Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I've been back to see Sharon, my yoga instructor this week. We have settled into a pattern of a 1-2-1 session every 5/6 weeks with me practising at least 4 days out of 7 inbetween sessions, and I can telephone/email her with any queries.

Yoga was always one of those things that I saw my closest friends doing, enjoying and living, it was something I had tried in various forms, but it was something I just didn't get. Til I met Sharon.

There are no pretenses with Sharon, no fancy airs or graces. She offers me tailored yoga sets to meet my spinal fusion needs and she doesn't expect me to change my life style to do it. 

I can absolutely tell you Clanettes, in utter certainty, if only for myself at least, that yoga is helping my recovery. There are days when it just loosens me up and helps me carry on lifting and bending, and there are days, like when I get a new (harder!) set that I know, because the evidence is there, that I can reach further than I was, stretch deeper and breathe better.
I urge you. If you have even the faintest interest, or passing thought that yoga could help you, that you might even just try it for enjoyment, then do try it. You've got nothing to lose, but everything to gain!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lochlan's 7th birthday

Lochie turned 7yrs old today. He had a party yesterday and has spent two days being the centre of attention and loving it.

This is my account of his birth, as I wrote it at the time (there are many things I would edit now, but then it would be the story it is!).
Lochlan was due on Wednesday 15th Nov…
I had been eating Pineapple, walking everywhere, taking raspberry leaf capsules and using clary sage oil for days and nothing was working.

Wednesday 22nd Nov
Lucy gave me a massage and some reflexology to try and get things moving!

Thursday 23rd Nov
As a last ditch attempt to try and shift Baby (we knew he was a boy, but didn't decide on a name until a couple of days after he arrived), we had Madras for tea. Horrid curry! I now know why I always have a korma. I ate the whole thing tho… washed down with two pints of water. Yuck!

Friday 24th Nov
Cramps and niggles all day. I thought I was reacting to and digesting the Madras!
First thought I might be in labour half way through ‘Deal or No Deal’ 4.39pm – I dismissed this thought as pure fantasy tho!
Cooked Paul and I tea - bangers and mash with yorkshire puds.
Spoke to midwife – Jill – at 1915 who told us to continue as normal and see how we got on
Pool went up in the kitchen at 2000 – just in case, you understand!
2100 Watched 'Torchwood' as normal
TENS machine on at 2300 when I finally admitted I was in labour
Went to Tesco for essential supplies (mars bars!) at 2330

(I should point out that the times are so specific because I kept yelling at Paul to record the times of everything as it happened on the white board in our kitchen. Remembering everything is so important to me.)
(He claims that I kept shouting ‘Did you write that down?’ so he’d go and do it, only for me to yell ‘Where the hell are you?’ Lol. Sorry Paul x x)

* Saturday 25th Nov
0030 – back from Tesco, pains increasing
0040 – Phoned midwife, she recommended having a bath and going to bed, then phoning her when I couldn't talk through the pain (HA!)
0040 Had a bath – TENS machine came off (TENS does nothing for me)
0125 Both got into bed
0440 Paul asleep - this hurts too much!
0540 HUGE 'show'
0550 Paul started filling pool
0635 I got in the pool
0715 Rang Jill to come out
0810 Jill arrived
0840 Out of pool for an internal exam – 5/6 cm dilated
0900 Gas and air - thank goodness (I got thru 4 bottles in the end)
0940 I got back in the pool
1045 First urges to push
Shelia, my second midwife arrived at some point
1317 Lochlan born – 8lb11oz - I ended up being stood up by my bed and giving birth in a squatting position in the smallest place in our bedroom! Both Jill and Paul were desperately trying to see what was going on using a tiny hand mirror! My only real memory of the actual birth is reaching down and feeling his head as it started to emerge and thinking how slimy it was!

I was able to deliver the placenta naturally and cuddled Lochie for an hour on our bed, chatting to my Mum on the phone, before the cord was cut by Paul.
We are both big, dark haired people, and I marvelled at how we had produced such a lean, beautiful, faired haired baby.

Once I'd had a shower and Lochie was all cleaned up, we had to ask Jill how to use a nappy.. perhaps there is method to attending antenatal classes!
My Mum, Dad, Sister, B-I-L and Gwamma came to visit us that evening and brought vital chocolate cake and champagne. Then we settled in bed for a our first night as a family of 3. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


At the goddess conference I went to last month, our womb blessing was very much focused on our matriarchal line and acknowledging out ancestors. I was lucky enough to pose for this photo this week, four generations of women. A couple of cute boys in there too.
Following on from the conference, I was inspired to create an affirmation board this month. I have filled it with things that inspire me, and I look at it in bed, or when I'm doing yoga. I adore it, and the items I have either collected or been given.
It was the full moon last night, and I went to the second of my new circle meetings. Despite my beliefs, and my use of oracle cards, I don't believe in 'signs' - I believe that signs are all around us, but I don't believe they are always interpreted correctly, so it's hard to put much stock in them!

Despite saying that, I knew that Niamh was on her way, before I knew I was preggo, and I knew I was going to get my job at Kiddicare because a colleague in my interview group (who i still work with!) had a tattoo with huge significance for me.
As an aside, I find it strange that I never got any signs or inkings about my fusion (aside from the back ache!), but I often put that down to the fact that I'm still not comfortable with it in my life. Can you actually see signs about things that you want to ignore?!

Anyway! I am trying to change/improve my future at the moment, proper brave changes that require input and determination and I have done a couple of big things towards that in the last week. 
Tonight we each pulled oracle cards at the end of circle. I pulled 'Lady luck', the certainty and realisation as I looked at that card struck me as properly as seeing my colleagues tattoo. I just knew.
Maybe I need to re-think how I view signs. Maybe I need to lose some of my cock-sure-ness. Either way, change she is a comin', and Lady Luck is definitely on my side.
Where else would she be?!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Nutritious November - half way through

I may have been lax at keeping you updated, Clanettes, but I haven't been lax with my shopping, my budgeting or my planning!

So far this month I have done three online food shops with Waitrose, using to make the best use of deals and taking advantage of my incremental saving code. I have two more codes to go, next time I will save £20, and the time after that I will save £25! As a reward, I will get another £25 voucher in January.

Below are summaries of my three delivery totals:

Totals without promo codes £80 + £100.93 + £97.46 = £278.39
Totals with savings and promo codes £74.14 + £79.51 + £72.32 = £225.97

£278.39 - £225.97 = £52.42 it


Ahem. Anyway.

The challenge is going well as you can see. I have done one 'top up' shop at the pound shop, because they sell branded snacks for, well, a pound! I spent £7 on that trip and I am still comfortably within my challenge budget.
Because I am planning so well (which I admit is soooo dull, Wednesday comes round so fast!) I am finding that I don't need to do co-op top ups and I always have food in... gasp! Shocker!

Paul came home with a new recipe book for me yesterday, so next week I might try something new.
I'm not sure waitrose is a long term solution for us, because I don't know if I will be able to shop smart enough once my beloved promo codes are gone. It may be a case of shopping at different online locations alternately, and figuring out where everything is cheapest. One thing is for sure though, waitrose do the best quality fruit and veg in my experience and their eggs are brilliant. I almost want to gush and say that they even make wholesome coco pops - if you see what I mean! Everything just feels quality, and whilst I do love a bit of quality, I also love a lot of food and I think alternating my shops going forward is going to get me the best all round options.

Maybe that's a challenge for December!!

As ever, thanks for sticking it out and reading this far - you know you love it - especially you Clare, my newest known reader!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Its always about running really

I am finally, finally, really comfortable running for 20 mins. I do a fab brisk 5 min warm up, then run for 20 mins followed by a 5 min cool down walk home. The first couple of those 20 running mins are tough whilst my body adjusts and my rhythm settles, then its 'easy'.
Now that it's dark by 5pm, I don't like running over at the park because it isn't lit and I feel vulnerable. I've been going to the gym but it just isn't the same - and getting there and back and faffing, doubles the time I'm out of the house, so tonight I thought 'sod it' and decided to go for a roadside run.
The trouble with roadside running is picking a route that will fit your time/intended mileage and that isn't isolated. Plus it was FREEZING tonight!! Brrrrrrrr!
Paul lent me his handy cap with a little light in it, so I was able to see at any points where the light was poorest and off I went.
The route was quite hilly, very different to the flat circular track that I use in the park, but I knew and expected that, and with the chill in the air my lungs immediately protested. Even so, I was thrilled with the run. Absolutely thrilled. You can see from the data below that my run tonight (13/11) was 22secs quicker than the same distance 12 days earlier (01/11).
Lucy and I went for a seaside run and Christmas lunch last December, and we have decided to do the same thing this year. I feel like it will be good closure for me, finishing this year, the same way I finished last year. I am hoping to push myself and try for my first slow 5k.. I'm really hoping to get in a couple of 4+k runs in the interim because I'd really like not to struggle massively on my first fused 5k run!

Thanks for reading Clanettes x x

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Emma's 40th birthday party

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA. The party was fabulous, we had a lovely evening, I hope you did too. Lots of love xxx

Thursday, November 7, 2013


My newphew turned  the big 0-1 last weekend! I can't believe a whole year has gone by - bet my sister can't either.

Happy birthday Leif! Love you xxx

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Food shopping update

Clanettes! Its half way through the first of my 'Nutricious November' shopping weeks, and we are doing really well. I can't tell you the joy it was to receive the shopping from Waitrose last Friday. The chap was lovely, brought all the shopping in for me and generally made me feel like I was the only important customer in the world!
I had a small little cheat involving the purchase of a tub of ice cream over the weekend, but I'm over looking that. Yesterday I did a small top up shop in the local co-op, more because the reductions were so great, than because we actually needed the food. I got 2 bags of spinach, a pack of bagels and a punnet of plums for a total of £2.05 - who can turn that down!

Our meal plan looked like this -

We tweaked Sunday night, because we had left over Nut butter soup, but apart from that we are on track! I am frustrated that its only Tuesday and I have to think about next week already, and make a plan and order my shopping to come on Friday (This is why I always get behind/run out of food/lack inspiration!) but I will crack on and get it sorted.

Since incorporating 'juice' into my diet (see here), and trying to watch my refined sugar/processed food intake, I have found that Nakd bars are a real treat. I have also experimented with making my own!
Equal parts unsalted cashew/raisins/dates, flavoured in this instance with cocoa and orange essence.
 Blended until it is smooth
And then popped into the fridge to 'set' before being cut up into portions. The children have these in their lunch boxes too. They are circa 130 cals per portion (I could obviously lower this by making the portions smaller, but frankly, they are so delish that you need a decent mouthful!) and to keep the cost down, I generally buy 'broken cashews' from my local Indian supermarket, £4 for 750g, value raisins from tesco and dates from a health food shop - its hard to buy dates from a supermarket because most brands are injected with sugar!! Arg! Then cocoa and orange essence.

Thanks for reading x x

Friday, November 1, 2013

Saving money on my food shopping...

Yesterday I went through all my options for online food shopping and the cheapest way to get food delivered to the house. Following the astonishing revelation that Waitrose may actually be the cheapest way to embark on this plan, I set to the freezer and checked out current food supplies.

I hold my hand up, I am starting November very well stocked on meat and bread, and on packed lunch snacks. This will make the first couple of weeks shopping to budget, very easy.

My four main points of attack are:
Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan! Everything. Scrupulously.
Buy seasonal fruit and veg.
Bulk buy where appropriate.
Make small savings - ie we can have UHT milk in porridge, and fresh milk on cold cereal.

So this is our meal plan for the next 7 days

 After I had my meal plan, I went online to and began ordering my food. is marvelously easy to use and every time you select something that is being sold cheaper if you buy an alternative, it flashes up and lets you decide on the savings to be had.
It also has a nifty little barometer that shows you how much your shopping costs at each of the super markets as you go along.. You can see that Waitrose was the cheapest when I bought like for like at each supermarket,
But it wasn't the cheapest if I wanted to buy cheaper brands (ie Tesco own brands) and in that case, the cheapest, Tesco, could save me £8.52.

So I decided to use the cheapest brand total, placing Waitrose in fourth place, and work out my totals when I included vouchers and delivery charges etc.

Waitrose shopping total £78.64 - £5 voucher (and no delivery fee) = £73.64

Tesco shopping total £70.12 + £5.50 delivery fee = £75.62

So Waitrose came out on top saving me £1.98!! This also means I have £6.36 to spend on sundries should the need arise, before I hit my upper limit of £80 for the week. It also means that I have a £10 voucher to spend on Waitrose next week..

Lets see what the shopping looks like when it arrives! Well done for getting this far Clanettes, keep with me! Ha ha!
Lots of love x x x