Week Two of Weight Watchers

No Comments

Week two hasn’t gone quite so well, in fact it’s been pretty disastrous. I have gained one and a half pounds! I think I tried to be too clever and mix Filling and Healthy Days with ProPoints days and it was just too much to keep track of. When will I learn that I need to keep it simple in terms of weight loss?

There have been quite a few positives this week though, for one I managed to do a little exercise every day! I found drinking two litres of water a day pretty easy, two cups of black tea and the rest was water in bottles which I carried around with me everywhere. On the down side however I am convinced I have been retaining water this week as I feel swollen and bloated, unless I simply sweated it all out in this ridiculous heat which is likely!

I was a little naughty this week and after nineteen years of been a vegetarian I lost my battle to resist KFC. I only ate half a chicken breast piece so it wasn’t tragic and I’m sure that didn’t cause my 1.5 lb weight gain this week. I don’t think the barbecue for Big Brother’s birthday helped, or the delicious chocolate birthday cake (I only know it was delicious from what he told me) not! The night out for Big brother’s birthday at Jongleurs probably didn’t help, neither did the Guinness drinking. Oh dear when I write it all out it’s quite bad really! Oops!

Again I was too busy last week to create much in the kitchen but I am in the process of making some zero ProPoints ice creams and sorbets so watch out for a post about those later this week!

My plans for the week ahead:

~ Well obviously more exercise, lots more walking and fresh air.

~ Keep up the water drinking marathon.

~ Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.

~ Cut down on the crisps. I’ve managed to cut down on my chocolate fix and finds ways around it, I now need to do the same with crisps.

~ Prepare foods to take out with me; I am a nightmare for buying something quick to eat while I’m out and it’s always something that can easily be eaten with one hand whilst been dragged by a toddler harness with the other hand so I need to be better prepared.

I purchased a Weight Watcher’s oil sprayer in this week’s meeting because you put your own oil in it so that way you know there are no nasties in it, just pure healthy oil.

I am rather impressed with myself that I did this week’s Sainsbury’s shop online and ordered a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. This stopped me from falling into the junk food trap which is so tempting when you have a toddler wrestling to climb out of the trolley while you’re trying to check the shopping list and ProPoints values as you chase up and down the aisles! Although I did forget the eggs and I really need to bake so I may have to brave the shops tomorrow morning after all…

Goal for next week to lost 2 lb, can this be achieved? I hope so, fingers and toes crossed people!

Super Busy Mum

The ultimate betrayal

4 Comments

Last night I committed the ultimate betrayal, something I never ever dreamed that I would do and in broad daylight! A door has been closed on that part of my life for nineteen years now, nineteen years and I threw it all away last night, that fateful night.. What came over me? I honestly don’t know but I liked it, I liked it a lot and I’m not sorry that I did it, it’s my body, my choice what goes into it so to speak.

My husband was stunned and still is, my mum speechless, my nephew who is only 17 never knew this side of me and he feels betrayed, like he never really knew me at all. Big Brother, well he just can’t believe he has supported me for nineteen years and I’ve just thrown it all away.

What did I do last night that was so shocking? I ate chicken… Not just any chicken, the finger licking good stuff, KFC.

As a child KFC was my favourite place on earth, I was born into a meat loving family, my Granddad a master butcher, and I loved meat. I would eat roast beef and gravy every day if I could and of course KFC.

As a teenager I became picky with my food, grossed out by the texture of meat, the gristle, and the bones. So at the age of 13 I became a vegetarian. Nineteen years I have been a vegetarian. I have never been a vegetarian on principal though; I just went off meat and stopped eating it. Honestly you wouldn’t believe the horror it was to my family that I became vegetarian; I was the black sheep of the family. Nineteen years of embarrassment for my meat loving family, the only blessing that my Granddad wasn’t here to witness this travesty, God rest his soul.

So this is how it happened. We stopped in Castleford yesterday evening on our way home from Hull and I thought I would buy a KFC for G because he loves his chicken. When S came back to the car with the box containing four chicken breast pieces covered in that irresistible coating I felt really tempted, I have always told S that if I wanted to eat meat I wouldn’t stop myself and I didn’t.

I started with the tiniest piece possible, sniffing it, getting closer and closer, and then I licked it. Yes I licked it! At this point I think S stopped breathing. My heart was pounding faster and faster, my palms sweating, hands shaking, head spinning and then I did it, I put it in my mouth and chewed. It tasted good, it was liberating! G stopped eating and stared with his jaw dropped open, S didn’t know whether to jump out of the car and run around the car park screaming or start calling people first. He called my mum; her exact words were “she is finally turning a corner”. It actually wouldn’t surprise me if my mum didn’t take the next step now and send me to a Rabbit Food Eaters Anonymous meeting, she was that excited!

Evidence of the chicken licking.
Evidence of the chicken licking.

I felt liberated, I felt like I could do anything, then I grabbed another tiny piece. The pieces got bigger and eventually I had eaten just over half of a piece of chicken breast. I stopped then because it started sticking in my chest, probably from the tension and excitement of the whole incident.

Oh KFC what have you done to me? Nineteen years I managed to resist your charms and there I was last night in the car park at Castleford with you in my mouth. I don’t know what came over me! I know I have betrayed the vegetarian world and I hope they will find it in their hearts to understand, I still love veggie food so maybe I could swing both ways? I hope so, I would hate to have to choose between the two and I probably will eat chicken again now I’ve tried it. Tiny steps though, I could relapse at any time.

 

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester

No Comments

A few weeks ago we visited LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester which is based inside the INTU Trafford Centre where we also visited the Sea Life Centre on the same day.

So the afternoon started off with a factory tour with the one and only Professor Brick-a-Brack. Little Niece was chosen to assist Professor Brick-a-Brack in starting up the machines and making yellow bricks! Once they were all made and we were ready to move on Professor Brick-a-Brack gave everyone (even the grown-ups) a special yellow brick to take home.

We then walked around lots of fantastic buildings, cities and landmarks that had been built including Blackpool, the Lake District, London and much more. We loved that the room changed from day to night so you could see Blackpool and London lit up at night.

Next we went to the 4D cinema to watch a short Lego movie; it’s 15 minutes long so just enough for younger children. G loved wearing the 3D glasses but he was most excited and amused by the wind blowing and water spraying onto us during the film. The mini movie was great, even the grown-ups enjoyed it, well I certainly did!

The Kingdom Quest Laser Ride was amazing; we all had great fun shooting spiders, skeletons and trolls. G loved it although he was just waving his gun around and laughing most of the time!

Both Nieces went on Merlin’s Apprentice Ride and absolutely loved it. Whilst they enjoyed the ride G enjoyed building towers on the Earthquake Tables and watching them fall down; we couldn’t get G to leave the Lego Friends Olivia’s House he loved it so much and was dancing along as other children were singing on the karaoke machine and he went crazy playing in the Lego Construction Site!

The girls burnt off some steam climbing around the Lego Fire Academy and we all enjoyed building vehicles in the Lego Racers Build & Test corner where you can use the ramps to test how fast and far your newly built vehicle will travel.

There’s something about LEGO, I can’t explain what it is but it doesn’t matter how old you are you will find yourself spending hours playing with LEGO! Everywhere that I looked I saw grown-ups sat quietly building whilst the kids ran around playing and having a wonderful time.

You really could spend the whole day there, with the cafe right in the centre so that you don’t even need to leave for lunch it is the perfect day out for all of the family.

You can find out the full details and prices on the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester website. You can also follow LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester on Facebook and @LDCManchester on Twitter for all their latest news and offers.

Disclaimer: I was given these tickets for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by myself and members of the Mummy Whiskers household.

Sea Life Centre INTU Trafford Centre

No Comments

Two weeks ago we were fortunate enough to visit the Sea Life Centre INTU Trafford Centre, Manchester. Until recently I thought the Trafford Centre was just a shopping centre so I was really surprised to see the huge INTU complex.

Six of us went to visit the Sea life Centre, Big Brother, Big Niece, Little Niece, S, G and of course me. Upon arrival we found the staff to be very friendly and welcoming, for a Saturday it wasn’t anywhere near as busy as I had expected it to be either so we were able to take our time and enjoy the morning.

This particular Sea Life Centre is the newest one and home to Europe’s first sea bed walk the SeaTREK. Anyone can book a space on this wonderful one hour experience which includes training and ten minutes underwater. We timed it perfectly and saw a group of people walking on the sea bed!

This Sea Life Centre is also home to a very special rescue green sea turtle called Ernie. We were very lucky to see him whilst walking through the underwater tunnel.

Ernie the green sea turtle
Ernie the green sea turtle

I loved the fact that there was a children’s play area in the middle so they could run off some steam half way through. I think the kids loved this part the most! The kids also enjoyed having their little books to work through and collect stamps as we visited all the different sections and saw the different sea creatures.

Despite the fact this Sea Life Centre is still so new the staff are incredibly knowledgeable, they are also really approachable and great with the children and answering their questions.

The interactive rock pool was a firm favorite too with all three children and Big Brother was especially excited to see they had some tropical fish! There are a lot of domes that you can pop your head through so that you are in the tanks with the fish, these are a great addition and a lot of fun!

My favorite part was seeing the stingrays, I love them they have such friendly little faces. I must have spent over half an hour watching them whizzing around the pool, I tried to take some photos which are a little blurry as they were swimming so fast.

Towards the end we found a quiet area where the kids could colour in a picture and have it made into a badge to keep. I’ve been to a few Sea Life Centres now and it’s the first time I’ve seen this, they probably do it in other Sea Life Centre’s too though.

Once all three kids had finished their badges we left via the gift shop which is fantastic, there really is something for everyone in there and some really cute items. G especially loves the soft clown fish toys.

I would highly recommend anyone take a trip to the Manchester Sea Life Centre this summer as it’s a perfect day out for all the family and lots of fun.

You can find out more about the Sea Life Centre at INTU Trafford Centre, Manchester here. You can also follow them on Facebook here and follow @SEALIFEManc on Twitter for all the latest news and offers.

Disclaimer: I was given these tickets for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by myself and members of the Mummy Whiskers household.

The Sweet Club Review

1 Comment

We recently received a sweet box from The Sweet Club to review and as we all have a sweet tooth in this house it wasn’t a difficult challenge at all!

The way The Sweet Club works is really simple. You sign up on the website, select your choice of eight different sweets, choose if you wish to receive a sweet box monthly or fortnightly and sit back and wait for your sweets to arrive! You can log in to select sweets for your next delivery or you can leave it to The Sweet Club to create a custom box and surprise you.  There is no commitment or subscription period, once you have received your box you can suspend or cancel any further deliveries.

We chose lollies, peanut butter M&M’s, cinnamon balls, ice cream cones, watermelon bon bons, chocolate fudge crunch, sugar free strawberries and creams and sugar free pear drops.

They arrived in a lovely presentation box, perfect to fit in your letterbox. It was well packaged and the sweets were protected well and arrived in perfect condition. We found there to be a really good amount of sweets in each pack and they were all absolutely delicious and fresh. Needless to say they didn’t last very long!

A sweet box costs £7.95 including delivery (to UK addresses) which seems expensive but you do receive a lot of sweets in your box and some are difficult to source on the high street too so it is worth it if you are looking for something special.

You can find out the full details of how The Sweet Club works by checking out The Sweet Club website, you can also keep up to date with their latest news and offers by following The Sweet Club on Facebook and by following @The_Sweet_Club on Twitter.

 

Disclaimer: I was given this box of sweets for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by myself and members of the Mummy Whiskers household.

Week One of Weight Watchers

2 Comments

Week one of Weight Watchers and I’m not feeling hungry so that’s a good result! I also managed to lose ½ lb, not exactly mind blowing but it’s a loss all the same and I did have a mini cheat over the weekend with a cheeky takeaway, oops!

This week I have decided to try and get fit so today I started a new routine with G; we had an early morning power walk through the village. Where we live is very “hilly” and steep so walking is a great way to work out around here. I put my Shape-Ups on; packed G into his new buggy and off we went!

I walked for just over 40 minutes without stopping then we called at a few shops in the village to run some errands before heading back home. Power walking in this heat isn’t great though, instead of being wolf whistled at by the road work men as I walked by I was greeted with a “good morning” instead, probably because of the sweaty panting mess I had become!

Another positive to the walking was that I drank ¾ of a litre of water whilst out, I really do need to drink more it’s just not easy to remember when you are busy with a crazy toddler all day. It’s 15.22 as I’m typing this and I’m pleased to say I’ve done a full litre now today so far, result!

I’m hoping to do a little yoga, some sit ups and squats later this afternoon, my aim is that G will join in although it’s more likely that he will think it’s some sort of wrestling game and beat me up instead.

I loved the Simple Start plan last week; it was great not having to weigh, measure or calculate everything before it passed my lips. The only down side was that when I ate out a couple of times I really struggled to keep on track so this week I’m trying a mix of the Simple Start Day and Pro Points plans. I was just going to do Pro Points this week but I had already started eating yesterday before the weigh in meeting and lost track so couldn’t count points yesterday.

So to round up week one was pretty successful, this week however I am hoping for better results so I’m drinking more water and exercising every day. Only one thing will get in my way this week, eating out on Saturday.

Wish me luck for next Tuesday’s weigh in meeting!

Super Busy Mum

The start of a new me

10 Comments

Today is the start of a new me. Over the last few weeks the weight has slowly crept back up on me and I’m back to where I started just over a year ago. Since I had a celebratory shopping session when I lost weight and dropped down two dress sizes I’m now struggling to fit into everything and rather than buy bigger clothes I really need to shift this extra load again, but this time permanently.

So in order to do this I have gone back to the original place I went to diet almost ten years ago, Weight Watchers, where the group leader Avril, who is absolutely amazing scares me a little and I think I need that to keep me on track! She makes the meetings thoroughly entertaining and extremely motivating and when I sat there in the meeting this morning I really felt like I had made the right decision and that this is how I will achieve my slim goal and stay there.

So here I am armed with booklets, journals, a point’s calculator and a Weight Watchers home screen staring at me. This is the start of a new me, a whole new journey and it’s pretty exciting. I’m confident I won’t be going to bed at night with a rumbling tummy anyway!

It all starts here...
It all starts here…

Shockingly my starting weight is 12 stone, giving me a 5% body weight loss goal to start with aiming to get me down to 11 stone 6 lb. This is just to start with, but I think it’s best to make small goals rather than look at the bigger picture, although in total I am aiming for between 2 and 2 ½ stone.

Weight Watchers has changed a lot since I was last there and I’m very relieved that for the first week at least I don’t have to count and measure anything with the Simple Start plan which looks really easy to follow.

Hopefully I will find some time this week to get creative in the kitchen and if my cooking tastes half decent then I will be sure to share the recipes with you!

Wish me luck!!

Wobbles Wednesday
Super Busy Mum

June Degustabox Review

3 Comments

Once again this month I was fortunate to be sent a Degustabox to review and I had a Degustabox to giveaway to one of my lucky readers, congratulations to Jenni Russell, the winner of the prize draw!

So, back to the June Degustabox:

The delivery:

I find the delivery service to be fantastic, I received both an email and a text message to confirm which day my Degustabox would be delivered. Then on the day of delivery first thing in the morning I received an email and text message to give me a one hour slot in which my Degustabox would be delivered and options to select if I wished to re arrange for another day or to leave the box with a neighbour.

I have to say I find this service wonderful; there is nothing worse than sitting in the house all day waiting for a parcel to arrive so I love Degustabox for using a great courier service.

The packaging:

As always the items inside the Degustabox are well protected with bubble wrap and they are packed carefully and neatly so that there is no room for any items to roll around in transit. All the items arrived in perfect condition as they did last month and we even found another use for the box, G likes to use it as his TV watching chair which we think is a great way to recycle a Degustabox!

G chilling in his recycled chair!
G chilling in his recycled chair!

The Food:

1)      Estrella Damm RRP £4.00 each – This is a gorgeous Spanish lager, I really really enjoyed trying this one! Although the down side is £4.00 for a can, way too expensive!

 2)      Elizabeth Shaw Amaretto Milk Chocolate Flutes RRP £2.59 – Anyone who knows me will know that I’m a chocolate addict, I will eat any chocolate, except for white chocolate or chocolate with fruit in, they’re just wrong! I’ve never come across Amaretto chocolate before but these chocolate flutes have taken chocolate to another level, the Amaretto flavour in them is absolutely divine. Perfect with a cup of tea and they are not to be shared.

Enjoying amaretto chocolate with a cup of tea!
Enjoying amaretto chocolate with a cup of tea!

3)      Urban Fruit Strawberries RRP £1.09 each – I used these in the Alphabet Rocky Road that I made a couple of weeks ago, they are really tasty but a little too chewy for us personally.

4)      Bear Alphabites RRP £2.69 – These were also used in the rocky road recipe, but G has also been having these for breakfast and he loves them. For the first time ever he is emptying his breakfast bowl and I’m glad to see him enjoying a nice healthy cereal made from natural ingredients and it’s naturally sweetened with coconut blossom nectar too!

5)      Dr Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Grinder RRP £4.99 – I have always used the finest quality vanilla extract in my baking, I’m not a fan of the vanilla essence at all, so I was keen to try out this Madagascan vanilla grinder which contains chopped Madagascan vanilla pods. I used finely ground vanilla in the Alphabet Rocky Road recipe to give it a little kick and you could taste the vanilla in there, it worked really well. The ground vanilla is also delicious sprinkled on top of some ice cream!

Alphabet Rocky Road, delicious!
Alphabet Rocky Road, delicious!

6)      Veetee rice RRP £1.49 each – We received the basmati and wild rice packet and tried it via the microwave option, you can also stir fry the rice in a wok with a little oil, and both methods only take two minutes. I love anything that is quick and easy to make in the kitchen! I was a little sceptical about microwavable rice but I have to say this was really tasty and fluffy; we had it with my Quorn Chilli Con Carne, yummy!

7)      Lambrini Strawberry RRP £3.29 – I’m not the biggest drinker (anymore!), but when I do have wine it has to be rose, I can’t stand red or white at all. So I was relieved to see a nice pink bottle in this month’s Degustabox and this Lambrini Strawberry wine was no exception, surprisingly really tasty and refreshing, maybe a little too much, it’s not a very strong wine so it’s easy to drink more than you realise!

8)      Be Fast Breakfast Milkshake RRP £1.00 each – We received two of these breakfast milkshakes; I gave one to S to try and one to Big Brother to try. They said it was really tasty but not very filling, they were  still pretty hungry after drinking it.

9)      Shaken Udder Strawberry Milkshake – This was an extra gift in the Degustabox so I have no idea of the RRP. I let G try this as he loves his strawberry milk at the moment and he loved it!

Over all the June Degustabox was another great food box with a good variety of items inside, we loved it and really enjoyed trying out new foods and drinks that we may not have normally picked up in store.

I have a voucher code for you all so that you can receive £3 off your first Degustabox, just enter OCLF4 when you subscribe and remember that you can cancel your subscription at any time so long as you tell them before the 10th of the month so there’s no reason not to visit DegustaboxUK now and sign up to try a food box!

You can also keep up to speed with their latest offers and news by following DegustaboxUK on Facebook or @DegustaboxUK on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I was given this Degustabox for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by myself and members of the Mummy Whiskers household.

We're going on an adventure

Alphabet Rocky Road

4 Comments

We received another Degustabox this month so were faced with another recipe challenge. I decided to use the Dr Oetker Madagascan vanilla pod grinder, the Alphabites cereal and the Urban Fruit strawberries from the box to make an Alphabet Rocky Road.

Time: Approximately 20 minutes

Setting time: Approximately 2 hours

Makes: 9 squares

Equipment:

Two saucepans, one to fit in the other

Wooden spoon

Spatula

Foil baking tray (8 X10 inch)

Ingredients:

100g Butter

300g Milk chocolate (broken into pieces)

Ground vanilla to taste

20g Mini marshmallows (I used pink and white)

30g Alphabites cereal

35g bag of Urban Fruit (I used strawberries)

30g Digestives biscuits (Broken into small pieces)

Icing sugar for dusting

How to make:

Well we all know how to make a rocky road don’t we? So it’s pretty simple…

1)    Heat a large pan of water until boiling.

2)    Add the butter, chocolate and ground vanilla to a smaller pan and sit the pan in the water of the larger pan, stir until the chocolate and butter are fully melted.

3)    Add 2/3 of the melted mixture to a large bowl and stir in the marshmallows, Alphabites, Urban Fruit pieces and digestive biscuits until evenly mixed.

4)    Spread the mixture evenly into a baking tray, foil is better but I used ceramic as it’s all I had to hand at the time.

5)    Pour the remaining 1/3 of melted chocolate over the top, allow to cool then put in the fridge to set.

6)    Cut into nine even squares and lightly dust with icing just before serving.

7)    Enjoy!

I have a giveaway on my blog at the moment giving you the chance to win a Degustabox for yourself, click here for the details on how to enter.

If you can’t wait for the winner to be drawn I have a discount code for you to receive £3 off when you register, simply enter OCLF4 when you register for a subscription.

If you want to know more about Degustabox check out their website here.

For the latest news and offers from Degustabox follow @DegustaboxUK on Twitter or follow Degustabox UK on Facebook.

Casa Costello

Win a Degustabox!

21 Comments

I have another giveaway for you, this time it’s a Degustabox! You can read last month’s May Degustabox review here.

Keep an eye out for my next review of the June Degustabox and the recipes that come from that soon!

For those of you who haven’t heard of Degustabox before they are a fantastic subscription service for food boxes filled with items from different brands, a lot of the items are very new to the market so you may not have seen them in the supermarkets before. Items that appear in the Degustabox include food, drinks, snacks, baking ingredients, cooking ingredients and much more. They also include handy money off vouchers for some of the brands included in that month’s box.

The subscription costs £12.99 per month and for this you will receive one box a month which will contain anything from 9 to 14 items. Degustabox guarantee that the contents of the box will be worth more than the £12.99 that you pay and there are no extra charges for postage, it’s all included! The other great thing about this subscription is that you can cancel whenever you like, so long as you tell them before the 10th of the month which is when they take the regular payments.

To find out more and read the full details about how the subscription works check out the Degustabox UK website.

You can find out about Degustabox’s latest news and offers by following them on Facebook or @DegustaboxUK on Twitter.

So what are you waiting for? Enter to win a Degustabox now!

Simply leave a comment below saying which one grocery item you would most like to see in a Degustabox and then complete the Gleam form to gain more entries.

Degustabox giveaway

The winner will be selected at random, for full terms and conditions please click on the T&C’s tab on the gleam form.

If you can’t wait for the winner to be drawn I have a discount code for you to receive £3 off when you register, simply enter OCLF4 when you register for a subscription.