About Me

My photo
I'm a working mum of two lovely children who, like all children, go through 'phases', both good and bad. Trying to juggle parenthood, weight loss and life in general.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

All good things

Wow, a whole month since my last post! And unsurprisingly there's lots to catch up on. We've had a family holiday in Spain full of lots of yummy food (some slimming world friendly and some not quite on plan!), a fantastic lunchtime treat at a vege cafe, and some pretty normal meals in between. The main reason for my mini break from the blog is that my return to work was looming. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my babies whilst I could have them to myself. But all good things must come to an end, and at least I'll have my long weekends with them, rather than just the morning rush and bedtime routine. 

I'll concentrate this post on the normal stuff and post a separate one later on the holiday food. 


We've mostly had the old favourites in the last few weeks, but one particularly memorable breakfast was when I asked little miss what she'd like and got this response: 
It made me laugh lots and is now the standard response from her. 

Little man has started having Suuuper Hoooops for breakfast now too and seems to be enjoying them. They tend to share a banana afterwards too, which he tries to eat in as few bites as possible! Whilst I've been sticking to my strawberries, raspberries, grapes and pomegranates with either shape yogurt or Fage total 0% Greek yogurt, sometimes with 35g Dorset cereal nutty muesli sprinkled on top for my healthy extra. 

My alternative breakfast has been a slimming world friendly BLT, all fat removed from the bacon, lots of lettuce and tomato, and a tablespoon of low fat Mayo instead of butter on the 2 slices of 400g wholemeal bread (healthy extra). Scrummy and filling. 


Lunches have largely been leftovers of the previous evening's meal, Bolognese, chilli etc. But there have been a few exceptions. This super speedy jacket potato with tuna, pepper, sweetcorn and 1 tablespoon of light mayo (1 syn), with cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce and carrot on the side was particular scrummy, and enjoyed  by us all.

A recent trip to 'the bear' a vegetarian cafe in Todmorden was a surprising delight. My friend had told me about this place before, and being a firm lover of meat I was sceptical. But it was absolutely gorgeous. The Mexican casserole itself can only have been about 2 Syns at the most. But the tortilla chips, yogurt dip and coconut and lime  rice will have racked up the Syns up a bit. Still, it was probably better than the wraps, puff pastry tarts and feta samosas. 

I made a super scrummy salad and coleslaw for myself the other day (the sun was shining and it seemed like the perfect food choice.) we decided to have a picnic in the garden because it was so lovely. Coleslaw: 2 Syns for the whole pot (1/2 syn per serving):
1 carrot grated, 3/4 small white cabbage, chopped up into slithers, 1/4 red onion slices fine and roughly chopped, huge dollop of fat free fromage frais, 2 tbsp light mayo and a squeeze of lime juice

Pasta salad: 2 Syns for the whole pot (1/2 syn per serving):
Pasta, 1 tin Tuna in spring water, 1 tin sweetcorn, 1/2 cucumber diced, 1/2 grated carrot, 1/4 white cabbage roughly chopped, fresh basil torn up, fresh mint leaves finely chopped, 3/4 red onion roughly chopped, 1 tin potatoes, huge dollop of fat free fromage frais, 2 tbsp light mayo, black pepper to taste. 
Little man was loving the pasta. 

Bean salad; 1 syn for whole pot, 1/2 syn per serving): 
1 tin mixed beans, 1 tbsp olive oil, fresh mint finely chopped, juice of 1/2 lime, black pepper. 

All served with a nice crunchy salad (handful from a bag!), baby plum tomatoes, beetroot and a hard boiled egg. 


the regular favourites have been a staple part of the diet of late; chilli with extra peppers, mixed beans and served with rice and healthy extra cheese, sausages and potatoes, either mashed, roasted or new season jersey royals, with lots of veg. I use chipolata sausages because they are lower in Syns and seem to go further! 

Whilst sausages are always a firm favourite with little miss and little man, my surprise favourite, was something I knocked together using left over roast chicken, to satiate a desire for a Chinese takeaway. Much to my chagrin we still haven't found a nice Chinese near to our new house, BUT from a Slimming World perspective that's probably a good thing. 

Chicken & noodles: shred some roast chicken, put into a shallow pan/wok, add some chicken stock, a handfull of frozen peas, 1 pack of value noodles (approx. 23p from a supermarket - throw out the flavour pack, this is where the Syns live), a good slug of light soy sauce and 2 good slugs of oyster sauce, a shake of Chinese 5 spice, and put a lid on to cook as per noodle instructions (usually bring to the boil and simmer 3-5 minutes), once you are about to serve add a full pack of sugar snap peas (or mange tout) and serve. it was super quick and delicious. if you have any other green leafy veg i'd recommend adding it, particularly kale or similar for that extra super speedy weight loss boost. 

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Mombie day 2

As I mentioned at the end of my last post Little man's fever returned last night. He finally gave in 2 and a bit hours after his calpol, at around 2.30am! Little miss woke up and climbed into bed with us at half 6. After watching 2 films in bed in an attempt to make myself feel like I'd had a bit of a sleep in, little man woke up and we went downstairs for breakfast/brunch. Little miss had a few sausages left over from yesterday. Little man had 2 'yummy yogurts.' And I promptly started cooking.

 I adapted a recipe from the new slimming world book, syn free meals. In the book it's Louisiana red bean rice. Mine is a sort of chicken jambalaya.

Soften 30g chorizo, 1 shallot, 1 onion, and 2 garlic cloves in fry light. Add Cajun spices, sweet smoked paprika, mixed herbs and 1/2 courgette. Add 2 chicken breasts, diced, and brown off. Add 2 tins mixed beans, 1 tin sweetcorn, frozen peas, frozen green beans and 275g washed long grain basmati rice. Add 500ml boiling chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then turn heat low and cover with a tight lid. Cook for 10 mins. Remove from heat but leave lid on for a further 10 mins. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve. 3 Syns for the whole pot.

I'm estimating 1 serving as 1/2 syn. It was tasty but could have done with a bit more spice (2-3 tsp Cajun spice, rather than 1.) Little miss had the usual delaying tactics (I need the toilet, I don't like onions/peas/chicken! Etc) little man had some but was clearly not feeling up to the effort, he didn't even eat much of his chocolate custard, which madam kindly offered to finish for him. She's so selfless!

We spent the afternoon playing catch, and schools with little miss being teacher obviously. I love that no one can get little man to giggle as much as his big sister. He absolutely idolises her.

For dinner little miss had 'picnic.' The remaining leftover sausages, cheese chunks, tomatoes and cucumber. Little man had half a pouch of Ella's lentil bake with a bit of rice and peas/beans mixed in. Which he wolfed down. Meanwhile I had more of the jambalaya and added 30g cheddar for my healthy extra. Because cheese makes pretty much everything taste better!

I also tried a bag of hula hoops new puft crisps. At 3.5 Syns a bag they're just the savoury snack hit I needed without the high 'syn tag.'

Total Syns today = 4.5.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Salad fever

After the higher-Syns-than-planned weekend, I thought I'd best reign it in a bit today. But little man's fever really took hold last night. 3 hours in the middle of the night 'uuuuuhhhing' meant I'm a bit (more than usual)  of a mombie today.

We started the day with what is now becoming the norm for the littlies, Suuuper Hoooops (my autocorrect has now learnt the 'correct' spelling of this!) and fruit puree pot followed by a mini fromage frais, and I grabbed a couple of healthy extra slices of toast. Although I'm not sure they were that 'healthy' after I'd cremated them, forgetting to cancel the toaster after putting them back on to brown some more. I spread a bit of marmite on to hide the blackened state (and save Syns.)

Little man has developed a bit of a Heinz biscotti snack habit. And today he actually ate them, well one,  rather than just squishing them into a mush where they dry like concrete.

   For lunch, I took inspiration from a comment made last night by the mr and made Chorizo, chicken and 'fried' potato salad. Does it still count as lunch when you don't actually eat it until 3pm? 

Dice 50g chorizo (5.5 Syns,) pop it in a frying pan with fry light. Then add some leftover roast chicken (shredded/chopped,) par boil some potatoes (I find it quicker and easier to chop them into pieces before boiling,) turn down low and put a lid on for a few minutes. Serve on a bed (mountain) of salad. In this case, rocket, watercress, lambs leaf, and romaine lettuce with red cabbage, red onion, grated carrot, sweetcorn, and cucumber. Meanwhile little man had the rest of yesterday's Ella pouch, and 3/4 of a pot of rice pudding with chopped strawberries added. He stored the strawberries in his cheeks like a hamster, and spat them out whenever I wasn't looking at him! 

I was sent to bed when little miss and daddy returned from nursery to catch up on some much needed sleep. My 'ok but just an hour' turned into a 3 hour sleep, when I got up little miss was in bed and little man was asleep in a daddy cuddle. Cute. 

We had a pack of sausages that had to be used up today so I roasted them and had 3 sausages with salad as before but with the addition of cherry toms, and a slice of bread so I could make my once renowned (for being a bit odd) sausage salad sarnie. It's no weirder than a BLT in my opinion and much tastier. 

Finished on 12.5 Syns. Not as low as I'd planned, but very tasty!

As I write this, it's accompanied by the 'uuuuhhing' of a little man, with a high temperature waiting for calpol to kick in. He's been fine all afternoon. Silly me for thinking he'd kicked it hopefully the magic of calpol will mean we both get a good sleep....but I suspect I'm in for (another) long night.

Mostly planned weekend

Friday I kept food Syns low so I could indulge a bit on beer. The mr and I had a rare treat trip to the pub thanks to Nanna babysitting. So I stuck to shape yogurt for breakfast (Suuuper Hoooops and fruit puree pot for the little ones.) For lunch we shared some of the syn free bacon, bean and tomato soup I'd made earlier in the week. With 2 slices of 400g wholemeal bread for my healthy extra, with 2 Syns of low fat marge. 

For dinner I made my thai curry, but even more slimming world friendly. I defrosted the rest of the curry sauce from the last batch I made (see earlier post for recipe), and then realised I was missing most of my usual veg, so I went with what I had. 

1 shallot, 1 onion, 1/2 courgette, 1 orange pepper, 1 red pepper, 1 small tin of water chestnut and 2 chicken breasts with all fat removed. I fried all of these in fry light, added the sauce and brought it to the boil. Then transferred it to the oven on a low heat for an hour. I stirred some Fage Total 0% Greek yogurt through just before serving (make sure it's room temp before adding to stop it splitting) and served with boiled rice. Whole thing was 1/2 a syn. So 2.5 Syns before the several pints of beer. 

Saturday I had a sleep in (hoorah for the mr) and so missed breakfast. For lunch we had KFC! I tried to resist but I just couldn't do it so opted for a boneless box and shared it with little miss. 3syns per mini breast fillet, and 4.5 Syns for the portion of popcorn chicken. 10.5 Syns for regular fries and 6 Syns for a small gravy. 17 Syns in total for my share. But as I usually would have had a zinger tower meal and gravy at a whopping 47.5 Syns I was feeling rather proud of myself. Little man had some chicken (no coating) and a few fries to suck and then distribute around the floor.  I had the rest of yesterday's Thai curry for my dinner, 1/5 syn. Total 17.5 Syns. 

Sunday I was out for lunch with the girls. Once we got back from our obscenely-early-for-a-Sunday-morning swimming lessons, I made me and the kids scrambled eggs on toast (no butter for me) and I added a tin of tomatoes to mine. Little miss found every reason possible to not eat (I need a wee, I need a poo etc) and finally finished the egg. Little man scoffed the lot and squished some into his hair, face, clothes, highchair etc as usual.

I did a little research online at the menu for the pub we were meeting at and was down to 2 options;  the angelic but dull 'jacket potato with beans' or blackened Cajun chicken burger (I figured I could swap fries for salad and not eat the bun!, yeah right.) when I got there they had a Sunday roast on the menu so I opted for roast beef. I removed all the fat, and loaded up with veg (mange tout, green beans and broccoli.) I reckon it'll have been about 9 Syns erring on the side of caution, allowing for oils/butter etc.  I had a lime and soda, 1 syn as I assume it wasn't sugar free cordial. And then this happened: 

Everyone was getting deserts, sticky toffee pudding, chocolate brownies with cream and ice cream, fruit crumble with custard, so in my wisdom thought Eton mess would be the safest option,  if I tried to focus on the fruit and meringue. I hadn't counted on there being an actual mountain of cream to go with it (as you can tell by my face!!) I thought I ought to take an after shot to prove that I didn't eat the lot. And frankly what I left would have been enough to keep a small family going for a day. I have no idea where to even start with the Syns but after a bit of rough calculating I'd guess maybe 12-16 Syns (more like 30+ if I'd eaten the lot) So much for being good. 

When I got home the mr had roasted a chicken for the little ones which was served with oven chips (which she didn't eat) for little miss and, after another epic battle, was followed with custard. Little man was starting to get a fever (teething and cold related we think) so was off it a bit and just had half an Ella pouch a nibble of chicken and a bit of custard. I picked at chicken but was still pretty full from my mammoth lunch. 22 - 26 Syns in total! 

I really need to pull it back in the next few days! 

Thursday, 31 March 2016

I will not eat the Easter eggs ...repeat...

Today was a KIT day, so the morning was hectic trying to get the 3 of us up, ready and out before 8am. Thank heavens for half term traffic making the journey so much quicker. I grabbed a banana en route, and the little ones had breakfast at nursery (after a panic inducing missed call from nursery, which turned out to be a query on what little man would have for breakfast and how much milk to give him - I forgot to tell them that bit when I dropped him off!) 

The mr made my lunch for me last night, so I had a cheese and Branston pickle sandwich. 3 Syns for low fat marge and the pickle, and used up my healthy extras on the cheese and bread. I snacked on a punnet of grapes throughout the day, avoiding the tuck box of chocolate and crisps. 

When I got home tonight to one sleepy girl on the sofa and a little boy with the biggest 'yay it's mummy!' smile on his face, I was ravenous. So I finished off the cottage pie. There was only a little bit left so when little miss asked if she could 'have a sausage sandwich please mummy?' I promptly put the oven on and made them for us all. Adding another 12 Syns to my tally. 

As I write this I'm desperately avoiding the temptation to steal one of the kids' Easter eggs. But resist I will, as I've no Syns left and I'm determined to get my next award next week! 

Wednesday weigh day - 1lb loss

The kids both slept in this morning so I took the opportunity to join them. Little miss stayed in her own bed, hoorah, and little man and I continued the "go to sleep" "pppppppp"(raspberry blowing) conversation. Until the wee hours. So I was glad of the chance to catch up a bit. Breakfast was yogurt all round, and a bit rushed. 

We dropped little miss at nursery and then went holiday clothes shopping...for the whole day...and I didn't stop to eat (little man had milk on the go.) when we got back home I rushed off to group for the dreaded weekly weigh in.

I had absolutely no idea what the scales were going to show. Could have been a 1/2st gain and I wouldn't have been surprised but I decided to go and assess the damage and get back on plan to shift it. As it turned out I needn't have dreaded it. I lost 1lb. What a result. It just shows I was still making some food optimising choices and they worked. I did set myself a mini one week target of 3.5lb for next week. So I need to stay focused. Starting with tonight's dinner. Leftover cottage pie. And later a toasted cheese sandwich (I was ravenous having only had s yogurt all day!) using my healthy extras of cheese and bread, and 4 Syns for the low fat marge.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Soup and cottage pie

After a tiring night squashed between little man (I'm not tired raspberry blower) and little miss (the shadows are too scary) we got up a bit too late for breakfast. So I appeased them both with mini fromage frais and fruit puree (for little man) whilst I started making a syn free soup. 

Bacon, vegetable and mixed bean soup
Chop 1 shallot, 1 onion, 1 leek and 2 cloves of garlic. Soften in a pot with a few sprays of fry light a sprinkle of mixed herbs and Cajun spice mix. Remove all visible fat from a pack of bacon and chop into pot, add tomato puree, and cook for approx. 5 mins (if it starts to stick add a dash of water and keep stirring.) Chop 3 carrots and 1 courgette and add to the pot. Cook for a few minutes. 
Add chicken stock (I make fresh stock when we have a roast and freeze it down into little pots, but a stock cube would work),  1 tin of tomatoes, 1 carton of passatta, a bay leaf a teaspoon of mustard powder and 2 tins of mixed beans. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 mins. I love that this soup is so chunky it doesn't need bread with it. However I chose to use my healthy extra bread allowance.  Little miss didn't want any until little man and I had finished then she decided she did 'want some actually mummy, with bread.' She ate about 3 mouthfuls and then decided she'd had enough! 

For dinner I made my version of a cottage pie. I estimate 1 syn per serving. (It's probably less but it's best to over estimate) 
Chop 1 shallot, 1 onion, 3 cloves of garlic and soften in fry light with mixed herbs and a sprinkle of mustard powder. Add tomato puree and cook for approx 5 mins. Add in thinly chopped carrots, and a splash of red wine and fry a little longer before adding the minced beef (less than 5% fat.) Cook until mince is browned off. Add beef stock pot (or cube), and stir in. Then add tin of baked beans and tin of tomatoes. Mix together and add a hearty sprinkle of frozen peas. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to a simmer. Meanwhile peel and cook potatoes for mash. Once potatoes are cooked mash with splash of milk (from healthy extra allowance,  or use 2 tsp low fat marge for 2 Syns.) remove 'filling' from the heat and smooth mash on top. Place into a preheated oven at 180, and leave for 10-20 mins. 
I served it with broccoli, cauliflower and kale. 

As tasty as all that was and as good as I'd been up to that point I did not manage to resist the temptation of the Easter eggs and ate the majority of one! Then hid the evidence so little miss doesn't notice in the morning. Oops. 

Monday, 28 March 2016

Visitors + visiting = dreading the scales

As you can probably tell from my blog silence it's been a busy few weeks. I decided to make the most of the end of my maternity leave by visiting relatives. And as is the way when staying with other people, my adherence to 'the plan' has been severely lacking. I'd be lying if I said I'd even been halfway sticking to it. So I'm dreading the scales on Wednesday. This image pretty much sums up my good points for the last few weeks:
I didn't eat any of the chocolate hat! But I did succumb to my much missed favourite, pie, mash and liquor! Which little man had his first taste of and i'm pleased to say he enjoyed. 
Now I'm back home I have 2 days to put right a week or so of bad choices. I started to get back on track tonight with a syn free Bolognese I had in the freezer, and did pasta for me and little miss, as well as some garlic bread for the children and daddy to share. I also used my healthy extra on cheese.  
Thankfully I did my online shop so it would arrive today, so the bare cupboards are now brimming and I have no excuses. I'm planning to make a super filling vegetable and bean soup tomorrow to hopefully help counteract the naughtiness. 

I just need to somehow not get sucked into stealing some of the little munchkins' Easter eggs! 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


We have yet more visitors from today so spent much of this morning doing the last minute tidy/Hoover etc in between taking little miss to nursery and little man for his health visitor check up.
Little miss had....yep, you guessed it...super hoops for breakfast (even I'm bored of Soooper hoooops now!) little man had some toast and milk. Once again I didn't end up having breakfast because we just ran out of time.

Little man had homemade Bolognese with left over mash for lunch which he absolutely wolfed down. Followed by half a tub of rice pudding. I had the other half at 3 Syns. Followed by a few mouthfuls of Bolognese. Why is it we are the lowest priority when we have things to do? 

Weigh in tonight and I was really apprehensive stepping on the scales after the blip weekend. But I needn't have worried. I lost 1lb. So I celebrated with Bolognese and pasta, and used up my healthy extra with 30g cheddar. I also had a bit of bread, oops, and a few mini eggs at 1 syn each. 

Total Syns = 15 Syns 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Back from the blip

After a weekend that was essentially a large blip in the slimming world plan, a trip to the Golden Arches, popcorn at the cinema, takeout pizza and a christening buffet with cake, I got back on plan on Monday. 

Nanna came over to look after little man while I went in to work for the day. Little miss went to nursery as usual. My breakfast consisted of 2 slimming world high fi bars (healthy extra),  I snacked on cherry tomatoes and grapes, and had a chicken salad with low fat Mayo (2 Syns) for my lunch. 

When I got home I defrosted last week's chilli (1 syn) and served it with rice and 30g cheese (healthy extra.) I'm not entirely sure what little man ate all day, but I think it was mostly Ella pouches and toast. Daddy took over from Nanna and she'd gone home by the time I got back. I finished the day on 5 Syns (I had a square of chocolate after my tea.) 

This morning Little miss had her usual breakfast, despite me trying to convince her to have scrambled egg or 'bsgetti' on toast. Little man had 2 pots of fromage frais and a slice of toast. I swear he has hollow legs. I seemed to forget to have anything amidst the child feeding frenzy. Not quite sure how that happened. 

We spent the morning decorating their bedrooms (not a full on repaint, just putting up stickers and pictures etc.) so we had a bit of a late lunch. Cheese sandwich for little miss with cucumber and tomatoes on the side. I had a chicken sandwich with cucumber and rocket, and tomatoes, pickled onions, a gherkin, beetroot and more cucumber on the side. Little  man had a mix of bread, chicken, cheese chunks and cucumber (with the skin removed.) Very healthy and quite tasty. Just 2 Syns for the low fat spread, the bread was my healthy extra. Then we went back to decorating. 

I had planned to make the sausage cassoulet from the new slimming world free foods cook book (but using chipolatas sausages at 1.5 Syns each), however  by the time I'd finished sticking asteroids and space invaders to the wall it was getting a bit too late for that so we had sausages and mashed potato with lots of speed veg. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and green beans, as well as peas and a splash of gravy. Little miss ate loads, 5 sausages in the end (2 extra helpings), extra veg which is almost unheard of, and then they both had custard for pudding. 

Total Syns today = 6.5 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Busy friday

We had a repeat of the phenomenon I mentioned earlier in the week, we had loads of time this morning so ended up in a massive rush. Little miss managed to stay in her own bed all night, little man not so much but at least he didn't wake too often. We had a rushed brekkie of fruit puree pot for little man, who was very shouty for no apparent reason. Soooper hoooops for Madam, and left over sausages in a sandwich for me, bread was my healthy extra, dash of ketchup (1 syn), 3 chipolatas sausages (4.5 Syns.) once I'd packed up half of the house we set off for dancing. Late. And hit every bit of traffic, the slowest tractor in the world and roadworks en route. 

We started with little miss' ballet class. Then straight into her acrobatics. She more or less had a one to one lesson today which was both good and bad, she got to practice a bit more with additional focus on correcting her positioning and technique (roly polys are less a jumble of arms and legs now.) BUT she really missed her friends and got a bit bored of the repetition. (The lack of queueing for the next go seems to break it up a bit normally.) Once acrobatics was over it was mummy's turn. 

Little man was asleep in his car seat, little miss was set up with a film on the tablet and snacks (carrot and cucumber batons, a bag of bears dried fruit and a packet of quavers. Not the most balanced lunch but it could have been worse.) And then we began. I find with my class, which is a kind of Zumba inspired excercise, if I just go with it I'm OK, but as soon as I start to overthink each move my feet lose all sense of coordination. Surprisingly little man didn't wake up until 2 songs from the end and seemed quite content to watch mummy flailing around like a loon. Little miss decided she needed to come and hold my hand for the last one, which made attempting to balance on one leg for the stretches a bit more challenging. All in all it was a good class. 

We dashed off from dancing for a quick drink in our favourite cafe, and a speedy Ella pouch for little man. Before heading to the dentist for check ups all round. Both of them were very good at opening up and letting the dentist have a good nosey round. Phew. Little miss' first trip to the dentist was utterly pointless as she refused to even bare her teeth let alone open her mouth. 

Following the dentist we went to our favourite jungle gym for a play date with the baby gang. By this point I was ravenous, having not had time for any lunch myself. So I went completely off plan and had a plate of cheesey chips and a tuna mayo sandwich (on a white tea cake.) little miss had fish fingers, beans, smiley faces, my crisps and 1/4 of my sandwich. Little man only managed a few spoonfuls of rice pudding before refusing to eat anymore and demanding milk. 

When we finally got home, little miss was treated by daddy to 3/4 of an Easter egg and then went to bed with no complaints or delay tactics! 

Hoorah for busy Fridays! 

Total Syns today = no idea! But I'll need to reign it in for a few days. 

Immunisation fall out

Little miss had an absolutely shocking night. She had her booster immunisations in the morning and was starting to feel a bit grotty by bed time. She had been complaining that her arm hurt when she got home from preschool. By 4am my sympathy had started to wain a bit. Despite the calpol she still wasn't asleep because she felt poorly, had a temperature and was generally grizzly, oh and because she was tired!  She eventually went to sleep at about 4.30am, at which point little man woke up. I swear they have some sort of telepathic version of tig. 

I rearranged  my work keep in touch day. We decided to have a PJs day. I love those sorts of days where you don't bother getting showered and dressed, and just mooch around in your Jammies watching films, snuggled on the sofa with a duvet. Heaven! 

We opted for the favourite breakfast, bacon, scrambled eggs and tomatoes for me, eggs and toast for little man and what has somehow come to be known in our house as a 'goodnight egg', I have no idea how it adopted this nickname, but it's basically an egg fried in a bit of bread with a hole cut in the middle. I attempted to jazz it up a bit by using a hedgehog shaped cookie cutter to make the hole. Didn't look much like a hedgehog by the time I'd finished cooking the egg. Hey ho, maybe next time I'll try a more distinctive shape, or maybe next time I'll stop trying to be poncy and just rag a hole in the middle of the bread! Either way she'll take two bites and decide she doesn't like them, in spite of promising that she definitely does want one and will absolutely eat it all. 

For lunch we redistributed the lunch I'd made to take into work. I had bacon and boiled egg salad, (1 syn for the extra light mayo,) little man had a bit of egg mayonnaise with crumbled bacon followed by 1/2 a pot of rice pudding. Little miss had a cheese sandwich with the carrot and cucumber batons I'd made for snacking, and the other half of the rice pudding. Very tasty. 

When daddy got home from work I got sent to bed to catch up on a bit of sleep. Hoorah. So we had a late tea, bangers and mash with beans and gravy. Not strictly following the slimming world plan as there wasn't a speed veg in sight but it was tasty! (1 syn for low fat spread in the mash, as well as some of my health extra milk allowance, 1 syn for the gravy granules and 6 Syns for the 4 chipolatas sausages.) 

I thought it was odd that little man wasn't really interested and only had a few mouthfuls, until daddy informed me he'd already fed him 2 Ella pouches! 

Total Syns today = 9

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Weigh hey

Little miss had to have her next lots of immunisations today, so we got to have a bit of a sleep in. But as is always the way when you have loads of time, we ended up running around like loons to get out in time, so our planned BLT brekkie ended up being more of a sense of deja vu. Berries, pomegranate and yogurt for me, fruit puree for little man and...you guessed it... Soooper hoooops for madam, followed by the rest of the pomegranate. I think pomegranate is actually her favourite food.

After her very brave effort at the Drs (no flinching or complaining) I dropped her at preschool, and the little man and I returned home for a day of playing. I did attempt to do some other stuff but if he wasn't being directly entertained he was shouty and crying. So I gave in. Largely because he was being super cute and smiley learning new skills (attempting a bit of rhythm with rattles and drums.) He's definitely had a few 'look at me Mummy, aren't I clever?!' moments today.

The rest of our meals can be summed up with one picture:

Yesterday's Thai curry and rice for me and more Ella for little man. I love Ella, I in case you'd not noticed, but I'm starting to get a bit of mummy guilt that I'm not cooking enough meals for him at the moment. I plan to remedy this from the weekend. He's in nursery tomorrow while I'm in work so I don't need to feed him, and I know he'll have lovely home cooked food. Friday is a crazy busy day so cooking is unlikely. 

It was weigh in day today and I was a bit apprehensive this week. With no real idea if it'd be a good or bad result. I didn't think I'd been particularly bad this week but equally I've been a bit 'munchy' all week so in my head it could have gone either way. But my brief worry was needless. I lost 3lb this week! What a result! That's last week's gain plus a bit. Happy is an understatement.

Today's Syns = 9 (Aldi Moser Roth mini cherry and chilli chocolate bar = 7 Syns)

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Now we're cooking - Thai curry from scratch

Breakfast was a repeat of yesterday, berries, bananas and yogurt for me, fruit purée for little man and Soooper hoooops for madam. 

We attempted to get to a baby group this morning and for the second Tuesday running failed miserably. So we went shopping. By the time we got there it was lunchtime, and having learnt from my last visit we went straight for Spudulike and got a jacket potato with beans and cheese (healthy extra) to share, and a portion of garlic bread for little miss. She did really well eating all of the spud I gave her and both bits of bread. 
Little man was thoroughly enjoying people watching, to the point that he refused to look in my direction making feeding him a little tricky. Nonetheless he managed to eat the whole 'zingy lamb couscous' Ella pouch, eventually. 

We had a toilet stop in the middle of lunch. What a logistical nightmare that is, when you have a small person announcing the need for a wee when you're halfway through eating in a food hall. Hoorah for nice people at the next table watching our stuff while the 3 of us made a dash for the baby change toilets. 

I was in the mood for a bit of 'proper cooking' tonight, so decided to make a Thai green curry from scratch. I've been working out for a few days how to make it syn free without it being a weird and wonderful muller yogurt hack or other random ingredients. I eventually came up with this (and had a little helper to make it): 
To make the curry paste take the following ingredients and blitz into a paste:
3 medium chillies
1/2 onion
1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
3 cloves garlic
Small bunch coriander including stalks
Small bunch basil including stalks
Grated zest of a lime (or lemon if no limes)
Juice of 1/2 lime (or lemon)
8 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp coriander seeds crushed
1 tsp cumin ground
1 tsp black peppercorns crushed
2 tsp fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp water
1 lemongrass stalk 
Chop 1 1/2 onions and 1 green pepper and soften in the pan in fry light. Add the curry paste and then add chopped chicken breast. Ensure the chicken is thoroughly coated with the paste and fry it all off. Mix up 2 tbsp Maggi coconut milk powder with 175ml warm water, and add to the pan. Add chicken stock and top up with water. Bring to the boil. Add a tin of potatoes, chopped baby sweetcorn and 1 whole (crushed) lemongrass stalk. Simmer for 1/2 hour (the longer it simmers the better the flavour, I put mine in the oven on 100.) When ready to serve add the mange tout, and stir in 350ml fat free fromage frais. Garnish with chopped coriander. 
Serve with boiled rice. 
The whole pot is 3 Syns. And it's scrummy with a bit of a punch but not too hot. If you like it spicy add more chillies to taste when it's cooking or to garnish. 

Little miss had fish fingers and peas, followed by a yogurt. For little man I defrosted one of the pots of last week's bacon, tomato and bean soup. Followed by yogurt. - I didn't manage to feed us all the same meal but I think the fallout of chilli infused Thai curry may be a step too far for both of them! 

Total Syns = 6 Syns (small bag of quavers 5.5 Syns) 

Monday, 7 March 2016

From the mouthes of babes...

Nothing exciting or new to report today really. Breakfast was more of the usual. Berries, bananas and yogurt for me. Yogurt for the little man, with little miss munching her way through Soooper hoooops.
We had the usual faff getting out of the house and to nursery. After  a quick trip to an antique shop for a bit of a mooch around, me and the little man went back home. He's full of cold at the minute so is being a bit whiney and high maintenance.

I had chilli from last night's tea, and rice for lunch, with my healthy extra cheese allowance. Little man wolfed down some homemade Bolognese. I'd planned to spend a rock n roll afternoon doing housework, but poorly clingy boy put a stop to that by grumbling as soon as I got more than 30cm away from him.

I'd managed to make myself a slice of bread and low fat spread. I also had a 2 finger kit Kat, 5 Syns. As there comes a point after being screamed, shouted or whined at all afternoon that only chocolate or vast quantities of alcohol will do.

Whilst playing catch with little miss she complained that I 'got her' with my boob. I pointed out that it wasn't my boob that she 'headbuttered' (as she calls it) but my tummy. She looked at me for a second then said "your big belly? Not your small belly!" whilst putting her hand on my 'two tummies!!' Both me and the Mr laughed at the innocence with which it was said, but it reinforced for me that I really need to work at this slimming world plan, and get myself back on plan properly if I want to lose my 'big belly' (and reduce the small one!)

A selection of Ella's Kitchen pouches bought as 'back-up' for little man!

I had the remaining chilli and rice from lunch for my tea, with the tiny bit of rice that was left over and a slice of 800g wholemeal bread (healthy extra.) and then snacked on a punnet of grapes. Little man had a fromage frais and then a pouch of Ella's veggie feast with beans (can't help thinking I may regret when it comes to changing his nappy in the morning.)

Total Syns today = 12 Syns

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Ninja training

At who knows what time this morning I was woken up by little miss fidgeting. I have no idea when she climbed into the bed. I think they're doing some sort of ninja training at nursery. After a bit more fidgeting and a couple of requests to watch a film, I finally convinced her it was still the middle of the night and to go back to sleep. At 6.30, I knew I was fighting a losing battle when little man woke up gurgling. Then woke his sister. 

We all had beans and cheese (healthy extra) on toast (healthy extra, with 2 Syns for low fat spread.) Uncharacteristically little miss finished hers and asked for more toast. Little man shook his head after a couple of mouthfuls and then had 2 pots of fromage frais. Obviously he's not a fan of beans. 

Daddy nipped to the shop for some food to see us through until the big online shop arrives tomorrow. So little miss made her favourite 'picnic' for lunch. Mini pork pies, cocktail sausages, cucumber (which she sliced herself), tomatoes, cheese chunks (which she also cut herself) and red and brown dippy sauce. She was surprisingly good at using the knife (not a sharp one though mummy.)  Meanwhile I defrosted some of the bacon, bean & tomato soup I made last week for me and the little man.

I missed tea time as my tiredness overcame me, and I fell asleep on the sofa. Despite little miss hitting me in the face with a cushion shouting 'WAKE UP MUMMY, ITS NOT YOUR NIGHTS NIGHTS TIME.' But apparently picnic was enjoyed again by both of them. 

Me and the Mr opted for a takeaway. I had chicken rogan josh as I know it's the lowest syn option (6 Syns), with rice rather than naan or chapatis. It was a real disappointment, nowhere near as nice as the last time we ordered one from the same place. So I didn't eat it all. I tried a bite of Mr's chicken tikka in naan bread, also not that great and left unfinished. 

Total Syns today = 10 (Probably overestimated  the naan kebab, but best to be on the safe side.) 

Friday, 4 March 2016

Snow = scuppered plans

Friday is dancing day for little miss and mummy, but the heavy snowfall overnight and into the morning scuppered those plans. So we decided to have a leisurely morning with our favourite breakfasts. Little miss had Madagascar bsgetti (spaghetti) on toast, I had scrambled egg and tinned tomatoes on toast (healthy extra), and little man had a combination of the two. Although he refused to eat any egg, using his new trick of shaking his head, to make it clear that he would not participate. 

We had planned to go out in the snow with the sledge (which would have been a little pointless in our flat garden but hey.) but by the time I suggested putting warm clothes and wellies on, little miss was settled watching shrek for the millionth time and didn't want to go out. As little man is a bit under the weather today I didn't push it. 

We're at that point of really needing to do a shop. So have that random selection of foodstuffs in the house that mean you struggle to work out a meal. We had a whole chicken in the fridge and some potatoes in the basket so I cooked a roast for lunch. 2 Syns for the gravy, and another 2 Syns because I used a bit of oil with the potatoes. It took a bit longer to cook than I had anticipated so little man ended up having an Ella pouch, again. We were in a bit of a rush by the time lunch was ready so I explained that we needed to eat quickly and then go out. Silly mummy. Little miss ate fantastically well, but also ate 1 pea at a time  I found myself praising her for good eating but also getting cross with her for taking so long, deliberately. In the end I decided to abandon any attempt to leave the house. Snow was proving a bit tricky to navigate the car out, and I just couldn't face the fight to get madam away from the table and out of the house without us all getting stressed out. 

I was meant to be going out with a group of mum friends for Thai food and drinks, but again the snow stopped that plan in its tracks. Boo for snow. So for our tea we had chicken sandwiches (and the last Ella's pouch in the house. Goodness knows what I'll feed him tomorrow if the snow hasn't cleared, toast and yogurt I think.) Little miss had cucumber and tomatoes with hers and surprisingly ate it all. I had cucumber, tomato, beetroot, pickled onions, gherkins and some leftover roast potatoes with my sandwich. Lots of speedy veg to hopefully counteract my bread Syns. 6 Syns for 2 slices, and 2 Syns for the low fat spread. 

Total = 12 syns. Not bad but had planned to be so much worse. 

Thursday, 3 March 2016

World book day and KIT

Typical that my keep in touch day at work coincided with world book day. Which meant the morning mayhem of trying to get 3 of us up, washed, dressed, bags packed and out by 7.30, was made more stressful with the addition of having to pack extra spare clothes for the inevitable moment  when the costumes get too annoying, remembering the 'props' to accompany the outfits, and the bloody book! It was all worth it though to see the cuteness of them dressed up, and when little miss refusing to be called by her name and insisting that they only be addressed as Betty O'Barley and Harry O'Hay, the main protagonists in Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's The Scarecrows' Wedding. 

Once the kids were safely dropped off in their costumes, I munched my breakfast (a banana) in the car on route to work. I resisted the urge to snack at my desk through the morning, which is quite an achievement  for me. For lunch I had a cheese, tomato and cucumber sandwich that I had made the night before, 2 Syns for the light spread. And snacked on some cucumber chunks....and a packet of walkers baked crisps (5 Syns.)

It was a long day at work, and so by the time I got home didn't really have time to cook (and still haven't been shopping so have very little in.) so I reheated a bit of  yesterday's Bolognese and had another HE portion of cheese. If you are breastfeeding a weaning baby you can have 2 healthy A choices. And gave little man a bit for his supper. I washed it down with a bottle of Becks Blue (2.5 Syns.) 

Little man did really well at nursery and ate all of his breakfast (weetabix). Lunch was sausages, new potatoes and veg, which he ate all of. Corn snacks mid afternoon  and then vegetable soup and bread with fruit for pudding, which he again ate all of. I think we can safely say the little piglet has a healthy appetite. 

Little miss must have had a good day today because it was her favourite lunch in the preschool room, sausage casserole, which she had 2 helping of. By the time I got home she was already fast asleep in bed. I'm hoping I won't be too far behind her. 

Totally Syns = 9.5


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Snow day!

Little miss should have been in preschool/nursery today, but we woke up to snow which fell thick and fast throughout the morning, so we decided to opt for a snow day. 

After a bit of discussion we settled on scrambled eggs on toast, with tinned tomatoes for me, until I realised we were out of bread. Little miss didn't want an omelet, so just for a change she had suuuuper hooops. I wonder if we'll ever be able to say that normally again?  

I finely diced half a red onion, half a green pepper, a few cherry tomatoes and some bacon with the fat removed and chucked it all into the pan to soften. I added 3 eggs, which was all going fine until I tried to turn it, at which point I discovered it had stuck, fast. So we had a scrambled mess which tasted yummy instead. Little man did pretty well with it, but as is the way with finger food much of it went in his lap, on the floor, in his hair etc. 

By the time we'd finished and thought about going out to build a snowman, much of the snow had melted. So we sang songs and little man started the grizzling that was to last all day. Bloody teeth! 

For lunch I made a bolognese which, considering I snuck some green peppers in, little miss ate reasonably well. Little man troughed his with a few grumbles and a bit of pasta chucking thrown in for good measure. As you can see there wasn't much left. I decided not to bother giving little man anymore pasta after retrieving it from under his chair for the nth time. 

Surprisingly little miss found some room for a biscuit once she spotted a packet. And after a 10 minute debate "if you've got room for a biscuit you've got room for more of your lunch" ended with "but I've made some room for the biscuit, look" as she lifted up her t-shirt. I gave in. By this point they were working in tandem. Whilst reasoning with his big sister, it became clear to little man that my whole focus was not on him, and frankly mummy that is unacceptable. 

After a bit more grizzling, largely prompted by me looking away, or *insert dramatic music here* leaving his side aka abandoning him, I succumbed to the lure of the biscuits. Grrr. 

Due to time, and significant wearing of patience today, we had bolognese again for tea. 

Tonight was the dreaded weigh in. After the combination of visitors and then the prosecco fueled holiday, not to mention the biscuits and junk food, I was dreading getting on the scales. But it seems my attempts to have moments on the plan and be good did indeed mitigate the sheer naughtiness. 2lb gain. I can live with that. I stayed to group to help get my head back into it, so here's hoping my resolve maintains its determination to be good this week and see results next week! 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Good intentions...went to pot, or old macdonalds!

Today started really well. Suuuper hoops for little miss, obviously. Two pots of fromage frais and a rusk for the piglet. And a bowl of raspberries, grapes, banana and shape yogurt for me. Then we went out...
We attempted to get to a baby/toddler story time group, but traffic meant we would miss the start so decided to sack that off in favour of a trip to mothercare! Partly to collect a hat I'd ordered for little miss' world book day costume, and partly to try out booster seats. On the way back from our holiday in Wales last week we discovered that she's learnt how to undo her car seat straps. So figured we should look into a different seat.

It took way longer than I expected to go through various car seat trials. Before I knew it it was 2pm and none of us had eaten lunch. So I bundled them into the car to head home when little miss spotted the Golden Arches and asked if we could get lunch from 'old macdonalds?'  As I knew it'd take at least 40 mins to get home I caved and got us both a happy meal. I figured it was the lowest syn option I could go for! We both ate them in the car while little man slept, then headed home to feed him. Given the timing I opted for Ella (I feel like I've been sponsored by Ella's kitchen this week, just without the sponsorship element...really need to find them on offer somewhere!) he troughed down 2 pouches, butternut squash version for his main and 'the White one' for pudding. I swear that boy has hollow legs.

Then we had a lovely hour or so playing with threading alphabet beads, until I got a bit frustrated that little miss couldn't find the letters she was 'looking' for. Hint, it helps if you actually look at the beads and not everywhere else in the room. 

At this point I decided to leave the children in the living room with daddy whilst I escaped to the sanctuary of the kitchen to make tea. Pasta bake. Or so I thought until I realised I was missing half of the ingredients. Eventually I opted for sausage, mash, beans and gravy. Mostly as that was the only complete meal we had available. I think I must have been drunk when I did the shopping this week. Or maybe it was just forgetfulness caused by sleep deprivation.

Little miss had seconds and thirds of her sausages and actually a fair bit of mash and beans, which is largely unheard of. Little man spent about half an hour eating the biggest bit of sausage he could shove in his mouth, and would not let me get it off him. 

Once madam was safely tucked up in bed I spent the rest of the evening with a glass of wine, a small KitKat and my sewing kit, making costumes for world book day on Thursday. 

Total Syns = not sure, I daren't add it up, but I'm guessing roughly 30-35. Its weigh-in day tomorrow so I'll assess the damage, draw a line under it and start again from scratch.