Thursday, 31 December 2009

2010 here we come!

Wishing you all a very happy New Year.  I am looking forward to 2010 and hope that this is my best year yet.  I have lots of exciting things planned for this blog, so I can't wait to get going.

Happy New Year.


Saturday, 26 December 2009

2009 Review

As soon as Christmas is over I start thinking about what I want to achieve in the New Year.  I have been thinking a lot about my achievements in 2009 and I am incredibly proud of what I have done in the last 365 days or so. 

I decided that 2009 needed to be my year of change.  Oprah was changing her life, America was getting a new president who offered the hope of change and therefore I decided to follow suit and do the same thing.  I set myself two goals - to lose weight and sort out my finances. I decided that I needed to document what I was doing so I set up my blog in May 2009. 

Weight Loss
The year started well and I took off with my very healthy eating, but it soon fell by the wayside and in February a friend and I joined Rosemary Conley weight loss classes, with a weigh in first and then an exercise class.  In total I lost 8lbs but as my friend got sick I started to find excuses not to attend the classes alone and by June I had given up.  It took until the end of September to start on the Special K diet and I am pleased to say that I have now lost a stone and a half.  There is more dieting to be done but I don't pig out as I used to but feel more in control.  I look forward to continuing to lose weight next year.

This has also gone well.  I didn't use my credit card from January until October.  However, from October I have used it and when I look back I have used it for really silly things - Starbucks coffee comes to mind!  I have managed however, to pay off a lot of my credit card and I am really proud about this.  I will continue to pay off the credit card next year, and I hope that by the end of 2010 I have got my spending really under control.

I hold family as my top priority, but although relationships with my parents have grown stronger I have not made any inroads with my sister.  She lives a couple of hundred miles away and I very rarely speak/communicate with her.  My sister is 18 months younger than me and I have always seen comparisons made between us and this is where we don't get on.  My goal for 2010 is to be a better sister.  I would like to understand her better and get to know her again.

As I write this I have a sore throat, but I have been in good health this year.  I took three days off sick from work this year - two with a bad headache (caused by stress which I didn't manage too well) and the other with this sore throat.  My teeth caused me problems in October (which caused the stress mentioned above).  This has been sorted out now though, and it gave me the opportunity to look more closely at my health and making sure that I took care of myself better for the future.  I also had my first hospital procedure where I had a benign lump removed from my right arm.  I now have a one inch scar on my arm which I will continue to treat with Bio Oil to reduce the scar. 

My diary informs me that I have been to one gallery in 2009 (National Portrait in London), been to the ballet once (Swan Lake), the theatre once (Lion King), the cinema seven times, a book signing (Bill Granger) and away to Sheffield once to see my sister graduate and to New York with mum.  I also saw a taping of the Martha Stewart show.

I am looking forward to seeing what I can achieve in 2010.  My diary shows that it has been a busy year and I hope that in 2010 I focus more on relationships, try new things and develop into a better person, I also want to make this blog more personal, better designed and  something to be proud of - a love life wouldn't go a miss either!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Martha Mondays - Vinegar Glossed Chicken

December has been a difficult month.  My grandad continues to be in hospital following another fall as soon as he came out of hospital.  And in general the month has been pretty chaotic juggling work, parties, Christmas chores and everything else that seems to happen just when you could do with a break. 

But, I found time to do the Vinegar Glossed Chicken.  I am keen to start trying more of the flavoured oils and vinegars and found the red wine vinegar with ease in the supermarket.  I changed the recipe only slightly in that I did skinless chicken breast instead of skinned chicken.  I never eat meat which has the bone in it, and we never buy chicken with the skin on. 

The recipe was easy to make and it was enjoyed (I served it with Muse in the Kitchen's garlic rice).  I wish there had been more 'sauce' on the chicken and I would be tempted to use more sauce next time.  I see this as work in progress.  I will definently try it again and might cook it with some onion next time. 

I'm sorry but there is no photo this time as my camera on my phone is not working (another thing to get sorted out)!

I hope to do a post before Christmas, but if not, then I wish you a very wonderful Christmas full of fun, warmth and holiday spirit.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Christmas in the Singer household

There is no denying that I love Christmas. In fact I start thinking of Christmas in summer (which is like winter anyway). By September I have already started shopping and by October I am singing carols.

This last week has been very hectic. A trip to New York (which I will blog about some day) and then straight back to London to learn that my grandfather had had a fall and was in hospital. With our suitcases still to be unpacked we drove up to see him (he lives about 150 miles away) and when I saw him again today, he is progressing quite well in hospital. Although at 92 we are taking each day slowly.

Anyway, as both mum and I are tired after such a hectic and stressful week we decided that the best thing to do for a day of 'rest' was to deck the house out for Christmas.

So, here are the first photos of our decorating. Wreath (ala Eddie Ross) photo will come shortly when I find some decent ribbon. And we always get our tree the week before Christmas (the 18th I hope).

This jug and bowl with the blue small bowl always sit on this ledge above our stairs. The candles were plain Ikea ones which mum added ribbon to.

A little tree sitting on the stairs (I think I may add to this at some stage).

The fireplace in our living room. Our theme in the living room is gold and red but we decided to stick to red with the baubles. We added a piece of wood to the top of the mantel piece (a Martha suggestion) so that we could hang the snowflakes without damaging the wood.

Red baubles at the window in the living room. The silver ones were left up after last year and look great all year round. The garland on the window sill has red and gold baubles and there are two red candles holders at the end.

I hope you are all getting very festive.