Christmas Gifts, Take 1

This year my daughter has figured out that Santa doesn’t exist. I think we did pretty well and although there’s some sadness , we can still have magical Christmases in years to come.

I did explain that although a man in a red suit doesn’t come into our home, the spirit of Christmas will always be there to be enjoyed and for us we feel it’s about family and getting together to eat, laugh, play some board games and not have to worry about school, and for the first time, WORK!

This year marks the 1st in 7 that I haven’t worked unsociable hours with the NHS! I handed in my notice and won’t be starting my new job until the New Year. I’m looking forward to getting into the festive spirit and although I’ll be thinking a lot about my colleagues on the front line who will be missing out on Christmas dinner and festivities, I’ll be enjoying the company of those I love dearly..

So what’s different this year apart from the above? Well… I’ve been reading up a lot about minimalism and one thing about minimalism and parenting is something I heard most recently which finally stuck in my mind… “Kids remember their experiences more than they do toys”.

That really struck a chord with me in a major way and although I’ve probably heard that a million times, there was something that made me sit up and take note. Could it be that this year money is more tight, or that perhaps I’m really getting into the minimalist way of life whilst slowly decluttering?

Whatever it is, it has had a very positive effect on me and I like it!

This year for my daughter, I thought her and I could get the sleeper train down to London, go to the museums, the palace, dungeon, or just sit and people watch. I’ve always liked visiting London but I think it would be amazing to have her with me on a girls day out , experience things through her and also learn myself.

Next in the list would be Paris! She recently told me that she’d like to see the Eiffel Tower, and I think she would enjoy the cafes , the old churches and experiencing French culture as her papa was from France and I myself am dual national and gold a French passport. Ultimately, if she really enjoys it, we could look into classes in Glasgow and possibly visit where my Dad grew up as I haven’t been there since I was 10.

The other gift that I know she wants is theatre tickets to see Shen Yun, which will be at the Edinburgh Playhouse in January. It’s a bit steep in price but it’s a cultural show and I don’t mind when both her and I can learn a few things! She is loving all things Chinese, Japanese, Korean due to her love for K-Pop.

Something else that I have done is order a Journal which is based around what she is already taking part in at school , you may have heard of it.. “Growth Mindset” it’s a fantastic concept about changing the way you think and turning negative thoughts into positive ones, determination, self believe, positive thinking and perseverance to name a few. I love this and I love how it can make a difference in young people and how they view the world and interact with it.

Lastly, I thought I’d put a few I.O.U’s into her mix of smaller things such as a cinema trip or shopping, or anything else she might like to do. I’m still looking for ideas on that one but a few trips out for just her and I or even a choice to pick or come up with a family activity… who knows, she may have some really fantastic ideas!

Stay tuned for ideas that I have planned for the rest of my family!

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Diet Chef:Final Week!

Well everyone, I have completed 4 weeks of Diet Chef and I’m sorry that this post is a whole week late due to the eldest child starting back at school and us going back to a routine.. I have my results!

If you remember, I had wanted to lose 4lbs in my final week and was really going crazy with the exercise .. However, this didn’t go to plan and I lost 1lb and 1 inch from my thighs and I think approx 1 inch from my bust as well. Talk about happy! I couldn’t be more delighted at that weight/inch loss. Its amazing for me to be 1 lb off of a stone loss because although I have been working so hard to achieve,  I was a bit skeptical at the start as I just felt that it was  just”TOO EASY”. The proof though is in my results and I will keep on achieving.. I have now gained the understanding about portion control and cutting out alcohol during the week.

I have to say that Diet Chef really has made me sit up and face what was looking back at me in the mirror.. challenge the denial and take responsibility. I didn’t have to worry about going hungry, I could plan my week better and I even found time to relax more in the evening because I didn’t need to pre plan what I was taking to work and as I said in a previous post it made getting the dinners for the rest of the family, even easier.

My experience with Diet Chef has been a positive one and I would thoroughly recommend buying from them because you will lose weight if you follow the plan, and you’ll feel fantastic too. I never felt that I was on a diet because it wasn’t, it was healthy eating and portion control with amazingly yuummy meals.  I challenge you to try it! My next challenge will be to lose another stone for Christmas as I have been motivated and I’d even say that I am on a high. When my daugter went back to school last week, some of the parents that I hadn’t seen this summer, had noticed my weight loss. That is a great feeling.

 

*Thank you to Diet Chef for allowing me to have a 1 month free trial. All opinions are based on my experience and I have not been paid to say anything other than how I felt and what I experienced.

Is Christmas Starting Earlier Each Year?

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I absolutely LOVE Christmas, it isn’t a secret and I have to say that as soon as Halloween is over, I’m right on it with the plans for the festivities.  From planning our annual Christmas BBQ , to shopping for bargains whether on-line or in the stores. I am a sucker for decorations and I give the Griswold’s a run for their money when it comes to lighting up the house. This year in fact, I am going for a snow machine. Yes, you heard me right..

I have been in the UK for over 18 years or more and no matter what, I always expect snow around christmas and I am mainly disappointed when it doesn’t materialise but I still live in hope. I am always jealous when I see my family and friends back home in Canada talking about going skiing and having snow days so I decided that this year would be different. If mother nature wasnt going to help, then I would do it artificially! It’s just as much for me as it is the kids.. really!

When I was looking into the cost of hiring or buying a snow machine, I saw that there really wasn’t much of a difference at all in price and felt that it was a great investment because like I said, we have a BBQ each year. I noticed when I was doing my research, and  some on line shopping that there was an analysis of three years worth of traffic to the top twenty christmas decorations sites , by Twenga  who is the most comprehensive retail search engine. They concluded that Christmas is definitely starting earlier this year. does it have anything to do with shops putting up their decorations earlier? I was amazed to see shops like John Lewis and Tesco , having their trees up !  The hashtag #christmas is also trending much earlier and as in previous years when Christmas traffic was picked up around August time, this year it started as early as July.

Is it because we are sucked in to marketing or because we are all big kids at heart? i feel that after having children, I am able to take hold of the Christmas spirit and blame it on the kids but really I just like the time spent with family, preparations and the magic that it brings.  What about you, do you turn into a big kid or do you think Christmas is starting too soon?

Fitness Fanatic Friday

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Is back! Yes, I have been quiet for many weeks , in fact I think it may be several months but that’s due to a few things getting in the way…. I stopped exercising due to an injury involving my right foot and I am waiting for the results to come back before I start running again.

Also, due to being on the lowest part of maternity pay now, I had to stop my sessions with Mark who is my personal trainer. I have still kept active over the summer with running after the kids and doing activities but I haven’t been doing anything challenging but after the summer holidays finishing, I can now set a new exercise routine in to my life without killing myself.making better food choices 2 weeks ago and have so far lost 1.5lbs, and it has really given me some motivation to set a goal for Xmas , to lose a dress size.

In order to do that, I have picked out a few outfits from my own closet as well as looking on line to choose an outfit and I have came across some great websites to pick from for the festive period. I like having a goal in mind and I like to try and visualize getting back down to my pre pregnancy weight. I know I can and I know I will with a bit of hard work, its achievable.

I will continue to put any weight loss on future posts, feel free to join in!

I started

Cynical At Christmas

I love Christmas, I really do and this year was no exception to the rule…. well almost. I think it started on Christmas Eve when a friend of mine and I were preparing our random acts of kindness bundles of scones and cupcakes packaging them up and leaving them on peoples door steps. We felt pretty guilty because we in the end couldn’t do all of the houses and we had to say to ourselves that enough was enough, see it for what it was and stop putting pressure to spend more on ingredients that we were rapidly running out of and do what we could  whilst understanding why we were doing it and for what reason, ie KINDNESS.

The issue that I had wasn’t that one or two people had a  inclination that it was us, but 1 person said she wouldn’t eat it as it may be “dodgy” or have something in it…  Why are we on guard so much that an act of kindness is construed as one of harm or with a deeper and sinister meaning? I guess its because of the world we now live in with violence ect… Maybe next year we should just write notes of kindness cause at least we cant lace it with cyanide or anything else. I don’t blame her, as I said these are the life and times that we live in and maybe we should have thought of something else to give/do for people which would restore their faith in human nature and community spirit.

My other issue is with the amount of gifts that we give. My husband, god love him, had been buying gifts for Thunderpants since October!! She had that many gifts that she said she wasn’t sure if Santa made it to all of the other boys and girls, and said that she might save some for opening later in the day. She got another two from her cousins plus a few more when she went down to her nanna’s and money from one of her Papa’s.  I said to her that next year it wouldn’t be like this as she will have a little brother to share Christmas with and that it was more about spending time with her family and our friends, trying to teach her different things which I do believe she understood and that it wasn’t just about Santa and being good/or bad(I hate that), but about family time, slowing down and just enjoying family time.

My best present this year, was a self made “Canadian Selection Box”, by my husband who got all of my favorite candy bars. It was the thought that went in to it. That’s what made me feel all warm and fuzzy,  the thought that I do and probably always will miss home at this time of year and a little bit of home is just what I need and appreciate.

When I went on to twitter this AM, my cynicism grew when BBC Radio 5 Live posted about police guarding entrances at Selfridges to make sure that sales don’t get out of hand. Are you fucking serious? Its a sad day when we have to “get out of hand” over products and services that we don’t need at the expense of someone else’s safety and our own sanity!  Or what about the magazine that says we can now concentrate on our new years diets, the same one which posted a few days earlier to have a Merry Christmas and to enjoy it but then ripping the carpet out from under our feet today with insinuating that we are all fat bastards and should now repent. Really?!

Then there are those who are having to work to meet the demands of society and consumerism, can’t we spend time at home with the kids, family that we actually want to see , relax before having to go back to work/study or whatever demands you have in life? Just one more day?! Is there a need to stand in ques and get pissed off cause the person serving, isn’t going fast enough for us? Yes, spare a thought also for these people who are trying to keep up with getting people through the door and then back out, the conveyor belt of people in order to line the pockets of some fat cat business person who IS sitting at home and enjoying their time off.

When did life become like this? What has changed? Why are we only nicer to people at Christmas, why not any other time of the year too?  Why is there so much greed?!  what about the homeless or those who have to deal with the loss of a loved one? Why so much competition? Someone re tweeted that Facebook lies about Christmas where as twitter gives you the reality… This is so true and really gives some good reason to never go back to Facebook again.

So I bid you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year… from the heart!

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