Thursday, 30 July 2009

Gardening Update

The garden has been really great this year (I have seen it from time to time when it hasn't been raining) but it is now starting to turn more towards Autumn. The hanging baskets are beginning to droop and the petunias and geraniums in the window boxes have seen better days too!

With this in mind, we have been taking even more care of the vegetable box at the bottom of the garden. The sugar snap peas were brilliant and will be dug up this weekend (we are thinking of adding more green beans).

Below are some photos which I took last night.

A shot looking at the tomato plants. We have four plants this year.

A close up of some of the tomatoes. We plan to use some for salads and the bigger ones for sauces.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Weekend Baking

Mum and I did some baking at the weekend with great success.

First up was Smitten Kitchen’s Blueberry Bait Boy. Just the name made me want to make it, and I will continue to make this cake from now on – it is good!

Of course, I didn’t stick completely to the recipe as I didn’t have any unsalted butter in and so used salted butter and added the teaspoon of salt to the flour by accident. I think it made it better as it then had a slightly salty taste to offset the sweetness of the batter. The recipe serving was for 12 and it was perfect for us to eat at home and for me to take into work. It saved well and was fine on the third day when the rest of it was devoured!

The second dish was Quiche Lorraine from Michel Roux’s book ‘Pastry’. I bought this book after receiving his book ‘Eggs’ which I adore. Mum had the task of pastry which was beautiful (even though the first pastry case fell out of the oven and had to be made again). I’m not usually a fan of Quiche Lorraine because the bacon is never cooked enough, so instead of boiling the bacon as it suggested in the book we friend the bacon slightly, then drained and cooled it before adding it to the quiche. Also we used cheddar (which was already in the fridge) instead of gruyere.

I’m sorry that the photos aren’t that great, I took them with my camera phone. But dinner and pudding on both occasions were fantastic. I can’t wait to make more quiches, and found the recipe so easy to follow from Smitten Kitchen that I hope to find another recipe for dinner next weekend.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Good News

I arrived very early for my weigh in last night, in fact, I was there before the trainer had finished bringing her weighing scale in.

After being told off for not going to the classes for ages, I stood on the scale. I had a figure in mind - I was sure that I would be the same weight as when I started the class or more.

I was shocked - I have actually lost half a pound! Oh, I know that is only small but this is quite shocking considering that I ate out every lunchtime last week, also went to dinner with my mum and had a burger after the cinema.

I am completely spurred on. Already this morning I have drunk a glass of water and eaten my bran flakes (although Violet ate the last bit and drunk the milk!)

I have also been spurred on by who has lost 13lbs by following recipes from the Martha Stewart magazines and also thinking 'would Martha eat this?' I love the idea of losing weight whilst not really realising that you are doing it. There is no hardship in this diet at all, and from what I see from the website, the food eaten is very balanced with some naughty bits chucked in as well.

Am off to get a cup of tea and an apple!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Plans Changing and Continual Crying

Oh goodness, I blogged that I would be going for my weigh in which I didn't attend. Instead I went to see My Sister's Keeper with a friend.

I had been expecting to cry throughout the film as I had read the book, and the ending I had read on a bus into London crying my eyes out. I had vowed therefore to see the film on a day when I had no mascara or eye make up at all on - panda eyes never looks good on anyone. You can guess what happened.

We had been due to see the film on the Thursday (and hence I would have made my weigh in) but the 2 for 1 with my Orange mobile made us think that we could save £10 if we went on the Wednesday - this was the day that I had made a real effort with my makeup and was therefore fearful that it would be a total mess when I left the cinema.

The film is sad, not as sad as the book, but I was crying within the first half an hour. In fact, by the end everyone was crying so much that this made my friend and I laugh - I had never heard so much sobbing before.

My makeup survived two hours of crying but I worry that I may soon cry again asmy waistline (I use the term loosely) has given up. Last week I ate out every lunchtime - two jacket potatoes, sandwich and chips in the pub, fish and chips and a bowl of soup.

Next week I start dieting properly again. The goal is 1,200 calories from the Rosemary Conley book and then take it from there.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The Big Weigh In

Its a whole month since I last went to my dieting class 'fat club' as it is commonly referred to. Last time, I had gained, I hold out very little hope for tonight.

My mentality is this : best to aim for the worst possible result and then if it is anything better you are winning! Its the approach I take when I look at my bank balance as well.

The class is through Rosemary Conley and when you sign up you receive emails from her once a month with encouragement - mine arrived in my mailbox this morning. It stated that giving in to small temptations can seriously undermine everything (a plain rich tea biscuit holds 40 calories, a chocolate one has 80).

I will eat a healthy lunch, bypass the clotted cream biscuits a colleague brought back from her holiday to Cornwall, and drink lots of water, in the hope that it won't be too bad!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Happy 60th Birthday Mum!

Building our snowman in the garden last winter.
It's my mum's 60th birthday today. We are not really celebrating, but I am going against her wishes and we will have cake and flowers will be delivered.
Our family is very small, there is Mum, Dad, myself and Violet (the dog) in our house, with my sister Polly living in Sheffield. Mum and Dad both have brothers and sisters but they aren't very close and we don't really see them.
I often look at these gatherings that people have for birthdays, Christmas, Easter and wish that we had the same. I always have plenty of ideas for these celebrations but we just don't do them.
Still, mum has chosen to have a quiet birthday, so maybe we might celebrate later in the year. (My birthday which was in February is still on hold, as there were no presents that I wanted and I went out with friends instead of with mum and dad). There's still time.
Happy birthday mum. I hope that you fulfil all of your dreams and start living more. Just make sure you don't end up in the category of 'and she never danced again'.
Love you lots.

Emotions Run High

I am feeling very unsettled at the moment. This has been going on for quite a while. Ever since plans for my mum's birthday erupted. I think because I didn't jump in and argue from the beginning which is my usual way and instead sat back that it made things worse, because for a while I was angry at the wrong person.

My plans to take mum off for the day had been scuppered by dad who was no keen on being left out, not that he wanted to come out anyway and of course, comes up with no plans of his own - EVER.

I have felt sad about this ever since. Mum decided that she wanted no celebration at all - no cards, no presents, no cake, nothing. I love a good celebration, I get my Martha books and magazines out and start plotting. I was aiming for this to be wonderful, a proper celebration for the three of us. But it wasn't to be.

Last night I argued with dad (who is completely to blame for this). And then I cried, lots. My emotions have been all over the place recently and I feel very unsettled.