Thursday, January 31, 2013

Special afternoon ♥

I am so besotted with this daughter of mine!

Today we went for ice-cream at a nearby restaurant.  Was so special, I want to do this with Mia often, forever.  She didn't stop talking!  It's precious, I love it.  She asks questions, she's curious, she gives me imaginary sweets, money and ladybirds, she says she wants pink ice cream, and "what do you want Mommy?"  Bless!

Early this evening, before suppertime, we went for a little walk along the golf course.  I took my camera along to play with a few settings and take pics of my favourite subject.  :-) 

I'm loving my Canon 650D, best b'day prezzie ever.  I went on a short course last Saturday, and finally understand a bit more about aperture, shutter speed and ISO.  Now to just play around a lot!  I think photography is an awesome hobby - so creative and fun, and I just love capturing memories.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Mia's World

My lil busy body ensures that we spend time every day laughing, doing arts & crafts, going on outings, and just generally having lots of fun together.

In the piccies, from the top, left to right:

 - Being a little madam at a restaurant in Rosebank - coolest chick in Jhb!
 - Running on the golf course
 - Brekkie at the Wimpy with mommy and pappa
 - Baking cookies for great-grandfather's birthday
 - Gave Nala a dummy and a blankie, and read a story to her!
 - Some arts & crafts - Mia just loves glue!
 - Doing a manicure for granny
 - Chocolate face!
 - So much fun in the water fountain

Making special memories with my lil person!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The swimming saga continues...

Luckily I could cancel our classes with the swim school we went to on Monday, the lady was very understanding when I told her I would prefer to swim with Mia.  I was kind of hoping she would tell me fine, I can swim with her there - but that was not to be.

I found another swim school close to our home, where the lady teaches from her home.  We went there yesterday for a trial lesson.  It was much better for Mia to have me swimming with her - and it was so nice for me too, to have her in my arms and to know she feels safe with me.  There were two other mommies and kids with us.  The half-hour went so fast, Mia enjoyed it, the singing, the climbing out and getting in, catching toys, and she even put on the floating wings that she had refused to do on Monday - yay for Hello Kitty wings!

At the end of the class, I didn't like the set-up of the small dressing cubicles with flimsy curtains - I'm quite private and don't like getting undressed infront of people...  So just dressed Mia, and I drove home in my wet cozzie, hahaha!

I asked Mia if she liked swimming, she said "yes mommy".  I asked if she wants to go again, "no mommy!"

Still not sure what I want to do.  The time slot of yesterday's trial class doesn't suit me very well - it's at 3pm - which means where I normally book clients at 2pm and 4pm, I won't be able to do either, without being terribly rushed.  I've emailed the teacher to find out if she has other time slots.

But still, I maintain that I want Mia to enjoy swimming, and learn while she's playing and having fun. 

I found out from the Virgin Active gym, that I can bring her along to swim with me, no cost, I just have to sign her in - how cool is that!

So now am thinking that maybe I must just take her to the gym with me once a week and spend time swimming with her.  That way we are relaxed, because we can go whenever suits us and not be all rushed to make a set time, and it's just the two of us, which is special - and then we can try lessons again later on.  I'm really leaning towards this option...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mia's first swimming lesson

Oh my baby girl.  Swimming should be fun, not tears!  My heart breaks into a million pieces.  I just want you to be happy!

Mia was super excited - ever since I told her yesterday that she's going to go swimming, and that she's going to swim with another lady, and that mommy will sit on the side and be close and watch everything.  She was so so cute this morning when we dressed her in her swimming nappy and her pretty orange cozzie, and at first she hated the silicone swimming cap, but luckily I found a lycra one, which was much easier to put on and more comfy for her.

She was fine when we arrived at the swim school, and we were early for her class, so we sat for ten minutes watching the other class, Mia was so good, sitting by me.  As soon as the lady said Mia could come, she went to her immediately, no fear.  She got in on the step, she looked at the water toys, the lady took her into the water, and Mia kicked happily.  She crawled along the length of the step.  I was amazed!  It was going so well!  But then... two more kids arrived to join in the class.  And Mia did not like having to sit on the step and wait for her turn.  The one other little girl was crying - and that set Mia off too.  Oh when her lil precious mouth turns downwards, and she looked like she was trying to keep the tears in and then couldn't, it breaks me into pieces! I just wanted to scoop her out of the water and run away. 

She wouldn't stop crying, so the teacher let her get out and come and sit by me - on me - I was sopping wet, but i didn't mind!  We tried once more to put Mia in the water, she didn't want to go in. The teacher said it's fine, we can just watch the rest of the class, but on Wednesday she must be in the water.  At the end of the class, the teacher said I must just persevere, it's going to be about 3 weeks of tears.  Twice a week, such an ordeal?  I don't think so!  Yes, she needs to learn to swim, but swimming must be a fun experience too, not traumatic.

I hope we can cancel these classes at this swim school, I haven't paid yet...  I'm waiting to hear back from another swim school, where the moms can swim with the kids - I think that will suit Mia much better.  Hopefully she has space available for us.

Afterwards I asked Mia if swimming was nice, she said, "no mommy."  :-(  I asked her if we can swim at another place and I'll swim with her, and she liked the sound of that, luckily.

My little sensitive person!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Great workout!

This week my gym workouts have been fab - I feel energised, rejuvenated, and really motivated to shape up as fast as I can, and to feel fit and healthy.

I love my heart rate monitior - it works so well to track how I'm doing.  It's the Polar F7, and it's connected to Discovery Vitality too, so that I can earn extra Vitality points.  It shows when I'm exercising in a fatburning zone, and when I'm in a fitness zone, which is great - so that I can strive to do half-half per workout.  Also, often when I feel I've exercised enough, and I check how I've done - it motivates me to try burn a couple more calories - really helps me challenge myself, which is great!

This week, I've been doing about 25 minutes of cardio, then 25 minutes of circuit strength training, and then ending on the PowerPlate. 

Today I felt energetic and supercharged my workout with some extra running on the treadmill and extra time on the stepper (gosh, that thing kills me!!!) - and I managed a calorie burn of 539 calories in just over an hour.  Yay! 


Friday, January 18, 2013

Awesome Play Dough! Step-by-step guide.

This is the second time I make this play dough recipe that I found through a friend on Pinterest.  It's really awesome playdough, nice texture, doesn't feel oily or leave residue on your hands, and lasts really long when stored properly!

Mia and I made some this morning, and I decided to take some piccies along the way.

What you need:
 - 1 cup flour
 - 1 cup water
 - 1/4 cup salt
 - 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
 - 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
 - Food colouring of your choice
 - Saucepan and wooden spoon
 - Little helping hands :-)

What to do:
 Pour in all ingredients - no specific order.

Stir until everything is mixed well.

Once the mixture is mostly clump-free, heat over medium heat.

Stir.  Don't stop stirring.  After a few minutes it will start to clump up.  Don't stress when it looks like it's a bit of a mess and you're not sure how this gooey mixture will ever become play dough!  Just carry on stirring.  I had to switch hands a few times, my arm got quite sore from stirring!

Stir, stir, stir.  Just keep stirring until the play dough is formed - it will form one big clump on the wooden spoon.  (Still quite gooey, it's fine - the kneading gets the texture right!)

Remove from heat, and knead by hand.  It's all warm and squishy, love it! :-)

It makes a nice cricket ball size ball of play dough.

I divided it into two small balls of dough to keep for entertainment when we're at restaurants, and then two bigger pieces to play with at home.

And then...
Play play play, and have lots of fun!

I store them in a plastic sandwich bag tied up, and inside an airtight container, just to be sure.
This is awesome playdough!
Please let me know if you give it a try! :-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 1 on Weight Watchers

I joined the Weight Watchers program yesterday.  It works on a points system - all food has an allocated point value - and I'm allowed to eat 20 points per day.  Veggies have 0 points, so can eat as much of that as I like.  Fruit has a very low point value.  Nuts are high, eeeek!  I like this plan, as it's really very balanced, and easy to do when preparing food for the whole family.

I will attend weekly meetings, where I will get weighed, and the groupleader does a little motivational talk.  I signed up for 12 weeks.

Last year I lost weight very slowly doing it on my own - but at least I did lose.  However, I picked more than half of it up during December! Sob sob.  So hard to lose the damn weight, and then so easy to pick it up again - not fair!

Hopefully the WW program will educate me again about thinking about what I'm eating, why I'm eating, whether I really need it, etc.  And knowing that I have to report to somebody each week and that I've paid for it is extra motivation!

I want to aim to exercise 5 times a week for an hour each time.  I'm trying to incorporate some running into my cardio - but I'm very unfit at this stage!

I want to stop wasting money on weight loss supplements.  These things really don't work.  It really comes down to eating a lil bit less and moving a lil bit more!

Here's to shedding these kg's!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Birthday Party Menu and Piccies

The menu for my three parties was as follows:

10am tea party:
 - scones with cream, jam, cheese and butter
 - cupcakes 
 - sandwiches with fillings: salmon and cream cheese, egg and mayo, and ham and cheese.
 - champagne and orange juice
 - fruit juice
 - variety of tea:  rooibos, ordinary, vanilla chai and cranberry apple tea.

1pm lunch party:
 - spinach and feta quiche, and ham and cheese quiche
 - broccoli and bacon salad
 - peppermint crisp tart
 - chocolate cake
 - champagne
 - wine
 - juice
 - coffee

4pm cocktail party:
 - snack platters containing chicken nuggets, fish smackaroos, smoked sausages, cheese, dip, samoosas, and cherries wrapped in bacon.  Yum yum.
 - wine
 - fruit juice
 - cocktails on demand - my favourite being 'sex on the beach'!

Here are the pics of the preparation and decor:

And pics of my guests!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Birthday Party Weekend!

I had my 30th birthday celebration this past weekend.  I had THREE parties!!  It was fabulous, I had such fun!

The reason why I decided on having three parties, was that when I made my guest list, there were about 24 people on it - and that's too many people to host in one go at our house - and also, when the group is too big, it gets impersonal and I can't really chat to everybody.  And I wanted to specifically have the party at home and do the food myself, and not at a venue.

Therefore - I had a morning tea party at 10am, a lunch party at 1pm, and a cocktail party at 4pm!
It worked out so well.  My inlaws came for the weekend, and they love these kind of things, parties, catering, people, etc!

I'll share more about my menu and some pics in the next post. :-)

My sister designed my invite, I think she's very clever!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I turned 30!

I had a fabulous celebration - and it's only halfway!  Yesterday I invited some family to come for coffee and cake (and champagne!), today I spent a wonderful day with Wyn and Mia, and then next weekend I will have my 30th birthday party celebration with friends.  Spoilt!

My big prezzie from Wyn was my Canon camera - love love love it!  Got cash from inlaws and Tup, will still get prezzie from my folks when I see them later this week. Got a teapot from Mia.  Pretty coasters from Ouma Popppie. A very special prezzie from a friend was a box with 30 suckers in it - "30 sucks!" Haha! And beautiful earrings along with the box. Vase, pretty bowl and beautiful heart decor from family.  I'm just a lucky bugger!  Already done shopping with some of the cash I got - bought myself a digital photo frame and some clothes.  Super chuffed with the photo frame!!

Wyn and Mia made me a beautiful card - I will cherish it forever. So so special!

This morning I got coffee and a cupcake in bed, and then Wyn made brekkie for us.  After that we caught the Gautrain to Rosebank.  First time on the Gautrain - it was lots of fun!  Felt like we were overseas for a day!  Rosebank was lots of fun, I enjoyed the vibe, and we found the rooftop market, which was supercool.  We had a divine lunch at Piza e Vino, before heading back home.  Luckily Mia had a short nap in her pram while we were walking around.  Then spent an hour snoozing on my bed with Mia - pure bliss!

I received so many phone calls and messages - these blessings will last a lifetime for sure!
It felt like a birthday - just the way a birthday should! :-)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Lucky 2013, Mia!

Happy New Year, Mia Jill!
I believe 13 is a lucky number - and I hope it's going to be a lucky year for you, filled with joy, laughter, excitement, adventure, and lots and lots of love.
So many big things ahead of you for this year:  You will soon start sleeping in a big bed and not in a cot anymore.  You will become potty trained, so that you don't need to wear nappies anymore.  You will bid farewell to your dummy.  And you might even start going to school! Oh, my big big girl.
We are with you every step of the way - always remember this! 
We love you so so much.