Another Weekend Over

Boo to the weekend almost being over, I am so not ready to go back to work tomorrow. Wish the lottery win would hurry up and come in!!

Its been another fairly relaxed one here for us. On Friday night hubby went out with some of the lads from work so I had a couple of girlfriends over for dinner and drinks. I made a chilli con carne and I managed to point almost everything, including the drinks. I think I may have dipped into my weekly points slightly but on the whole I managed to stay on the WW track which I am pleased about. It was lovely to see the girls too, we had a good old natter and catch up.

Yesterday we took a drive down to Ashford to do a little shopping at the outlet village. We really like it there but it can be very hit and miss at times. Luckily this visit was a hit for both of us, himself got some casual canvas type shoes from Ralph Lauren and some jogging bottoms from Nike and I got a long sleeve top and coat from Superdry. We also got some new knives and scales for the kitchen and as is usual on an Ashford visit I got some new Yankee candles. As soon as we got home I started on a little re-arrange of our kitchen which is predominately black and white, however we (or should I say I) have recently decided that it needs a little pop of colour so I have added a few red bits and pieces to brighten it up a bit. I had planned to craft a little but time soon ran away and after a lovely dinner of chicken fajitas we curled up to catch up on the new ITV drama Lucky Man followed by the film called Everest. I can highly recommend the film, such a great story full of determination, courage and bravery.

Today has been a stay at home and craft kind of day, despite a bit of a lie in this morning I managed to escape to my room fairly early on. I made two cards, one for a friends grand-daughter who will be 18 in the week and the other for a 60th birthday.

For the 18th card I used a topper that I have had in my stash for ages, think I got it from Ally Pally many years ago. I used some odd bits of card stock and Basic Grey paper and then just added a sentiment from Craftwork Cards, some ribbon and a few gems.

The second card I made is for a special friend who is about to celebrate her 60th birthday. We are going to a surprise tea party that is being held in her honour next weekend which I am really looking forward to. For this card I used a Lili of the Valley printed postcard, I added ribbon, gems and some paper flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts. The little butterfly was punched using an EK Success punch that I bought on holiday in Vegas last year.

I also completed a layout I that I started last weekend. I was inspired by my friend Sarah's work, she creates the most beautiful layouts full of bling, butterfly's and blooms (you can see her blog here). The papers I used are from the Websters Pages Sunday Picnic collection as is the pink voile flower on the right hand side. Both the butterfly's are by Prima as is the crystal swirl on the left, the swirl on the right I did myself using a Bazzill template and a load of gems from my stash. before everything was stuck down I fiddled a bit and decided that it needed a little something more so I added the lace and ric-rac. I think I am pleased with the end result......

So here we are the last day of January, that means we are another month closer to Summer - yay. I cant wait for the warmer weather to arrive! I have already noticed that the evenings are starting to stay lighter just a tiny bit longer now. Anyone else feel the same as me or are you loving the cold, wet Winter months?

Anyway hope you have all had a great weekend, thanks for stopping by.

Love and hugs, Jane xx

Thursday Ramblings

Hello lovely people,

Thought I would pop by and do a quick update and share a couple more of the layouts I created at the weekend.

The layouts I have to share both feature my nephew George, I seriously cant believe this gorgeous boy will be 21 this year. Where did my oh so cute and cheeky little nephew go?? As you will see from the bottom right of the pictures I have invested in an app called Watermark which allows me to add my own name to the photos, just a little added security in case someone decided that they wanted to pinch them and upload them as their own. Both layouts were complete using up the ends of some of my Basic Grey Kits.

Last night I had my Weight Watchers weigh in and I am happy to report that I achieved a loss of 3lbs, last week, that's a total of 7lbs now which I am over the moon with. I am now starting to see little signs of the loss, I feel less bloated and some of my clothes are now a little less 'snug'. Its such a good feeling and it certainly inspiring me to keep motivated and on track.

One of the things I have been debating recently is siging up to a new scrapbook kit. In the past I have have subscribed to Studio Calico and My Creative Scrapbook, both of which were very good (although in the end I gave up SC as the papers were just too same-y each month and just not to my taste or style). I liked the MCS ones very much and I did think about starting that again but in the end I opted for a Cocoa Daisy subscription. A couple of my friends also get them and having seen their pictures I am now very excited for my first kit to arrive although I do know that wont be until sometime next month, especially as I have to allow for shipping from the US. One of my big loves in scrapbooking has always been Basic Grey. I love their papers and over the years have bought so many of the collection packs, I also had the Page of the Month kit for about 3 or 4 years which I adored. It came as a real shock last night to hear that they have decided to withdraw from the scrapbook market and that the collections that are out now are to be their last. I think over the coming weeks I can forsee a little frenzied shopping as people go on a BG spree!!

Hope you have all had a great week so far, Thanks for stopping by...

Love and hugs, Jane xx

My Week

Afternoon all...

Well its been a fairly good week here, I have managed to keep on track with Weight Watchers and on Wednesday I had my first weigh in and I am very happy to report that I lost 4lbs! I had planned to have a night off after weigh in but I was so pleased with my result that I came home and stayed on track, didn't even look at that Wispa Gold that's in the fridge!! Have tried out a few more WW recipes this week too, last night we had Tandoori chicken which was delicious and today we are having a cottage pie with carrot and sweet potato mash instead of the usual potato one. I am going to use less mince in it and bulk it out with extra veggies.

On Friday I went to have an eye test, something that was long overdue and as was expected my prescription has changed which means I need new glasses. Luckily David Clulow had a sale on which meant I got one pair half price and the second pair were totally free.....still wasn't cheap though but I guess that's what I get for picking designer frames. Cant wait to go and collect them now and get rid of the cheap and cheerful ones I have been wearing since my old ones broke.

Saturday saw us head over to Ikea in Lakeside for a new Raskog cart. I already have a teal coloured one in the kitchen but I wanted to move that into the craft room and have a dark grey one for the kitchen. Anyway as is usual in Ikea we came out with a little more than we went for, a few candles, a new toothbrush holder and a couple of other kitchen bits as well as the cart. Next stop was TK Maxx where I got a lovely canvas basket to hold my planner, notebook and WW books, I also picked up a clock for the craft room. some kitchen storage jars and a really cute little lunch bag complete with insulated containers that I will use for work. A pretty good haul and a nice little trip out. The teal cart is now in my room and has already been loaded up with crafting sure over the coming weeks and months it will be subject to a certain amount of re-arranging and change! Presently the top tray contains my punches, Selphy and label maker, the middle tray has all my embossing powers and heat guns and the bottom tray contains paints.

So to today. After making some soup, breakfast and doing a couple of loads of washing I sat down to finish a double layout I started last weekend. The pictures are of my niece when we went for a riverside walk last year, she was so excited to see all the Shaun the Sheep along by More London.

Left hand side.

Right hand side.
The papers are all from an old Basic Grey range called Sweet Threads. Just need to add a little bit of journalling and then it will be ready for her album.

I have managed a few single layouts today, once I have photographed them I will get them uploaded to share with you. I am currently working on finishing off my nephews album(s) as he will be 21 in October of this year and I want to give them to him as a present. It was only when I looked through what I have already done that I realized I haven't added anything to his latest album in over a year. So I am now uploading pics to Photobox ready to do an order.

I hope that you have all had a lovely weekend, a big thank you to all the new people who have visited my blog and left me comments - it really brings a smile to my face.

Love and hugs, Jane xx


Weekend Round-Up

Well its been a fairly chilled out and relaxed weekend here with us, just the way we like it to be honest. Friday evening was spent at home, after a nice healthy and smart point friendly dinner of cod fillets in a tomato and olive sauce with veggies we curled up in front of the TV to watch a film. Our choice of viewing this time round was The Heist which stars Robert De Niro, it was a really good film, action packed and with a great twist at the end - highly recommended by us both!

I also sat and menu planned Friday evening which meant a visit to the local supermarket on Saturday morning for supplies, I had great fun using my Weight Watchers app to check the smart points in certain things before I bought them, mind you I did get one or two funny looks! We came home and straight away I started cooking dinner which I had planned for us to have early so we could go out for a few hours in the evening. I chose a Hairy Dieters recipe for Paprika Chicken which I tweaked so it would be WW friendly and I have to say is was very nice indeed, I made more than we could eat so a batch duly went into the freezer for a quick no-cook meal when needed.

So off into town we went, all wrapped up warm against the cold. We were heading in to see the Lumiere London light show and our first point of call was Regent Street. The lights were fabulous but the crowds were horrendous, in parts it was an absolute crush and you had no choice but to keep moving. The pic's below are of the installation that was above Oxford Circus/Regent Street.

Further down Regent Street were these strange looking fish-y things. They were floating about, bobbing around and changing colour as you walked past.

By the time we got down to Piccadilly Circus the crowds were so heavy we were almost at a standstill, there were people coming and going in all directions and I have to say I really didn't like it at all. It was at that point we decided we'd had enough and we would start our journey home. We walked through Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden before jumping on a bus. Once home we had a nice bowl of home-made butternut squash, carrot and cumin soup to warm us up - it was so tasty and delicious and totally point free so that's something else that will become a regular lunch/supper item.

I started today by making a big pot of vegetable soup for Tom to have for his lunch during the week and I also made another Hairy Dieters dish for our lunch. This time I chose their Lamb Hotpot and I have to say it was far, far nicer than I had expected. It was totally delicious and we shall be having that again in the not to distant future (especially while the weather is so cold).

We popped out for an hour or so his morning to have a walk and we we took our usual route along the river with one or two diversions to make it a little longer. It was cold but it wasn't raining or snowing so it was nice, plus it meant we were both upp'ing our FitBit steps which usually at the weekend are pretty low. The rest of the day has been spent pottering about the flat but I did manage some time in my craft room, I finished one double layout using a Basic Grey Page of the Month kit and I currently have another double layout 'in progress' on my desk.  Pics below of both sides of the completed layout and feature a few pics from last years Vegas holiday.

I am now halfway though my first week on WW and I have to say so far I have found it pretty easy, yes I need to think a little more and make better choices about what we eat but on the whole I/we haven't been hungry at all and on the up-side we have still managed to have a few drinks over the weekend!

Hope you have all had a good weekend, and that the coming week is kind to you. As always thanks for stopping by and having a read. Please feel free to leave a comment, I love to read them and I promise to return the favour and stop by your blog too.

Love and hugs, Jane xx

Here I Go

Its official, I am now a Weight Watcher!!

Last night I joined my local group and I now have my daily and weekly allowance of SmartPoints so my journey to lose weight and be healthier is well and truly under way. I am feeling so motivated and positive about it all, and I am really excited at the prospect of my first weigh in. I have registered on-line so I can track what I eat and drink each day and check the points value of any food that isn't listed in my book. There is also a handy little app for when I am out and about and need to check something. One of the big plus points of the app is that it connects to my FitBit and logs my daily exercise and activity. The more active you are the more Fitpoint's you earn and the more points you have the more you can eat/drink. I have recorded my measurements as they are now and I will check these again each month to see if I am losing inches as well as pounds. I also took a photo of myself in just leggings and a vest to show my lumps and bumps in all their glory, this will go in my journal and will be my 'point of no return'!

In preparation for the coming weeks I have searched through my cook books for some inspiration and I have found a load of recipes that I can adapt to be low in points and Weight Watcher friendly. So I will be menu planning each week to ensure that we have a variety of tasty, healthy and filling meals. I am even thinking about buying a spiralizer, if any of you have one I would love to know what you think of it.

Thanks for stopping by and reading....

Love and hugs, Jane xx

Motivate Me Monday

Here we go, the first day of another week and the first day of my 2016 healthier eating and lifestyle plan. I did my first at home weigh-in this morning and my starting weight is 11st 11lb's. I wasn't entirely shocked by that, I was just disappointed that I have let my weight creep up so much again. Still I have now announced to anyone who will listen that I am going to do something about it this year so I will. I even managed to walk to the station this morning despite hubby's offer of a lift and the impending rain!

I am not usually big on breakfast and if I do grab something on my way into work is usually a cinnamon pastry or an all butter croissant which would be filled to the brim with jam, of course this would be to go with my large skinny latte!! This morning I was determined to bypass these sugar and fat laden treats and go for something that is better for me. The smell of the freshly baked croissants in M&S was enough to tempt even the strongest willed person but I walked on by and bought some fat free yogurt, fruit and porridge. I even skipped Starbucks to make my own coffee at work so that's both lbs and £'s I should start saving. I have to say the porridge wasn't too bad at all, I sweetened it naturally by adding a few blueberries so it was a little more tasty. It actually filled me up a lot more than I thought it would so I saved my banana and yogurt to have as a mid-morning snack or with my lunch. Luckily my colleagues are all being really supportive and have stopped waving the biscuits and chocolates in my direction. Lunches from now on will be healthy salads and soups followed by a filling and nutritious evening meal, my plan is for us to have at least one meat free night a week and to have more fish. I will be digging out all my cook books to find some new recipes for us to try.

As well as using my blog to keep me motivated and on track I am also going to use a journal. I had an old Stampin Up This and That book hanging around so I covered it with some pretty Basic Grey papers and added a title and voila its all ready to go. I honestly cant wait to join Weight Watchers on Wednesday, I am even thinking about starting to go for a little run a couple of times a week, although for now I think I might just stick with the walking!!

Thank you for stopping by and having a read, I love seeing that people have left me a comment. I really want to focus on my blog this year, so with that in mind I thought I would change it up a little bit and start the New Year with a pretty new wallpaper.

Love and hugs, Jane xx

Project Life Updated

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What a wet and miserable day today has been, so glad we didn't have any plans to go anywhere or do anything. Instead I paid a quick visit to the local Farmers Market in Bermondsey Square to stock up on veggies. I came home and made a pot of curried parsnip soup to be used for lunches in the week and a three cheese and tomato tart which we had for lunch today.

After a quick bit of housework I headed to my room to play while Tom took control of the tv!! I pretty much lost track of my Project Life around mid June last year and I wasn't going to bother going back to update it as I thought it would be more trouble than it was worth but a friend suggested doing monthly pages rather than doing weekly ones. So with the aid of my fully up to date Erin Condren Life Planner I set about doing some pages. I managed to finish off June and then I did 3 more double pages, so that's July, Aug and Sept now complete. I also started to lay out the cards for my Oct/Vegas page which I think will probably cover 4 sides so I can include a fair bit of journaling and photos. Below are some pics of the completes pages.......let me know what you think, and how you tackle Project Life if you are doing it.

Today is also a special day for our family, it's the anniversary of the day my cousin lost her beautiful daughter. It's now five years since the Angels came for our girl but not a day goes past without her being thought of. So tonight we shall raise our glases to the brightest star in the sky, love you Hayley xx

Thanks for stopping by and if you like what you see please leave me a comment and feel free to share my blog with any fellow bloggers you think might like it.

Love and hugs as always, Jane xx

Hello 2016

Hello and Happy New Year to you all...

Wow, cant quite believe this is my first post in nearly 8 months. I have to say time just seemed to run away from me in the second part of last year, we had so much on including my cousins 50th birthday, my 50th birthday and a visit to Buckingham Palace amongst other things. Have added a few pics below....the fab birthday cake was arranged by Tom and it tasted just as good as it looked.

In October we had the holiday to Las Vegas, which was totally amazing. We stayed in the Venetian this time which is the best hotel we have stayed in so far. There were loads of new things for us to see and do this time and in hindsight I wish I had blogged at least a little about it while we were away but I didn't so I will just have to forget about it and move on (although I may come back and do a follow up to my previous Vegas post - you all know how much I love my Vegas LOL!!). For now I have added a few photos of some of our 2016 LV highlights to share with you.

So here we are in a New Year, something that I have started by having my annual healthcare MOT. As I expected I was told that I am overweight and that my cholesterol level is high. Like many others at this time of year I am planning to shed those excess pounds and get myself slimmer, healthier and fitter. As someone who loves her food I know that this isn't going to be an easy task so I plan to blog and journal my journey to try and keep me motivated and on the right track. I am certain that there will be tears and tantrums along the way but with the help of my lovely family, friends and Weight Watchers I know that I will achieve my goal. On the plus side I wont be doing this alone, Tom will be part of this as he wants to acheive the same as me and I will be doing Weight Watchers with my friend Cath who is also going to be my walking buddy. I bought a FitBit last year so that will enable me to keep a track of how many steps I have done each day and to meet at least the 10k minimum.

Anyway today is Friday, so lets have a big yay for the weekend. I shall spend this one enjoying the last of the cheeses etc that are in the fridge before starting on the healthy stuff on Monday.

Thanks for stopping by and having a read, I hope that you all have a good weekend whatever you are doing. Remember to keep your eyes open for
more posts, I will be back!!

Love and hugs, Jane xx