Saturday, 22 January 2011

Last day of being 39!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another lovely day ...

Today my lovely husband took me to Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds. We had lunch in a tea room and wandered around the shops. Most of the shops were way too expensive for us, but we found a sweet little book shop and kitchenware shop. I bought a book on discovering the Cotswolds and one on retro cooking. In the kitchen shop I bought an enamel pie dish and pudding basin (have seen these in Lakeland and wanted them for ages). I also found some disposable foil trays which I prefer to use to for my traybakes. Steve treated me to these things...spoilt again!

I wonder what tomorrow will bring???

Mandy x

My birthday celebrations start here!!!

I have had a wonderful day ...

Today has been lovely. My friends at work have been plotting for some time now for my birthday celebrations. Today was full of surprises and they managed to make me cry twice! I have been feeling really emotional about turning 40 and today that emerged!

First the children came into the classroom each wearing a party hat and carrying a helium balloon. They sang 'Happy Birthday' as they walked in (about 10 times) and each greeted me with a smile chanting happy birthday.

The presents from the children (really from the teacher)came next. I had a CD... a fabulous 80s compilation, a damson and pomegranate candle and a chocolate rabbit. Next I was treated to a giant french fancy cake with a rocket style sparkler candle and the children ate their lunch still wearing their party hats.

After lunch we had a party for me... dancing to my new CD and more cake! After playtime we had assembly. I had to go up to the front and was given flowers and wine and everyone sang happy birthday.

After work my friend took me out, but I didn't know where we were going! We ended up at Fawsley Hall for afternoon tea. When we got into the car park I spotted cars belonging to my other friends (a complete surprise) which set me off crying. There were twelve of us sat in a circle on sofas and chairs around a huge coffee table. We had coffee, tea, sandwiches and scones with jam and cream. Sitting with friends by the fire in a great hall was the perfect treat.

Totally overwhelmed, then came my presents ... my friend handed me a parcel which was a large fluffy towel (Anthea Turner style) tied up with ribbon. Inside were GHD hair straighteners!!!!!!!!!! I cried again. There were loads of posh smellies too. I have been spoilt rotten.

So to my friends - thank you so much for such a special day xxxxxxxx

I took photos, so will post them up soon.

ps: It's not actually my birthday until Sunday!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Too busy as usual!

I'm not that good at blogging yet...

Well I started off with good intentions, but I have a problem with sticking at things!

I have either been too busy or too tired to blog lately. I have managed to keep to my low carb diet though and have lost 3 1/4 pounds so far. I probably could of lost more if I hadn't gone out for two meals and eaten a slab of birthday cake. The first meal was lovely - with two friends after work on Friday. We went to Ikea in Milton Keynes (bought some scented candles, a new duvet set for my bed, two preserving jars and two washing-up brushes -only 31p!)

The second meal was on Monday when we had a farewell meal for a work colleague. I decided not to have a starter so that I could have a pudding. I seem to put on weight so easily, so I was convinced that instead of losing weight this week, I would have put more on. I actually lost 1 1/4 pounds this week even with my over-indulgence. I only have a salad for my lunch every day and I am quite used to this now. These small changes really make a difference and I'm sure that I can keep this up long term. I normally give up at about day three of all previous diets, but this is life changing otherwise the weight will go straight back on again. I am fed up with being fat and unfit, getting puffed out walking up a hill. I now weigh 11 stone 9 3/4 and I wear a size 18 top half and 14-16 bottom half. Ideally I would like to wear a size 12 top and bottom eventually, but one step at-a-time!

I haven't started learning any new crafts yet because I am tackling the mountains of clutter first. I plan to list some bits on ebay at the weekend to start selling again. Previously, I have done really well selling clothes and made over £200 towards last Christmas. I hope to clear the mess and earn some money to spend on stuff we need in the house. I am seriously considering opening an ebay shop and starting my own business but don't know what to sell or where to start!!! I think a lot of research is needed. Has anyone else noticed how food prices are increasing? I only buy the bare necessities now, but my money doesn't seem to stretch very far. I cook from scratch and bake, but I still need to cut back even further.

Work again tomorrow - roll on the weekend!

Mandy x

Friday, 7 January 2011

Being Lazy!!!

I love Friday evenings...

It's Friday evening and it's my favourite time of the week. I get in from work, put my pjs on and sit on the sofa watching tele.

Today I got in and my eldest daughter was cooking the tea (lasagne, garlic bread and salad), which was a very welcome sight!

I have continued with my high protein/low carb diet. Today I actually ate breakfast (while at work) of cold sausages and egg. My lunch was vegetable soup, a ham salad and an apple.

I've got a busy weekend ahead, so I'm off to bed now - night, night x

Mandy x

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Not much to report!

Falling asleep!!!

I have really struggled these past few days to get up for work.  I have had trouble sleeping for over a year now, so I get over-tired and never seem to catch-up. I'm really tired now so this is going to be a short post.

Today I have stuck to the high amount of protein for my diet (see yesterdays post). Tea was lovely and I stuck in some vegetables to roast too.

Let's see what tomorrow brings ...

Mandy x

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Cutting back!

I'm on a mission...

I have been putting off losing weight for quite some time now. I had a back injury three and a half years ago and was out of action for over three months. The complete lack of exercise and comfort eating resulted in most of the weight gain I now have to live with. Since then I have just been a greedy pig! I love cheese, crisps chocolate and cake. I use lots of butter and cream in my cooking and have larger than needed portion sizes too. I know it has to stop, but I have no willpower.

A friend of mine has lost loads of weight by eating a high protein diet and cutting back on carbs. I am going to try this out because it is supposed to keep the hunger pangs at bay. Another problem I have is eating breakfast because I feel sick if I eat after getting up. At the weekends I eat at about 10 o'clock, but I work in a school so this isn't possible throughout the week.

Today I have had beef and vegetable soup (tin left over from last month's shop) and 4 party ring biscuits (left over from Christmas) for lunch. For tea I had cottage pie(homemade), green beans, cabbage and peas, with raspberry ripple ice-cream for pudding.

So, tomorrow I have prepared a salad of lettuce, cucumber, beetroot, ham and a teaspoon of mayo. I will also finish the tin of soup I opened today, followed by an apple. I am trying to cut back on bread as much as possible. I have hard boiled two eggs to snack on and HAVE to drink more water!!! I will let you know if I am full-up tomorrow. Tea will be cheesy pasta and sausages. Meal planning is soooooo important.

I have kept up with my plan to read more, now steaming through my book.

Bad news though - we received our electric bill of £270 today and the invoice from the boiler man - another £200 to be paid this week. January is a nightmare month, and it's my 40th birthday on the 23rd!

I'm off to do some school work now, night night x

Mandy x

P.S I hope to get round to putting some photos on here at the weekend.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Back to work!

Today has been a busy day, but really flown by. The heating wasn't on at work so I was miserable being cold! Our boiler at home broke a couple of weeks before Christmas and we were without heating for several days. This has made us really appreciate the central heating and today brought back bad memories.

I have been quite frugal today, making omelettes for tea with bread and butter.

That's it for today because I need to get to bed - another early start!

Mandy x

This is turning into my diary ...

It is late and I can't get off to sleep, so here is a short post (or diary entry). It's back to work for me tomorrow, a training day and then the children are back on Wednesday. I should be tired, but I just can't get to sleep! I have had trouble sleeping for quite some time now, but it had improved over Christmas.

So what have I been up to today ... The last of the Christmas decorations have been put away in the loft and I have sorted through a huge bag of paperwork. Paperwork is one of my downfalls - I leave it to pile up and then can't face it. I have filled my recycling box with magazines and catalogues sent to me before Christmas trying to entice me to part with my hard earned cash. so I have dealt with one thing I put off, but still putting off the ironing!!!

Today we have eaten bacon and eggs (from our own chickens) for breakfast, cheese sandwiches for lunch and all the left over party food from in the freezer for tea (with chips). Not homemade, but I still have a few things to use up from Christmas.

I have actually made time to read my book over the last two days and realised that I really love reading. My final course with the OU was children's literature, which I thoroughly enjoyed and gained my best grade ever in. I will read more!!!

My lovely daughter Alice kindly dyed my hair for me this evening. She is studying a hairdressing and beauty course one day a week while in her last year of school, and is really good at it. I am not quite yet 40, but the grey seems to be coming through quicker each time :-(

Well I need to sleep now because I have to be up at six for work.

Until tomorrow ...

Night, night x

Mandy x

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Sunday 2nd January

So far so good ...

Well it's day 2 of my challenge and I haven't done too badly. Breakfast was porridge and golden syrup, lunch was a wholemeal pitta with cheese, and tea was homemade leek and potato soup, followed by pancakes.

I had my shopping delivered today, well half of it at 2.00 and the other half at 5.00. This happens far too much! I have yet to find a supermarket that can get things right. It's a real pain. This load of shopping has to last us until I get paid at the end of January so it will be quite a challenge to put food on the table that the children won't turn their noses up at! I'm sure my lot are becoming more fussy the older they get.

I'm afraid I have put off the ironing until tomorrow, but for a reason. My washing is now up-to-date so I can get all the ironing done before I go back to work on Tuesday.

I have had a busy day but there is still loads to do. Not much cooking planned for tomorrow as I want to make space in my chest freezer, so I am going to have a use up of the party food we have left from Christmas. I am going to try really hard not to throw food away from now on. A busy day ahead.

Until tomorrow ...

Mandy x

Saturday, 1 January 2011

1st January 2011 - A New Start

Well here goes, my first post...

I have been reading lots of wonderful blogs, and have been inspired to have a go too. This is day 1 of my own personal challenge to make life better. 2010 was a really traumatic year for us as a family and I want to draw a line under it and start again. I hope to spend more time with my family, doing the stuff we enjoy. I also want to save money so we can go on holiday this year. To save money I will have to make a lot of cutbacks!

So what have I done today?...  I have done some decluttering in my bedroom and neatly packed stuff away in my new Cath Kidston storage bags. I have decided to start to work my way through the huge pile of books I have bought but never read. I am currently reading 'The Lovely Bones' but this is slow going because I never make time to read. I have also decided to try harder to keep on top of my housework. It is so easy to put off a huge pile of ironing, so why don't I just do it as I go along? There is always something else to do and I am an expert at putting things off!

My lovely daughter Alice cooked tea tonight (all I did was put the meat in the oven), a delicious roast - all homemade. She even dished-up and did the washing-up! She loves cooking, as I do and we make a good team. She will definitely be helping me with my challenge to be more 'homemade', while spending quality time together in the kitchen.

So what are my plans for tomorrow? Well, it's back to work on Tuesday, so I think the Christmas decorations will have to come down and then I will clean the house. I must tackle that ironing pile too. Now I've said it I will have to do it - ha, ha!!!

Onwards and upwards ...

Mandy x