On Thursday evening I went out with Liam, Mum and Colin. We went to Plymouth to see The Phantom of the Opera - Mum and Colin had given us the tickets as our Christmas present...thank you! :) First we went for dinner - one of the occasions I would usually use my phone to take photos, but luckily Liam let me use his, sorry for the poor quality!
We went to Bella Italia which I don't think I'd ever been to before. For my main I chose the "Pepe Rossi Ripeni" which was an "oven baked pepper stuffed with creamy red pepper risotto, basil and crumbled goat's cheese. Served with a crisp lemon dressed salad baby gem, rocket, green beans, spring onion and cucumber":
I really enjoyed this. All the others chose chicken/pasta dishes and I definitely think the restaurant took more care in the presentation of this one. I don't normally like green beans but they were really nice cold in a salad and the stuffed pepper was really tasty too. Win.
We'd skip starters so that we had room for dessert, of course. My Mum and Colin always get dessert, they love it, although they shared one dessert between the two of them. Liam and I shared two desserts, both of which I chose, but with Liam in mind too! I don't normally choose to eat chocolatey desserts when I'm out but luckily (as that is what Liam likes) I was immediately drawn to two chocolatey desserts on the menu. Cookie Dough Lava Cake and The Godfather.
The Godfather was an ice cream sundae with vanilla and honeycomb ice creams, nutty fudge brownies, chocolate sauce, fresh cream, popping candy, dark chocolate sprinkles and a wafer curl:
This was quite nice, but there was way too much whipped cream and not enough brownie chunks.
The winner was definitely the Cookie Dough Lava Cake - a "moist chocolate chip cookie cake with a melting chocolate middle, served warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce":
Amazing. The cookie dough cake was perfect - soft, warm, chocolatey...mmm! Definitely glad we chose that one! :)
We then went to the theatre to watch the Phantom of the Opera, which I really enjoyed. My Mum had seen it once before in London (years ago) but the rest of us had never seen it but all thought it was great. Nice to have a night out somewhere different for a change as well.
I haven't taken many camera photos the last couple of days so I haven't got a huge amount to show you. Before we went out on Thursday I was rushing around sorting out my phone, making vegetable lasagne for the children and Liam's Mum (who was babysitting) to eat while we were out, and going to a "Mother's Day Tea Party". This was at Izzy's school and was so cute. They sent home invites on Monday and Izzy must have asked me at least 20 times each day that I was "definitely definitely coming" (even though the answer had always been yes!) - she was so excited!
When Toby and I got there, the hall was already packed! It was for the two Year R/1 classes, and the children were all sat on gym benches, whilst the parents (and younger siblings) filled the rest of the hall sitting at tables. The children sang two songs for us (one about Mum's stopping the sky from being grey (??) and I'm a little tea pot) and then five of the Year 1s read out their messages to their Mums. Izzy was the first to read and said that it was "really scary"! She read really well though - this was her message to me (her best friend had written exactly the same to her Mum so I'm guessing they worked together!)
After the readings, the children came and
In other news, yesterday I had my podiatrist appointment to try to sort out my feet/leg pains. The lady I saw said that a) my feet are some of the flattest she's ever seen and b) I hardly have any muscle strength in my feet and legs! She doesn't recommend insoles yet, partly because I then wouldn't be able to wear flip-flops etc in Summer, but mainly because she thinks I should build up some muscle strength first. So she's given me some exercises to do, and she also recommends finding an exercise to do that I enjoy, that will improve my core strength. Not swimming - she says I can carry on doing this if I really enjoy it, but it won't really build much muscle strength. Not Body Pump as I risk hurting my back if I do too much arm/leg weights before improving my core strength. Not weight machines at the gym for the same reason. Aaargh! What can I do??! She recommended Zumba (which I've tried before and didn't like) or Pilates. The gym with a creche does a class called "Body Balance" which is apparently a combo of Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi so I might give that a go. Has anyone tried it? I will keep swimming too. Luckily I already swim with my head properly in the water, as she was initially concerned I'd hurt my back if I swim with my head up. I've got to go see her again in 6-8 weeks so until then I will keep doing the exercises she's given me 3 times a day, and hopefully find another kind of exercise to build up some core strength.
Does anyone have any suggestions for core friendly exercise? I'm disappointed she discouraged Body Pump as I really enjoyed that - I'd actually been planning to go again last night before she said that! But I do get where she's coming from, I do sometimes get lower back pain when doing weights, and also when using the rowing machine, all of which she said is because my core is so weak. Let me know if you've tried Pilates/Body Balance or you have any other recommendations please! :)