Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Weekly Report

I meant to post on Monday, its now Wednesday and the week has slipped away from me (again).

The past week also flew by, trying to get birthday cards, Father's Day cards and gifts (I buy from both me and Violet the dog), looking at presents on Etsy and trying to figure out something to do with mum for her upkeeping 60th birthday.

The problem was, at work, the internet was down. From Tuesday morning until Monday morning. I love the internet, and as soon as you can't have something you just want it more. Which meant that I was spending my evenings trying to get things done without mum coming in and working out my plans.


- Cards - purchased. except my card to mum.

- Presents - not purchased. The Father's Day gift is done. Quite boring - Boots things -but the offer on L'Oreal products was too much to pass up.

- Etsy - I have bookmarked items including a gorgeous pair of earring for a friends birthday even though it isn't until October.

- Mum's birthday - was all sorted out and then dad kicked up a stink about being left out and so mum has cancelled her WHOLE birthday!!! This isn't a whim either, she is more stubborn than me which is saying something. It's such a shame as well - I had the whole thing planned.

First, the train ride to Brighton (it wouldn't take too long and I planned on getting some goodies to take with us and for us to pick up a coffee before getting the train).

Then treatments at Champneys I thought the Collagen Enriched Anti Ageing Facial and Luxury Manicure sounded pretty good.

Then on to Jamie Oliver's Italian Restaurant . The antipasti description had me hooked, and I was salivating just thinking about it.

It sounded pretty good. A bit of shopping in The Lanes. So far it is on hold, but I am ever hopeful of changing her mind. The thing is, it is meant to be a surprise trip out, and if I tell her what it is then there really is no fun in it!

The weekend went past quickly, Saturday was busy making cakes for a summer fete. In total we did Nigella's chocolate fudge cake (x2), lemon cake, coffee and walnut cake, Martha Stewart's peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. It was all hands to the stove, we started at 6.30am with tray after tray of cookies and were finished by lunchtime. I was pleased to hear that the two chocolate cakes had been sold for £25 and in total the fete raised over £600 pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

I had a barbeque in the afternoon and prepared a fruit salad and strawberry galette. There was so much food though, the desserts weren't eaten so were pretty much wasted. I brought them home but the galette had got a bit soggy and the fruit ended up being made into coulis to have with ice cream.

I always aspire to be like Martha Stewart, or one of these people from other blogs that I look at, who I know would never dream of taking a shop bought dessert, but I do sometimes wonder if all my efforts for the barbeque were wasted.

This week has started better. A friends birthday is today, and we bought a massage voucher and earrings. Also, had lunch today and am out with her tonight for dinner. We are also holding drinks tomorrow (I hope the weather stays good so that we can sip our drinks in the sunshine).

My goals for the rest of the week are:

- get the skirting board fixed in my room.
- sort out the TV in my room.
- order items from Etsy - add to the list for other birthdays coming up.
- buy stamps (always running out).
- try and sort out plans for my two days off next week and see if I can get mum to come out.


Monday, 8 June 2009

Gardening Update

Another weekend, another gardening hour or so!

The weather wasn't on our side for most of the weekend but in between heavy rain mum and I were out in the garden with our new plants.
Our trip to Garsons Farm in Esher had been a success. We were so happy, especially after not getting anything from Squires the weekend before. Our purchases were:
- a new terracota pot
- a poppy plant
- a delphinium plant
- more bedding plants
- petit pois.

The garden is looking really good. I dead-headed the peony bush, and mum sorted out a bush near the bottom of the garden that was overhanging onto the path.

At the bottom of the garden where we have our vegetable plot two new tomato plants have been added as well as six petit pois plants. The rocket was removed and we have now planted lettuce.

From the back of the garden. We only keep a few vegetables here and grow the larger vegetables at our allotment.

The sugar snap peas are coming on well. At the bottom of the photo are two lines of spring onions.

The tomato plants (two more were added this weekend).

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Hope shattered again

The title may be a little overdramatic - but the joy was there!

I will set the scene. I picked up the new Martha Stewart Living magazine (June) on my way home. I had nipped into WH Smith on the off chance that it had arrived, spotted it immediately paid for it and jumped on the bus. I skimmed the magazine and started reading Martha's calendar but the bus driver was like a maniac and we were at my stop before I got halfway down the page.

I then had 'Salsacise' exercise class with a friend, so didn't get back to finish reading until about 9.30 inbetween shouting at the TV (we had The Apprentice on). Then I shrieked "Martha's coming to London - her Visa has been sorted out!". I was in a sort of hysteria by then. Clutching to the magazine and pointing it at my mum. "What will you do?" she said. "I don't know I said". But then I started hatching out my plan. It was too late to be getting on with my investigations and I knew that if I started it would never get finished. I decided to wait until the next day. But I knew my plan - email Martha through her blog, email Andrew Ritchie of Martha Moments to see if he had any ideas and then email Wedgwood.

You see, mum and I had both had tickets to see Martha last year at Harrods for her to launch her Wedgwood design but then it had been cancelled due to her Visa not being allowed by the UK.

Then the sadness came:

I emailed Martha's blog (the blog (something about hay) was taken away and my comment wasn't authorised). And then my mind started thinking, surely it was about this time last year when she was due over... I checked my diary (I could have cried). And then Andrew Ritchie confirmed my worst fears - it had been a misprint, there have been no changes in Martha's Visa rights.

I long to meet Martha, to see what she looks like up close, to say hello to get and have my 'Martha Moment'. I am sure my time will come to meet her, I will just have to work doubly hard to make sure that it does!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Half the year gone - time to set some new goals

Its amazing to find that half of 2009 has already gone. I had two goals for the year - to lose weight and to sort my finances out.

So far, not so great.

The problem is with my first goal - losing weight. Things started quite well, I started swimming, lost a little weight. But then did a detox (not a great idea), gave up caffeine and sugar (an even worse idea). I have since joint Rosemary Conley slimming classes. These are held once a week in a local school gym. You are weighed (privately) and then you do an aerobics class. I go with a friend from work. So far the results have been 'okay'. Out of nine weigh-ins I have put weight on three times. I am still at a weight lower than when I started the class (a Good Thing).

I have been attempting to lose weight for about 10 years. My weight has pretty much stayed the same (large). My goal at the beginning of the year had been to get a pretty dress from Hobbs or LK Bennett for the office summer party, but due to the economic trouble we aren't having one. So there was no point in continuing with that goal.

Also, when the dieting doesn't go my way (i.e. I only lose 1lb after a gruelling week of no caffeine/sugar) I then go and eat a Big Mac, large fries and milkshake, followed by two weeks of eating anything I want. I need new goals and to start afresh.

Therefore my goals are:

1. to continue to attend the Rosemary Conley classes;
2. to keep a positive attitude to losing weight (Oprah is seeing it as looking after her body more than a diet).
3. to be, by Christmas a weight that I am happy with.

Gardening in May

The garden has been looking exceptionally nice recently, with the peonies in bloom, roses coming out and the hydrangea growing more and more.

Over the past few years I have grown more fond of the garden and use Martha Stewart as my inspiration - the addition of more peony plants (bringing the total to four) and another hydrangea. We have also added more lavender along the path which will smell beautiful very soon.

In addition to the flowers at the back of the garden there is room for a car to be parked. A few years ago we installed a vegetable plot. Currently we have tomatoes, spring onions, peppers, cucumbers, lambs lettuce, sugar snaps and rocket growing. This past weekend we were able to walk to the end of the garden and pick fresh mint and rocket for lunch.

I am very fond of the garden at this time of the year and make sure that I come around the back of the house and through the garden on my way home. It is even better when Violet greets me down the path.

Here are some recent photos of the garden:

Looking down the garden.

From the patio. Mum's olive tree (a present for Mother's day), the new bird house and clematis growing up the fence (the roses are pouring over from our next door neighbour's garden).