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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Ready for a busy day...

28th February 2015
Be like a sunflower, so that even on the darkest days you can stand tall and find the sunlight.
Oh I did enjoy yesterday once I'd finished all my paperwork, I went for a haircut, my hairdressers lovely, she's not one of those that asks if I'm going on holiday this year, that kind of conversation kept me out of a salon for years you know, I'm not good at idle chit chat, it's just not my personality at all, I love to talk to people but not about the weather!  Anyway I digress, I then drove to Lichfield which I've never really walked round before and didn't realise there were as many shops as there are, I may have to return another day!  I was in Lichfield because my wonderful friend had given me a voucher for my birthday to use at www.bodybeautifuldayspa.co.uk/ and oh did I spend it well, I opted for an aromatherapy body and Indian head massage, it was a lovely 90 minutes and I got to chill out on their massage chair for half hour beforehand too as I was early.  I then had a walk round the market and bought me some fruit, strawberries in February for £1 a tub and they were sweet, HOW!  I wasn't going to try and work that one out, just enjoy.  I might have to find me a market to go to more often as the fruit and veg looked much fresher. 

Got home about four, cooked mom and me egg and actifry chips then we chilled out for the rest of the day, giggling at silly stuff and having quality time together, I've been so busy the last few weeks, I've suddenly realised even though we're in the same house, I've missed my mom!  When I do get to sit down, I've been too tired to even concentrate on the tv screen, let alone hold a conversation. 

Every now and again, I have that realisation that I need to slow down and when I get it I do, so that's the plan, there are a few things I've agreed to that I still have to do but that's my lot, I need me time, mom time, my life time and it feels great to have realised that.

Having said that I'm so not ready for today (oops!), got my meeting this morning, then I'm driving to Stoke, (must sort out the address of where I'm going), for an area meeting, so I'll not be home till 6ish I reckon!  I need to sort myself this morning, I've got to pack up all the obsolete stuff to take with me and return. 

Got my Dinner planned though, thanks to massive garlic bulbs I purchased from the market and some cheap chicken legs I had from Asda on Thursday, I'm going to make 40 cloves of garlic chicken, one of my all time favourite meals.  I'm going to throw it all in the slow cooker though, I've not done that before, so we shall see if it works.  At least I'll have a meal to come home to later.  Here's the recipe;

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic Serves 4, 13pp each

2 tbsp regular olive oil                                                   8 chicken thighs (skin on, bone in)

1 bunch (about 6) spring onions                                small bunch fresh thyme

40 garlic cloves (approx 3-4 bulbs), unpeeled         2 tbsp dry white wine

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.

If I decide to go with F&H, by removing the skin off the legs, it'll be much better, I can omit the oil too if I don't bother with the searing.  I'll just add a chicken oxo cube dissolved in some boiling water to give it a bit of juice.  I'm gonna throw in a diced carrot too!  I'm totally changing the recipe ain't I, the only thing that's staying the same is the 40 cloves of garlic!  Because I don't have fresh thyme either, unless there's some on the bush outside still!

Hey ho, we're having slow cooker garlic chicken for Dinner tonight, I'll let you know how it turns out.  But first I need to shower, pack boxes, load my car, get my slow cooker dinner on and go weigh my super Saturday gang.

Ooo and a bit of breakfast too of course!

Whatever you're doing this weekend BeYOUtiful, remember to slow down to the speed of life and take time doing those things that matter to you and spending time with those people you love. xx

Friday, 27 February 2015

Today is all about ME ;)

27th February 2015
When your choice is to be right or to be kind, always make the choice that brings peace.  Wayne Dyer

Yesterday was a fab day, actually my meetings have been great this week, I've noticed lots of members who've been struggling for whatever reasons all seemed ready and more determined to get back to it, maybe it's the lighter nights that are lifting our moods.

Two of my BeYOUtiful members achieved their goals too which is always fantastic, and this photo was posted in my members closed facebook group;

Sally really has put shown there that it is a journey and one that isn't easy or straightforward, but persistence really does pay off! 

I had me a delicious F&H day yesterday, crumpets, egg and tomatoes for breakfast.  Salmon, mash, corn on the cob and leeks for lunch and steak and left over mash with the leftover tomatoes for tea, all of it was delicious!  I used some of my weeklies for some of the red stuff, Thursday's is one day I don't have to get up at silly o'clock and leave early so I can enjoy a glass ;) although I was still up before 6! 

Mom and I watched the Brits and obviously I knew what was coming up with the Madonna slip but moms memory is so bad that she'd forgotten all about anything that she may have heard about it earlier in the day, so I taped her reaction, here it is if you want to view, I know some of you really love her and enjoy her antics, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FC2YcdV7qU is the youtube link, or https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152985445010862&l=9171178616731074545 for the facebook link.  She's just an absolute diamond and once this week's out of the way I intend to pull back on some of the extra work I've been doing to spend time with her.

Life really is too short to spend all of your time at work no matter how much you enjoy it!  A wonderful member expressed her concern to me yesterday and I was very touched by the fact she cared, what made me laugh was when it became a conversation between a few of us, the idea of me "making myself ill" from overworking ended with most people saying "and then who would look after your mom".  This really made me giggle, what about me!  Who would look after ME.  It was a conversation that once more proved woman mostly look after everyone else before thinking about themselves, they put everyone's needs ahead of their own, which is why so many of them have that weight problem to start with!

We need to realise we matter too, we are as important as everyone else.  Yes it's true that if I don't take care of myself, I can't take care of my mom, but my health is equally as important not less than, and the same goes for all of us.  We're all equal on the importance scale, if there is such a thing.

So today, put your own needs first for a change, I truly intend too, I'm off to have my hair cut, then going for an aromatherapy massage and an Indian head massage which my friend bought me a voucher for my birthday and I'm going to really enjoy a me day. 

Whatever you're up to, make time for you, remember you're important too and enjoy whatever you do. xx

Thursday, 26 February 2015

write that success story 1 day at a time...

26th February 2015
Learn to let things you cannot control go.

Oh ma'an my alarm clock just scared the life out of me!  I wasn't ready for that, normally I'm well awake before it decided to go off and it was so load, I need to sort it out so it starts playing music or something, that's a heart attack alarm at the moment.

I made it through day one of my new journal, I started it yesterday morning, took my measurements too, I even took a before photo, but not the normal full length on, just one side shot of my belly ;-) that's enough motivation for now.  I measured out the milk I use in one cuppa then throughout the day counted how many drinks I had so I was 100% accurate with my tracking.

I ended my day on 28pp, earned 1pp on my fitbit so I've used one weekly.  I've started my week from yesterday and drawn a line under everything that's gone before.  I've made a mess of the first page from a "neat" point of view and that's how I plan to continue it, it's not about perfection, it's about persistence and progress.

My lunch was absolutely scrumptious, treated myself to scallops in garlic butter from Co-op reduced to £4.50 (ouch I know) but they were lush for 8pp, and I had them over large mushrooms and veg, really tasted.  Breakfast too was good if not too many ProPoints at 10pp, which mean my tea was soup and a warby thin with beef on it for 8pp.  Need to get some shopping in but I need time to sit and think about what to buy, just too busy this week to think, but that's all changing, I'm going to limit the work I do in future.  There's the long term cover I've agreed to and in addition to the meetings and other stuff I already do, that's more than enough.  I need my work/life balance back, I don't want to be too tired for the part of my life when I'm not at work!

I'm thinking crumpets, tomato and egg for breakfast, that way I can go either F&H or ProPoints today when I decide what to have the rest of the day!  There's salmon in the freezer, that's an option, I have rice or potato to have with that, mash is a favourite food of the moment so I may opt for that, then for tea, I could be lazy with homemade egg fried rice, quick and easy to cook.  Mmm, I'm remembering how to do this lower ProPointed healthy eating stuff.  It's one thing always eating healthy, but healthy doesn't necessarily mean weight loss when you eat the portion sizes I've got into the habit of having!

Yeah my journal has re-focused me just the way I hoped, as it says in the front,
"Tracking works, keeping a note of everything you eat and drink is an effective tool for successful weight loss. 

And as Emma commented on my blog yesterday, "I always tracked on paper and I'd never completed a whole journal before (after many attempts) but bought one and decided to really try with it and take it 1 week at a time. I'm now on week 7 and love it! You can't avoid what's written on previous weeks and gives you a nice view of your progress."

How true is that, you can't avoid what's written!  Mmm, this could be the reality reminder I need to keep me focused and remembering why and how I'm doing it, tracking is how I got to goal originally, I didn't have any of the advantages of using the 'app' or 'esource' back then, it was pen and paper, so here's to the written success.

We make our own success BeYOUtiful, let's start writing our success story one page at a time. xx

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Make time for you...

25th February 2015
When you love what you have then you have everything you need.

Busy day yesterday, feel like I need to slow my mind down to get through this week and that's the plan today, focus on one task at a time and get that done before starting the next one, realise that there is only one of me and I can only do one thing at a time and so much in a day and enjoy my day. 

Yesterday I really enjoyed my meetings, we had some real good chats and a few realisations, one of which was that we have to make ourselves a priority and not just take care of everyone else.  That can be difficult sometimes especially for busy and caring moms, daughters and I'm not going to leave out the men here because I don't believe it's just woman that behave that way.  So if you're one of those that puts others first constantly, remind yourself that you matter too and you need to look after yourself because if you don't look after you, you won't have the energy to look after anyone else.

I realised Monday when I drove to Maidenhead, I had thought about my mom and her medication, food etc, but hadn't even considered my own!  This needs to change, we both matter.

I've realised I need to stop and take stock, something isn't working with my weight loss at the moment and so something needs to change.  I'm not making it enough of a priority, which means I'm not making me enough of a priority.  My attention is going on the wrong things so I'm removing some of those distractions, even silly things like I joined an online book club so have been trying to read a book  to contribute to the talk and I don't want to really read that book!  So guess what, I won't I've left that group, problem sorted.  The books still on my phone and I can read it when I do want to, rather than feel under pressure to get through it.

Yep I'm all for slowing down to the speed on my life again, I like the calm, steady life I've created, I don't want to be rushing round like a loony.  Taking on this Saturday meeting till October has added more work so after this week I need to not take on more, I'm working 6 out of 7 days this week and it's too much, I know some people do it all the time, but I don't want to.

Life is short, we only get so many hours to live and as much as I truly enjoy my job, I don't want to spend all of those hours at work.  I want to have the energy to feel like spending an hour in the kitchen cooking my lunch, to want to go for a walk when the sun does show it's face and the day is dry, I want to be able to sit down with my mom and chat about nothing. 

Yeah I've woke up this morning in more ways than one.  Chatting with my members yesterday and listening to them work their stuff out has helped me to work mine out. 

Oh I'm in danger of getting too serious here, and as we haven't talked food yet I'll change the subject!  I tried crocodile burgers yesterday, had them from Iceland, they fell apart whilst cooking so ended up as crocodile mince, they were okay, but I wouldn't buy again, 3pp each if you want to try.  My favourite food yesterday was Heinz curry beans, I hadn't had them for such a long time and they were delicious and I will definitely be eating them again!  I can see them becoming a regular tea time after work meal, beans on toast! 

I may have the leftovers for my breakfast ;-)

Just decided I'm starting a new journal, it's a running joke that I've never completed a whole 12 weeks of one, could this be a first?  It'd take me to the 19th May, a lovely time of year, let's see if I can do it then shall we!  Wish me luck...

Have a BeYOUtiful day, make time for you. xx