Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It seems Mum was right all along.....

I was brought up on plain breakfasts.

No Coco Pops, Fruit Loops or Muesli in our place. And that was before Nutri Grain or Sultana Bran were invented. It was plain old Rice Bubbles, Corn Flakes or Vita Brits (Weetbix weren't allowed because apparently the company that makes them is tied in with a different religion to my Dad's beliefs). Or toast. Sometimes in winter we had porridge. The other cereals were all "rubbish". Yes, all of them.

I reckon that over the years since I left home, I have tried almost every breakfast cereal in the shops! When I eat breakfast. Which I now do.

Some of them leave me hungry after a recommended serving size, most don't see me through until lunch time, which in my opinion, breakfasts should do. Morning tea shouldn't be needed, it should be optional. I am of the old school - 3 squares a day, sir. But having said that, I do love a nice morning or afternoon tea. And I do tend to pick during the day. And night.

I have also tried countless diets and eating plans over the years. Weight Watchers, Gloria Marshall (remember them lol?!), Sure Slim, meal replacement shakes, low carb, low GI, and I'm sure there are more.

What I am finding is working best for me right now is having good old Weetbix for breakfast. (Weetbix taste better than Vita Brits & I tolerate all religions!). Yep, 2 Weetbix & milk every morning. I love them. By the time lunch time arrives I am ready to eat but not at the "I'm starving" point. A sensible lunch (I have so far resisted the KFC that opened about 6 months ago in my home town), then an awareness of what I'm eating for dinner. I am reducing the carbs, not cutting them out. And I'm writing down what I eat. When I remember. If I can find a pen that works.

So far I have only lost a little over 2kg in nearly a month. But we are still eating our way through Easter chocolate so I don't consider that too bad. I am heading in the right direction. So this time in 12 months, sexy will be back.

And it seems my mother was right all along. Plain cereals are the ones to eat! And eating breakfast is essential.

What have you discovered in your life that your folks were right about all along?

Karen xx

Image Credits : here and here (found via Google Images).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lest We Forget. Wollongong ANZAC March

Many of us have returned home from ANZAC Day Services today.

After a change of plans, I attended the Wollongong March. Zac, our army cadet son, was marching in it, after participating in a guard party at the Port Kembla dawn service. Which by all reports was cold and windy. But we don't have the right to complain about the weather today. Did the ANZACs get the chance to complain about the weather? Or any soldiers in any war? No, they just had to get on with it.

I have a new phone that I used to take photos & they don't all end up the same size when I download them to my computer. Haven't yet mastered how to change that! But here are some to share with you.

diggers unable to walk the distance

always love the brass band

Lots of groups marching:

26ACU Wollongong (army cadets)

Zac is 2nd on left

 The march wasn't as big this year, however I am proud to see so many of our youth marching as a sign of respect for our fallen soldiers and our veterans. Whether as members of cadets, brigades, scouts or kids marching with Grandparents, they did themselves proud. Good to see such respect being shown.

Lest We Forget.

Karen xx

Sunday, April 22, 2012

ANZAC Services

ANZAC Services began in our region today.

I had the privilege of attending two, with Zac participating as part of the Australian Army Cadets.

I feel almost ashamed to admit that this is only the second year I have attended ANZAC services. Remembering and acknowledging our soldiers past and present takes so little of my time, yet over the years I have been too lazy or considered it too hard to attend. Were our fallen soldiers too busy or too lazy to go to war? I don't think so. And I was so busy taking photos that I almost forgot to applaud our diggers as they marched. Self absorbed, maybe?

So I continue to be super proud that Zac chooses to be an army cadet, and volunteers to get involved in community occasions. There were cadets from the Army, Air Force and Navy in attendance and they all excelled. Solemn and respectful. Another example of our youth being showcased in a positive manner.

Here are a few snaps from our day:

last minute practice, that's Zac in the middle

unveiling a plaque for Korean War veterans

that's Zac leading
they stayed in this position for an hour - extremely hard to do

memorial wall at Albion Park RSL

Warilla RSL Sub-Branch

 There are more services all over our region on ANZAC Day (Wednesday). If you attend any, after paying respect to the Veterans, please take the time to notice the Cadets. They are some of our up and coming Soldiers and Officers. Tell them if you think they look great or if they have done a great job by being there. Believe me, it means a lot to them!

Are you attending any ANZAC services this year?

Karen xx

Monday, April 16, 2012

Our troops are coming home at last

Can I just start by saying a huge THANK YOU to the 179 people who read my blog yesterday. WOW! That is a record and I am absolutely chuffed! I know to some of you that 179 isn't that many, but to little ol' me, it's HUGE. So again, THANKS!

Now for something more serious:

A hot item in the Australian news today is the announcement by our Prime Minister Ms Julia Gillard that our Aussie troops will be coming home from Afghanistan early, with most being home by early 2014. I know that's still a long way away but at least it's something.

You can read the article from ninemsn here.

As the mother of a 16 year old son who is planning a military career, this is wonderful news. I have asked myself if I am giving him a death sentence by encouraging him to pursue his career of choice. I am hoping he can tie his music in with it somewhere (to keep him off the front line). I cried through an English documentary the other day about young soldiers going through their basic training & committing to their 4 years in the army. Two of them were placed in the troop to be deployed to Afghanistan in 6 months. They interviewed their mothers, who were being incredibly brave in front of their sons. Because you have to be. I question if I could be that brave.

We have lost too many soldiers in Afghanistan (32 since 2001 & 209 injured). Australia is not at war so in my opinion our troops do not need to be there. This may be a pretty ignorant statement, but it's my opinion. Yes I am uneducated as to why our troops are there. I choose to be by not reading those pages in the newspaper. I have no interest in politics. I just want our soldiers home so no more families have to lose their sons, dads, husbands, daughters, wives, mothers. Bring. Them. Home.

What's your thoughts?

Karen xx

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Who's on the weight loss roller coaster?

I discovered a new food that you might want to have a closer look at. I've been packing this on the shelves at work for a few months now & curiosity got the better of me. I consider myself to be pretty savvy in the label reading department and this one ticked all the boxes for me.

So I cheekily asked one of the reps at the PR company if I could try it & review it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained hey?!

Spaghetti SlimPasta is low calorie (17.7 cal per serve), low gluten (5.2mg per serve), dairy free, egg free, low carb (2.1g per serve), fat free, sugar free & high in fibre.

Angel Hair SlimPasta is low calorie (8 cal per serve), gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, low carb (0.6g per serve), soy free, fat free, low sugar & high in fibre.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it!

 What's the secret? IT'S NOT PASTA!!!!!

It's made from a root vegetable called Konjac, which apparently the Asians have been eating for over 1000 years. Seems they caught on early.

From the website, here are the medical & health benefits of konjac:

  • Reduces the rapid rise in blood sugar after a meal
  • Obesity Prevention
  • Reduce the absorption of cholesterol
  • Treatment for constipation
  • Promote the excretion of toxic substances / Detox

  • A few nights ago I had the spaghetti pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce (well, I figured there was nothing naughty in the pasta so I could have free rein with the sauce, plus I don't like tomatoes) & it was SO easy. No boiling pasta on the stove, oh no, with these babies you just rinse them under running water to wash away the liquid they are stored in, then leave them in hot water for 1 minute before draining & adding to your sauce, stir fry, soup, salad or whatever you are having with them.

    Friday night I dished up the Angel Hair (same preparation - rinse, then stand them in hot water) in a garlic, ginger & soy sauce vegetable stir fry. I didn't tell my family & nobody commented that it tasted any different. Tick another box girlfriend!

    I loved it & I felt full for ages afterwards - there's another box to be ticked right there.

    They taste like nothing (not surprising when you consider there is nothing in them!). They have no taste of their own but simply take on the flavour of what you are having with them (kind of like tofu does). I did feel the spaghetti had a slightly rubbery texture, but to be honest I was expecting the standard pasta texture. Remember, it's not pasta, it's vegetable.

    I guess the big question is would I buy them? I admit the reason I haven't bought them in the past is the price. From memory they are $3.69 for a 2 serve packet at Kiama Woollies where I work. BUT, given that we don't eat pasta very often any more (in an effort to reduce the carbs), I will definitely be buying them in the future. The younger two kids won't eat vegie noodle stir fry anyway & our 2 serve pack of Angel Hair made 3 adult side serves of it. So dietary wise, I think it's worth the cost.

    Go & check out the website for some interesting reading. Come back & tell me what you think. Have you tried them or do you think you will?

    Karen xx

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Who takes out the rubbish?

    Last weekend.......

    Today, Friday....(do you think I can make it any more obvious?)

    So, who takes out the rubbish? Apparently nobody.

    (The bag contains old clothes that are not good enough to pass on or be donated, not old food or anything like that).

    Please tell me this happens in you house too?

    Karen xx

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Sydney Royal Easter Show - a day in pics

    Thanks to Trish at My Little Drummer Boys and, I was lucky enough to win a family pass to the Sydney Royal Easter Show, complete with VIP passes for access to Members' Only areas. Very spesh!

    Here's some of the many photos I took today! I have heaps more (particularly of the unusual chooks!) and there are still bits of the Easter Show we haven't seen. Next time, young legs won't be as young and although they weren't complaining, they will be able to tackle a longer day.

    being VIP in the Members' Stand

    we all like chooks, they are so many varieties (roasted, stir fried, crumbed, lol)

    one more seed and I think I'll explode!

    Megan working out her score
    Men's wood chop heat, Qld guy in maroon singlet finished & is waiting for the others to catch up

    this was AMAZING - the lady on the right had 50 sec handicap (meaning the others started before her) & she still won!

    carnival food for the drive home
    home, showered, pj'd, now for a nice cuppa

    We have only been to the show 3 times in the 16 years we have had children, so one year I would like to book accommodation close by & stay late enough to watch the fireworks. Oh, and blow about $200 on the rides! And about the same on Show bags, the kids LOVED theirs today.

    Are you doing the Easter Show this year? What's your favourite bit?

    Karen xx

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    Happy Easter

    Happy Easter to everyone. If you are a church goer, enjoy your services, if you are a traveller, enjoy your holidays, to everyone else, have a fabulous few days.

    God Bless.

    Karen xx

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Last day of Term

    This is the sign outside our front door this week.

    Yep, last day of term today. LOVE school holidays, not having to be anywhere unless we choose to be. Allows us to slow down a bit. Allows me to catch up on some sleep.

    We're not going away for the holidays, just a couple of days out here & there depending on what the weather does. Great opportunity to sort the kids' bedrooms. I think they'd rather go somewhere!

    Do you like school holidays or do spend them tearing your hair out? Do you have any plans for these holidays?

    Karen xx

    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    An end to Daylight Savings

    I love daylight savings. I feel like I have more time in the evenings to get things done before I go to work. It's summer season. Life feels like it has a slower pace.

    When we woke up this morning, time had gone backwards by one hour. Now we are on standard time. Winter time. That means cold weather is coming.

    That means the heater will come out in the not too distant future.

    That means there will be condensation on the windows.

    That means extra housework for me, drying them.

    That means extra washing for me -  the towels I use to dry the windows.

    But what do I like about the end of daylight savings?

    Getting into my jammies & bed socks early so I feel nice & snugly (on the nights I'm not working).

    Getting the kids bathed & into jammies early so they feel nice & snugly.

    The smell of dinner in the slow cooker or a soup on the stove.

    The fact that our younger kids fell asleep early tonight because it was dark early!! (one's not well but I'm claiming the end of d/s excuse anyway lol).

    There are probably lots of other reasons too, but these are what came to mind immediately.

    What do you like or dislike about daylight savings or standard time? Do you have little rituals like the early bath & into jammies too?

    Karen xx

    image credit here.