Monday, 27 December 2010

Why I hate Christmas. Part 1 - Planning

Christmas starts the year before, usually during that previous Christmas and you stop and think to yourself, 'This is shit. I'm not taking another year of it.' You then begin to plan in your head the most fantastic and wonderful Christmas day. It's going to be groundbreaking. The International Space Station is going to hear about how amazing this day was. You discuss your intentions with a select member of your family. Doing this convinces you even more that all of it is entirely possible to do.

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So sure you are of this, you announce it to your family. And I really was damn sure.

You see,  a lot of things were supposed to happen this year. Moving to a place that would accommodate 6 adults and a child for dinner, Fuck it, lets think big and invite friends too. Meeting my future husband, getting a car, organising my life. None of these things happened. Instead, I got fatter and moaned about it some more.
As the year goes on you realise that you're going to need some sort of miracle to pull this off. Then, so does your family, so they plan Christmas as normal, and everyone bar 2 people start to pray for them to go to Waitrose instead of Iceland, or just for the day to hurry up and get it over with,

As December gets closer, you visit the house that will be the venue for Christmas dinner, as it has for every year of your god damned life. You notice something. Something horrific. There, on the kitchen table, you see the Iceland Christmas party food brochure. You die a little inside. Panic sets in. You offer for the millionth time to get to their house early, cook everything yourself and even pay for everything. But they are stuck in their ways, so you convince them with all your heart that you're the next female Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as opposed to Heston marry me Blumenthall. But no. The argument that could have converted Saddam to Christianity is useless. For these people are your Grandparents.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Where have I been?

This is just a flying post to show you what I've been up to the past couple of months.

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Escaped to Wales

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Saw Chromeo in Bristol

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Marvelled at the Welsh language and came to the conclusion that Dyllan can speak fluent Welsh.

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Carried on dieting

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Found old pictures

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Played with leaves

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Visited the Isle of Wight's first Waitrose store

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Found fox tracks in the snow

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Stared at lights

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Went shopping in Southampton

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Had accidents in the snow

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Played in said snow.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Organix Christmas selection box - Review


I love the Organix brand. Organic food for babies, toddlers and children that is also damn tasty. They were the first finger foods Dyllan ever had and as the Island got more varied stock from them they quickly became his favorite. This Christmas they have put together a special selection box and I was over the moon when Dyllan was given the chance to try it out and I could review it.

I wish I had captured on video the sheer joy Dyllan had when he got the box.

Inside they even have a little pop out card "Winter farm" That you can arrange.



Included in the box is: Organic Mini Gingerbread Men; Organic Oaties; Organic Alphabet Biscuits; Organic Apple and Orange Soft Oaty Bar; and an Organic Raspberry and Apple Soft Oaty Bar and comes with their 'No Junk' promise.




Dyllan is a very fussy eater and Organix goodies/finger foods are some of the few things he will eat, so the fact that these goodies are convenient and organic is very important to me. You will ALWAYS find at least one empty Orgnaix wrapper in my bag.

This selection box is the perfect gift for a toddler and I will certainly be buying another box for Dyllan's Christmas stocking and a few more for his friends. If you are stuck for what to get a child who seems to have everything, this will always go down a storm. It's also a great way to try out some of the great products that Organix offer.


This product is definitely Dyllan approved!

The Organix Christmas selection box is available from Ocado now and Boots from the 15th of November and is only £2.99.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

"Halloween"

Halloween is a fact of life. It’s not going anywhere, whether you like it or not. It can strike fear into parents of over enthusiastic children who like to ‘get creative’ with their costumes a couple of days before the night of a party, and then next year demand that they host their own festivities.
It can also divide people in a split second. There are a lot of debates around Halloween, some of which I have already seen get really quite nasty. (Seriously guys, you don’t agree with it, we get it, no reason to start calling people devil worshippers and bad parent. Come back to earth.)
What do I think about it? Well, let me tell you.

I was brought up in a Methodist household. I attended Sunday school, which was where I first learnt a very loose idea of what Halloween was all about. It was referred to as All Saints eve and we would decorate Autumnal pictures, dress up pumpkins and light candles to remember those who had passed on in a special remembrance service. Then at middle school as it was a C of E we were taught about what All Saints was, a celebration of all the saints in the Christian/Catholic church and how it had become a time to remember all dead as well as all saints. My school had the right idea here, as we were taught how it was celebrated all over the world and why. This only lasted for a maximum over two days but for a C of E school it was an exciting time for pupils, Something different!

The idea of Trick or Treating however was a different story. Both at school and at home it was classed as begging, and my parents would never ever even entertain the idea of dressing up. They have since relaxed and even buy sweets for the Trick or Treaters now. I am firmly of the opinion that they were just saying that to get out of the hassle of letting my brother and I celebrate it. I even said that to my mum today and she asked ‘Wouldn’t you do the same?’ My mother and I have a lot of very different ideas in life.

Then as I grew up my circle of friends grew and I was introduced to Paganism and Druidism. For years I celebrated Halloween as Samhain, The Celtic new year. It was the end of the light half of the year and the start of the dark half.

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To me, it meant a day out at Avebury with friends, Bringing with us loaves of specially made bread and cakes. We celebrated the last of the harvest, and the beginning of the new year. A time of great reflection and planning for the year ahead. We would have ribbons representing wishes for the coming year, and tie them to a specific tree along with hundreds of others, some ribbons hanging for years, clinging on for dear life. We weren’t really ones to join in with the chanting rituals, or group cleansing, or even wearing robes. We were happy sat in nice comfy warm clothes on a blanket somewhere sheltered from the wind (and usually rain) knitting and discussing affairs and our plans, lighting candles in crooks in the stones and keeping curious sheep away from our food. Some people, like you find in every religion, were complete nut jobs though. Safer for us to stick together and to ourselves. We did however join in the walk down the Avenue and into the stone circle, an impressive sight for bystanders. Actual new years day was November 1st. That was a day of mass cleaning and restocking cupboards. I suppose the ‘witchy-est’ tradition my friends and I had, would be the restocking of all the complimentary/herbal remedies. We knew people who would refer to themselves as ‘Green Witches’. To be honest with you, if they want to call themselves that, great, I couldn’t care less, but I just saw it as knowing how to use natural resources. For example, Manuka Honey. If you haven’t experienced the awesomeness that is Manuka Honey, you really are missing out. I am not saying however that you should shun modern medicine. Modern medicine progressed for the better for our benefit and I shudder when I hear people say that they will only ever use natural therapies on their children. That’s all I’m going to say on that. We would make our own bath soaps too, as well as the beeswax polish for housework. This had nothing to do with anything spiritual and that it was the first day of the new year so would make everything we did ‘Super good’, It was just a tradition.

And so today. I am not a Pagan or a Druid, but I believe in celebrating the lives of those passed on, I believe that it is the start of winter so the knitting/crochet/sewing needs to be stepped up a gear, I believe in having a feast to celebrate the end of the harvest season and I also believe that it is a fantastic excuse to have a get together and creates wonderful crafty times for children. When it comes to Trick or Treating, I don’t mind children making the effort with dressing up, going around with their friends, having fun and handing out treats and are in bed by 8:30pm. After all, what they are doing is harmless fun. What I do mind however, is beggars. I’m talking about the ‘kids’ who are too old for this, go around causing trouble, don’t bother dressing up or having the cheek to ask for money instead of sweets. It’s shameful, rude and disrespectful.

That’s where I stand. So whatever you class yourself as, enjoy the season, be safe and celebrate :) x

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Kook Remembers: Primary School

Do you ever have a deep thought? Delve back into memories of days gone by and think, I really must write all this down?

Well, during the night my mind was racing. Thousands of happy memories were flooding my head from the time that I was in Primary School. On the Isle of Wight, Primary school was Reception class at age 4, and then years 1-4, ages 5 to 9. For me that was 1991 - 96.

I attended Whippingham Primary School, Here is a pretty crap picture.

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It was designed by Prince Albert, his residence only being just down the road at Osborne House (I nearly got married there, how about that?) During his life on the Island he regenerated alot of communities as well as helping to design other royal residencies all over the UK. He died while the school was still being built.

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Here is yours truly. Unless you looked really hard, you wouldn't have a clue I had a scar now.

God how I loved school. Both my parents worked full time, So I would have to get up at the crack of dawn every day to be at my Nan's house by 7am. She ferried me off to school for my first day, I remember being really excited but I missed my little brother like mad, he was only 1 and in my eyes, was the best toy in the world. The first thing we had to do, was be shown where we had to hang our coats and lunch box. We each had our names on a sticker above our pegs and mine was next to a boy called Harry. I wanted to be friends, but he didn't want to talk to anyone.
We then all sat in a circle on the floor and had the register. When our names were called we had to stand and say hello to the class. I can't remember the rest of the day too well, but I remember my best friend Maria and I making friends with a girl called Jenna (who I am still friends with) and talking about her to my Nan in the car on the way home (A drive of just 2mins).

There are significant points that make me smile. It was a very small school and when I went there had only just had a new mobile room built and areas divided into more rooms. Before it was just 2 massive classrooms and a dining/P.E/assembly hall. We only had 1 T.V for the whole school. Massive it was, and would have to be wheeled from room to room and a huge stand.
When it was to wet to play outside during lunch break, we would watch the telly. Often being gems such as this...



I remember being all sat on the floor around it, looking up at the sheer joy of the TV. Rain and hail crashing down on the mobile roof so loud it was deafening. Then a clap of thunder and everyone would scream.

While attending there was also the introduction of the Acorn Computers.



I still love them, and the games!



And how about the Valiant Roamers?



Robots in school!? How futuristic!

I'm going to be adding more to these memories when I can find some more interesting things like photos. In the meantime, perhaps you would like to share your favourite Primary (or equivalent) school moment?

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Sacla' Pesto Review

I'm sorry did someone say Pesto? I'm in ;)

There is always a jar of Sacla' classic Pesto in my fridge. I'm so lucky that pesto is one of the few things that I know Dyllan the two year old terror will always eat. It can go with so many things!
I love it in a toastie with mozzarella and tomatoes, Dyllan's favourite is a mix of pasta, shredded chicken, tomatoes with pesto all over it along with lashings of Parmesan. I even put it in mash potato.

I was sent 3 jars of Sacla' Pesto to try out, including the Classic Pesto, Wild Garlic Pesto and Fiery Chilli Pesto.

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Aren't they just handsome?

As I said, the Classic Pesto is so versatile, and if you're not hooked at first taste, there's something wrong with your tongue ;)

Now for the new members of the family. Let's start with Fiery Chilli...

"There's a real kick in every spoonful of our fiery chilli Pesto. Just stir through your favourite cooked pasta and serve with a glass of robust red. Be inspired - brush generously on to skewers of chicken, wrap in pancetta and simply grill. Buon appetito!" - The Sacla' Website.

I love spicy food. It's not all about the heat, it's about the taste. Sacla' really hit the nail on the head with this. It is the perfect balance of heat to taste. The sweetness calms the heat whilst still giving you that 'kick' of chilli. I can imagine this being really good in the summer for BBQs, even just to dip yummy food in.

The Wild Garlic Pesto.

"Our new Wild Garlic Pesto is truly irresistible. The combination of gorgeous Wild Garlic and fragrant Basil will tantalise your taste buds. For a deliciously simple supper, just stir through your favourite cooked pasta and shower with Parmesan. Be inspired - spread a generous spoonful onto a sliced ciabatta and bake. For the ultimate comfort creation swirl through creamy mashed potato and serve with love. Buon Appetito!" - The Sacla' Website.

Oh my goodness. This was simply heavenly. Being an Isle of Wight'er I can eat wild garlic until it comes out of my ears. This Pesto did not disappoint me. I could have eaten it by the spoonful out of the jar. Perfect too for keeping vampires away this Halloween ;) I loved it so much, I made a vlog of me cooking up a quick meal of just Spaghetti, stirring through the Wild Garlic Pesto and covering with Parmesan cheese. Unfortunately, it came out almost black and you couldn't see anything :( Something I will have to add to this post later.

I urge all pesto lovers to try these new flavours. If you have never tried pesto before, Sacla' is your way forward!

Find lots of delicious recipes and the product range on their website, http://www.sacla.co.uk/
(PS; there is also a competition to win a trip to Rome!)

**I enjoyed my week off the Cambridge Weight Plan as you can see ;) For those wondering I was advised to pause it because I was poorly, back on it now.**

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Haters to the left!

I wasn't going to breathe a word of this, because to be perfectly honest with you, I couldn't be arsed. But today I read Liz's post Two sides to every story and it got me thinking.

I thought about these 'people' and how lucky they are. Lucky to have the time to be totally consumed by matters that they feel compelled to follow people around online, talking shit, spreading rumours and generally trying to get to you.

These people are called Trolls.

I've had my fair share in the past, and lately some very colourful ones. I have my little haters relating to a previous relationship sending me nasty e.mails and laughable questions on my formspring and other places. I even have some little darlings through the blogging community sending me hate mail.

And do you want to know what I think whenever I read one of these e.mails or messages?



You see, you don't bother me :) And this sort of behaviour shouldn't bother anyone else. Because they obviously have nothing better to do, and have a very slack outlook on reality and the things that should really matter. You know, like real life?

So if you ever become a victim to these little trolls (bless them) just think of this...


Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Awful few days.

Life can really kick you in the teeth sometimes can't it?
Certain things have happened over the past few days that have given me so much stress I have had to 'pause' my diet as I was getting quite sick.
Because of one particular incident I have lost alot of stuff, All of which is money I simply don't have. That isn't my only worry when it comes to money either thanks to another situation that appeared on Tuesday.
I've also had no internet or phone since Monday, thankfully today it was fixed.

All of this and I have a very poorly toddler with a nasty ear, nose and throat infection.

I just want to curl up and cry for days until life stops shitting on me.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Garofalo Pasta - A very tasty review!


I know I'm putting myself through hell doing this because of my diet, but my family has finally eaten enough of this delicious pasta to give me some honest verdicts.

I was sent some wonderful pasta to try from Garofalo and what followed was a life changing experience when it comes to what pasta I choose.

I am a massive Italian food fan. My whole family is, so to say I was excited about trying this is a bit of an understatement. When the parcel arrived I was really surprised at the weight, far too heavy for pasta surely? Nope it was the precious pasta! And bang on lunchtime too! That day, was a great day.
I decided a simple Schiaffoni* with Mediterranean sauce would do for the family lunch (I was staying at my mums and have parcels delivered there as someone is always in. Winner all round). As soon as I examined a piece of the pasta, as you do, it became obvious very quickly how different this pasta is. Garofalo have been perfecting their pastas for over 200 years and boy does it show. Only the finest semolina wheat is used in their products, and check out this awesome bit of info from their site:

"Garofalo performs over 25 quality checks on each of its Signature cuts and runs all standard industry controls twice to ensure unmatched quality for its Signature line of pastas."

Talk about passionate, and eating their products I can see why. I am totally converted. The pasta itself is so dense and filling which is why it felt so heavy. The taste? Amazing. My family agreed, and of course so did Dyllan. Over the last month my family and I have polished off the rest, including the Spaghetti. The overall verdict? Awesome. Not all pastas are created equal and I will definitely be ordering more when my diet has finished. You can buy it at Ocado, and other good delis.

Final word is if you see this pasta, buy it. You'll see just why I love it so much as soon as you have your first dish! Go check out their website above too, they have some really tasty looking recipes for you to try their products with!

*I think that was what it was, my Mum had bundled it into a special jar and thrown the packet before I could check :(

Thursday, 7 October 2010

CWP Day 4 - A day of feeling very sorry for myself :(

I'm gutted today.

I was feeling very positive. My consultant saw me yesterday and I have already started to loose weight. I'm on top of my cravings and hunger, and generally just getting on with it.

But today I have realised something which hit me like a knife through the heart. Most of you will know that deep down my place is in the kitchen. I can cook up a storm and I am at my happiest when cooking.
This is Autumn. My favourite time of year for culinary delights. I look outside, see the leaves falling in the Autumn sun and my head starts filling up with recipes for various pies, cakes, stews and soups.

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My ritual of the first Rabbit Pie of the season has gone. So has the annual goody making for the children for Halloween, Collecting game meats from friends and gorging myself on apple pie.

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As I read that last paragraph I can taste everything :(

So while you're all enjoying the season's gifts, please spare a thought for me :(

Monday, 4 October 2010

CWP - Day 1

Today I started the Cambridge Weight Plan. Not exactly the best starts to be honest.

I had planned to enjoy my weekend and whilst not pigging out, still enjoying some treats. I bought lots of chocolate goodies and even had an Indian last night. Problem was, over the weekend I have developed a bug. I felt 'icky' from about Friday, but last night I was non stop puking :( So I still have bags of chocolate left over :(

So 11am this morning rolled around. I had felt so crap all morning I didn't even want to look at the box of shakes. But, I still had to eat, so forced and I really mean FORCED a banana shake down me. Could've tasted alot better, but wasn't at all horrific. After napping I had the Chocolate and Mint shake which is contrast was heavenly. Then this evening I had the Spicy Tomato soup which was also lovely :)

I also had my first challenge. Dyllan always offers me the last bit of his KitKat. Of course I refused, and he was disgusted with me. How dare I not eat what he offers! So I pretended to nibble on it, and then gave it back :) WINNARRR.

One thing I am struggling with is the water. I have to drink 4 litres of water a day and it's really hard. Especially for someone who finds it hard to drink much anyway.

So I suppose it's time for some 'Before' pictures. (dang it)

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Please excuse the state of my mirror and floor. I've been decorating!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

My journey begins!

I'm not gonna lie. I'm fat. And have been for far too long.
There are many reasons why my weight problems started.
Ultimately though, I wasn't being force fed.

I have tried various diets and weight loss programs, none of them have made me loose a significant amount though. But I have been researching this particular one since Febuary, and decided that it's time to stop thinking about it, and just get on with it. I have a couple of friends who have been on the plan and sing it's praises. I am so up for this, I really am. Enough is enough and it's time to be 'Jaymee' again.

So here I go! I would post a current picture, but I want to do my first weigh in next week first ;)


Wish me luck! :D

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Your Fantasy Husband/Wife

So I'm going about my twitter business, and the lovely @MrsLJHall of http://mrsljhall.wordpress.com/ alerted me to her new blog post on your Fantasy Husband or Wife. Originally from a Living with kids' post by Liz Jarvis.

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By kookoocachu at 2010-09-13

A chance for some major male sexiness pictures??? Oh hell yes!

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By Kookoocachu at 2010-09-20

So allow me to introduce you to the men that live in my fantasies.

Number 1.

Leonardo Dicaprio.



There's something about this man that I just can't shake off. As a teenager he was a crush, and he has just blossomed into one of the finest peices of ass males to grace the earth with. He is also one of the most underated actors of his time. Chromeo put it perfectly when describing how it's better to be with an 'older guy' (With a little bit of life experience, the right clothes and the right appearance) Just seems like he would be a real classy guy to 'court with'. (I wont mention the bright green trainers he was wearing not long ago coming out of a night club...)

Number 2.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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By kookoocachu at 2010-08-18

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By kookoocachu at 2010-08-18

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*ahem* SWOOOOONNNN!

Yeah, so he's a bit of a hipster, and his girlfriends a bit... meh. But my GOD does this man rock a suit.
Now, he's all well and good, but when it gets down to it (giggidy) I like a man with muscle. This is where number 3 comes in...

Number 3.

Tom Hardy.







And may I direct ALL of your attention to this.



My reaction?

Another underated actor.

Now people might understand why I saw Inception 4 times. You know, apart from it being one of the best movies of the decade....actually make that of all time.

Number 4.

Snake.


Yeah I'm a gaming loser. And what?

So there you have it. Who's your 'Fantasy Husband or Wife?

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Dyllan's Birthday Weekend

We kicked off Dyllan's Birthday celebrations yesterday by taking over Southampton city centre with Steph of imcountingufoz.
He had quite a few tantrums, but looking back today his cold is really bad so probably wasn't feeling well at all.

The plan had been to kit him out with a new wardrobe as he is ever growing, but that didn't go so well. Why the hell are kids clothes so expensive? What also annoys me, is the only nice stuff for boys you can only find in places like GAP or Pumpkin Patch (same people). H&M will occasionly have nice boys clothes but even they arent exactly cheap.

After giving up we hit the playground for a few present openings and mass play!!

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I think someone had a fun day ;)