Saturday, 31 March 2012

Week 1 Jenny Craig Update

A few days into my Jenny Craig diet I thought I'd update you on how it's going. There is a daily menu which explains what you should be eating and when (there are no set times but you must to eat a snack between e.g. lunch and dinner). Initially I found sticking to the menu difficult, the idea of regimented eating made me feel strangely stressed and I found myself rather upset. It was a bit odd and I sat down to think about why I felt this way, and then realised that I was actually upset as I felt stupid. I've been convincing myself for years that I don't eat that much, then when I'm confronted with the portions I should be eating, it becomes clear where I'm going wrong.

Breakfast is not something I usually make time for, but I'm really enjoying sitting and eating breakfast with the boys and it's encouraging me to be more creative with their breakfasts! I'm finding lunches interesting with plenty of variety, although one or two of the lunches have not been to my taste there is certainly something to suit every taste! As you can see the portions are generous especially after you've added either salad or vegetables!

I would never have thought I'd enjoy a 'low fat' snack, but the Jenny Craig snacks are particularly tasty and really do seem to help me avoid that urge to grab the biscuit tin before dinner yet satisfy my urges for something sweet or salty! My biggest struggles are with my chocolate urges, all the talk of Easter eggs is making me constantly think about chocolate but I keep reminding myself how good I'll feel when I can fit into my jeans without them feeling too tight around the waist! The Jenny Craig Chocolate Wafer Bars are a great little chocolate hit if you're a chocoholic like me! Maybe I could get used to healthy food delivery taking the strain out of what to eat to lose weight?

I'm not sure if I've actually lost any weight as I'm refusing to weigh myself until Tuesday, but my tummy doesn't appear to bulge quite so much over the top of my jeans, so I'm hoping the scales will show a loss on Tuesday!

Disclaimer: I am undertaking a two week free trial of Jenny Craig in return for blogging about my own honest opinions of my experience with the diet.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Joolz Buggies - A Yummy Mummy Must Have!

Choosing your first buggy for baby is a huge decision, the fact it will be taken everywhere with you for at least the first year of baby's life means you want to be happy you're getting the right one, the buggy that fits with your life style, and helps make life easier. 

Joolz invited a selection of Mummy Bloggers to an event to introduce us to their super stylish buggies. While E is now 14months, I'm always on the look out for making his transportation easier, and in honesty I'm also thinking ahead for if and when baby no.3 might come along!

If you've never heard of Joolz, they are a Dutch company who create what I can only describe as buggy masterpieces. If you aspire to surround yourself with only the beautiful things in life, you and your baby need a Joolz! I confess, I am utterly in awe of the design they're not only stylish with ultra chic touches such as leatherette handles and subtle stainless steel trims, but they are supremely functional. 

 The carrycot also doubles as an overnight sleeper it is wider and has a superb mattress with washable cover, so your newborn can travel in ultimate comfort! I was amazed at how easily this clipped onto the buggy frame, and how simply it was released.The frame itself feels solid, and strong, with a superb centre of gravity, yet is light enough to lift easily into the boot of the car. I asked the question how easily does it collapse, remembering my struggles with buggy's in the past! I blinked, and missed it being collapsed! No seriously, I did! It was that easy, and I felt rather stupid saying can you collapse it again, but I had to, I couldn't believe my eyes!! The seat is multi-positional so you can have it parent facing or facing away, and it reclines virtually flat if required!

I'm hugely excited by Joolz, I loved the way there was no formality to the event, it was friendly and you could wonder about and ask questions. You were actively encouraged to touch and actually experience the buggies and how easily they were to push. It fits rather well with their ethos to provide exceptional and personal customer care, this is why you'll only find Joolz in  independent baby shops, so they can ensure you really are well cared for during your purchase and during your ownership.

Disclaimer: Joolz provided us with a Nursery Bag in return for attending the event, however all views expressed are my own honest opinions.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Dinosaur Train from Nick JR!

Boo has recently got quite excited by dinosaurs, and so we were excited to get the chance to review the new Nick Jr show Dinosaur Train!

The theme tune instantly tells the story about the characters, and how Buddy is a different dinosaur to the others, but just because he looks different doesn't mean his family love him any less. It is a clever lesson in acceptance and subtly taught, and we follow the Buddy as he tries to discover what species of dinosaur he might actually be!

Dinosaur Train takes you on adventures via the time tunnel to discover all about different dinosaurs, what they ate and where they lived. The train conductor is a Troodon, we learn he has a special claw which helps him punch the tickets!

Every opportunity to teach is utilised and Boo was amazed to learn how a steam train whistle works! It encourages basic scientific thinking, and the adventures introduce natural history and paleontology, Boo proudly announces he'd like to be a Paleontologist now! I like the way words such as herbivore are introduced with a more familiar word used to explain it - vegetarian. The programme is great fun, and I love the way they incorporate Buddy into their activities even when he struggles as e.g. he doesn't have wings like his family of Pteranodon's, it really encourages team work! It's a programme which is educational and fun, and can be watched just for fun or as a starting point for further activities investigating dinosaurs! 

You can jump on board the Dinosaur Train on Nick Jr at 4pm, and while you wait why not have a go at some of the activity sheets?

Disclaimer: All views expressed are my own, many thanks to Nick JR who sent us a sample DVD for the purposes of review and a goody bag.

Tackling my Mum-tum with Jenny Craig

I have Mum-Tum, and to be honest, I'm hugely conscious of it. In photographs I hide behind tables, chairs or children (it's amazing what difference a carefully held child can make to how you look!) and I would like at least one nice photo this summer! I have accepted that my old friend Mr Chocolate is a bit of a bad influence on me, and encourages me to party late at night with Mr Biscuit and this can't continue! So, my new friend for the next two weeks is Jenny Craig, and I hope I can lose some weight with her!

Jenny Craig offers calorie and portion controlled meals delivered to your home (or work). When I initially heard about the Jenny Craig programme, I thought that I would have to resign to the fact I would need to buy only their meals for ever more or I would instantly regain all my weight. But I was reassured by Dave over the telephone that this is more than just a diet, it is a system to teach you how to portion control and set you up for life, so I will be able to take what I learn and apply it to my own food choices, meaning over-eating should become a thing of the past.

I was quite excited by the idea of diet food delivery as let's face it as a busy parent I 'm sometimes so wrapped up in ensuring everyone else is fed that I forget to feed myself then gorge myself on whatever is easy to eat. The hamper arrived, and I shan't lie, the box containing 2weeks worth of food doesn't appear that big and I'm a little worried, will I be ravenous?? 

My initial call with my consultant was last night, and I learnt more about the things I can add to my meals, and that I need to be eating more frequently than I do now. I found it a little difficult at first talking to the consultant as she was very official, but once she'd explained everything she needed to she was quite friendly and put me at ease chatting about why I wanted to lose weight and how she'd lost a lot of weight with Jenny Craig herself. 

So, this morning a new chapter has begun, I'd like to lose about 30lbs in total over the next six months and I have to confess having consulted the Jenny Craig BMI calculator I need to lose 30 - 35lbs! Breakfast this morning has been chocolate coated wheat flakes (they were tasty!!) with a small banana and a mug of tea, I feel surprisingly full. 

Disclaimer: I am undertaking a two week free trial of Jenny Craig in return for blogging about my own honest experiences on the programme.

Monday, 26 March 2012

How to buy your son his first sports car...

What a beautiful weekend we've had? The weather was perfect for being outside and I was looking forward to all that fresh spring air! It would have been the perfect weekend to be driving along with your roof down, if that is you had a convertible. We're not in that position, so we had to make do with opening the sun roof on our travels and we had it open especially wide on our way to our local car boot!

We wondered around the busy sale, with E in his new toddler carrier which was an ebay bargain. Mr G was on the look out for a Roberts Radio, and he found two but neither were quite what he was looking for. It was then that I disappeared off in delight..and Mr G sighed in the knowledge that I was going to be forcing him to carry yet another ridiculous item.. Here it is, my son's first sports car:

It's a rather glorious Little Tikes Pedal Car, and it's fair to say Boo is very pleased with it! Both boys have had a fantastic time roaring around the garden in it! And I have been asked by Boo to ensure it is 'garaged' over night (aka goes in the shed..!) I just hope they don't now expect a full size version on their 21st Birthdays?!

I'm linking up with Me & My Shadow - Magpie Monday!

Matt Roberts - Get Running

I have made no secret of my desire to get fit this year, nor of my inability to run. Seriously running to catch a bus is about as much running as I fit into my life, and even that pains me. So why on earth did I volunteer to review this book? In fairness I think I was having a moment, forgetting that I am older and considerably less fit than I once was, but hence I have taken a month or two longer than anticipated to produce this review, for which I do apologise to the publishers for but I think my readers will appreciate far more this honest review.

I was concerned that a book about running would be exactly that, and it wouldn't start basic enough for such a novice as me. In fact, it starts from scratch, you can have never put on a pair of trainers or done anymore than walk to your front door. I quickly learnt that I needed to build up slowly, and take it at my own pace, this sounds so obvious but..seriously Matt warns that you can push it to far quite easily..and guess what? I did. 

I learnt an awful lot about how to breathe, this sounds utterly ridiculous but this is what primarily holds me back, and learning to breathe correctly is something I am finally beginning to master and I am suddenly finding I can push myself just a little bit harder!

There is also a chapter dedicated to exercises which will help you strengthen muscles to assist your running. I found the exercises easy to follow, and was delighted to be able to work out which ones I needed to focus on in order to build some abdominal strength! The illustrations are superb, and there is even a suggested number of repetitions, so it is a bit like having a personal trainer in your sitting room! I can already feel a difference (even if I still have a chubby tummy!).

The book covers training plans for anything from 5km to Ultra Distance, and while I've no desire to run Ultra Distance, I would like to work up to a Half Marathon.

Matt Roberts Get Running is available now from all good book shops RRP £12.99