Saturday, 26 September 2015

A cuppa with my friend

Isn't it just great when you visit a friend, the children play so well together that you don't see them at all, and you can just sit down and put the world to rights.  That's what this afternoon was like.  I got to my friends at 1pm and at 5pm considered that I really had to go home as the girls and I were getting very hungry!  Next time (and if hubby is working) I think we should just order a take-away and carry on chatting!
Time just flew by.  We had a good catch up and I even showed her how to get music on her phone and into her car.  She was delighted.  It's great to help.  Much tea flowed and quite a few laughs were had.  Roll on next time.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The diet is working!

I'm amazed.  Totally amazed. The diet - or healthy eating lifestyle - is working.  Yes, really!  I know. Who'd have believed it?

I have now lost 10lbs in 3 weeks. 3 WEEKS!  I'm beyond delighted.  I'm also not hungry and eating like a horse but, of course, it's all good stuff. By that I don't mean nibbling on a lettuce leaf or a celery stick, but eating a full meal.  A whole roast dinner is syn free for me (I don't like gravy) and a good fried breakfast of bacon, eggs, beans, mushrooms and tomatoes - don't mind if I do!
I'll keep you posted.  Still a long way to go until I hit my target weight and I know it's not always going to be plain sailing but I'm motivated, happy and just feel....healthier!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Ton-up party (that's 50+50 in case you were wondering)

Yesterday Gomez and Morticia (ok, hubby and I) held a 'ton-up party'. Yes, we're both 50 this year (he is already but I've a few months to wait).  Friends and family came along to help us celebrate and we had a totally amazing evening.  In case you hadn't was fancy dress.  We're not that weird (well, not most of the time).
We danced the night away to my very own DJ mix of 70s, 80s (mostly) and a few early 90s tracks.  Lots of fun.  Scarily enough, it doesn't seem that long ago I was celebrating my 40th!

Thank you to everyone who came, especially my sister and BIL who travelled all the way up from Barnstable to be with us for the night on their 45th wedding anniversary!  They never thought they'd be celebrating that achievement dressed as clowns!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

New Houseplants (naturally there is an orchid)

I have had a couple of house plants die on me recently. One was a 10 year old Christmas cactus that I had forgotten to water for about a month (well, it is a cactus!) and the other was part of a dragon tree - the large part is fine but the 'baby' died. Oh dear.  So today I headed over to Longacres with hubby and the girls to choose a few new plants.  I had already decided that I was going to buy an orchid as I seem to be very good with these flowers.  I have one that is almost 10 years old in my kitchen and it even grew a baby plant, which is now 5.  Perhaps I should get them birthday cards?
So, with the orchid in mind, and ignoring the girls' repeated requests for a big, bouncy ball (they still want one) and pretty much anything else shiny (S is part magpie I'm sure), we headed in.  Wow!!  I think Longacres has the biggest range of orchids I have ever seen.  Tables and tables of them, a huge array of colours and so many varieties.  It was even better than Wisley!

I loved that they had different ways of displaying the plants.  One oval shaped pot had 3 separate plants in it and looked very effective.  Another had a circular wire over it and the orchids had been trained to grow around it.  This I found stunning but sadly it was only available in white (and I've already got a white one).  I decided on a gorgeous yellow flowering variety called Ambiance Phalaenopsis (£5.99) as I don't yet have yellow in my kitchen.

The girls loved the miniature roses and whilst they looked lovely, I'm sorry to say that I'm not much use with those and once the flowers drop off, the rest of the plant normally follows. Think Whomping Willow in Harry Potter shedding it's leaves all in one go.  Yes, that. Normally when a door slams.  So, knowing my limitations, I went for a white variety of azalea (£4.99) as my second plant, and something I've not really seen before called Streptocarpus (£7.99) as my final choice. 
Azalea are a good plant for me. They grow well indoors and once they have stopped flowering, I tend to put them into the garden in spring where they thrive.  

Streptocarpus reminded me somewhat of an orchid but what captured my eye was the information on it saying it flowered for 8-10 months of the year.  An ideal kitchen plant for me.

The girls spotted these cute orchid supports and they're only £1.49 each.  I have small canes on mine at the moment but I might go back and buy some of these as they certainly look much prettier.  

Naturally the girls want them as magic wands but knowing my two, they'd not last too long like that.  As we also headed off geocaching yesterday, I popped into a local garden centre chain (who shall remain nameless) and spotted that their orchids were £2 dearer each than the ones I bought in Longacres.  Savvy (and just a tiny bit smug) shopper that I am!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

(Back to) School - Part 2

N started school on Monday of this week.  She had been counting down the days on a little calender stuck to the wall beside her bed, using a small stamp to mark each day off. So sweet.  She's used to school, in a way.  She went to an independent school's nursery for 2 years for 3 full days per week, so she knows the routine. Their are two differences now. Number 1 - it's 5 days per week and number 2 - boys!  Yes, boys are a relatively new thing for her to deal with (apart from a few boy friends they have).  Her previous school was girls only you see so none of this rowdy behaviour from boys *grin*
Hubby and I went in on her first day (S wanted to come too but she was already in school as N started a bit later).  We were told we could stay for up to 30 minutes as she settled in. She found her bookbag tray and peg, then headed into the classroom and straight onto the computer.  She has to use a right handed mouse in her left hand but with right-handed buttons. I appreciate it's not easy to keep changing the mouse set-up in school but I did find it a bit frustrating to be told 'most children are right handed'.  So what?  She's not.  However, in the PC suites, they will set up a left-handed mouse for her to use properly.  She's quite adept at sorting herself out and it seems she had far less of an issue with it all than I did! In fact....she had no issue at all.

Being completely settled, we left.  I know I'm used to her not being around 3 days a week but something felt different now *sniff*. Soppy old soul aren't I.

She loves the school lunches and sits with S. She also plays with S.  It seems that S has abandoned all her other friends in favour of her little sister.  I'm sure that will eventually change, although they are both very close.  N snitches on S now about what she has and hasn't eaten in her lunchbox (N has school lunches as she's not a right old fuss-pot). 
Yesterday a boy pushed N off one of the big tyres in the playground and she hurt herself a bit. He ran off. Bigger children, including her buddy (they have a year 5 or 6 to help look after them) came over and sorted her out.  I told her that if he did it again, to shove him back hard!  Apparently this is not the politically correct thing to do and I was chastised by S for suggesting such a thing.  Bad mummy. 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Boden Nature Tee

Oh Boden, you must have overheard me.  A friend and I were talking a couple of weeks ago about the fact that Boden had sent us both a number of great money off vouchers but, alas, in the last year or so, nothing has come from them.  So, would you believe it, last week a £10 off voucher arrived through my letterbox (and my friends as well).  

I can't resist a Boden discount so I was on the website in seconds to have a look what was available, but not for me.  S needs some new winter, long-sleeved t-shirts and dresses as she's outgrown all of hers (handy for N then), so I was after something 'cute'.  I found it.  This gorgeous Nature Trail T-Shirt.  S adores woodland creatures so this fabulous 100% cotton tee was a must.  It's in purple too which just so happens to be her favourite colour in the world.  It also had 20% off and I got free postage.  Can this get any better? S loves it.  I love it.  N loves the fact all the little creatures are wearing bright coloured accessories (and, of course, the fact that one day it will be hers).  I would have put a picture up of her in it but the day she wore it, she dropped some dinner down the front and as lovely as it looks, I don't think the custard stain did it any favours.  I'll pop one up next time she's in it.

Friday, 4 September 2015

(Back to) School - Part 1

Yesterday was back to school for S. She's in Year 2 now. Where has that time gone.  I decided that rather than one of those 'post-by-the-door-in-school-uniform' shots, I'd be more creative - so here she is in our front garden!

J started 6th Form too. How is it even possible that she is almost 17?!  They say the years fly by.  Boy they do (but all filled with fabulous memories and many fun times).
N starts school on Monday. That's quite momentous for me.  She's my last little lady to head to 'big school'. She's very excited. I am less so.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

It's not a diet - it's healthy eating

I've joined Slimming World (again). This time though, rather than joining online and then only logging in a handful of times, I've joined a group.  What a difference!

My friend suggested a group would be better for me as you get the support from other members and the incentive to lose weight with being weighed. I poo-poo'd the idea saying I didn't need an incentive and was fine on my own - just me and my will power.  Yep, it failed.  So, I've found a local group that meets in the mornings (evenings are no good you see due to hubby's shift work) and thus can go every week.  
My first time going was fine.  Everyone was really welcoming and I got weighed.  This is where I realised I must have put on chain mail in error this morning instead of a t-shirt.  I'm sure those scales are very inaccurate!  I was hoping no-one overheard my weight!  The scales were shouting "one at a time please" which may have given the game away a bit (kidding - just wanted to get that one in).
It was great to hear how well people were doing on their weight-loss journey.  Most were losing anything from 1 - 6 1/2 lbs (yay, they talk in 'old money' here) per week. Of course some put on weight but most knew why this was the case and they weren't deterred from continuing.  It was a very positive experience.
I'm now 3 days into SW.  How am I doing?  I'm bloody starving!  I know, I shouldn't be saying that right?  What the heck, I am.  I know why though. I'm so used to nibbling throughout the day that my body wonders what the hell is going on and why, instead of a couple of chocolate chip cookies, it's getting a pound of fresh fruit!  I could murder a chocolate bar. In fact, I want pretty much anything I'm not allowed to have!  That being said...I'm not giving in.  I've stuck to it even when my git of a hubby got a large chocolate bar on Monday night and ate the bloody lot while we were watching TV.  I did contemplate smothering him with a pillow and then stealing the remains from him but decided against it.  It just proved I could do this.
I also started dancing around my lounge again.  No, this is not some mad woman antics of mine but Wii Dance. I went in for 20 minutes on the first go.  When I put my glasses on afterwards, they steamed up. Yep, I was a little over-heated!
If I had her figure, I wouldn't be doing Zumba!
On the advice of a friend, I've just been to Sainsburys and bought a bunch of cereal bars.  Sadly I did not take my book with me.  I thought I'd remembered what was good and what was not.  Seems my memory is getting worse (also do bear in mind I'd not touch a cereal bar with a barge-pole if I were not dieting).  I ended up with one out of 4 packs that I could actually eat!  Hopeless huh?  Even worse, these tasteless things that I can't now eat are 7 syns! I could have a flake for that...pah!
So, I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing.  I'm aiming for 1 1/2 stones off by my scales (that's 2 stone on theirs!).  Watch this space.