Baby B meets Nemo & Giraffe

Ever since I can remember I’ve always loved cats. In fact, I have a reputation amongst my friends as being a bit of a crazy cat lady!!

Unfortunately my mum is allergic to them so I was never lucky enough to have one when I was growing up. However, I did manage to adopt a stray whilst living at university (much to my housemates despair!), and as soon as I was a “real adult” living on my own, I went straight down to my local RSPCA rescue centre and adopted Della, a gorgeous 3 year old black and white moggy with the most beautiful eyes. It wasn’t an easy relationship, Della had clearly been mistreated and it took me a long time to earn her trust and for her to stop attacking me everytime I went near her. When Mr B and I moved to a bigger house, we thought it would be nice to adopt a kitten to keep Della company. We popped down to our local animal aid centre and adopted Jack, a cheeky little kitten who had been born in the rescue centre. Jack reminds me of a dog, he loves to play fetch and is very attention seeking and loving. Definitely not aloof like many cats (including Della!).

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Baby B has been fascinated by both Jack and Della from a very early age. Initially she would stare intently at them, then came smiles at them, followed by giggles at them and the latest development is chasing them! This week I was overjoyed that her first proper word (other than “mama” and babbles etc!) appeared to be “cat” when she saw her little buddy Jack! She also loves to stroke Jack but at only 10 months old we are really struggling to get her to understand the concept of gentle and have to very closely supervise her when she is near to them!

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I was therefore delighted when Lee Hunter, an aspiring children’s author and professional childcare practitioner sent me a complimentary copy of her first children’s book “Nemo and Giraffe”.

“Nemo and Giraffe” is based on the life and antics of Lee’s indoor cat Nemo and is the first book in a planned series which aims to help young children form positive relationships with cats and all pets, and to learn how to care for them from a young age. The series strives to teach valuable life lessons including friendship and to also promote animal rights and welfare. Lee believes that if children can understand and be aware of the appropriate treatment of animals at a young age it can stay with them and benefit them throughout life.

The inspiration behind the Nemo & Giraffe series is the struggle that Lee found as a childminder within her own home teaching the children to be considerate of her cat Nemo, and to learn that he may become frightened if they scream, jump or grab at him. Lee hopes that by promoting their awareness of Nemo’s feelings, the children will be able to not only improve their own behaviours but also their awareness of themselves and others.

I really enjoyed reading the story to Baby B, not least because of the beautiful illustrations by Lindy Damen. However one of the other things that I love about the book is the message about how you can be friends with anyone regardless of who they are and what they look like. I think this is a really nice message for children. I also love the idea of teaching Baby B to be gentle and considerate with our cats and with other animals.

From an educational point of view, I also like the use of descriptive words.

Lee has kindly agreed for me to reproduce some of the beautiful images here:

   You can check out Nemo & Giraffe on Twitter and Facebook here:

Twitter – Nemo & Giraffe

Facebook – Nemo & Giraffe

The book which was self published by Lee can also be purchased from Amazon here: Nemo & Giraffe

I’ll definitely be buying a couple as presents for Baby B’s friends!

X Becca

Binky Linky
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70 Days. No excuses. Week 3 update

Week 3 = done!

So how did I do? Well I’m really pleased that I’ve managed to keep up the momentum and stick to working towards my goal of reaching a healthy BMI and fitting back into my work clothes! I think that I am starting to get results and a couple of people this week have asked me if I’ve lost weight which has been a nice reward for my hard work and a motivating kick to continue!

Unfortunately Mr B had to work late tonight which has meant I haven’t been able to get to the gym to weigh myself on the accurate gym scales and have instead had to rely on my old manual bathroom scales. Although I’m not going to argue with that given that according to these I lost another 4 pounds this week!!

Starting weight: 11 stone 6 pounds (super duper whizzy gym scales)
End weight: 11 stone 2 pounds (old crappy manual bathroom scales)

In the interest of fairness I’m going to stick with my own bathroom scales going forward! It just means I’ve probably gained a little advantage weight loss this week by changing them!

Again – I’m happy with how I’ve done this week. I’ve kept up with my healthy eating and have exercised often too.

Exercise

I’ve continued to do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD and have done 3 yoga classes this week.

Personal Training session – my gym provided me with a free personal training session where I discussed my fitness goals with a lovely lady who then put me together an hour long training programme. The programme features a mixture of cardio, free weights and mat work. I really liked how she was very mindful of the fact that my core may be a little weak after having Baby B (she asked if my abdominals separated) and she has included gentle core strengthening within my programme. This week I’ve done my programme 3 times.

Diet

I’ve continued to try to eat as healthily as possible and have eaten plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish. I’m no longer on my strict no meat, no dairy and no gluten detox but because i felt so good after doing it, I have continued to keep my gluten and dairy consumption low. I’ve also only introduced white meat (chicken, turkey and pork) into my diet this week.

I’m trying really hard to educate myself about healthy, nutritious food choices and using this to then make ‘good’ choices when it comes to what I eat. I had a meal out with some friends this week and I chose a delicious prawn and salmon salad with mineral water rather than the greasy meal and coke I would usually have picked.

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I don’t believe in a full on deprivation diet because I don’t believe that it would be sustainable for me long term and I would pile the weight back on once I stopped depriving myself. Therefore I am allowing myself the few odd treats here and there if I want them but I haven’t actually had any this week because I have been focused on a healthy diet. I’ve actually really enjoyed the majority of the food I’ve eaten this week….

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I mentioned last week that my eczema had been really bad lately but this week it has miraculously cleared up! Not completely but it is the best it has been in months! I believe that reducing my dairy intake and eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables has caused this.

I’m hoping that I can keep the momentum up next week and hopefully have another weight loss to report! Fingers crossed that I might even dip below 11 stone!!

Would love to hear any top tips or healthy recipes – feel free to comment your links below!

X Becca

70 days. No excuses. Week 2 update

So week 2 is done and dusted. As someone who usually starts off great with things like this and then loses enthusiasm and interest quite quickly, I really wanted to try and make sure that this didn’t happen. I do have work clothes to fit into after all!!

So how did I do?! Well I lost a massive 4 pounds!!!

Starting weight: 11 stone 10 pounds
End weight: 11 stone 6 pounds

I’m so happy with how I’ve done this week. I’ve really committed to losing weight with both an improved diet and more exercise.

Exercise

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD – I did this 2 days. Its hardcore for me and I was sweating buckets and had sore legs after!

Yoga classes – I did 2 vinyasa yoga classes this week and worked really hard in both of them. I’m loving the increased flexibility that yoga is giving me already even though I’ve only been practising a few months.

Swimming – I’ve done a few swimming sessions at the gym this week.

Running – I’ve done 2 running sessions on the treadmill this week and am still aiming to run a 5k over the summer!

Diet

So I decided to do a little detox this week and eliminate a few things from my diet that I know exarcebate my eczema (which is really bad at the moment) and my bloated belly IBS symptom.

This week I’ve therefore followed a no gluten, no dairy and no meat diet. I’ve eaten lots of fresh food such as fish, eggs, vegetables and salads. I actually have really enjoyed the food I’ve eaten and will probably carry on eating in this manner (albeit I’ll introduce white meats such as chicken, turkey and pork now as I love my nandos!!)

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For breakfast (most important meal of the day!) I’ve had gluten free porridge oats made with almond milk with fresh fruit on the top. Absolutely delicious!

I’ve also loved stir fried crispy chilli and garlic kale with prawns and red peppers. And you can’t go wrong with homemade peri-peri sweet potato chips! Even Mr B conceeded that they were both nice and agreed to have them again! A result for the man who lives on starchy complex carbs and lots of meat!!

I’ve definitely seen a massive improvement in my bloating since eliminating gluten. My eczema has improved a little bit but still is really bad so will carry on with the no dairy for a while as I know that makes my skin worse.

Next week I hope to carry on with a more healthy diet (although I will introduce meat and the occasional treat!). I also hope to up my game exercise wise!

Watch this space! I will fit back into my work clothes and have a healthy BMI!

X Becca