Sunday, August 16, 2015

My top Cath Kidston Autumn/Winter 2015 picks

I don't know about you, but I much prefer Autumn to Summer and Spring. Perhaps it's because I am a teacher and Autumn always marks a new start, a new academic year, new classes, new timetable, new stationery, new boots etc. I love the first chill in the air and getting candles lit on a snuggly, cold Saturday afternoon whilst curled up on the sofa. I also prefer Autumn clothes; I don't like strappy tops and shorts, they just don't do anything for me at all. I much prefer chunky tights, knee high boots and dresses, so half way through the Summer holidays I have started thinking about Autumn and the new school year. 

As you know, I  LOVE Cath Kidston. My love and indeed, obsession, has definitely grown over the past few years. I now own 6 dresses! I never used to even bother looking at the fashion section, but now I have to steer myself away from it as I want it all. I put about 10 items in my basket tonight but I decided to not buy for the sake of it and in the end I ended up buying something that wasn't in my original basket.

There are hundred, literally hundreds of new items for A/W 2015; I couldn't actually believe the amount of pages there was - I don't remember that many for S/S. I've decided to highlight what my favourites are and what *may* end up in our house over the next couple of months.... I've found though that if you love it, buy it straight away as things go out of stock so quick - for example I really wanted the Cowboy dress, but it's already gone in most sizes!

Anyway, here are my absolute favourites....
Posy drop waist dress £45

Penguin Lace Knickers £7

Bramley Sprig Nightwear Leggings £28

Billie Goes To Town dress £65

Squirrels Travel Purse £12

Woodland Rose cake stand £36

Sausage dog cup and saucer £16

Dino kids long sleeve t-shirt £15
Dino kids hoodie £24

Sausage Dogs kids backpack £28
Knitted Dinosaur £16

Billie Goes To Town set of 4 notebooks £12

Since starting to write this post I may have purchased a few of these items!! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Week 5 on Weight Watchers

So I've been doing this for a month now and I am really into it. I can often guess the points correctly-ish in a food and I am no longer starving all the time. I am really enjoying and feel like I am making a really positive change. Nothing has been off limits, especially wine and I think that helps - if I felt deprived then I wouldn't stick to it. I even managed a weekend away and managed to keep within budget, expect for one portion of chips! So I really haven't done too badly. 

This weeks weigh in result was: 

Technically, this is week 5, but the meeting wasn't on last week due to it being TT week here, so it was my fourth weigh in. I am really pleased once again, especially as it was the holidays and I did have a bit more wine that I didn't point and one glass of cider that I didn't point, so overall I did really well. I definitely think the walking is helping, and on average I am earning 10 activity points a day from my Fitbit. The points for this I was saving, but I did go into them over the holidays. 

I have some great recipes to share next week and last weekend I made a Chinese fakeaway - so yummy, lower in calories and cheaper too! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Week 3 on Weight Watchers

So, I know I am very behind now and I've combined two weeks together, but....

So overall, in 3 weeks, I've lost 8.5lb. My goal for 4 weeks in was 8lb so I'm really pleased! 

However, last week there was no weigh in as it was half term here, so I *may* have had some treats, however, I have pointed everything except one bottle of wine and a Reese's peanut butter cup pack. So I am really hoping I have still managed to lose something, if I haven't then fine, I am back on it now after the holidays. 

I also bought myself a Fitbit, which is one of the best things I have ever bought! I can sync it with my Weight Watchers app and it calculates for me how many activity points I have earned, which I think is more reliable to go by then my own working out. 

So tonight is weigh in 4, but week 5. Fingers crossed for a loss! I have lots of new recipes to share as well, some really yummy but low calories ones too!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Week One on Weight Watchers

I am actually a week behind, as my first weigh in was last week and the second one is tonight, but anyway...

So, for my first ever proper week on Weight Watchers I lost:

I was actually pretty surprised. Especially, as the night I first joined I promptly went home and drank a bottle of wine! Haha. Although, to be fair to myself, I did work hard and perhaps I was a little stricter with portions etc, but I am super chuffed and it is certainly a good start. 

In terms of following the plan, it has actually been really easy so far. The first week I was a bit hungry, but I really do think that is down to smaller portion sizes. I could still eat what I want basically, but in much more moderation. I didn't realise before but our portion sizes were basically obscene. Also, having curry with rice, chips and naan bread is really just greedy! So I have made lots of small, positive changes which even when (if) I am not on Weight Watchers I would stick to. I am loving sweet potato wedges instead of chips or normal wedgies and they are really tasty. I still managed to have curry last week, but with a smaller portion of rice and half a naan. I have been doing so much walking too, I am averaging about 10 miles a week, which I know is no distance really, but again it's a good start and I am really enjoying it. 
The big thing for me is wine. I am missing it! It's definitely a lifestyle habit that I need to break and whilst I haven't cracked and had wine during the week, it's definitely been tempting, especially with bank holidays and indeed the half term holidays coming up. So, it's challenging at times, but I never dreamt it would be easy. 

I have had one set back which I am actually pretty gutted about. I was calculating a porridge pot for breakfast at 2 pro points. I kept thinking to myself this can't be right and last night I recalculated and it came out as 6 points! So that means for the past 7 days I have had 4 points more every day than I should. I put it all on the tracker on the app and it used all my activity points and took me down to minus 8. Thankfully Wednesday is the start of a new week so at least I can start all over today, but I am just really upset that I had been working so hard and feel like it's ruined without even knowing! Anyway, tonight is my second weigh in so I will see how I've done then! I really want to have lost something at least, as I am away this weekend and it would be nice to be able to have a guilt free treat! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Getting out of the bad habit cycle

I haven't written a blog post in quite some time, verging on three months. I wanted some time away from it to be honest, I needed to get a few things sorted personally, before I wanted to think about this blog and what I want to do with it. To be honest, and I'm sorry it's a bit of a cliche, but I felt a bit lost in the blogging world. I don't get involved with blogging type events and I don't have time for twitter! But I do want to blog and I do want to write things. I needed to stop feeling guilty about the topics I thought about writing; this blog isn't really for anyone but me. it's so incredibly lovely if people do take the time to read it, but primarily I write for me, somewhere to put what I want to record.

Anyway, I thought that this would be a good place to record my weight loss journey. About six weeks ago I decided that I had had enough of my skinny jeans being too tight to fasten and my belly being visible in anything I wear. Since I stopped breast feeding Charlie, the weight has just piled back on and I've gone from a comfortable 14 to an uncomfortable size 16+.  There's nothing wrong with being a size 16, but I just wasn't happy.

So, I bought some trainers. That was a start. And eventually I just said "right I'm doing this." And I put them on and walked two miles! I actually shocked myself. I was taking some dresses to a lady I know who takes them up for me and I thought, I could actually walk this rather than then get in the car. So I did. I then walked another two miles two nights later. Then I walked 3 miles and then last Sunday I did four miles. I'm slowly building my stamina and capability and I am really enjoying it. That's the thing. I ENJOY it, me walking, who knew?! To say my mother is shocked is probably and understatement, but I couldn't just continue to sit on the sofa every night, drinking wine and eating sour skittles. Whilst I don't eat much junk food and I always make fresh meals, I was still eating and drinking myself into an early grave. My energy was zero and all I wanted to do of an evening was slump in front of the telly. Plus I was fed up of my wobbly belly.

Last week, spurred on by how much better I was starting to feel I decided to join Weight Watchers. I need to be more careful with what I eat, particularly in terms of portion size and I needed the drive to do it. When I got on the scales I was actually shocked.  What I weigh has actually never  bothered me, as I know it's not just about that, but when the lady weighed me I could not actually believe what the scales said. I am now officially heavier than I have ever been, even when I was pregnant! So I was glad I had gone as it is just what I need to kick start a better way of eating.

I did contemplate Slimming World, but for me, Weight Watchers is more about a change in lifestyle and eating habits than it is a diet. For example, portion size is something that I will continue to look at, even if (or when!) I reach my goal weight.

Weight Watchers operate a system called Pro-Points, whereby every food and drink has a point value, starting at 0 upwards. Everyone is allowed a certain number of points depending on their weight and height. I am on the minimum (presumably as I am only just 5ft), which is 26 per day. You then also get an extra 49 points to use over the week. Remarkably, I was told that you have to use the 26. Which, if you think about, makes sense, as that's the minimum your body needs to get the nutrients it needs. The 49 can be split over 7 days, or you can save them (like I will!) for the weekend etc. Also, any exercise you do adds points too and you can either choose to spend those points on food and drink or bank them. If you bank them, then you should lose weight quicker. It's really flexible and there's also something called Filling and Healthy Days, which look good if you don't want to count points for a day or so. So I am really pleased, I'm feeling positive and motivated and I am really looking forward (with trepidation!) to my first weigh in on Tuesday. I am going to share my weight loss on here; I want to be able to look back and see what I have (hopefully) achieved. I also want to share meal ideas with people and hopefully find other people who are doing the same journey with me!

This is a new change of lifestyle and it is something that I have to stick to. I am realistic, there will be times when I don't follow the plan, like if I am on holiday. But I now realise, that it's ok to have treats, but then you get back on track. The one thing that will be hard, is wine. I am restricting myself, especially at the beginning, to wine nights only on Friday and Saturday. Hubby and I had got in the habit of drinking on a Thursday as it was the darts night, then obviously Friday and Saturday were wine nights, then I liked a drink with a roast dinner on a Sunday and then hubby would say it's football on Monday, so we'd have a few drinks and to be honest, it was getting ridiculous. Also, it was getting expensive! Once I start to see the weight come off a bit, I will perhaps have the odd glass on a Sunday and of course there will be treats and exceptions, but for the norm, I am giving up drinking through the week.

No food, technically, is off limits on WW, you just have to factor it in either to your daily points or your weekly points. To give you an idea of how this works, I have shared my last two days worth of meal plans with you below. My goal is 8lb in 4 weeks, so fingers crossed I have lost something at my first weigh in!

As you can see, it IS do-able and you can have treats! I am saving mine for wine, but think of all the extra food you could have if you weren't!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Birthday Wish List

With a birthday coming up, now's as good a time as any to put together a little wish list of what I am coveting.

1. Cath Kidston Farm Print Dress £75 2. Cath Kidston Little Birds plimsolls £24 3. Urban Decay Naked 3 pallette £38 4. Pandora March birthstone ring £40 5. Cath Kidston Cloud and Sunshine print lunch boxes £8 6. Pandora heart ring £35 7. Cath Kidston Cloud print biker bag £55 8. Cath Kidston Cloud print travel cup £8 9. Cath Kidston Paradise Bunch dress £75

In hindsight, this list should have been called the 'Cath Kidtson Wish List' since there are quite a few items on there from CK! I love CK at the moment; there are some beautiful new prints and I have a wish list the size of the shop! I was in Liverpool last week and nipped in to the shop - oh my word it was amazing. As I was with my mum she *may* have picked me a few bits up from my wish list ready for my birthday next week!

My actual birthday is a work day and to make it even better, it's also Year 11 parents' evening! So I won't really be celebrating on the actual day, besides, Charlie's birthday is the day after mine so we will focus on him and then hubby and I have a lovely lunch booked for the Saturday afternoon - just the two of us!
I'm so excited as my family are coming to visit tomorrow (boat permitting!) and we have Charlie's bouncy castle birthday party on Saturday - he is going to have so much fun! So it''s going to be a lovely couple of weeks, even if my actual birthday will be a bit rubbish!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Recipe Time: Slow cooker Lasagne

So, before I show you the recipe, I should say, that yes, I too was a bit confused about slow cooker Lasagna - but I tried it and it worked and it was yummy! The reason for me having to seek this out, was that our oven broke just after Christmas and I had planned to make Lasagna and I still wanted it! So, after seeing it done on a face book page I am on, I adapted the recipe, to my normal Lasagna recipe and put it in the slow cooker. I was pretty impressed with how well it turned out and, indeed how nice and crispy it went on the top like normal. Lots of you asked me for the recipe, so here it is: