Sunday, 31 October 2010

England vs Australia

I have been thinking a lot, recently, about the town that I grew up in. Arundel, West Sussex. South Coast of England.

It was a town of immeasurable attraction, and still is.

And despite my family's somewhat eccentric approach, I believe I had, in the main, a blissful childhood.

I have been wondering why my memories have been dragged back to Arundel so often recently.

Nostalgia regarding school, perhaps? Or rivers, castles and windmills? Open air swimming pools and bridges and old cobbled streets ?

Or cricket?



My paternal grandfather, my Dad, and my brothers, they all played. Loved the game. And so, I too, through familial osmosis almost, acquired a love of the game and all that cricket encompasses.

The light and the sun and the air that is just summer.

The sounds of the clapping and of the cheerful sledging. The focus and the enthusiasm. The warmth and the pride.

As a child, I would be there, most weekends, all summer. Between the pool and bike rides and picnics, there was always cricket.

And now? And now I am married to a man who lives and breathes for cricket. A man who watches and listens avidly to every available match via radio, television and internet stream.

A man who has played cricket (at varying levels)  for his whole life, a man who coaches under 14's, a man who will umpire. A man who nips to check on the pitch of his local club on the way home from work most days in the summer. A man who keeps wicket and opens the batting and captains his local turf club side.




As my children start their foray into the game they already presume to love, we have kanga cricket. They love it. I can feel my lovely husband thanking the powers that be that he met me, a cricket lover, and that we pass this love of the game onto our children.

Well played.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Saturday Grateful...

If there is one gorgeous blog in the whole wide word to follow on a Saturday (or any day of the week, to be honest!) it would have to be Maxabella Loves.

She writes so enticingly, of the lovely things she is grateful for.

And inspires me, and many others to conjure up, in our minds, what we are truly grateful for too.

For me, today, this lovely Saturday at the start of summer, I am grateful for......

- the fact that each of my three children are so happy in their respective school and kindy environments. Charlie, my son, received a Principle's Award yesterday, for "settling into school life so well."  Proud? Me? Yes. Very. Relieved and eternally grateful? Yes. Very.

- my friend Kat. She has been dealing with some crap and stress these past months with her beautiful third child, who has suffered from some bad burns.  But we had a long coffee yesterday, over my ironing board, and I feel so grateful and relieved, knowing that they are both getting back to normal.

- hammocks. This photo says it all. Like Maxabella, I believe hammocks are a happy place.





- and finally, I am grateful for my lovely husband. This time five years ago today, he and I, we had our wedding day, and we tied the knot. It has been a blissful five years. There is never a day that I presume to take our marriage, or him, for granted.





What are you feeling grateful for today?


Friday, 29 October 2010

How do you feel when.....

......you exercise?




I want you to just sit, for a moment, and think about how you feel, in your head and your heart and your body when you exercise. Just be, and breath, and sit with that thought pattern for a moment. And think, and remember, and recall, your feelings surrounding exercise.

Incidental or planned. Inside or outside. On dry land or in water. It doesn't matter what you perceive as exercise, just hook your brain into thinking it about it for a little while?

Before exercising, how are you talking to yourself? What emotions are popping up?

How do you feel. deep inside?

During exercise? Is your body hurting? Does it feel ungainly? Is there an echo of ease? A muscle or mental memory of how good this really really feels?

And afterwards? In the shower, back at your desk, moving on with your day, what are your senses doing? Try and figure out how you feel mentally, physically and emotionally?

I would love it if you wanted to share with me all of those feelings.

But I would love it even more if you just remembered those feelings next time you procrastinated over whether to go and get some exercise.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

I am a RunnaMumma!

The very lovely Shelley over at Shoebox Life posted a pic of her gorgeous self in her running stuff today.

The very lovely Naomi over at Under the Yard Arm is organising us all via the MDC to get organised and stay focused on our running training.



MDC


How is my training going?

Good. As Olivia, my Miss 6, tells me, I am a RunnaMumma!

Now that the 21km deadline pressure from my last race is off somewhat, I am enjoying running even more.

On Tuesday night I ran 10km on the treadmill....with my iPod on loud, whilst the ladies in the other half of the footy club hall closed the door on me and did their yoga. (It is all scented candles and gorgeous peaceful music and bare feet and I am yearning to get into the yoga thing, to be honest.)

On the tready, I timed myself and I am SLOW. I did 10km, on an incline, and it took me 1 hr 12 mins 7 secs. Which works out at 7km per hour. That is only a bit faster than a walk.

SO, next week I am aiming to get it a lot quicker by forcing myself to do at least the first half with the treadmill set at 9km per hour.

It's tempting to have no incline, but I honestly find it to be more like real road conditions if I set an incline.

Hot sweaty snaps below. Sadly I do not look as glam or as slim as I would like.

Ah well....something to aim for........


So, anyone else planning on running the MDC? Or starting a C25K program?

Link up?
It's Fat to Fit time again........

Last week was HUGE, another record breaking week. Over 45 blogs, all sharing!

Thank you, to all of you who join in!

I would love to get to over 50 links this week!



If you would like to join in my blog hop, I'd love for you to link up.


All you need to do is:

1.Follow my blog (if you haven't already done so).

2.Get the "Fat to Fit" button/code from below by copying the code and posting via the Edit HTML tab into your diet/weight loss post: if anyone wants any help with how to do this, lemme know?





3. Add the URL to your diet/weight loss/healthy eating/exercise/fitness post POST in the Linky below (not your homepage: the actual post)

4. Copy the blog hop code from below into your post too.....then you are also hosting the exact same blog hop link list...

5. Share the love, read each others posts, get inspired, follow and comment!

6. The blog hop list will open every Thursday and will be open all week.

7. A new and fresh link list will open every Thursday. (And then, if you want, you can link up again with another diet/weight loss/healthy eating/exercise/fitness post.)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Kindy Girl...

I posted recently about Charlie and how he has settled so happily into school life.

At the same time that Charlie started in Reception, Lexie started a new term at Kindy. Two full days a week.

She loves it.

From 9am until 3pm, she is utterly engrossed in the craft, the stories, the hatchling chickens, the new computer, the sandpit and the trampoline.

She loves that she has her own little friends, and is greeted by lots of other eager four year old little girls when we arrive at the gate.

Today was no exception.

Apart from today was a bit special.

Lexie has a new kindy bag.

She is resigned to being the "hand me down kid",  poor Lexie. She is the final girl of a lot of girl cousins. Her wardbrobe is FULL to bursting of gorgeous (but second hand) gear.

Last term she was the posessor of a (fairly scruffy) hand-me-down kindy bag. (Which was a bit babyish, apparently, as it was Winnie the Pooh?)

So can you imagine her utter pride and delight at her very own new kids backpack........



It is from Mooo, and it is just lovely. They have a whole range of school bags that can be designed from a huge array of colours, sizes, designs and color patettes, so they suit literally any child or family. (I am quite tempted to get one for myself to be honest, as a gym bag?)

I ordered Lexie's last week, and despite her being fairly choosy on the colour, size, design and palette, as well as opting to have it personalised, it arrived in two days. (Amazingly fast service. Which is handy to know as Mooo also stock name labels and name tapes, which I have a habit of losing and needing to order at the very last minute.)

Lexie opened the package when it arrived, and I honestly thought she was going to cry with joy - she really really loves it. So much so that she insisted on taking it to bed. Like only a four year old can. And she is happy to pack and unpack her "new school bag". Long may that habit last.

The bag is robust, and the zips seem to be sturdy, which is good, as it's always the zips that seem to go first on my kids school backpacks. The straps are soft and slightly padded, so they don't cut into Lexie's shoulders. Less whining, thank you.

It has to last four terms of intense rough and tumble. I have a feeling it will, and that Lexie will continue to love it.

So if you are in the market for new kids bags of any kind, head over and look at the Mooo site? Their stuff is divine.

And if you would like to be in with a chance to score a $50 gift voucher to spend with Mooo, all you need to do is leave me a comment below, telling me what your favourite item is that you find on the Mooo site. Easy as!

Terms and Conditions - Mooo Voucher Giveaway is available for Australian residents only. Voucher does not include shipping costs. Voucher cannot be redeemed for cash. Voucher valid for items up to the value of $50: no change given for unused amounts. Winner will be chosen by Random.Org. Winners announced via email on Weds 03.11.10

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Nowhere to go, nowhere to be...

Today,  for the first time in ages, I have nowhere to go, and nowhere to be...

Once the children are dropped off at their respective schools and kindy, I have no appointments. No groceries to shop for. No familial responsibilities today.

Nothing pressing on  my things to do list.

No phone calls to make, no issues to deal with.

The ironing is kind of up to date enough to ignore the basket, as is the overall state and cleanliness of this house.

How delicious.

How rare.

So I shall revel in just being, today. At home, by myself, in a peaceful house. I shall luxuriate in the total absence of business and sink into some relaxation.



Just me.

I might sit on the deck and gaze at the horizon in the sun.

I might go for a run.

I might write.

I might take some snaps.

I might bake - something yummy, for the kids to come home to? Maybe not.

I might have a nap.

I might read. (Actually, yes, I will definitely read.)

I might Tweet.

I will enjoy every second...........

If you ever find yourself in this blissful position,
how do you while away the hours? Tell me?






Monday, 25 October 2010

Why breakfast is essential......

There was some talk the other day, on Twitter, in connection with breakfast and what the best options were, for weight loss. And of course there were a few comments along the lines of:

"But I can't/don't eat breakfast. I just have coffee and then get something to eat later on..........."

I suspect that, whilst the majority of us  know that breakfast is heralded as the most important meal of the day, that many of us skip it?

I know that getting three kids ready for school each morning, in conjunction with my own early morning exercise routine, alongside getting lunchboxes ready, slapping a load of washing on, as well as trying to remember to get the meat out of the freezer for tea, that breakfast for myself is often the very last thing on my morning "things to do" list.

Plus, I am an ex-smoker. For over 25 years, my "breakfast" was strong coffee and a couple of cigarettes. That was all I needed, and all I wanted.



And before I ever lost any weight, when I was snacking a lot late at night, I was simply never hungry in the mornings for breakfast.

It's habit, pure and simple. Easting breakfast is a habit. One that we have as kids, and insist upon for our children, but often relinquish as adults?

So to all those that struggle with the idea of breakfast, I empathise, I really do.

But......the benefits of breakfast are so positive:



  • Eating breakfast makes you feel better. It gives you energy. It makes you feel awake and gives you vitality.
  • A healthy breakfast makes your brain work better, no matter how old you are. Simple as that. We all know that kids do better at school if they eat a decent brekky. Same for grown ups.
  • Breakfast sets you up for the rest of the day. If you eat well and healthily at breakfast, chances are you will continue a healthy eating pattern for the rest of the day.
  • Eating breakfast fires your metabolism. Imagine your metabolism as a fire. Overnight it is dormant embers. In order to relight the fire, you need to give it some fuel, to get it burning again. Breakfast is this fuel. Otherwise your metabolism just is sluggish all day and you will never burn off calories.
I can almost hear the excuses coming through my screen.

I remember how reticent I was to ever start having brekky.

1. I don't have time: Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier. If you are making brekky for kids, just give yourself the exact same brekky.  At the very least, grab a piece of fruit and eat it in the car.

2. I am just not hungry at breakfast time: look, I am not suggesting you eat a four course hotel buffet breakfast. A piece of fruit or a yogurt will do. Just try it for a few days, gag it down for a few days if you have to. I am willing to bet your body appreciates and comes to expect it really quickly. And in a few days you will be hungry for brekky and you'll enjoy it.

3. But if I eat brekky I find I get hungry earlier in the day - this means I am ending up eating more calories than if I skipped brekky? Maybe. You will get hungrier earlier. Because your body and its metabolism is firing properly. Your body is efficiently using the energy you're giving it. If you eat a healthy, breakfast, chances are your body will want a healthy morning tea. And then a healthy lunch. Hey. All these healthy meals. How good is that. (But if you had skipped brekky, what are the chances you'd have been so hungry by 10am that you ate high calorie high sugar high fat food like a doughnut? Or an early fast food lunch?)

I could go on and on and on about the need for low GI and protein packed perfect breakfasts.



I am tempted to.

But I won't.

Let's not worry about forcing ourselves to eat a perfect balanced breakfast every day. Let's go easy on ourselves and just eat something healthy for brekky:

A bowl of cereal? Find one you like that is high in fibre and low in sugar and you'll be on the right track. (Goddess knows, there is enough choice in the cereal aisle. Sultana Bran is still the one I come back to, time and time again.)

A yogurt? (I avoid diet ones - I am not a fan of the chemicals used as artificial sweeteners)

A banana? An apple?

A slice of toast? (No butter, with honey or marmalade or peanut butter.)

Cut fruit? (This is how I started persuading my body to eat breakfast. A small amount of cut strawberries or watermelon. It was all I could face. Still love it now.)

A milk shake or a smoothie? I often make up a protein shake. Mine is choc full of fibre (I use psyllium husk) and a banana. This keeps me going all morning, very well.

A small carton of Up and Go? (Or similar?)  (I sometimes stop at the servo for one of these if I am desperate.)

A cereal bar?



So now that?

Just eat some nice breakfast every day. Do it, do it for yourself.

Tell me if you are a brekky fan or not?

What are your best and easiest and quickest and healthiest breakfasts?

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Starting School ........

I posted a little while back, on how Charlie has started out at school.

Last term he did the "transition" days, from kindy to reception.

Big school.

And now, he is officially a school boy.

(SA has a rolling termly intake. As soon as they get to age five, they start in reception the very next term. He is a term late, as a result of his broken femur. The anticipation, as a result of this delay, is all the more heightened!)

He loves it.



He can barely contain his excitement at the prospect of school each day.

He is dressed and ready to go by 7am every morning.

He skips and jumps at the idea of a school lunchbox.

He is fascinated by the bells, the rules, the library, the routines and the whole school system.

He loves his teacher. He loves that he knows a number of the big kids. ( I love this too. I find comfort in the idea that he is being looked out for by the older kids.....)

He loves learning to read. He loves his water bottle. Hell, he loves homework, even!

I suspect the novelty will wear thin, soon.

But I have a gut feeling that his confidence in the school setting will stay. And for that I am truly grateful.

But for now, we will all just revel in his joy and enthusiasm.

He is already excited about Monday morning.

I am just a bundle of relief and gratefulness that he is all OK at school.

xx

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Winners! (And win months worth of free bread!)

Last week I did a review of Bakers Delight Hi-Lo bread.

As a result I got loads of suggestions for kids lunchbox sandwhich fillers - thank you so much to everyone who took part!




As promised, I have five vouchers to give away. These go to:

Erin
Maxabella
Kirrily
Nellbe
Trish

Could you all email me please, with your postal address, and I will send you your vouchers straight away!

Don't forget you can still win a month’s worth of Bakers Delight bread by simply telling Bakers Delight some of your inspiring lunchbox recipes for kids. (The best recipes will be featured on the Bakers Delight Facebook page and also on Twitter.)


Thanks!



Friday, 22 October 2010

Char Grilled Veggie Lasagne

Or Glut Lasagne, as I call it.

We have shed loads of homegrown beetroot. We have massive amounts of silver beet. I am always looking for ways to use these glut items.





Lovely husband is a big meat eater. He is dismissive of "vego" food, and tells me that "vegetarian food would be fine, if only it had meat in it."  Right.

Never the less, he IS a fan of cheese in large volumes, and likes his veggies, especially if they are his own, home grown ones. So even he likes this dish.

It goes without saying that this is low in fat and low in calories. So it works for me.

The kids like it. It is sloppy and easy to eat and has pasta in it - enough said.

I stole the recipe from No New Idea magazine. (Quite literally. I was reading the mag whilst in a waiting room and I sneakily jotted the details down. I was tempted to rip the page out of the magazine, but I suspect that is bad waiting room karma.)




Char Grilled Veggie Lasagne

Ingredients

300g fresh low-fat ricotta

100g reduced-fat feta, crumbled

1 egg, lightly beaten

Seasoning, to taste.
150g pumpkin or sweet potato, peeled & thinly sliced

2 x zucchini, thinly sliced

Spray oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 eggplant (300g), chopped

Beetroot (200g) chopped. (I used raw, peeled. But you could use drained canned, I guess?)

500g jar pasta sauce (I use Raguletto: the tomato and red wine variety, I think?)

3 fresh lasagne sheets

50g baby spinach or silver beet leaves

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or tasty cheese


Method

Combine ricotta, feta and egg in a bowl. Season with pepper.

Lightly brush both sides of pumpkin and zucchini with 2 tea spoonss of the olive oil.

Cook on a heated grill pan for about 2 minutes on each side, or until tender. Remove from heat.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add garlic and eggplant. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add pasta sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Remove.

Pour 1/2 cup of the eggplant sauce over base of a lightly greased ovenproof dish (10-cup capacity). Top with half the pasta sheets, cutting to fit. Arrange pumpkin, then zucchini and spinach over top.

Dollop half the ricotta mixture over spinach. Then spread with remaining eggplant sauce. Top with remaining pasta sheets, cutting to fit. Spread with remaining ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan or tasty cheese.

Cook, uncovered, in a moderate oven (180C) for about 50 minutes, or until pasta is tender and cheese golden.

Serve with a salad.


Do you ever go vegetarian for the night?

Tell me your favourite vegetarian recipes?

Or if you have beetroot recipes, please share!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Uplifted....

This week has been good.

Very good.

I feel uplifted.



I am eating perfectly and exercising well.

I feel recovered from the half marathon, and back into a weight loss groove!

Why, you ask?

Support. Inspiration. Motivation.

From here

And here.

Bloggers from all over deciding to lose some boombah. And other bloggers choosing to be in it and run the Mothers Day Classic....

Some doing both.

It makes me feel uplifted, it really does.

So if you need a lift, go have a look?

Fat to Fit

It's Fat to Fit time again........

Last week was HUGE, a record breaking week. Over 45 blogs, all sharing!

Thank you, to all of you who join in!






If you would like to join in my blog hop, I'd love for you to link up.


All you need to do is:

1.Follow my blog (if you haven't already done so).

2.Get the "Fat to Fit" button/code from below by copying the code and posting via the Edit HTML tab into your diet/weight loss post: if anyone wants any help with how to do this, lemme know?










3. Add the URL to your diet/weight loss/healthy eating/exercise/fitness post POST in the Linky below (not your homepage: the actual post)

4. Copy the blog hop code from below into your post too.....then you are also hosting the exact same blog hop link list...

5. Share the love, read each others posts, get inspired, follow and comment!

6. The blog hop list will open every Thursday and will be open all week.

7. A new and fresh link list will open every Thursday. (And then, if you want, you can link up again with another diet/weight loss/healthy eating/exercise/fitness post.)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

126kg & Lethargic......

MDC

I am running again tonight. Inspired by Naomi at Under the Yard Arm, and the plan for us all to run/walk in the Mothers Day Classic, I am running tonight.

On the treadmill. (I usually use the streets, but it's the treadmill tonight.)

I am going to be using my trusty iPod with its C25km podcasts on it.

I have my huge water bottle at the ready.


Who'd a thunk it?

Three years ago I was a heart attack waiting to happen.

The very idea of me running was IMPOSSIBLE.

I was 126kg and lethargic. I could barely walk easily, let alone run.


And now?

I am still chunky.

I do not have a runners build.

I am not lithe or slim or supple.

But my heart health and my body, and mind and my spirit, they allow me to run.

I am not fast and  I am not at all graceful.

(But I am getting quicker. I plan on really testing myself on the treadmill tonight!)

I still have a fat tummy and my boobs jiggle too much.

But, I have zest and energy, and I have realised that moving with energy is what makes me happy.

So, if you think you can't, you can. I promise.

Join me?

What would you try if you knew you could not fail? Tell me?


Monday, 18 October 2010

Keeping Cool......

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

Our home is lovely, but it is circa 1970.

Our outlook is lovely, but the garden faces due west. Sweltering.



Our house is spacious, but oh my goddess, it gets HOT in the summer months.

We live in the foothills of Adelaide in sunny South Australia. Stretches of two week dry heat spells of over 40'c are not uncommon over the summer.

I dread it, to be honest, as it makes life really, ermmmm, well, hard? Hot, sticky, lethargic and tiring?

Who wants to try and sleep in sticky heat? Ick? (We do have some old pedestal fans, but really, they are rubbish.)
We have lived here in this house for nearly four years. Without air conditioning.


House Cooling

All the bedrooms, and the retreat where I have my computer and exercise gear - they are all sweat boxes in summer.

So I am madly doing our tax returns this week so that I can see a glimmer of cash, to maybe look at getting air-con installed - at least in the bedrooms?

So imagine surprise when I was approached by Panasonic to do a post on air conditioning. Coincidence or what?!





I am a woman on a mission now, to get me some air con in time for the summer!

I need, basically what Panasonic is offering in their air con units -

  • Economical but quick cooling. I don't want to have the things running all the time costing me a fortune. But I do want it to be economically cool when I want it! (Apparently the Panasonic models have an "Eco Patrol Sensor" that senses when people come into a room and the cooling gets cooler!) How cool is that?!
  • Slimline design so that the air con unit is not the ugly thing looming over the whole room
  • Air purifying. We all suffer with hay fever in the summer.  But an air purifier has got to be a good thing to clear the pollens.....and this function is built into the Panasonic air con unit - result!


Panasonic are offering the most brilliant giveaway - the chance to win a Panasonic air conditioner &installation. All you need to do to be in with the chance to win this brilliant prize is tell me, by commenting below:

What is the most bizarre thing you have done to keep cool?!

I cannot wait to read what you come up with!

(For all the T&C's, just click HERE)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Writing Out Loud

I feel very lucky to have been asked by Megan of Writing Out Loud, to write a guest post for her.

She asked me to spill some rebellious tales of my school days..........so I did.......



Go over and have a read?

An interview with a school boy......


My son, Charlie, started school this term.
He is five.

He is utterly adorable.

(He takes a brilliant cameo role on my blog. I interview him regularly, for no other reason than I find conversations with him so bloody hilarious.)

So I give you, today, an interview with a very new little school boy......this was undertaken at the end of last term, when he had school visits.


Me: Charlie, mate, are you looking forward to starting at school?
Charlie: (Exasperated) You know I am Mum. You know I am very 'cited 'bout school. I have had my "calemdar" going for 46 sleeps. Going to school takes too many sleeps. (Big sigh)

Me: How many sleep is it now mate?

Charlie: (Hopping up and down on one spot) JUST ONE MORE SLEEP!!

Me: So, do I gather you are a bit excited about starting school?
Charlie: Yes. I cannot WAIT till I am a big boy at big boy school.

Me: Charlie, what is the best bit about school, d'you reckon?
Charlie: I like my new teacher but I like playing best. In the yard. And squirting my water bottle. (I suspect the squirting of water bottles is the modern day Aussie version of conker fights?)


Me: Oh. What about your new school uniform, mate? Is it smart?
Charlie: (Shrugs) It's the same as 'Livia's. (Olivia is Charlie's elder sister. She is 6. An old hand at this school buisiness.)
Me: And what colour is the uniform, Charlie?

Charlie: It's blue. You know that Mum. You ironed it and sewed my name tape fing in all the shirts. I like my school hat. You have to wear the hat at recess and lunchtime else the teachers don't let you play in the yard, they make you sit on the bench under the veranda instead. That is so boring. I am never gonna lose my hat, not never.    
Charlie: I don't fink so Mum. I don't fink I'll bovver wiv reading. 'Livia can read to me instead. I will play on the 'puters instead. Or squirt my water bottle. Yeah. I will squirt my water bottle instead, I fink.

Me: Oh. Charlie, why don't you want to bother with reading? (Slight panic in voice......)
Charlie: I can't read Mum, so I won't bovver. Nahhh.

Me: (Even more panic from me by this stage....) But Charlie, that is one of the main things about going to big school. So that you can learn to read.
Charlie: But I don't want to. I can't read. And I don't wanna. Mum, what colour is my drink bottle? Can I have a Spider Man drink bottle? Please?

Me: Maybe we need to sort the reading business out mate, before we worry about your drink bottle? (Crapping myself that I have bred an illiterate.......)
Charlie: Nah. Mum, I don't wanna talk to your 'phone anymore. Talking about reading is boring, Mum. I am gonna practice squirting my water bottle. (Runs off.)


The next day, after school:

Charlie: Mum, I am on level two readers. I can already read, y'know. School is so cool. My teacher is better than you. She taught me to read. They are easy books, so I read three books really quick, 'cos they only have one word on each page, so it is so easy for me. I fink I am a good reader. I love reading. Mum, can I read one of your books? Mum, am I doing reading next week at school, or somefink different? Mum, do you know I am gonna be the best reader in the world? Mum? I love you Mum, but I love reading more.

Me: Mate, you rock my world. How was your water bottle?
Charlie: I am the best squirter. But I liked the reading more.
Me: (Breathes utter sigh of relief.) Good. I love you mate.
             Charlie: (Bored with me now.) I know Mum. (Running off)  You tell me that all the time.

So there you have it. A little peak into the world of a little Aussie lad, starting school........
(And the totally unfounded Mummy worries that go along with it.........)

Eight Questions......

I was tagged, recently, by Deb. To answer eight questions -



I came across Deb's blog as her blog name is Diminishing Deb. I am so glad I did. Her weight loss journey is inspirational.

The questions she asks of me are this:

Is there a book that has made you change your life in some way?
Allan Carr's Easy Way To Give Up Smoking. Seriously. I do not think any other book, ever, has has such a positive impact on my health, and on my world.



Black Licorice - do you love it or hate it? Have you ever met anyone who doesn't have a strong opinion on black licorice? Errrr, me. Can take or or leave it. Not fussed either way.

What is the worst job you ever had? Chambermaid in a hotel. A honeymooners hotel. Rank.

What are you waiting for?  A bloke called Kevin...........

What country do you want to see, or see more of? I want to go to Poland. And live and breath its modern history. Don't ask me why. I just feel such a strong pull to the place.



What is the first thing you notice when meeting new people? Whether they smile with their eyes or not.

What are you grateful for today? Walking in Morialta Conservation Park with my friend Adele. Both are so special.



What would a really fun evening be like for you? I'd love to go see some stand up comedy, or a band. And then have dinner with friends. And then go parking.......

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Saturday Grateful

THis Saturday I am very grateful, for so many things - I am feeling a little loved up -  so I am going to follow the lead of the gorgeous Maxabella Loves again, and list all the lovely things I am grateful for today -

  • My iPhone that tells me it the time in the UK and the slide of a screen, so that I can call my big brother so very easily. And talk for an hour or two first thing in my morning, last thing at his evening.


  • I should also mention that my big brother is my absolute hero, and that not a day goes past that I don't wish we lived in the same village together. Thank you Chas, for just all that you are, and being the one that always brings me back to centre. xx


  • The Weber and a roast chook dinner that I do not have a hand in cooking. Always, I am eternally grateful to Mr Weber, who makes it appealing for my lovely husband to cook.



  • Home grown beetroot. Gorgeous stuff. Love it. Thank you, lovely husband, for the green fingered man you are.

What about you? What are you grateful for, today?

Friday, 15 October 2010

Sandwiches that kids love....

It's that time again.

Term four.

The glitter and glue term.

The run up to Christmas term.

The tired and cranky term (That's the teachers and the kids: all tired and cranky!)

My son Charlie, aged 5, started school full time this term. (To say that he is loving it, is an understatement, by the way!)

My elder daughter, Olivia, aged 6,  who is already fully ensconced in the school routine, is already looking forward to the preparations for Christmas concerts and carols by candlelight, on the school lawn.

And me?

What do I have to look forward to?

More lunchboxes.



I am only at the infancy of my lunchbox creation career. I have YEARS of lunchbox inspiration to find.

Gulp.

So I asked the kids what THEY liked best for their ssandwiches:


Olivia said:
  • Not big things. I only like small things Mum, that I can eat quickly.
  • Small sandwiches that taste yum
  • Not too much Mum
  • Yummy things that are not soggy or smelly
  • Squishy bread that tastes of bread
Charlie said:
  • Not big things Mum, I don't wanna make a mess
  • Not sandwiches every day, that is too boring
  • Not brown Mum. I get sick of brown bread. I like white bread best Mum.
  • What if I get hungry at school Mum?
  • Mum, I like egg rolls.
  • Mum, does the teacher help me eat?
Oh my. It's a minefield!

BUT....... it's OK.

I have raved on about my love of Bakers Delight before.

They make "real bread", that, as Olivia points out, actually tastes of bread.

They make low GI, high fibre rolls and loaves. It's called Hi-Lo (Hi-Fibre, Low-GI).
(So I can get some fibre into Charlie without forcing him to 'endure' brown bread.)


It appears that my children do not want to spend much time eating lunch - I gather that eating breaks into their play time - they would, quite rightly, rather spend their time running around than munching. So small filled rolls or sandwiches that will provide slow sustained energy release is ideal. Fills their little tummies nicely and gives them low GI slow release energy to keep going without getting whingey at me by school pick up time.

And they seem to want neat small things, a dinner sized roll that won't outface them? That isn't messy? A handful at most?
The Bakers Delight near me sells the Hi-Lo bread in loaves and small dinner rolls. Sorted then, for the mornings toast, AND their lunchboxes.




And in terms of fillings?

Here is their list of favoured fillings -

1. Ham and tasty cheese
2. Vegemite and cream cheese
3. Cold corned beef
4. Mashed hard boiled egg and mayonnaise
5. Cold roast chook
6. Mashed tuna and cucumber
7. Mashed egg and ham
8. Cold sausage and cheese

(They also mentioned Nutella and peanut butter and jam. No chance.)

So there we have it. Charlie and Olivia are more than delighted with this bread. And I am too, to be honest. It makes me feel like they are getting a tastier and healthier lunchbox sandwich that will really keep them going. And the bread is soft and white and really tasty - the kids love it. Simple as that really.



Tell me: what sandwiches &fillings appeal to your kids? Do you dread the creation of lunchboxes as much as me?

Bakers Delight have organised a few ways to make sure that you have a few ways to try their Hi-Lo bread. They are running a competition on their blog.

AND, I have scored some vouchers from Bakers Delight, for my lovely readers so that you can try the Hi-Lo (Hi-Fibre, Low-GI) bread from Bakers Delight, for free.

Just comment below, with some of your best filling ideas? I'll pick the tastiest five and send you a voucher!

So what are some of your ideas?

Better still, share some of your kids ideas?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Be in it......

I posted yesterday about learning to love exercise.

There are a number of bloggers and twittery folk who have recently been doing the "Couch to 5km" program.

I have recently completed an event myself.

The gorgeous Naomi from Under the Yard Arm recently ran a 10km race for charity.

There are many of us who want to do a little bit more. In terms of distance, speed, charity, effort.

There are a number of folk who want to start some form of exercise, but are not sure what.

So Naomi came up with a brilliant idea. That we all get involved in this -

The Mothers Day Classic



It's a fun run event that is held in all major capitals and many regional centres around Australia every May. Last year, 90,000 people entered. Imagine.

In 2011, the Mothers Day Classic is being held across Australia on Sunday May 8th

I am in.

Are you?

Naomi has set up a group, on Aussie Mummy Bloggers, for anyone that is keen.



Run or walk: be in it.

If you want an exercise goal: be in it.

If you want to raise money for breast cancer research: be in it.

If you want to get your body to move more: be in it.

If you want to get the happy endorphin rush: be in it.

It's a 4km or 8km distance. Run or walk. Pram friendly. If you walked 8km, at worst, it would take you an hour and a half. ANYONE CAN DO THIS if THEY SET THEIR MIND TO IT.

(If you are nervous and think "oh, I couldn't do that", then you need to do this. You need to believe you can. You need to commit to yourself that you can, and then you will........)



Imagine if you could gradually train yourself to run chunks of it.

Imagine if you knew we were all training for the same event, virtually, practically, together.

Imagine how wonderful women can be when they set their minds to something that is good for everyone.......

Imagine how proud you will be.........

Join us?

Fat to Fit

It's Fat to Fit time again........last week was great, with lots of new blogs, all sharing. Thank you, to all of you who join in!








If you would like to join in my blog hop, I'd love for you to link up.

All you need to do is:

1.Follow my blog (if you haven't already done so).

2.Get the "Fat to Fit" button/code from below by copying the code and posting via the Edit HTML tab into your diet/weight loss post: if anyone wants any help with how to do this, lemme know?







3. Add the URL to your diet/weight loss/healthy eating/exercise/fitness post POST in the Linky below (not your homepage: the actual post)

4. Copy the blog hop code from below into your post too.....then you are also hosting the exact same blog hop link list...

5. Share the love, read each others posts, get inspired, follow and comment!

6. The blog hop list will open every Thursday and will be open all week.

7. A new and fresh link list will open every Thursday. (And then, if you want, you can link up again with another diet/weight loss/healthy eating/exercise/fitness post.)

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

How to learn to love exercise...

There have been a few blog comments and tweets recently, asking an age old question -

"How can I find the motivation to exercise?"

It seems a common theme - we all know we should do some exercise.

We all know we would benefit from moving more.

Most people are aware of the health benefits of exercise (both physical and  mental.)

But the struggle to get started, to stick at it, to gather motivation and stay motivated to keep doing that exercise......it seems fairly elusive?

We are time poor, I know that. Children and jobs and families and homes all bleed us of our time.




BUT, if you want to exercise and you want to remain motivated to just keep on doing it, day after day, week after week, month after month, here's how:

- Opt for exercise that you think you could learn to love. Don't pick an exercise regime that you cannot imagine doing ongoing. Pick something that has the potential to be "easy" for you, in your life.  Chose something that you don't hate. 

- Whilst Nike says "just do it", I'd suggest a little planning can go a long way to forging a relationship with a new activity that you are going to get loved up with: Learn, plan, prepare, then do. Even if this just means buying a new sports bra and loading your iPod with exercise tunes. Get organised. This will give you the self-confidence that, in turn,  will give you a sense of comfort & even excitement about your new activity, and so will increase your likelihood of sticking at it.



- Start slow and easy. Whatever exercise you pick, start at a pace that doesn't hurt. Don't go at it like a bull at a gate. Don;t hurt yourself. Start easy, knowing you are going to gradually work your way up gradually to push yourself. There is no rush. This is not about weight loss. The goal here is learning to genuinely love exercise and to be in a place where you genuinely WANT to do it every day.

- Once you have started, you need to be really aware of the influences that make it easy to want to carry on doing the exercise. When something good happens during or immediately after exercise then you will be willing to do it again, yes? Watch out for the good things, the good feelings. You may feel lighter of step. You may feel a delicious smugness of having exercised. You may get an endorphin rush. You may feel tingly. Hold onto those good feelings. Relish in them.

Either way, even if you can't envisage feeling these good things yet, you will, if you just start....