IBS – FODMAP Diet – 3rd Week Update

Its three weeks since I decided to try the FODMAP diet for my, possible, IBS. The first week I followed the diet to the letter and after the first two days, no stomach problems. Apart from having some homemade vegetable soup my diet was very boring though. Porridge for breakfast every day. Then I had boiled potatoes and carrots with either pork steak or chicken for my evening meal for the first 5 days.  So at the weekend myself and Abbie decided to see what I could eat.

On the Saturday we made sweet & sour chicken, corn bread and chocolate cake, all FODMAP friendly. On Sunday I did a roast, I was allowed to eat everything apart from gravy, I was naughty and had one spoonful though.

Week two started off well until the Sheppard’s pie, even worse, my husband’s homemade Sheppard’s pie. I simply couldn’t resist it but thought I would be OK. The only things in it I shouldn’t really eat was onion & stock cubes. I did only had a very small amount as well. I waited for the stomach ache to start, but nothing, I was fine, see, knew I would be! The next day Abbie baked cookies, again I know they had flour in but surely one wouldn’t affect me, again it didn’t. I then started to become very complacent, major mistake!

You can see where this is going can’t you? By Saturday all these little bits and pieces that ‘would be fine’ have resulted in me being awake half the night with stomach ache and sitting with hot water bottles all day on Sunday.  I did used to have willpower, no idea where it’s gone.

The third week was really bad for the first 3 days, I did follow the diet again and things started to settle down properly on Friday. I was eating mainly bland food that week and on Friday started adding in omelettes and more stir fries.

This week we went to Chester Zoo, so I did eat a few things I shouldn’t again but lucky it wasn’t overly bad. Restarting properly again this week, just hoping I can find that will power, it must be somewhere.

If you would like to have a look at my FODMAP recipes I am starting to list them on my website.



After going back and forwards to the doctors with numerous stomach & digestive problems I am going to work on the assumption that it is most probably IBS which is behind it all. As there is no actual test for IBS the diagnosis is a bit hit and miss. Last year they found I had a helicobacter pylori infection, acid reflux & gastritis after numerous tests. I was on antibiotics & other tablets for just over 2 months, everything settled down for a while but the last 6 months have been hell.

I have lost count of the number of things I’ve had to cancel over the last few years as I’ve not been able to leave the house because of stomach problems. Regularly when I was working (I’m self employed and I do shows & events mainly at the weekend), I couldn’t eat from lunch time the day before so I could leave the house early the next day. I would regularly not dare to eat for over 24 hours when I was working. This of course made my digestive system worse though, and the vicious circle started again.

I have already found a few foods that cause me problems such as onions, anything fizzy, fried/fatty foods & some vegetables.  A doctor suggested FODMAPS which I had never heard of but I’m willing to try anything to get out of this cycle of stomach cramps, diarrhoea & bloating so I can start to enjoy life again.

Let me explain about FODMAP, in case you, like me, have never heard about this. FODMAP stands for:  Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides & Polyols, bit of a mouthful I know. These are a collection of poorly absorbed simple & complex sugars which are found in a variety of fruits & vegetables but they also found in milk & wheat.

I have done a fair bit of research on what foods are likely to be bad for me but last week I found this page which contains a list of bad and good foods. I am starting changing my diet from tomorrow and I am aiming to just stick to the ‘good’ foods for between 2 and 4 weeks and then I will start to re-introduce some things and see if I have any reaction to them.

There’s one thing that I can’t cut out, milk. I cannot drink tea & coffee black so that has to stay in my diet but I will cut down as much as possible. The rest I will stick to, it is going to be hard but I have to look at the long term benefits. I will keep you posted on how I do with this.


#Walk 1000 Miles

I lost track of our 1000 mile challenge after February last year, there was too much going on. But, my total mileage for the year was a little over 1900 miles!!!

This was my total mileage which was every step I took when wearing my fitbit. My goal was to only use the amount of miles I did ‘boots on’ but that was impossible. I am more than happy with that total though and I am aiming to beat that figure this year.

In January I did 164.1 miles so off to a good start.

A Little Luxury

Before I took the children out of school I had 6 hours 10 minutes each day, Monday to Friday (in term time), when I could have time to myself.  Now they are here every minute of every day and although it can be very rewarding it can also be very hard especially when you want a little ‘me’ time.

I’ve given up an awful lot to home educate and have to juggle so much each day. Collecting birthday & Christmas presents needs military planning to make sure the child doesn’t see the present. The shopping used to be done while they were out, now we have to drag unwilling children around the supermarkets.  I used to love to sit and read when it was quiet, it never seems to be quiet enough now to concentrate.

But, the little luxury that I can’t do without is my bath once a week. Now before all the yuck’s start, the once a week is my ‘take as long as I want in the bath’ night.  Other nights are a shower or a 15 minute bath. I used to do it regularly, but during the day, when they were in school, now, forget it.

The warnings start 2 hours before, I’m going for a bath at 6pm. I’m going for my bath in an hour. Does anybody need the bathroom before I have my bath in 30 minutes. In 10 minutes I am going to lock the bathroom door, if you don’t go in now you can’t for a minimum of an hour. They all know that unless someone is dying that I am not moving until I’m ready.

Now, the main bit of luxury is filling the bath up so high that the water immediately starts to go down the overflow the minute I get in. No problem, I just keep filling in up. Lots of hot water and bubbles are the order of the day.

So, you can keep your flowers, chocolates & bottles of wine, OK maybe not the wine. The only treat I need is my deep, hot, bubbly bath and an hour with no interruptions and I’m happy.


Tour of Britain 2017

We’ve just got back from watching the Tour of Britain 2017 which came through our village.


The Tour of Britain is a multi-stage cycling race which is conducted on British roads, the competitors race across Great Britain to complete the race in the fastest time. The total distance is around 1300 km. The section we viewed part of was 165km.

This is the first time we have actually gone to anything like this but I think the children enjoyed seeing all the bikes, both motorised and pedal powered.

I don’t think we have a budding cyclist in the family, far too energetic. As a friend Jodie just said  “I can just about get out of bed in a morning, never mind that!!” I second that.

I feel we may have a couple of blog posts being done before the end of the day. I knew there was a reason I took them to watch it.

Minecraft Review

Explaining the game and its mechanics:

Minecraft is, by far, one of the most popular survival games ever made. Despite its purposefully blocky graphics it still surprises players with outstanding visuals, whether it’s in a deep ravine or on top of a snowy mountain. It’s a good tool to use to teach kids, I have a world for my sister and in it is a diagram of a flower.

Frequent updates make the game fresh and interesting with every major update. My favourite feature of minecraft is the range of unique biomes and monsters the player can come across.

There are different ways to play this game, from Creative mode (which is a risk free way to build or explore) to Survival mode (Exactly how it sounds, survive). Survival its my favourite, it makes it so, in order to survive, the player needs to gather resources. This includes building a shelter before night, otherwise the players chance of survival drops dramatically as a rage of monsters spawn everywhere. Creative, however, prevents this as the player flies around the world risk-free, doing whatever they want without consequence.

The player will often encounter naturally generated structures, such as villages (a good source of food and items) and the stronghold (every world has this and is the only way to find the End Portal). But other, more rare structures include; Jungle temples, dessert temples and mansions.


Bugs and lag:

Lag is a real problem in Minecraft, although usually infrequent, it can be annoying if it happens at just the wrong time. I have a world in creative where I build mini-games and one of them I have had to put Out Of Order due to extreme lag near the top, I’m always afraid my game might crash whenever I go up there to try and fix it. There is also the possibility to fall though the world because the chunks haven’t loaded, but that’s rare.

Bugs are much rarer and it’s usually funny when they happen, like floating blocks or a zombies who decides it would fun the walk aimlessly in circles. But sometimes they can cost the players life and items, such as invisible lava. All these usually fixed by a quick exit and re-load.


This is a bad glitch and has happened to me a couple of times…


Minecraft is my favourite game, with its diverse range of thing to do and accomplish. The Educational value includes things like; coordinates X,Y,Z (as this is what the Maps use), Strategy and Problem solving. The only limit is your imagination… 

4.5 Stars





Clip Clop Chronicles – A Review

Jess received this book as part of her birthday presents. The book is set in central Florida, it follows the journey of Roz who is a twelve-year-old, horse mad girl. She is determined to make it to the top of the equestrian world but her family think riding horses is a sport that Black people just don’t do.

This is a story about determination to succeed and this is the story of her fight to prove she can be whatever she wants.

This is Jess’s review of the book:

Clip – Clop Chronicles is about a black girl called Roz age 12 whose dream is to be a horse rider. She tries to earn money to go to horse riding lessons by mowing other people’s lawns but in a storm things turn against her and a tree comes down on her lawn mower and the engine took most of the damage but luck had it that her mum and dad were nice and paid half of what she needed and she had enough now to take riding lessons.

She goes thru 1 teacher before she finely finds the right teacher to teach her. Her teachers name is Ms Mae, and she is a nice teacher and kind to all of her student’s but I think she liked Roz best.

It is a good book and there are no pictures so it gets you to use your imagination I have learnt that bad things happens but so do good things like Roz’s lawn mower broke but she when horse riding I think children from age 8 up would like it

I would give the book:


5 StarsClip Clop Chronicles - A Review

Travelling Backwards – A Review


Travelling Backwards By Toby Forward

I managed to pick this book up for 50p in a sale at The Works, and what a bargain it was. Jess has read the book 3 or 4 times and thinks it is brilliant.

It’s an easy story to read which introduces children to the concepts of death and endings. It deals with death in a child friendly and non scary way.  Below is Jess’s review of the book, she first read it just after her 9th birthday.

“Travelling Backwards is about a little girl called Lizzie. Lizzie’s grandpa is dying  Lizzie goes over to her freind miss may’s house to take her mind of her dying grandpa but miss may knows some thing is upsetting  Lizzie and asks what is wrong.

Lizzie tells miss may and miss may gives  Lizzie a potion to stop  Lizzie’s grandpa dying she warns Lizzie not to give grandpa to much and to bring the bottle back when grandpa is better .  Lizzie goes back home and gives grandpa some and the effect is extraordinary my favourite part is when Lizzie goes to the beach with her better grandpa who drank a bit to much

I give it 4.5 out of 5, I think most children who can read on their own would like it”

4.5 Stars



Nessy – Help For Children With Dyslexia – Review

Nessy was recommended to me by a friend who had used it with her daughter. We think Jess is dyslexic, although she has only had very basic tests which show a problem but nothing was confirmed. We had so many problems with numbers & letters back to front, letters completely missing from words even when she had written it 10 minutes before, she has always had difficulty telling time and so much more.

The Nessy reading & spelling  program was developed by a team of specialist teachers & psychologists at the Bristol Dyslexia Centre, with dyslexic children in mind. It is aimed at 5-12 years but I think Jess would have struggled with it before she was 7. There are 10,000 schools worldwide that use the program so your child may have already have knowledge of it.

We have Nessy Reading & Writing & also Nessy Numbers. Both are used equally on an almost daily basis.

I have noticed that some of the reading games can be done too easily, just by looking at the initial letter of the word rather than actually reading it, this is a minor issue though.

Jess loves the games and earning nuggets that she can spend in ‘Monkey Town’. I personally feel that the games could get boring if they are doing them too often. But, it’s not me that uses it so I asked Jess to tell me what she thinks.

Please ignore the spelling & (lack of) punctuation as she is working 18 months behind her age. She’s slowly catching up and is doing a lot more work than she did at school.  This is partially down to Nessy 😀

Jess – 9

I am home Ed and I use Nessy. Nessy is a fun way for kids to lean I find it very useful at times like the  first time I went on Nessy I did not know how to tell  the time properly but now I know that for pm all you need to do is take away  twelve and that is just on Nessy clock island. On Nessy tables of doom I learnt my 3, 4, 6 and 7 times tables

On Nessy reading and spelling I am learning to spell properly also on Nessy there is something called monkey town. In monkey town there are rewords like if you complete an island you get an egg and you can see the egg via the big tree in monkey town and there are loads more rewords to collect

Ed Place Review

Ed Place is one of the programs we use as part of our home education. It has 1000s of interactive worksheets covering English, maths and science which are created by qualified teachers.  There are video’s for some topics but according to the children it can be a bit hit or miss as to whether they are useful or not. The worksheets cover from KS1 through to KS4.

Both me & the children can check their progress and see overall and individual topic scores on the dashboard. It also tells us which are their best, and worse, performing topics, very handy when choosing what to do more work on.

I have found that Abbie (12) doesn’t care about the badges she earns but it really motivates Jess (9) to do more. The normal cost is £99 for all 3 subjects for 1 year but we actually get it at a reduced cost as part of a home education group subscription (please send me a message if you would like more details). They also have a 14 day trial for £1 so you can check if the children like it or not.

I would personally give it a 4.5 out of 5 as I think it’s a brilliant program. The normal price brings the score down sightly for me.

Here is a short video of Jess doing a science worksheet:

Below are the children’s own thoughts about it.

Abbie – 12

Ed Place is a learning platform that I unwillingly use from time to time, I like the scoring system though. Me (12) and my sister (9) use it as we are home educated, and it’s admittedly one of the better learning sites.

It has Science, English and Maths and depending on what year the child is set on, there will be different topics, eg: I’m on year gsce level (year 10-11) and my maths basically all algebra…

But on quite a few topics I don’t think it explains things very well leading to low scores and frustration. Over all I’d only give it a 3/5.

Jess – 9

I think it’s fun and I like getting rewards like badges. Its good that you can check your scores and timeline, I can check what i have done on other days with this.

I would give it 4 out of 5

Our overall score for Ed Place is:

4 Stars