Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Lush Snow Fairy

I have decided that Lush Snow Fairy shower gel is my new favourite thing in the whole world. I have not been into a Lush store for years, so was ignorant of its pink and sparkly charms until I read about it on Alice's Bucket List. Unfortunately I didn't get one of Alice's batch, but the person on the sticker who made it looks nice and happy anyway.

I was a little sceptical when I smelt it - it's quite bubble gummy- but my first shower had me hooked. It's like washing in an iridescent Barbie pink bubble. It lathers so beautifully that you only need a small amount. The smell changes a bit to candy floss and lasts on your skin. It makes my bathroom smell beautiful and given that I live in a house full of males, that's no mean feat. I used it as a shampoo this morning (followed by my normal conditioner) and my hair feels nice and soft. It's £3.25/100g, £5.95/250g, and £9.95/500g.

Snow Fairy gel seasonal product so I will definitely stock up on more before Christmas. I don't know why I love it so much as it's not my normal sort of product, but I adore it.

While I was in Lush I got my boys some Christmas shower jelly (£3.50/100g) which we are all impressed with. It smells pine-y, but not overly so (think Christmas tree rather than car air freshener). My 4 year old had a great time washing himself again and again with it. As with the Snow Fairy gel, a little goes a long way, but given that it's so fun to use I don't expect it to last long. It's also good for washing hair.

The Snow Fairy gel is suitable for vegans but not the shower jelly. If you're looking for stocking fillers then Lush is the place.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Meal Planning Monday - 28 November 2011

I wrote this week's meal plan out, shopped for it, and promptly lost my list. So alongside mentally kicking my stupidity I have had to try to cobble the menu together as best as I can from my memory (dodgy at times), the contents of my cupboards and freezer, and the list of meals I planned at the start of November. 

Here we go: 
chicken, apricot and squash stew
pork schnitzel
egg, beans, bacon on toast

Ok, that last one is a bit of a cop out but I am out 3 nights this week so only have 4 nights to plan for - hooray! Expect the next 2-3 weeks to feature fairly inexpensive and healthy meals as I try and pare both my budget and waistline down in preparation for Christmas
For other menu plans check out Mrs M's blog. She should have a linky up at some point.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Music Therapy

Thank you Him Up North for tagging me in the Music Therapy meme, started by MammyWoo. I love a good rummage around in other people's music collections. I never know what new favourite I'll unearth or just as satisfying, what shit that makes my own musical taste look sophisticated and urbane.

I happily acknowledge my own musical taste is for the popular. Or rather, what was was popular a few years ago.I am not a music snob and will give pretty much anything at least 30 seconds ear attention, however my preference is for indie rock which is not very fashionable at the moment.

The task for this (my very first) meme is to choose 3 songs by 3 bands that speak to me with both music and lyrics.

These are the 3 I chose today. I suspect I'd choose a different 3 in another week. But this is it for today.

1. My Sharona - The Knack
I can't say the lyrics speak to me, but the tempo is so upbeat and it's one of my favourite tunes to dance like a loon to. It's the first song that came to mind. (Watching the video takes some of the gloss of it. Did he cut his fringe himself? While drunk? In a dark room?)

2. Make You Feel My Love - Bob Dylan

I adore the lyrics of this song. It's exactly how I feel about my family, especially my children. I am not a fan of Dylan's voice, so here's the video of the Adele version.

When the rain
Is blowing in your face
And the whole world
Is on your case
I could offer you
A warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows
And the stars appear
And there is no - one there
To dry your tears
I could hold you
For a million years
To make you feel my love

3. Throw Your Arms Around Me - Hunters & Collectors
Not sure why I chose this but it came to mind so I investigated further. I've got so much nostalgia tied up with Hunters & Collectors. They were one of the main bands of my formative years (ie: 15-22 or so) and I have always loved this song. It's sweet and poignant. I just found out Pearl Jam covered it and that makes me happy as I love Pearl Jam too.

Unfortunately I don't know any bloggers to tag to do this one, so feel free to do it anyway.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Meal Planning Monday - 21 November 2011

I had this post drafted on Friday, before my freezer decided to stop working. It's one of those tall, upright freezers and it was the day the shopping was delivered. Cue me madly ordering a freezer for collection from Comet, only to get it home, let it stand for 4 hours, move the old freezer, unpack the new one and realise it was a FRIDGE. What a plonker I am! Unforunately it was too late to change it so I had a counter full of defrosting food. Saturday started with a sheepish visit to Comet, followed by cooking up all the meat that had defrosted overnight. It's fair to say that Saturday and Sunday's meals were a little random.

The upside is that the BBQ chicken and shepherd's pie are cooked and we have an unexpected blackberry and apple pie due to defrosted blackberries and pastry.

BBQ chicken
Fridge Frittata
Quorn stir fry and rice noodles (an easy meat free favourite at the moment)
Shepherd's pie with cheesy cauliflower topping
Sausages of some description.

I might also give this Chocolate Cola cake a whirl. I was going to bake something other than chocolate this week, but this has been on my list to try for a while. My eldest son has been asking me to make these Cinnamon Crusted coffee cake muffins again. They are so gorgeous that when I made them before we were eating them while they were still warm.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Things that have caught my eye, and I really rather they hadn't.

That would put me off my morning cuppa, quite frankly.

Here's a little retinal palette cleanser in the form of a young Leo

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

SlimPod diary - Week 4

Thurs: Here we are, week 4. After last week's fairly pessimistic week I have gone back over my daily diary to remind myself of the positive changes I have seen.
  • definitely eating less, and satisfied with less food
  • unconsciously (or at least easily) making healthier options when choosing food
  • excercising more and being more active generally
  • sleeping better 
  • not overeating, or eating food just because it's there. This has caused a bit of intenal wrangling at times as I retrain my brain!
  • Lost weight. I might have gained this week, but I am still 2lbs lighter than I was when I started and I am confident this will continue.
 I really didn't feel like going to the gym today, and even said I wasn't going to, but somehow found myself getting into my gym kit and heading out the door!
I also had some chocolate tonight but am able to enjoy it knowing that I will stop when I have had enough, and not overeat. It's a good feeling.

Fri  - spoke with Sandra from Thinking Slimmer today and she helped me regain m perpective. It's not all about the numbers on the scales, but also about how I feel and look.

Sat - not a bad day. I notice that I'm able to do my belt up another notch, though probably not after a meal. Am staying away from the scales and listening to SlimPod once a day, sometimes twice.

Sun - the desire to be more active and make healthier choices is definitely strengthening. This weekend I washed the car and raked the leaves willingly. Previously I would have groaned about the effort and left it (the state of my car was testament to this). If I crave something sweet, I tend to have a couple of dates. Today I felt like chocolate so I had it. Only a little and that was plenty. The rest is sitting in the cupboard and I'm happy to leave it and not eat it just because it is there.

My meals are a little larger than they were when I started listening to the SlimPod, but I am genuinely hungry which I think is due to being more active. My portions are smaller than before I started. I'm listening to my body better.

Mon - a good day.  I can do my belt up an extra notch without cutting off circulation. I did my first 5km in ages. It was slow, but it was a full 5km (plus the walk to get to the gym). I notice my goals at the gym are changing. I am pushing myself harder and enjoying the challenge. They used to be either time or calorie based, but now they are distance or time/distance based. The focus has shifted.

Tues & Wed - ticking over nicely. I am staying away from the scales for a week or so as I think I have been getting a bit too hung up over them. I can tell good habits are forming nicely.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Meal Planning Monday - 14 November

Happy monday Meal planners! Here's my plan for this week. I am out for dinner on Wed so that's  when I plan to make fish and chips. The others love it but I am not so fond. Oops, I've just remembered that I need to get some beer or mineral water for the batter.

Cottage pie
Beef curry
battered fish , chips and peas
Quorn and veg stir fry
Thanks to my SlimPod, cake is lasting a lot longer in this house. A chocolate cake I made last Saturday lasted a whole WEEK. This week I will make some brownies.

Just looking back over last week's menu and virtually none of it was cooked! I had a lot more left overs in the freezer than I thought and I had takeaway one night. 

As usual, check out Mrs M's blog for more Meal Planning Monday inspiration.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

SlimPod diary - Week 3

Thurs- a really tough day. Compared with previous months I have been very restrained but I definitely had my worst eating day. I was able to resist quite a bit as I know that it's the sort of hollow hunger where I am never satisfied so there's no point eating it. It was mostly due to hormones and a little bit due missing dinner due to running kids around. On a good note, I went to the gym even though I was really tired (I wouldn't have bothered before) and put in quite a decent effort.
I am hopeful these cravings will abate by tomorrow.

Fri - blergh

Sat - could have been worse, but still blergh. Listening to Slimpod twice a day and staying away from scales.

Sun - see Sat

Mon - finally feeling like I'm getting back to normal. No snacking today and a good session at the gym. I have committed to doing Marcothon 2011, which is a 5km or 25min run EVERY day in Dec. 

Tues - stupidly stepped on the scales this morning. Stepped off again very quickly and then tried standing on them on one foot. Makes no difference. Am currently 3lbs heavier than last Tues morning. Have never had a gain that massive all year. The most I have put on is 1.5lbs when we went away for a fortnight at Easter. Am hoping it's just fluid retention as I have not overeaten that much at all, and I have been more active. Bad scales! 

Wed - there's no getting away from the fact that I have gained 2lbs this week. I am really disappointed as my weight has stayed steady for the past 6 months  - it's not like I gain and lose 2lbs due to PMS each month.
I wish I knew what had caused it as I have been eating less and being more active.

Now I've done 3 weeks with Slimpod I can see the effects in my eating habits. I wish I'd had some of the great weight losses that are promoted on Thinking Slimmer's website though *sigh*. I'm going to have a listen to the follow up SlimPod as I can pretty much repeat word for word the one I've been listening to so far.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Lego House by Ed Sheeran

I saw this video clip today and really liked it. I haven't heard much of Ed Sheeran - well, apart from A Team which got virtually continuous airplay for a while. It seemed like it and Someone Like You by Adele were the only 2 tracks Radio 1 played at one point. Anyway. Watch this all the way through.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Meal Planning Monday - 7 November 2011

This week's menu is:

Slow cooker BBQ chicken
pork schnitzel and sautee potatoes
gammon, eggs, pepper, chips pineapple
stuffed spinach breasts (still trying to get these done)

I've only done 5 meals as I already have leftovers and am expecting more leftovers from this lot.

Last week's menu went well. I didn't do orange chicken as I had a last minute bonfire so that was sausages and burgers and things. The sausage casserole was really nice. Even DH said (unprompted) that he liked it. He doesn't really eat sausages so I was pleased. 

Check out how I'm going to do the eggs and peppers for the gammon. How cool is that! 

As usual, check out Mrs M's blog for more Meal Planning Monday inspiration.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

SlimPod diary - Week 2

After last week's great start I am optimistic that my motivation will only improve this week as Trevor's words weave their magic in my mind. I love listening to my SlimPod and do so twice a day. The kids are now used to finding me having a quick snooze as a result, but I'm feeling more energetic and getting more done generally so it's not a waste of time.

Fri  - I am definitely thinking about food a lot less. You know when you diet and when you're not eating you're thinking about what you're trying not to eat, or about your next meal? It's not like that at all. I'm still off the fizzy pop and finding water is naturally my first choice of drink. Today I went into town and parked in a street near the shopping centre in order to maximise the amount I would have to walk doing all my errands. There wasn't even a great deal of thought in the decision, it was like my subconscious made it for me and my body just drove the car that way. A bit scary really - I clearly have a malleable mind!
Biscuits: 1
Fizzy drink: 0

Sat- average day today. I weighed this morning and the scales continue to show lighter. Will try to resist weighing tomorrow. Daily is a bit silly. I made lemon cake and had a slice of that, but otherwise no snacking or overeating. I listened to my SlimPod twice - once in the afternoon and once before bed. I didn't do any excercise but I did a lot of moving around generally.
Biscuits - 0 (but cake)
Fizzy drinks - 0

Sun -  I suspect hormones are dictating my food choices at the moment. Today included a glass of red wine and a Mars bar. I'm definitely thinking about food less. Dinners are always organised in advance but I don't spend all morning wondering what I'm going to have for lunch, and I don't get hungry in the afternoon either.
Biscuits - 0 (but Mars bar)
Fizzy drinks - 0

Mon - today was a good day. I found myself wanting to snack when I wasn't hungry, but it wasn't that hard to resist. It was probably the biggest test of my willpower since starting. I went to the gym and enjoyed it.
Biscuits eaten - 0
Fizzy drinks - 0

Tues - Slimming World weigh in and another 1.5lbs off. I am a little disappointed as the weight hasn't come off as fast this week as last, but I tell myself not to be ridiculous. The scales are moving in a steady downward direction and I feel good, am eating less and have more energy. I also had wine, cake and chocolate this week and still lost 1.5lbs AND it was easy, almost effortless. Except for yesterday I've not really had to make a conscious decision to resist something that I wanted to eat just for the sake of it. I'm thinking about food a lot less. All these are Good Things.

Wed  - I hate this time of the month. I am so hungry I could eat the furniture and today has been a real struggle. Easier than past months, definitely, but a struggle compared to the past 2 weeks. On the plus side I had McDonalds for dinner (not my choice). I made a healthier choice and only managed less than half what I would normally have eaten just 2 weeks ago. My husband is very impressed at how much less I want to eat.

After another week I am 2lbs down (another 0.5lb off on scales at home today). I will perservere with my PMS cravings and hope that next month is easier.

Onwards and inwards!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011