October 06, 2009

Local Council Meeting

Tonight I went to the Heworth Ward Committee Meeting. I've been to 3 or 4 now since moving to York, and have always found them interesting and also poorly attended. Today, as I arrived I was greeted by one of the Councillor's, who obviously didn't recognise me as having been to the last few meetings, and almost assumed that I had come as I had a particular problem with something. I realise that not many people seem to come to these meetings unless they have some problem, or have asked to present something, but to assume that I think is quite sad. I really would encourage people to get to their local meetings, and maybe we can all be more involved in where money is spent and what is being done around us.

One of the presentations tonight was about the Magistrates Court. It was really interesting, I may even look into applying to become a Magistrate. I definately hope to get to the open day that they are having here at the York Court. While looking up this information I also found out about becoming a Councillor. I can't do it all, but I really hope to find something that I can do to really make a difference in my local community. On Friday I'm attending my first Partnership Board Meeting for the local Children's Centre. Should be interesting.

July 15, 2009

Nappies on the line

Nappies on the line, originally uploaded by Hedgen.

We've been using the re-usables for a while now, so I thought I'd do a little update. I am loving them. I absolutely love that we are not filling our bin full of used nappies, or wipes. (Our bins get collected one week for waste, and the next week for recyclables - we used to fill our bin in two weeks, pretty much to the top. Now, and we have started composting and recycling more stuff too, but we have just a tenth maybe full at the end of two weeks, feels so good!)

I'm using reusable wipes too. So much easier, cos where do you put a used wipe if you're not throwing a nappy away? So use toilet roll for the mass that will be put down the loo, and then put water onto a cloth to wipe the bottom and throw it in the nappy bin with the nappy - tada. This also means no, whatever they put in those wipes that means they clean just about anything, on my baby's bottom.

It's made me think about how much toilet paper we get through.. and maybe we should be using reusable wipes too! :D Andrew's not so keen on the idea.. we have a stash to use up anyway.. but I'm definately thinking about giving it a go.. I'm doing lots of washing anyway - why not...? I'm sure I'll be posting more on other eco-friendly, cost-effective things we've been doing at some point.

My only problem with reusable nappies is when out, although lots of places these days have nappy changing facilities they don't always cater for 'real nappy 'users. We need a toilet and sink nearby please!

Luckily, Felicity tends to poo at a regular time each day at the moment so I haven't been caught too off guard. When it did happen once, I luckily had a disposable nappy bag still on me, and so I put the poo in there, in the bin... not too bad I guess..

I would highly recommend using reusables. They are a little bulkier, but not too much, and they are better for baby.. and although a big lay out to start, I haven't had to buy another pack of nappies or wipes.. yay! :D It helps having sunny weather to dry them, but these only take a couple of hours outside. I haven't had any night-time leakages (sleeping 12hrs plus) with the night-time booster which is huge.. but she's sleeping anyway, so all is good.

July 08, 2009

Andrew's Birthday

26, originally uploaded by Hedgen.

It was Andrew's birthday today, and what a fun day we had! The girls didn't get up to early, thankfully, and so after getting the cards and presents ready we all went to wake Daddy up. Cara likes to give kisses to wake people up, so it was lovely. We sang 'Happy Birthday' one of Cara's favourite songs to sing.. she always wants it to be someone's birthday.

Cara had made her own card for Daddy, which was very unique and lovely We got Daddy some lovely shorts - the ones pictured above, some walking trousers, that zip off to shorts, and some hand warmers.. not needed today.. but maybe for future hikes. We then played some games and enjoyed each others company before heading off to Grandma's. Andrew had more presents, cards and birthday wishes. Cara and Felicity spent the day with Grandma while Andrew and I headed off to Malham Tarn for a walk.

It was beautiful! We walked from the Tarn down to Malham Cove, which was my favourite. It was such a different landscape, walking over what they call the limestone pavement. It is seriously worth a visit. Seems that there is loads more that we didn't get to see. For part of our walk we were on the Pennine Way - maybe one day we'll do the whole thing together. It was just lovely to spend time with Andrew, walking in the lovely English countryside. How can you beat that. Love you Andrew!

June 13, 2009

Matt & Hannah

Matt & Hannah, originally uploaded by Hedgen.

What a great day! It was great to be able to be in the temple and witness my little brother be sealed to his wife Hannah. It is an amazing and wonderful blessing to be sealed to your spouse for time and all eternity and the blessings we are given in the temple are more than you could ever hope for. It brought back wonderful memories of my own sealing and was just such a special moment for our family. I love my family! My girls had a great time playing with their cousins too, which continued all the following week while we stayed at Nan and Grampi's house. What a lovely time we had, with great weather and wonderful company. Cara is really missing all her cousins as well as Nan, Grampi, Great Nan and Bampa, and all her aunts and uncles.. she loves looking at photos of you all, and always wants to visit again. Hopefully it wont be too long. Wish we could live close to you all! xxxxx

June 08, 2009

Pop-in Reusables

Pop-in Reusables, originally uploaded by Hedgen.

A little while ago now, I attended what was called a 'Nappuccino'. I had planned on using reusable nappies with Cara, and I although I did buy a few different ones, I never really did get into it. I thought I would go to get some advice and encouragement to use my nappies on Felicity. Actually, I ended up buying a couple of new nappies. A pop-in by close parent, and a tots bots pocket nappy. I preferred the pop-in, so decided this was to be the nappy I used.

When I first got the nappies out of the box, they looked so cute all rolled up. They are one size fits all, so fit Cara as well as Felicity. (Cara wore proper pants all day today though - there were lots of accidents, but hopefully not for too much longer). I bought the Dream Dri version as opposed to the Bamboo. They are very quick drying, especially if it's nice out, which I needed seeing as we only bought a box of 10. It'll be lots easier now Felicity is the only user - I had been doing lots of washes the last couple of weeks.

So far...

  • I really like that we don't throw away a load of nappies
  • that I wont have to buy disposables again
  • I don't mind the bulkiness too much, and it will only get less so as Felicity grows (they didn't seem much different in size on Cara)
  • I don't mind doing more washes, and I throw everything in altogether, they wash great, only problem is drying if it's wet out.
  • Both girls have had quite red bottoms, though, not really nappy rash, but I guess just red from being wet a lot. I have to say I don't seem to smell a number 2 so easily through these nappies, could be a bad thing as well as a good... Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the nappies, and myself for sticking with it. Yay!

June 03, 2009

Cara Walks the Walls

Cara Walks the Walls, originally uploaded by Munzerr.

This was on the start of our long walk to church. It was such a lovely day we thought we'd make the trek, and as Steve was visiting he got to make it with us. It turns out that it takes us quite a while. I did really enjoy the walk home especially. We didn't have a timescale to get home, we were discussing all that we had heard at church and it was just a lovely day. Here's to more walking, and less traveling by car.

April 18, 2009


Why?, originally uploaded by Hedgen.

I was just looking for a photo in my flickr stream.. and came across this. It's my writing.. but I don't even remember writing it, let alone taking the photo and posting it to flickr.. Why?

April 02, 2009

Sharing a bedroom

So.. tonight is the first night that our girls are sleeping in the same room together.  So far, so good.  Felicity seems to like it in the cot, (she was definately getting a little big for the Moses Basket,) we set the cot up in Cara's bedroom a couple of days ago so that Felicity could nap in there to get used to it, and so Cara could get used to the idea too.  Cara loved the cot, and wanted to sleep in it herself.  I don't think she realises Felicity is in with her.  She went in early evening just after Cara had gone to sleep, she made a few noises before she settled off, but it didn't seem to disturb Cara, so all is well.. we'll just have to see if Felicity wakes any more during the night and who wakes first in the morning.

It feels great to have our room back to ourselves -yay!

March 28, 2009

Beningbrough Hall

We went to Beningbrough Hall today, our second National Trust visit, and we've already saved money.  The weather wasn't very nice, so we didn't get to see much of the gardens, but we'll definately be back, there is a great kid's play area outside, and lovely surroundings.  The house was very geared to children with lots of fun dress up places and the like.  They also had this Virtual Portrait thing.  We answered a few questions, such as, how many in your group (1-3), indoors or outdoors and whether we were male or female.. then we had to position our faces for a photo and out popped our Portraits.  Here's a sampling:

Cara and Felicity

Me and Cara

Me and Andrew

Top Cash Back

Online Cashback

I just went and checked my details on the cashback website that I use, and I was impressed with the cashback that I have earned. So far, I have earned £309.21 cashback. Wow! Most of the time this is money I would have spent anyway.

For those who don't know how these websites work. Retailers will give money to the website for showing their products - a way of advertising - and this website claims to give 100% of that money directly to you, as they have adverts on the sides of the page which earcn them money. I find TopCashBack to be great! There is no admin fee and they have a lot of retailers with offers. Some only small amounts, but others considerable. You are never guarenteed the cashback, which is why we only use it when we'd pay for it without the cashback - it's just a bonus.

If you were to sign up to TopCashBack using one of my links and earn yourself £5 I would also get £2.50 - woohoo!

Here's some of my best deals.. although some are no longer avaliable:

Car Insurance with Lloyds TSB - £90 cashback (the years premium was £120, cheapest we could find without the cashback - so actually paid £30 for a years insurance)

National Trust - £40 (signing up online for me and Andrew with an Annual DD - this is one we maybe wouldn't have done without the cashback - but it's been great so far!)

Scottish Power - £124 (swapping to Scottish Power once in Bristol and then in York)

PS.. Scottish Power are now giving an £80 cashback for swapping dual fuel.

March 23, 2009

Crafty, crafty, crafty...

This blog post is a little like chain mail.. but it's nice, and you only have to take part if you want to.. so here goes...

Here are the rules:
The first three people to comment on this post will get something homemade by me! I guarantee you will love it (I'm not so sure I can guarantee this - but I'll try my best), or at least that you will tell me you love it regardless.  It'll be done this year at some point.

The homemade gift could be anything (the air of mystery is what makes this thing exciting!) It may be a story. It may be poetry or a pasta. I may draw or paint something (though you would not wish me to). I may bake you something and post it to you. I might even cut a CD of my own lovely voice singing a selection of my favourite numbers. Who knows? Not you, and at this point, not me either.

Last but not least, you must continue this little game by reposting the offer of a secret homemade gift to the first 3 people who comment on your blog. The first 3 people to do so win a homemade gift by you that money can’t buy! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it (so those who weren’t fast enough to win can be horribly jealous).

What fun!  I wonder who will want something made by me... :S

March 19, 2009

Time to Sleep

Time to Sleep, originally uploaded by Munzerr.

We decided that we'd take some photos of Felicity, like the ones we took of Cara at a similar age. Suprise, suprise - Cara suddenly wanted her photo taken. She was very cute. We were taking the photos on our bed, and she decided that she wanted to be under the quilt and said she was going to sleep.. I thought I'd join her.

We all had lots of fun doing this photo shoot, and got lots of lovely photos.

March 10, 2009

Food, activity and obesity in childhood - does it matter?

This week is York Festival of Science and Technology. I found out about it from leaflet at the library, and decided I would like to attend a few of the things mentioned. It all sounded great! I love Science and Technology, and I love learning - it seems like I haven't been to a lecture in a LONG time.. and Andrew gets to go to University all the time. I know, I've had my time as a student already.. but hey! If I can go to free lectures while Andrew stays in with the children - woohoo!

So.. off I went to the Lecture entitled, 'Food, activity and obesity in childhood - does it matter?'. It turns out this was the last in a series of York University Public Lectures around the topic, 'Are you what you eat? The science of food'. I wish I'd known about it earlier.. but now I know I'll be looking to see what's available next term.

Dr Ashley Adamson a lecturer at Newcastle University presented her research on this topic. She started by stating that 60% of adults in the UK are overweight or obese. That this problem is really in need of a societal change, it can't be tackled just by the individual. She likened the problem to that of climate change. We can't change it alone. It's true, although I can do my bit for the environment, or I can stay a healthy weight - that wont effect what will ultimately happen to our world because of these problems. Lots of diseases and health issues are associated with being overweight and this means the NHS is inundated. At the moment the NHS is just about coping, but what will happen in 10 or 20 years if these figures increase? This article predicts that by 2050, 60% of adults will be obese.

One of the references on a slide that was used was for http://www.noo.org.uk - this is the National Obesity Observatory - who knew this existed? There is so much information available online.. wow! I keep getting distracted from the notes that I wrote from this lecture and all the extra stuff I'm finding now.

The lecture went on to talk about changes in food intake and exercise done, so to understand why obesity is on the rise. One of the studies analysed was the Gateshead Millennium Study. The most interesting things for me, was that although the amount of food eaten, and time of day food was eaten had not really changed the type of food eaten had. Food that was previously eaten as a snack (crisps, chocolate etc) is now eaten as part of a meal. She gave studies to show that children who were overweight became adults who are overweight, and links to show a higher frequency of overweight children to those parents who were overweight.

The most interesting thing was what she had to say about our perception of child obesity. Most parents surveyed assumed that their children were doing over 2 hours more exercise per day than they really were and gauged their child's weight on whether they fit clothes of the age that they were. Apparently children's clothes sizing has changed considerably as our children's sizes have. So, just because you are average weight in your class for example does not mean that you are not overweight, because of this many parents do not realise that their children are not a healthy weight. In one study 86% of parents had a child who was overweight, but 25% of the parents of children who were obese, thought that their weight was normal - obese, not just overweight. A lot of people don't like to talk about weight issues, but really we need to start to.

It was a really interesting lecture, but best of all it just got me thinking. On my walk back home afterwards I was thinking about research in general. How interesting it is to be finding out things that are new, to be linking it in with other people's studies, and then using that research to do good in the world. Maybe when I return to work I will be involved in research of some kind.

February 26, 2009

Together at Home

Together at Home, originally uploaded by Munzerr.

A family photo that we all like... well Felicity didn't say much about it, but the rest of like it! To be fair, Felicity doesn't look too happy here.. but her little pouty lips and cute toes are adorable. It's harder work than I thought being a Mum to two little girls - but it is sooo great! Look how cute they are!

January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!, originally uploaded by Munzerr.

Another year... What will happen in 2009? For the last few years something major has happened for my family..

2005 - Met Andrew
2006 - Married Andrew
2007 - Cara was born
2008 - Felicity was born

What will happen in 2009??