Wednesday, 30 September 2015

KING OF MOTHERHOOD - An interview with Jaime King

Actress Jaime King talks candidly to Emma Oliver, about infertility, motherhood and her latest design venture Sapling

As I wait by the phone for my interview with Jaime King, I wonder what she'll be like. I expect vulnerable, closed, and abrupt. What I get though is resilient, honest, and well, really rather lovely.

The once troubled teen model from Omaha who graced Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar at age 14, is now a contented woman, loving motherhood and living her dreams.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Reaching out to raise awareness on MAD 2015.

Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day (M.A.D.)

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by an American woman that reads my blog. Heather Von St James, age 46, was diagnosed with Mesothelioma ten years ago. She was given only 15 months to live.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Juicing - An in-house experiment (5) The pros and cons...

The pros and cons of juicing...

If you are thinking about buying a juicer, I'd say go for it. I've loved trialling this one, the Braun Identity Spin Juicer (J500) and would thoroughly recommend it. It is simple to use, and to clean. It looks good, it's not huge, and at £129.99 it's middle of the range as far as expense. Did you know you could spend upwards of £700 on a juicer? Anyway, some food for thought. Throughout trialling the juicer, I've realised a few things...

1) It's not just the expense of a juicer. Bare in mind that you will add a lot of extra fruit and vegetables onto your shopping bill.

2) Having researched the fructose content in natural fruit juice, although there are the positives to drinking natural fruit juice, I ought to add that the healthiest way of using your juicer, is to use vegetables over fruit.

3)  If you use mainly fruit in your juicer, don't expect it to help you lose weight. It won't. Initially, thanks to the fructose, I put on a few pounds, hence I've got into drinking mainly vegetables.

4) Mainly vegetables don't taste as great, so think about including one apple or one orange each time, with whatever mix of veg you use.

5) There are many positives to drinking juice. It is a great substitute for coffee in the morning. I am full of energy, and my complexion is the best it's been in a very long time. I can't see me wanting to ever give it up...

Juicing - An in-house experiment (4) Exploring natural sugar... says:

When it comes to healthy beverage options, most people would probably agree that fruit juice is a better choice than soda or coffee. After all, juice comes from fruit so it must be healthy, right? Many experts are now in agreement that because of over-processing and pasteurization, most fruit juice contains only a hint of the nutrients it originally had and is not much healthier than a can of soda.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Juicing - An In-house experiment (2) ZINGY LIFE AS IT IS

Having established that I was in the business of concocting juices for a living (read about that here in this somewhat poignant tale), I have had enormous fun at home in my kitchen, with Classic FM or Absolute radio for company - depending on how I've woken up - reminiscing about juice recipes, and getting into my new juice regime.

There isn't much I haven't tried all over again. From beets to orange, I've enjoyed the lot. My favourite recipe remains apple and ginger, however, from a health point of view, my other favourite recipe is the ZINGY LIFE AS IT IS.

For this - apart from the obvious (a juicer), you will need:
2 oranges, peeled
A third of a bag of spinach leaves
3 medium sized carrots
3 apples
A good knob of ginger

Simply whizz it through and you'll find it makes about a pint. Keep it in the fridge and drink from it throughout the day, or guzzle the lot down, whatever your body needs at the time. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

...When I lived in Australia

I worked in a cafe. The Queen of Tarts was situated on Cappuccino strip in Fremantle,
W. A., and was a small, somewhat shoddy set up, which frankly suited me. Over time, I pretty much ended up running the place. Making juice all day long.

It was a great place to work. Mainly because of the great people I met; commuters passing through on the way to the train station and their own place of work.

Digressing slightly... but when I was a kid, and again when I was in Oz, Alan Ball was the manager of my father's beloved Portsmouth Football Club, affectionately known as Pompey. And as a kid, all I remember of Alan Ball is a squeaky high pitched voice. This was because my mum, whenever his name was mentioned, never failed to pipe up (in a squeaky high pitched voice) 'Little Alan Ball'. Turns out, he's also little.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Juicing - An in-house experiment (1)

I started juicing soon after I finished coffee-ing. Make sense? Probably not. Let me fill you in. Here's the post on giving up coffee.

So having kicked the habit and beginning to feel the benefits, I began to crave feeling better. Basically, looking after myself. (God knows I've put my body through it over the years and self destruct mode is lethal). Anyway, for the health purposes alone of nutritious support from within, I wanted to try drinking juice as a replacement for my morning coffee. More than anything, I saw it as an aid to my immune system. Here's a snippet of something I wrote earlier about combating depression naturally...

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sunday pillow talk results in turning clutter to (potential) cash

Sunday morning pillow talk and as Simon and I discuss all the hidden extras to the extension we are planning, it dawns on me that our grand plans will more than likely be modified, i.e. just how quickly we could run out of money. So I say... I'll do a car boot. And he replies... Great, there's £50. And I muse... Esme and I have always said we'd like to do a car boot. And he replies: Great, there's £40. And then we both laugh.

38/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Cicciobello (Rumbly Tummy doll) - A review

To be honest, my girls don't play with dolls very much at all at the moment - although, like most young children they are massive fans of toilet humour. So when asked if LIFE AS IT IS would review the farting friend that is Cicciobello, naturally curious, I couldn't resist.

Cicciobello doll
Includes doll, interactive spoon, interactive orange juice box, customised potty, 2 wipes and a dummy
Size: H45cms
Ages suitable for: 3 years +
Available from: Argos, Toys R Us & Smyths
Price: £49.99
Batteries required: 3xAA
WARNING(S): Not suitable for children under 3 years old. Only for domestic use.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Back to school & overwhelmed musings of a 7YO

It's been big smiles all round, then last night, she collapsed.
Thoroughly exhausted. A new school. A new routine.
The amount of change that my eldest girl at just seven is undertaking, finally hit her.
I understand. I feel slightly confused and overwhelmed too.
How much paperwork?!
We all have to settle into the new school year.
I explained that to her shiny tear stained face at bedtime.
Esme Grace. So good at explaining how she feels:
"But Mummy, how am I supposed to remember it all?"

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The truth about trampolines

Thinking of buying a trampoline? Think again...

We got our trampoline when Esme was about three. She turned seven last week, and we had 12 kids here for an outdoor party that included a water slide, an 8ft pool and our netted 12 foot trampoline. 

For safety, I had put them into three groups of four, and arranged it so that three adults were on site to organise the chaos and supervise. I had no idea that the children on the trampoline were at risk.

Fortunately, nothing went wrong. Fortunately, we have never had any accidents happen on our trampoline. Goodness, the GraceFaith girls love it. It is part of our LIFE AS IT IS. But it has to go. Why? 

A friend's youngest is currently in hospital with her badly broken leg in traction. It breaks my heart to think of a two-year-old in a plaster that is almost the length of her body. 

Here's a sobering figure from the Royal Society For The Prevention Of Accidents (RoSPA) who suggest: Trampolines account for up to 50 per cent of A&E admissions for injuries in the home sustained by children under 14. 

The fact is, if you do have a trampoline only one person at a time should be on it - with supervision. Even then, a single child can land awkwardly and hurt themselves, but as more people get on, the risk of injury rapidly accumulates. When more than one child is playing on a trampoline, jumping at different times, your bouncy trampoline turns into a landing pad of concrete. This is not me scaremongering. This is how it is. 

If you are thinking of having a trampoline, I would ask you to think carefully.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Slipping through my fingers (2)

Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while

The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Thursday, 3 September 2015

My girl turns 7 and donates her birthday presents to charity

Esme Grace just turned seven. If you didn't read the previous post about that, you will have missed this. Something I need to shout about! 

It was months ago you asked if you could make your birthday invitations. Of course you did - you still love art - I was astounded at the result. (For the record, I had absolutely nothing to do with it).

You wrote that instead of a gift, you would like the children to bring a donation for the WWF. I tried to talk you out of it, but you were (as only you can be) adamant. 

On the morning you turned seven, we expected 10 children to arrive without a wrapped gift in sight. 
I asked if you were prepared for that. 
Yes. You said squarely. 
And how does that make you feel? 
It's fine Mummy. I want to look after animals.

I don't know many children at age six that would think like this, let alone follow through with this Esme. I am so proud of you. This weekend you raised £42 for the World Wildlife Fund. Amazing.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Turning seven years old


My darling girl, you are seven.

New words in your vocabulary to reflect this exciting step are: Awesome & coolAnd my particular favourite: SeriouslyAnd your particular favourite: Bottom (yes, still). Not forgetting the phrase: I don't just like it, I love it.

You get a kick out of making up rhymes, and you enjoy reading and writing. Indeed, this last year you have become quite studious. Your dad refers to you as his bookworm. 

FRAMED - Ponypals & a 4th birthday party

(Playing what's the time Mr Super Noodles? - obviously)!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

LIFE AS IT IS - Banging on... (2)

LIFE AS IT IS - Banging on... (1)

So the six YO turns seven, and the three YO turns four, and with one daughter in one room reading, and the other daughter in another room making music of sorts, LIFE AS IT IS continues... Except I'm now left wondering why in God's name we bought Sofia Faith a drum kit for her birthday?