Tuesday 27 March 2018

It's hard work being good

About 4 years ago I joined Slimming World.  I wasn't massively overweight, but I needed to lose a bit of weight to feel comfortable in my clothes - I refused to start buying a larger size!  At SW they tell you to initially aim to lose 10% of your body weight and I was given a target of 13lb to lose.  I did it and kept it off until about 6 months ago.  Gradually, it has been sneaking back on.  After both weddings last year I guess I got back into bad habits and I've now put back nine of those little pounds.  

In my defence, we've had a lot of celebrations with the two weddings and with both of us having our 'big' birthdays, a couple of long weekends away, Christmas - all great excuses for cake, rich food and the odd glass or two of wine.  Well, maybe more than just the odd glass!  

It has to stop.  I need to get back on track.  Slimming world is so easy to do and it really is just common sense and changing the way in which you cook.  My main problem is the snacking.  I find it hard to sit and watch things like Bake Off with just a cup of coffee without a biscuit to keep it company.

But when I set my mind to something, I do try my utmost to do it - despite friends trying to sabotage my efforts.  We've been invited to friends for a takeaway Indian meal at the end of the week, obviously it's Good Friday (Hot cross buns), Easter Sunday (chocolate eggs) and then a belated birthday meal out at a local Italian restaurant next Thursday.  Boy have I got to be strong willed! 

Anyone else feeling like they need to spring clean their diet before we have to bare a bit more flesh in summer clothes?  {Please tell me it isn't just me ...}

Monday 19 March 2018

A plausible excuse

You know how it is when the universe tries to tell you something?  You don't always see the signs but the clues are definitely there.  This can also be known as 'trying to justify buying new clothes'.

Last week we had one of those charity bags put through our door, collecting clothes for the NSPCC charity.  This was fantastic timing as I am planning to go through my wardrobe and get rid of those clothes I only ever wear for work.  But you know how it is when you weed things out of your wardrobe and the wardrobe suddenly looks a bit empty and there are hangers hanging around with nothing on them?  They look so sad.  They clearly need something new to wear (and so do I).  

I first noticed a fab, bright, cheerful colour combination on Jodie's blog.  I have a lovely pair of crop trousers in a fun, bright tone of green and loved how she had styled the same colour in a cardigan with pink.  Clearly my crops were never going to look as good combined with a boring neutral shade, they needed something to cheer them up.

So the universe sent me another clue.  A 15% voucher to be used in White Stuff.  I do like their clothing but usually only shop there when there is a sale or a money off offer.  You see where this is going don't you?  

Jodie had also done another blog post on footwear, which got me thinking about what I would be taking for our forthcoming trip to Bologna.  We're going with another couple and my friend is quite fashion conscious and I realised that my trusty Sketcher trainers possibly weren't going to be up to any photo opportunities.  

A quick trip into town this morning has resolved both issues

I love the coral pink of the top, I can see me getting a lot of use out of it and the trainers are so different to any other footwear I have.  In fact my daughter popped round unexpectedly when I was trying them on and her opening greeting was 'Mum, I love those shoes!' so they are definitely keepers - plus they have an inch platform spongy sole so I am taller when I wear them!

Has the universe spoken to you recently?  Keep listening!

Saturday 17 March 2018

Over the hill

Am happy to report that tipping over from my 50s to my 60s has been fantastic.  I've been wined and dined, pampered and spoilt.  If this is what 60 feels like - bring it on!

Monday 12 March 2018


Well, what a difference between the me that wrote the last post and the me writing this one.  The unexpected spa break which was a combined Mother's Day and early birthday treat, was absolutely what I needed to shake me out of my low mood and I've returned feeling much more like my old self.  Actually a more relaxed and pampered, better version of that old self.

A glass of prosecco on arrival will always set the scene for a relaxing time.  Then up to our room to change into our towelling robes to have a blissful hot stone massage.  Oh wow.  Amazing, don't think I've ever felt so relaxed.  Then suddenly it's time to get dressed for dinner

We arrived a little early to the restaurant so killed some time enjoying a lovely G&T in the bar

The food was amazing - absolutely delicious and after dinner we both went up to our room and I don't think I've slept so soundly for ages.

Before we went down for breakfast she handed me a card which was an early birthday card from my son saying that as his birthday treat for me he had paid for me to have a luxury manicure.  

To say I feel pampered, relaxed and very, very lucky to have such thoughtful and generous children is the understatement of the year.  The last few days of my 50s have been pretty special.   60?  Bring it on!

Friday 9 March 2018

Counting down the days

I've found myself in an odd kind of mood this week - I don't know what it is, the final remnants of this stupid cold virus that is being stubbornly slow to go completely or could it possibly the thought that this is my last week of being in my 50s 😱. Or maybe just a combination of a lot of things - the cold weather isn't helping and I am finding myself longing for spring to really start.  

It's lucky I finished my 'tipsy tumbler' quilt 

As I've been spending my evenings curled up beneath it!  Oh for lighter evenings and warmer temperatures. 

A friend of mine's husband has just been told that he has a serious cardiac issue and she sent me a message which included these words, which I cannot get out of my mind.

"The future isn't going to be the one I thought we would be having ..." 

and I think that has really resonated with me.  That I must stop procrastinating and hibernating until the sun reappears.  So with that in mind I plan to finally write that resignation letter and get a firm date to leave work - forever.  At my advanced age you may be surprised to hear that I've never resigned before - my first job I went on maternity leave and never went back, then I had a very long time at home being a stay at home mum, then my next job I was made redundant and now this job where I have been for almost 17 years.  I shall need to google suitable wording!

I have something rather special to look forward to on Sunday.  My daughter has arranged, as a combined Mother's Day and birthday present, for us to go to a spa for a couple of days.  So thoughtful of her and it will be lovely to spend some time with her - just the two of us.  She will have her Mother's Day with Leo right up until about 3pm, then we will drive up to the spa hotel and stay overnight.  But I only have a couple of days now to get swimsuit ready - it's unlikely that I will be able to do much about that in such a short space of time!  Thank goodness for those thick fluffy dressing gowns they provide for you.  They will hide a multitude of sins.   I'm hoping a nice break away in calm, relaxing surroundings will be the mood boost I am looking for.  A little bit of pampering will be the best prescription for the Winter blues.  

Friday 2 March 2018

February Part two

Joining in with Leslie and following on from my previous post, which you can see here,  trying to condense a whole day into one sentence - here comes the 2nd part of February


Day 11: A lazy Sunday afternoon,

followed by our grandson sleeping over (You can tell by the relaxed, carefree look on her face that Coco was blissfully unaware that our little whirlwind Leo was on his way).

Day 12: Took advantage of a lunchtime offer of buy one, get one free at a local restaurant - lemon, pine nut and caper pasta at Col's Kitchen was absolutely delicious! 🍝

Day 13: Poor little Leo was decidedly under the weather when we were childminding him today and a visit to the doctors later in the afternoon confirmed an ear infection

Day 14: Feeling all the love for Coco after her trip to the groomers on Valentines day

Day 15: Oh no, seems that grandson of ours has been sharing his germs

Day 16: Need to power through this virus as we've got guests for dinner tomorrow night

Day 17: Fridge full of food, house thoroughly cleaned, wine chilling - ready for our guests and our meal

Day 18: Oh no, husband has succumbed to the bug, I was tempted to buy him a bottle of this

Day 19: Am becoming quite conversant in the sport of curling (too much armchair TV time with this virus)

Day 20: Back to work, trying not to spread my germs around the office too much 😷

Day 21: My day for looking after our grandson - he seems to have bounced back much quicker than we have!

Day 22: An hour of Fitsteps almost killed me, but I managed to stay the course - absolutely love the Charleston routine we do to 'Bills'.

Day 23: A subdued day in the office as there was a memorial service the celebrate the all too short life of the young 16 year old student who died from a brain tumour a couple of weeks ago.

Day 24: My favourite place to go shopping is Cambridge, and when we go there, my favourite place for lunch is here

Day 25: We had our little grandson over to stay the night while his mummy and daddy went out for the evening.  

Day 26: They've been forecasting a storm called 'The Beast from the East' for a couple of days now and temperatures dropped this morning quite dramatically before the first few flurries of snow - I think it's definitely on its way

Day 27: He's only 18 months old, but already our grandson has more artistic talent than me

This masterpiece is entitled 'snow'

Day 28: OK, so they were right about the snow - it hit us today

Could I manage to sum up my month in less than ten words?  Yes I think I could

I honestly can't remember ever feeling this cold before!