, lots of walking or I partake in any form of exercise then I will allow myself a treat.  But I will most likely save my treat for either my 3pm munchies or after dinner. I don't believe in restricting anything just everything in moderation!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Weekly Meal Plan - February 17th

Monday - Tuna stir fry
Tuesday - Papa penguin is working away for I'll have something from the freezer
Wednesday - Papa penguin is home late and my mum might be down so it will be if I'm alone beans on toast, might spice it up with a jacket potato if anyone is joining me!
Thursday - Baked Risotto with Lemon, Courgettes & Basil
Friday - Dairy Free Lasagne
Saturday - Toad in the Hole
Sunday - Steak Pie and Veg

Meal Planning Monday

Friday, 14 February 2014

Friday's Product of the Week - Dove Beauty Cream Wash

This is not a beauty blog but I just can't help but share this hand wash as my product of the week.

I actually use this hand wash every morning to wash my face.  I shower before bed as I my showers in the morning always involve baby penguin walking in pointing and then walking out and leaving the door wide open.

However I can not wake up properly in the morning without firstly washing my face and then brushing my teeth.  I find this Dove Beauty Cream Wash perfect for hands and face.  Their website states "Dove's 1/4 Active Moisturising cream and skin pH-neutral formulation ensure that it is so mild you can even use it on your face."

I take this on all holidays, as with most self catered accommodation you rarely get hand soap in your en suite let alone face wash.  So this works as hand soap for the family and face wash for me!

I'm sometimes too tired for a shower before bed (usually the weekend) so if I know I can shower in the morning I'll washing my face before bed with this Beauty Cream Wash.  It is great at removing make up as well!

Disclaimer: This is my own personal review and I have received no payment for this post.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Sugar Crash!

Last week I wrote about giving up sugar for two weeks.

Today I am half way through!  And I failed!

Actually my friends and I failed!  I blame them but I'm responsible for what goes into my mouth and I caved!  

Day 1 (Tuesday) was actually ok.  So was day 2.  I did well at playgroups and avoided the biscuits.  By day 3 I was grumpy but Day 4 got easier.  Day 5 (Saturday) was a good test as I babysat a family with 4 kids and I had taken them some smarties.  However they played up a bit I ended up not giving them away which meant they sat in my bag and my willpower pulled through and I didn't cave in!  Sunday (day 6) I got my period and had a kids party.  Party rings and chocolate fingers where laid out in front of me.  I had cramps but I didn't cave.  I was so proud of myself!

Then came today.  A day trip to The Look Out Discovery Centre.  It was cold so my friends bought coffee and a cake for us all.  I had taken a flask of my Clipper White Tea and realised that I didn't have a sugar craving so I put the cake in my bag and decided that if I was going to crash it would be later when I wanted it.

This is one of the reasons I decided to give up sugar.  I need to get out the habit of eating when I don't really want it.  Of course one always wants chocolate and cake however there is that other feeling of not actually thinking about it.  From about 2pm onwards all I do is think about chocolate.  This is another habit I need to grow out of.  To stop thinking about it.   Will that ever happen?  Haha probably not!

Fast forward to this afternoon, we stopped at a garden centre and kids got some ice cream and we had a tea each (earl grey for me) and I ate my cake.  I really enjoyed it!  I mean really enjoyed it.  Every mouthful was amazing.  I usually just stuff cake in my face and don't even think about it.  I had a lemon drizzle slice.  It was moist (I hate that word) and had a crunchy topping.  Pure sugar I know!

I may have crashed but I am not disappointed in myself.  I look at it as a celebration for making it a week.  Something I didn't think I could do. So here's to the need refined sugar free week....lets see how I go!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Weekly Meal Plan - February 10th

Monday - Spaghetti Bolognase
Tuesday - Probably egg on toast as no papa penguin around and lots of eggs to eat
Wednesday - Omlette
Thursday - Green Thai Chicken Curry
Friday - Jacket Potato with Beans, Cheese and Bacon
Saturday - Chicken Fajitas with friends
Sunday lunch - Lamb Ragu Pasta
Sunday dinner - Bangers and Mash and petit pois!

Meal Planning Monday

Saturday, 8 February 2014

New Daily Routine

This is our daily routine when I'm not minding any other children. Toddler Penguin is 3.5 years old and Baby Penguin  is 15 months.

645amMama Penguin up and dressed
7amToddler and Baby Penguin up, milk and a play upstairs
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
930amLeave for daily activities....visit friends, playgroups, soft play
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
5pmTidy toys away
515pmToddler Penguin and Baby penguin dinner
6pmFree Play with Mama Penguin
630pmBath time and brush teeth. Toddler penguin watches a bit of tele downstairs whilst baby penguin has a bottle in the bedroom.
7pmBaby penguin in bed and Toddler Penguin has a quick story before bed
730pmMama and Papa Penguin dinner - if papa penguin is home!
8pm-930pmVaries each night....vegging in front of tele, ironing, laundry, housework, papa penguin working
930pmMama Penguin showers
10pmMama and Papa Penguin Bed

Friday, 7 February 2014

Friday's Product of the Week - LimeLite Limescale Remover

I've been using LimeLite mainly in the bathroom for nearly 10 years and I still think it is amazing!

I use LimeLite to remove the white scaly marks from the shower screen, taps and the kitchen sink.

I found it very difficult to photograph the taps to demonstrate how good LimeLite is.  I don't know how the professionals do it but please excuse my reflection.

So how do you use it?  For tough limescale build up keep the flap on the nozzle closed and spray the area a few times.  Leave to soak for a minute then I use an old toothbrush for a good scrub.  Wipe away with a damp cloth and you will soon see amazing results!

For limescale on larger scales such as those evil white marks on your shower screen, keep the flap on the nozzle open and spray.  Make sure the room is well ventilated as it has quite a strong smell. Leave for a few minutes, I usually then clean something else, and then wipe with a damp cloth.  I always go over shower screens with window cleaner for that extra gleam.

Happy Cleaning.

Disclaimer: This is my own personal review and I have received no payment for this post.
Please refer to the packaging or the LimeLite website as there are certain surfaces you can't use this on.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Gallery - Food

The theme for this weeks Gallery over at Sticky Fingers is Food.

I thought about making some specifically for this post but however I decided to go with an old photo.

This is the cake that I made and papa penguin helped decorate for our sons 3rd birthday last year.  I don't think we'll ever make anything as amazing!

Baby penguin had a ladybird cake for her 1st birthday last October and I was pretty impressed with my efforts however I feel like I have to constantly have to compete with myself!  I have 3 months to prepare for my sons 4th birthday!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Sugar Sugar Sugar!

My name is Lara and I'm addicted to Sugar.
Photo from

So I've decided to give up refined sugar for two weeks. Specifically biscuits, chocolate and cake!

Today was my first day and boy did I have some cravings!  But I got through it and I'm really proud of myself!

I'm using My Fitness Pal to log my meal intake and this is how today went...

Usually I would have 10g of sugar on my porridge so I'm really annoyed to find that 2 kiwi's are double the calories and I didn't really enjoy it as much.  So tomorrow I'm going to have honey.

I'm also really annoyed that the mango I had after dinner (instead of a thin bar of dairy milk and 2 chocolate digestives) put me over my sugar allowance.  

Recent news reports have told us that sugar is bad for you.  We all knew that but just how bad is it?  My husband has Type 1 diabetes so sugar is bad for him, yet we still have a lot of it in our household.

It will be interesting to see how I cope over the next two weeks.  Watch out for mood swings!  I'm also intrigued to see if it affects my weight.  My weigh in this morning was 10st 8.5oz.

Watch this space!