What have I done.....?

I've gone and done it, something I said I was going to do when a goal was reached, something I have never done before.

It's not anything amazing for some people, in fact it's an everyday event for a lot of adults throughout the country, but for me it's a big deal. It was something this time last year I never thought would be possible. For me this is a big deal.....for me this is another milestone in the journey called 'My Life' for I have........

                                                                                       .....joined a gym!

Me!? .......have actually committed to do some formal, regular exercise! At a gym!

Me!?.......who this time last year couldn't face walking to the top of (very steep....I'll have you know) the my hill.

Me??.......who took the car everywhere and got knackered just doing the weekly shop and carrying it back into the house.

I've taken control and decided the next part of my weight loss is to do more exercise. Although I'm still wearing my pedometer and aiming to complete 10,000 steps each day, walking, no matter how briskly, takes a large part out of the day. I did walk over 15 miles at the weekend but I'm finding I need to walk for at least 90 minutes each day during the week to make up for my sedentary office job. It's hard finding the time.

My weight loss, although going in the right direction is still slow and I need to speed it up. I'm not about to fail or use the lack of time as an excuse. I need to do a more structured and targeted exercise regime ......so here I am, with a gym membership(me??! A gym member!)

I planned to do it when I reached a particular weight, but now is the right time. When I discovered one affiliated with the local hospital I thought I'd give it a go. A look around made me feel this was the right decision. The people who worked there were friendly and welcoming. I didn't feel judged and the users I saw were, well, normal and regular. Not the airbrushed, lip glossed beauty's I imagined, or the muscle bound young men, working on their six pack (Mind you that might not have been a bad thing.........) but I wouldn't have felt comfortable, lugging myself around with super fit people watching on and laughing.

It's amazing what your mind conjures up, what it can stop you from you doing because of what you envisage will happen or imagine what people think about you.

But it's also the part, which has made me determined and given me the courage to try something so out of my comfort zone.

Tomorrow is my induction day, I have a gym buddy (my daughter) and I'm giving it a go. And do you know what? Deep down, I'm really looking forward to it (I just need to keep telling myself that!)

Remember this post? Delia and Davina...? Well, I feel I am a little bit nearer to my goal! 

Meal Planning Monday w/c 29th August

Although its a Bank Holiday and the last one of the summer, meals still need to be cooked and planned! So once again on a Sunday evening I am planning, blogging and Internet shopping, and I love it! 

This is from the person who once upon a time hated the idea of shopping for food over the Internet. Now I can see how much time it saves! Plus I have a system.

  • I sit down and check what food I have in the freezer
  • Consult any new recipe books or the most recent Slimming World magazine for inspiration
  • Ask the rest of the family what they fancy
  • Ignore that and choose what I want to cook (and more importantly eat)
  • Blog it on the fantastic At Home With Mrs M Meal Planning Monday
  • Complete my Internet order, choosing a time when I won't be here to put it away and its someone else's problem! 

So onto this week, in no particular order, we will be having: (All Slimming World inspired)

Steak, Slimming World Chips and salad (Syn free)
Roast Chicken and all the trimmings (2 Syns)
Chili Con Carne and rice (Syn free)
Homemade burgers with spicy wedges (Syn free)
Slow cooker beef and tomato with vegetable couscous (2 Syns)
Chicken salad with fruity coleslaw (2 Syns)

It's my birthday on Friday, hoping to go out for dinner, which is why we are one meal short.

Lunches will be mainly left overs, but I did have a productive weekend cooking up veggies left in the fridge and came up with six portions of butternut squash and carrot tagine with rice. They are currently in my freezer but will take them into work to reside there. I have no excuse for when I can't be bothered now!

Plus I portioned up two bolognaise and pasta and a couple of left over cannelloni! I won't be going hungry for a while!

So what are you planning this week? Go and check out At Home With Mrs M for more inspiration (or just plain nosiness!) 

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Recipe Shed - Theme is Mince!

Time to link up and share a recipe thanks to Keith at Chronicles of a Reluctant Housedad. I love food, I love cooking and I love this week's theme which is 'mince'

My Dad loathes mince, no idea why, must be a childhood thing. Recently managed to work out why he hates mashed potato though. When  young, his Dad was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. At the time drug therapy was limited. It was generally treated by resting the bowel, which meant lots of easily digested and bland food. So he had mashed potato and poached fish in milk for about 2 years! I think he's been scarred for life!

But anyway, I digress! Onto my recipe this week, which is as usual a Slimming World favourite of mine, minced beef hash. It's tasty, comforting, easy to cook and cheap! Plus its a one pot wonder, all fabulous plus points! It's taken from Extra Easy Meals in Minutes book from Slimming World.

Mince Beef Hash

Serves 4

Extra Easy is Free, Original is 3 Syns, Green is 7.5 Syns

1 cal cooking spray
2 onions, peeled and finely diced
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 green chilli, deseed and finely chopped
450g extra lean minced beef
1 carrot, peeled and diced
300g of potato, peeled and diced
400g can of tomatos
100ml beef stock
1 tsp dried oregano
4 tsp of chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Spray a large frying pan with 1 cal and stir-fry the onions for a couple of minutes. They sometimes stick for me, so I add a little bit of water.

Add the garlic, cummin and green chilli, giving it a stir to release the flavours

Add the mince and cook on high, stirring all the time to break up the lumps until its sealed and browned.

Add the carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, stock and oregano and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 15 to 20 minutes (I find it sometimes take a little bit longer, but I promise its worth it!)

Once done, remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and season

We all love this dish! I have also added parsnip or swede which adds to the earthy flavours. I prefer it a little spicier, so sprinkle chilli flakes over mine once served.

Hope you give it and try, let me know what you think! I don't forget to check out other mince recipes over at the Recipe Shed


Finally come to the conclusion, I've had the lightbulb moment, it was like a flash of lightening, it dawned on me....in the grand scheme, 'things' don't matter.

I am well, I am getting fitter, I have my family all living under the same roof, I'm doing a job I love with wonderful people and I have been given the all clear from my consultant.

It's the simple things in life which make a difference.

Losing a pound in weight (or none at all as long as it isn't a gain!), getting out in the fresh air and achieving 10,000 steps, taking a brilliant photo, engaging with new people in twitter or via the blog. It's these things I have learnt to enjoy and appreciate while I was getting well.

And do you know what? I am happy, I am deep down inside content. Yes, okay, winning the lottery would be fantastic, getting someone to decorate my house and sort out all the crap would be amazing. But I'm happy with my life and that feels amazing!

So I'm formally putting that chapter of my life to bed, the last few months of illness, operations and recuperating. It was something I survived, it's something my family got through and I am a better and happier person because of it.

You are who you are because of how you deal with things in your life and what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!

I'm happy, who cares about the rest?

Meal Planning Monday w/c 22nd August


Last week was busy and reasonably successful from a meal planning perspective. The only things which didn't get cooked was the prawn paella (because my family were too lazy to cook it) and the burger and chips (because I was!) But hey, no loss as the prawns and mince are in the freezer and the vegetables have been used elsewhere!

The promised spinach and button mushroom cannelloni recipe is available on the blog! Just click the hyperlink. MrC asked if we could have a meat version this week, so am happy to oblige!

My weight has stayed stable, which is a huge result considering what I ate when on a business trip (a mixture of leaving the office very late, tiredness and emotions led to poor room service choice) so am pleased (see that, glass half full thinking)

Onto this week's plan and I was fortunate to win two new recipe books from Slimming World, after a letter I submitted was used on their website. So have five meals to try this week, although three are lunches. As always they are Slimming World friendly and I'm following the extra easy plan

In no particular order, just as time and my fancy takes me, we will be having:-

Meatloaf, potatoes and vegetables (Syn free and a new recipe from Extra Easy Summer Days)
Cannelloni and green salad (Syn free if using cheese as your HE)
Homemade tomato soup and slimming world chips (syn free)
Minced beef hash (syn free)
Baked potato, beans and cheese (Syn free if using cheese as your HE)
I'm away two nights so the family will have to fend for themselves!

I'm planning the following new recipe lunches, from Extra Easy Summer Days
Creamy Pesto with vegetable crudites (Syn free)
Fruity Coleslaw (1 Syn)
Summer Mackerel Salad (half a Syn)

It's going to be a proper foody week, just hope I can be organised enough to prepare enough in advance so it doesn't become a chore

Will let you know how I get on with the new recipes and if I'm happy with them I will share them. Don't forget to go and take a look over At Home with Mrs M for more food inspiration. Oh and leave a comment if you like the look of something or offer suggestions for next week!

Slimming World Syn Free Spinach and Mushroom Cannelloni

As promised its another Slimming World recipe and another first for me again. However I have now made it four times, I loved it that much!

This recipe is from the Slimming World magazine, July 2010 edition, page 74 - 75

9oz/255g chopped frozen spinach, defrosted
Fry light
8oz/227 fat -free natural cottage cheese
2 egg yokes
2 crushed garlic cloves
4oz/113 g button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
6oz/170g reduced-fat cheddar cheese, grated
small bunch of basil leaves, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
pinch of nutmeg (makes a big difference to the flavour)
salt & pepper
250g pack of dried cannelloni
1lb 8oz.567g passata (ideally with onion & garlic, but I used plain)

Green salad to serve

Extra Easy Free*
Green Free

*Add 5.5 Syns if you are not using the reduced fat Cheddar Cheese and a Healthy Extra


Pre-heat oven to 200c/400F/gas mark 6. Squeeze out the excess water from the spinach and spray a medium sized baking dish with Fry Light

Put the spinach, cottage cheese, egg yokes, garlic, mushrooms, onion, pepper, half the cheese and half the basil in a bowl. Add the nutmeg, season well and mix together. (use a very big bowl!)

The recipe says use a piping bag (or teaspoon) carefully fill the cannelloni tubes with the mixture.  I didn't have a piping bag, the teaspoon was too fiddly, so I used my hands. Very messy, but satisfying once done. I promise you, its worth the effort! The kids might enjoy doing this bit for you!

Place the filled tubes in the baking dish in a single layer and pour over the passata making sure all the cannelloni is completely covered.

Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and chopped basil. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the top is golden.

Garnish with reserved basil leaves and finish with some black pepper. Divide between four plates and serve with a green salad.

I have made this up the day before to save time & cooked it the next! It tasted even better! And an added bonus is its easier to portion up than lasagna!
Rubbish photo, promise it doesn't do it justice!

Easy Stuffed Chicken Breast

Time to link up a favourite tried and tested receipe to Keith of @reluctandhousedad infamy. I have committed to use Slimming World friendly dishes and this week's theme is chicken!

I love cooking with chicken, its cheap, tasty and easy to prepare. A roast chicken dinner was the first thing I attempted when I left home as I was told it was easy. Seemed to be okay if you forget the fact I cooked it with the giblets still inside and wrapped in their little plastic bag!!!! We still ate it, no-one died. We were poor, what can I say!

The easiest thing I can think to do with a whole chicken is to chuck it into the slow cooker with a bit of salt and pepper and leave it for about 7 hours. Comes out looking like it hasn't been cooked, but as the skin is very fatty (and needs to be Syn'd) once its peeled away the meat inside is succulent and juicy!

But that's not a real receipe! Mind you, this one is very easy

Easy Stuffed Chicken Breast

Recipe for 2 people
2 x chicken breast with skin removed
6 slices of bacon with the fat trimmed off
100 g of quark
Salt & pepper
Lemon juice
Some rosemary and thyme

Put the quark it into a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and the herbs and mix together. (If you don't fancy rosemary and thyme add your own favourites. Quark is very low fat, but it doesn't have much flavour so make sure you mix in the flavours you enjoy)

Slice chicken breast down the middle, but not all the way through, to open it up

Spoon in the flavoured quark and close over

Wrap the chicken breast with the bacon. Put in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

So easy! And goes with nearly everything you can think of! This time of year its great with some crunchy stir fried vegetables and a green salad. Delicious and Syn free on Extra Easy

Now get yourself over to Chronicles of a Reluctant Housedad for more recipes!

Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC - Guest Hosting

Here I am actually pretending to be a grown up (because sometimes I don't feel like one! Approaching 42, with two grown up kids and still feel some days I'm playing make believe like I did when a kid) Been trusted with hosting Michelle's wonderfully uplifting Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC over at Mummy from the Heart

Hopefully you are all seeing this okay, the post went out when it should have, and the linky all works!

So onto my week!

1 I seem to have broken my coccyx, locally known as a 'broken bum!' I fell in the bath three weeks ago, but it took me a while to get myself off to the GP to confirm what I had already thought!

Not a lot can be done with it (I can't even imagine what a plaster cast would look like! Answers on a postcard ........) but on the bright side, the wonderful painkillers are doing there work and I feel more comfortable.

The other way to look at this is I am more active! I can't sit down comfortably, so am doing more tidying up! Sunday I managed to get the whole house looking tidy, four loads of washing done and most of it dried, said washing sorted into piles and what I could, put away! Plus wrote two blogs, planned my meals for the week and an internet shop

Every cloud has a silver lining!

Cremyll Ferry

2 Managed to complete a walk I've wanted to do for a long time.

While I recuperated from my operation I needed to walk a lot, and I've gotten the bug! I visited a childhood haunt, Mount Edgcumbe House and then walked over to Kingsand and Cawsand, getting the ferry back to Plymouth and walking back to the car, parked at the Cremyll Ferry. We managed over 5 miles that day, 5 very hilly miles I might add!

A good friend from work promised to do the walk with me, and we had a great time huffing and puffing up the cliff hills and sliding down the other side again! At one point as we took a breather after climbing up a particularly steep bit (It had steps and handrails for goodness sake!) taking advantage of a handy bench, through the tree she pointed out to me she could see someone running up the stretch we'd struggled with. To which I laughed and said 'no, that's a fit person coming up the hill, it just looks like running compared to us!'

3 It's 'A' level results day! Maybe not something to be cheerful in our house, as my son has confessed he's totally messed up the last year.

Reasons? Well, it has been a difficult time with my being ill, but he's also just seemed to lose his way and focus.

It's on my list though, because the waiting will be over for him (and us) at last. And although he probably hasn't done very well, he's already signed up to college to retake them.  I'm sure you would agree its better to come clean, accept your mistakes, draw a line under it and work towards putting in right.

I am very proud of him, its not many people who can admit something like this to themselves, let alone others.

So what have you guys been up to? Why not either leave me a comment or link yourself up using the handy linky at the bottom of the post (please please work!!!)

And don't forget to check out next week's guest poster  Seasider in the City Get yourself over there and bookmark the page early!

Meal Planning Monday w/c 15th August

It's Monday again and I've been planning the menu's! I'm so lucky to have a daughter who enjoys cooking too, she has been checking the post when I'm at work, to prep the ingredients for me!

Didn't lose any weight this week, but I did have a boozy afternoon at the pub to celebrate my son's eighteenth and I just couldn't resist the chocolate birthday cake. But that's okay, straight back onto the Slimming World plan and fingers crossed for the next seven days.

Here we go, in no particular order

Spinach and Button Mushroom Canelloni (Syn free if you use the cheese as a HE)
Stir Fry vegetables and rice (Syn free)
Butternut Squash Curry and Rice (2.5 Syns)
Prawn and Vegetable Paella (Syn free)
Slow Cooker Chicken, Potato and Vegetables (Syn free)
Homemade Burgers and Slimming World Chips (Syn free)
Stuffed Pork and all the trimmings (2 syns)

The paella and curry are new receipe's for me, so if they work out I will let you know and blog the details

I made the canelloni last week, and will be posting the receipe sometime this week. It was so creamy and delicious, I couldn't believe it was Syn free. If you want the recipe straight to your inbox, please add yourself to the mailing list!

Don't forget for more inspiration, to take a look over with At Home with Mrs M

Enjoy your week! Let me know what takes your fancy on my meal planner and if you'd like the receipe!

Listography - Guilty Pleasures

Yay! Another fun meme to link with, this time its the listography with Kate at Kate Takes Five Just like the last time I linked with Thing's I'd Change About Myself I'm just going to go for it, and worry about the consequences of 'over sharing' later!

 Listography - Guilty Pleasures

So, the things I enjoy and shouldn't eh? Here goes!

1 - TV. I have admitted this before, I watch loads of it, more than I probably should. I just love it! And its on my list because its not very PC in this health conscious and watch what you eat day and age. I'm sure its seen as something the 'common' people do! But I love doing it!

2 - My all time favourite film and one I can watch again and again is......Dirty Dancing. There. I've said it. It's not a Shawshank Redemption or Matrix (both films I adore) but it doesn't have the same amount of gavitas about when talking in polite company

3 - Something I drink, when I want to bring back wonderful memories (oh....and get very drunk!) is Babysham and brandy! I was introduced to it by a girlfriend after we had blagged our way out of being evicted from our shared rooms one afternoon and I went to work still drunk that evening. The hangover kicked in about 11pm!

4 - Harrison Ford.....the young.....and the old! Love all his films, he just does something to me

What can I say???

5 - Mills and Boon type books. What isn't there to like about them? The romance, the silly names of the handsome lead character (Blake, Red, Blade to name but a few ) The helplessness of the heroine! Pure escapism! And we won't go into the wonderful sex they all seem to have! I know its not real, but wouldn't it be wonderful to be whisked up off your feet like that?

Now you have to promise to keep these guilty pleasures a secret, between just me and you. Unless you've got some of your own you can trade and leave in the comments? Just to make me feel a bit better....go on, you know you want to!

Like Grandfather Like Grandson

A very quick post!

I do sometimes wonder about my family and here is why!

My six year old nephew
(He went out shopping like that too!) 

My 66 year old Dad

 Do you think there is something in the gene's?

Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC

It's that time of the week where I look back and savour the good things which have happened, share, and link up with Michelle at Mummy from the Heart

I'm really looking forward (and a little bit scared!!) to be hosting this wonderful meme next week. It encapsulates my whole ethos on life and really does brighten my day writing the post and reading other people's. So please check back next week and see if I've managed to get it all set up correctly!

So onto my reasons for this week

1 - Finally got the call I was hoping for very late last Friday! Over the moon, things are coming together!

2 - It was my little boy's 18th birthday on Wednesday. I did think sometimes he would never make it! Either me or his Dad would have strangled him!

He has always been one of the youngest in his year at school, and this year he has felt it more than most. While his mates have been out, going to pubs and clubs, he has either had to stay at home or take a chance and try and get in without being ID'd (not ideal I know, but at least he does tell me about things in his life)

So the long awaited birthday finally arrived and I have never seen him happier. He went to the pub (where else?!) and him and his Dad had his first legal (!!?) pint together before the rest of the family joined for lunch to celebrate. (he was disappointed not to be ID'd!)

Very much a grown-up afternoon, with good food, great company, sun and a few drinks. It's something I have not done for such a long time and it was fabulous to have all my family around. I can now say proudly, my kids are now all grown up.

The next stage will be for them to actually move out...........!

3 - Had my final check up with the consultant today and I have had the all clear. Been taken off his list, so I'm all healthy and well again. Big weight off everyone's mind and I'm still astounded at how well I have progressed through the whole process. I firmly believe having a positive attitude made all the difference.

I couldn't have done it without all the support from my family and friends, both in the flesh and on Twitter and Facebook. So thank you everyone, you know who you are!

Don't forget to check out Michelle's Reasons to be Cheerful meme and maybe link up or leave me a comment with your good news! And don't forget to come back next week to see what a cock-up wonderful job I do of hosting!

And finally I've had it confirmed that I have probably broken my coccyx! (long story short? A slip in the bath meant I landed with one leg it in, one leg out of it, eye wateringly I fell right onto my bum!)

Not maybe something to be cheerful about, but as I can't actually sit down very well I'm moving around at lot more that usual! Which means I'm finding my aim of 10,000 steps per day easier to achieve.

Now if that isn't positive thinking, I don't know what is! 

#recipeshed Slimming World Butter Chicken

Like Keith of @reluctanthousedad infamy, I love to cook. But my new found passion is 'cooking to lose weight'. I'm following the Slimming World plan and enjoy it so much! I haven't prepared a recipe especially for this linky, so have brushed an old one off, I posted a few weeks ago.

I'm pleased to present, Butter Chicken, with no butter, syn free and delicious. So over to the original 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!

I have made this loads of time since the original post, I really love the taste and texture of the sauce. Promise my next entry will be an original, and all slimming world friendly!

Don't forget to go and take a look over at ReluctantHouseDad blog, he 's an alright guy, I promise! :)

Listography - Things I'd change about myself

The listography just hit my Twitter feed at the same time as I was updating my blog, so I just had to give it a go this week! Thank you Kate of Kate Takes 5 that was serendipity at its best!

The theme is 'Things I'd change about myself' and instructions seem to suggest it can't be physical things but characteristics. Goodness, that would have taken me an age to whittle the list down to just 5 if it was physical! 

This should be easy, so will just crack on and bash them out in no particular order of preference

1 - Bossiness. I know, its a biggy, but I can't help myself. I have been like it since I was very little and a characteristic I have passed onto my daughter (sorry Amy!) It stems from wanting to help, and of course my way to do things is the best way, which then comes out as being a bossy boots.

2 - TV junky, I love watching TV. I don't watch just anything, it has to be something I enjoy and can become engrossed in, but I feel bereft if there is nothing on the box to watch. And when a series comes to end, its almost a sense of panic to get something else to replace it! Its the main pastime me and MrC can share (because he can't get around or out and about very much anymore) but its become my guilty pleasure. Am sure I shouldn't enjoy it as much as I do!

3 - Being untidy, oh I so wish I could have more self control and put things away at the time! Sometimes I just can't be bothered and then get stressed when the place is a mess and rush around like a devil possessed putting it right. I'm sure if I did a little bit at a time, it would make life easier!

4 - Having to be on time all the time. I cannot bear to be late for anything, my Dad drove it into us that it was the height of bad manners to be late for appointments or meeting people. It drives me into a panic if I think I won't get to somewhere at the time I promised, even when it doesn't really matter. This sense of impending doom, leads me to leave plenty of time to get places (sometimes as much as an hour) which for me is fine, but for others can send them round the bend. 

5 - The need for at least eight hours sleep to cope. Oh, how I would love to be like some people who can function and even prosper on little sleep. How much would I be able to fit into my day, if only I had more time? (think of all that extra TV???! ) If I don't get enough sleep, it makes me ratty and irritable, which drives my loved ones to distraction and even irritate's me! I could stay up later with MrC and get up early in the morning full of the joys of spring!

I can't believe I have just bared all like that! I must be mad! Now to balance things up, please share the things you would you change about yourself.....so I don't feel so bad about mine!  

And if that wets your appetite, why not pop over to Kate Takes 5 and see what other things people have confessed to wanting to change!

Meal Planning Monday w/c 8th August

Have been super organised this week, as not only have I planned my meals, but have also already completed the Internet shop for it! I wasn't a fan of Internet food shopping, but needs must as they say when I was recuperating. When I was well enough to go myself I was there like a shot!

However, now I am back at work, and in the swing of things, I've started to resent the time it takes away from doing stuff I really enjoy, so Tesco Internet shop it is! (and if I can get it delivered when I'm at work, so someone else puts it away, even better!)

Last week's planner was a hit, and I managed to lose 2 lbs! (Go Slimming World!) but I was conscious it was the same old dishes. So this week I am trying out two new ones!

In any old order:-

Spinach and mushroom cannelloni (Syn Free and a new one for me!)
Cherry tomato and basil stuffed red peppers with rice
Pasta coponata with celery, pepper and aubergine (Syn Free and a new recipe for me!)
Burger and slimming world chips
Sausages, mash and beans
Roast pork with all the trimmings
Plus a day out to dinner as my son is 18!

I think I have shaken it up a bit with a good mix of old and new! Fingers crossed for a loss, but will settle for staying the same as my son's dinner will involved a few alcoholic drinks as he celebrates being able to drink legally (for a change!)  

Don't forget to check out At Home with Mrs M for more wonderful meal planners, but also let me know what you think of mine by leaving a comment and letting me know which meal you'd fancy having!

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday


1. the act of anticipating or the state of being anticipated.
2. realization in advance; foretaste.
3. expectation or hope.

You know the feeling, the looking forward to something, a special event. The tingle of excitement when planning a birthday party. Your mouth watering when lovely sweet treats waiting at home are remembered. The big grin on your face when you think about what will be happening later, and remembering how you felt last time or for the first time wondering how it will be. The warm glow when you close your eyes and see the event unfolding.

But for all the good things there are the reverse. Not looking forward to a filling at the dentist as it's going to be unpleasant. Or an exam or test, the not sleeping as you think about it, the terror and shame of not doing well. Your stomach churning every time the task ahead pops unbidden into your head, invading you, feeling ill, nauseous and on edge.

And that is where I am, in a state of anticipation, wondering when I will get that call, what impact it will have for me and my family, how will I actually react, will it be the news I want to hear, how will I cope if its not.

It's not a good feeling, it's not a great place to be but as the definition at the top of the post says, I've also got hope.

#R2BC Reasons to be Cheerful

What a busy week, so much going on for me too at the moment. Still waiting to hear if I was successful in securing my job as the department is undergoing a restructure. Have been assured we'll be told on Friday now, so fingers crossed this will be a reason next week!

So when things are stressful, its even more important to think back and review your week and see what has been going well for you. So once again, thank you to Michelle at Mummy From The Heart for keeping me on track and being positive!

1 - Stayed with my diet and lost 2 lb last week! Considering I was away for three nights for work, that is amazing. Also proof that I am able to make the right decisions when away from home. So pleased with myself. I weigh in on Friday's so who knows, how much I have lost tomorrow.

2- Got to spend some lovely time with my Nan. I feel so honoured to get to my age and still have my grandmother with me. So every moment, is precious

3- And now the big one! I managed to complete my 13 mile midnight walk last Saturday. Again, very proud of myself and the fact it raised over £500. You can read about it over on my blog! 'We Did it!' I didn't ache following it (just from my *broken bum which had nothing to do with the walk!) and think I might do 26 miles next year! This is what I remember the most (apart from the actual finish line)

Well needed sight when you are desperate!

So, these are some of my high points from this week, don't forget to take a look over at Michelle's blog to take a look some others.

*I think I have broken my bum, following a fall in the bath last week! In other words a possible broken coccyx! Very sore, but what can you do? Life goes on!

Meal Planning Monday w/c 1st August

Hey, its back again! This regular post from At Home with Mrs M really focus's my mind and gets me organised for the week. This is key for Slimming World success I think, and why I lost 2 lb this week! Yay!!

So here we go, in no particular order (my family would go mad if I planned things down to the day!)

Chicken Salad (no Syns)
Beef & tomato slow cooker casserole with couscous and vegetables (1 Syn)
Chicken Stir Fry with egg fried rice (no Syns)
Chickpea and Roast Pepper Pilaf (2.5 Syns)
Cottage Pie and vegetables (no Syns)
Homemade burger with Slimming World Chips, mango salsa and salad (no Syns)
Something with pork loin (It was on offer at Tesco!!)

Lunches will be baked potato and beans this week as I have a load to be used up (my lot won't cook when I'm not there so I am trying to use up rather than throw away)

Breakfasts are going to be eggs, tomato's or bean on toast, something filling to be keep me going.

Aiming to be as Syn free as possible this week because I had a blow out on Friday (pizza and a box of chocolates!) which I want to make up for. But with all these lovely meals it shouldn't be too hard (Just need to keep busy!)

Well, that's me, what are you planning? And if you need more inspiration then go and take a look at Mrs M's for a brilliant link to other people's planners

Wish my luck for next week's weight loss!