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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

2011 My year in review

2011 began with great intentions.Having just hit a year mark since I stopped smoking I decided it was time to get in shape, lose the mass of fat and get fit! 2011 was going to be my fitness year. What better year to pick since I would be hitting the big 40 in 2011 and to become 40 looking fit and fab would be ACE! Oh well.........

January~ saw me start with the aim on Fitness! I went twice a week with my friend Sharon and was doing Wii fitness on the other nights. Was making no difference as I would just eat all the normal things I have always eaten
February~ 2011 saw me join Slimming World. I had to control what entered my mouth so I went along to a  slimming world group.Took a couple of weeks to get into the swing of it and we as a family have not looked back. Even in the weeks I am somewhat not following the plan completely we still eat more healthy than ever. I still go and in fact am off there tonight.
March~Fitness became a huge part of my life. Zumba twice a week I adored and walking was something I was enjoying with the help of my friend Sharon.  The mucky boots below were after a 10 mile snowy walk with Sharon one Saturday. Finding a good app for our phones helped. At the time I used Sports Tracker but have now swapped to Endomundo. Its wicked to see how far you have walked, at what speed and how many calories you have burned.

April~Below was a huge triumph for us as a family. On April the 29 th we could not stand to watch the Royal Wedding so we saw it was a good forecast and we climbed the biggest hill in Moray. Ben Rinnes. What an amazing feeling to get to the top and see the views! It was not easy at all nearer the end but had a lovely picnic at the top.Below is a view from the top.

May~FINALLY after years of waiting in May I got my septum straightened. I can honestly say I do notice a difference and it was almost a pain free experience!

June~THEN IT ALL WENT WRONG! MAY/JUNE........... My daughter and I ( son had it slightly) took Whooping Cough! What a viscous cough that is. Its a terrible thing I would not wish on my worst enemy. 100 day cough it used to be called and this is how long it lasted. NIGHTMARE! I put myself forward to get the blood test to confirm it was that. Got the results in July and finally got rid of it in September! EVIL. During this time I kept up  with the walking but the weight just remained about the same. 

July/August~ Still coughing we shelved our camping plans as we did not think sleeping in a tent would be that good for our coughs so we heading south and stayed in a hotel instead. Had a fantastic time visiting Chester, Alton Towers and stoke. Met up with a good friend who moved down there. Spent the summer chilling, picnicking and fighting off Whooping Cough

September~ Grew our own tatties this year, so tasty! September saw me recover from Whooping Cough, get back in to the Slimming and fitness. Started back at Zumba twice a week and walking twice a week too! It was all going too good....

October/ November~ 40 came with a wonderful iPad and weekend away with my husband. Had a great time.. After having Whooping Cough I was not as slim as I had planned to be but I was feeling far better so after the weekend away I returned to slimming. Looked out all my books again and got ready to shed a stone for Christmas

THE DAY after I started to feel ill again and Oh Dear me I took the mother of all Chest infections. I have never had one before and dear god would never want one again. I am sure the combo of having stopped smoking and whooping cough must of weakened my chest but there is no proof of that. 6 weeks I was ill for! Signed off my work for 5 weeks. It completely floored me. Whooping Cough only affects you when you cough, this was the complete opposite I never had a cough but was so weak. It has taken me till now to feel myself again.I got a chest X-ray as the Dr was concerned about the noises and rattles in my chest and rightly so. It showed a shadow in my right lung. I was sent back for a 2nd one on the 19 th December and got my results today 28 th December. All Clear!! :) 

December~ So Christmas came and we were all well! Which was the biggest blessing after a year of what seemed like constant illness. Now all that remains is to bring in the new year with hopes of better health than last year! 2012 will see the Slimming continue and the fitness start up again and I am sure endless boring blogs about it. I am planning a few Marathon Walks this year while I am 40.  The 26mile Speyside Way Kilt walk in May and the Edinburgh Moonwalk in June. Fingers crossed x 

Happy New year to all!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas all!

The pile of presents in the middle of the room

Beautiful table set at my Parents house

My Parents

Me trying to be arty-farty with my new iphone camera

Merry Christmas

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Slimmer of the Week

I was extremely chuffed last night at Slimming to discover I was slimmer of the week! Bigger boost to this was that it is the week before Christmas! The house is littered with biscuits, chocolate and selection boxes BUT also I have made sure with bowls of Clementines. I put my decent loss of 2 pounds this week down to them. I adore them at this time of the year and can quite happily sit and munch my way through the whole bowl full while watching the TV. I try to make sure I have a bowl in the living room and one in the kitchen along with the normal fruit bowl. This way its there and easy to grab that instead of wondering what I could nibble on. Also I started doing a weekly menu again which helps me loads. On holiday now for 2 weeks so that will be harder. Slimming Class was good last night too as it was the wee Christmas party. Lots of people brought some items of party food ( of course all slimming and healthy) I took along a bottle of Diet Coke as I was heading to a friends 30th straight after I had no time to make anything so was easier for me to supply the drink. I won 2 raffles and Slimmer of the week!  Will not mention how I then went on to drink some amount of Vodka afterwards........ ANYWAYS I was delighted!
My slimming book is getting rather full of stickers, getting a new one next week though.
My certificate!

Clementines in the Kitchen

Normal fruit bowl always full

Clementines in the living room

Raffle I won

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

New Slimming World Favourite

Little post about my newest slimming world favourite recipe.So good I have had it 2 weeks in a row! So 4 nights!! It's their Simple Cottage Pie. SO SO nice and tasty and free! ( which for my non slimming world uderstanders means you can eat unlimited amounts of it) The only bad thing is I am the only one in the house that likes it which means I make it and have it 2 nights running.The 1st night my Cottage Pie was topped with a mix of Tatties, Carrots and Neep. The second nights was topped with Tatties and Cabbage mixed together. The others don't know what they are missing!! Also in this post is a some pics about a soup I made. I adore home-made soup and eat it daily at work. This soup was also Syn free like the Cottage pie. It was a soup that was made by opening the fridge door, seeing things that needed to be used up and putting them in a pan. I can say it was one of the tastiest soups I have had in a long time. 

Pie mix steaming away in the pan

At this stage the Carrots are very more-ish! Hence the fork. Could easily feed 4 adults this amount. I had to eat the bigger carrots to make sure it was a nice level surface for the tattie mix!

The Recipe and photo out the book.  

My soup made out of........ carrots, neep, leek, red lentils and stock cubes


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas Baubles

Christmas Baubles are something that I have always adored. Nearly all of mine tell a story. Some stories are good, some are pathetic but 90% on my tree are special to me.Some I have had since I was 1st married, some have caught my eye across crowded shops and begged me to buy them, some of course are ones the kids have made. The other 10% I  found and thrown on to fill a gap or its one of the kids ones they have bought or made.  I am terrible about my tree. I have obsessive OCD when it comes to the tree. The lights have to be evenly spaced and I have been known to remove the sets a few times to get it right. Then the Baubles.........They are arranged and moved loads. Tree branches are physically bent in strange directions till I get the right amount of dangle off them and they right amount of light hits them. As you can imagine I am pretty much left alone to do the tree because of the "DON'T PUT THAT THERE!" I tend to whisper......... Anyways this year Marcus ( who is 8) was helping me, Bless him. I just made a deal with him that he would do the bottom and I would do the top. I also ensured that cartoons was on the TV so I could "alter" where he placed them as he turned to watch Spongebob!

These are a few of my favourites. Glass ones/ Clear ones are my main favourite. I adore the way they grab the light and alter it. They sparkle and bling all the way over the holidays. 

A plain basic shaped one

 Love this one, it is filled with thin stands of tinsel which catch the lights fantastic

Love this Snowman. His face lights up and is always cheery

 What is Christmas without a Reindeer. This is the oldest decoration on the tree. His antlers used to have loads of Glitter but that's worn off now.
This Snowman is ultra heavy so he has to have a branch to sit on too other wise he would drag the whole branch and fall off.

I do adore Christmas and LOVE when I get get my Decorations out the loft and up. Here are a few photos of some of my other favourite pieces. 
The tree in its place. Under the tree is a collection of festive teddy bears. They come out with the Christmas decorations and sit under the tree each year. We started that as our last dog Honey would love to have a sniff, pull, lick, chew of the Christmas presents so it was safer to not put them there. That left a hideous gap so Kelly placed some Christmas teddies there and so it began. Now there is about 20! Its funny how wee traditions like that start.

 I have never been one to have Ornaments sitting out. For me they are Dust Collectors and I hate to dust! However Christmas is the exception so I have all my Christmas Bears and snowmen out and this year have them on my TV unit.
 Candles! What can I say I do adore Candles as I have blogged about before. These are my Christmas ones. One thing I do have is a fear of naked flames so you will notice you very very rarely see a candle of mine sitting exposed. It normally always has some kind of cover or side round it.

 I bought this Fibre Optic scene years ago now. Its so pretty when its going yet they never run quiet, there is always a hummmmmmm noise. Its on a separate plug so sits out but is not always on.
My Twig lights from a previous blog. Now even more festive!

 My Christmas lights on my Patio Doors. Always look far more festive when there is snow outside! I even have a penguin light out side against the shed there, Its never plugged in but is always taken out to stand there.
I ADORE this Garland. I bought it years ago. I only bought 2 lengths at the time cause it was so expensive! The white on the ivy used to sparkle with glitter but that's almost all gone. I so so wish I had bought more as they never got it in again.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

1st ever Wreath!

I never ever ever liked wreaths. They remind me of dead people, grave yards and generally nothing nice. However I saw a few this year in shops that were glittery, sparkley, very bling and just up my street which made me want one. So in B&Q I started to price them. £16!!! Eh!?!I think not! So Marcus and I decided to buy a fresh one and decorate it ourselves.  We bought a basic fir tree wreath for £4.95. We then bought a packet of cheap little red baubles and one semi decent Santa one. Oh and one little length of sliver tinsel. I am very pleased with the results knowing that they can be used again next year.

Its now hanging on the back door outside looking very festive

Friday, 2 December 2011

Christmas Tree Cupcake

Joining in with Rhonda's On My Mind. 

I was out last night to a Ladies only craft fair with my good friend Sharon. It was a charity fund raising event that you paid £3 to get it and that got your entrance to the craft stalls, a glass of wine or orange and a cupcake. There was various craft stalls and I went with the focus of getting some Christmas gifts so.............. I bought myself a scarf and some party lite candles ha-ha!  As you know from my blog I am currently slimming after stopping smoking almost 2 years ago ( 2 years on the 28 th of December)  so why oh why did I enter a raffle to win a HUGE cupcake decorated as a tree?? Why?? I have always since a young child adored Butter Icing and to this day I can't get enough of it. So of course that would mean I would win it!  I may have a gain at Slimming next week...............  Ho Ho Ho
My Christmas Cupcake Tree!!
Even the green icing has some gold shine painted on it. So pretty
Mike doing his Shopping channel hand/ruler demonstration.