Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sorry Mum Domestic Goddess is not Genetic!!

Ever since I can remember my mum has had a `thing' about tidying up, my toys would all be placed neatly in a toy box, and if anything stood still long enough it would get hoovered or polished!!
Unfortunately the clean freak streak has not been passed down to my sister and I, much to my mum's disappointment - you know `the look' when she walks in and surveys the chaos shakes her head and says "Oh Amanda!" (Yes she even uses my Sunday name!)

Don't get me wrong, my house isn't dirty, just messy, well it does have six children living in it....

No sooner have I hoovered the lounge, then the children decide to get out something messy such as Art and Craft, I am not going to stop them doing it, but Oh how I wish it would clear itself away!!

My washing machine and tumble drier are permanently on, and the ironing pile can sometimes resemble Mount Everest, the only thing that saves me with this one is that I find Ironing relaxing and I have a HUGE Steam Geberator Iron, which means I don't have to keep refilling the water every three items...

I am currently running a Natural and Clean Competition and there are some fab tips written by my followers here obviously some people enjoy cleaning, or at least have some good tips that I may well use.

Over the past fourteen years of having children I have learnt that there isn't that much point trying to keep everything immaculate because it just is impossible.

However, there are certain things that I have found invaluable.

~ A Big Box - When there is mess or little toys lying around I scoop them all up into a box and then find their homes as I go around the house, it also makes the house look tidier!!

~ Hoover when the children have gone to bed, that way there is no chance of them making a mess until at least the next morning.

~ Always have a large supply of teabags! If it all gets too much, sit down and have a cup of tea/cofee guaranteed to make you feel less stressed and ready to tackle the next onslaught!

~ Don't offer to wash the entire Men's Rugby Kit, it may seem like a nice gesture but you WILL get it nearly every week!!

~ If you have a large family like me, then consider hiring your washing machine, I have been through so many washing machines, that I have given up and now pay £15 per month, safe in the knowledge that if something goes wrong with it, they will either repair in 24 hours or replace it, meaning I will never again have my entire bathroom taken over by dirty clothes (this happened the last time the washing machine broke and we were without for 10 days- it wasn't pretty!)

~ Pretend that housework is part of a game, and get the younger ones to join in... Unfortunately Eowyn put so much water on the floor, I then had to admit defeat and mop the kitchen!!

And finally....

~ Invite your Clean Freak mum around every so often to babysit for the grandchildren, knowing full well that when they have goone to bed she will give the downstairs a nice big clean !! THANKS MUM <3

Friday, 23 March 2012

Chick Update

Well, it is 9 days since I put 18 eggs into our incubator, we have candled the eggs and have 8 little wrigglers!

So from 18 eggs that have been through the Royal Mail system I am very happy, so are the children.

We did have a slight problem, I had put the eggs in the incubator on their sides and could only just get them in, but the incubator was advertised as a 24 egg incubator, so I turned to the source of all knowledge - Youtube!!

It turns out I had put them in wrong, this actual incubator stores the eggs upright, with the pointy end down, and with the design of the incubator, you can just turn it on its side, which will turn the eggs for you, instead of me having to turn them by hand every four hours!! It isn't a problem the way I have put them in, but it is quite time consuming turning them all...

I contacted the lady we had got the eggs from to tell her we had some fertilised eggs and she offered me a fantastic deal on some more eggs, so we made the decision to transfer the 8 eggs to a smaller incubator, that does store them on their sides and put the other eggs into the large 24 egg incubator.

So, this Wednesday evening, exactly one week after the other eggs were put in, we have set 24 Orpington eggs in the incubator-pointy end down and I now just rock the entire incubator one way or the other every four hours.

I will report back in a week, how many of the 24 eggs we have fertilised.

If, obviously I am now a super egg hatcher we could end up with a total of 32 chicks, its a good job the children are on school holidays to help me take care of our new babies, especially as the two hatches will be a week apart, we will need to supervise them and ensure the bigger ones don't intimidate the little ones, I envisage a school playground scene!

The eggs that we have chosen are all Orpingtons, but a mix of different coloured ones, all running together, so I cannot wait to see what amazing colours we achieve.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Mutu Week Two

The MuTu® System

Week two of the Mutusystem was all about breakfast!!

I must admit that since Tyrus was born nine months ago, my usual breakfast consisted of a large Mug of Tea and 3 or 4 Plain Chocolate Digestive Biscuits....

This week I have been very good, either a breakfast muffin or a bowl of Muesli with fruit. At the beginning of the week it was a real effort to eat it, but by the end of the week I was actually feeling ready for Breakfast.

The core exercises are coming along nicely, because they take such a short amount of time, I do not see them as a chore and enjoy the couple of minutes `me time' - although this can be at any time of the day, one day it was 7am the next 11pm....

Next week we start to get sweaty............

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Have You Seen City of Friends ?

For all of you mums out there that has a preschooler who wants to get up early in the morning, check out this fab show, on Channel Five its called City of Friends and Eowyns description was "Cool, its got an elephant, a giraffe and a Monkey".
On that basis she was sold, and the intro had her in stitches.....

City of Friends is the beautifully animated pre-school TV show that’s turned into something of a global phenomenon. Originally from Norway, City of Friends is now airing in more than 150 countries around the world!

Currently on Channel Five’s Milkshake! the series centres around the three emergency teams – Police, Ambulance and Fire – and the three friends, Max the police officer, Elphie the fire officer and Ted the paramedic who work together to solve problems and help people around their city.

Max is everyone’s friend and the city’s mischief-maker. The children in the city think he is the coolest and the funniest in the whole city. Elphie is a bubbly and adventure-loving elephant. Her impressive trunk and its water-shooting abilities make her a natural fire-fighter. Ted the caring young teddybear, is starting his life in the ambulance service. He’s very popular and offers great comfort to people in need, providing reassurance with his cuddly warmth.

Cooperation, friendship, tolerance, knowledge, activity and fun are the key words which apply to the residents in the City. The series sparks the imagination with exciting, playful storylines which are entertaining and teach very gentle, but valuable life-lessons along the way.

The inspiration for the stories came from creator Carl Christian Hamre’s own day job working as a member of Norway’s state police. “One evening I told my son a bedtime story about the three emergency services; how they work together to solve the challenges and problems they are called out to. However, this time, I replaced myself and my colleagues, with people and animals in the emergency services, and City of Friends was born.”

City of Friends airs weekdays on Channel Five’s Milkshake! at 6.20am every day. To see the rest of the characters and some clips head over to the City of Friends website http://cityoffriends.tv/ and the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/CityofFriendstv to find out more information. 

I sat and watched an episode with Eowyn and it is well worth a look.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Natural & Clean Giveaway

A little while ago I had the chance to review some fabulous products from Natural and Clean here. I was very impressed with all of the products, and now, you can have the chance to try them too, with my fantastic giveaway.
You can win
Natural & Clean Whoops a-daisy
Natural & Clean Dry Carpet Cleaner - 500g
Natural & Clean Bin Deodoriser
Natural & Clean Pet Spot & Odour Eliminator

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 16 March 2012

Feeling Broody ?

No, it's not me, in fact it isn't anyone, much to the children's disappointment, the chickens that is, not mum!
Two years ago we had a very broody hen, so we decided to try and hatch some eggs, however for one reason and another, none of them hatched and our poor chicken became quite poorly, so I declared that we would NEVER try again because it was far too distressing.
However the children have managed to talk me round, but not with  a Broody Hen, this time we are going the incubator route...

Last weekend we ordered a Brinsea Octagon Eco 20 incubator and found a lovely lady on Ebay selling a mix of Orpington eggs, this is our favourite breed of chicken as they are big and fluffy and will tolerate all six of our children!!

On Wednesday evening we placed 18 Orpington Eggs into our incubator.....

We have made a chart to remind us when to turn them, which we are doing five times per day. My calculations mean that if we have a successful hatch they will appear on 3rd April, whilst the children are on their school Easter Holidays, I shall keep you informed on our progress.

If anyone has hatched chicks successfully and you have any tips, please feel free to comment, fingers crossed for some little chicks xxx


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Eisberg Chardonnay Review

I seem to have been pregnant or breastfeeding almost continuously for the past fourteen years, meaning that I very rarely have an alcoholic drink, now don't get me wrong, this is not an issue, but occasionally it would be nice to have a drink that isn't a soft drink.
I have never really been a big wine fan, but I wasn't sure if it was the actual taste or the alcohol, so I was intrigued to try the Eisberg Non Alcoholic wine. This is what they say about it :

Fancy a ruby rich Cabernet Sauvignon, a fresh aromatic Riesling or a smooth Chardonnay but want to cut back on the alcoholic units?

Eisberg alcohol free wine is made in exactly the same way as your favourite wine, but with one difference. At the end of the process the alcohol is gently removed using one of the world’s most advanced processes, leaving all of the flavours of the wine, but none of the alcohol.

There are four to choose from,  A refreshingly aromatic Riesling, a creamy crisp Chardonnay, a juicy succulent Rosé and a fruity red Cabernet Sauvignon.
Suitable as an accompaniment to any meal, or simply to sip with friends, Eisberg contains 0.05% alcohol and only 34 calories per 125 ml glass, making it a great alternative to calorie laden booze.
Eisberg’s alcohol free range of wine can help combat the cravings, so if you fancy the real taste sensation of your favourite wine, you don’t have to go without.

I asked my husbands opinion which he thought I would probably enjoy the most, and we decided on the Chardonnay, so on Saturday after the children had eventually gone to bed (probably past 11pm!) We sat down for a glass of wine....
I now have my answer, its the alcohol part of wine that I do not like, because this tasted lovely, in fact I enjoyed it so much that that we finished the bottle between us, something that NEVER happens with a bottle of wine in our house, unless we have guests!

It had a lovely fruity taste, but not too fruit juice like, and with only 34 calories per glass, I can have a little tipple every now and then on my ongoing  quest for slimness.

This is definitely a drink I would recommend, especially for those women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding and would still like to feel that they are being sociable and having a drink.

The full range is available at Morrisons, and selected wines are available at Tesco, Waitrose, Co-op, Booths and Bargain Booze, priced at RRP £3.20-£3.60.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Lottie Biggs Is Not Tragic Review - A Perfect Teen Read

Here are the top five things that we will miss about the Lottie Biggs series:
- The casual and infectious use of the word ‘ridonkulous’
- Gareth Stingcombe and his manly thighs
- Winnie, the wisest chinchilla in all of Wales
- Justin Timberlake knickers

Lottie Biggs is (not) Tragic is the third and final book in the fantastic series that has captured the hearts of readers of all ages across the country. Written with the wit of Louise Rennison and the depth of Jacqueline Wilson, this has been the journey of Lottie Biggs, a very small teenage girl from Whitchurch, Cardiff. There are no vampires, werewolves, trolls, pirates, spaceships or ghosts. Just Lottie, and her hilarious, completely captivating voice. We have experienced the trails, tribulations, ups and downs of Lottie’s very REAL LIFE. . . complete with hair dye, rugby playing boys with manly thighs, older sisters, mental health problems, best friends, divorced parents, part-time jobs and of course, Justin Timberlake knickers.
In the last book of the series, Lottie is in the midst of an existential crisis. Her mum’s all soppy over a bloke with a horrible shemo* daughter, and her pal Goose has developed a severe case of Nerd rash. Time to get out of Cardiff and hit the road with the gorgeous Gareth (and his manly thighs). But things don’t go exactly to plan…*a female emo, obviously

Xene adores these type of books, so was very enthusiastic to read the complete series of three books in as many days. They must have been good, because she didn't put them down and I did have to draw the line at her reading whilst eating her dinner!
Her thoughts on the books were that they were hilariously funny and a truly typical teenage girl read, she is nearly fourteen and I asked which age she thinks they would be most suitable for and she said definitely thirteen upwards, as I skimmed through one book, the  words I saw his giant sausage lead me to believe that yes they are for her age and above!!
They certainly seem a popular read, as all of her friends at high school have either read, in the middle of or waiting to read the three books.
I would definitely recommend the series for any teen girl in your family, I am sure they would not be disappointed.

SANAMAMA Carrier Review - The Piggy Back with Straps!

You will already know that I LOVE to carry my little one around in a sling, I find it so much easier and it enables me to have both hands free to get on with things.
At the moment I have been using the Baby Bjorn, but I must admit, he is getting rather chunky and my back can only take so long. At the age of Tyrus, this type of sling is great, but what about when he gets a little older...
We have a rather chunky backpack that our children have used when we go out on a hike, but it is far too heavy for me, I would like to be able to carry one of the children on my back, without the extra weight of a large carrier.
So I was extremely excited when I was given the opportunity to review a Sanamama Carrier, for those of you unfamiliar with the carrier, it draws on the wisdom of an age old African Tradition, but with added safety features for your total peace of mind.

It can be used from approximately 4 months, when baby is able to support his or her own head.
I originally tried this with Tyrus but he was not keen on being put on my back, he preferred the face to face interaction. It was also recommended up to age 3, so I decided to ask Eowyn’s opinion, she was rather keen to give it a go.

With her being that little bit older I was able to attach the carrier easily whilst she stood on the chair, For a younger child it would probably be easier to lay them down and put them in it.
You fasten them in and then place them on your back, I thought it all sounded very complicated,. But actually it was very easy.

Here is my teenage daughter demonstrating how easy it easy to carry your little sister!

It is so lightweight, and takes up hardly any room, you can just have it in your changebag. Its brilliant for children that are not quite old enough to hold on for a piggyback and it gives parents the added safety, without the worry that they are going to let go.

Check out the video here of how to use this wonderful carrier.
It is a very reasonable price, compared to others on the market and it can be used until 3 years approx.
For more information on Sanamama please visit their website
I love this carrier and cannot wait to use it with Tyrus when he gets a little bigger, all children love a piggy back and this just takes away the hazards, it also means my two older children can take it in turns to carry their little siblings.
For anyone looking for the next stage from a baby sling, this is definitely worth a look.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Mutu Begins

As you all know I have begun the 12 week Mutu System , so I threw out all junk food and read the manual, to begin Saturday....


This was probably THE hardest part, actually having a photo of myself, as I am not one for appearing in photos, but I thought this might keep me motivated!!

My Mutu System Measurements
Weight                    10 stone
Chest                     38"
Waist                     33"
Hips                       38"
Thigh                     22"
Arm                       11"
Diastasis                   2
Midline Strength    Deep/Weak

I am the heaviest that I have ever been and although many people would say I am not big, in myself I feel too big, I am only 5ft 2, with a fairly small frame, so this, for me is far too big.

Two Days In

I have not had a fizzy drink since Friday, my one cup of tea limit per day, I thought would be really hard, but actually it hasn't been a problem, although it is only two days!! I am beginning to tolerate glasses of water, but I now need to up my exercise routine, so I shall be aiming to do either Just Dance 3 or the Body Workout on Kinect at least three times per week, although ideally every day - if I get time!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Glitzy Secrets Winner

And the winner is ....



Congratulations, please send your details to mandijmorrison@aol.com

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Nine Months On, Nine Months Off

Well, that's what they say but ITS A LIE !!!
Now, don't get me wrong, with Xene I was back in my jeans within three days, Lochie it took two weeks, Neva one month, Kaide six weeks, Eowyn three months, and finally Tyrus - well I am heavier now than at nine months pregnant, which for me is a BIG deal.
Only 10 more days until Tyrus is nine months old and I am nowhere near my ideal weight, shape, toned body. So it is time to get SERIOUS.
On Saturday I shall be starting the fabulous Mutu, so today and tomorrow I shall begin reading the manual and get rid of all of the junk food in the house, I would love to say that I have the willpower to keep the sweets and treats in the house, just for the children, but I know my weaknesses....

The hardest challenge will be cutting out fizzy drinks and taking a picture of me with minimal clothes on, as I have tended to opt for the baggy jumper look lately.

I am not happy in myself with the weight that I am carrying and the way that I look, so onwards and upwards, feel free to follow me on my 12 week journey to gorgeousness (I hope !) If there are any mummies out there about to embark on the course, please let me know, its always nice to do something with another person.