Let's revive this old space!

I've completely ignored this old blog for years, and then had some billing issues, namely I couldn't update my card details so my blog was in suspended animation! And that really reminded me that it existed!

But I think it's sorted now, well I hope it is. I guess we'll know if this post publishes.

Now I need to figure out what to use this blog for. Do I go with paper crafting, yarn craft, sewing related activity, gardening, wellness or community projects. Or a little of everything?

Garden plot 21 05

But before that let's have a quick recap. I turned 49 this year, in January. It feels really odd to be in my 50th year. I feel young in my heart and head but each morning my knees remind me that I am not, HA. In 2018 I joined slimming world and for the next 18 months I worked to lose nearly 6 stone. I shared a bit about that journey and my planner, which you can scroll back to find. Thanks to 2020, SW groups closing and a complete lack of willpower and laziness I gained it all back. I spent 2 years trying to get in control and kept going to group, paying my money and seeing loss, gain, loss, gain, loss, gain, you get the idea!

In January this year I did a complete re-join, listened to the new member talk and felt a shift in my attitude towards health. That was a week before my birthday. I'm 3 stone down and more focused on movement and how I feel. I have a goal weight in mind, which isn't as low as I set last time because I want to feel the goal rather than see the number on the scale.

Daily movement is super important to me. I walk, i've got a few 5km routes around the villages and surrounding fields or in bad weather I do the treadmill 12330 workout (elevation, speed and time). I do C25K, currently on week 4 of the program and honestly running is my favourite activity! I do circuit training in our home gym, treadmill, weights and squats and rowing machine. SO thankful for this space. I do yoga in the village hall with my neighbours, this has got 'easier' with every weight session I do, my strength has improved so much. And I garden, this is a pleasurable form of movement and one that often lasts all day!

I have a Apple Watch and close my rings every day. My move streek is 117 days!

As for my attitude towards food, I still write everything down and very strictly count syns and healthy extras. I don't know at what stage I stop doing that and how I move into a healthy relationship with food. This is something I will work on with reflection, journaling and un-learning all the bad habits.

I still knit, crochet, embroider and cross stitch, although I tend to scroll the roll way more these days which is an AWFUL habit that also needs breaking.

We have a garden plot in our village that is kinda like an allotment, but much bigger and right opposite our back garden. Last year we had such a successful harvest of tomatoes, courgette, beans, peas, onion, potatoes, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, pak choi, beetroot and pumpkins. The 2024 growing season is well underway and I have lots planted out already with many more seedings ready to go into the ground. Absolutely love gardening!

I want to update on the community projects but let's leave that for another day :)

Happy day

Back to blogging

Kaffe Fassett 7
Kaffe Fassett 7
Kaffe Fassett 7
Kaffe Fassett 7
Kaffe Fassett 7
Kaffe Fassett 7
Kaffe Fassett 7
Kaffe Fassett 7

On Saturday me, my mom and two knitting club work colleagues went to the fashion and textile museum to see the Kaffe Fassett quilt exhibition. It was AMAZING!
Now I'm not a quilter and don't (didn't) have any inclination to become one, although I was very kindly gifted fabric to make a Halloween quilt and I fully intend to make it! But now I'm looking at fabric in a totally different way and I'm seriously worried that I might become one.
I don't need another hobby. I already have enough with scrapbooking, knitting, crochet, embroidery and cross stitch. All of which require a huge stash, and I have no room for another stash, nor can I keep a sewing machine permanently set up. Which to be honest would be the only way I would do it on any sort of regular basis.

Hobbies are funny things, we love them, but feel frustrated when we don't have time to do them or with any regularity. I'm lucky enough to have a desk in my office/craft room that is permanently set up for scrapbooking. During the year I can easily rotate between project life style story telling and one little word, then in October it's full of October Daily stash and in December it's set up for December Daily. You can find out about these projects on Ali Edwards website.
I don't have a good way of storing my scrapping stash so plan to use as much as possible so that's not an issue. No point in collecting it!

Knitting and crochet is done while watching tv, thanks to a very tolerant (and possibly slightly deaf) husband. The clink clink of knitting needles can be annoying if you're not used to it. He is also super tolerant of the multiple project bags that surround my chair, HA.

I'm going to share more on this blog again, I miss blogging and sharing my crafting.

C xx

Week in the Life 2019 - Sunday

WITL Sunday 1
WITL Sunday 1
WITL Sunday 1

Sunday 12th May - Day seven of Week in the Life with Ali Edwards

Despite going to bed so late last night, we were up and ready to face the day super early. Stuart made us boerewors and black beans with a poached egg for breakfast, which I started to prep for a day of gardening.

By 10am we were very busy outside. Stuart built a table for the community garden water butts and got the new tabs installed and sealed. He also cut all the grass our garden grass. I worked on the community garden clearing lots of bramble and a few branches from the apple trees. We both then used the strimmer on the flat plot to clear the long grass ready for mowing. At the end of the day we lit a bonfire to burn some of the cuttings from the first garden clearing date a few weeks ago. It was a braw fire and so mesmerising to watch.

Stuart lit the braai so we could have chicken, boerewors and raw veg and pickles for dinner outside in the warm sunshine. We showered, washed hair and watched a bit of TV before I prepped lunches and we crashed into bed at 9pm.

I'm so grateful for the day working outside in the sunshine and fresh air. I went to bed with a full heart and clear mind. Yay for Sundays and the final day of week in the life. Although we will have many more days outside as the summer comes, I am thankful for this project and the opportunity to document the detail of our life.

This week I will order some large prints and type up all my journaling ready to put my album together.

Week in the Life 2019 - Saturday

WITL Saturday 1
WITL Saturday 1
WITL Saturday 1

Saturday 11th May - Day six of Week in the Life with Ali Edwards

Aaah Saturday, hello my friend.

We started our day early, heading out to meet friends for breakfast. It was good to catch up and talk about our Vegas trip (yet again!). I had scrambled egg, bacon, sausage, grilled tomato, toast, beans, mushrooms and hash browns, followed by a small (naughty) pastry and coffee.

After breakfast Stuart took me to Debenhams to look for a dress and another bra. Since my fitting I have only bought 3 and that isn't enough when trying to keep up with the washing, but should be enough to see me through the last 2 stone of weight loss. I forgot my purse at home so Stu paid for my underwear, and we didn't find a dress that we liked.

Then we went to Brookfields Farm butcher to collect the first batch of boerewors for the village fete and freezer meat for the next few weeks.

We dropped the meat and home and I picked up my purse before we went up to the big M&S in Biggleswade. I needed a new black cami to wear under sheer tops as my size 28 (!! YIKES) is just way too big and bulky under tops. I bought a 16 ( :) ) Stuart bought a new pair of jeans, down two sizes (!!). Celebrating these wins.

We decided to do the grocery shop while we were out.

When we got home we packed away the groceries and prepped our freezer meat and cut the boerewors to size before packing it back up to go in the freezer. We picked up 10kgs and have decided to order another 20kgs for the fete. We don't want to sell out in 1 hour again!

I made myself a large bowl of popcorn and retreated up to my craft room while Stuart watched rugby. I caught up with my OLW album by copying my April journaling from my planner onto the prepared pages. I also looked through my camera gallery to see what I have that will fit into the May prompt. I have two relevant photos so need to just take another 2. I also planned out my Vegas instax album which I will finish off in the next few weeks. I'm so happy to be keeping up with all my crafting projects, and feel like I am doing ones that most fit with my life right now.

I came downstairs at 6 to do a bit of bathroom cleaning and settle down to watch TV and get on with my latest crochet project.

Stuart made us pork chops and veg with gravy for dinner, and then we watched two movies, The Children Act and Sully (which was brilliant!).

We went to bed just before midnight.

So looking forward to the final day of documenting. Lets go Sunday!

Week in the Life 2019 - Friday

WITL Friday 1
WITL Friday 1
WITL Friday 1
WITL Friday 1

Friday 10th May - Day five of Week in the Life with Ali Edwards

Another early/on time start for me today. I do love these bright light mornings, that pursued me to get out of bed. I filled up with fuel this morning on my way into work.

I started my day with 2 toast and marmite and a mug of coffee. And spent the morning dealing with the intercompany invoices.

I ate lunch, a banana and yoghurt, at my desk while watching AE week in the life videos to get me in the right frame of mind for the documenting piece of this project which starts next week.

I left a little early today and took an alternative route home, just to mix things up. I felt a need to be off the beaten track.

When I got home I took a few photos around the garden and spent an hour doing a bit of crafting at my desk. I wanted to get all my Vegas photos printed and in the album ready for the journaling and embellishments.

Stuart and I spent the evening chatting in between him making us a chicken curry for dinner. We ate late but where still in bed by 10. We're so rock & roll on a Friday night!

Today I wanted to observe the light in my usual spaces. It is so easy to forget to see what is around you all the time.

Yay for the week finishing and bring on Saturday

Week in the Life 2019 - Thursday

WITL Thursday 1
WITL Thursday 1
WITL Thursday 1

Thursday 9th May - Day four of Week in the Life with Ali Edwards

Today was a day of highs and lows, the sweet relief from the good news I received yesterday vs the reality of how things are for people who didn't receive good news. I had a lot of conversations with people are not happy and ensuring I listened with a good and attentive ear.

We had our weekly team breakfast which as always was a fun event and I'm so glad I have this crazy bunch to chat with. I had toast, beans, fried egg, a sausage, bacon, mushroom and a couple of hash browns.

Mid morning I had a call with my new manager. I have a contract to sign and I needed to talk through some things to make sure this was going to be a good fit. I think it is and I am excited for the future.

Today is knitting club. I really do love Thursdays at work. We had a few more frank and slightly tough discussions with people who have been badly effected by work decisions. A real low in the day but cathartic to have these opportunities to talk.

Lunch was at my desk and consisted of a yoghurt, banana and pear.

The rest of the day was made up of spreadsheets and emails, and a conference call that was a bit of a waste of time! Some days this happens.

I headed off for home at my usual time and realised I should probably put some fuel in the car but really didn't feel like it. Should I play a bit of fuel chicken (!!)

When I got home I made myself a nice lug of coffee and called my mom to fill her in on the events of the day before.

Then I washed a dried my hair. It's got so long and really a pain to get dried in a style, who's got time for that! I just dried it straight and put it up in a plait.

After chilling on my chair for a bit I collected the girls and went for our weekly slimming world weigh in. I was delighted with my 1.5lb loss despite being slightly off plan over the weekend. I'm so determined to get this final 2 stone off and being in the best possible health for my future. Yesterday was a really wake up call that I have been very lucky to have escaped serious ill health with my weight.

Stuart had dinner ready when I got home at 9. Jacket potato with beans, ham and chorizo, sprinkled with cheese. Followed by jelly, yogurt, berries and meringue with a hi fi bar.

And then to bed.

What will Friday hold for me I wonder?

Week in the Life 2019 - Wednesday

WITL Wednesday 1
WITL Wednesday 1

Wednesday 8th May - Day three of Week in the Life with Ali Edwards

Well what can I say about Wednesday. This was very far from a normal average day in my life, but I'm so glad it happened in WITL and I get to document it. I'm still processing so won't write too much of the day, just the basics!

I was up and out the door bright and early to get breakfast out the way before my first meeting at 8.30, talking about a task that I'm NOT excited about doing but will push my comfort zone and I'll learn from it. Then I went straight into the second meeting of the day. It wasn't what I was expecting and I'm going to find it hard to focus for the rest of the day.

Lunch was a cold buffet bento box. My favourite week day lunch.

I managed to get a few things done in the afternoon, and then I had a meeting with the boss where I was told my future with the company. It was good news for me but not so great for others in our department. A real tough day!

After work I head straight to the QEII hospital for the results of my breast biopsy. The news here is also good, the sample they took shows a benign result, however the surgeon still wants to remove the mass so I will have surgery on the 6th of June. I can't imagine how hard it is for woman to hear a cancer diagnosis.

The drive home is hard and I wish I could just magic myself there. I am emotionally exhausted and the roads seem to stretch out before me with no end in sight. But finally I turn into my parking space and breathe a massive sigh of relief that I am home.

Stuart pours me a large gin and we sit and chat through the days events. The stress, the fear, the anxiety and the release.

We have a late dinner (and laugh out loud at his antics while I try take a timer photo of us dishing up!), shower and bed.

Aah Wednesday, you were not what I expected but I will remember you in my WITL album. I will remember that there is real tough stuff we need to deal with and it's part of our story. This day and these challenges are part of MY story.

Bring on Thursday!

Week in the Life 2019 - Tuesday

WITL Tuesday 1
WITL Tuesday 1
WITL Tuesday 1

Tuesday 7th May - Day two of Week in the Life with Ali Edwards

I found it really hard getting up this morning, hitting the snooze button way too many times. Of course this meant I was late for work and out of routine the whole day.

Breakfast was yoghurt with a pear and an apple late morning.

The morning flew by in a bit of a blur, and then it was lunch time. For lunch I had a jacket potato with tuna and cottage cheese. It was just okay! After eating we did a lap around the campus to soak in a little bit of sunshine.

I managed to squeeze in a little time to get my Monday blog post done and then answered emails.

My journey home was uneventful and pretty mundane. Wondering how I can change up my route and routine to make the most out of the hour I spend in the car each day. Need to work on that!

When I got home I saw Cherry so had a chat to her about the plans for the community garden. I missed the first clear up day so hoping to find time this weekend to do a bit. So loving our community and how we work together.

I then made a mug of coffee and sat on the bench outside to call mom. I had missed a call from her on Sunday as we were visiting friends and she had missed my calls earlier in the day as she had been in Stirling. It was so lovely to sit on the bench outside the back door and enjoy the end of the days sunshine before heading into the warmth of the house.

I put on a quick load of washing to catch up from our weekend away.

Dinner prep was easy tonight as we had plenty chicken left over from last night. It was a joint effort with me making the cous cous (and prepping lunch) and Stuart chopping up the chicken.

After dinner I worked on Lucy's baby blanket and we watched Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. It's such a silly, hilarious series!

And then it was shower, hang washing and bed time. Earlier tonight than usual.

This week I am working on getting back into good habits, like moving more and drinking more water.

Bring on Wednesday.

Week in the Life 2019 - Monday

WITL Monday 1
WITL Monday 1
WITL Monday 1
WITL Monday 1

Monday 6th May - Day one of Week in the Life with Ali Edwards.

A late start for day 1 as it's a bank holiday here in the UK. It was lovely to spend the day pottering about the house only venturing out briefly to do a small grocery shop. Over breakfast, bacon and cheese toastie, I spent some time with my 2018 and 2019 Get to work books, doing some menu planning and list writing for the BBQ and 'after fete BBQ' that Stuart and I will be running/hosting at our village fete on the 9th of June. I also painted the menu board and road signs with chalk board paint so we can get them written up and displayed.

Stuart was very busy in his garage for most of the day, tidying and tinkering.

Before preparing lunch I planted out my chilli seedlings and re potted two tomato plants that I will be keeping. The rest will go to the village plant sale on the 18th of May.

Lunch was a cold buffet plate and cup of coffee.

There was a royal announcement in the afternoon, that Prince Harry and Meghan have given birth to a baby boy. Lots of excitement on the news!

It got very cold in the late afternoon so I settled in my chair to paint my nails, toes and fingers, and watch TV.

Dinner was a yummy roast chicken, with roast potatoes, roast onion, broccoli and cauliflower, lovingly covered in gravy!

Tonight the house was so cosy and the light from the bathroom and my lounge lamp so warm, I couldn't resist capturing them both.

Giving thanks today for slow days at home. Looking back through my photos at the lived in house, with 'stuff' on all the kitchen counters, the un-vacuumed carpet, the bed linen that needs to be changed. The dirty mirror in the bathroom, the windows that need to be cleaned, clutter next to my chair. But it's our home, our space and I'm so thankful that we have a place that is safe and secure and full of love and kindness.

Bring on Tuesday!

Hello 2019

It seems to me that I can only manage blogging for the first half of the year, so why break the habit, ha. Hello to anyone who happens upon my blog and hello to 2019.

The second part of 2018 saw big change for me personally. My slimming world journey is my priority and I am still using my fitness planner from Simple Stories to keep me on track.

SW Jan update 1

The monthly overview page is a place to record my actual movement. The winter months have seen a decline in running activity but I am trying hard to get out at lunch time to get at least 20 minutes movement in.

SW Jan update 1

September ended with me taking part in my first 5km timed run through our local town. It was overwhelming (!!) and exciting (!!) and nerve wracking (!!) but it was an amazing experience and one I will never forget!

SW Jan update 1

I love rounding up each month with a quick overview of what went well, what to do moving forward (this could be a positive spin on something that didn't go quite to plan), and WINS. I love celebrating the WINS.
I didn't get around to taking measurements at the end of December but I'm not stressing about that.

And YAY me! I received my 4 and a half stone award at the end of December.

SW Jan update 1

 This really has been an amazing journey for me and I so happy with my progress. One of the reasons I still keep a daily food diary is to check for any patterns. Times when I'm eating a bit more (you know those weeks ladies!!), or changes to eating because of changes to the weather. I am having lots more gravy on my meals now winter is here and I need to check how that impacts my weight loss.

For me this is not about one meal, or one day, or even one week. It is a bigger picture. Each lunch in any given week could be totally on plan but each could involve potato. I can eat potato on slimming world, BUT I know my body and my body does not cope well with too much potato. SO these are things that will reflect in the amount of weight I have lost that week and I can go back and look at the week as a whole.
I can also have a smaller loss when it's *star* week, that is another 'pattern' I can see by looking back over the weeks.

When I get to target I don't want to have to keep a food diary, in fact I think it might stop before that but I want to know that fluctuations in my weight are totally normal and expected, and nothing to lose control over!

Weight has been quite a hot topic on the TV here in the UK this past week and it's a really problem for this and the next generation. I don't want it to be my problem again, and I need to know I can maintain a target weight.

I will be back to report further progress and any changes to my process.

C xx