Category Archives: celebrations

My Slimming World update Week 29-31

Last time I updated you I was very, very close to my target. Well guess what? I only went and bloody done it!

target-certificate

Yes, I reached my new target of 9stone with the fabulous help of Slimming world. I have taken to this plan like a duck to water when I joined back in August last year. As I have mentioned before ( or maybe not!) I do not have the busiest of social life thanks to my ME and Fibromyalgia. It means I am not out surrounded by temptation every weekend, which has obviously been a good thing for me, however, it has also meant my weight loss has been a slow but steady journey due to the fact i cannot conventionally exercise.

But it’s true that slow and steady wins the race in my case.

I have just today got all my summer clothes out ( wishful thinking on my part maybe!) and while sorting out my wardrobe I realise that actually not a lot fits me anymore. Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way complaining, it’s a great problem to have.

I have also, since reaching target, stayed in weight loss mode so I can sit comfortably at the bottom range of my target weight. Although I haven’t weighed in this week due to a physio appointment I seem to be slowly creeping down to that level.

I have actually had a treat or two since last week, a few indulgences I promised myself when I got to target. So, after class last week my hunny and I went to the Kaspa’s Ice cream place down the bottom of my road and I thoroughly enjoyed scoffing a caramel shortcake waffle with ice cream…………………… IT WAS LUSH! Literally I could have just face planted it if I’m honest. Instinct then kicked in and I went into low syn mode for a few days to make up for it.

kaspas-waffle

Then came the weekend and I knew I would not be weighing in on the Monday and when my hubby suggested the second treat, a chinese takeaway…………………. well who was I to argue. Again I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful but I did find that I didn’t overfill my plate but had a bit of everything that I wanted. I also did not go back for seconds either. Again afterwards I went into low syn mode again for a few days to do a bit of damage limitation.

chinese

Something I have learned and realised though is that I know if I do not weigh in each week ( even though as a target member I don’t have to every week) I know I will probably find it all to easy to slip into some bad habits again and pile the weight back on. I have no intention of going back to the size I was, and in fact I am thinking about lowering my target just slightly again but at the moment I am happy with where I am at. This week with the weigh in back on the cards I have been sticking to the plan easily, but I know that because I am in target I do have a little leeway to eat or drink what I want on a night or day out, knowing I can go straight back to weight loss and low syn mode to counter act any damage and stay within my range.

For now though, I am happy to attend my group each week so I can stay in target, treat myself occasionally knowing I won’t do too much damage and look forward to treating myself to some nice new size 10 summer clothes.

Let me know how your weigh loss journey is going, I would love to hear from you

 

Yes I am still here!

You may have thought I had given up on my little blog it has been so long since I have posted on here, but no, I am still here I have just been having a little break.

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about, there have been loads going on in the past few months in my little corner of the world, it is just the fact that I haven’t had the inclination to put it all on here, call it lack of blogging mojo but I have had a total break from my site although I have been active on my social media sites. Last night, however, I attended a lovely event down in Kent which got me back in touch with the blogging community. It was fun, it was nice to meet new people and get a bit of that missing blogging mojo back.

So, what has been happening while I have been away (and I do not mean the obvious political stuff that is all over social media at the minute). In my little bubble, I haven’t been active on here since attending a review for a local spa, which I have now joined myself and try and go there at least twice a week. I cannot tell you how relaxing it is using the heat rooms ( sauna and steam) there and how lovely that has been for my poor M.E/Fibro muscular pain.

There’s been 18th birthday celebrations for my eldest ( in April) before all the madness of his A level exams recently.

DSC_0012

There’s been more sewing for me as I attended another sewing class learning more skills and meeting new people.

dress collage

There’s been a lot of ‘new to me’ furniture buying and upcycling as we have started to redecorate our lounge from a modern look to a more old style/ country appearance..

Gone from Dark leather to cream fabric

Gone from Dark leather to cream fabric

Again gone from a very dark wood to white and a sanded top, I still need to cover the chairs!

Again gone from a very dark wood to white and a sanded top, I still need to cover the chairs!

Gone from dark to light on the curtains and will be taking down the blinds and putting up voiles instead to make it lighter

Gone from dark to light on the curtains and will be taking down the blinds and putting up voiles instead to make it lighter

There is still a lot to do as the walls need repainting and the feature walls need re-papered and some soft furnishings still need to be sorted, but the majority of the change over is done.

There’s also been a trip to Royal Ascot (which was amazing) for a friends 50th birthday.

That's my friend and I all togged up looking posh!

That’s my friend and I all togged up looking posh!

This was something I always wanted to go and experience and I am glad they invited us to enjoy their special day- things are always enjoyed best depending on the company you go with. This was a fabulous day that I will not forget for a very long time…………….did I mention how close I got to the Queen????

There you go - just in case you didn't believe me!

There you go – just in case you didn’t believe me!

Recent weeks have been tough health wise for me, I felt I was having no relief from my Fibromyalgia pain at all. It was making me more exhausted than normal and was just never ending. I finally managed to get a GP appointment and she is very understanding and finally changed my medication to a slow release morphine ( the strongest thing I have been on ever). However, the detox from the years of Tramadol onto slow release MST was just horrific for about 5-6 days in total. I have never felt so rough in my life, hardly able to hold myself up yet unable to sleep  ( I was literally awake all night on the 1st evening watching films!), there was lots of nausea and dizziness and a bloody awful crushing headache that lasted days. A week or so on from there and things have settled and things are on the up and I am slowly but surely getting back to what would be relative normality for me.

Then last night was a huge milestone when my 18yr old went on his 6th year school leaver’s Prom, having officially left school and now just waiting exam results ( do not mention Edexel A level Maths………….there may well be a meltdown here!) and hopefully for him ( definitely not me) off to uni.

Here he looking handsome and dapper being  forced to stand and have a million pictures taken before he went!

Here he looking handsome and dapper being forced to stand and have a million pictures taken before he went!

So there you have it! There have obviously been lots of normal life thrown in too, ( nothing is ever straightforward or stress free with older teens in the house) but for now I will leave it there.

I look forward to catching up on all the blogging goings on now that I have a little blog mojo back!

Preparing your Home for Christmas Entertaining

 

 

Christmas_tree_bauble for Ida article

The festive season is always a very exciting one and many people look forward to being able to spend quality time with friends and family over this period. This is a time of year when we tend to go out more than usual with everything from office parties through to family meals out, nights out with friends, and other festive activities to enjoy.

 

This is also a time of year when we often tend to have guests over far more than usual, whether it is for a fabulous and fun-filled Christmas dinner or simply tor a few drinks and to exchange gifts and cards. With this in mind, it is important to ensure that you are fully prepared by getting your home ready for the Christmas period and for entertaining your guests.

Some of the important preparations

There are a number of key preparations that you should make in order to have your home Christmas-ready for your family as well as any guests that you will be entertaining over the festive period. One of the things you should do is to ensure that your home is always clean and tidy at all times. While we all have periods where we may become a little lax with the cleaning, this is not the time of year to do that! You never know when guests may drop in over Christmas, so keep on top of the cleaning as much as possible.

 

You also need to ensure that your home is warm and comfortable, as the last thing you want is your family or any guests having to wrap themselves in layers because of the cold. Make sure that the heating you use is not only effective but also reliable, as trying to get a professional out to fix faulty heating over Christmas can be both extremely difficult and very expensive. Opting for something along the lines of the stand alone electric radiators from Verismart is an excellent option, as these provide superior heating, are modern and attractive in design, are extremely reliable, and very cost effective to run. Your family and guests can then enjoy warmth and cosiness in any room in your home over Christmas.

 

Of course, Christmas wouldn’t seem like Christmas without turning your home into Santa’s grotto, so one of the most important preparations is getting your decor sorted. You can really go to town with tinsel, paper decorations, and fairy lights, all of which will add that final magical festive touch to your home. You can even look at making your own Christmas decorations if you are on a budget – something you can get the kids involved in for some festive fun.

Once you’ve got your home ready for Christmas, you can look forward to a magical and vibrant atmosphere, warmth and cosiness, and a home that both your family and friends will be delighted to spend time in over the festive season.

However you choose to spend your Christmas and new Year I wish you a very happy one- have fun!

The Ideal Home Show at Christmas in London

This I am very excited about and thankfully only have a week to wait. This years Ideal Home Show at Christmas will be taking place at Olympia London for the first time ever. The UK’s biggest Christmas exhibition will be open from the 25th – 29th of November to provide everything you could possibly need in the run up to the festive season, from over 600 exhibitors showcasing top Christmas shopping inspiration, a plethora of celebrity appearances and a Christmas bandstand hosting live entertainment……………c’mon you Christmas lovers what more could you need?
14112014_IHSC14_0983[5][1]
14112014_IHSC14_1080[3][1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m feeling festive already and cannot wait to see the venue transformed into a winter wonderland. There will be exhibitors across 7 sectors, as well as a host of festive favourite celebrities including Gino D’Acampo, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Olly Smith and Katie Piper who will be making her Christmas show debut and  experts will be on hand at the show offering their own festive hints and tips to make your Christmas Ideal.

14112014_IHSC14_0782[3][1]

There will be live entertainment for visitors to enjoy as they shop, a wide range of expert talks and advice,  a food & drink theatre featuring top tips from celebrity chefs, and even a champagne bar as well ( so that’s me sorted then!).

The Ideal Home Show at Christmas sponsored by Gocompare.com has everything you could possibly need to create the perfect Christmas all under one roof! So, for a chance to be part of history and experience Christmas for the first time at Olympia London, get yourself a ticket!

Tickets

To book tickets log on to www.idealhomeshowchristmas.co.uk or call 0844 209 7330.  For Group bookings call: 0844 412 4650

Weekday Adult £12.00
Weekend Adult £14.00
Weekday Concession (Over 60’s) £10.00
Weekend Concession (Over 60’s)     £12.00
Children (Under 15) go free when accompanied by an adult      

Timings for Ideal Home Show at Christmas:

Wednesday 25th November 2015 10am – 6pm

Thursday 26th November 2015 10am – 9pm

Friday 27th November 2015 10am – 6pm

Saturday 28th November 2015 10am – 6pm

Sunday 29th November 2015 10am – 5pm

I am looking forward to spotting some lovely new Christmassy bits to add to my ever growing collection that I manage to add to each year. Our decorations go up at the start of December and I love the festive run up to the big day itself. However, I do think my OH may disown me if I buy any more fairy lights for him to put up…………………………………… so watch this space.

14112014_IHSC14_0795[6][1] 14112014_IHSC14_0787[4][1]

 

Who doesn’t love an Afternoon Tea?

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the afternoon tea that is available at the Tudor Park Marriott Country Club near Bearsted.

To be perfectly honest I did have a pre conception of what a Marriott hotel would offer as there is one local to me in Bexleyheath, which seems business orientated and built for that purpose in that particular are. However, at the Tudor Park I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. The entrance alone did not look like a standard hotel front and was very welcoming.

DSC_0228

This particular hotel and country club has a comforting feel to it even though the reception is open, spacious, minimalist and bright. It has several different bar areas, a swimming pool, a spa, a golf shop ( with golf professionals on hand for lessons) and an 18 hole golf course. Amazingly, you do feel like you are deep in the countryside even though in reality you are literally just off the M20.

This is the Mezzanine Bar which is one of the areas you can have your afternoon tea

This is the Mezzanine Bar which is one of the areas you can have your afternoon tea

You can also eat here in the courtyard are overlooking the wildlife pond if the weather is nice

You can also eat here in the courtyard are overlooking the wildlife pond if the weather is nice

this was the view from our table in the Zest Bar overlooking the golf course

this was the view from our table in the Zest Bar overlooking the golf course

We had our afternoon tea in the Zest bar overlooking the golf course and the beautiful wildlife pond.We were very lucky with the weather as it was a beautiful sunny day and we sat at the window with the door open enjoying the sunshine and the breeze while we scoffed.

The food itself was beautiful with smoked salmon, cooked ham or cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwiches, home made scones with clotted cream and preserves, and a great selection of fabulous bite sized cakes. It is very reasonably priced from £15 per person which I think you will agree is very competitive. They also offer several specially themed ones throughout the year, for example, a strawberry one in the summer and a chocolate one later in the year. They also pride themselves on using and promoting local produce, so in strawberry season they would use local producers, local jams, they have used local apple produce when in season for the restaurant and functions. There is amazing fruit, veg, meats and cheeses all available locally in Kent so I do think it’s a great way for the hotel to put something back to the area.

We never felt rushed throughout the tea, where approached a couple of times to check if everything was OK and also if we needed more tea ( where they replenished the tea and the cups just in case you were changing the flavour of your tea), but we didn’t feel as though we were being ‘watched’ if you like- it was a very relaxing area to enjoy an afternoon tea.

One word.....LUSH!

One word…..LUSH!

We tried our best but we just couldn’t finish the little cakes that were on offer ( although we gave it a good go!) so our leftovers where wrapped up to take home which was great as our teens got to scoff the rest after their dinner.

The cakes ranged from brownies , mini cheesecakes,  banoffee pies to a mini trifle, so if you are watching your calories this is definitely not for you. However, as most people do not eat these every day then it truly is a treat to splash out an treat yourself.

It was well presented in the tradition ‘afternoon tea’ manner on a 3 tiered tray with teas separately. I think it would have been nice for something to ‘set’ the table off from all the others when having this, for example, a nice checked or vintage floral style tablecloth and napkins which I believe the staff are in talks with management about this and I think it certainly would add that certain something to the whole experience. Apart from that I found it difficult to find fault at all.

20150910_124713[1]

A few things that I think are bonuses from a client point of view is the excellent free WIFI available all around the premises. There is a ‘Guest’ option with gives free 24 hr use without a log in which as a blogger is something we all appreciate. Also, most of you will know I use a walking stick most days and therefore I was very quick to spot the wheelchair lift inside the reception, something that was blended into the surroundings but clearly visible  for those of use who don’t want to have to ask all the time. I also noticed another inside the Mezzanine Bar which could allow easy access to the upper level of the bar.

The hotels restaurant is also in keeping with the comforting decor and is listed in the Kent’s Food and Drink’s magazine for official guides to eating out in Kent.

The restaurant/grill

The restaurant/grill

The Hotel is hosting a Murder Mystery Gala Dinner on Friday 25th September, with a drink on arrival, a 3 course meal with tea and coffee for £38 and obviously then you have the option to stay over and enjoy either golf or the spa!

For more details visit the website

DISCLAIMER: I was offered the afternoon free of charge for review purposes only all my views are based on how I found my particular visit.