Lifestyle

Lifestyle news and stories.

Crock Pot for slow cookingThroughout my childhood, my mam used a slow cooker to feed us. I have vivid images of her peeling veg before she went to work and we ran along the street to catch the bus.

Fast forward about 28 years, and we’ve invested in a Crock Pot. (As I write this, the house smells delicious!).

Like everyone else, for us time is precious, work days are long, and convenience food is really, really easy. At least a couple of times a week we’ll buy off the shelf ready meals.

Crock Pot for slow cookingBut Mike loves to cook and does so as much as he can, so the Crock Pot is an exciting addition to our kitchen equipment. He’s busying himself downstairs as we speak so for tea I think there’ll be a sausage casserole on the menu.

I’m hoping the fact that essentially we’ll have made our own ‘ready meal’, means I’ll stop picking before I eat my tea.

And end to ready meals? We’ll see.

Nic x

P.S. If you have any great recipes for slow cooking, share them with us.

Jord watch and gift box

Buying beautiful items that are designed to last is an absolute joy. Never being a fan of throwaway fashion I love pieces that withstand the fickle fashion trends.

Step into the frame JORD wooden watches. Made by ‘artists, designers, marketers, and minders’ they are beautiful, different, classic and designed to last.

In a world where every second counts, having a beautiful timepiece on your wrist is a luxury worth paying for.

Undeniably, the JORD wooden watches are stunning to look at but I was as interested in their ethics; sustainability being at the top of the list.

In JORDs own words they are

‘Focused on creating timepieces that are modelled after a modern lifestyle. They value sustainability, efficiency, and experiential living.’

It took an age to chose the dark sandalwood and smoke watch to review. It’s so different to the white ceramic watch I’ve worn for years. The wooden box is a beautiful touch, presentation is important and the box looks fab alongside my trinkets and treasures but helps make JORD watches a great present.

jord watch

You can see from the images the clarity of the watch face and how minimal the design is. The watch case is thicker and the face larger than those I am used to, but it is comfortable to wear, chic and the wood even warms a little as you’re wearing it!

Taking care of the watch means using an oil to clean the natural wood. And storing it, using the box and keeping it out of extreme temperatures (hot or cold) is advised (don’t store it near a radiator or wet environment.

At £149 this watch is a reasonable price for an exquisite piece of craftsmanship. Even better, there is an amazing $50 discount if you’re shopping for a JORD watch for yourself using the code 16ML6XTHYN3. I’ve set my sights on the Frankie 35.

Nic x

Wood Watch Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icarus Flight Simulation

Ever wanted to say that ? Know someone who does? Well now you can with this unforgettable Christmas offer!

Jump in the captain’s seat, take to the simulated skies and learn to fly with Icarus Simulation Limited.

A one-hour flight simulator lesson lets you experience the thrills of flying – all without ever leaving the ground.

During the lesson your personal instructor will help you to get to grips with: flight controls; take off, climbing, descending, turning, approach and landing; basic instrument flying and bad weather landings; function and use of flaps and undercarriage, and much more!

We’ve teamed up with Icarus Simulation Limited this Christmas to bring you a 20% discount on their one hour lessons. Simply book via this link and use “xmassparkle” at the check out to claim the discount.

What’s more, as the facility is predominantly used to train real pilots, the simulator can be used to train all aspects of light aircraft flying; so, if you do have previous experience you can let the instructor know in advance if you have any specific training requests and what you’d like to get out of the lesson.

Take to the skies and spoil the aspiring pilots in your life this Christmas!

*The offer is applicable to the junior (£49) and adult (£79) one-hour lessons and ends on 5 Jan 2017. 

Topher McGrillis

I’ve always loved stories by Roald Dahl, I wish I could have jumped into his brain and listened to the whirring of the inventive musings. We are all so lucky that he put down on paper his thoughts and generously shared them with the world.  I simply can’t wait to share one of my favorites stories with Emily my six year old daughter.

My lovely little lady can watch Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp) and Matilda on loop but this is her first experience of the grasshopper, centipede, earthworm, spider, ladybug, silkworm and glow-worm of James and the Giant Peach. What’s even better is that it’s on stage rather then screen at one of Emily and my favorite places, Northern Stage.

Dahl’s first novel for children tells the story of a lonely little boy named James. He escapes in a giant peach after a magical encounter and finds he’s capable of much more than he ever imagined.

Director Mark Calvert says,

James and the Giant Peach is a massive show which deserves to be on a massive stage, so for the first time in Northern Stage’s history we’re using both of our stages combined into one huge space to tell one story. It’s so exciting to be working on this scale, taking the audience on an epic adventure that deals with being lonely and discovering how important friends and family are, which is not a bad tale to tell at Christmas time.

Adapted for the stage by David Wood OBE and directed by Mark Calvert (who first introduced me to Northern Stage with 40 Babies back in 2009/2010), this new Northern Stage production has been designed by the ever-inventive Rhys Jarman (Institute, Gecko£), with original music inspired by big bands and swinging Broadway musicals of the 1940s and 50s.

 

Recommended ages 5-11 years with a running time of two hours (including interval). The production runs until Sat 31 Dec so why not book your ticket here . We’ll be posting our review soon but keep an eye on twitter and instagram for photos of our evening.

james

Gill from Central Healthcare
Our recent posts have featured how Nic and I are becoming the best we can be in 2016.
Both of us have decided to get well in our own way whether it be going through C.B.T (cognitive behavior therapy) or sorting out toe nails. So here’s the next installment and this time it’s all about cleansing.

You may have seen the tweets about going for colonic irrigation. This was the ‘in thing’ back in the day, everyone seemed to be talking about it and even though you might not hear it as a buzz word anymore it’s still well and truly alive in Newcastle at Central Healthcare. It’s something I’ve thought about doing for years and since I’m wanting a full cleanse of my life it seemed sensible to include my colon too.

I’ve heard lots of stories, the good the bad and the indifferent. Prior to my appointment I was called by the Gill a nurse of 27 years to go through ‘what to expect’ which put me at ease and I was able to ask questions. The questions that had prevented me from going in the past. Things like, ‘will it hurt?’, ‘what are the short, medium and long term benefits?’, ‘will it hurt?’, ‘will the water be warm?’, ‘will it hurt?’…..

Gill talked me through her experience and why she is so passionate about the treatment. She went through the ‘ins and outs’ so to speak. Appointments last one hour so this pre visit call is very beneficial so it doesn’t actually eat into therapy time. One thing that Gill highlighted on more then one occasion was that the treatment MAY not lead to weight loss. I accepted the statement but also thought that if poop was being irrigated then surely weight loss is a side effect albeit only until you replace it with more food.

One week after the call – appointment time

I ensured the appointment could be on a child free day and I arrived into Newcastle city centre (train station area). There is on street parking nearby and two multi-storey car parks in the area. Ensure you buy a ticket and display it (I didn’t display so got a lovely parking ticket which I successfully appealed).

Central Health care is situated in one of the newly developed railway arches and looks unassuming from the outside which I saw as a positive as I’m not sure I’d want everyone to know where I was headed (instead I’ll write it down in detail and tell 1,000’s about my experience).

Gill welcomed me in and immediately put me at ease. I completed a short medical questionnaire and we went through the process again. He’s an A to K – of the process;

a. Entered white room with two white beds adorned in red towels. I recognised one of the beds locations from a     review by Lisa of Tried and Tested for a vitamin infusion.

b. Gill then went through the entire process with me and showed me where I could undress from the waist down.

c.I lay on the bed and Gill got to work. The sterile parts of the equipment was opened in front of me and then the speculum was popped into where it needed to go. Although completely being put at ease I did feel quite             embarrassed.

d. It was now time for the actual irrigation to commence. Here a slow stream of water went up the tube and goes     inside to fill the colon.

e. This gentle process carried on for a few rounds but then the intensity increased. Gill massaged my tummy and   then turned the water pressure up and she asked me to hold it for as long as possible and then release. I’m not     ashamed to say it, I was crap rather rubbish at the hold and it was definitely my least favourite part of the process. It simply felt weird and uncomfortable (not painful).

f. After the initial site of the number two there was nothing for a while. The clear water went in and tinged water
came out but there was NO substance to it. I really thought there would be a never ending exodus of backed up     poop from my rather poor diet. A few minutes went by and nothing.

g. Gill asked me if I thought I could take the deeper pressure again, and because I wanted the best results
possible I said yes….Then the pressure was upped and voila more extract happened but this was nearing the end of the prescribed treatment time, however she continued until more came and then that was over. A very quick hour.

h. Now time to extract the speculum.

g. Gill cleared up and disposed of all of the now non sterile equipment used whilst and I went and got dressed.

h. I went to the toilet as recommended to ensure any movement came out then and there.

i. I entered the main room again. Had a drink of water and a probiotic (you can read about their benefits in a Central Healthcare blog post here) which I was recommended to take for 30 days. I could have bought a supply but I knew I had some unopened probiotics in the house.

Then it was time to say goodbye…. 

How did I feel straight after the treatment? I felt clear in my brain as I’d been suffering from a niggling headache for days. My bloating reduced and I felt more vibrant. Gill recommended some more sessions to get the full benefits of irrigation.

Within the hour after treatment

Stupidly I decided to enjoy more mummy time off and headed to the Metro Centre and embarrassingly I did a big pump and more….I was mortified. I needed to find a toilet really quickly and whatever got moved during the colonic came out quick smart.

Rest of the day

I spent quite a lot of time at the loo and I drank lots of fluids to ensure I stayed hydrated.

The next day

Again I was quite poo tastic and the contents of the loo were rather bright yellow in colour. Normal? It didn’t look normal but I reassured myself that it was. (NOTE: yellow poo can be down to lack of good bacteria in the body).

Later that week – Fat class weigh in

As for weight loss on my weigh in I got a ‘maintain’ rather than a loss, so Gill was right after all but surely there should have been pounds lost from my body, I guess not.

Would I recommend colon therapy? I am of the persuasion that you shouldn’t knock anything until you try it. Gill and I talked all of the way through the treatment so it was akin to visiting a hairdressers in that respect. Therapy for the mind not the body; What I would do before, during and after a second treatment;

  • Clear your day if possible
  • Relax during the treatment (easier said than done)
  • Eat some probiotic yoghurt
  • Do not go shopping
  • Go home
  • Rest and enjoy the clarity
  • Don’t go with the expectation of miracles or weight loss.

Treatments start from £75.00. You can follow Central Healthcare on Facebook and Twitter  To find or give them a call on 0191 222 0100.