Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Has child protection gone crazy?

I have been mulling this one over for a few days as it has narked me, then I suddenly hit me that I should write down such incidences on here, as soon as they crop up in my head. It is my blog after all and just every now and then I want a bit of a rant.

I thought of it all whilst cooking dinner, I said it all out in my head and then thought 'quick write it down before you forget!'. All the while thinking I really need a dictaphone, that would solve the problem. Seriously though I would feel such a fool speaking into one of them, or even my phone. I mean for goodness sake, who do I think I am?

I have only previously had one other rant about my nursery and this was in my early days of blogging about nursery staff not respecting my wishes, but that's another story altogether...

Anyhow, dinner is bubbling away so I have bolted over here to the laptop. I want to put the world to rights about my annoying nursery manager. Last week she really got under my skin, not because she actually did anything majorly wrong, it was the way in which she addressed a matter. Now I don't often pay much attention to the notices on the nursery front door (bad mummy) but I have noticed one particular notice asking for mobile phones to not be used. Apart from them being a distraction for young children, I do understand the real meaning behind this, the darker side to them being prohibited. That is child protection, as a Mum of course I understand where they are coming from and because of the recent cases in the press regarding the misuse of mobiles for indecent images, I see the worry.

What has really annoyed me is the stance the nursery manager took. It was a foul day when I picked Beastie up and certainly not suitable to be standing in the rain waiting for my husband to pick us up. So being sensible (keeping my child dry) we stayed put inside and waited on a seat by the front door until our lift arrived. Not having the desired super power of xray vision, I wasn't able to to see when my husband was going to pull up so figured I would have to rely on my phone. It was on silent and it rang, the briefest of calls to say we could leave. Just as I pulled my phone out of my bag the manager walked by, she heard my conversation for the millesecond that it was and preceded to stand there and say 'now you do know that you aren't allowed mobiles in here don't you?'. I replied explaining that I was aware but it was raining outside and we needed to know when to leave. She went on the justify her patronising statement to which I was fairly short.

This was the same lady that told me she didn't agree with children attending nursery and that they should be with their Mums. This was coming from a woman that runs a nursery, not to mention it is not the most tactful thing to say to a new Mum who already feels incredibly guilty leaving her child AND paying them.

Now if you have stuck with me this far, bravo, I am not sure I would have (or skimmed a bit, I am good at that). Then you might want to comment on how you would feel about this? I feel it's child protection gone too far and some jobsworth relaying protocols unneccessarily, there is a time and a place, I really didn't feel this was needed.

It takes me back to when I first took Beastie swimming, along with a friend and her child. We were so excited to see their reactions and not surprisingly we wanted to capture the moment on camera. Oh no the lifeguard put paid to that, by asking my friend to put her camera away. Again I can see the rationale, but it was just my friend and I in the pool, no one else to even star in the photo's unwittingly. We were Mums! (complete with rather large tums) what threat did we pose? we didn't steal these children to take indecent photo's, they were our children. It really upset us as it was a special time for us and we wanted to document that with photo's, so very sad. It just worries me that peoples seem to have no common sense anymore and that there is so much red tape, they can't see beyond it.

It's very much like people are trained like drones to do things one way and one way only. A bit like when you go to the supermarket and some of people on the check outs appear to be battery operated. They barely acknowledge you and then say 'would you like any help with your packing?' seeming not to have noticed you have only bought three items!

Monday, 30 May 2011

MUMenTUM - Monday Check in 4

I can't believe MUMenTUM has been flying its flag for a month now, where does the time go? You may ask where has the tum gone? the answer is nowhere!

This time last week I wrote about what I planned for the week ahead and how I would be getting to grips with the Kinect and properly working out with Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. In an ideal world I would have a separate room for using this game, where I could lock the door and complete a workout uninterupted. Give me the slightest excuse and I will take it though, I need some discipline in my life.

So although I didn't manage to use the game throughout last week, it's Monday so I shall start again. Once a week is better than nothing, yeah? No, seriously if I can at least try out all aspects of the game and find the areas that suit me best then I am more likely to go back to it and make it a more regular part of my exercise slog regime.

One point I will make this week is to always remember there is someone worse off than you, after seeing the programme Embarassing Bodies this week. It's all too easy to get down about ourselves although sometimes we all have good reason. I go through stages where I am bothered more than others and seeing this episode made me realise how badly some women can be affected by pregnancy. If anyone didn't see the show it featured a teenage girl who was slim but was left with a horrific overhang of fat after having her baby.  It looked like what you might expect after somebody has lost half their body weight. The girl ended up having an apronectomy (tummy tuck) procedure to cut away the excess skin and tighten her stomach muscles. We all have Mum Tums but I think you will agree this is something else and not something I would have expected to happen to a teenager. I can certainly say it made me look at mine and think well thank goodness it doesn't look like that and require surgery, just a bit of effort on my part is required.

So without further a do ladies I am going to finally practice what I keep preaching about and do a workout! Wish me luck!!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Peter Rabbit Organics Juice

New to hit the shelves is this range of children's juices called Peter Rabbit Organics Juices designed for kids as young as 6 months. They come in 150ml mini cartons and are packed with a straw making them easy to just pop in a bag for a journey out and about.

They are made of a gentle blend of organic juice and water with no added sugar, preservatives or artificial ingredients. They are available in three flavours which are Pear, Apple and Grape and Blackcurrant and Apple Juice.

I was offered the opportunity to let Beastie try out these juices. We were sent one of each of the flavours shown above. As you can see the packaging is colour coded to the flavour and each has a picture of Peter Rabbit himself. The cartons didn't last long in our house so all three flavours were trialled rather quickly! We did manage to take one carton out with us and this obviously was handy and mess free. So many childrens beakers have leaked on us before so these take that worry out of the equation.

When trying the juices, (I had to give Beastie a hand here for quality control purposes) I found them to taste very diluted with a hint of fruit. Beastie loved them so much than once he had finished one carton he was requesting 'more more'. Although this is a good sign that he enjoyed the contents it also meant that he hadn't had quite enough. These juices in that respect are perfect for babies who don't need a larger fluid intake. Realistically we would need two cartons to quench his thirst. The pleasing aspect about these juices is that they are a refreshing and more tooth friendly alternative to such drinks like Robinsons Fruit Shoots, which in my opinion are terribly sweet.

If you would like to try these cartons for yourself they are available to buy at Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Asda, Booths, Whole Foods and Ocado plus a selection of independent retailers for a RRP of 55p each.

You can find more information by visiting www.peterrabbitorganics.co.uk

Nb. I was kindly sent these juices to review. I have shared the experience and expressed views that are entirely my own.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Silent Sunday...

Silent Sunday

Make Me Yummy

This is the first week of the newly launched blog hop created by the very lovely would like to be a yummy mummy. So we all knew from the off with her blog name that this lady is on a mission and doesn't she mean business? I think so, she has proved very determined as a MOMenTUM girl.

Of course I am an extremely willing participant and shall be eagerly waiting every week for some great 'reveal' of a product I have not yet come across. I love to find new beauty treatments/products and gadgets to try and what better way to find out than through recommendations of real people. Real people that are not only like me but more than likely feeling like me. For my contribution every week I am going to reveal my beauty steals one by one that after years of being tried and tested, I give the seal of approval.

I am a sucker for new beauty potions and miracle workers makeup and have been known to fall for more than one advertising campaign. Show me pretty packaging and I am won over. More often that not though the item will stay in its box, for either not being what I thought it would be, smell like I thought it should or the colour I expected it to be.

The one item I always go back to is Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara in Black. It's my trusted mascara and nothing ever compares (not even their other lines). As I said I am often allured by clever marketing and a bargain price, so every now and then I buy another brand only to kick myself because it just doesn't cut the mustard. Money down the drain again and another mascara to add to the collection. Even though I have read you should replace mascara every three months. I wonder how many of us have mascaras years old but yet won't throw them out because they were pricey? or look posh? Just silly but then I am like that with perfume bottles, however that's a different matter as they cost a lot more and are a feature of my dressing table (just don't smell them all!).

So why do I like this mascara? It simply does the job I want it to. It's easy to apply, doesn't clump and splays out my eyelashes well without having to keep reapplying. That's when I think eyelashes look bad, too many layers. It also lasts well but within the three months.

It may not be much of a revelation but this is my wonder product for this week, what else can anyone else recommend? Can you challenge me to try another? Or if mascara is not your thing, something else entirely.

Join in the Make Me Yummy blog hop if you do!


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Opinions needed for Daddy Beastie's new header

My husband, who has been affectionately named Daddy Beastie (or Mr Beastie) by my fellow bloggers, has designed a header for his own blog. He is branching out and starting a blog of his own. Despite the name he is not going to be blogging about being a Dad, his blog will be a place where he can put his design work onto and build up his portfolio.

So I have a small favour to ask before he launches into the blogosphere. I simply want to know which colour design looks best in your opinion and whether the palm tree should be included. He has asked me to ask on here as he is undecided, so a vote for orange or blue and with or without tree is all that's needed. It's not the finished article yet. Of course if you don't like it you don't need to say anything, unless you feel compelled to comment!

Thanks for looking...

Monday, 23 May 2011

MUMenTUM - Monday Check in 3

I have to admit this week hasn't been my best week. Dedicated and focused I have not been. My good intentions are still the same, somewhere along the line I just became a bit relaxed about it and let life get in the way.  So this past week I have only been on the exercise bike once *hangs head in shame* and not been as careful with my food choices as the week before. I don't drink that much these days and because of this I have never really looked at alcohol as a factor with losing weight. When I do get hold of some wine, the worry of extra calories is not going to stop me, I assure you of that.

As you may have read I attended an exclusive event for Nivea and Ubisoft and along with a few glasses of champagne and a cocktail, I was given a game. The game being Your Shape: Fitness Evolved designed for use with Kinect on the Xbox 360. Having told myself and the other girls in MOMenTUM that I would give the game a go, here I am with the low down.

I tried in vain to set up the Kinect this morning and was somewhat challenged with all the cables and plugs. It doesn't take much to challenge me with setting up consoles and this is usually my main reason for jacking in anything I try and start. However, knowing that I have to give it a fair go and let everyone know what it's all about I managed to get it all working (with a little help from the husband at work).

The next challenge was trying to figure out what to do whilst Beastie suddenly decided he wanted cuddles. You see with the Kinect you need to be within a certain area/space in front of your tv, in view of the sensor and here is the important bit, on your own! A little person running around and climbing on me confused it no end. At this point I gave up and decided to wait for nap time...

When nap time eventually came, I got to try it out. Now I have played on the Kinect before and understand about using your arm as the controller, all of this seemed pretty straight forward. When I had tried to do this earlier (with interference) it was driving me crazy. The sensor scans your whole body and takes your height and dimensions and then asks for your weight, so it seems quite accurate. It was extremely frustrating though when I couldn't enter the correct weight due to the sensitivity of the pointers on the screen. No one wants to weigh more than they actually do! I feel like a need a good few hours to get used to the controls and what I can expect to achieve from the programme. It has options to spend time with your personal trainer, carry out exercise classes and have a go at gym games. My first choice was the gym games which looked the 'fun' option and also had a game that Liska at New Mum Online had tried out at the event (lots of praise her way for giving it a go). So I quite enjoyed punching some blocks, could also be good for releasing pent up anger?

Anyway, so far so good and I moved on to the other sections, where you choose your personal trainer and mimic their moves as if they were in the room with you. I generally fail abysmally when it comes to copying other people's moves. Remember The Macarena and Whigfield's Saturday Night? I never got it, I usually just slinked out of the way to avoid embarrassment. What I need is time and no one watching to get the moves right, so in the comfort of my own home and no audience I can do just that.

The exercise section gave the option for Cardio Boxing and Zen. I decided to give Zen (see below) a try leaving the Boxing for another time. This is designed to relax you and also stretch your muscles, it felt very spiritual and great for following, not too taxing for me. Having already decided that I would not commit fully to a proper session today I also discovered you can make pretty swirling patterns on the screen when waving your arms, completely pointless I know but fun none the less. It's all about distraction from exercise...

On a more serious note I am certainly going to continue with the game and get to grips with the routines, from just the briefest go I could feel some benefits, particularly some of the cardio routines. All I need to do is find the time to give it my best.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Friday, 20 May 2011

Flashback Friday

My first thoughts for this post went straight to my Grandad, my only surviving Grandparent. I was looking through an album of some old family photo's and I came across this snap. He has always looked the same to me throughout the years, almost never aging from when I was small.

Now he is 96 and terminally ill and looks so very different now. Grandparents play such a vital role when you are growing up and mine will be forever etched in my memory, many special times were had. This picture made me smile when I found it and I hope it will do the same for my Mum.

Cafe Bebe

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Nivea and Ubisoft Event

I was given the opportunity to attend this event along with the other MOMenTUM girls and jumped at the chance. As it happened just three of us could attend which was myself, New Mum Online and Multiple Mummy. Not only was it a great opportunity to meet them for the first time but it was also a great night.

Having never attended an event like this I was unsure of what to expect, it did however exceed my expectations. The fitness and beauty event was held to celebrate a unique collaboration between games developer Ubisoft and worldwide beauty brand NIVEA. They showcased the new NIVEA downloadable (DLC) content available for Your Shape: Fitness Evolved on the the Xbox 360 Kinect.

Courtesy of Multiple Mummy
The evening started with a demonstration of how to use the fitness game, with the opportunity to have a go ourselves. When I probably should have been doing this I was enjoying a smoked salmon blini, a glass of champagne followed by a mini facial.

The mini facial was a rare treat for me and made my skin feel fantastic. The beautician talked me through all the products she was using and they felt luxurious, so it just goes to show that products that are affordable on the high street can provide results to rival the expensive brands. It was lovely and relaxing and besides the products the beautician was a pleasure to meet and I shall not forget her. So by chance if she ever reads this I would like her to know that.

I took a photo of New Mum Online (which I am sure she won't mind) as she was the last to have her treatment, I didn't however get out of that as I had a photo taken by Nivea's official photographer so I shall have to wait and see that one!

New Mum Online having facial
We then moved down to the bar for more drinks and a chance to chat to some fellow Mummy bloggers as well as bloggers with blogs about fashion and fitness. The next part of the evening became very interesting indeed as we were given the opportunity for face reading and kinesiology.

I was intrigued by a gentleman who practises the ancient art of face reading called Al Ferasa, I watched Multiple Mummy who was intently looking at him during her reading and I was eager to have a go myself. It was very interesting how he defined characteristics by the way you use your facial muscles and the overall shape. Apparently my ears signify I like to be in control. I have had a palm reading in the past and it was spookily true however on this occasion I am not sure I gave much away?

Promptly after that finished I had a consultation with a nutritionist who carried out kinesiology. We were asked to complete a form highlighting any ailments we have or areas of concern, so that she could test us for allergies. This was fascinating and she identified that I need to take supplements to ward off viruses and exposed my bad relationship with vegetables and particularly greens. I do in fact love spinach and rocket despite all this so shall be heeding to her advice! I hope to find out more about what else she offers through her website including allergy testing through the post, so when I have this information I will write a post about it.

At the end of a lovely evening of relaxing, drinking and chatting we were presented with a goodie bag of creams and a copy of the Your Shape: Fitness Evolved for Kinect. I am now very glad we have a Kinect in our house, I shall have to dust it off after it has been pretty much abandoned since Christmas (a present for my husband). This is the perfect excuse for me to use it again and also try out the game, having pondered over getting a fitness game when I first bought it. It seems my prayers have been answered.

Once I have had a fair go on it I shall let you all know about how I get on. Something tells me this is a personal trainer with a difference and in the comfort of my own home I have no excuses for not giving it my best.

Nb. I have written this post to share the experience and have not been paid to do so. 

Monday, 16 May 2011

Listography - Products You Couldn't Live Without

Kate over at Kate Takes 5 has asked us to whittle down 5 products we can't live without. I very quickly came up with this list and typed it out. I decided not going to think too much about what other items I could think of and whether I could think of any that really are crucial! nope, but here they are anyway...


Since hair straighteners have been invented, I have not understood how I survived the world before. My hair is straight with a really annoying kink and looks dull and frizzy without them. If they were to break I would go into panic mode.

Eye liner

I admit I am someone who won't go out without makeup on, unless I feel awful and am forced to go bare by having conjunctivitis. Even then I won't venture too far and of course sunglasses are a must, outdoors not indoors like a celeb!


I always need vaseline for my lips and if my nose gets sore with a cold. If I forget a tub my lips instantly seem to get tight and dry. It's probably psychological.


My eyes are pale blue so I squint an awful lot when it's bright outside. I always have to have my trusty sunglasses with me otherwise I literally can't see! You can generally spot me on holiday as the one with the panda look. I do try and sunbathe without them but never long enough for even coverage...


I love my tea. My love for tea is even more so as I have run out today (I never let this happen normally). A nice cup of tea makes everything alright doesn't it? unless you are a coffee drinker of course. Tonight I shall be savouring a cup of tea when the tea bags arrive with my husband.

Have a look at all the other items everyone else has on their list over on Listography.


Sunday, 15 May 2011

MUMenTUM - Monday check in 2

Just in case any of us should forget, Liska over at New Mum Online gently reminds us to document our week of saintly behaviour or more likely in my case, sinful behaviour. I shall say I have had a bit of both and as the week has passed and it firmly fell into the latter category.

The end of my week (Friday) ended up with me working 13 hours and not having a proper meal all day. I  hadn't prepared a meal in time and ended up with two sandwiches throughout the day, bread overload. I didn't even want one sandwich. This weekend we went away and had food cooked for us, not entirely healthy but the portions were small (so I get some points back here). The downside was we were so hungry today so we went all out with a lovely stodgy dinner. However, tomorrow is a new day and a new week so I shall wipe the slate clean then.

So this week Liska has a few questions for us to answer and gives 'food for thought'.

1.What is working?

Sticking with a routine week by week and being able to plan my food. Going away etc (such is life) does sets me back.

2. What is not working?

At the moment my biggest struggle seems to be keeping up with riding on my exercise bike. It is not actually the doing that is the problem, it's finding the time to fit in 30-45 minutes without a little boy trying to mount it with me.

3. What has worked in the past?

I have never been good at dieting, I don't stick at things long enough to see the results required to spur me on. The only things that have made me lose weight are heartbreak and breastfeeding. Seeing as I am happily married, the heartbreak option is obviously not an 'option' and I am not pregnant in order to breastfeed again. Which in turn would mean becoming larger before I get smaller!

4. What will you really focus on this week?

I will get back the focus I had the week before last and continue to change the way I look at food, eat slower, make better choices and not eat just for the sake of it!

5. What have you achieved so far?

I have learnt that I don't need to rely on bread and obviously filling foods. To be honest I don't feel I have achieved that much in the way I look but I haven't felt as hung up on my tummy lately as I have been. Breathing in can work miracles!

See what the other girls are getting up to on the blog hop!

Silent Sunday...

Silent Sunday