Soooo busy!

Hello!

It’s been AAAAAGES since I’ve posted – have had a really busy couple of weeks so apologies for the lack of blogging – sometimes life is just so exhausting but it’s half term now and tonight is the first time I’ve had chance to go aaaaaah…and breathe!

So what’s been taking up so much time?

REPORTS: It’s report-writing season! My pupils’ parents deserve a personalised account of their child’s journey through their most recent academic year and though very time-consuming, there’s always a huge sense of achievement when they’re complete.

NEW JOB: Yay!! Current part-time position was only ever a temporary maternity cover due to end, well last week! However, I’m staying on until July but secured a new 2=day a week position for the new academic year – it’s an amazing job too – will share more nearer the time but am very excited about something a tad different (though still teaching)! Needless to say, getting ready for the interview took a bit of preparation time but it paid off!

MINI-BREAK AWAY: We managed a long bank holiday weekend away on the East coast – Lincolnshire, which is somewhere we’ve not even contemplated visiting before but I have to say, it was a lovely area. Amazing weather helped us to have a fantastic 3 nights away at the Thorpe Park Haven site – will post pics some time soon – but for now here are my boys having fun on the beach, oh and Noah absolutely loved the adventure of staying in a ‘cavavan’!

ERRR…DID I MENTION I HAVE A THREE-NAGER?! Of course, spending some quality with the little dude, especially this week when I’m off work is taking precedence over other things. Today alone, we made:

  • Banana Ice Lollies (they looked far less than presentable – let’s just say I’ll be doing no lovely, show-off pics of those on a recipe blog any time soon but Noah licking the chocolate and sprinkles off his fingers kept him amused for a good 3 minutes!)
  • Eggy Dill Heads (OK, they were supposed to be cress but I couldn’t find the damn cress seeds – Noah didn’t care – he just enjoyed sprinkling the miniscule things all over the kitchen!)

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  • a holiday-inspired ‘Under the Sea’ arty farty creation (is it just me who desperately wants to allow their child to roam free and easy with the paints and glue, devising their own artistic path but I just can’t stop myself from ‘modelling’ to him the best way to position his murky brown starfish and broken strands of seaweed)

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  • enough Mega Blocks constructions to warrant us both gaining a degree in architecture (I think today we finally made a breakthrough on the meltdowns every time a 27 block high tower collapses around him – he only screamed in frustration the 7th time!)
  • reading our calm down time – a good 20 minutes was spent on the sofa finding out about the exploits of pirates, Chip going to the dentist (and the doctors and school), the toys when the little one says ‘roll over’ and the animals in good old Rod Campbell’s ‘Dear Zoo’ (for only the millionth time – it’s one of our favourites!)
  • watering plants, running to the potty, washing our hands and sitting in the sink our filler activities – good times!

I’m worn out writing that list – returning to work next week will offer a rest! But I wouldn’t swap time with my littlest man for anything! Roll on tomorrow!

Slimming World…will or won’t-power

I’m relatively new to the Slimming World journey – joining July 2016, I lost 3.5st really quickly (I had a lot to lose…wait I HAVE a lot to lose!) – it took me just 3 months, but then I lost focus and just couldn’t get my mind back in the right place.

So now I’m trying to get back on track. I have good days (and not so good days!), I’m following lots of other blogs of amazing people who have stuck to it and have fantastic recipes for us all to follow – I’ll link to these later – and I’m just aiming to become healthier and fitter – I’m fed up of feeling sluggish, tired and irritable because of the things I eat!

So what is it with this magical plan on which us ten tonne Tessies can lose 9 and a half stone in 6 months (and have the bat wings and turkey necks to prove it!) Well I’m still not sure:

  • the plan talks about the importance of speed foods to fill you up – I get that.
  • It explains that syns are important to remind your body it’s not being deprived – I get that.
  • It even goes into detail about what you put into your body being the crucial factor in weight loss and there’s less of an emphasis on moving about (except for a bit of “body magic”) – I guess I get that.
  • You’re even allowed to eat an unlimited amount of carbs (well, certain carbs and until you’re ‘full – err hello do they not know me??? As if my brain understands the word ‘full’) – I’m not so sure I get that!

Still, it seems so easy!

So why is it so hard? I think it’s boredom that plays a big part for me, oh and time!

What? I hear you say, time – what the hell is time? It’s that circle that ticks round when you’ve got Bing on pause on Sky + because your toddler’s about to do a tiddle on the floor or the period before bath time when you’re wrestling the Toot Toot cars out of your threenager’s hands while simultaneously wanting to punch Iggle Piggle’s lights out because he’s not in bed, AGAIN, which makes running around the living room trying to find a red ‘blankie’ all the more appealing to be more like “Iggie Piggie”.

Anyway, back to Slimming World; I’ve found you need to invest a fair amount of time to research recipes you want to cook (and that the hubby and little dude will want to eat!) if you don’t want to fall into the trap of eating the same 5-10 meals – eat, sleep, repeat – right?! I don’t have that time! I also don’t have a massive amount of time to cook said meals, not when some of them take 60 minutes – who has 60 minutes spare with a little one running round the house in his green underpants, pretending to be Superman while wanting the giant yellow chef’s knife to ‘help’ you cut the mushrooms? NOT I!

Still, those aforementioned amazing people I mentioned earlier whose blogs have inspired me and supported me in making some fab meals have helped no end. I especially love:

 

  • Two Chubby Cubs – 2 great guys – the wit cracks me up (no pun intended!)
  • Fat Girl Skinny – lovely down to earth realism of the ups and downs of SW
  • Slimming Eats – great meals and extremely inspirational Brit living in Canada

I guess one of the biggest things I like about Slimming World is the flexibility in being able to eat a relatively balanced diet with anything (in moderation….or should I say syneration!) a possibility. It’s the first plan I’ve really been able to stick to for a more sustained period of time, mainly because it doesn’t really feel like a plan, just a lifestyle you have to get used to, which let’s face it losing weight should really be all about (I think?!?!) I’ve done enough yo-yo dieting over the last 20 years!

It’s also great that you don’t have to weigh or measure foods (well, mostly – just the odd 40g of cereal or the daily 300ml of 1% milk – see I know my stuff!) And with the exception of a few syns (I want to say 5-15 though I hate to admit, some days 15 seems like a distant memory), you don’t actually have to count anything!

Yep – I’ve been there, weighing strawberries to ‘count calories’ – it got me nowhere! (Image Source)

So now for the downside…the hard stuff, the crushing disappointment of realising that the 3 aspartame-filled Mullerlights that you shovelled down your neck at 10:30pm might be syn-free but how filing are they? And how HEALTHY are they? There are a lot of syn-free foods recommended on the plan but so many of them I just can’t make peace with, partly because they’re full of a fair bit of artificial ‘stuff’. And when a recipe for ‘fakeaway’ KFC uses Smash as an alternative to breadcrumbs, you know you’ve strayed off the healthy lifestyle path. Still, I was listening to Dr Ranj on This Morning the other day who said the good research states artificial crap isn’t so bad for you (I’m not so sure those were his exact medical terms but that pretty much sums it up!)

So…I guess it comes down to personal choice and having the willpower to choose healthy choices, to half fill my plate with the good stuff, to only eat one Freddo (just 5 syns!) instead of three! When it comes to will or won’t power, I’ll keep trying to ‘will’ myself on!

Kids get one shot…make it count!

Teaching – it’s been my career for over 11 years (not a lifetime, well unless you’re 11, but a third of my life) – I’ve seen unbelievable changes to the UK education system in that time, many I am sad to say have not been for the better. And since becoming a mum, my priorities have changed somewhat (immeasurably!) so now teaching is still my mainstay as far as income goes but 2 days a week is enough for me and for the children I teach.

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Thanks to Designed by Freepik“>FreePik

I truly believe, and always have done, that kids get one shot at their education – they deserve the best every single day of every single term of every single academic year of their school life – they deserve a teacher, or teachers, who can give them that and for me now, that’s only 2 days per week. I’m never going to preach on here how hard life as a teacher is – there will always be people who understand what teaching (or living with a teacher – hi hubby!) is like and there will be those who do not. But teaching for me now is two-fold – the amazing primary aged children I have the privilege of inflicting knowledge upon 2 days per week and the 3 year old lay asleep next to me who is learning from me (and everyone/ everything else around him) every moment of his life.

Here, I’ll endeavour to offer any snippets of advice (you might want to take them with a pinch of salt mind!).

I’ll try to link to some great (I think) resources.

There may even be the odd moments of inspiration that might inspire the next batch of teaching graduates (poor beggars!)

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B is for Bassoon

For now, I’ll finish with a little anecdote – I have rather a lot though, to be fair, this is courtesy of a colleague to whom this happened and I distinctly remember us all having a bloomin’ good chuckle about it!). Hopefully, it may brighten your Sunday as you switch on your laptop for some Sunday slogging (whether you’re a teacher or a mum!)

After teaching a child for what felt like months her initial sounds, she’d finally started to grasp them. During a music workshop one day, the same child was introduced to a range of instruments and when asked what sound the bassoon made, she (quite rightly and with great pride) replied “b” – well she was right! B is the initial sound for Bassoon.

God, I love the innocence of kids – may they rule the world!

If you’re looking for some decent resources, try my TES shop here!

TODDLER TIMES

So, we’ve got ourselves a toddler! Actually, technically now, I think he’s deemed a pre-schooler, as he’s just turned 3 – where did those gee-whizz years go? But that means I have a fair amount of toddler trials, tribulations and tantrums to share, which may just offer you the tiniest sliver of reassurance that you’re not alone; the craziness of toddlerhood hits everyone (erm, I think?!? Though I’m pretty certain our first-born, a free spirit, wild and now ‘three’ does have his own style which does occasionally seem a little out there!)

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Young, Wild and Three

Still, we’re through the terrible twos (yeah, right, ‘cos we just turned the switch off overnight in early April!) and you know what? Like the way you get through the mind-numbing, newborn exhaustion (which, btw, takes months if not years to overcome, oh wait, I’m still not convinced you ever overcome it), or the way you smile sweetly at the horn-developing stropster, I mean toddler, refusing to sit in the Aldi trolley because there are no straps to hold them in place* while you shovel blueberries (read Babybell and chocolate buttons) into them, or even the speed at which you leave the garden centre soft play when your little darling rugby tackles 3 other kids (all of whom are taller and stockier than him which simply means it’s more of an achievement!), YOU DO MUDDLE THROUGH!

You cling on to every fun adventure, each gasp-inducing moment of joy, and the few minutes of peace between your little creation falling fast asleep (with the appearance of an angel, like butter wouldn’t melt) and you collapsing in a state of exhaustion, drooling as you start to snore, with your laptop sliding off your lap (after all, there’s still planning to get done for school!) – but these are the things that get you through!

And so, as our little man turns from toddler to teenybopper to, dare I say it, teen (it pains me to say teen – he’s my baby!), we’ll aim to share some of those things along the way. Happy journeying folks!

* After contacting Aldi in 2015 about there not being straps to restrain our little darlings in the child seats of trolleys (Noah was forever trolley surfing), I received a reply that it was not something they were planning on adding but would consider it for the future – thanks to a campaign (read about it here), they’ve now rolled them out on all trolleys – hurrah!

Mrs Muscle….Food!

Hello! Excited (yes, it’s sad but true!) is not the word to describe my returning home from work tonight to find my very first Muscle Food delivery had turned up – full (I hope!) of a whole host of Slimming World friendly delights to tempt my carnivorous taste buds. Of course, I had to give a great big hug to my little beaut first, who then promptly ditched mummy for the Muscle Food box, which is of course far more exciting than me!

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A cardboard box is far more exciting than mummy!

Cue mummy’s excitement for syn free sausages and Slimming World chips (done in my brand new, never even used before ‘cos I’m a little bit scared of it Actifry – I feel like I’m about twenty steps behind everyone else at the moment when it comes to everything – blogging, Actifrying, Primar-ni fake nail applying – just discovered these – see behind the times!)

Anyhow, I’ll endeavour to post about Actifrying once I’ve got used to the blooming thing. For now, my Muscle Food package has been a delight for the eyes and the taste buds (sausages a definite hit with Mr MumTum) – using a MoneySavingExpert blagged code, this meat all cost less than £50 (50 quid I hear you gasp – it does seem like A LOT, I know! But it’s worth about £68 in supermarkets and looks pretty good quality plus I’ve managed to portion off 5 freezer bags of 4 chicken breasts plus 2 leftover for the hubby and I to eat for lunch tomorrow!)

What’s more, the lovely peeps at Muscle Food have given me an offer code for you, my lovelies to claim FREE: 4 x 125g Chicken Breast Fillets – 0.5kg – just use the Offer Code: SE628375 and some syn free chicken could be winging (get it?!?!) its way to you!

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All this meat for less than £50

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Please note: all opinions are my own and are an honest response to any products reviewed or mentioned. This product was purchased to be consumed by myself, Mr MumTum and the little dude!