Disclaimer!

Disclaimer
Beverley has prepared the content of Bev's World irresponsibly and carelessly. She therefore disclaims all warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy, originality or completeness of the drivel presented on this blog or on other linked websites or on any subsequent links. She vehemently denies that the information may be relied upon for any reason. Beverley shall not be liable for inflicting laughter, shame, disgust, torrents of tears and the eventual desiccation or crashing boredom on readers.

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Friday, 31 January 2020

I'm going out!

Friday 31st January 2020
If you could see yourself through my eyes, you would know how incredible you truly are!



I'm going out, I'm going out, whoop whoop, yeah baby, tonight I'm going for a meal with my besties, I cannot wait!  We're off for an Indian the 3 of us but we'll need a table for 6 for all the dishes I plan on ordering 😛. Seriously though, I am so looking forward to catching up with my mates, the nearest I got to eating out last year was a MacDonalds with V on a Saturday morning.  I honestly can't remember the last time I went out for a meal especially one that wasn't at lunchtime.  It won't be a late night but it feels weird going out after dark but I can't wait for a natter and giggle with the girts oh and some Tandoori chicken, it's the food of the gods for sure. I've been drooling over the menu all week and still don't know what I'm going to order! 

Right back to yesterday, although I'm just enjoying the last sunrise of January 2020, it's a love pink with clouds of grey sweeping across the sky, just glorious.  

I enjoyed scrambled eggs and a sausage Pattie on a bap, 6SP on the Blue which I am, then at lunchtime I had a WW macaroni cheese ready meal 11SP, but proving I shouldn't buy bread rolls, I had one with my lunch and my dinner later which was the leftover green beans in lemon and syrup and a bit of chicken.  I eat bread rolls like people eat biscuits not happy till the packets gone! 

Don't forget tomorrow I'm going to start setting you daily challenges to help us make February Fabulous and get us looking forward to spring which isn't far away now.  For now thought I'm just going to wish you a Fabulous Friday, I can promise you mine is going to be, I intend to enjoy my massage this morning, spend some time with mom this afternoon and hope she'll be okay with me going out, then the thought of Smart Points will leave my head until tomorrow because I'm going to enjoy my night worry free of every thing. 

One meal does not a fat bird make!  I'll get back on track tomorrow, saying that I will probably be bringing home food too so it may take a few days to get within my Smart Points allowance!  Don't care, this is the birthday celebration I didn't have on my actual birthday. 

Ooo one more thing because it just made me smile, Zoe Ball is talking about 500 words and she said if you were writing a book, the title could be your first job and the last place you went on holiday, so mine would be 'The potato packer in Pembrokeshire' what would yours be called, theres a bit of Friday Fun for you. 

Mwah, luv ya

Love me xx

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Vegging out yesterday!

Thursday 30th January 2020
Breathe darling, this is just a chapter not your entire life.

Well a better night's sleep for all in this house and good news from the vet for Alfie, we're going to give the steroids a go and see if they help, he was better yesterday, walked me good and proper though, Alfie did his 10k steps for sure!  

I had such a busy day yesterday, I didn't have time to get creative and cook lots in the kitchen, but I did have a great idea (if I do say so myself), the green beans in the fridge were threatening to walk away so I stir fried them in a sachet of WW lemon and herb marinade and added a squirt of Agave syrup (you could use honey or a bit of sugar / sweetener) to sweeten them up, really delicious on their own or as a side dish. 😋😋😋😋  


I enjoyed them on their own, well half of them, got the other half for today.  Then later on thanks to my mate Harj, I got even more veggies in my diet which has made up for the lack of them the day before!  I really wished I had her magic hands to make my curries taste like this, they are delicious. 


Oh I had a burger for my breakfast with a chicken sausage Pattie on it, that was delicious, I'd gone in the Tesco garage and wanted muffins, but they didn't have any so looked at the bagel thin which were 4 but ended up having Warburton rolls for 4SP and this was the outcome; 

I added gherkin for a bit of green, it's still a veggie, even if it's pickled.  I also cooked more of the patties so that I have my breakfast sorted for this morning which will be equally as busy as yesterday! 

I invited my members to take part in a Fabulous February, you're invited too, are you up for making February Fabulous and Fantastic and focusing on making time for you to take care of yourself. Every day throughout the month, I'll post a challenge, I promise they'll all be doable!

If you have any suggestions for challenges, message me, let's make February count, I just feel January is such a difficult month to focus on weight loss, it's all a bit grim and dark, everyones skint so buying healthy foods isn't high on their list of priorities.

I've got so much to do before I go to work and mom's just gone to the bathroom so I need to go see to her needs.  Then there's the challenge of getting Alfie to take his tablets (such fun).  Then I'll try and fit in attending to mine!  This is the problem for most of us, isn't it but let's make an effort going forward, to prioritise ourselves a little more because we matter and repeat after me, 'It's going to be a great day!"

Mwah, luv ya

Love me xx

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Let's make February the new January ay!

Wednesday 29th January 2020
Climb the mountains, do not carry them.


I will not stop trying, I will not stop trying, I will not stop trying!  The more I say it, the more it'll stick in my head.  The scales do not always tell the full truth and we have to accept that, I'd lost 3lb on Sunday, but when I did my official weigh-in on Monday I gained 2lb, I've just stepped on this morning and that 2lb is gone, it's called bodily fluctuations and of course over time if you're following the plan the weight loss should show regularly, there will always be the odd fluctuation you aren't expecting and it's so important not to let it knock you off track.  I watched two leave my workshop yesterday upset because that had happened and because they didn't stay to the workshop, I couldn't do anything more once they'd gone.  I bloody hate scales when they make people feel that way, its just the most soul destroying thing to witness and I completely empathise because I've felt that way in the past.

Now as usual for me, it hasn't been the best January regarding my weight, I always enter the month determined to make it a good month and I rarely do, but if I entered the month believing it was pointless well I'd be guaranteed weight gain where as at least I'm no heavier than I was when it started.

In the words of C.S. Lewis, 'You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.'  Now I could wait till next week because I'm going out for a curry on Friday, the first time I've been out in forever, but that would be super silly wouldn't it.   Instead I'm improving, doing what I can and going to work on my stress / emotional eating.  Let's make February the new January ay!

I was really positive over Alfie at the beginning of the day yesterday, but then about 3ish, he reverted to how he'd been panting, jumping over me anxiously and pacing around, I'm back at the vets this morning to discuss what the steroid injection did, I do think for 24 hours it made some difference, for the first time in a long time, he'd been more realistic with his walk and not objected to returning home.

Foodwise, well I ended up eating my breakfast standing up by the oven because it was later than I thought and my sister walked in just as I'd cooked it, I need to get back to being more organised in the morning, I'm not the only one with responsibilities and others manage to do it.  Oh I had a toastie with the leftover beans if you were wondering.  For my lunch I had some roast chicken, again was busy so just picked at it sitting at my desk.  Then for my dinner, my helper Mel had been talking about muffins and I needed bread so I stopped at the Tesco garage on my way home to buy some but they hadn't got any muffins, they did have Warburton's white baps though and they were 4SP each, 6 for £1, so I bought them.  I smiled this morning as I was looking through my Facebook memories and I bought a pack this time 2 years ago too - there not something I buy regular and it always amuses me that I do this with lots of food, tend to buy it on the same day but a different year - creature of habit!

I had 6SP of Co-op skinny fries  with egg and a bap (4SP), then wanting to add something that resembled a vegetable, I decided to have beetroot and gherkins, all that for 10SP is a bargain.  I'm going to pre-make some thing for my breakfast tomorrow and also have my meals planned for the day because I know Thursday is always my temptation day.  I've got lots of green beans that need using in the fridge, I might make a curry with them as I always like them in a curry, I'll do something with them any, I'll let you know.  I'm not having them wasted that's for sure.

Since my brother suggested I get myself a freezer for the shed, I've been thinking about it a lot, when I do my online shop weekly, my veggies never keep or I change my mind about what I fancy, the freezer I have in the kitchen isn't big enough, so I'm thinking if I had one in the shed, I could have lots of frozen vegetables in there and I'd never run out of anything.

Anyways, it was another disturbed sleep night because of moms coughing, I'm going to go ask the doctor even if she doesn't agree I think, at least I managed to sleep in till half six, so I've had some sleep.  Here's to saying it's going to be a great day.

Mwah, luv ya

Love me xx

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Emotional Hunger v True Hunger then there's my hunger!

Tuesday 28th January 2020
Expect nothing, appreciate everything.


Well that was quite the 24 hours, however I've still started my day with 'it's going to be a great day'.  

Mom's had a crap night, in and out of bed every 20 minutes, so I've not slept great either, neither of us had a good day, I'd made an appointment for Alfie at the vets because he was getting worse not better and I honestly didn't think I'd be bringing him back with me, but the vet I saw confirming it's neurological, could even be a cyst in the brain, wanted me to try steroids and give it till tomorrow to see if they make any difference at all.  Finger's crossed it does!

I'd walked him twice before the vets, both times well over an hour a time, let him have steak for dinner just in case he wasn't coming back, I do hope the drugs help, I can't bear to watch him pant and shiver and look at me with that vacant look.

Next I need to convince mom to see a doctor, her chest is actually rattling and she's coughed lots in the night.  She'll struggle today, she's always worse when she hasn't slept well.  The first thing she said to me yesterday was 'are you Bev?', as I was taking Alfie to the vets, I'd warned her he may not be coming back, she said, 'I love you Alfie, see you in heaven', well you can imagine how many tears were shed in our house yesterday.  

But on a brighter note, she made me laugh when she said this to me last night as we were sat watching tele; 


"And Bev keeps saying. Oh you're bev ain't ya. I'm talking about ya when you're here, I'll have to whisper." 😂 

Pure genius, she's still in there somewhere!

Well I can honestly say, I didn't think about my health at all yesterday, actually once I did, when I thought I need to have some veg with my dinner so microwaved some frozen peas.  I really need to get an angle on my comfort eating, it's never been this bad ever.  Actually I don't know if it's comfort eating, that's such a general term.  Of course it's emotional eating, everyone does that to some degree, we all eat food because it makes us feel better in some way at times. 

I'm not using food as a way to distract me from my feelings, I'm more than 'FEELING' every emotion going on in my life right now, so it's not that so much.  It's more food is delicious and it's one of the pleasureable things in my life.  Also I'm greedy so I have this appetite that's too big for the size of my body (or at least the size my body should be).  

Yeah I need a new term for it because it's not what is termed 'emotional eating' on the websites, this is what I've just found;


I think I need a new column to the ones above lol, 

1) I think about food most of the time, I love it.
2) usually the same as true hunger, I like to eat many different foods as long as they're delicious
3) Is looked forward to
4) It shows itself whatever the emotion, I like food and eating
5) Oh I taste the food, but I am inclined to eat fast with my hands (part of the pleasure)
6) I do stop when I'm full, it just seems to take quite a lot to get me full.
7) I feel satisfied after eating, even when I know I've gone over my points.  

So now I know there needs to be another column, Foodie Hunger maybe, can you think of a better column name.  

I like eating, I'm thinking what I need to do is work on finding ways to make delicious food for less calories (SP) and work on my portion sizes, bulking out my meals with zero pointed foods and then there's cutting down on the wine is always going to be a constant challenge for me, again I like it, it tastes nice and it chills me out.  Mmm, lots for me to think about there and it's distracted me from thinking about my mom and Alfie for ten minutes!  

I'm looking forward to seeing all my lovely members today, the topics quite apt for me this week actually so hopefully I too will take something from it.  

Here's to a great day, mwah, 

luv ya 

Love me xx

Monday, 27 January 2020

Bit cheesy this morning....

Monday 27th January 2020
The first to apologise is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest, the first to forget is the happiest. 

The last slice of my birthday cheese and onion pie and it was just as good out of the freezer as it had been fresh, probably not the healthiest breakfast to have yesterday but meh, I was 50 so I'm allowed to celebrate a little longer than a day, I don't think a weeks too bad, oh and they're will be Friday when I'm being allowed out to go for a curry with my besties. 


I don't really want to talk scales results as they weren't what I'd want lol, but what I will say is it just shows it's not a good idea to get on the scales more than once a week, yesterday morning I did step on and I'd lost 1lb, the morning I've stepped on and gained 3lb, after going to the toilet and removing my glasses and Fitbit, it was 2lb, this is why you shouldn't only base your success on the numbers on a scale, they don't define you!  There's more to health than calories and scales!

Is it better to define your progress by keeping your fingers crossed for a weight loss?  Don't forget scale weight is just one measure of progress, you weight alone will never tell the full story.  there's so many factors that affect your weight and progress is so much more than just a number.  I feel pretty great in myself compared to how I have felt over the last few months, and if you feel great then chances are you're making great progress.  If you like me feel better about where you are right now, then you should be celebrating (not with food of course) and treating how you're feeling as a big win!  I see so many members walk into the workshop, walk towards the scales, I can see they're buzzing, they're smiling and almost bouncing, then they step on the scales and it doesn't say what they'd hoped and their shoulders drop, the smile fades and that square box on the floor has the power to ruin that great feeling. It almost did that to me this morning and quickly I realised what was happening and sad NO, it's going to be a great day, those scales are not going to affect how much my mood has improved right now.  

I have a massive decision to make with Alfie, I'm trying not to be selfish or cry and think about it from what's best for him, at the beginning of the month, this would've lowered my mood even more than it already was, instead I'm trying to focus on the fact he's had the most indulgent life and I don't want him to suffer, it's about him not me.  

Anyway, back to focusing on healthy and happy, I haven't wrote that in a while, I used to be all about the healthy and happy, hence Bev's Happy Owls (Over Weight Ladies (or Lads)). You can be healthy and happy at any weight and that's always been my belief.  It doesn't mean I don't want to take care of myself or want to look and feel my best, it means that I refuse to beat myself up because I enjoy good food and wine, yeah losing weight is easier when you love and support yourself isn't it.  I'm choosing to be healthy and happy whatever my size.

Oh but I have to share my dinner with you from yesterday, loving that I'm getting my cooking mojo back for sure.  A simple white sauce is all you need to make to turn a humble cauliflower into the tastiest Roasted Cauliflower cheese.    




So this is what I did, firstly roast your cauliflower, cut it into florets, spray with spray light and roast for about 20-25 minutes (gas 4, 180 fan oven). Roasting it stops the cauliflower cheese ending up watery.

White Sauce (15SP total) 

40g low fat spread (5SP)
40g plain flower (4SP)
450ml skimmed milk (6SP) 

Plonk it all in a non stick saucepan, place over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring all the time.  The lumps with blend together as it heats, making a wonderful smooth, creamy sauces. 

You can use this sauce in things like a lasagne or fish pie, I however turned it into a cheese sauces by adding a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 25g grated parmesan (4SP) and 40g grated cheese (6SP).  

Place roasted cauliflower in a dish and pour over the sauce.  I then topped with 100g of cheddar (16SP) and roasted for 20-30 minutes until it was bubbly and brown, you could roast it less time and pop under the grill to brown, I was being lazy didn't want to stand in the kitchen.

So the whole thing was 41SP, you could save points by using low fat cheese or the Arla protein cheese, I will try it with Arla next, that would save 17SP total, so worth giving it a go.  

But yeah, it was delicious, I know some people have cauliflower cheese a a side with their dinner but for me it's a meal on it's own and I'd like to make one with broccoli and cauliflower.  It really was indulgent and I definitely could've used less cheese.

Here's to doing what I can to make today a great day, I survived yesterday and it was a difficult one with Alfie, then on the night mom asking when we were going home.

What shall I cook today to distract me, I'm fancying a lasagne, so we shall see....

Here's to a great day, mwah 

luv ya


Love me xx

Sunday, 26 January 2020

I do like eating.

Sunday 26th January 2020
Old ways won't open new doors.


I've already put a load of washing on and swept the living room floor - check me out!   Not sure if they'll be much more in the way of housework, although I think I'll do both bathrooms, that'll be enough.  I did cook yesterday though, a delicious chicken hot pot, nom nom, simple food is the best, you can't beat it, chicken, carrots, onions, potatoes and chicken oxo in water, sorted, Alfie was loving the chicken too bless him.  He was happy with one long walk yesterday too, thankfully, 2 or 3 walks a day is killing me, especially on day's I'm working.  Helping burn off calories though, so at least something goods coming of it!


I had eggy bread for breakfast too, just the one slice, it's a great way to use bread that's no longer fresh but not quite stale either, my body doesn't play nicely with toast so I tend not to go down that route as it gives me heartburn.

I haven't made a 'new' recipe this week though so I need to get my thinking cap on, I've got quite a few eggs and I have a cauliflower, but I have a craving for mashed potato after a daft conversation yesterday morning with the ladies, I could make a cooked dinner that would have mash on it and I could use some of the chicken out of the casserole as the meat part.  I know that's not a new recipe but I can cook something ready for tomorrow maybe, I fancy pottering around in the kitchen today so I'll let you know if I come up with anything worth eating!

Now I fancy curry baked beans after seeing a pic on Pinterest, see the struggle is real, it's a constant battle to resist all the niceness out there or to try and fit it all in to your meals :) mmm cheesy mash with baked beans lol, or I could just have a few beans for breakfast with mushrooms and eggy bread again, I'd like toast but my stomach is saying no please don't!

Whatever I have, I'll make sure it's healthy and I'll try to keep my points down, see so many members doing well in my workshops really does help inspire me to be better, anyway I need to get on, my belly is asking for food.

It's going to be another great day, mwah, luv ya

Love me x

Saturday, 25 January 2020

You don't get thin overnight!

Saturday 25th January 2020
Self care is how you take your power back.


It's going to be a great day!  Don't forget to say it, I've got a morning of members to look forward to seeing, then I'm not sure what the day holds, I do know at some point this weekend, housework needs to be done.  I will be making the chicken casserole today that I was making yesterday until I realised I had a risotto in the fridge that needed eating, 11SP, it looked not so great but tasted much better.


Then I had the leftover garlic chicken for tea, my casserole will do me for the weekend now.


See I've now been a coach for over 15 years, I've been a member on and off since I left school and the longer I do this the more I become about 'health' rather than numbers on a scale, I've just sat here and realised a couple of new members didn't come this week and I think it's because they didn't lose 'LOADS' of weight last week, that makes me sad because it's better to chip away at it than lose loads for a few weeks, make no realistic, long term changes and end up gaining it all again.

I refuse to put that pressure on myself anymore, there are enough things to get disappointed over and sad about without adding to the list.  When I plan meals, or write my shopping list these days, I'm more inclined to consider whether it's food that's good for me rather than food that will make me lose weight.

And giving up completely isn't going to help anyone lose weight is it!

When I decide what I'm having to eat, I try to make sure there's vegetables on the plate, even breakfast, by adding mushrooms or tomatoes, or a bit of fruit instead.  This is more important, getting into the habit of eating fruit and veg will be better for me in the long run than losing half stone in a week.

1lb a week is 52lb in a year, hell 1/2lb a week is a couple of stone, it's so much easier to chip away with the half pounds than aim for 2lb a week, as one new member said this week, 'I'm happy with a pound because I've been away this weekend and had a good time'.  Still living life at the same time see.

Aiming for 30 minutes of activity or 10k steps each day is also better than an initial half stone loss, because if you can make that activity a habit, it'll help you with your weight loss and your health both physical and mental.

But we live in a world where we want quick and easy don't we, which is part of the reason we've put the weight on in the first place because it's quicker and easier to pick up the phone and call for a takeaway than it is to stand in the kitchen and cook a healthy meal from scratch.

Easter Sunday is on April 12th this year, that's 11 weeks away, they say it takes 4 weeks for you to notice changes, 8 weeks for friends and family and 12 weeks for everyone else to notice, would you like everyone else to start noticing around Easter so when they ask, 'OMG what have you been doing?"  You can reply, I've been taking care of myself!

Or you could starve yourself for a couple of weeks, lose half stone and have everyone tell ya how miserable you look because yeah you're lighter but you're hungry, you haven't been out and had a good time and you know deep down, you're not going to be able to keep it up long term.

I've spent way too long focusing on numbers on a scale, I'm now focusing on eating delicious, healthy food and making it through each day focusing on the good stuff, actually looking for it and where possible making it.

I'm off to have a great day, how about you?

Mwah, luv ya

Love me xx

Friday, 24 January 2020

Fri-yay!

Friday 24th January 2020
Expect nothing, appreciate everything.


Yay, it's Friday and I've got a massage to look forward to, it's paid for too thanks to lovely people treating me for my birthday, feeling blessed.  I'm going to cook a chicken hotpot this afternoon too, that'll feed me for a couple of days then and I can have it with different veggies on the side, if I've got the energy and can be bothered I'll make some egg muffins too I think, maybe even those porridge muffins now I have my second set of WW muffin cases, loving them (yes Alexis, I've got your set ready for when you come visit too).


I've got cauliflower so could do the cauliflower cheese muffins or the kale ones or maybe I'll experiment and try a new one as I want to cook 50 new recipes this year.  I'll have a play, I have a bit of my garlic chicken left, I could shred the chicken and use that maybe, we'll see.  I'm fancying turning my leftovers into soup I think.

Payday tomorrow but it's not a great month in the WW world because December is such a quiet month, so I'll be trying to be a bit more careful with my shopping till February payday, especially with the money I've spent on my car this month (thank heavens for the birthday massages, that's saved my credit card for sure!) I've got a freezer full of food, just add greens so it's all good.

Yesterday was a cracking busy day at work, Alfie still got his two walks because he wouldn't leave me alone about an hour after I'd walked him the first time, I actually wonder if he's forgetting he's been out already?  As when we went the second time, he wasn't that energetic, he just hung around for half hour.  Poor little boy, at least he's not in physical pain xx

I'm still stepping out of bed and saying 'It's going to be a great day' and I have to say I have had a much more positive week, I just feel better in myself, that's got a lot to do with having a good chat with my besties over the week and also planning a meal out with them on the 31st, something to look forward to really does make a difference.  I've also got someone popping in to see mom for a visit to she has she handles it and if we could in the future make it a regular thing to give me an hour to nip out to the shops or walk the dog or even go upstairs and use my computer and not worry about her.  It's all worth trying for sure because she's never getting better is she and I can't put my life on hold forever.

 Yeah I've had a lovely sleep and I'm refreshed and looking forward to my day, so I'll go get it started because I've not got much to talk about if I'm honest, at the minute if I'm not working, I'm listening to my books, I'm hooked on this series by Lucinda Riley about the Seven Sisters, I'm now on book 5 and they're about 20 hours long each, so anytime I have the chance, I listen to a bit more which is another reason I'm happy to spend some time in the kitchen :)

Here's to making it a great day because they don't just happen by change usually.

Mwah, luv ya


Love me xx



Thursday, 23 January 2020

I need caffeine

Thursday 23rd January 2020
It's not about how you look, it's about how you see.
It's morning and it's still foggy, what's going on with the weather, it's still dark too, roll on Spring for sure. But until then I'll pretend it's warm and sunny lol and cook delicious food like I did yesterday.

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, it really is as good as I remember,


Noily Prat (dry vermouth) really does help to make food delicious and you only need a splash, you can use a white wine if you don't have it though.  

Alfie had me walk him 3 times yesterday, I can't keep that up, the little man isn't showing any signs of improvement yet, but it's not quite the 2 weeks yet and they did say 2-6 weeks, so I'm living in hope.

Not much to say this morning, apart from thinking 'It's going to be a great day' really is helping me get through the day more positively, nothings changed in my house but I'm trying to handle it with a positive head.  It is true that your thoughts become your actions and help to create your reality, so if you only focus on one thing today, make it paying attention to what you're thinking.

I'm not beginning to suggest it'll make everything in your life okay but it might help to make you feel better in yourself and how you deal with the day in front of you, I'm clocking when I'm having a moan, or being negative, I'm not saying I'm not still doing it but I'm aware of whether it's helping the situation or not and trying something else instead.

On that note, I've got a long day ahead, I need caffeine, so I'll say it's going to be a great day, mwah,

luv ya

Love ya



Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Food, glorious food

Wednesday 22nd January 2020
If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

It works!  Honestly, try it if you didn't this morning, wake up, sit up, put your feet on the floor and say 'It's going to be a great day!', and remind yourself of it throughout the day as you think or say something that's not so helpful.  I woke to mom asking how we were going to get all those kids back home, she'd obviously had a dream and bought it into her reality with her and because of my positive words that started my day, I still feel like I can handle anything the day wants to throw at me (not a challenge universe btw).

I had a couple more lovely gifts for my birthday yesterday, including a book that's a journal, it's called 99 things that bring me joy, right up my street that is, on each page it asks you to fill something in, so 1 is 'Childhood toys you loved', 22 is 'things you think are cute', 96 is 'A piece of wisdom someone gave you', what a wonderfully clever idea, each page gives you chance to use your brain and think.  I shall enjoy sitting and doing that, I'll do it when moms in a good mood and try and get her involved by asking her the questions too. 

I cooked my gnocchi yesterday, the salami had a real kick to it, the kind that burns the inside of your mouth, but it was delicious for 14SP a portion.   The butternut squash was past it's best so I cut off the bits that were ok and roasted them with the salami on the top of it.  Then fried diced onion with diced garlic and a splash of vermouth.  I then cooked the gnocchi on the hob for 3 minute,  drained it and added to the onion mixture threw in a bag of spinach and the squash from the oven.  Then stirred through 100g of really strong blue cheese and voila, nom nomness.



That's my kind of food for sure and today I plan to cook more of my kind of food, I've got to take my car in again first but then I'm going to make my very favourite 40 cloves of garlic chicken, I do love my Nigella.  The points shown are for all 3 plans unless I've highlighted them in a different colour, hope that makes sense.  Don't fear the number 40, you won't peel or chop them, the skins being left on means they grow sweet and caramel as they cook, like savoury bonbons in their sticky wrappers, so good.  For me this recipe is so much better with thighs but I understand that some people would be willing to lose a bit of flavour to save a few points, I'm not one of those people. 

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

Feeds 4

13SP per serving using thighs,
3SP or 7SP per serving using breasts,
9SP per serving using legs

2 tbsp regular olive oil (9SP)
Either
Use 8 chicken thighs (skin on, bone in) (42SP) or
use 8 skinless breasts for 0SP or 13SP
use 4 skinless legs for 27SP or

1 bunch (about 6) spring onions
small bunch fresh thyme
40 garlic cloves (approx 3-4 bulbs), unpeeled
2 tbsp dry white wine (1SP)
1½ tsp sea salt flakes or ¾ tsp pouring salt
Ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Heat the oil on the hob over a high heat in a wide, shallow, ovenproof and flameproof casserole (that will ultimately fit all the chicken in one layer, and that has a lid). Sear the chicken, skin-side down. This may take two batches, so transfer the browned pieces to a bowl as you go. Once the chicken pieces are seared, transfer them all to the bowl.

Finely slice the spring onions, put them into the casserole and quickly stir-fry them with the leaves torn from a few sprigs of thyme. Put 20 of the unpeeled cloves of garlic (papery excess removed) into the casserole, top with the chicken pieces, skin-side up, then cover with the remaining 20 cloves of garlic.

Add the vermouth (or white wine) to any oily chicken juices left in the bowl. Swill it around and pour this into the casserole. Sprinkle with the salt, grind over the pepper, and add a few more sprigs of thyme. Put on the lid and cook in the oven for 1½ hours.

Another recipe I think I'm going to do as well, either today and bulk cook or later in the week is this one; 

CHICKEN AND PEA TRAYBAKE

by Nigella. Featured in AT MY TABLE

Feeds 4, 11SP or 17SP per serving
What’s key here is the size of the roasting tin. I wouldn’t go any smaller – measuring from inside rim to inside rim – than about 38 x 28cm / 15 x 11inches (a little larger is fine) as there needs to be space around the chicken thighs for the magic to happen.

900 grams frozen petits pois 0SP or 21SP
400 grams trimmed leeks (cut into approx. 3cm/ 1 inch slices
2 fat cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
4 x 15ml tablespoons dry white vermouth or wine 3SP
2 tablespoons regular olive oil 9SP (plus more for drizzling – I'd not bother with this!)
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes (plus more for sprinkling)
1 small bunch fresh dill (torn into pieces)
8 chicken thighs with skin on and bone in 42SP

METHOD

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/400°F and clatter the frozen peas into a large roasting tin, followed by the leeks, garlic, vermouth, 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 teaspoons of sea salt flakes and most of the dill. Turn everything together in the pan – breaking up any large clumps of the frozen peas – until well mixed. I advise you to wear CSI gloves for this, just to stop you getting frostbite, though you still will feel the cold.
    Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on top, then drizzle them with a little olive oil and give them a good sprinkling of sea salt flakes, before roasting in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, give the peas a small stir or tamp down, so that the few that are sitting on the surface and drying out a little are submerged in the liquid. Don’t do the same to the leeks, however, as the bits that are peeking out will become desirably caramelised in the heat. Put back in the oven for a further 30 minutes, by which time the peas and leeks will be soft, and the chicken tender and cooked through, its skin golden and crisp.
    Tear off the remaining dill fronds, and scatter over the top on serving, perhaps with some simply steamed new potatoes to soak up the pea and chicken juices.


    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
    Refrigerate leftovers, within 2 hour of cooking, in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan or microwave until piping hot all the way through.
    If you prefer, you can use light chicken stock in place of the vermouth or wine.

    I can't make that one unless I got get leeks and dill!  Anyway, I need to get my backside away from this computer, so I'll say hurrah, mwah.

    Luv ya 

    Love me xx

    Tuesday, 21 January 2020

    Good morning Tuesday

    Tuesday 21st January 2020
    You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy or fake.

    Of course I didn't wake up the day after I turned 50 and my life became easy and my eating and drinking habits had changed overnight, but my attitude was improved, my mood too, it'll take some work to keep it there but I'm willing to do that.  It's never going to be easy watching mom and Alfie being devoured by the disease.  Bless him, he walked my legs off yesterday so at least I'm getting my exercise, even if it's not very quick and we don't get very far.

    As well as a wicked birthday gift from my bestie, my Pause box https://pauseformind.org.uk arrived from Mind yesterday too, that was a bit of nice through the post, it was also really apt as it confirmed some of the thoughts I'd been having -  this months little card inside the box said; 

    Sometimes we can find ourselves caught up in the day-to-day, forgetting to make a bit of time for what really motivates or inspires us. 

    Try writing down the things that you want to focus on more in your life, or a list of the things you'd like to do more of.  It might be getting more fresh air, taking up a new hobby or trying new recipes.  It's prove that writing things down means you're more likely to achieve them, and the structure of a list can help us feel more relaxed. 

    The theme of the box this year is drawing, there's some exercises in the box that I will have a go at, it's a cute little box each month and a reminder to me that I need to take time out in one way or another.  

    My list of things that I'd like to focus on more in my life include, my friends, cooking new recipes, listening to my audiobooks, that's plenty to get me started.  I've also loved taking photos, so try to maybe get to places where that's worth doing, although you can find beauty everywhere.   

    Today's meal is going to use up the gnocchi I have left in the fridge I think, I'll have it with butternut squash, use up some of the chorizo or salami, maybe a bit of blue cheese, not low in points but healthy and delicious overall.  I don't expect to change overnight and I'm okay with that, I won't wake up 2 stone lighter in the morning, I just want to wake up feeling more positive every day and able to handle life as it is.  I'm not going to lie, the last year, I've thought it won't be forever, she's 81, but the truth is, she could live for a long time still so I need to live too and not just exist.  That may read bad but unless you've lived a similar situation you just can't understand, even she wishes she weren't here some days. 

    I'm looking forward to a day with members at Short Heath, busy day ahead, I'll make time to cook dinner though, I've managed to get enough sleep despite Alfie and mom trying to stop me, I ended up putting Alfie on my bed, he was stood on the landing whining which was setting mom off, she then spend half hour stomping to and from the bathroom - yay, what better way to spend 2am lol. 

    I'm already looking forward to messing about in the kitchen later, not decided if I'm going to roast the squash or make a sauce from it.  I've just remembered a recipe I found on the WW app, it sounded delicious, I was looking for a way to use up the delicious salami I have in my fridge leftover from my birthday weekend. Roasted butternut squash and salami rigatoni, oh so much niceness on one plate, all I do know is the ingredients, squash, salami, chorizo, blue cheese all compliment each other beautifully, sage, thyme or rosemary all add flavour to squash too and you can make a sauce in a food processor from the squash which would be delicious on a bowl of gnocchi, mmm.

    I need to stop thinking food and start thinking washing and dressing, so I'll say turrah.  Remember it's going to be a great day, mwah, 

    Luv ya


    Love me 



    Monday, 20 January 2020

    Here's to my 50s, looking forward to them.

    Monday 20th January 2020
    When you focus on the good - the good gets better.


    This is your Monday morning reminder that you can handle whatever this week throws at you!  Today I'm reminding myself that a negative mind will never give you a positive life.




    It was a funny old week last week, my mind did a lot of thinking, my heart did a little breaking and my eyes shed a river of tears.  There was some self pity I ain't going to lie, then more realisation than I'm not the only one with problems.  I had a tinge of disappointment, followed by a reminder that I never make a big thing of my birthday so how were others supposed to know this year I felt differently (DOH!) and I went to bed happy last night and I've woke up feeling like there's been a shift for sure in my head.  The best gift I had yesterday was a reminder of how important friendship is and how blessed I am in that area.

    I'd already made the decision that some things have got to change, but a concerned face from a lovely lady on Saturday seconded it and finally catching up with my bestie definitely sealed the idea, being  reminded that when things get difficult for me, I shut down made me realise how well she knows me, actually she knows me better than I know myself sometimes, which is weird and it wasn't till we were chatting I realised quite how much I miss her and V, even though I see V every Saturday morning, it's not the same as the 3 of us sitting round a table eating a meal we don't have the points for, not caring that we don't have the points for it either, and giggling, talking rubbish and generally forgetting everything that's going on in our worlds.

    One of the things that's got to change is me not doing anything because it's easier, okay it's not easy to leave mom, it's not easy to come back afterwards, but it's amazing when I'm out doing something.  So I'm going to have a chat with my sister and maybe my brother too who has offered to sit with mom and arrange whens best for me to steal a few hours to have food with my mates, who know maybe we'll get to go out for tea not lunch - omg, I don't remember the last time I did that!  But I don't work Monday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday evenings so if it was early in the night, I'm less likely to fall asleep ;)

    My living room is full of flowers and so many cards, I really feel loved, I had so many messages via Facebook yesterday and lovely, thoughtful gifts.  One of my first actions this morning though proved I have already started the transition into my mom, oh yeah, it's real bad, you ready for this.... I went in the kitchen and saw the box a gift came in and thought to myself, "I'll keep that to put something in" OMG this week a box, next week tins 😂 In fairness thought it is a pretty box with '50 & more gorgeous every day!' written on it, you can't throw that away, I'll find a use for it, oh man the transition is happening isn't it.

    Oh I'll save the best birthday pressie for last cos you ain't gonna believe me, I ate cheese and onion pie - lots of it, white bread with Italian niceness, Manchester tart (3/4 of a big one), birthday cake (thank you Jane, everyone who had a slice devoured it), wine, yes of course wine and I've just stood on the scales and the scales has given me a MAINTAIN!  NO shame in a maintain!  I didn't gain, what a gift from the WW gods, we won't even consider the 'catch up' thing, we're being positive today.

    I started listening to that Tiny Habits book yesterday and he said one habit that he wants me ( everyone reading the book) to do every morning is what he calls the Maui habit, each morning when you wake up and place your feet on the floor, say "It's going to be a great day!" I like this idea because I always try to end my blog with something similar to put me in a positive state of mind.  I also know that I'll forget to do that because my brain is small like Poohs, so I've stuck a pic of this to my office computer so it's the first thing I look at when I sit down to write.


    I've made it through every difficult day that's ever been thrown at me so far, most of them with positivity and I'm ready to get back to me, to start taking care of myself, to enjoying life again not just existing and surviving, as much as I love going to work, there has to be more to look forward to doesn't there. Oh and the biggie, to lose the habit of thinking everyone is a mind reader and knows what I'm thinking and what I need, I'll start communicating instead of shutting down!

    Thank you to everyone who's a part of my world, I love you for it, always remember you matter, you're important and you are loved, and you bring to this world things no one else can.

    It's going to be a great day, mwah

    luv u

    love me xx


    Sunday, 19 January 2020

    Half a Century! WOW!

    Sunday 19th January 2020
    Beauty is not in the face, beauty is a light in the heart.

    Yesterday morning I opened my door to be presented with a glorious bouquet of flowers and a Manchester tart, as I went to take them in thinking can my day get any better, my sister rocks up with a cheese and onion pie!  Well I thought, my birthday ain't till tomorrow but that's me happy for the weekend, dinner and pudding, sorted.



    Once at work, more cards, gifts and this fabulous cake; 



    Isn't it wonderful, with little Alfie under my wool and my wine at my feet - I'd like to know when she's been in my house to see me like that, cos it's exactly what I look like all weekend ;) 

    I had a lovely morning, followed by a few difficult hours with mom and Alfie, he ran off last night and I hadn't realised he'd gone (I went to put a sticker on the bin but that's another drama you don't need to hear) luckily he'd run in a flat up the road and straight up their stairs, if their door hadn't been open at the time I don't even want to think about what would've happened.  Note to self, he can't be trusted at all anymore!

    Things eventually calmed down, and we watched a bit of telly, mom had a little cry over Alfie, so I joined her, it's good to let tears fall sometimes, it cleans your eyes xx

    Today I turn 50, mom thinks I was born in the afternoon and it was raining (I've asked before and that's all she can remember), what I do know is if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have been born at all, so today I shall celebrate my birthday at home with her and share my cake too 😉

    I'm not usually fussed about my birthday if I'm honest, but 50 seems significant, I've always been the baby in my family!  When you're a kid 50 seems ancient, but now I'm here, yeah I feel my age, I have my aches and pains but I feel good.  I have no words of wisdom today, I'm just going to eat too much and drink some wine, I've already decided this last week that some things have to change, I'm not 100% sure what I mean by that, but I have the rest of my 50th year to think about it, I don't have to do any thinking today do I cos it's my birthday!

    Here's to a very happy birthday for me.  Whatever you're doing enjoy xx

    Mwah, luv ya

    Love me xx

    Saturday, 18 January 2020

    Got my Nigella on yesterday didn't I!

    Saturday 18th January 2020
    You're allowed to hope for what's to come, while making the most of where you are already.

    Today's the last day of my 40s!  Where did that decade go, mom's just woke up and asked me when we're going home so I guess that answers that question, most of it got swallowed up by Alzheimers, but we made it and there's been some good times for sure.  I can't believe I'm going to be 50 tomorrow, I've become a proper grown up and everything, responsibilities and stuff - it sucks don't it lol.  I miss being able to just walk out the house and go do what I want, when I want.  It's all good though, I stay in the house and ignore the housework, so I still get to be a bit of a rebel.

    I did enjoy my massage very much yesterday, even more so because it was a gift and then I spent a little time in the kitchen yesterday getting creative and I enjoyed that;

    I had these 2 courgettes that were thinking of walking out the fridge and escaping as they'd been in there so long!
     so I did this to the best bits of them using a potato peeler.
     These had also been in the fridge for a long time, so I wanted to use them. 2SP for 2 of them
    I'd bought this over Christmas so wanted to use some of this, 100g is 5SP, you can cook it in a pan of boiling water but I like it baked.
     I'm not a fan of tomato sauce based food but I like this one, 2SP for the packet. 
    (must remember to pay for it this morning) 
     and this is the nicest chorizo and it was on offer last week 2 for £5.  quite high in points 28g was 4SP but it's strong in flavour.
     I did this with it all, put it on the courgette and rolled it up.

    so it looked like this, I shoved the few spare gnocchi in the middle as you can see and then I covered it with the tomato sauce sachet

    Topped it with 70g of grated protein cheese 2SP
    and baked in the oven for half hour on 180 degrees (gas mark 4) 
     It looked like this when it came out and was delicious


    15SP in the whole thing or 8SP in half, nom nom,


     I really enjoyed it and it proved I can still enjoy the strong flavoured ingredients I like and stay on track (starting Monday anyway as this weekend is my birthday weekend and I'll be mostly going over my points allowance!

    I'm going to have to go, moms disorientated this morning so I'll go get ready as soon as I can for work and spend a little time with her before Anne comes round.  Yesterday was the first day in a week that Alfie wasn't good, I did manage to walk him but not as far as we have been going, I wonder if those two things are connected, I can walk him 2-3 hours every day though, it's just not feasible.

    Anyways, here's to a happy birthday weekend for me and a great weekend for you whatever you're up too, go celebrate on my behalf xx

    mwah, luv ya

    Love me xx