Monday, 16 February 2015

Review: Domino's Pizza

I have a a confession to make. I've never ordered in a pizza. Yes. That's right. There are reasons for this - cheese may be one. (there is a family member who won't eat cheese, unless it's cheese cake or crisps, or ... but generally, no cheese) But even when I was single, it never occurred to me to order in a pizza.

My children are a well of information and so I know that other families have things like Friday pizza night. How very curious. Of course, they have been pestering until my ears fall off a tiny little bit to live up to the Jones' so when we were offered to try it out with the money on the PR company, I knew that I couldn't deny my sprogs the excitement of the Friday pizza night.

And guess what? You can order without cheese (though personally, I don't quite see the point of pizza without cheese, but hey that's another blog post)!

Not being used to ordering pizza, and being a perfectionist (ahem), it took me about an hour to select our perfect meal. It also appeared that there were special deals on and it was all quite complicated to make sure that we got all the deals and paid every penny of the maximum amount given to us. It got a bit ridiculous and under normal circumstances, this process would have taken a few minutes max. However, the whole family enjoyed being able to order their very own special pizza (rather than being presented with the healthy stuff mummy usually decides to cook without proper consultation) - which was made possible by a range of sizes, one pizza with 2 differently topped halves, and a family where every person eats exactly what nobody else eats. I mean, we could have just ordered one massive pizza that everyone ate and paid half, but no no no, that wouldn't be us. Fortunately the choices on the order site were endless and pretty easy to make (although with all our toing and froing, an edit function for pizzas already in the basked would have been useful).

3 pizzas it was, one with two different halves, one without cheese and one for me. Throw in some of my favourite ice cream and a starter to share and we were all pizza'd out (and didn't manage to eat it all, so we got two meals out if really). Delivered to our door, no cooking required.

Some fun family games were thrown in, and the kids loved being able to run about and not sit at the table for once to stick the nose onto the clown (not part of your usual Domino's order). And to turn their parents until dizzy to see them stick the nose miles away from the clown. We had a great night in. Oh yes, the pizzas were pretty yummy.

I'm told there's a Domino app to order now as well. Apps are a bit advanced for me, and I have an odd windows phone, where most apps don't work, so don't know about all that, but I'm sure the young ones will love the app.

Jee, I'm hungry now talking about all this pizza.
full disclosure: We received a set amount to buy anything from the Domino's menu and £5 Amazon vouchers for buying apps, the latter I spent on a nice CD instead, making Bruce Springsteen a bit richer. I'm clearly showing my age here.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

On yer bike!

When I said that the afternoon at Freewheel North did heaps for her confidence to try out her big girls bike rather than her balance bike, I didn't quite expect that a week and 2 outings later, I'd see this:

She's so tiny, the size of a 3 year old, and I can't get my head around that she's even able to cycle, and that she learned it so quickly as well. I guess we're all set for our summer cycle around Cumbrae then! Here's to the end of bike seat and hello trailgator/trips to the park for a wee cycle.

She was very keen to let her grampa know on the day (he is a keen cyclist) and can't wait for getting a start for it at nursery. Her joy was quite something to witness!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Freewheeling in the Green

It's the time of learning how to cycle again. It was pretty straight forward with Cubling, but Snowflake likes her balance bike and isn't all that keen just yet, although I have a feeling it won't need much practice to get her pedalling about.

We'd heard about this organisation called Freewheel North, both from cycling enthusiasts with children and it's also kind of right next to my work and I'd passed it on my lunchtime walks. So we took us there one Sunday afternoon because that's when they have a family session (on dryish days).

It's a simple enough idea, there's a small path network just for bikes and a whole range of pedalled vehicles, and kids can have a go on as many as takes their fancy, for the cost of £1 per person. Freewheel North also runs sessions for disabled people and people with additional needs during the week, so there are lots of accessible bikes as well.

We had amazing fun - first in the family bike (for 4 people, only the back row pedals, clearly the girls loved being moved about by us), then on go-carts, different bikes and balance bikes. There is a mud track too which Cubling was plainly in love with. It was just brilliant to have a decent track which was totally safe and fun, without any worries of traffic, pot holes or children entering the roads. A fab introduction to cycling for sure.

It was very inclusive because of the variety of bikes and other vehicles, there's something for every age and ability, including wheelchair users, and looking around it was great to see both people with special needs and those without cycling together. Cubling even made a friend and was off on a 2-person go-cart with her.

The staff and volunteers helping out were amazing, really making sure everyone had a good experience by choosing the right sized bike and knowing the basics for operation.

And what's more, Snowflakes confidence has really come on, we're still not close to cycling but she's now happy to pedal with just someone holding on to her jacket, so it actually worked to build confidence and move us on a few steps closer to the future of family cycling tours.

Freewheel North also offers led bike rides.
They are based at Templeton Street on Glasgow Green, right behind the adventure playground.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Waving, not drowning

It's pretty obvious that I've more than slightly withdrawn from blogging, other things have become more important and admittedly, I may have that sort of midlife crisis where I really wonder what I could possibly add to the debate when there's plenty of articulate people out there, would anyone really want to read what I have to say?

At the same time I've been busy. After almost losing my job once again (the joys of the voluntary sector where even a permanent job is not particularly permanent), I managed to reduce my working hours to something resembling a work-life balance (I now work 3 days a week term time, at least until Snowflake starts school, which is in September. What happens then, I don't yet know but it doesn't worry me too much), I signed up for some courses. At the Open University I'm working towards the Certificate in Promoting Public Health which won out of 10 different modules/courses, because it didn't just sound super interesting, but it also led to a qualification within 9 months which sounded doable. And if that wasn't enough, an opportunity presented itself that I just had to go for, and 3 months of training later, I am now a breastfeeding peer supporter with the NCT. Which actually fits in incredibly nicely with my course of course.

And with all that public health talk, it's high time that I did something about my health, and so I'm on course to move from totally sedentary to moderately active, and enough weight lost to no longer be in the obese category which I know means a significant lower risk of a whole lot of illnesses.

And then there's the stuff that was kind of always on my to do list and got pushed back by procrastinating on blogger, facebook and whatever else presented itself on the computer. There's a whole pile of books that's been waiting to be read, yarn wanting to be turned in to garments, and it's not that I do much more of it, but even that tiny amount of reading and knitting/crochet simply wasn't happening when all I did every evening was blogging. Somehow, that's no longer attractive and that's ok. 

It's also getting a bit tricky these days exploring the challenges of parenting when your children are growing and respect and confidentiality are more important. So much of this blog was about the thinking that was triggered by new challenges, and to some extent I don't feel like baring my soul or "using" my experiences, and with them, my children, in that way. It just doesn't feel right. It may be time to introduce Cubling to blogging and involve her in it in some way because she's pretty inspirational. I know I'm biased.

But giving this space up completely? I just can't consider this at all. So here it goes, a little toe in the water, a little update for those who may not know (because truth be told, I've not told many people what I'm up to these days).

So hello there, I may be back. 



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