Saturday, 30 September 2017

LandLove - Online - Win a pair of KEEN Terradora Leather!

LandLove - Online - Win a pair of KEEN Terradora Leather!

HomeStyle - Competition - Win £2,000 to spend on Sofas By You at Harveys

HomeStyle - Competition - Win £2,000 to spend on Sofas By You at Harveys

EKBB - Competitions - Win design-led bathroom products from Geberit worth £2,500

EKBB - Competitions - Win design-led bathroom products from Geberit worth £2,500

Adult entertainment - no, not that!!

How can I relax? Yes, I am going to the gym and healthy eating, but how can I actually do something relaxing?

I don't mean going for a massage or a spa treatment - I mean just having some light hearted fun at home. I stumbled across a post about adult colouring.

Basically, a colouring book of a more adult theme - not X-rated or anything risque - just colouring. Filthy minds you all!!

There are some beautiful designs out there for adults. Fairy gardens, flowers in the shape of shoes, mosaics. All very detailed and intricate. But I can just about imagine how relaxing this must be after a stressful day at the office.

So what else is there for adults? Well, comping obviously, and of course blogging. I am slightly addicted to Candy Crush too. But what else is there for us adults to keep us entertained cleanly?

I suppose there is cooking. There is writing. There is painting? I was always better at sketching with pencils and pastels, but pastels are a bit messy. There is reading - done quite a bit of this lately.

I guess I could apply the same logic to adult crafting somehow? Maybe a hand made birthday card for someone? Or learning another language might be something else I could try.

Yes, I think I've got to rethink my usual glass of wine or take out and be more adult in my pursuits!! :)

Travels in Ireland - Belfast off the beaten track

During our trip to Ireland, we went to the tourist spots, as you do. The Giants Causeway, Bushmills whisky etc.. We wandered around the town, did a spot of retail therapy, sipped some wine, had lunch.

Then we decided to explore the older parts of town, the parts that you wouldn't usually encounter. We came across a fenced off and overgrown church.  

Now I'm quite partial to a beautiful building, and those that have fallen upon hard times have a mystical quality to them that draws me. I find it fascinating to imagine such buildings in their original glory.


Just look at the majestic architecture of this gothic style church. Beautiful arches and stone work yet overgrown with weeds and undergrowth. 


This church must have been the core of the community once upon a time. Seeing it like this so seems to conjure up emotions - sadness and despair, decay and neglect, but holds a certain fascination all the same. 





Travels in Ireland

As you may have seen I have posted previously about the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. But there is so much more to the place. This, for a starter, is a beautiful castle nestled into the rocks on the cliffs that line the road to the causeway.



The views were breathtaking. Rolling waves, blue skies, gothic landscapes. The place is full of things to see but its the views on the way to the tourist sites that make this part of the world so absorbing. 


This is my favourite place - Dark Trees. You wouldn't ever stumble across this as you have to travel to reach it. Its a street lined with trees that are hundreds of years old that have leaned over and intertwined across the roadway. Its known locally as the Dark Trees and it is straight out of some story book. Mesmerising.

Reasons to Stick to my Diet Number 22 - I am fed up of being fed up

Number 22: 

Today's reason for sticking to my diet is because I am fed up of being fed up about my weight and my body. I go on a diet, lose a bit, go on holiday or to the wedding - whatever the event that prompted the weight loss.

I pile it on again, and it all starts all over again. I never maintain - I only ever lose or gain. The more fed up I get, the harder I try, but then when I get to the end of the path, I go overboard everytime. I put it on and I feel fed up. I eat what I want, but then I feel fed up when I am fat.

So, that's today's reason - I do not want to be fed up about this anymore. It is just ridiculous and it has to stop.

Word of the Week - Permeate

Permeate:


  • to pass into or through every part of:
    • Bright sunshine permeated the room.

  • to penetrate through the pores, interstices, etc., of.

  • to be diffused through; pervade; saturate:

  • Cynicism permeated his report.to spread through something and be present in every part of it


definition derived from dictionary.com

HomeStyle - Competition - Win a £100 gift card for Primark!

HomeStyle - Competition - Win a £100 gift card for Primark!

Christmas ads will be coming soon :)

Its the last day of September, month end. For me that means a mass comping exercise, and it also means autumn is pretty much over. Cue weather getting colder, wetter and windier and the nights getting darker.

However, all is not lost. Christmas is on its way!! Yes, I am that person. The over-excited Christmas lover. It is, after all, only 86 sleeps!!

What that also means though, is that Christmas ads are on the way. I have noticed the C word mentioned once or twice already - mainly on sofa ads "get yours before Christmas" but not a Christmas ad per se.

It can only be a matter of time. Its October tomorrow!!

Friday, 29 September 2017

My Top 10 Spices


  • Garlic
  • Chilli
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Garam Masala
  • Paprika
  • Curry powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Piri Piri
  • Mixed herbs

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Win A Copy Of Big Little Lies On DVD

Win A Copy Of Big Little Lies On DVD: Win a copy of Big Little Lies on DVD from HBO Entertainment #WinGoodThings

Reasons to Stick to my Diet Number 21 - I want to go to posh restaurants

Number 21:

Today's reason to stick to the diet - I want to go to posh restaurants!!

What I mean is, that I want to get dressed up in glamorous clothes looking amazing and go out to posh restaurants. I do go out, to lovely places, but I always feel frumpy.

I end up overeating- starters, mains and puddings, washed down with wine. Calorific? Hell yes. Taste good? Damn right!!

The problem is the getting ready and how I feel about me. I want to look nice, to feel confident. I do not want to look like the person who orders everything on the menu!!

So that is today's reason, so that one day, I will look like the person I want to be :)

Learning Spanish - This Week's Learning

This week's learning:

  • apple - manzana
  • name - nombre
  • red - rojo


And the rest:

  • sausage - salchicha
  • nice - bonito
  • orange - naranja
  • restaurant - restaurante
  • read - leer
  • salad - ensalada
  • leaving - dejando
  • nuts - nueces
  • grey - gris
  • dinner - cena
  • fifty - cincuenta
  • mother - madre
  • fish - pescado
  • reservation - reserva
  • when - cuando
  • chair - silla
  • nose - nariz
  • pasta - pastas
  • kiss - beso
  • smile - sonreír
  • onion - cebolla
  • friend - amigo
  • thunder - trueno
  • why - por qué
  • thigh - muslo
  • donkey - burro
  • warm - calentar
  • drink - bebida
  • what - qué
  • lemon - limón
  • garlic - ajo
  • forty - cuarenta
  • tree - árbol
  • teeth - dientes
  • father - padre
  • suncream - crema solar
  • milk chocolate - chocolate con leche
  • crazy - loca
  • girl - niña
  • happy - contento
  • steak - filete
  • sunburn - bronceado
  • horse - cabello
  • cough - tos 
  • head - cabeza
  • Summer - el verano
  • February - febrero
  • Pillow - almohada
  • Nine - nueve
  • Eyes - ojos
  • June - junio
  • key - llaves
  • dunes - dunas
  • home - casa
  • Stomach - estómago
  • Jump - saltar
  • May - mayo
  • October - octubre
  • Thirsty - sediento
  • Leg - pierna
  • Breakfast - desayuno
  • Six - seis
  • Hungry - hambriento
  • Moon - luna
  • Rice - arroz
  • Vegetarian - vegetariano
  • I don't know - no lo sé
  • Butter - mantequilla
  • Seven - siete
  • July - julio
  • Tired - cansado
  • Speak - hablar
  • Mirror - espejo
  • Small - pequeña
  • Amazing - asombroso
  • Sunglasses - gafas de sol 
  • Toilet - inodoro
  • Excuse me - disculpe
  • Tasty - sabroso
  • Mountain - montaña
  • How far is - que tan lejos esta
  • Waves - olas
  • Sandwich - emparedado
  • Roof - techo
  • Blanket - cobija
  • Eight - ocho
  • Forgot - olvidó
  • Woman - mujer
  • Night - noche
  • Another - otro
  • September - septiembre
  • Hands - manos
  • Flight - vuelo
  • Laugh - risa
  • Sing - canta
  • Can I have the bill - Me puede traer la cuenta
  • Spoon - cuchara
  • Black - negro
  • Bread - pan de molde
  • April - abril
  • Five - cinco
  • Sand - arena
  • Hot - caliente
  • Ear - oreja
  • Dark - oscuro
  • Like - me gusta
  • Sick - enfermo
  • Spicy - picante
  • Kettle - tetera
  • Flowers - flores
  • Sunbathe - tomar el sol
  • Feet - pies
  • December - diciembre
  • Cake - pastel
  • Fireworks - fuegos articiales
  • Rain - lluvia
  • Dress - el vestido
  • Year - año
  • Door - puerta
  • My name is - me llamo
  • Cooking - cocina
  • Four - cuatro
  • August - agosto
  • Massage - el masaje
  • Back - espalda
  • Purple - púrpura
  • Fork - tenedor
  • Knife - cuchillo
  • Three - tres
  • Dog - perro
  • January - enero
  • Stars - estrellas
  • Dancing - bailando
  • Brown - marrón
  • Two - dos
  • Spring - primavera
  • Crisps - patatas fritas
  • Friday - viernes
  • The Menu -La carta 
  • Bed - cama
  • Strawberry - fresa
  • Windy - ventoso
  • Can I have? - puedo tener
  • Bottle - botella
  • Birthday - cumpleaños
  • Green - verde
  • Ten - diez
  • Thursday - jueves
  • March - marzo
  • Umbrella - paraguas
  • November - noviembre
  • Autumn - el otoño
  • One - uno
  • Soap - jabon
  • Wednesday - miércoles
  • Cold - frio
  • Boat - barco
  • Hotel Room - habitación de hotel
  • Newspaper - periódico
  • Man - hombre
  • Walk - caminar
  • Shop - tienda
  • Running - corriendo
  • Cat - gato
  • Swim - nadar
  • What time is it? - que hora es?
  • Big - grande
  • Cloud - nube
  • Pink - rosa
  • Silver - plata
  • Pepper - pimienta
  • Omelette - tortilla
  • Shower - ducha
  • Tuesday - martes
  • Ice - hielo
  • Beautiful - hermosa
  • Awake - despierto
  • Love - amor
  • Shoes - zapatos
  • Money - dinero
  • Hat - sombrero
  • Monday - lunes
  • Glass - vaso
  • Water - agua
  • Sleep - dormir
  • Chicken - pollo
  • Sun - sol
  • Ice-cream - helado
  • Seat - asiento
  • Gold - oro
  • Sunday - domingo
  • Hair - cabello
  • Book - el libro
  • Garden - el gardin
  • Bathroom - el baño
  • Nude - desnudo
  • Towel - toalla
  • Sea - mar
  • What's your name? - Como se llama?
  • Cheers - Salud
  • Wine - el vino
  • Good - bueno
  • Beer - cerveza
  • Cheese - queso
  • Suitcase - maleta
  • Blue - azul
  • White - blanco
  • Where is? - dónde está?
  • Market - el mercado
  • Swimming Pool - la piscina
  • Saturday - sábado
  • Winter - invierno
  • English - inglés
  • I want one - Quiero uno
  • How much does it cost? - Cuánto cuesta
  • Tomorrow - mañana
  • Good evening - Buenas Noches
  • You're welcome - de nada
  • I'm sorry - lo siento
  • Please - Por favor
  • Thankyou - Gracias
  • Beach - La playa
  • Hello - Hola
  • Good morning - Buenos días
  • Goodbye - Adios

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Win a two-night trip to Milan, including a trip to the opera with Sacla'

Win a two-night trip to Milan, including a trip to the opera with Sacla'

Things I want to do with My Life

Things I want to do in my life
  • Write a novel
  • Learn another language fluently
  • Reach my goal weight
  • Pay off my mortgage
  • Own a new car fresh off the forecourt
  • Own a place in the sun
  • Set foot on every continent
  • Own an apartment in London
  • Own an apartment in Manchester
  • Ride a horse across a beach
  • Go skiing
  • Learn to cook Sushi
  • Have the whole house how I want it to be fully finished
  • Have no money worries
  • Live abroad for a few months 
  • Go on a round the world trip
  • Own a horse
  • Go the races
  • Go on a theatre break
  • Own a place in Gran Canaria
  • Learn to ride a motorbike
  • Learn to scuba dive
  • Travel the world
  • Be in a play or a film
  • Change career
  • Get a degree
  • Swimming with sea turtles
  • Shark cage experience

Wedding Songs - the fun ones for our wedding - the list so far

Mike Posner - Pill in Ibiza
ACDC - Thunderstruck
Robbie Williams - Bodies
Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop the Feeling
Cake by the Ocean - DNCE

My Dream Jobs

If I was ever to change career, here are my top 10 dream jobs:
  • Freelance writer
  • Novelist
  • Photographer
  • Designer
  • Furniture maker
  • Storage Hunter
  • Salvage Hunter
  • Cake Shop Owner
  • Travel journalist
  • Interior Designer

Things to do in September



  • deadhead summer plants
  • Blackpool lights
  • End of the Road Festival
  • enjoy the last of the long nights
  • X factor starts again
  • Go to the St Leger festival
  • reset your heating timer and thermostat
  • plant next years flowering bulbs
  • collect and sow perennial seeds
  • start to clear up the leaves
  • clean your windows inside and out
  • open your windows before it gets too cold
  • have a last late summer bbq
  • go to Gladfest in Wales
  • cook a local stew or broth - our version is lobby
  • go to a food festival
  • learn to cook something new
  • start your pre Christmas shape up
  • write your Christmas list
  • net your pond
  • go to the Totally Thames Festival
  • visit a British city
  • go to a pub quiz
  • back to school 
  • sign up for a college course
  • get a good book, find a comfy spot and get reading
  • enjoy a hot chocolate or speciality coffee
  • light up the fire pit and chimnea
  • get your tights out

Reasons to Stick to my Diet Number 20 - Scales haven't dropped

Number 20:

Today's reason to stick to my diet is that the scales have not dropped on weigh in this morning. I was really fed up. I have been so good, exercised so much, every single day.

The result? Stayed the bloody same!! So, today's reason to stick to it is exactly that - I haven't lost any weight, so I have to keep going until I do!!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Reasons to Stick to my Diet Number 19 - Not long until holiday

Number 19:

Yep, today's reason is simple. It is not at all long now until my holiday. I am just days away now, and I have to make each day count!!

Tonight, I could easily have given in. The last thing in the world I wanted for my tea tonight was the  diet measly portions. But I have done it. Why? Because I want to be the best I can be when I get on that plane.

Ok, so miracles don't happen, but I can at least be unbloated and more streamlined that if I pig out at this point!!

All these films that I have seen - next 10 #134


In my ongoing bid to establish just how many films I have actually seen, here are my next 10:

The Calling
Chained
Zulu (2015)
John Carter
Die Hard 4 - Live Free or Die Hard
Die Hard 5 - A Good Day to Die Hard
Blind Date
Hudson Hawk
Loaded Weapon 1
Rugrats Go Wild 

And here are all the rest - that makes a hu-uugge 1340!!

films #1             films #45             films #89          films #133
films #2             films #46             films #90
films #3             films #47             films #91
films #4             films #48             films #92
films #5             films #49             films #93
films #6             films #50             films #94
films #7             films #51             films #95
films #8             films #52             films #96
films #9             films #53             films #97
films #10           films #54             films #98
films #11           films #55             films #99
films #12           films #56             films #100
films #13           films #57             films #101
films #14           films #58             films #102
films #15           films #59             films #103
films #16           films #60             films #104
films #17           films #61             films #105
films #18           films #62             films #106
films #19           films #63             films #107
films #20           films #64             films #108
films #21           films #65             films #109
films #22           films #66             films #110
films #23           films #67             films #111
films #24           films #68             films #112
films #25           films #69             films #113
films #26           films #70             films #114
films #27           films #71             films #115
films #28           films #72             films #116
films #29           films #73             films #117
films #30           films #74             films #118
films #31           films #75             films #119
films #32           films #76             films #120
films #33           films #77             films #121
films #34           films #78             films #122
films #35           films #79             films #123
films #36           films #80             films #124
films #37           films #81             films #125
films #38           films #82             films #126
films #39           films #83             films #127
films #40           films #84             films #128
films #41           films #85             films #129
films #42           films #86             films #130
films #43           films #87             films #131
films #44           films #88             films #132

Monday, 25 September 2017

Make like the Seaside at home

So its September almost gone, but still some sunshine to be had. Sadly not the summer days we imagine at the seaside though.

Which got me to thinking - if we do happen to get another chance at sunny days, how can I recreate the seaside given that we live nowhere near it?

Here is my plan to make our garden and home like being on a seaside break.

1 - make a sand pit
2 - get a paddling pool
3 - get a cocktail kit
4 - get some white fluffy towels
5 - get some beach towels
6 - pack a picnic
7 - get some soft ice cream and cones
8 - get the bbq out
9 - get some sea shells
10 - get a bucket and spade
11 - get a vintage swimsuit
12 - get some blackpool rock (doesn't have to be blackpool)
13 - get some games - giant jenga, giant kerplunk, bat and ball
14 - eat fish and chips in paper
15 - get some deck chairs
16 - make a "face in the hole" cardboard cut out of your choice!

Now there are the ingredients so I just need to lay them out to make it like being away at the seaside.

Obviously, once you have a sand pit, you can feel the sand between your bare toes and make sand castles! The paddling pool is clearly like dipping your toes in the sea - possibly a bit warmer though!

Cocktails for the adults, alcohol free virgin cocktails for the kids. White fluffy towels for after you get showered - wherever you stay, the towels are always white and fluffy!

Beach towels - of course. Plonk yourself down. Pack a picnic and eat Al Fresco. Ice cream in a cone - plus red sauce and sprinkles obvs. If in doubt, get the BBQ out - great if there are a load of you - bang on the burgers and the sausages, fry some onions - job done.

Get some sea shells and listen to the sea. Bucket and spade are obligatory. Vintage swimsuit - the British seaside is not for bikinis. Get you chops around some sticky sweet seaside rock.

Get silly with giant games, and make your own arcade games. For supper, fish and chips in paper is a must, with loads of vinegar, salt and pepper. Eat them sitting in a deck chair.

Finally - get your face in the hole, get a picture snapped and you are almost certainly at the seaside!

My Favourite Places - Abroad


  • Gran Canaria
  • Barcelona
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Fuerteventura
  • Menorca
  • Crete
  • Marrakesh
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Majorca
  • Fiji
  • Egypt
  • Tunisia
  • LA
  • Lanzarote
  • Belgium
  • Brittany, France
  • Jersey
  • Rhodes
  • Zante
  • Banff and Lake Louise, Canada
  • Arizona
  • Las Vegas

Reasons to Stick to My Diet Number 18 - I want rid of the muffin top!

Number 18:

Today's reason to stick to the diet is that I want rid of the muffin top!!

I am losing weight, I am sticking to the exercise and yet still, that unsightly bulge over my waistband when I sit down remains. I don't know how slim I will need to get to in order to get rid of this damned bit of flab, but I am determined.

So that is today's reason. No more muffins - either the food variety or the overhang!! :)

I am always amazed by what my body can do..........

I don't have a gym body. I don't look like a Victoria's Secrets model. However, I am in "the zone" if you will at the moment. I hope it lasts, because I am suddenly seeing my body doing things I never thought it could.

You see I already know what giving up feels like - I've trod that path a far few times. A lesser known route, at least to me, is what it feels like to succeed. I want to see what happens if I don't give up.

I have a choice each day. I can choose to eat crisps, dip them in houmous and drink wine. Then when it comes to holiday, or going to the pub or out for a meal, I get that horrible "what can I fit in" or "what will hide my bulging middle" feeling of dread. Or I can choose to get off my backside and workout, watch what I eat, cut out the crap and then feel if not perfect, then at least confident.

I remember getting close to goal a few times, then stupidly celebrating that achievement by you guessed it, eating crisps and drinking wine and bang - goal slipped further away again. Damn it!

This time, quitting is simply not acceptable. I might be aching everywhere. It might burn. I might be exhausted, tired, sore and ready to cry, but its better than quitting. I need to relish the feeling because its a step closer to where I want to be.

I have started quite a challenging program, which builds in intensity and effort. It includes some exercises I love - abs mainly, weirdly, and some I hate with a vengeance - yes burpees, I mean you! They are the devil, seriously.

Each time I incorporate a new exercise, or try a heavier weight or a higher jump, my body can actually, amazingly, accomplish it. Its quite fascinating because I never knew it could do that. Whether its skipping, jumping, running, weights, abs - you name it, my body is capable of it.

That's the most frustrating part really - if I can do all that then why have I not been doing it all along? Beats me. Don't get me wrong, its damned hard work, and it hurts like hell, and I find myself making all manner of noises - grunts, squeals, what sounds a bit like I'm growling even! But the point is - I can do this.

I have to make that choice. Every day. Do I want this body I see in the mirror forever? Or do I want it to be all it can be. Surely the best reward for how amazing my body is, is to treat it kindly, to cherish it, and to make the most of it.

So this time, I am going to make my amazing body an actual amazing body inside and out. Trainers at the ready :)


92 Sleeps until Christmas :)

So we are already nearing the end of September, which got me thinking how many days is it until Christmas?

Well, let me tell you - its 92 sleeps until Christmas!

  • Its 2184 hours until Christmas
  • 131047 minutes
  • 91 days, 0 hours, 7 mins, 10 seconds
  • 1862820 seconds
Woohoo!! 

That also means its 98 days until New Year's Eve

42 days until Bonfire Night

37 days until Halloween

Better get organised then :) 


Sunday, 24 September 2017

What Can I do to get slim, fit and strong??

I have a dream, as a man once said. Its true, I do. I dream of having a banging bod, a bikini body no less. Strong, fit and slim. I think its fair to say, that at the moment, right now, as I write these very words, that I do not have that body. It is, alas, a dream still.

So how do I get my flabby ass, currently resting itself up on the recliner, off the sofa and into the gym? I think I need a plan. Yes, that might help. So here are my ideas of what I can do, when I might be able to do it, and what might, just might, be accomplish-able.

  • Jogging - outdoors, no cost involved, and no excuses apart from the monsoon rain!! 
  • Gym - lots of cardio, fat burning - stepper, stair master, cross trainer
  • Running - gym treadmill - intervals - hills and sprints
  • Ab work - can't see them at the moment, but they need to be ready for their moment!!
  • Green Tea - can't stand it, but I will literally try anything right now!!
  • Fat metabolisers - yep. Cheat it - science like
  • Water - drink lots of the wet stuff. Its supposed to help!!
  • Grapefruit - apparently it helps burn fat. Likewise celery
  • Exercise first thing before eating anything - negative calories burned! 
  • Do squats. Every day. 
  • Weights - arms, chest and back will benefit, plus burns calories
  • Low carb - keep it low. 
  • High protein - focus on the proteins. 
  • Move more - walk everywhere rather than drive
  • Smaller portions - cut portions down by a third
  • cut out snacks - apart from fruit
  • 5 a day - make sure to stock up on the fruit and veg
  • 3 Day Diet - 3 days on, 2 days off. Ongoing
  • Swimming - whenever I get the chance - home or away
  • Cycling - get my bike out, get on it
  • Kettle Bells. Ultimate fat burning and toning
  • Dancing - anywhere, anytime
  • Zumba - get my DVD out and burn it!! 
  • Gym classes - worth a try I suppose
  • Squash - oh yeah - chance to hit something hard! 
  • Weight watchers - yes, I know. But it works for me!! 
  • Cut down / cut out the alcohol. How many calories does that glass of wine contain!! 
  • Choose healthy options, and no starters or desserts
If I think of anything else, I shall add it to my list :) C'mon beach body!! 

Reasons to Stick to my Diet Number 17 - I want to have some wine!

Number 17:

Today's reason to stick to the diet - I want to have some wine!!

Yes, when I reach goal weight, or holiday, whichever comes first, I can finally have some wine!! But only, and I repeat, only, if I get under that stone mark!!

So that is today's reason. Bribery. Works a treat with me :)

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Smile Like You Mean It





Another little pearl of wisdom today. Smile like you mean it, don't just go through the motions. You will be surprised how much it lifts you up if you just take the time to smile, properly smile.

Paint it on, grit your teeth, whatever it takes. After a while, it will feel natural and you will feel happier!

Go on, give it a go. Think of your happy place :)

Reasons to Stick to my Diet Number 16 - I want toned arms

Number 16:

Today's reason for sticking to my diet - I want toned arms.

Yep, I want rid of the bingo wings and the armpit fat. I'm not really that big - probably somewhere between a size 12 and a size 14 at the present time - a size 13 if you will, if there was such a thing!!

However, I want my arms to be defined, to be toned, to get rid of these annoying flabby bits so that I look nice in dresses and am not worried about the hammy area at the top of my arms.

Diet alone won't shift this so I need to up the ante on the weight front.

His Wishlist


  • Dashcam
  • Drone
  • Barbour coat
  • Gin
  • Spa break
  • Holiday in Gran Canaria
  • Thai Massage
  • Boxing match tickets
  • Pyjamas
  • Gazelles
  • Boxers
  • Aftershave
  • Botox
  • Pedicure
  • Perfect steak
  • City break
  • Patio heater
  • Rattan garden set
  • Gin and tonic cupcakes
  • Home cooked meal
  • Winter BBQ

Friday, 22 September 2017

Win a Case of Wines Worth Over £75! | Novel Wines

Win a Case of Wines Worth Over £75! | Novel Wines

My idea of a perfect menu

I like food, but I would not describe myself as a "foodie" as such, on account of being quite picky about things.  I often find myself going out for meals and having a limited choice on the menu given that some places don't cater for us not quite veggie but a little wary of meat eater types - I actually don't think we have a category - awkward maybe??

You go to the traditional pub menu and your choices tend to be lasagne, chilli, or chicken breast or burgers. For the more up market venues, you do get gourmet burgers, chicken skewers or mexican food like fajitas. I don't always want a veggie option, but what I cannot cope with is steaks, and meat on the bone or anything I have to fight with - fish with bones in, or crab, lobster etc...

My ideal menu would probably be Italian overall - lots of choices for me - gnocchi, pizza, pasta, bruschetta - mmmm. Mexican is also good, as is curry and balti. Chinese - again, lots of choices. Its when you go to a "non country" type restaurant that I struggle, and I like to go to somewhere more varied. Much as I love Italian, Indian, and Chinese, I would prefer to mix and match.

With this in mind, I have come up my ideal menu, should I ever have the choice to create it!

My perfect menu:

Starters:

  • Potato skins
  • Nacho's
  • Crispy aromatic duck and pancakes
  • Onion bhaji
  • Poppadom and choice of dips
  • Pate and toast
  • Garlic mushrooms
  • Bread board with oils and vinegars
  • Staffordshire oatcakes with choice of fillings
Mains:
  • Chicken Tikka Massala
  • Gourmet burger with stilton
  • Chilli Burrito
  • Red Thai Curry
  • Gnocchi with three cheese
  • Cajun Chicken breast
  • Sizzly chicken skewers
  • Lemon chicken
  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Mushroom stroganoff
  • Sausages and mash with gravy
  • Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Chilli con carne
Desserts and Afters
  • Cheese board
  • Hot chocolate fudge cake
  • White chocolate cheesecake
  • Chocolate sundae
  • Death by chocolate
  • Apple crumble
  • Jammy doughnuts with cream
  • Sticky toffee pudding
  • Pancakes with toppings
Speciality Drinks:
  • Speciality milkshakes with real choc choices
  • Irish or liqueur coffees
  • Speciality coffees - mochas, latte, cappucino
  • Spritzers
  • Cocktails

What would you do??

What would you do if you won the lottery? I'm talking a big win here, like £1m. A life changing amount? I think most people have a vague notion of what they might do. We are all different, and I suppose it depends on your own time of life, status and aspirations.

For me, it would be property. I would do the usual stuff - new car, home improvements, a holiday. I would look after the people that matter to me.

I certainly would not broadcast it to the masses. All manner of folks I'd not seen in years would no doubt come out of the woodwork!! Again, it would be those that mattered, and even then, quite possibly, I wouldn't actually tell people.

You can imagine it can't you? "I've won the lotto" would prompt everyone to speculate over how much. If I said "I've won a million, people might expect a certain £ share of it. Now, depending on how many in the family and friends network, that could cause some issues. So no, I wouldn't give away the details.

What I would do, is buy some properties. A flat in Manchester and a flat in London as bolt holes when we go to gigs, shopping etc.. That way, everyone benefits, and it could earn a crust whilst its not in use.

What next? A property in the canaries is a must for me. Winter sun - no place better or closer. I would love to spend winter in the Canaries, and back to blighty for what passes as summer here!!

I'm thinking a little gites in the south of france would be amazing too. On top of this, I would have a Personal Trainer every day, a dietitian to sort my meals and help me to get the weight off, and also every beauty treatment suitable to make me look the best I can, including some laser treatment!!

So that would be my plan, dependent on how much and when it might happen.

So what would you do?  :)

What would you do if there was a Zombie outbreak?

Ok, so what if there was a zombie outbreak? What would you do? Not that its likely to happen, but imagine it did - imagine it was like one of the movies - say 28 days later or the like. Less aggressive - I don't want to be like Will Smith in I am Legend where they literally hunt you down - I mean the end of world where you can just do what you want sort of a situation. If you follow what I mean.

So what would you do? I think the first thing I would do, would be to gather lots of wood to burn in the event the power went off. And candles, lots of candles. At least then I would have light and heat.

The problem there would be that the house would be lit up and standing out as occupied. Hmm - so blackout blinds and shutters would be needed - noone would see the lights then. Good. Problem solved.

However, burning stuff might cause smoke and attract attention - I would need to confine the heat and control it and burn things that don't cause too much smoke - I'm thinking more like a BBQ than an inferno. That could work - except cooking on the BBQ carries the scent of food.

Hmm - so maybe BBQ under a canopy of some sort, or even indoors with a bit of ventilation. Possibly. I tell you one thing I would definitely be stocking up on though - booze. Yes in an end of the world situation, would it matter if I was tipsy most of the time? Seriously, like getting ill would be of any concern in such a scenario. Faced with becoming a zombie, I think I know what my choice would be!

I would drink what I wanted when I wanted, so it was less unbearable. So, food and heat sorted, raid cellars, fridges, garages etc. for fuel, booze and food, then there would be the issue of water. Luckily, we have water butts in our garden, but that would not be enough for drinking water and water to wash with. So what else? Bottled water might be plentiful at first, but I would need to find someway to siphon it from the local lakes and water towers. I think I could do that with hoses and such like, but from a discreet distance. Very lucky living near water!

Now for the fun stuff - zombie outbreak = no bills, no work, no council tax - hoorah!! So money would cease to be important. I would then make it an absolute priority to secure our home - chains, padlocks, shutters, anything - then check close friends and family were safe. Starting with those nearby - little recky missions, then venturing further until everyone was accounted for.

In time, we would have to start stocking up to survive - tinned foods, long life milk, bottled water, wine, chocolate, wine, medicines, wine. ... Just joking - no really! First aid stuff - bandages, aspirin, plasters - grab what we could. Then dine out on ice cream until the power fails, then consider where to go for supplies.

In the Walking Dead, the dead attack. I'm hoping if it ever happens in blighty that the zombies might eventually die, well, technically zombies are already dead - so maybe decompose? And quickly.

I hope that if it ever happens, that firstly, we will be immune. That dogs won't be able to catch it so our little furry one doesn't end up like Samantha on afore mentioned Will Smith. Also that noone in my family gets it - like in Maggie - unbearable to watch someone turning into one. I also hope it just turns people into zombies, not crazy murderers like in The Crazies.

I want the end of the world to be more enjoyable - like suddenly having privacy, freedom and no more worries about money, holidays or bikini bodies. Who knows, in the right circumstances, you might be able to eat what you want, wear what you want and literally noone will care.

Hopefully it will never happen, but just in case... its always good to be prepared.

Dieting is so unfair on the weekends :(

Its Friday night, getting on for 11pm, and we are watching a great movie, having opted not to go out this evening. Its just the two of us this weekend, my step daughter is with her mum. We have had a busy day, and are chilling out with a film and our little dog.

I have eaten healthily today, done lots of exercise and jobs inside and out, had a lovely soothing hot shower, and things are good.

So why is it, that I feel like its wrong on a Friday night not to have a bottle of wine and a lovely, if high in calories evening meal? Because I am on a diet, and being on a diet at times, is bloody miserable.

I can't just decide what I fancy for tea, it has to be precision planned, low cal, lots of veg. I can't indulge in a dessert or some ice cream or chocolate. No crisps, no cheese, no take aways. Granted I did have at least some of those things just last weekend on a cheat day, but its Friday night damn it!!

It feels so unfair, but then I have to remind myself that I can have those things if I really want them. But if I do, there is no point complaining that my middle is bulging over my waistband. I have the chance to choose another option, a good body, one I can be proud to put in a bikini, or I can choose to hide in a sarong like I usually do.

I know which I would prefer come holiday time, but right now, it is Friday night !!!!! :(

Travels in Marrakech - The Sun Came Out









Good rewards v Bad Rewards

Good rewards:
  • Haircut
  • Nails done 
  • Facial
  • Spa massage
  • Spa body treatment
  • Spray tan
  • Pedicure
  • Swarovski bracelet
  • Pandora charm
  • Eyebrow wax
  • Waxing
  • Spa Body Scrub
  • New Dress
  • New Shoes
  • Perfume
  • White gold earrings
  • Gig tickets
  • Lingerie
  • Cami set
  • Playsuit
  • Jumpsuit
  • Jeans
Bad rewards (naughty naughty):
  • Chocolate
  • Wine
  • Cheesecake
  • Ice cream
  • Curry
  • Chinese take away
  • Pizza
  • Cheesy garlic bread
  • Chips and gravy
  • Chocolate fudge cake
  • Crisps
  • Cheese
  • Beer garden on a sunny day
  • Huge bag of popcorn and a film

Reasons to Stick to my Diet Number 15 - I am not getting any younger

Number 15:

Today's reason to stick to the diet - I am not getting any younger!!

Right - its that old saying that as you get older, you generally thicken out, and gain a few pounds. Now, if this is the case, having just turned 40 myself, it sure is not going to get any easier battling against my body.

If age does slow the metabolism, all the more reason to lose the weight now, before biology starts to tick against me!!

So that is today's reason to motivate me, and as reasons go, this one seems to be pretty powerful!! :)

Thursday, 21 September 2017

I have joined Weight Watchers

It was with some serious consideration this evening that I took the plunge. I have tried to diet myself, I have done the 3 day diet, I have done the Special K diet, I have done the pure and the hybrid, the 5:2 and the 1000 calories.

The results? Mixed. Some have been better than others, some I put the weight straight back on again and then some. Some seemed to completely wreck my weight loss where after a low cal blast, I then could not shift weight for love nor money.

So its reached the point,  weeks until my next holiday, and a year into my 40's. Something has to be done. The only sensible thing that remained to be done was to join a weight loss club.

Now, I don't see the point of missing a gym session to go for a weigh in. Doesn't make any sense to me. I've done so in the past, but never stuck to it really. No, so I've gone for the online membership option.

Then I considered the options - Slimming World, Rosemary Conley, Weight Watchers. I've tried them all before, but someone I work with has lost 2 stone in 3 months on WW so I decided that was the one for me this time around.

So I've joined for 3 months which should take me neatly up to Christmas. I have worked out my points - 30 per day, 49 weekly points. I have downloaded the app on my phone so that I can track what I eat and drink.

I have now also ordered a big food shop which is arriving tomorrow night, to stock up and allow me to eat healthy meals. Things like spices and balsamic vinegar, so that I have no excuses.

I begin tomorrow, and to be honest, I'm looking forward to it. I'm not sure how many points are in what just yet, but I have my app. I have my paperwork. I have everything that I need.

Now I just need will power. :)

My Top 10 Magic Songs

This is a very special, magical top 10 songs especially for the occasion:

  • Queen - A Kind of Magic
  • Police - Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
  • Take That - Could it Be Magic
  • Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra
  • The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour
  • ACDC - Spellbound
  • B.o.B - I've Got the Magic in Me
  • Coldplay - Magic
  • Little Mix - Black Magic
  • Nina Simone - I Put a Spell on You

Travels in Tunisia - Salt Lakes at Dawn

If you ever find yourself in Tunisia, do not miss the trip to the Salt Lakes. You have to get up early - Dawn being early morning, but it is the most beautiful scene. The pictures below capture the dawn just before the sunrise, and as the sun slowly peeps up over the horizon. Breathtaking. 









What I will do when I get to goal weight :)

I live in a world of lists. Yes, I am that person. The compulsive list writer!!

I have Comping wishlists - check it out here.  I have written wishlists here on my blog here.

I record the films I have watched to find out how many I have seen. I list my travels, where I have been and where I want to go.  Lists for to do, to get, to have, to try!!

So, I decided to write a list of what I will do when I actually do get to goal weight: So here we go with another list!!

  •  Buy all new lingerie
  • Get a suit made to measure
  • Buy a designer frock
  • Get a really elaborate bikini
  • Treat myself to a spa break
  • Strut my stuff in new gym gear
  • Wear heels all the time!!
  • Wear bright colours
  • Get a great coat
  • Smarten up my work wardrobe
  • Buy a great pair of jeans
  • Have a slap up meal
  • Get my eyelashes done
  • Get my nails done
  • Get a spray tan
  • Get a pedicure
  • Get a massage
  • Wear the shortest shorts! 

Travels in Marrakech - sunset over the Atlas Mountains



















Reasons to Stick to my Diet Number 14 - I want to look good in lingerie

Number 14:

Today's reason to stick to the diet - I want to look good in lingerie.

Yes, its that female enjoyment of wearing beautiful underwear. The problem at the moment, is that my underwear is tending to be functional rather than beautiful. This must change.

I want to wear gorgeous lacy things, delicate items - not boulder holders!! So that is today's reason to stick to the diet. :)

Finally feeling motivated

Its Thursday morning, which is not the time I usually associate with being positive, or active or inspired. However today, I finally realised something for the first time.

I was just watching music in the background whilst I cleaned and did some housework, when this video came on. I can't recall the song, but the whole video was around one woman working it. She had the most amazing body- not too butch, but strong and lean, still feminine. She looked so fabulous, and I thought hmm, I bet she doesn't spend her days drinking wine, eating crisps and cheese.

So, I have finally given in and accepted it. I either stay as I am, constantly wanting to look better, never quite getting there. Or I do something different. I could make different choices, and get entirely different results.

With this in mind, I have to get my backside off this sofa and get my exercises done. Get my diet sorted, and get my life in control. Starting now. :)

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Learning Spanish - This Week's Learning

This week's learning:

  • sausage - salchicha
  • nice - bonito
  • orange - naranja


And the rest:


  • restaurant - restaurante
  • read - leer
  • salad - ensalada
  • leaving - dejando
  • nuts - nueces
  • grey - gris
  • dinner - cena
  • fifty - cincuenta
  • mother - madre
  • fish - pescado
  • reservation - reserva
  • when - cuando
  • chair - silla
  • nose - nariz
  • pasta - pastas
  • kiss - beso
  • smile - sonreír
  • onion - cebolla
  • friend - amigo
  • thunder - trueno
  • why - por qué
  • thigh - muslo
  • donkey - burro
  • warm - calentar
  • drink - bebida
  • what - qué
  • lemon - limón
  • garlic - ajo
  • forty - cuarenta
  • tree - árbol
  • teeth - dientes
  • father - padre
  • suncream - crema solar
  • milk chocolate - chocolate con leche
  • crazy - loca
  • girl - niña
  • happy - contento
  • steak - filete
  • sunburn - bronceado
  • horse - cabello
  • cough - tos 
  • head - cabeza
  • Summer - el verano
  • February - febrero
  • Pillow - almohada
  • Nine - nueve
  • Eyes - ojos
  • June - junio
  • key - llaves
  • dunes - dunas
  • home - casa
  • Stomach - estómago
  • Jump - saltar
  • May - mayo
  • October - octubre
  • Thirsty - sediento
  • Leg - pierna
  • Breakfast - desayuno
  • Six - seis
  • Hungry - hambriento
  • Moon - luna
  • Rice - arroz
  • Vegetarian - vegetariano
  • I don't know - no lo sé
  • Butter - mantequilla
  • Seven - siete
  • July - julio
  • Tired - cansado
  • Speak - hablar
  • Mirror - espejo
  • Small - pequeña
  • Amazing - asombroso
  • Sunglasses - gafas de sol 
  • Toilet - inodoro
  • Excuse me - disculpe
  • Tasty - sabroso
  • Mountain - montaña
  • How far is - que tan lejos esta
  • Waves - olas
  • Sandwich - emparedado
  • Roof - techo
  • Blanket - cobija
  • Eight - ocho
  • Forgot - olvidó
  • Woman - mujer
  • Night - noche
  • Another - otro
  • September - septiembre
  • Hands - manos
  • Flight - vuelo
  • Laugh - risa
  • Sing - canta
  • Can I have the bill - Me puede traer la cuenta
  • Spoon - cuchara
  • Black - negro
  • Bread - pan de molde
  • April - abril
  • Five - cinco
  • Sand - arena
  • Hot - caliente
  • Ear - oreja
  • Dark - oscuro
  • Like - me gusta
  • Sick - enfermo
  • Spicy - picante
  • Kettle - tetera
  • Flowers - flores
  • Sunbathe - tomar el sol
  • Feet - pies
  • December - diciembre
  • Cake - pastel
  • Fireworks - fuegos articiales
  • Rain - lluvia
  • Dress - el vestido
  • Year - año
  • Door - puerta
  • My name is - me llamo
  • Cooking - cocina
  • Four - cuatro
  • August - agosto
  • Massage - el masaje
  • Back - espalda
  • Purple - púrpura
  • Fork - tenedor
  • Knife - cuchillo
  • Three - tres
  • Dog - perro
  • January - enero
  • Stars - estrellas
  • Dancing - bailando
  • Brown - marrón
  • Two - dos
  • Spring - primavera
  • Crisps - patatas fritas
  • Friday - viernes
  • The Menu -La carta 
  • Bed - cama
  • Strawberry - fresa
  • Windy - ventoso
  • Can I have? - puedo tener
  • Bottle - botella
  • Birthday - cumpleaños
  • Green - verde
  • Ten - diez
  • Thursday - jueves
  • March - marzo
  • Umbrella - paraguas
  • November - noviembre
  • Autumn - el otoño
  • One - uno
  • Soap - jabon
  • Wednesday - miércoles
  • Cold - frio
  • Boat - barco
  • Hotel Room - habitación de hotel
  • Newspaper - periódico
  • Man - hombre
  • Walk - caminar
  • Shop - tienda
  • Running - corriendo
  • Cat - gato
  • Swim - nadar
  • What time is it? - que hora es?
  • Big - grande
  • Cloud - nube
  • Pink - rosa
  • Silver - plata
  • Pepper - pimienta
  • Omelette - tortilla
  • Shower - ducha
  • Tuesday - martes
  • Ice - hielo
  • Beautiful - hermosa
  • Awake - despierto
  • Love - amor
  • Shoes - zapatos
  • Money - dinero
  • Hat - sombrero
  • Monday - lunes
  • Glass - vaso
  • Water - agua
  • Sleep - dormir
  • Chicken - pollo
  • Sun - sol
  • Ice-cream - helado
  • Seat - asiento
  • Gold - oro
  • Sunday - domingo
  • Hair - cabello
  • Book - el libro
  • Garden - el gardin
  • Bathroom - el baño
  • Nude - desnudo
  • Towel - toalla
  • Sea - mar
  • What's your name? - Como se llama?
  • Cheers - Salud
  • Wine - el vino
  • Good - bueno
  • Beer - cerveza
  • Cheese - queso
  • Suitcase - maleta
  • Blue - azul
  • White - blanco
  • Where is? - dónde está?
  • Market - el mercado
  • Swimming Pool - la piscina
  • Saturday - sábado
  • Winter - invierno
  • English - inglés
  • I want one - Quiero uno
  • How much does it cost? - Cuánto cuesta
  • Tomorrow - mañana
  • Good evening - Buenas Noches
  • You're welcome - de nada
  • I'm sorry - lo siento
  • Please - Por favor
  • Thankyou - Gracias
  • Beach - La playa
  • Hello - Hola
  • Good morning - Buenos días
  • Goodbye - Adios