Getting there – great Gi breakfast

29 Sep

Views over Tuscan countryside from my exercise bike.

September is a great time to get back into the swing of things with the whole new shiny academic year thing going on. Already, I’ve learnt a lot.

I’ve learnt: -
That doing any long stints on a stationary bike is boring, even if you have a glorious Tuscan hillside vista to enjoy.

That inexplicably people are more impressed if you say you are doing a half marathon on a bike (even though that is 21k) than a 20k

I am fitter and leaner than I was (have lost 3lbs) , despite eating huge quantities of all Italian delicacies on our holiday, pasta, white bread, ice cream.

Since my return, I have discovered Lizi’s Low Sugar Granola which I’ve been having with almond milk to add more protein on Emma’s advice to my previously very high gi breakfast of weetabix with lots of sugar.

Coupled with my morning Spatone which has become part of my every day routine, I am definitely feeling more energised.

At the time of writing we have 37 days to go until the event, and it’s starting to hit home.

I usually manage to be very solitary while I ride and choose quiet times of day and low traffic rural roads, I absolutely LOVE the thinking time and space it gives me.

So I am nervous about cycling alongside so many other people on the roads on the day. I’m also a bit anxious about the hills.

But, I am very excited about the challenge day and know that I will be SO proud of myself when I have finished.



What’s in a name?

10 Aug

So I have been thinking about whether I should keep the name of this blog as 2winterest. I chose it before the girls were born, and I was spending a fair amount of time on Pinterest and I liked the pun, and the Prince style 2 amused me too.

Now that the girls are nearly 8 months old, I am trying to blog more often. I briefly thought about whether it was the right name.

When I was at university people would have vague epithets to describe people. “You know Freddie? He’s tall, in a band, plays rugby?” Mine was, “Olivia; loud, does classics.” Not quite white armed Penelope in the Homeric tradition but hey ho.

These days, I am OliviaWithTheTwins. The girls have changed so much in my life and the way I think about things, that I think it’s only right that they are an integral part of my identity.

Hello Velo

29 Jun

Wow. I can’t believe its over a month since my last blog post – and my rather exciting trip to London.

Spinning Around
I was very nervous on arrival at Boom Cycle - it was very sleek and modern and every one was Lycra’ed up. I was wearing my husband’s T-shirt as I don’t have any gym stuff that fits me. Having been a member of various gyms over the last few years I have seen people on their way out of spinning classes looking like they were about to pass out from exhaustion, so I was very scared.

But my fears were unfounded. It was absolutely awesome. I loved the low level lighting (which meant that no one saw when my foot came out of my cleat!) and the music was completely brilliant too. My radio is usually firmly tuned to Absolute 80s, so it was outside my comfort zone too but I loved it. While the feminist in me was unimpressed about the lyrics on listening again later, I was loving the tune of Jason Derulu’s Talk Dirty and giving it large on the pedals. The energy and enthusiasm of the instructor was contagious and I felt really motivated while I was there.

I will confess to a bit of self preservation – I was probably only giving about 75%. I wasn’t sure how long the class was going to be and frankly, I didn’t want to fall off!  Or worse be so sore that I wouldn’t be able to function the next day with four children. I was rather saddle sore as although Joanne’s warm down was great, I think no amount of stretching was going to counteract the force with which I was sinking down onto the saddle in relief after the standing “sprints”. I was super grateful for a wonderfully nutty delicious recovery smoothie at the end of the class.


And then, Olympic moment!


It was so inspiring to chat to Joanne afterwards – about her medal and her training, though realising when she was born made me feel old. Meeting the guys from the Human Race team was helpful too and I left Boom Cycle with a literal spring in my step -I bounced up the escalator at Liverpool Street and determination to succeed in my heart. (Sadly the it didn’t last long as the trains home were completely scuppered, but I digress.)

So on finally getting home, my next challenge to overcome was to find a bike: it’s going to be pretty hard to do without one.
I last bought one in the last century and it was care of the bank of Mum and Dad – things appear to have changed massively since then.
There is SO much choice – I was utterly overwhelmed and slightly taken aback by the cost. So I decided that until I get into the saddle a bit more, I am firmly sticking to a second hand hybrid found locally online. Once I got it home I gave it a quick once round our garden to my two sons’ delight – they joined in on their bikes – they have them but my husband is yet to get one but I think I have inspired him that he needs one too, now.

On my corporate sponsor (!)
I’ve been taking Spatone for years now (since my first pregnancy) whenever I feel run down. It was recommended by someone on Mumsnet and I always have a packet in the cupboard so it was great to have my training supply arrive in one go- the boys had great fun with the boxes!

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 23.35.34

Taste wise it doesn’t bother me, I usually pour it into a small glass of OJ – as I’m pretty sure the vitamin C helps the absorption of the iron.

On yer bike
Going out on the road is a bit of a leap for me as I have learnt to drive a car since I last cycled on the road as a student in the relative cycle haven of the streets of Oxford. I now live in cycling friendly sub rural Hertfordshire – many of my friends are triathletes and there are regularly cycle groups going past but I am terrified very wary of the BIG lorries and the impatient school run mums (ahem) who are doubtless muttering about cyclists.

Training schedule so far:

Ride 1: around my (not very big) garden -I felt like my 15 year old self again, wheeling down the small slope and just riding for the joy of it – my kids LOVED watching me.
Ride 2 : to check whether a sign had been put on a noticeboard nearby for an event – trying out the shimano gears – bit of a serious fail there and I found myself in the wrong gear utterly.
Ride 3: to deliver a form to a neighbour – felt brilliant to be out but it wasn’t a busy time of day and I pottered there and back.
Ride 4: nipped to school to collect something – rode on the very quiet pavement (!!) as I was afraid of the big lorries- gears still not great (!)
Ride 5: Right – I really must go out and get started on this. I put my Spatone top on to remind myself of why I was doing this and chose a quiet time of day and did a 4 mile loop- only 20 minutes or so but I am breaking myself in slowly. This was my longest ride so far and I was out of breath when I got home – need to make sure that i am properly ready.

I am still waiting to speak to Kerry from Revolution and Emma the nutritionist – we have been playing voicemail tennis, so I am still overdoing the Double Deckers and underperforming on my bike – am hoping this will change by my next update.

So here I am with 15 weeks to go until the big day – plenty of time but PLENTY to do.


9 months later…

27 May

Well we survived Project Organisation. I did indeed manage to get everything alphabetised and aligned. In fact, I was concentrating so much on labelling anything that didn’t move in the house and preparing emergency documents and welcome packs for our fabulous mothers help that I didn’t have time to blog about any of it!

We also nailed Project Birth (for gory details, click here )  our two baby daughters arrived safely and quite quickly in the world at 38 weeks spot on in December. They are utterly wonderful.


Since then, well, we have been getting to grips with, well, all of it. Hopefully I’ll be able to fill you in on the various tricks and strategies I’ve been implementing to deal with the rather massive change from two children to four, dealing with twins and not drowning in the laundry mountain as I blog more regularly.

But what’s finally got me me to start blogging again, is that I have won a place in  Team Spatone. Training starts TOMORROW! I am nervous, clueless and excited.





Back to school! Hurrah!

3 Sep

new term

So here we are the eve of a new term as the weather promises to heat up again.

I’m getting an early night – as I’m sure the 8.45 drop-off will be a bit of a shocker after lazy days of the holidays.
The uniform’s ready, everything labelled and my Facebook timeline is full of cheery smiles of the children of friends all of whom are starting new forms with gently tanned faces from long summer days.

Now for my trivia point of the day.  Academic years begin in September because students were given time off over summer months to help with the harvest – now the September 1st looms over anyone due to have a baby around then as class-year cut-off dates are agonised over.
But September is also a good time in my experience to start a new regime – Mumsnetters across the country are on Christmas little black dress countdown diets and I have friend training in earnest for a half marathon.
I will be helping DS1 with his handwriting after school as he didnt do  any as much over the summer as my good intentions had planned.
On a more personal note, I will be starting Operation Nesting Phase 1 – which is to sort out some long overdue household admin and clutter clearing. I will have TWELVE glorious hours of child-free time a week as DS2 starts preschool in earnest on Thursday – the potty training is a work in progress but he’s doing very well.
Watch this space as my life hopefully becomes organised, aligned, alphabetised and run with clockwork precision.

What not to name your baby

14 Aug

So the annual list of most popular baby names has been released and those of us with impending arrivals sit up and take notice. George will doubtless rank very highly next year though it’s not a name on our shortlist. But as we don’t know what we’re having,  we have three different name combinations to contemplate and research.


The Mumsnet consensus on twin names is that they have to sit together well like siblings , so Tyler and India wouldn’t go together as rentagob Katie Hopkins would doubtless agree. That said, the names shouldn’t be matchy-matchy (so my adoration of alliteration is a naming no-no here).

In terms of popularity, I’m not too bothered by this –   the boys are in the top hundred and DH and I are both in the top ten now but weren’t when we were born.  DS2 will spend his life spelling both his names – our surname is not too unusual but isn’t spelt as it sounds.

But we are still pretty much nowhere on names. For one thing we used up all our boys’s names on DS1 and 2  (seven between them <blush>) but also it has really seemed too early. While we do have a long list of girls’s names leftover from last time there are none that we both entirely agree on so we’re keeping mum for now.

Along with the released stats comes the other news that we’re currently experiencing a baby boom with the highest birth rate since 1972. Naturally,  the pundits are trying to work out the reason for this. Did the Jubilympic summer of 2012 really mean that lots of folk were getting jiggy with it? The royal baby is apparently another factor – because one couple in London got pregnant, the rest of the nation decide to do so too?! Hmm. I remain unconvinced on that one.

I think it’s much more likely to be the credit crunch – less going out means more early nights. People aren’t all that imaginative when it comes to pastimes really. Our NCT group was made up of lots of teachers – and all the other November babies in our group were the result of a snow day…


Six things you need to get ready for potty training

11 Aug

So outside of medical appointments and wowing people with our fecundity, life goes on with our other children.

We’re coming to the latter half of the summer holidays now and I have three and a half weeks before DS2 starts at preschool. The staff there are fab and understanding but I’d like to get him on his way to minimise accidents and am conscious that I’m not getting any more agile as I get bigger.

So here are my tips for D-Day which is tomorrow.


1 A potty. We have had ours in the downstairs loo since a toddler visitor about 6 weeks ago and DS has been having the occasional sit down on it but thus far has produced nothing. In fact he worryingly keeps removing the innard and sitting on the empty “hole”.

We also have one upstairs. Note to self: put newspaper down.

2 Pants. Lots and lots of pants. I’m hoping that DS2 will like the same diggers and cars that are on DS1’s hand me downs as I’m not too thrilled about buying more.

3 Sticker chart (template I used is here) and I added some of the copious characters that DS likes on to it.

4 Distraction toys – I have a box of (easy to clean!)  things for him to play with as he sits that he will only have access to in the loo.

5 Bribery currency. In my case, chocolate buttons. Not only is chocolate a laxative but both my children will do pretty much anything for the caramel ones.

6  Patience in abundance. Hmm. I’ll keep you posted on that one.  I have an alarm on my iPhone that goes off when it’s time to leave to drop/pick up DS1 from school which DS2 does recognise. So I am planning on setting a timer every half an hour  tomorrow (with a different ringtone alert so as not to confuse him) for “potty time!”

potty time


Wish me luck!




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