Monday 30 January 2017

Week Four With A Road Trip!

Week four was amazing, here are the highlights:

Alfie played a bit too hard in the garden and cracked a claw!
I had a lovely swim, I've settled in to doing the same amount of lengths each week (50) but I'm trying to do them in a quicker time :)
Zumba with Jo was lots of fun as usual :)
It was so cold in the office I didn't want to take my hat and coat off!
We had a quiz night, it was really hard but we came FORTH, the best we've ever done :)
I lost a pound at slimming and won the raffle :)
Dirty pudding was amazing!
I went down to see Paul and unfortunately my windscreen washer ran out of water so only Evian would do :)
I saw pretty Pippy :)
Paul got me these amazing presents for my birthday :)
We saw the celebrations for the Chinese New Year and had Chinese for dinner :)
I had a really lovely late birthday treat :)
I worked on my Moorland CAL :)
Sutton United were playing Leeds in the 4th round of the FA Cup, Paul wound me up by wearing his Leeds shirt but Sutton were victorious!
And before I knew it the weekend was over and I was back home with my boy :)
I'm hoping that the next seven days will be just as good.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Friday 27 January 2017

Beware The Imposter!!!

Slimming Worlders are great at taking a recipe and making it Slimming World friendly.  If there is anything you fancy trying then just Googling a recipe and adding the words 'Slimming World' will result in a huge array of recipes.  It really is amazing.  However, I personally think that some of these recipes actually hinder your weight loss because they make you eat more!
Take for instance the 'fake' pancake.  You take egg whites and maybe a bit of baking power and whisk it in to a froth, then you have to try and fry the froth!  When they're done they are indeed an eggie pancake BUT I don't and never have had pancakes on a regular basis.  As soon as I got home from group after we'd been talking about this recipe I made them.  Why?  I'd ended up eating an extra thing and it was a thing that I'd only ever had on Pancake Day!  What I'm trying to say is, if you don't eat something regularly then just SYN the real thing and if you go over your SYNs just that once then it won't really matter.
Another 'fake' that I had a go at making just ONCE was the roulade.  Now until that point I'd never even had roulade so all I was doing was adding something extra to my diet when I should have been looking at the things I need to cut out of my diet!  Getting hyped up about this recipe had just made me eat something extra that I didn't really need.  I think little things like this can be more of a sabotage than a help if it's something that you don't eat on a regular basis.
Now there are many hundreds thousands of great Slimming World alternatives out there for every day recipes and I will be sharing some of those soon.  What I'm trying to say now though is always ask yourself "do I really want/need this or am I just making it for the sake of it?" Fake foods don't always assist your weight loss.

I hope this helps someone question when to spend the time and effort creating a great dish and when to use some SYNs on a real, occasional, treat.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Wednesday 25 January 2017

That Led To This

Me and Maddie love to watch a thriller, crime drama or mystery.  As soon as we hear the theme tune to Jonathan Creek we both say it makes us feel cosy but ready for a murder or mystery all at the same time :)

Last year we watched an amazing show, every week it kept us gripped and on the edge of our seats!  It was Harlan Coben's The Five:
Now although I love watching this type of show I've never, ever read any crime, thriller or mystery books but this program changed all that.  As soon as the show was finished I went to the library to find some Harlan Coben books.  After all, I'd watched one of his dramatisations and really enjoyed it so I thought it was a safe bet.

I wasn't disappointed with my choice:
This was a real page turner, I didn't want to put it down.  In the story we meet Dr. David Beck whose wife, Elizabeth, the love of his life had been abducted and murdered.  Eight years after her body was found he get a mysterious email with a specific phrase known only to him.....and Elizabeth!

This book took me out of  my comfort zone and on to a genre I had never read and I can''t recommend it highly enough.  I've since picked up a few more Harlan Coben books and can't wait to read them.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Monday 23 January 2017

Week Three, It Whizzed By

Week three started wet and grey, here are the highlights:

I didn't let the rain stop me walking in the park in my lunch break :)
I got some gorgeous flowers from my colleague Michelle :)
I had a lovely swim in the evening.  I did get a bit frustrated with the amount of people who seem to have added swimming to their list of New Year's resolutions and then just stand in the MIDDLE of the pool just chatting!
The sun did finally show it's face :)
I went to Zumba and Jo had very kindly got me a little towel to mop me up when the workout gets a bit hard :)
My work sponser the local football team, Sutton United, and I had a little flutter on their FA Cup replay game on Tuesday, they won and so did I :)
I watched the sun going down :)
And then headed out for a 5 mile walk :)
I lost another 2lbs and got my 7 stone award!
Dirty pudding was old school!
Alice couldn't wait to show me her 'smartie' dress :)
I actually did some 12x12 scrapping and managed 3 layouts this weekend!
It was a cold and frosty, but very beautiful, walk on the golf course on Sunday :)
I did 6 weeks of Project Life while Alfie soaked up the rays of sun :)
And then I snuggled down with my crochet to watch Call The Midwife:
With my boy at my side :)
Now it's Monday and the start of a very busy week!

Have a good one and thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Friday 20 January 2017

A Tight Fit

If you'd have asked me a few years ago to take up exercise I would have told you I didn't have the time.  I'm out of the house at 8 in the morning and don't get home until 5:30 in the evening.  Then there's cooking and cleaning to do, maybe some washing and ironing and in the drier months there's the garden to look after.  On top of that I like a hobby or two twenty!  I scrapbook, card make, sew, crochet, knit, paint, bake, journal, quilt, cross stitch.......the list goes on.

How could I possibly find time to fit in some exercise?  Ask me if I wanted to go out for a drink and that's a horse of a different colour! :)  Things changed when my thoughts on exercise changed and I suddenly realised I did have the time.  Finding exercise that I loved made it go from feeling like a chore to being something fun, finding friends to exercise made it feel like a social event.

When I was younger I was a swimmer, a proper, competitive swimmer, a gala every weekend swimmer!  I dusted off my swimming hat and took the plunge :)  Every Monday, no matter how cold it is, I go for a swim and I swim at least a mile.  I sometimes meet my friend Lorna there and we have a chat while we pound up and down the pool.  When I finish, without fail, I always feel great.  There have been times when I've had a cluster headache but after a few lengths in the pool it's gone.  It's also a great exercise if you suffer with painful joints as it's zero impact.
Every Tuesday I go to Zumba.  I bung a couple of potatoes in the oven as I walk out of the door so I know dinner will be ready when I get home. The session I go to is run by Yvonne and she makes everything fun.  There are all ages and all shapes and sizes in the group but they are all, without exception, a great bunch of ladies who are turning in to friends.
On a Wednesday I go walking with my friend Jo.  We cover about 5 or 6 miles in an hour but we are so busy talking that it sometimes feels like we've only been out for about 10 minutes.  Even though we go to Zumba together we always have plenty to talk about because Zumba doesn't leave enough breath in the lungs to talk too much :)
Monday to Friday from 12 until 1, without fail, I can be found walking around the park.  I walk at least a couple of miles and feel so refreshed once I get back to the office.  When I'm walking alone I listen to a book and because I only listen to books when I'm walking, never indoors, then getting to a juicy bit of the story makes me walk even more!
I get a minimum of 10,000 steps in per day, no matter what the weather and I feel so much better for doing it :)
I still manage to do all of my hobbies, the house is still tidy and Maddie is still fed.  If I can fit exercise in to my day then anyone can, it's all about finding exercise you enjoy, exercise that doesn't feel like a chore.

The exercise I do, along with Slimming World, has meant that I am 7 stone lighter and feeling FANTASTIC!  If you look hard enough then it is possible to make a bit of time.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Wednesday 18 January 2017

The Traveller In Me

When I first thought of talking about and recommending books on my blog I really wondered how long I could go before ideas started to dry up.  As I started thinking about books it triggered something very much like word association and more and more lovely books came to my mind, I think it will be a long time before I have nothing to say on books :)

I really love to read autobiographies and today I'm sharing two of my favourites, two books that took me to different countries.

One of my favourite books from high school was all about a boy whose mother packed up the family and shipped them all to live on the Greek island of Corfu.  I felt the warmth of the sun and the waves lapping at my feet as I drifted through the pages.  I laughed so hard at some of the outrageous things that the family got up to and was hardly surprised at how stressed the mother got.  I also loved how she reminded me of my own mum who just lets things wash over her knowing it will all turn out well in the end.  I have watched two TV adaptations of this book but reading the book was much more fun than watching either of them.
The second book was one I heard about during a training session when I worked for a travel company.  Someone had read an excerpt from the book and it was a recipe for how to cook a dead fox!  I really have no idea why this made me want to read the book but it did.  I had spent two weeks of every year of my life in France and that was probably what else drew me to this book.  When I read how the French always greeted each other with a handshake and if their hands were full they would shake elbows or even their little fingers it drew memories from me of the very things I had witnessed.  This book covers the first year of Peter and his wife selling up their house in the UK and moving to France.  It's interesting and oh so funny and I've actually bought this book four times because if someone hasn't read it I insist they do :)
A Year in Provence was also made in to a TV series and yet again it didn't come close to how good the book was.

This got me thinking (the sort of word association thoughts) about another book I read as a child that was amazing and so much better than the film it was made in to:
If you haven't read these books then why not add them to your reading list?

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Monday 16 January 2017

Week Two In The Life Of Me

I didn't have anything as exciting as appearing in the paper this week but that's not to say it wasn't a good one.  Here are the highlights:

I just loved how the clouds rippled in the full moon the other evening:
I treated myself to some birthday gifts which took far too long to arrive because the delivery driver couldn't be bothered to get out of his van!
Alice turned 4 and liked the blanket I made her, she did complain that it didn't smell like the old one that I made her a couple of years ago though!
It was great to get back to Zumba again, I really missed it during the Christmas break.
I didn't let the rain stop me walking in the park during my lunch break :)
We had snow!
I lost 2.5 lbs this week and was Slimmer of the Week :)
And of course that made dirty pudding taste all the sweeter :)
Alfie enjoyed having a play in the snow :)
I turned 45!
And spent my birthday morning walking in the left over snow :)
Maddie got me some lovely gifts :)
I had a lovely afternoon sorting through a few weeks months of Project Life photos!
And I had a play with my wool winder :)
I had a tiny win at bingo :)
I spent Sunday morning walking in the rain, Sarah dressed for deep sea fishing!
I actually cast on something for myself!
These two had a lot of cuddles :)
My mum cooked me, Maddie, Sarah and Sarah's mother in law, Pauline, a lovely roast to celebrate my birthday :)
So of course we had to play games in the evening :)
And then it was time for knitting and the final Sherlock :)
So all in all it was another lovely seven days.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by
Jo xx