Thursday, October 16, 2008

Review: The Skinny Cow Icecreams

The Skinny Cow range of 97% fat free and sugar free ice creams have just arrived here in Australia, and I have been diligently trying all of them for you so I can let all of the Chic Mummies out there know all about them.

There has been a lot of ads for these in women's mags, and with my sweet tooth, I was really looking forward to trying them out. There are two types available; ice cream sticks, and sundae cups.

Ice cream Sticks

The ice cream sticks are available in 3 flavours; chocolate chip, vanilla chocolate and English toffee. The packs contain 4 choc chip sticks, and 4 of either the vanilla chocolate or the English toffee.

Choc chip - mmm...delicious. It was smooth and creamy, with a great choc flavour. The choc chips were more like choc slivers, but were still nice.

Vanilla chocolate - also very yummy. It was a smooth and creamy vanilla ice cream, with a small ribbon of chocolate sauce running down the middle.

English Toffee - a bit of a disappointment. I love toffee ice cream, but the flavour was a bit insipid, and the caramel sauce tasted more "sweet" than caramelly.

For only 80 calories, these are a great snack for when you are craving something sweet. What I really liked is that they didn't have that strange aftertaste that many artificially sweetened products have. I have already added these to my freezer.

Sundae Cups

After the success with the ice cream sticks, I was really looking forward to trying these. They are available in a four pack, in three flavours: Chocolate Berry Sundae, Vanilla Chocolate Sundae and English Toffee Sundae.

Chocolate Berry Sundae - this was the one I was most looking forward to, but unfortunately, I was disappointed. The ice cream was soft and felt creamy initially, but had a strange icy, cystalline feeling to it at the same time. There was a small amount of boysenberry sauce swirled over the top and down the sides, but it tasted like cough medicine. I didn't even finish the sundae cup, I disliked it that much.

Vanilla Chocolate Sundae - again, I was disappointed. The ice cream had the same, strange texture, as well as an artificial sweetener aftertaste. The choc sauce was not chocolaty enough, and the vanilla ice cream seemed to be too sweet. It was definitely better than the choc berry, but i won't be buying it again.

English Toffee - the store was out of stock of this flavour, and based on my experience with the other two flavours, I won't be trying it. I would love to hear from anyone else who has tried it.

The sundae cups have 110 calories, and others may have a different opinion to me about the flavour. My freezer, however, will only be stocked with the ice cream sticks.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Growing up too fast

Today really highlighted to me that time goes way too fast, and our children seem to grow up even faster. This afternoon, I ordered my son his first "Big Boy" bed. While he still co-sleeps with us at nightime, we needed somewhere for him to sleep in the daytime now that Irini has taken over his cot for her daytime sleeps. The set that I chose was the one above, called Alaska from Bedshed. I loved it because it looked old fashioned, harking back to a gentler time. I am about to start making the bedspread for it, which will be a patchwork quilt made of stripes and plaids in navy, various shades of lighter blue, some crimson, and some khaki. I think his room is going to look wonderful and masculine, but not too mature.

Stephen loves planes, so I am going to have a vintage plane theme. I just ordered some wonderful prints of vintage planes, as well as the storage tray and step below. I think these will really make his room look fantastic!

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bed image source
storage bin image source
step stool image source

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Monthly Breast Exams

This is your reminder to perform your monthly breast self-exam. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women today. Please take five minutes to do this important check. Early detection could mean the difference bewteen life and death.

There are two important ways to check your breasts. The first is by looking. A mirror should be used to check the breasts for pulls, dents, odd colouring, or lumps. The best positions for inspecting are leaning forward, arms on hips tightly, or standing upright with both arms over your head. When checking the breasts, keep in mind that both breasts should look the same, especially around the nipple.

The second way to check the breasts is by feeling. There are two ways to do this part of the exam and it is best to use a different one each month. One method uses water or oil on the skin to help fingers glide over the skin more easily. The shower can be a good place for this kind of exam. The second way is to use a thin T-shirt or sheet over the breasts. In both of these ways, the little skin lumps and bumps are less noticeable. Feel the breast tissue for any areas that feel different from the rest of the breast. Sometimes a difference will be a ball or lump. Yet other times it will be a thickened band or a deep, hard area that does not move like the rest of the breast.

When feeling the breasts

  • Check the breast in two or three positions, such as lying down, standing up, and even leaning forward.
  • Use the palm surface of the fingers, not the tips, to move the breast.
  • Divide the exam into parts. Examine one part from the outside of the breast into the nipple, and then from the inside to the outer edge. Realize the breast tail goes into the armpit, so the exam needs to include that area.
  • Remember the nipple is important, too. There is less breast tissue right under the nipple, so any lump there is a concern. The value of checking for discharge from the nipple is a debate since regular, hard squeezing of the nipple alone can cause a discharge. The gentle exam done towards your nipple is usually enough to show if there is a discharge. Any blood from the nipple needs to be evaluated by a doctor.

Breast self-exam is not a substitute for mammography or for regular exams by a doctor. Be sure to keep regular appointments as recommended by your doctor.

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