Monday, November 30, 2009

The Festivities Have Begun

Where do I start to tell you about the lovely week I've had.... let's take Julie Andrews advice and start at the very beginning...

Wednesday we took my nephew to meet Father Christmas

followed by my first Christmas Dinner of the festive season

I can never visit Van Hages without a few goodies falling into my shopping bag

Thursday was Brody's first birthday and he celebrated with having some friends over to play with his new toys

Friday I travelled with friends up North in preparation for a friends wedding the following day

The wedding was held at a lovely church followed by a reception at Caverswall Castle - an absolutely stunning venue

Sunday it was up early to travel back home and celebrate Brody's birthday yet again with family

Today I'm exhausted and thankfully have the day off work to do some catching up before another couple of busy days ahead this weekend supporting Rose at the Christmas Market Friday and another friends wedding Saturday!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Very Ally Christmas

I was a big fan of Ally McBeal years ago and decided to start at the beginning and watch my DVD collection once again

I'm pleased to report it is still as good as I remembered!

Ally McBeal is one of those shows that is laugh out loud funny one minute and the next you have a tear rolling down your cheek from a sad or poignant moment - I'd highly recommend it to anyone!

A number of the episodes are centred around Christmas which is apt for this time of year and prompted me to treat myself to this

I'm on Series 4 at the moment and Ally is in a relationship with a character called Larry played by Robert Downey Junior. It was such a shame that he was sacked from the show leaving viewers without a happy ending

I'll leave you with their version of White Christmas

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My reason to be Thankful

A year ago today my nephew Brody was born....


For those of you celebrating have a very happy Thanksgiving, as for me I must be off... I have a party to get too!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bed Bath & Christmas!

Look at the goodies I picked up in TK Maxx at the weekend. I couldn't think of leaving this blanket behind when I spotted itDoesn't my bedroom look festive now! I'm OBSESSED with Candy Canes so these towels were a must

I also popped into my favourite thrift store and added another Enid Blyton and Ladybird book to my ever growing collection

A successful weekend I think!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thrifty Tip for Thursday!

Us bloggers do love a good book don't we and I think 90% of the books I've brought or read recently have been down to a bloggers post or comment... Cath Kidston Sew anyone?!?!

I read a book at least once a week on my journey to and from work and if I were to pay full price it would become very costly so I preferred to swap books with friends or pick them up at boot sales. The only problem with this was an overflowing Amazon wish list containing books I still wanted to read but was reluctant to purchase full price - not to mention the price of books in charity shops these days!

I'd dabbled with Read it Swap it but found many of my swap requests unsuccessful. I often heard American bloggers in particular talk about picking books up from their local libraries, but my visits proved fruitless... until earlier this year I discovered my libraries online ordering service!

It may seem overally dramatic but I cannot stress how much this discovery has changed my life. It really is Amazon without the exchange of money at the end. Simply log on and search for your book title and hit the request button

Since my discovery I have reduced my wish list to one or two items and worked my way through more books than if I'd had to pay for them. Recently everyone was talking about the new Laura Ashley book, it's not necessarily something I "need" to own so I'm on the list for that.... Perfect English Cottages is sitting next to me write now to browse through, a fabulous book but not one I can justify buying right now

Some books I've borrowed and knew instantly I'd like to own such as Cabbages & Roses Guide to Natural Housekeeping (which is why it's on my Christmas list) and others I've been pleased I didn't buy as the first few pages didn't entice me or the recipes not as glorious as expected

And the best thing (besides it being free!) is that you will now have some spare cash to buy the books you do really want!

So go on... right now.... seek out your libraries online service and reduce that Amazon wish list and plan some snuggly nights with a collection of good books basking in the knowledge that it hasn't cost you a penny!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tools of the Trade

Weight Loss Wednesday has rolled around once again and today I’ll be showing you the tools that make my weight loss journey much easier, I mean you wouldn’t begin a sewing project without sharp scissors and good fabric would you?

I choose not to attend WeightWatchers classes; instead I have my own set of scales which I can weigh myself on to the ¼lb

These scales have many functions which I’ve yet to explore but I’m content for now to know that I can record even the smallest losses from the comfort of home (and for free!)

WeightWatchers food scales have become invaluable to me; they are so simple to use and even my mum is happy using them and doesn’t find they take up any more time than necessary

People often moan about diets as they don’t want to weigh things as it’s too much effort. If you are thinking like that now and not prepared to change that attitude you are likely to struggle with your weight loss. I too have been of that opinion but there’s a reason I gain weight after eating a big meal – there’s just too much on the plate!

We are quite happy weighing choc chips to bake some cookies and wouldn’t dream of cutting fabric without measuring the correct size so why not apply the same rules the grated cheese we pile on our baked potatoes?

So how do these scales work?

Put your meat, veg, whatever food on the scales, find the correct letter, ie P and scroll to find “potato”. When you press "points" it will tell you how many WeightWatcher points there are. The results from using the scales can be pleasing like when I discovered 2.5 points of Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream was a bigger portion than expected or shocking when I cut what I thought were "sensible" slices of crusty bread only to discover it was 5 points worth!

Kelly has a set of these scales and finds it useful for portion control as she commented last week. When weighing potatoes for my dinner last week she served herself the same quantity as me rather than eating more than necessary just because she was allowed to on her Slimming World plan

It’s definitely one to add to the Christmas list and of course works just like normal scales so you could even work out the points of your favourite cake!

I have Kelly to thank for my next tool, the WeightWatchers calculator

I was initially using the paper version fearing the electronic version too complicated - I was wrong! WW use kcal's and sat fat to work out the points value of foods so your favourite pizza or packet of crisps just punch in a few numbers and the points are revealed

Again the results can be both shocking and pleasing; I had mine with me on a recent shopping trip and was delighted to find that Oreo Cookies (my fave!) are only 1 point each. I'd previously been avoiding them assuming they'd be too high

Do let me know if you have any of these things and how useful you find them

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fun Fair - Part Deux!

Another Sunday evening is here and I'm once again asking where my weekend has gone!

Ok, ok I know where my weekend has gone... on Vintage & Handmade goodness!

Saturday Kelly & I made our trip to THE Vintage & Handmade Fair in Chipping Sodbury (what a picturesque town might I add!) following an indulgent 3 course dinner at our hotel Friday evening (well deserved after the very wet and windy drive up!!)

It was fantastic to meet friends old and new and finally put faces to names who I spend so much time with in blogland. As expected everyone was lovely and the goods on offer superb, my purse was significantly lighter on leaving.... would you like to see what I brought?

I spied these trays walking into the fair and snapped them up straight away...

and of course there's Harold! I spied him on Hen's blog a few posts ago and once we'd met in person I couldn't possibly resist his charm and had to invite him home with me

I'm rather excited about moving into my own flat after Christmas and have spent a lot of time talking about the "dining room" I have planned (sorry for going on Kel!) and these cushion accompany my vision perfectly!

Never one to resist a notebook...

and the accompanying card will be framed for my Winter decor

I love anything with candy canes so this card was another must and the badges too cute to resist

You will no doubt have caught up with everyone's posts from the fair but you can read more about it here, here, here and here roll on May 2010!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Your Secret Santa....

Could be one of these lovely ladies!

Kerry at Blueberry Heart
Sarah at Dotty Daisies
Caroline at Mary Ann Lucy
Vanessa at Hapi-ness
Teresa at Tcakes
Teresa at Tcakes
Vicki at Victoria Plum
Sophie at Chez Sophie
Lucey at Lemonade Kitty
Phillipa at Phillipa Gardens
Rachel at Fizz Pop Bang
Cally at Cally's Cottage
Dolly at Treasure Happy
Natalie at Eissua
and of course two girls called Victoria and Kelly!

If I've missed anyone off the list do let me know!

Thank you to everyone that has joined in! Kelly and I are overwhelmed with how many new and old friends have signed up and don't forget to send me a request if you'd like to join the Flickr Group for this swap

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun Fair!

What an exhausting but FUN day!

I'm home from the Country Living Fair having fought my way through hoards of women (and some men!) to see all the wonderful goodies on offer

I was quite restrained and made only a couple of purchases, the biggest bargain being a subscription to Country Living Magazine with free Jan Constantine Christmas Stocking!

We also met the lovely Kate of Sewpatchwork which was great after so many chats over Facebook!

Tomorrow Kelly & I set off for the Premiere Inn in Bristol, ensuring a good nights sleep before the Vintage & Handmade Fair

Remember look out for these girls... they're out and about again!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My names Victoria…..

and I am Weight WatcherIt’s now time for my Weight Loss Wednesday posts to move onto my tips about EATING but first let’s have a little background

You need to know I’m a weightwatcher as I will speak in terms of points (I’m allocated 20 per day) although you won’t need to be a WW to use many of my tips as WW is more about (in my opinion!) portion control and a sensible way of eating

I will say I’m a BIG fan of WW and find it one of the most sensible diets (not that it feels like that!) on the market. I cannot abide diets that remove certain food groups, I mean seriously…. life without a potato – NEVER!

And if it was good enough for Miranda

It’s good enough for me!!

It is also worth me mentioning that I do not attend classes since I first signed up (gulp!) 9 years ago! For me paying £4 a week to be weighed wasn’t something I could justify and I have all the tools (see next weeks post!) to follow the plan at home

Please don’t think I’m someone with a will of iron either, I love my food and don’t really have any body hang ups so find it hard to deny myself. Would I like to be slimmer? Of course but do I want to live without a chocolate treat and a cup of tea each evening? No! This is why WW works for me.

Next week I will begin sharing tips I have found useful for sticking to my plan – and I can assure you I haven’t gone without! In fact I’ve found myself actually eating better and enjoying my food even more

As I say my tips will be based around WW points system but they can easily be adapted for your day to day routine. Kelly is often kind enough to invite me round for dinner and on these occasions we have eaten the same meal fitting to both our meal plans (Kelly follows Slimming World)

I hope you will find my future posts helpful and I would love to hear your tips or even anything you’re struggling with – we’re in this together remember

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weekend Round Up

Sunday evening is here again and I'm tucked up in bed with my laptop ready for my evenings tv entertainment; Come Dine With Me, Privileged, X Factor and Shakespeare in Love

It's been another fun filled weekend - here's what I've been up to!

Saturday was my cousins 9th Birthday and we celebrated with fireworks

it looks like some made it onto the cake!

Today me, my SIL and my friend Ben all travelled (whilst listening to Christmas songs!) to Hatfield House for their Gifts for Christmas Fair

Our mouths watered at the sweets on offer

and Ben stocked up some sausages for Christmas Day

I brought some lovely Christmas cards and these two brooches, a gingerbread man for Christmas and the girl I thought looked like me!!!

Later that afternoon I joined local residents for our Rememberance Day Parade

What did you get up to?

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