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 - 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.