Wednesday, 22 March 2017

5:2 Diet - 2 days down

Just a quick update! I have 2 fast days under my belt now but I have to say yesterday's was by far the easiest one.  As I mentioned in my previous post Tuesday's are most definitely my busiest day, so an ideal day for keeping my mind of food.

I stuck to the same routine yesterday as I did on Saturday (even the same food as I enjoyed it :) ) and it worked really well. I got up around 7am and started the day with a cup of tea with semi-skimmed milk.  From then on Saturday went as follows:

Nothing all morning

  • 2 x turkey rashers (69cals)
  • 2 x eggs scrambled (124cals)
  • with 20ml semi skimmed milk (12cals)
  • Small tin of Tomato Soup (173cals)

2 further cups of tea during the day and 4 large glasses of water.

Total = 378 cals (plus around 23 cals for each cup of tea)

Yesterday I just changed the quantities slightly as Saturday's total was a little low:

Cup of tea first thing

Nothing all morning

  • 3 x turkey rashers (104cals)
  • 1 x egg scrambled (62cals)
  • with 10ml semi skimmed milk (6cals)
  • 1 x white toast (103cals)
  • 5g butter (37cals)

  • Small tin of Tomato Soup (173cals)

2 further cups of tea during the day and 3 large glasses of water.

Total = 485 cals (plus around 23 cals for each cup of tea)

So how did I find it?
I found that I could easily manage the morning with no food at all as long as I had my early morning cuppa.  Between 12-1pm my tummy was just starting the rumble slightly so this is when I put lunch into action.  The afternoon was tough.  I was at home and haunted by constant thoughts of food.  I don't think I was really hungry but just wanted something 'sweet'.  By 5pm I really was hungry.  I decided to try and wait till about 6pm for my soup but just couldn't wait any longer.  Was feeling a little bit woozy and just in need of sustenance.  During the evening I felt fine not particularly hungry but I can honestly say I did feel a bit tetchy and short tempered.  I was glad to go to bed as early as possible so that I could get up the next day and start afresh with something nice in my belly.

Again, I managed the morning absolutely fine without food and didn't have lunch till 1pm.  I decided to add a slice of bread into lunch.  I know the diet doesn't overly recommend carbs but I felt that I needed a little bit more to get me through the afternoon and I was still easily within my calorie target for the day.  On the afternoon I was busy and out of the house which was great.  Didn't feet hungry at all but I did suffer with jelly legs around 3pm and went a bit shaky.  Assuming this was a lack of sugar.  Got home and fed Freddie so by the time I had my soup it was 6pm.  Again, this felt fine and I wasn't overly hungry.  Out again during the evening at ladies choir and wasn't even tempted by the lovely cakes someone had bought along for their birthday.  A little tempted to snack on my return home but didn't give in.  Went to bed feeling happy that I'd sustained another day of fasting.

Further thoughts?

Ok, so I really think this diet is sustainable but I just need to see now what kind of results I get as to whether I'm still eating too much on my non-fasting days.  At the moment I'm just sticking with what I normally eat and will see how I go.  I did make one major cock up though with timing the start of my diet plan.  My next fast day should have been Saturday but I'm off out to the theatre with a meal beforehand.  I thought, it's ok, I can fast on Friday..........erm nope hubby and I are off out for a meal as tomorrow is my birthday.  And with Sunday being Mother's Day I'm not feeling the love for a day of fasting.  So it looks like there'll only be the one fast day this week and then back on the plan from next Tuesday as normal.

Results so far

Ok, so I know I said I'd weight myself each weekend but I was just desperate to see if there were any initial changes (plus I didn't fancy weighing in after a weekend of birthday celebrations!)

When I started last weekend I weighed 145lbs.  Upon weighing myself this morning I was 142.4 so a loss of around 3lbs.  I'm not daft and I know this is mostly water weight but nevertheless it's still and start.  Will keep you posted on my progress.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Saturday, 18 March 2017

A 'Fast' approach

Since having Freddie 4 months ago I'm about a stone heavier than before I had him.  I was never completely happy with my weight before having Freddie so you can imagine my utter aggravation at my current situation!  For me though it's more about the fact that none of my clothes fit and I'm not prepared to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe in a larger size.  I stand there nearly every morning looking blankly into the array of outfits that no longer fit, thinking "what can I wear today that won't make me look frumpy and mumsy" and then yet again end up wearing the same old leggings and tunic top that covers a multitude of lumps and bumps.  Don't get me wrong I'm proud of being a mom and the fact that my body has been through the wonderful miracle of pregnancy and childbirth not once but four times, but it's just nice to be me sometimes as well as a mom.  Being 'me' does not usually involve the same old shitty clothes day in, day out but more so a variety of dresses, skirts and skinny jeans.

So, after much reading I've decided to give the 5:2 or Fast Diet a whirl.  Along with some great results in the weight loss department it's also supposed to provide some great health benefits.  The whole concept behind the 5:2 diet is that you have 2 days per week where you 'Fast' which involves eating only 500 calories (600 if you're a man) and then the other 5 days you eat normally.  (New updates from Dr Michael Mosley who designed the 5:2 program say that you can now eat an extra 200 cals on fast days and still be successful.  As there's no real info on this yet I've decided to stay with the 500 for now).  Obviously, if you go crazy on the 'normal' days that this isn't going to help in the weight loss department but the idea is that you have an occasional indulgence such as a sugary treat or a glass of alcohol without it causing serious problems to your plan.

The thing that drew me to the 5:2 plan is that, as the saying goes, you're never more than 24 hours away from eating something nice........I like this idea a lot.  I'm not fooling myself though that the Fast days are going to be easy but I've decided to schedule them in on the days where I'm quite busy so that hopefully I won't notice my hunger pangs quite so much.

I've decided to keep a track of my progress on my blog so that, more than anything, I'm held accountable.  I'd also like to share my experiences with you all so that others thinking of joining the 5:2 ranks can see what the whole thing is like.  I've decided that today will be my start day (fast day) and I'll keep you updated on how I did and what I ate/drank.

Now for the facts.  Yes I'm going to bare all as I think it's the only way to be completely honest with myself.
Day 1 - 18th March 2017
My current weight is......145 lbs (10 st 5)
My current waist measurement is....... 33 ins (can't believe it was 25 before I had children)
My current hip measurement is......... 40 ins
Current dress size.........size 14
I'm 5 ft 3 so my calculations are as follows:
BMI - 25.7
BMR - 1292
TDEE - 1550

I shall be weighing myself once a week and measurements every fortnight to keep you updated.

If you'd like more information on the 5:2 program then have a look at the website  You can add your own details into the calculator to see what your current figures are.  I also like to use which is a very clear weight convertor table.  I've ordered my 'Fast Diet' book which should be arriving later today so hopefully this will give me a bit more help and advice.  As far as I can see though, the concept is pretty straightforward.  Wish me luck!!

Thanks for stopping by! x

Friday, 27 January 2017

And then there were six!

Been a while my friends but as the title suggests we have grown in number!

Frederick (Freddie) Stanley Griffiths finally arrived at 12.06 am on Thursday 10th November.  Almost a re-run of Eliza's birth 20 months before, he decided he would vacate the mothership through the sun roof due of a decreased heart rate.  Nevertheless, he appeared fighting fit and at a healthy 7 lbs 2 oz.  He seemed so tiny for the first few weeks but now at 11 weeks it's amazing how quickly he's grown.  He's giving us lots of smiles now and gurgles and coos when we chatter to him.  Eliza has loved him to pieces from the first day we bought him home.  She gives him lots of kisses and can't seem to understand why when she says "Freddie, Freddie, Freddie, Freddie" for the millionth time that day, he doesn't answer!

Life in the Griffiths house is a little crazy nowadays.  During the Christmas period there's been as many as 9 of us in the house at times with kids, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends etc and it has got a little overwhelming at times.  The constant tidy up is enough to make Mary Poppins weep.  There are also days when I feel all of my (nearly) 41 years and think "I much too old to be doing this again".  But then there are those fabulous moments, the moments of smiles and giggles, music and laughter and of course the usual and somewhat smutty Griffiths humour.  We do know how lucky we are though to have such a big and wonderful family and that our house is filled with life.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Majorca 2016 - Travelling with a 15 month old, a survival guide

Just got back from another fantastic 11 day holiday to Puerto Pollensa in beautiful Majorca.  I say 'another' as we've actually holidayed there most years since 2007.  Absolutely love the place! It's so relaxed and family friendly, I just can't imagine finding anywhere better.

This year was Eliza's first holiday abroad as last year, we decided, we weren't ready to brave the plane journey and heat with her only being 5 months old at the time.  I was a little worried this time around as we've never done an overseas holiday with a toddler before as Abi was 7 the first time we went.  However I have to say it all went a lot smoother than I could have possibly imagined.  

One of my major worries was the travelling involved.  I know it's only at 2 hour flight but nevertheless after a drive to Luton airport, a wait in the airport, a 2 hour flight and an hour bus transfer I thought I may be tearing my hair out.  I have to say she was the most miserable on the drive down to Luton which I think was just a little over-tiredness.  Once we got to the airport we kept her in the pushchair till we'd gone through security and then one by one we took turns at walking her round and round the departure lounge which she thoroughly enjoyed.  I'd taken her tons of snacks and even some sandwiches which she ate just before the flight.  After eating she had her nappy changed and we put her sleepsuit on ready for the flight.  We wheeled her down to the gate in her pushchair and then handed the pushchair over to the ground crew for storage in the hold.

Once aboard the flight I expected her to start fidgeting the way she had done on numerous train and bus journeys.  As with most 15 month olds, Eliza is not one for sitting still for very long.  I was actually pleasantly surprised as once strapped in (using a lap extension belt) she sat beautifully for the majority of the flight.  I'd taken an array of toys, snacks, gadgets and gizmos after reading lots of online blogs and pinterest posts (more on this below) but I didn't even need to get these out till about half way through the flight.  She was quite happy to play with the magazine and laminated safety instructions in the pocket in front of us. I even got the Easyjet sickbag out and put it on my hand like a puppet! I can't actually believe how long these mundane things kept her occupied! 

Snacks & Drinks for the Plane

I did a shop at the big Boots before our holiday and found they had a great choice of snacks, most of which Eliza had not tried before.  Hence we made sure that she liked everything before the journey.  Here's a selection of what we took with us, the mini rusks in particular were a hit and great for while we were there too:


We were a little concerned about the lack of fluids allowed in hand luggage so I did a lot of reading up beforehand.  I learned that although the normal allowance is 100ml you can take more than this in the way of baby milks.  Due to the length of time the milk would be sitting out we didn't think fresh milk would be suitable so we took several cartons of Cow & Gate Growing up Milk 1+ (200ml).  I put two of these into a plastic bag and put through the security screening in the normal way.  I anticipated having to open the cartons and take a swig to prove their safety but didn't have to do this in the end.  I took an empty bottle which I then poured the milk into on the plane and Eliza had this as we were taking off.


I filled Eliza's cup with water and she drank from this before security.  I then just emptied it out and refilled once through security.

Toys and Gadgets

After reading online, I spent a lot of time scouring the pound shops and so on to look for cheap colourful items that would occupy Eliza on the plane.  I ended up buying bits from ELC, The Works and Amazon to create our novelty goody bag.  I bought a cheap plastic 'swim bag' from Primark to store everything in and then put the lot in my hand luggage.  Picture below:

iPad Apps

On top of our novelty goody bag I also packed our iPad.  Yes, I know, I know, all you defenders of the 'electronic gadget free toddler world' are probably now rolling your eyes at me but who cares, it worked for us.  We didn't actually use it until around the third day of the holiday when she was having a bit of a grumpy hour, at which point the BBC Kids iPlayer came into its own.
First word of warning with iPad apps is if you intend to use them on the plane or don't have access to wifi whilst abroad, you need to make sure they will work.  As I've mentioned above, BBC's Kids iPlayer is a fantastic app but you need to make sure you download the programs you'd like to watch beforehand.  I downloaded a couple of all of Eliza's favourites and they were then on hand for stressful or tired moments.  In additions to this, here are some of the apps we downloaded (but didn't actually use in the end):

  • Ladybird - Baby and Toddler Toybox - App bundle - £3.99 (2016)
  • Shapes Toddler Preschool - FREE
  • Smart Tot Rattle - Cause and Effect Sensory Stimulation - FREE
  • Fisher Price - Laugh & Learn Where's Puppy's Nose? - FREE
  • Fisher Price - Laugh & Learn Animal Sounds for baby - FREE
  • Fisher Price - Soothing Sights & songs for Baby - FREE
  • Fisher Price - Development with Contrast Colours for Baby - FREE
  • Touch Animals Lite - FREE
  • Bubble Wrap - FREE
  • Nursery Rhymes:Volume 1 - FREE
  • BBC iPlayer Kids - FREE

Sleep Aids

Eliza finally decided to fall asleep on the bus transfer from the airport to the hotel which was nice.  When we arrived in our apartment the travel cot was already set up for us but I'd made sure to take her favourite teddy and a new addition, the Fisher Price Soothe and Glow Owl
At home Eliza is used to having either her mobile or Winnie the Pooh Sweet Dreams Light show at bedtime, both of which were much to bulky to pack in the case.  I was looking for something to replace these that would play music and also light up and the Soothe and Glow Owl was just the thing.  We gave it to her a few days before the holiday so that she could get used to falling asleep with it.  The first night in new surroundings it took her a while to settle but from then on it worked a treat.



As we were staying in a self catering apartment I can honestly say I took her way too many clothes as we had the use of a washing machine and she spent most days in a UV swimsuit!  Plenty of hats are advisable however and at least a couple of swimsuits.  At night she slept in either a short sleeved bodysuit or a shortie sleepsuit (H&M) with no covers.  I did take her thin cotton sleeping bag but she just didn't need it.


Between myself and the 2 Nan's who travelled with us we took Eliza around 7 or 8 ready meals, mainly Hipp Organic or Asda for 12 months plus.  These were very useful as were not available in the local supermarkets.  Just having them there made things a lot more convenient as we could feed Eliza first if needed before heading out later to eat ourselves.  She loved the yogurts from the local shop though!


Besides the 3 or 4 nappies in the changing bag itself I packed 10 nappies in the suitcase just to get us through the first couple of days, I took an extra packet of wipes too.  Pampers nappies were readily available even in the local Spar along with baby wipes etc. so this was never a problem. I took a whole pack of Boots swim pants and found this was enough for our whole holiday as Eliza never spent more than a couple of hours a day in either the pool or the sea.  I would take her to the beach on the morning in her normal nappy and change her into the swim pants when she was ready to go in the water.  That way she was never in the 'less absorbent' swim pants for too long.

Sun Protection

Obviously a no brainer, but we used Ambre Solaire Kids Factor 50 sun cream which was just fine.  However, we decided that our usual pushchair parasol was just simply not up to the job so invested in the Snoozeshade Plus which was such a great purchase. The temperatures hit 35c while we were there so the Snoozeshade was invaluable.  
Eliza asleep under the Snoozeshade Plus
Initially, Eliza would have a small tantrum at being unceremoniously covered up and unable to see the world around her but she soon realised it was a much better option than melting away in the sun!  It wasn't long before she'd be fast asleep and oblivious to the scorching heat outside.

A first for Mom too!

All in all a superb holiday and one which was also a first for my mom.  Mom-in-law has been coming with us now for several years and each year we ask my mom but the answer is always the same....."you won't get me on a plane!".  So this year, for the first time ever at the age of nearly 70, Mom had her first trip abroad.  After much apprehension she absolutely loved the flights and I think she now has the bug for overseas travel.  I'm glad she got to experience Eliza's holiday first too.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Long time no see

Well here we go, my first post in just over 2 years!

New arrivals

For those of you who've read my new bio you'll see that there's been a lot happening in Twinkle Twit house and none of it 'crafty'. Back in March last year we welcomed lovely Eliza into our family. This was child number 3 for us after a huge gap of 15 years. Having another baby was something we'd talked about so many times and in the end we decided to just go for it. We were both quite young (in our 20's) when we had Sam and Abi and felt that having another child now would be a very different experience and it certainly has been so far. We have a lot more patience and although the occasional whining at time still grinds on our nerves as it would with any parent, on the whole we feel a lot more 'chilled' about the whole toddler scenario. Of course it does help that Eliza has been an absolute angel. Even from when she was born she has seem such a contented baby and the big plus is that she's a fantastic sleeper and has been from very early on.  She's an extremely happy girl and has a smile for everyone she meets. Nowadays most people, even strangers get a cheery 'hi' and a wave too! 😊

Baby Number 4

So much so, this brings me to the news that we're now expecting baby number 4 to the Twinkle Twit clan in November this year! Can still hardly believe it myself to be honest. Me, mom of 4!! I'm currently 19 weeks pregnant and next week will be our 20 week anomaly scan where we can find out the sex of baby griff. We both think it's a boy and so far we've guessed 3 out of 3 correctly so all bets are on.

Pregnancy so far has been a little rough but I feel like I've passed the worst. Awful nausea till around 15/16 weeks and since then the nausea has been replaced with headaches and migraines. Saying that though, I have been headache free for a few days at least. I find I only have to do slightly too much bending or carrying and my sciatic pain is awful.  On the positive side though, little Barney Bear as he or she is affectionately known, has been moving around rather a lot this week and I've begun to feel the faint kicks and niggles which is just lovely. 

As you can imagine, due to all the events in the Twinkle Twit house, there has not been a great deal of activity in the craft department.  I do miss it a great deal but I know it will still be waiting for me when Eliza and 'Barney Bear' are old enough to occupy themselves for longer than 5 minutes 😀. However, any little projects I do manage to fit in will be posted in due course. 

House developments

Progress on the house has been a little slow with everything else going on but there have been some improvements.  More to come on this very soon.

Thanks for stopping by! X

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

All in a Good Cause

My lovely friend Jo is holding a Marie Curie tea party on June 21st from her house and garden.  Our little group of friends began a knitting/crochet group a few months ago and during our sessions a couple of us have been beavering away making daffodils to sell in aid of the cause.  These are gradually increasing in number and Jo has also now decided to make some blue tea cosy's adorned with daffodils to help boost funds.

Jo asked if I'd like to sell some of my Twinkle Twit goodies on the day so I agreed, but on the condition that a percentage of the proceeds also goes to Marie Curie.  In honour of the cause I've also decided that until the 21st June, £1 from each sale through my Etsy shop will also go towards this extremely worthwhile charity.

Lots of new goodies to peruse in the store!  The Mary Poppins line is proving very popular and there's now Wizard of Oz themed pendants too.  Although, I'm still not back into full plaque making mode due to lack of space, I have begun work on a few more wooden initial letters, so these are also back in the shop.

 I've produced a few pairs of earrings especially for the occasion.  I've listed these on FB and Instagram, again with £1 from each item going to Marie Curie.  Not to be missed at just £4 per pair including postage :-).

Thanks for stopping by! x

Monday, 5 May 2014

Our new home (a not so crafty project)

As I mentioned, we moved house recently.  March 13th to be precise and not before time too!  The sale/purchase had been in process since October last year and we felt like it was never going to happen.  In the end it all kind of happened quite quickly and then it was a mad dash to pack and boxes and find a removal company.

Moving went fairly smoothly and I have to say I felt at home right away along with Paul and Abi, although it took Sam a little longer as he said he felt homesick for a few days after.  I thought that when everything was packed from the old house that I'd feel quite emotional but surprisingly enough I didn't!  Rather than feeling like I was leaving 15 years of memories behind me I realised that those 15 years of memories were packed on the truck and ready to move to our new abode with us.

Now, the one thing I will mention is that our new home is not quite up to the standard that our previous home was.  Nowhere near in fact!  Our new home is what you'd call a 'project'.  We fell in love with the house because of the area, the large south facing garden and the fact that we have soooo much potential to improve and renovate it.  But....... it's in quite a state.

The project list

When we first moved in we had no lights in the hall, stairs and landing.  Luckily enough, our friends other half came and rectified this situation for us shortly after moving in so we're now illuminated :).  We had no doors upstairs apart from the bathroom and our room.  But our bedroom door had no handle so not much privacy there either.  The kitchen is a health hazard, with manky flooring, worktops loosely held up, cupboard doors missing, cupboard handles on the wrong side (yes, we've amused ourselves watching many a visitor trying to open these ones), shelves falling down and you guessed it, another missing door.
Landing - no carpet/wall lights not working
Hole in bay ceiling
Hall - dire! Need I say more
Drain broken on driveway
Gutters and fascias from Abi's window 
Just one of the knackered kitchen units
Back of the house - overgrown
I could go on as pretty much every room has something or other that needs fixing (whole in the bay ceiling, radiator falling off wall, toilet leaking etc etc etc) and this is just the inside.  Gutters and fascias to be replaced, ridge tiles loose, pointing to be done plus exterior doors to be fitted.  This is going to be a work in progress.

The progress 

We have made some progress however, as I mentioned above we now have lighting on the hall and stairs and a couple of weeks ago I decorated our bedroom as this was one of the only rooms that didn't need building work completed.  This is now my little piece of heaven to escape to when the rest of the house gets too much to handle.  

Our bedroom - Before
Our Bedroom - After
Paul pulled the remaining dead plants from the back of the house the day after we moved in.  So much better but now there is lots of re-pointing to be done.  This week we had the huge Weeping Willow tree removed from the back garden.  Although it was a beautiful tree it was much too big for a garden of this size so it had to go.  You wouldn't believe how much brighter the house is now and it was lovely yesterday sitting outside with sun shining down into the garden. 

Willow Tree - Before
Willow Tree - After
Before & After - Plants on the back of the house

I painted the garage doors today, not much I know but it looks a little tidier.  Paul has spent time in the garage number 1 laying flooring and getting the place ready for his gym equipment.

Another update coming soon hopefully with news from the kitchen.  I don't know how much longer I can stand it.

Thanks for stopping by! x