Sunday, 31 July 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 30 July 2011

And the Hotpants giveaway winner is....

And the winner of the Hotpants giveaway is...

(rather muted drumroll as DD is still asleep)

Minty aka Waterbirthplease

Congratulations! Your Hotpants will be winging their way to you shortly.

Don't forget that if you didn't win this time you can still use the 'BODFORTEA' voucher code at to get 10% off a pair of Hotpants and the chance to lose jeans sizes yourself!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Dear So and So...

Dear Bin Men,

Thanks muchly for emptying our bins every week, love your work and everything, but any chance you could put the bins back in the general vicinity of where you found them?

Already have enough to do without adding another job to the list.

Dear Spiders,

Yes, we're home. Sorry to spoil your party, we will try not to squish you, but if you could limit your webs just a little it would be helpful. While we're at it, anyone ever mentioned birth control to you? Oh, and word to the wise, you can't run away from a hoover in full flow.

Greenwich Craftsmans mug.
Reclaiming house from critters.

Dear Denby,

Thank you for making such awesome mugs. It's a small thing, but it made me smile this week when they arrived.

Satisfied customer.

Dear lorry driver on the A509 yesterday,

Yes, I know that you have a huge lorry that takes ages to stop and ages to go again, and that slowing down is inconvenient, but seriously, did you have to drive up my backside for thirty minutes? Having nothing but a grill in the rear view mirror is a little disconcerting.

Back off.

Dear first cup of coffee in the morning,

Love you xxx

Early riser.


Do you have any Dear So and So... letters this week? Link 'em up over at the lovely Kat's .

Images: healingdream / and

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Lessons I've learned from my parents

We've seen a lot of my parents since we arrived back in the UK a few weeks ago and so this week's Listography from the lovely  - lessons you've learned from your parents - is very timely indeed.

1. How to be a fantastic Mother - if I ever manage to be half the Mother to DD that my Mother was to me, I'll be doing just fine thank you. From the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven to always having just the right new toy to amuse me when I was getting bored in the car, from knowing when to offer advice and when to back the hell away when I was a moody (ok, Mum, unbearable) teenager to verbally shaking me back to my senses when I lost it at the paediatrician's office after the Doctor told me (completely incorrectly as it happens) DD was malnourished. There's nothing this woman can't do. Seriously.

2. How to run a house - a bit 1950s this one, but it never fails to amaze me how one person can cook for 12 people without the kitchen looking like a bomb's gone off and with all the plates arriving at the same time and the food staying hot. Need to know how to remove baby poo from the carpet? Ask Mum. How to hem those curtains? Ask Mum. Need to get some carpet offcuts made into rugs? Mum know where. She's the Wikipedia of home making.

3. How to shop - John Lewis, Lakeland, Denby, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose - I still love to play in the playground, the rides are just more expensive now.

4. The importance of tea -  no family situation can be tackled without tea. Arrived for a visit? Have a cup of tea. Lost your arm in the waste disposal? Have a cup of tea. Milk and one Canderel vanilla sugar please, thanks.

5. How to love unconditionally - I have never, ever, not even once, felt anything other than totally and utterly loved by my parents. Through the hard times and the good, the separation and the togetherness, I've been cocooned by the warmth of that emotional cushion. It's given me a soft landing more times than I can count. And now I can pass that cushion to DD (she is currently bouncing all over it).

What lessons have you learned from your parents? Pop your thoughts down and link up over at .

Image credit:

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Friday, 22 July 2011

Reasons to be cheerful

Another week has flown by and we're well and truly settling back into life in the UK. Lots of lovely reasons to be cheerful this week (and some not so, which I shall gloss over)...

DD joined the library this week. I am SO impressed with our local one, it has a huge area for children with lots of books and comfy seating plus CDs and DVDs to borrow. Perhaps I'm easily pleased because we've been away for so long but I'm glad my council tax is being spent on this. They even gave us two cards, with a mini one to attach to my car keys. We're off there again on Monday for storytime and playtime. Books rock.

We found the swimming pool! I know, I know, basic stuff, but I still got lost once on the way because I couldn't operate the SatNav properly. It has a lovely graduated toddler pool and compared to the pools we went to in China it was lovely and warm. We stayed for 45 minutes which is unheard of for DD (she usually gets fed up after about 15 minutes).

Found Stephen Fry in America on Dave. Love Stephen Fry. Love America. Nuff said.

It is a beeeaaauuutiful sunny day in my corner of the world as I write this and the sun has lifted my mood sky high. I'm feeling positive about some rubbish stuff that's happening at the moment and I know it'll all work out ok in the end.

Have you got reasons to be cheerful or grateful this week? Pop over to the lovely Michelle's and Maxabella's and share the good vibes.


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Spinning Hotpants

While I was spinning on the  in my office-cum-bolthole-cum-junkroom yesterday lunchtime while DD was napping (after a rather exhausting morning visiting the Post Office and playing in the new village playground), I got to thinking about spinning kit. This was partly because the new Hotpants that I have been wearing to spin were still drying so I had to wear an old pair of yoga leggings. Now I should point out here that Hotpants, if you haven't heard of them, are like neoprene shorts, rather than actual 'hot pants'. (I wouldn't even inflict that look on my reflection.)

Hotpants are designed to reflect your natural body heat and make you sweat up to 80% more than normal work out gear, flushing out toxins and reducing the appearance of cellulite. What's not to love about that? The inventors wanted to maximise the effect of a 30 minute workout and found that when you wear these shorts you can get the effect of a full workout squeezed into a mini one. Which is great for me as I only get to squash in 30 mins exercise while DD is napping and I don't want to compromise on results (i.e. I'm still trying to shift the last of my baby weight - ya feel me?).

Apart from all the technical stuff they're also super supportive and, importantly, very cushioning in the er...butt area so I don't get a numb bum when I'm spinning. And you don't have to wear them just when you're working out to get the benefits. Good eh?

Hotpants Giveaway & discount offer
Want to try a pair of HotPants out for yourself? As I'm now a brand amabassador for Hotpants (ooo, get me!) I've got a pair to giveaway. You can also get a 10% discount off a pair for yourself (or anyone else you'd like to treat) by using my discount code BODFORTEA at

To enter the giveaway
Leave me a comment below (including your name and email address) telling me what activity you would do while wearing your new Hotpants (and keep it clean y'all ok?). 

Want another chance to win?
Tweet this giveaway and include  and the hashtag #Hotpantsrock and then come back and tell me you tweeted.

This giveaway is open to UK residents aged 18 or over, one entry per household, and will be open until 1pm on Friday 29 July 2011. There is no cash alternative. The winner will be chosen at random via The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen, again at random. You don't have to subscribe to Bod for tea or like my   or follow me on  as part of your entry. (But I wouldn't complain if you did!)

To get the discount, go to and enter the code 'BODFORTEA' when you checkout.

Disclaimer: I was sent a pair of Hotpants to review, a pair to give away and a discount code for my readers to use. I like this product so I'm happy to endorse it. Hotpants offered to pay me whenever someone places an order using my code but I have asked them to donate any money I make to Cancer Research.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Retro Mum

I didn't realise it until we arrived back in the UK to a cornucopia of kids tv channels, none of which I wanted DD to watch, but I now I'm certain - I'm a retro Mum.

Despite years saying that I'd never do this or that thing that my own parents did, I've become more old fashioned than they ever were. And nowhere is this more obvious to me than the choice of television that DD has for her limited viewing pleasure. Feast your eyes on this selection of golden oldies:

- Bod (obviously)
- Mister Benn
- Camberwick Green, Trumpton & Chigley (collectively known as Trumptonshire)
- Paddington Bear
- Play School (sadly this one isn't available on DVD but we watched the Aussie version in China)

The thing is, I like the simplicity of these children's classics. There's nothing I need to explain and the moral lessons are clear (although quite how Mister Benn manages to be at home in his suit all day without ever seeming to go to work isn't entirely clear).  Even the more modern offerings that she watches - Wiggles, Maisy and Teletubbies - are still quite ancient in toddler years.

Is DD missing out? Are there current children's programmes that you like your toddler to watch? Enlighten me guys, I'm in danger of slipping back into the 1970s forever...

Images: &

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

I shave like a bloke

I was in Sainsbury's the other day, perusing the ladies toiletries shelves while physically restraining DD so that she didn't knock everything on the floor, when I came to the conclusion that ladies' shaving products are a complete swizz.

Now don't get me wrong, I like a smooth leg and underarm like the next woman but since ladies razors weren't available to me in China I learned quickly to do without and started using a men's razor instead. And when my sweet scented, pretty pink shaving gel ran out I used a men's one for that too. Was it entirely unsuited to my feminine curves and delicate skin? Was it 'eck. In fact, if anything it gave me a closer shave and the smell didn't last much past the end of the shower.

So when I came across the row upon row of ladies' razors, gels and refills I waltzed straight to the men's aisle (as much as one can waltz with a toddler in tow, actually it was more of a lurch if I'm honest) and bought a new Gillette Fusion razor, just the same as OH's. Now we buy a bumper pack of refills and share them. Money saved and skin just as smooth.

And so yet another marketing ruse is uncovered. So unless someone can convince me otherwise, I will continue to shave like a bloke.

Image: Ambro /

Friday, 15 July 2011

Reasons to be cheerful

As I hung out the washing this morning, in anticipation of a dry day (which no doubt sent a task reminder to the rain clouds forthwith) I realised how grateful I am to whoever first invented the washing line. It must've been a woman. After all, it's simple to use and there's no speaker attached. Anyhoo, thank you, whoever you were, watching my washing blowing in the soft breeze made me very cheerful indeed this morning.

Since we returned to the UK DD has decided that breakfast is for kings and that as she rules the house she must be a king and therefore she must like breakfast. Such is the logic of a toddler. I might beg to differ in the subject of house monarchy, but I'm loving the new improved eating so I'll let it slide, just this once.

The sun shone today, the house martins chirped and just being at home after three years away was reason enough to be cheerful in my book. And this evening as I collect in my surprisingly dry washing (the rain clouds must have missed their task reminder, or looking at the forecast, deferred it to tomorrow and the whole of next week), the sky is cornflower blue with darkness nowhere to be seen I am oh so grateful for British summer evenings. 

Have you got reasons to be cheerful or grateful this week? Pop over to the lovely Michelle's and Maxabella's and share the good vibes.

Image: cjansuebsri /

Thursday, 14 July 2011

I'm spinning right round baby, right round

Regular readers will know that just before we came back to the UK (did I mention that we're back now? Wheeeee!) we bought a used spinning bike on Ebay. What's spinning? I hear you ask. Spinning is a bit like cycling on speed. To loud dance music. Without going anywhere. Sound mad? Well it is I guess but it's also fantastic. And, in my opinion*, great for getting fit and, hopefully, losing weight.

OH and I were spinning mad before we left for the Far East (I was spinning three times a week for an hour a time at one point) and my post-baby body has been itching to get back to some proper exercise again. Yoga is great, I love it and I won't stop it, but it just doesn't pump me full of adrenaline like spinning or running does. And with a toddler in tow going to the gym just isn't an option. So I've launched my very own DIY spinning-from-home class. There's one teacher (me) and one participant (me again). Ok, not much atmosphere I grant you, but I've got pumping tunes on OH's Ipod and a good imagination.

It's been three years since I did any serious exercise though, so with visions of an ambulance pulling up in the driveway and carting me off to A&E with self-inflicted exhaustion, I thought it best to break myself back into the saddle gently. I've done five sessions so far in the last two weeks and I'm feeling great. No aches or pains. No movement on the scales yet, but that will come in time (and the end of the mountain of cupcakes that we had for DD's birthday).

My DIY spinning class 

Here's my routine: each 30 minute session is split into six sections of five minutes each. These are short enough so I don't get bored and have recovery periods built in while I'm building up my stamina.

Warm up: 3-5 mins gentle spinning on a low resistance (say 4 out of 10)
1 min standing up on high resistance (8-9 out of 10)
1 min recovery on medium resistance (6 out of 10)
2 mins seated climb on medium resistance (7 out of 10)
1 min recover on low resistance (4-5 out of ten)

Repeat six times for a full session. Sometimes I mix it up a bit by doubling the standing time and reducing the sitting time just to keep myself interested. It's really important to cool down afterwards so I do about 5 mins gentle spinning again on a low resistance before stretching and heading for the shower.

Do you have an exercise bike at home? What routines do you use to keep fit? Share your tips in the comments section below.

*Please note: I am not, in any way, qualified as a spinning or exercise instructor. This is just my own routine, experiences and opinions. You should never start an exercise routine without consulting your doctor first.

Image: Chaiwat /

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Return of the Bod

Seven days without internet access and I wonder whether I'm addicted to the web. Regular readers will know that Bod for tea paused for a short time while we moved ourselves lock, stock and barrel back home after three years living on and off in the Far East. As a result we haven't had internet access for a week.

Day one was spent on a plane (11 hours with a toddler that doesn't have their own seat and doesn't want to sleep anyone?). Nuff said.
Day two was spent in a fug of jetlag and unpacking, no time or energy to think about anything else.
Day three I set up my sparkling new Samsung Galaxy SII phone that OH bought me as a coming home present (note to self: must not complain too much for at least a week by way of thanks). Realised mobile web won't work out in the sticks until broadband is set up. Starting to get a little itchy to get back online.
Day four and I'm worried that my lovely readers will give up hope and wander off somewhere else, never to return. Console myself that I can read other lovely bloggers posts by email.
Day five.... err... did I mention I have jetlag?
Day six is my first trip to my favourite hairdresser for three years. Nothing can dull the joy of the moment that my frizzy grey streaked hair is replaced by shiny new tresses blown into submission. Forget about web briefly.
Day seven, today, I get back on the web by piggybacking on my neighbour's wifi (with permission I hasten to add). Finally I can see the virtual world again.

But as I sit here writing this post, looking out of the window at the beautiful fields and trees after three years in a concrete jungle, I wonder whether I really missed as much as I thought I had. The world outside my window is beautiful and I'm not sorry that I had some time to enjoy it before dipping my head back inside my screen.

...but don't worry, I'm still addicted. Bod for tea is BACK.
Newer Posts Older Posts Home