Meal Planning Monday - 30th May


Thank you for taking a look at my latest meal planner inspired by At Home with Mrs M! Hopefully you will get some inspiration for meals from my menu and others linked to Mrs M. Click the link and get inspired!

Last weeks meal planner included a Slimming World Butter Chicken, which was so good (in every sense of the word!) I blogged the recipe. The butter is replaced with yogurt, it was simply divine and I couldn't believe how great it actually tasted. Click on the link to get the recipe.

I didn't lose any weight this week, but I did have a trip to London which involved a lot of eating and drinking, so I am not too worried about it! Now onto this weeks! It's been a bit of rush to put this together today but as usual they are all Slimming World inspired recipe's

Homemade burgers in wholemeal pitta bread, with tomato salsa, spicy potato wedges and mint dip
Pasta Bolognaise (already made up in the freezer) and salad
Cottage Pie (Already in the freezer) vegetables
Chicken Thai Curry with jasmine rice - haven't made this before, will let you know how I get on!
Vegetable Stir Fry
Lemon Chicken and herbed couscous
Something with tuna steaks - haven't worked out what yet! Any suggestions?

Am also going to be making houmous this week, have been sent a couple of recipe's to try so will enjoy experimenting

Will let you know how I get on!

Slimming World 'Butter' Chicken

I've started to blog about my meal planning and linking to At Home With Mrs M as part of my weight loss/healthy eating plan with Slimming World. Someone commented they would be interested in the recipe and I've had tweets on a similar vein from various people. So that's whats inspired this particular post!

Pic taken from the magazine

I found the recipe in The Slimming World magazine March/April 2011 edition, but am sure it can also be found on their website. It's Syn Free on Extra Easy or Original. But even for people not following the plan, it's a truly delicious curry and worth the effort it takes. Some preparation needs to happen the night before you want to cook it as the chicken needs marinated

The butter is replaced with yogurt to give it the creamy taste without the Syns or added fat.

Serves 4
Ready in about 1 hour 35 minutes plus 12 - 24 hours marinating


1 tbsp fennel seeds
4 tbsp  madras curry powder (I didn't have any, so just used mild curry powder)
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1in/2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, grated. (I used a tbsp of ginger from a jar)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
4fl oz/113ml passata
5oz/142g fat-free natural yogurt
2lb/908 skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into large bite-sized pieces (I left it on the bone, I won't next time!)
Fry Light
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick (Again, I didn't have any, so used half a tsp of ground cinnamon)
4 green cardamon pods
Salt and black pepper

400g can chopped tomatoes
1/4pt / 142ml chicken stock
Fat-free natural fromage frais, chili powder and handful of chopped coriander, to serve


Dry-fry the fennel seeds and curry powder in a non-stick frying pan for 1-2 minutes or until the fennel seeds release a warm aroma. Transfer the seeds and powder onto a clean work surface and crush with rolling pin (or use a pestle and mortar set if you have one. Something for my Christmas list!) until ground into a powder.

Put the ground spices into a food processor along with the garlic, ginger, vinegar, passata and half the yogurt. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, blend in the rest of the yogurt and add the chicken. Mix well, cover and keep refrigerated  to marinate for 12 to 24 hours.

When ready to cook, spray a large non-stick wok or pan with Fry Light and place over a medium heat. Add the onion, cinnamon and cardamom pods. Stir fry for 6 to 8 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. (I had to add a little water as they were sticking to the pan at this point) Add the chicken mixture and cook stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Season well.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 40 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with rice topped with the fromage frais, sprinkling of chili  powder and garnished with the coriander.

I was so pleased with the result, it tasted so good and I hadn't used a packet or jar! I think the sauce can be cooked without the chicken and then used in other recipes so will be experimenting and let you know the results!

Reasons to be Cheerful

This my second go at Reasons To Be Cheerful from the brilliant Mummy from the Heart Go and take a look at the others on her blog!!

I am a bit late with my reasons to be cheerful as I was a little busy Thursday and Friday. However it was the reason for being cheerful, so had a good excuse

My first reason for being cheerful is I was actually let loose and 'allowed' to travel to London for my boss's leaving do. (I'm recovering from a hysterectomy and everyone is being very protective, to the point Tuesday was the first time I was allowed out alone and that was only to post a letter! So this was monumentous!)

Before I continue I have to clear up I am not for one minute suggesting I was looking forward to the fact he was leaving, its the actual act of being well enough to travel to say goodbye. I couldn't not go to be honest.

It was a sad occasion, he has been my manager for over nine years, but his face was a picture when we (more on that next) walked in. We hadn't told him we were coming and it actually made the 6 foot 2 inch Geordie cry (although he maintains it was a just a bit dewy eyes) It was a pleasure to work with him, I'm extremely sad to see him go, but pleased I made him cry! (I know, perverse, but that's how I roll)

My second reason to be cheerful was I got to spend time with Joanne, one of my best friends. We both used to work for the dewy eyed Geordie and became very good friends. It was a geographically diverse team, and we wouldn't physically see each other from one month to the next, but technology is brilliant for keeping in touch. So when she offered to act as my chaperon and agreed to meet me at Paddington, escort me to the hotel and venue and ensure no bags were carried in the process, it was a rare occasion for us to catch up face to face. And we didn't stop gassing the whole time!

And lastly, the party itself. It was amazing to catch up with people I hadn't seen for months (I hadn't seen my boss or a colleague since before Christmas, because we live all over the country) and in some cases years. Plus I also met up with people who I had only known previously through Twitter. So now I have new 3D images and voices to connect to their tweets as well as the more traditional avatar's pictures!

So I've had an eventful week, which kept me cheerful with anticipation at the beginning and triggered remembering's of fond memories of times in the past at the end.

A long story, small point.....

I'd reached six weeks and felt ready to 'start driving again'

Oh my goodness me! The freedom to go out when I want and not to have to rely on lifts! I've felt like a teenager having to ask my parents (or god forbid MrC) to take me anywhere. And its not as though I am fit enough to get myself around yet either like a teenager can. I know my son roams for miles, which is why he so skinny despite, eating me out of house and home and drinking far to much beer at the weekends. When he goes out for 'the said beer drinking', he looks wrecked the next day. But when I asked him how he got back it's generally shank's pony and at least a six miles walk at that! So it's no surprised he's bloody knackered. Mind you, the beer won't have helped.

So, the thought I could actually start driving the car was divine. I spoke to the insurance to check I was covered. They asked me:

- When did the consultant suggest I could drive? (he said around six weeks)
- Could I move well enough to see out of the windows? (when I'd been out in the car I kept checking I could turn and see out of the back window, so that was ok)
- Could I tolerate an emergency stop? (My Dad had an unfortunate experience with a red light (don't ask) he didn't see while I in the car with him, so the answer was yes!)

Great, I could go out in the car! So my first trip loomed and I decided to take my daughter to work. A huge, herculian trip.... of about a mile, takes about 20 minutes to walk it (Have I mentioned I live on a steep hill??!) 3 minutes in the car there and 3 minutes back. Fine for my first go. Would see how I felt and go from there.

So I get in the car, would it start? It's been sat outside for six weeks and hasn't even been turned over. Started first time, phew. But would I remember how to drive??!! It has been six weeks, major surgery, blah blah blah, my brain was mush, would I be able to work the pedals out?? I decided to go for it and work it out as I went along. If it didn't, I had my phone and I could call for help.

Luckily, I hadn't forgotten. Driving a car must be like riding a bike. (where does that saying come from? Must look it up some time)

So off I went, feeling like a grown up all over again. I dropped her off, with no misshaps and started on the mammoth 3 minute journey home. And then disaster struck! No, I didn't hit anything, it was worse. I could feel a sneeze brewing.

Now a sneeze is bad enough when you are driving because its physically impossible to not close your eyes when you do (Not sure if its an urban myth or not that if you don't close your eyes your eyeballs will shoot out of their sockets. The state I've been in though I was not about to test that out) But also anyone who's has adominal surgery will know, sneezes, coughs and laughing can, and will hurt......a lot! I can laugh and cough now without too much of problem, but a sneeze was an unknown entity, you don't know if it will just be a little sniffle and not worth worrying about or a big thunderblaster which is going to hurt like hell!

So I'm driving along can feel this sneeze brewing and start to panic a bit. This is going to hurt! I'm going to rupture something and all this pain will have been for nothing...... I'm going to crash the car, injure myself and a coach load of innocent bystanders who came all the way out to see me on my maiden post op drive (they hadn't by the way) and could see my whole life flash before my eyes.......I AM GOING TO DIE!!!...... and before I knew, it was out! It felt like hours between knowing I was going to sneeze and actually doing it but really it was probably only seconds.

And you guessed it, I didn't die, I didn't injure anyone, I didn't crash the car and you know what? I didn't hurt much either.

And the moral of this story? I needed to give the driving a couple more days before trying again. Oh and nothing is ever as bad as you imagine its going to be, not even sneezing!

It's all in the numbers.....

4 2 0 1 1 1 3 3 1 7 4 3 9 3 1 8 2 5 3 0 1 3 2 2 1 0 2 5

Nearly 4 months ago in January I had a shock, a wake up call if you like, my first wake up call of 2011

I sat in the doctor surgery and was told the heavy periods I was experiencing was probably brought on by my weight. It was the first time a doctor had said that to me, my weight was affecting my health. Up until then, although I was very over weight, I was medically fit. Blood pressure was fine, cholesterol was fine, I didn't have diabetes, my joints were holding up, it wasn't stopping me from doing anything I wanted to do. So why change?

But that day, it was the wake up call I needed and decided to do something about it. Within 3 days I had signed up to complete St Lukes Hospice 13 mile Midnight Walk and joined Slimming World, working on changing my diet & lifestyle forever. And while I worked on changing my lifestyle I went for tests and procedures and in March had a hysteroscopy with a procedure called Novasure. 1 week off work and I was back and well on my way to getting fit and continuing to lose the weight. What I didn't know what that the minor operation had probably saved me, early stage uterine cancer was diagnosed and a hysterectomy performed.

Fast forward to today, I am only post 7 weeks since the hysterectomy why am I worrying and mithering about losing weight and a sponsored walk? I should just be concentrating on recuperating. I'm mithering because I said I would do it before I was diagnosed and I am not going to let a silly thing like a life changing event, plus major surgery get in the way!

So where am I so far? Well, I'm still fat, just less so than I was in January! I am following the Slimming World plan and using the online subscription which was so fortuitous when I was diagnosed! (no excuse for not attending class, its only every a click away!)

My weight loss as of 22nd May

They have lots of brilliant online tools which help you see what you have achieved so far.

I have lost 43 pounds! That's nearly 9 bags of sugar!

My loss on a graph looks like this (notice the wobble's)

Another good figure? I've dropped 3 dress sizes! Yesterday I went clothes shopping and could fit comfortably into a size 18 pair of jeans! I could not wipe the grin off my face! I'm no skinny minny (not by a long chalk) but my clothes are telling me I'm on my way.

There is also something on Slimming World called Body Magic where you are encouraged to get moving and see the distance travelled on a graphic.

I've reset my goal and this week chose to walk London to Brighton...but I'm still inside the M25! (maybe the next challenge should be Lands End to John O'Groats)

I've got such a long way to go, but I've already achieved so much already. So rather than dwell on the fact that on the 30th of July I am planning on walking 13 miles when at the moment I struggle to do 2, I'm going to break it down into smaller goals.

So by this time next week, I aim to have lost 2lbs and walked 10 miles to the M25!!

If you are would like to sponsor me (and not feel guilty when I build up the pressure nearer the date!) click here to go over to my Just Giving page

43 lbs or 8 and a bit bags of sugar I am no longer carrying around!

Meal Planning Monday - 23rd May

Firstly I want to thank Mrs M ! Last week was my first Meal Planning Monday post. I'd been finding it difficult to keep the Slimming World diet plan (Even though I've already lost 3 stone!) so was hoping it would keep me on track. And it did, I lost 4lb. Thank you!

I definitely didn't cook what I said I was on each day, so this week I'm not going to list per day (lesson learnt and all that!) Check out last week's post to see what the meals actually looked like!

Here you go!

Gammon, Slimming World chips, pineapple and peas
Cottage pie (but with potato chip topping) and vegetables
Pasta Bolognaise and salad (frozen left overs from last week)
Butter Chicken (I've never cooked it before but its a Slimming World Recipe so should be lovely)
Hot Dogs, caramelised onions and Peri Peri potato wedges. (Am going to give the tomato salsa a go as it didn't get made last week!)
Roast Chicken, roast potato, parsnip and carrot swede mash
Plus I'm out for dinner one night (the boys will have to fend for themselves!)

Breakfasts will be omelette's or beans, tomato or mushrooms on toast

Lunches will be leftovers from the evening before with salads or couscous. Plenty of fruit and fat free flavoured yogurt as well. Worked really well last week! Wasn't hungry once!

All recipes follow the Extra Easy plan on Slimming World, with as few syns used as possible (so if I do want some chocolate I can!)

Don't forget to check out Mrs M's planner for more inspiration

cheer·ful - adjective Full of cheer; in good spirits


1. full of cheer; in good spirits: a cheerful person.
2. promoting or inducing cheer; pleasant; bright: cheerful surroundings.
3. characterized by or expressive of good spirits or cheerfulness: cheerful songs.

I was contacted by @michelletwinmum via Twitter suggesting I post and link to her brilliant blog Mummy From the Heart on a theme called Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 (Goodness, how many links can I get into once sentence!)

The purpose of the meme is to list three things which have made me cheerful this week. As my philosophy is Glass Half Full, its ideal for me.I can always find something to be thankful for.

1 This is not a cheerful from this week, but nearly four weeks ago, but I was given the all clear from cancer. I may cheat and use this for every 'Reasons to be Cheerful' post, because it still takes my breathe away every time I think about it.

2. Although I am suffering a bit with insomnia (due to the HRT), just think how much more time I have to tweet, facebook and blog?!

3. I'm getting stronger and can feel improvements every day.

There you go, short and sweet, but no less considered and worthwhile

"A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken"
Author Unknown

PS this was written and posted at 3.30am in the morning, the insomnia is playing havoc!

Listography - Albums by Band

Thought I would give Kate of Kate Takes 5 brilliant Listography another go this week. Last week it was Products You Couldn't Live Without. The theme this week is Albums by Band and click here to take a look at Kate's and some other brilliant suggestions!

I decided to just go for it and dive in and not over think this one. My taste is very eclectic and changes quite rapidly. Weirdly I didn't get into music until I was about twenty and already had my first baby! These albums have been chosen because at one time or another they have meant something personal to me.

So here we go!

The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free

I remember listening to this album in the car from start to finish. The words in some of the songs made me, laugh, they made be cry, they made be think, but they  told a story and came full circle. Just blew me away, I'd never heard anything like it before. I am not a fan of The Streets, but this album does it for me!

Various Artists - Radio 1's Live Lounge

The then Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley, had a featured called the Live Lounge. This album is a compilation of the best ones. A bit of a cop out maybe for me to choose it because it is a compilation, but it was this feature which first encouraged me to listen to different types of music, groups, bands and artists.

If you aren't au fait with the feature, current pop stars and groups are invited to play live their most recent track, but also cover another artist song of their choice. The cover versions generally make me see what brilliant singers or musicians they really are. But more often than not, they bring the cover version to life for me all over again and I can see another element to the word play or melody I hadn't noticed before. I've enjoyed all the subsequent albums too!

Beautiful World - Take That

What can I say? I just love it! Very guilty pleasure. If I want something to listen to while I walk, do the housework anything really and not sure what sort of mood I'm in, this is the one I click on my iPod!

James Blunt - Back to Bedlam

Not everyone's cup of tea I know, but this album got me through a difficult period of my life. A few years ago, I nearly lost MrC. I was actually told he may not survive the next 24 hours following a 'routine operation' which didn't go to plan. Thankfully he did! This was one of the albums I played whenever I walked the dog, the only time over the next three months when I wasn't nursing him back to health. I know James Blunt doesn't have the most cheery of reputations but something about the tracks resonated for me. That walk, and the music I listened to, got me through it. I'm still nursing him now six years later as he has never fully recovered from that first operation. So I have lots of memories, good and bad from that time.

Classical Grafiti - The Planets

Another strange one I think, but I love it and go back for a listen time and time again! Its classical tunes played using modern instruments like the electric guitar or the drums. Give it a listen, you might like it! I listen to it when I want something soothing to help me think! Which is a lot!

So there you have it! The first five albums I thought of when I read Kate's challenge! What would be in your list? Leave me comment and let me know. And don't forget to check out Kate's and what other people have in their's!

Delia and Davina...?

I'm a positive person, when something unexpected in life is thrown at me, I try and make the most of it and look at the upsides. I'm doing just that about something which has happened today. Will maybe post about when I've reached that part of the glass!

When I knew I was going to be out of action for 8 to 12 weeks, I turned it around and thought it would be a great opportunity to lose weight and in the process get fitter! (Head in the sand time, wasn't even contemplating chemo would be needed! Did I mention that's another of my less successful coping strategies?)

I imagined once I was over the effects of the operation I would have the time to cook great, nutritious meals, exercise every day and lose weight. The books said I needed to walk, and I'd certainly have plenty of time to do that!

No problem. I thought I'd become Delia Smith in the kitchen, creating wonderfully healthy dishes every day and become Davina McCall doing her keep fit exercise videos.

Delusion is wonderful thing....not! It's been six weeks since the operation and I've been home for five and I am so much better;
- I can shower without supervision (feels fabulous)
- Be left home alone (peace and quiet!)
- Cook my own dinner and get what I wanted, the way I like it!
- Cut my own toenails (well,sort of, have to throw a few shapes to get there, but I could if I needed to)
- And the most important one - wipe my bum with ease!

But am I getting fitter? Am I losing weight? Am I hell!! Okay, I can cook a meal, but it takes twice as long. Whereas before I was whizzing around the kitchen, chopping this, blending that, braising and marinading and washing up as I went, I just can't do it! Everything has to be planned in a military fashion. I can't lift all the saucepans to get the one at the bottom or reach up to the cupboard to get my favourite baking tray out. So someone has to that for me. Cutting up vegetables - Do you realise how much you use your stomach muscles when cutting up really hard vegetables? Do you? Take it from me, a lot!
Everything is just so slow

And getting fit! Pah! I recently did 30 minutes on the Wii Fit Plus and used the equivialant of 48 calories (it was a lot of yoga, stretching and breathing stuff, no sleeping dog or whatever for me) and had to go for a laydown! Went on my new treadmill and the comfortable walking speed was 2km an hour. In real money that is 1.24 miles! 1.24 miles!!!!?? The 13 mile sponsored Midnight Walk I have in my diary will take me nearly 10 and half hours!!!!!

So my reality is not what I imagined and today I was feeling really down about it. And when I'm feeling down I write about it. So to prepare for this post I took a look at the Hysterectomy Association Website and some support mails I'd had, to see what I should be able to do at 5 weeks home from the operation.

The list reads:

Week 1 - after getting home from hospital
No household tasks at all
Lie on (or in) the bed as much as necessary
Sleep when you need to
Do as many of the light exercises as possible
Shower daily
Walk around the house 2-3 times daily – on one floor if possible
Lie down, rather than sit
Sit, rather than stand

Week 2
Lie on (or in) the bed as much as necessary
Rest for at least two hours per day
Avoid long periods of sitting or standing
Help with washing up/drying dishes – sitting down if possible
Sit down to prepare vegetables
Daily walk outside – 10 minutes per day
Walking around the house – 2-3 times daily, including stairs once
Boil just enough water for a mug in a kettle

Week 3
Increase your walking by a 2 minutes daily
Try using the stairs at home 2-3 times a day
Light shopping in immediate vicinity – ie magazine or newspaper
Boil enough water for 2 mugs in the kettle
If you have any pain – stop immediately

Week 4
Start walking further outdoors – up to 20 minutes twice a day
You can probably go out in the car by now
Should be able to make tea and coffee for three people
Help with dusting

If you have any pain – stop immediately

Week 5-6
Can probably start some light routine housework
May be able to drive a car
Can possibly use an upright vacuum cleaner
Try gentle pelvic floor exercises – stop if you feel pain
Try vacuuming with a cylinder cleaner

If you have any pain – stop immediately

Week 6-7
Try bed making (but not changing duvets)
(with either, stop if you have pain)

Notice how it doesn't mention any Delia or Devina type activities?

And do you know what? Looking at this list, I'm doing ok, I'm right on track! So I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I will get there when my body is ready. I just need to stick with the diet and make sure I am walking everyday!

And realisically, was this ever actually going to happen in 3 months?!!

Meal Planning Monday - 16th May

Again a first for me! Not putting a weekly menu together, but blogging and linking it to At Home With Mrs M and Meal Planning Monday's

I've always planned my meals, if I didn't, we wouldn't get fed! But as I am now trying to lose weight and am following the Slimming World plan, having a weekly menu is a must! I'm not having a very good time with the weight loss at the moment, so am hoping by blogging, it will make things more real.

So this week we are having:-

Monday - Stir fry chicken, vegetables and rice
Tuesday - Pasta Bolognaise and salad
Wednesday - Jacket potato, Peri Peri chicken and stuffed tomato's
Thursday - Shepherds pie with baton potato topping and vegetables
Friday - Baked Haddock with stuffed pasta, cheesy pasta, baked garlic mushroom and veg
Saturday - Homemade Burger, Slimming World Wedges and tomato salsa
Sunday - Slow cooker beef and tomato casserole with vegetable garlic couscous

I may decide to move meals around a bit when we actually come to it, but this is the plan. It's not very inspirational this week, but I am trying to use stuff already in my freezer!

For breakfasts, I'm planning on having something like, omelette's, baked mushrooms on toast, scrambled eggs on toast or weatabix and fruit.

Lunches will be mostly salads with pasta, rice or couscous. I tend to go with the flow and just create something with whatever is in the fridge or left over from dinner. But I always have quite a large lunch to keep me going through the day and stop the snacking. If I do snack, I will be making my own humous dip for vegetables!

Wish me luck with my weight loss! 3 stones so far and counting! And don't forget to check out At Home with Mrs M!

Listography - Products You Couldn't Live Without

Last week it was 'Bad Combinations', this week its 'Products You Couldn't Live Without' Kate Takes 5 has thrown down the gauntlet. I enjoyed last time so much, I thought I would give it another go!

The idea is to list five things in the chosen theme and the reason why. Take a look at Kate Takes 5 for her list, and while your there browse the rest of her blog.

But back to task, here are mine (in no particular order)

1. Pizza Cutter
Although pizza isn't on my menu at the moment (am trying to lose weight) I do love a good takeaway. But even more so, to make my own. Have you ever tried cutting a pizza with a knife? Its not a good look. The topping comes off and spreads its way all up the knife, spoiling all your hard work. Its a genius product and one every kitchen of worth should have!

2. Ball Point Pen
I have a dreadful habit of losing pens, so the fact the ball point pen is such a throw away commodity is a big plus for me! I have a couple of expensive pens 'somewhere in the house' They have been lost for at least six months and will turn up (Don't tell MrC, as he bought them for me) and I'm the same most writing implements, but at least I don't have the stress of worrying where they are and trying to find them again!

3. Debit Card
Running joke in our family: I am like the Queen, I never carry cash! Don't know why, I think as soon as I get it out of the hole in the wall I spend it! So if I didn't have a debit card, I'd be lost and wouldn't be able to buy anything....ummm hold on, isn't that a bonus?!

4. Retractable Lead
I have a wonderful German Shepherd dog called Fritz, (pic on this link) who I love dearly. He is wonderfully sweet natured, if somewhat noisy at times. He makes me laugh, when sometimes I want to cry. He loves to play with his ball and toys all the time if you let him, and I absolutely adore him. But....he is a pain in the arse to walk! You can imagine the size of him and he doesn't mean to be naughty, but he's just so enthusiastic when we go out, that my arms are about 2 foot longer at the end of the walk. My life saver is the retractable lead. It allows me control when needed, but him freedom to walk ahead and not pull my arms out of their sockets. A win win solution!

5. My Library Card
I ummed and ahh'd over this one, was it really a product, but then thought what the hell! This wonderful card allows me to borrow any book I want from my library for three weeks at a time. As I love to read, and I read almost anything, it gives me access to a wide range of books my debit card wouldn't be able to procure for me! And if I don't enjoy it, it goes back and I haven't lost anything. Libraries are somewhere I love and I know with the state of the economy its a resource we may lose in the future.

So What Product Couldn't You Live Without? Leave a comment and take a look at Kate's and see whats on other people's Take 5

Food Diary Monday 9th May

Sleepless in .....


I went the whole night without sleep! What the hell is going on??? I've never, ever done that before! I'm someone who needs at least 8 hours sleep. 10 would be perfect...... I will settle for 9. I mentally keep a sleep diary and when I lose some I need to make it up at weekends.    I love my bed!

Girly Diaries Sunday 8th of May

My Right Foot Itches

It's 1.15am and my right foot was itching so bad, I had to get up and do something about it.

I know my feet are healthy. When I came out of hospital, I was convinced I had an ingrowing toenail and as I was having problems wiping my own bum, cutting my nails was going to be a bit of push physically. So I rang up and arranged for a lovely lady called Sharon who runs a mobile podiatry practise to come out and see me.

It turns out I wasn't affected by the embarrassing affliction, but meant I had a lovely foot massage instead! She gave me lots of hints as well for healthy feet. Such as using a very large nail file instead of cutting nails means they can never be too short (which is the main cause of ingrowing toenails!)

So tonight, because I know I don't have athelete's foot (the other embarrassing affliction related to feet, or are these all just me?!) I tried surreptitiously to rub my itchy right foot along the sheet to see if I could get enough traction to satisfy the itch. When that didn't work, I tried scratching it with the big toe of left foot. I've had to admit defeat and get up and do something about as I thought I was in danger of waking up Mr C with my fidgeting, or god forbid the dog, who sleeps in our room (I know we shouldn't let him, but I like it!)

Sharon had also impressed on me the importance, following menopause, of moisturising my feet. My body is going through changes, changes I don't like and have no control over (and you know what I'm like about that!) So my itchy foot and my conversation with her has brought it home to me tonight.

The BIG changes I had already come to terms with, hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia and joint pain. (and I am not even going to touch the sexual side of things, I think that deserves a post all of its own!)  But its the smaller, less obvious ones which I'm finding a little harder. My hair will thin, become dryer and brittle and this will also happen to my skin, losing its elasticity.

I'm surprised that its these things which are having the most effect, I must be either more shallow or care about my appearance more than I thought!

But, I can't change the fact these things are going to happen, its all in the biology! But I can decide what I do (HRT will help) and how I react to them.

So its now 2.10am and I'm sitting here at the computer, writing this blog, with both my feet plastered in hand and nail cream (its OK for feet isn't it?) and my face & neck has a layer of E45 slowing soaking in. I think the importance of regular moisturising has just hit home!

Bad Combinations

I'm new to this blogging lark and love reading other people's. My imagination was fired when I read Kate Takes 5 and thought I would give the listography challenge a go.

The theme is 'bad combinations', take a look back at Kate's for hers, which made be laugh!  Here are mine

Telephone conversation with my sister/my niece and nephew
My mum and I can't have a phone call with my sister, who lives 300 miles away, without interruptions from the kids. It's become a standing joke! At least three times on average we will hear 'Kenzie/Penny! Can you not see Mummy is on the phone!?'

Antiques Roadshow/Dirty finger nails
Why do some of the presenters have dirty fingernails when they know there will be close up shots!? It turns my stomach Yuk!

Random Stuff That Makes Me Happy

A couple of days ago I read at tweet from @ImSoBloginThis entitled 'random stuff which makes me happy'. The link took me off to her blog Flowermonkey's Blog, go and take it look! Reading it made me want to write my own.

So after checking she didn't mind me 'borrowing' her idea here is mine, in no particular order