Hello and welcome to my blog. I've been getting some thoughts & feelings, exasperations and the odd happy moment down on the blog which helps my sanity and, I hope, provides a little entertaining read for you for a couple of minutes!

Right now I am mostly concentrating on getting through a rocky financial patch which I really hope will be cleared (all being well) by the end of Summer 2013. In the meantime I need to concentrate on continuing to do well in my "new" job (actually got it in Sept 2011 but it still feels new!) and living my life as frugally as possible.

Thanks for stopping by and if you leave me an encouraging comment, it'll make my day. :-)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

I Go Away For a Week and Look What Happens!

Hi there!  Well, lookie here....Blogger's got a whole new look!  At least it has on my input screen, I presume it has on yours too?  Not sure what I think about it to be honest but I guess I will just have to get used to it won't I?

So how are you all today?  Dodging the showers out there hopefully!  Hi to new followers and thanks for the recent comments as well.

So, going back to work was awful as you would expect but once I got into the swing of things again I guess it wasn't soooo bad.  I really detest getting up early though so having a long week off where things are a little more leisurely makes it even worse when things get back to normal!  I asked a friend of mine once, who is a very very early riser, how she did it when the alarm went off at such ungodly hours (in my opinion anyway!) and the answer was pretty simple.  "Well we all have to get up at some point so I just get on with it!".  Can't argue with that and I do try and keep that in the forefront of my mind on the days when I am tempted to hit snooze for that bit of extra zzz time...a slippery slope that is!

As you can probably imagine, I was happy for the weekend to arrive but I haven't really done anything exciting with it....but to be honest that is fine by me!  I had a massive basket of washing to sort out as well as the sheets & towels as ever, a frugal meal plan to, errr, plan, dinner to cook last night, chores to be done around the house and some Wii fit exercise to be carried out!

The Wii fit exercise was crowbarred into my day last Monday after a shocking revelation on some scales recently (pre-holiday time).  Although to look at me you wouldn't say I am overweight, three pairs of scales and numerous body charts all tell a very different story.  By about a stone and a half apparently!  Now, I am 5' 7" (67cm to those of you who work with sensible measuring systems) and weighed in at 12st 13 (181 pounds or just over 82kg)  on a pair of hospital clinic scales.  This is H-E -A-V-Y for a 41 year old female.  However everyone whom I have dared to confide in, bar none, have all said "No!  Really?  You don't look it!" when I made the big reveal.  So I think muscles and big old bone density (yep that old chestnut) really must play a part in this??  Or am I in denial?

I fit into tops that range from a size 8 to a size 12 and trousers which range from a size 12 to a size 14 depending on the make/brand.  (All sizes UK sizes obviously.)  So from that, assume what you will but I would hope you would assume I am not a contender for "A Year To Save My Life - Obese Special".

Anyway the scales scared the bejesus out of me because fairly slim or not fairly slim, nearly 13st is pretty bl00dy heavy and I need to do something about it.  So this week I decided to take action!  So I have signed up to an online calorie logging site (available at Everydayhealth.com if interested) and set a sensible calorie limit which incorporates a 500 calorie drop (per day) to try and lose a pound a week.  I also decided that although when the weather is good I do cycle to work, it's too inconsistent so I need to incorporate more exercise.  So that's why the Wii and the Wii Fit board have been dug back out!

I bought the Wii stuff a few years ago when I got a bonus from a better paid job and although I used it for the first year or so, it then got put away...like so much in life sadly.  But!  Happily I realised this can be a very useful tool in my war on weight so out it came again along with Wii Fit and my Just Dance discs.  I have used it 4 times since last Monday (inclusive).  I weighed myself last night and I am down to 12st 8!  So 5 pounds gone since I weighed myself just before my long week off. 

I am pleased with that and I am really enjoying the extra activities I am doing.  I love the 'step' activity on Wii Fit (though was never interested in it, in real life strangely!), love the jogging (but again you wouldn't catch me outside jogging on the mean streets!), the rhythm boxing is fun as is "Kung Fu Moves" and if you want a real laugh, try the hula hooping!  (I don't do that for too long....you do feel like a plum!)

As for Just Dance, that was made for me.  I absolutely love it.  Some are definitely harder than others but some are easy to follow but give you a great work out.  I love dancing, I always have had dance in my life in one format or another but now I can't get out dancing for real due to lack of funds or facilities (or just feeling too old to even think about going to a club for that sort of dancing!) this helps fill a gap.  I recommend it for some fun movement if you need a bit of activity injected into your day.  I have Just Dance 1, 2 & 3 and I still go back to quite a few on the first disc. 

So, that's what I am up to at the moment, trying to shed a bit of excess baggage!  Wish me luck and if you have any pearls of wisdom to offer....feel free!

Bye for now.


Saturday, 14 April 2012

Trying to Enjoy My Last Two Days Off Work

Hi there, how are you all today?  Welcome to my recent new followers, it's lovely to see you!  And thank you to all who have commented of late.  I see we are all pretty similar when it comes to the National Lottery!  Yes just how lovely it would be to look after those nearest & dearest to us as well as enjoying some financial freedoms ourselves.

So here I am, the last two days off of work before back on the bike and back to the grindstone on Monday morning.  I am still massively grateful I have left the other awful place I worked at before but I am not going to pretend I'm looking forward to going back to work after such a nice week off!  I think that's probably another thing we're mostly all in agreement on isn't it?  But it has been lovely with a good balance of relaxation, busy times and seeing friends and my Mum too.

So it's a fairly sunny day today but fresh...the wind is a little chilly but it's good washing drying weather for the towels and other "whites" I washed overnight.  I was awake at about 8.30am this morning when postie knocked for a signed delivery and I was up & about properly not long after that.  I have given the kitchen and bathroom a clean and I really should give the lounge a once over but I appear to be glued to the sofa with Liverpool v Everton on the radio!  Anyway all housework was done on Tuesday so it's hardly a hovel.  I'll get my act together when the game finishes and whip the vacuum cleaner around and a duster.

We're off out tonight to a comedy show.  I bought a couple of tickets for Jo Caulfield a while ago with the intention of taking a lady I work with, as a thank you for all the lifts she'd given me to work over the Winter period but unfortunately it didn't pan out as her sister subsequently booked the same date for her wedding...how very dare she!  Some people are all self self self aren't they?  Only joking obviously.  So anyway, hubby is coming with me tonight - it's the first night out since his birthday treat in February when we went to see the Spaghetti Western Orchestra (who were brilliant).  I am looking forward to going out, it is a bit of a drive but not too bad.  Part of me would like to just snuggle up on the sofa tonight with a film but I will go out and hopefully have a good giggle.

Tomorrow I am really hoping will be dry even if not sunny as I would like to get out for a walk and get some fresh air/exercise.  I am carrying some extra weight at the moment even though my friends have said they can't see where, I know that I am as two pairs of scales have told me so!  So I really need to start getting some more exercise as well as watching what I eat for a while.  I'm still fitting into all my clothes though so it's hopefully salvageable!

Well I do hope that you are all having a good weekend, whatever that involves for you.  Wish me luck for Monday....!

Bye for now. xx

Thursday, 12 April 2012

I Won The Lottery!!!

I bought a ticket last week on the spur of the moment for two draws.  Nothing on Saturday which left the Wednesday 11th draw.  I woke up this morning and daydreamed about how great it would be if last night's draw had been kind to me then decided to check the results on my mobile.  And I thought "Hang on....I've got at least three of those..." so I bolted out of bed and ran down to where the lottery ticket was, and...I had............four numbers!

So that was better than a poke in the eye with a stick!  £99 in my hands less than half an hour later after a quick dash to make myself decent and get round to Tesco to take some money off them for a change!

So early retirement and generous gifts will have to wait for now (!) but what a nice start to the day eh?

It's allowed me to fill my little car up with petrol, put some cash away for next week's groceries, get some stamps & greetings cards, treat hubby & I to a bottle of wine each (and him a packet of posh coffee....a real treat for his weekend mornings with marmalade on toast!) and I added a little bit to my Body Shop voucher today to get myself three of my favourite products.   I have a bit left as well which I will use tomorrow when I meet a good friend for a chat and a cuppa.

I also discovered that I had £1 left online in my Lottery account (I don't use it frequently) so I have picked 6 random numbers for this Saturday's draw.  This allows me to wake up Saturday morning and allow myself to daydream again....  :-)

Winning the lottery is a little daydream I have and I am not a person who spends pounds a week on trying.  It's just a pound here and there and that allows me to dream occasionally.  I do get lost in my little daydreams, it's true!

As well as the obvious things like being able to pay my mortgage off, I'd truly love the opportunity to make a difference to family & friends' lives.  And I would really be grateful for an opportunity to visit my friend who emigrated to Australia in 2010. 

But I would also try and plough money into local schemes and charities.  I would like to buy some wells for villages in 3rd world countries where clean water is so badly needed, plough some money into World Vision's scheme where they loan money to small businesses that want to start up in some of the world's poorest countries.  Sometimes people just need a chance to turn their lives around and not just a handout.

I'd also buy a massive vat of vanilla body lotion obviously!  ;-)

What would you do with a big lottery win?  

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Holidays Continue...

Good evening to you.

Well the Easter break is officially over - did you indulge?  I must confess I did munch my way through one egg and three little packs of treat chocolates that came with it!  My hubby bought me the egg and who was I to say "No no darling please take it back!"   That so wasn't going to happen....

I treated hubby to a dairy free Easter Egg which he said was tasty.  It came with little caramel chocolates which again, were tasty I am told.  I couldn't resist, I bought him a Lindt dark chocolate bunny as well...they're so cute!  He's worth spoiling.

So a lot of people were back to work today but I booked some annual leave to extend the holidays so I have all this week off too.  I get 27 days a year plus Bank Holidays (which is generous I acknowledge) so I wanted to enjoy that feeling of getting to Bank Holiday Monday evening and knowing I didn't have to worry about work the next day...or the day after that...or the day after that and so on!   Loving it.

So far with my time off work/the holidays, I have seen my Mum for the day (she lives about 70 miles away), watched world championship track cycling on the tv (a love of mine), cleaned the house from top to bottom, caught up on a lot of washing between rain showers, seen or am seeing friends, done the grocery shopping, got my ironing out of the way (did that on my first day off so it was done and not hanging around waiting to ruin my last day off!  Good idea I thought...), enjoyed a birthday....and still got  five more days! 

For my birthday I did get some John Lewis vouchers and a Body Shop gift card.  I can't tell you how excited I am about this.  I know I know that a lot of you can't bear shopping or perhaps you think vouchers are boring but for me this is brilliant.  I absolutely love seeking out lovely smelling toiletries for ones ablutions!  And body lotions to follow. 

John Lewis have a body lotion by Australian Organics called "Evening Primrose" which includes patchouli which smells completely divine.  That's on the hit list.  It's not outrageously priced but it's not cheap either.  Definitely a treat to be had and using vouchers is perfect for such a thing. 

And as for The Body Shop, I could literally buy everything they do for shower & body!  I especially love the vanilla & Neroli ranges.

I shall be stocking up on bits and bobs which will see me through for months and months and I shall enjoy perusing and choosing.  Getting ready in the mornings is not anywhere near so much of a chore when you're using gorgeously scented and animal friendly products!

I think I have talked myself into browsing The Body Shop website now to get some ideas!

Bye for now, enjoy your week.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Happy Birthday To Meeeee

Hello there, apologies for the absence of late.  How are you all?

So today was my birthday!  And I feel I have been spoiled rotten.  I had a bit of a lie in then hubby made me breakfast and a cup of tea and gathered up all my cards and presents into a lovely pile on the coffee table.  He made me eat my breakfast before I was allowed to open anything...wise man.

Friends and family have been very sweet and thoughtful and I got some wonderful cards and gifts, all of which I love and am grateful for. 

After texting and emailing lots of thank you messages (I know it's probably nicer to phone but I wouldn't have got off the phone for hours believe me!), it was time to get ready then go out for the day.  We went to the big park in our city to take a walk around and look at the lovely flower beds and we had a hot drink in the little Italian cafe there.  After that we came home and went for another walk around our village area, stopping in at the local chippy for 'open' chips for our lunch.  As we'd been out walking, we felt we were allowed!  :-)

We spent the afternoon at hubby's parents as we haven't seen them for a while and also hubby's elderly Gran is staying there for a while to recuperate from a mini stroke and a fall.  So we could see her too, bless her.

We came home and had home made veggie Mexican food and some drinks.  We didn't venture out anywhere thereafter as it was just so cosy and happy at home, listening to some good music and just enjoying ourselves here.  I am past caring about going into town now....that's for people half my age now (or even younger) which I completely accept.  I wouldn't last 5 minutes!  All that shrieking, crap music and alcohol induced vomiting....euw no thanks.

So hubby has spoiled me, made sure my glass has been topped up, supplied me with chocolate and generally looked after me.  I am lucky and I know it.

Off to bed soon after what feels like a long lovely day and indeed it was a Good Friday.  I hope yours was too.  Enjoy your Easter weekend!

x x x