Monthly Archives: November 2009


I’m really sorry for my absence yet again, something has been happening in my personal life that I’m not able to talk to you about yet but its meant a very busy week for hubby and I. We’ve had loads to talk about 🙂

I promise that as soon as I can I will tell you the secret but until then lets just say its made us really keen to get on with sorting the house and clearing out the clutter. So thats what we have been doing today – we managed to find loads of items for the charity shop and loads for ebay (plus recycling and rubbish). All in all its been a successful day but not the most exciting ever.

I was woken up this morning by the heavy rain and after showering and dressing came down for yogurt and cereal followed by a raspberry, banana and orange juice smoothie. An easy way to start the day with some fruit.

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Having worked hard in our spare room all morning we paused for a lunch of leftover pizza from last night (oops, hadn’t I mentioned that?? 🙂 ) Unfortunately that went down too quickly to grab a photo.

Tidying and sorting in the bedroom beckoned but we both felt we would benefit from some fresh air so we jumped in the car and headed to a local farm shop where we picked up local Pork & Apple burgers, free range eggs and some tuna & mozzarella fishcakes. Having braved the rain we decided to stop in the cafe for a hot chocolate to warm up. I had the works – cream, marshmallows and a flake. It was so good and just what I needed to warm up.

When we got back home about 2.30 we carried on with our sorting in the bedroom. I managed to rearrange my bedside drawers and discovered that I have enough body lotions of various types to last a lifetime so I need to get on and use them!

Once we finished hubby and I changed the bedding and hoovered the floor. I love the feel of new bedding and can’t wait to jump in between the crisp sheets tonight. I think the weather is to blame but I have not been able to wake up properly today and I feel really tired.. Hopefully a nice long sleep and a lie in will sort that out.


Also in the Farm Shop we picked up a packet of local produced chocolate chip biscuits. We had  couple with a cup of tea while watching Brothers & Sisters and chilling on the sofa

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For dinner we decided to cook up some of the Pork & Apple burgers from the farm shop. I served mine in a bun with low fat mayo, lettuce and tomato. On the side is cucumber, tomato, lettuce and a few baked onion rings

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Yum yum! I love picking things like this up in the Farm Shop as they taste a million times better than from a supermarket.

Chilling out in front of the X-Factor now with a large glass of water – I can’t get enough liquid recently. Not sure what is on the cards for tomorrow – the weather forecast is really bad but we have some shopping to do. Have a fun Saturday night!


Joining the gym?

I was really pleased to get some positive feedback on yesterdays post – Own Your Choices. It seems that many of you could relate to the message and felt similar to me. Keep your comments and emails coming!

I have been thinking about one particular choice for a few days now. I have been a member of a gym in town since March and between March and August I would go regularly. But since the wedding I haven’t made it there once! Not a good use of 30 quid per month!

I started thinking about the reasons I wasn’t going. The main ones were having to drive across town (15 minutes) to get there and the fact that I would rather spend quality time with Hubby. I know that I enjoy the gym when I get there but it can be a struggle to get the motivation to go.

Hubby and I were talking about this a few days ago and I asked whether he would want to join and come with me. I think that we would give each other the kick up the backside to go. While we were talking about this a leaflet came through the door for a gym closer to home. Its about a 5 minute drive from home and we wouldn’t have to hit any of the rush hour traffic. The leaflet included an offer of no joining fee so we have decided to head over for a look later tonight.

If we like it we’ll join – a good example of beating the excuses by finding a better option!

Christmas Countdown:

Day 3:

Today was always going to be a tricky day with an all day review meeting at work with some external partners. I was at the mercy of the provided food so here are my eats for the day. Although it may not look pretty I managed to keep the portions small and ended up eating around 1600 calories for the day so I am pleased 🙂

Food Diary

  • Breakfast: Sausage baguette
  • Snack: 2 biscuits and a coffee
  • Lunch: Slice of broccoli quiche with salad
  • Dinner: Smoked salmon and cream cheese pasta, salad

I’ll be back later to tell you how we got on at the gym!

Own Your Choices

Making excuses – we are all guilty of it at one time or another.

“I’ve been too busy to cook fresh food”

“I don’t have time to exercise”

“It would have been rude to say no”

I know that I have used all the above and many more in my time. We all live busy lives and have a lot of pressures on our time. Between work, hubby, family, friends, looking after the house and blogging its hard to strike a balance. But that doesn’t mean its not possible.


Every day we are presented with hundreds of choices. Shall I walk or take the bus? Exercise or an extra 30 minutes in bed? An apple or a chocolate muffin?

Every one of your decisions gets you closer or further away from your goals. My new mantra is Own Your Choices. If I chose the muffin over the apple then I own the consequences. It’s not the wrong decision – there’s nothing wrong with a treat every now and then but you can’t use excuses. It’s your decision to eat it.

I keep repeating this phrase to myself. I want my choices to lead to healthy weight loss – so I need to make every one count.

P.S. I’m thinking about getting a bracelet or a charm or something made with this phrase on – as a daily reminder to own my choices. Any ideas where I can get something?

Day 2:

Food Diary

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt and granola. Cup of tea
  • Snack: Apple
  • Lunch: Turkey, lettuce & sweet chilli sauce roll, crisps
  • Snack: Grapes
  • Dinner: Chicken, baked chips and peas

Christmas Countdown

46 days until Christmas!

Yesterday I stepped on the scales for the first time since my wedding in September – I got a bit of a shock. I currently weigh 9lbs more than I did on my wedding day. I shouldn’t be surprised – there have been far too many treats and meals out, cosy bottles of wine in front of a DVD and creeping portion sizes.

I’ll fill you in on a little background. 2 1/2 years ago, at my heaviest I weighed 16 stone. Over the following 18 months I lost 4 stone to get down to just over 12 stone. At this point I went Wedding Dress shopping and found the perfect dress. The size I tried on in the store (UK 12) was a perfect fit and the cut meant that it emphasised my slimmer top half and hit the problem areas of my bum and legs. I was in love with the dress and happy with how it looked at that size so I made a decision to stop and maintain until after the wedding. Instead I focused on toning my arms and developing a healthier diet to improve my skin and hair.

It worked. When I went for my first fitting some 7 months later the dress was still a perfect fit and I maintained that weight until my wedding day.

So back to today. 9 weeks since the wedding and 9 lbs heavier (eek!). The plan was always to crack on and lose the remaining weight after the wedding so I would like to lose around 2 stone to get me into my healthy weight range.

How shall I do this?

Well I have been thinking this over all weekend. I hope that I have learned enough about eating healthily to do this without resorting to counting every morsel that I eat by calories or points. I will focus on healthy foods, minimal snacking and increased exercise to get rid of the last of my excess weight.

I plan to weigh in weekly and will post my progress here. Christmas is a great incentive for me so I’m starting my Christmas Countdown today.

Day 1:

Weigh in 1 – 181lbs

Food Diary

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt and cereal. Tea with milk
  • Snack: Handful of crisps
  • Lunch: Roll with roast chicken, lettuce, tomato & cucumber, grapes
  • Snack: Apple, tea with milk. Baby Bel Light
  • Dinner: Chicken Casserole, small wholemeal bread roll
  • Snack: 2 snack size Milky Ways (damn Halloween!)

Bonfire Night

First some updates:

Bloggers Question Time (BQT)

Thanks to everyone who has shown interest in Bloggers Question Time – I’ll email you all later with more details and hopefully the first post will be up soon!

If any other bloggers out there are interested please drop me an email – the more the merrier!


If you haven’t already supported Blog-4-Cause why not check it out now? This fantastic e-book features over 150 articles from top bloggers covering a range of topics.

Click here to buy a copy and support this great cause!


Back to business…

Last night I made this fab recipe idea from Fitness and Spice.

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I have made similar quiches before but never with yogurt as the dairy ingredient. I broke from the recipe a little based on what veg I had in and only used 6 eggs as that’s all I had. The result was really good. I think next time I would like to try it with some spinach in (I used red pepper and sweetcorn which is what I had in and it needed a stronger flavour). I would also use a lot more pepper next time but the texture was great. I’m enjoyed a cold slice of this with my lunch.

Bonfire Night

Tonight is Guy Fawkes Night – also known as Bonfire Night or Firework Night – in the UK. The 5th November marks the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 when Catholic conspirators (including Guy Fawkes) attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London during the State Opening of Parliament. The plot was intended to kill King James and many of the Protestant aristocracy but failed when Guy Fawkes was caught.

The customs in the UK centre on firework displays and bonfires. In the past most families would set off their own fireworks in their gardens but due to safety concerns this is less common and many people (us included) prefer to attend a professionally organised event.

The two best things about Guy Fawkes Night are Toffee Apples and Sparklers!

We headed to a big local display with friends

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Sorry for the terrible photos! We had a great time even though the weather was a bit iffy! It kept spitting with rain and it was really muddy on the field.

We ended the evening with sparklers in the garden!!

DSC02234 Happy Bonfire Night!

Recipe – Chilli Con Carne

For more recipes check out my Recipe page

This is a real favourite and a great winter warmer. I love this served with anything from rice to baked sweet potato or for a less healthy treat – tortilla chips.

This recipe makes about 8 servings – I always make a large batch as it freezes really well.


  • 800g lean beef mince
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 can Sweetcorn
  • 1 Red and 1 green pepper
  • Chilli spice mix
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Crème fraiche (to serve – optional)


  • Saute the chopped onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes until soft


  • Break up the mince and add to the pan. Stir until all the mince has coloured


  • Stir in the diced peppers and mix


  • Add the tinned tomatoes, kidney beans and chilli spice mix and stir


  • Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add the drained sweetcorn and simmer for another 10 minutes

DSC02190I love this served with a spoon of  creme fraiche or sour cream to cool the heat!

Enjoy! 🙂

I’ve got a new toy

I had a much better start to today as I remembered to set my alarm last night! Again I had part prepared my work food last night (I’m loving being so organised!) so it didn’t take long to get ready.

I used up the last of the box of Special K this morning with skimmed milk and 1 slice of granary toast picked up at the canteen. This is a bit of a compromise between preparing my whole breakfast at home and buying at work. I don’t find the cereal on its own keeps me full so the addition of the toast tides me over nicely!

I had quite a quiet day at work today but from the sounds of things my week is going to get very hectic very quickly! I have heard a whisper that a paper I was due to write for the end of November is now going to be needed by senior management for a meeting on the 23rd. That means it will need to have gone through a couple of reviews and revisions by this date so I need to crack on with it ASAP. Unfortunately the figures I need to write it aren’t available today so I can’t make a start. I have requested them and they should be ready for tomorrow morning so that’s when the hard work will begin.

I realised today that I haven’t introduced you yet to my newest piece of tech!

Meet my new Netbook.

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I love this thing! Now I can use Live Writer to blog anywhere! It’s lightweight enough to be portable (look out for blogging on the go) and can travel with us too. Its also great for using around the house (I don’t always want to sit in the study to blog or surf the internet). As you can see in this pic I am blogging in the bedroom as the lounge is too cold!

I’m running Windows 7 on the Netbook and I really like it. Is anyone else using it?

Blogger Question Time

I’m starting an occasional series of posts where my favourite bloggers will be subjected to my 10 killer questions on their food, exercise and blogging habits. Any volunteers to be my first subject?

If you’re interested drop me an email or leave a comment and I’ll send you details.


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