Ewwwww! Did you know…

…a survey commissioned by Dettol discovered that bacteria linked to faeces is found on 1 in 4 items of children’s washed clothes when washed at low temperatures? Well, I suppose this is only true if at least one person in your family regularly poos their pants, but for those of you with tiny ones and/or hot-curry consuming husbands, this is a distinct possibility. Thankfully in our family it’s only Izzy who occasionally has a little leakage now, but when there are leakages I hate the idea that the bacteria on her stuff is transferred onto everyone else’s clothing in the washing machine! Bleugh!

So what’s the solution I hear you cry!! Well, thankfully for all of us, Dettol has brought out a new product that “…kills 99.9% of bacteria, for hygienically clean laundry even at low temperatures”. All you do is add a capful to your normal wash and carry on as usual. I have to say, this has also been really good for my sweaty gym gear, although there’s no poo on it obviously, there’s usually lots of sweat and the low temperature washes don’t always clean as well as they might (TMI?).

Dr Pixie McKenna endorses this product and explains in her video some rather unsavory facts about bacteria on our washing. if you want to take a look then please click here for some nasty revelations!

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The Many Faces Of Maisie Moo. The School Photograph…

Yup, this is the best one.

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And here’s the one with her brother. This is also apparently the best one.

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Oh Maisie Moo, I do love you.

A Progress Report on My Gym Gerbil Antics and an Incidental Review of my new Super Ozeri Precision II Bathroom Scales

So, as some of you will know, (as I rock up to the school gates, clad head to toe in Lycra…) since June I’ve started going to the gym. Not once or twice a week, but up to 4 times a week. Even to me this seems a little extreme but I’m really enjoying it, going to classes like Body Attack, Body Pump and Body Combat which are all part of the Les Mills fitness programme.

So far, I’ve lost about 10 lbs which I’m pretty pleased about, especially considering I haven’t been following a specific diet! One of the surprise upsides to this, other than having a bit less junk in my trunk of course, is that my knees are less creaky and painful than they used to be. Apparently, according to a family friend who’s a physio, every 7 lbs of extra weight you carry is the equivalent of having an extra 3 stone for your knees. If you think about it that means I’ve actually lost about 5 stone! Ha, ok wishful thinking, but it’s made a noticeable difference to how my knees feel physically.

Despite all that, I do feel like I’ve hit a bit of a weight wall, I want to lose another 7lbs but am struggling. Izzy’s sleeping has been a bit off again recently so I’m really tired which makes getting up to do Body Bitch Slap of a morning a fairly dismal prospect. But I’m gonna grit my teeth and press on. They say (not sure who “they” are but “they” are probably very slim) that when you feel like you’ve hit a wall, the best thing to do is just keep going, otherwise, if you stop going at that point you’re much less likely to get back into the rhythm of regular excersize again. This rings true to me, so I’m going to pray for more sleep and press on. It would be so easy to give up now but realistically I think it’s going to take about a year in all to get to where I want to be in a healthy and steady way.

When I started this whole process I didn’t own any scales, I just used to weigh myself at my mum’s house every Friday. That’s probably the right way to do it, but as I’ve become a little more obsessive I caved and got some. They had to be digital, slim and easy to use so I opted for the Ozeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scales which tick all those boxes and are currently only £17.95 (£28.07 when you include postage) on Amazon.

Here’s what I like about these scales;
1) They’re slim enough to tuck under my bedroom drawers which is important to me as I didn’t want them to clutter up the bathroom floor.
2) They’re really easy to use. Literally all you do is step straight onto them and your correct weight comes up. With my previous set of electronic scales you had to tap and wait for them to get ready, quite often an error message would appear and you’d have to start all over again. Not these baby’s. One step and you’re off!
3) They look pretty cool!
4) You get a consistent weight. Sometimes with my old scales you’d get on and they’d say one weight, but if you weighed yourself again a second later (don’t ask me why I did that…) a different weight would come up.
5) It’s really easy to change from stone to pounds only to kilos, you just press a little button at the bottom. No fancy press and hold, then release then do a jig whilst holding your breath etc etc, easy von peasy.
6) It weighs you in quarters of pounds too so you can tell if weight is creeping up to the next pound and do something about it!

Although getting scales hasn’t made me lose any more weight, it’s great to be able to weigh first thing, last thing, with clothes and without whenever I like. So overall I’d say that these scales are fantastic and I would thoroughly recommend them. Good times!

Please note, this is neither my current nor target weight. It’s how much I weigh when hanging onto the sink.

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Ones to watch – October

The lovely Rebecca at All About you gave me a little mention, please check out her lovely lifestyle blog and the others she mentions! Em xxx

All about U

I thought I would start a feature each month (or every other depending how organised I am) to let you know about some new blogs that I have discovered, that I think you may all be interested in. Go give them some bloggin’ love!

Heavy Weights & Skinny Jeans – a wife, mother and fitness instructor who describes her 60lb weight loss journey after having her first child. It is really interesting to read. There are mixtures of fitness advice and diet and nutrition advice and recipes – a lot of what you think is good for you really isn’t, plus reviews of recipe books and so on. Highly recommend!heavyweights-grabbutton-1

Me and the Martin Boys – A parenting blog by Rachel, describing family life with her two young boys. The ups and downs and big decisions, as well as product reviews.

Haus Frau Blog – An English mother and German…

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Autumn Craft Fest!

Autumn in Cambridge is gorgeous and this autumn is even better than normal because it’s so lovely and warm! This past Tuesday we had a bit of a treat with the teachers strike which meant a random home day with all the kiddies. Now, before you start to think I’m one of those mothers who’s brilliant at being earthy and coming up with wonderful creative stuff, I need to tell you 2 important things.
1) This so called “treat” day started terribly. By 11am, everyone had been on the naughty step at least once and the dominant emotion in the house was rage.
2) All of these crafts were thought of by other people. There is nothing original in what I’m about to share.

Ok, so now that’s all out there, I can get on with sharing what we got up to. I have to say we had lots of fun and it’ll be a day I remember forever (in a good way!) Before we left the house I had a look on Pinterest and found some cool crafts that we could get stuck into but to do them we needed supplies, conkers, acorn hats and lots of autumnal leaves.

20131005-204426.jpgSo, at 11am, when everyone was on the verge of total meltdown, I finally hauled us all into our big box-bike and headed off for the Botanical Gardens in Cambridge. As soon as they were outside in the fresh air and cruising around in the bike, they stopped fighting and started chatting and giggling and plotting our adventures.

On arrival we decided to collect our supplies as secret agents which involved a lot of rather embarrassing (for me, the adult…) hiding behind bushes and whispering loudly, to be careful.20131006-202332.jpg We found lots of cool looking leaves, twigs, pine needles and acorn hats but no conkers, so we packed up our goodies, had some lunch and a play and set off on the hunt for conkers.

We eventually found an amazing hoard on a local road and filled up the bike with some beautiful conkers.

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When we eventually got home and put Izzy down for a nap, the crafts finally began.

 

1) Leaf Creatures
image These are really easy, all you need is some good flattish leaves, card to stick them to (we used an old cut-up cornflake box and a regular card board box as the colours were quite autumnal), PVA glue, poster paints or felt tip pens and paint brushes (although you can use your fingers too!) All you do is stick the leaves onto the card and add the features to your little creatures. Here are the kids efforts…
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Sam made the leaf monster of many faces (left) and the leaf creatures on the right and Maisie made the top creative masterpiece!

 

 

 

Conker Bombs

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These are brilliant and again, really simple. all you do is cut some strips of coloured tissue paper and glue the very top of the strips to each other like this;

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Then make a hole in a conker (I used a BBQ skewer) fill the hole with glue and poke the tissue paper into the holes. Wait about half an hour for them to dry and then you can have competitions to see who can throw them the furthest. They’re pretty satisfying to throw and go pretty far!
 

Acorn Hat Jewels
image These were the least successful of our efforts but still pretty fun. What you’re supposed to do is use a felt tip pen to colour the inside of the hat and then put a little bit of PVA glue in the hat and leave it to dry overnight. I did eventually read the instructions but think I used too much felt-tip colour in the hat. Just use a little colour and it will bleed prettily into the glue. What I did before reading the instructions was mix some poster paint with some glue and add glitter. Still looks quite pretty though.
You can see all the original inspirations and get some more ideas by going to my Pinterest board.