Out of Office

Well its finally here, time to jet off and enjoy our much planned and anticipated holiday.


See you in a couple of weeks when I will be back with a full report of our trip to Disneyland Anaheim......


and of course the full lowdown on Vegas!!


Love and hugs,

Jane x

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Weight Watchers Update

So today I went for my last weekly weigh in before holiday and it was a good one - another 2lbs off! I didn't quite make the pre-holiday mini goal I had set myself but I am more than happy with where I am right now. I have lost a total of 29.5lbs since I started Weight Watchers and probably a little more than that since I last went to Vegas.

Prior to joining WW I was pretty much always on a 'diet' and my weight was something that I shied away from and tried to pretend wasn't what it actually was because in reality that would be admitting to myself that I was overweight. What a lot of people don't know is that as a younger girl I was bullied for being over weight and those words stuck with me from my teens right through to my adult life and are probably one of the major factors of my lack of confidence in how I looked and felt no matter what other people told me. Ultimately the more I re-run the bullying in my head the more I went on a diet but because deep down I felt a failure for having to diet I really didn't care so the diets failed. It was a vicious circle that was constantly rewarded with the wrong types of food and lack of caring about me.

So in Jan 2016 I bit the bullet and I joined WW, something I had always said I didn't need to do as I was in control and because I didn't believe that it would actually work for me. My mindset soon changed and as I started to lose weight I quickly realized that diets on the whole don't work, they are just quick fixes - what I actually needed was a healthier lifestyle and that is what WW was offering me. With the aid of my Weight Watchers app and the support and encouragement of my group I started menu planning and thinking about what I was eating rather than just reaching for what was quick and convenient. My love for cooking was re-ignited and I started to scour cookbooks and the internet to find new and tasty things to eat. My mentality towards food and fitness totally changed too, I now seem to automatically opt for the healthier options and I get fuller a lot more quickly from eating a lot less. I walk more than I ever did and now I can walk faster and further without getting out of breath and being a hot, sweaty, achy mess after just 15 mins! To say that my life has changed for losing the weight seems a little dramatic but I can honestly say I have never felt as healthy and happy as I do now. Shopping for clothes is now an absolute delight although I do have to constantly remind myself that I am not the size I used to be - its funny how I still seem to reach for things in the size I was and not what I am now. People that haven't seen me for a while notice and comment, and while that may sound vain its those words of 'oh wow you look good' or 'you have lost so much weight' that have helped to keep me motivated and on track. Losing weight and keeping it off is a mental thing as well as a physical thing and the support networks we build around ourselves are a great help in this. I know that I am very lucky to be blessed with a very supportive family and friends as well as a great group.

Its not always been easy and all been plain sailing though, there have been weeks where I have maintained even though I have stayed on track and there have been weeks where I have had a gain too. But this is all part of the journey, life happens and life is to be lived, its far to short to say no! If I want a piece of cake, or to enjoy a party/birthday/holiday then I will but its now a short lived experience rather than an every day one. So I am off to the USA on my hols this coming weekend and I am looking forward to a little break from point counting and tracking. I know I wont be good and probably wont make the most sensible of choices where food is concerned however there will be plenty of walking done and I will try to stay in control as much as I can without being a food bore! As soon as I am home I will head for class for a weigh in and to face the damage because I know that as soon as I do I can take control again and get back to where I want to be.

This post is certainly not a preach to say that everyone above a certain weight should go join a slimming club. Your weight is your own business and no-one else's, as long as you are happy with the way you look is the most important thing. I didn't like how I looked or felt which is why I made the decision to join WW. Be your own self and be happy with who you are.

Thanks for stopping by and reading. Feel free to leave me a comment and a link to your blog if you have one.

Love and hugs,

Jane


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Weekend in Review - 20th/21st May 2017

So here we are, another weekend has past and we are now into the final countdown for our holiday! We have officially reached the -7 day mark, woo hoo!!

I went for my pre-holiday hair cut on Friday, the dead ends and overly long fringe are now gone and my locks are looking lovely and sleek again. I just need to give myself a rinse of colour and I will be good to go. It was great to see my hairdresser John, especially as he has just got engaged. The wedding is next year and I am already looking forward to it!

On Saturday our team, Millwall were playing at Wembley in the League One playoff final. I decided not to go to the game but Tom went along with my cousins and our nephew and niece. They all met for pre game drinks so I popped along to have a quick one with them before they all headed off. It was a great game and it was pretty close but luckily the Lions won 1-0 so are now promoted to the Championship - happy days!
It was lovely to see everyone, we don't get together often enough due to us all living so far apart. Hopefully though we can get something organized for this year.

While Tom was out I started sorting my clothes and picking out what I am taking on holiday. I have tried to pack lightly and make 'outfits' that can be mixed and matched to suit day through to night. I bought some packing cubes from Groupon to use after seeing a picture that a friend had posted of her using them. Now I have to say when they first arrived I was rather skeptical as they looked a little on the small side and rather flimsy. However I am extremely impressed as I have managed to fit everything in!! They are certainly a great way to keep and make your packing/un-packing organized, plus having everything folded neatly into this bags means nothing moves about or gets squished.


I managed to finish another baby C2C (corner to corner) blanket. This one is heading up to Scotland for a friends Grandson. He already has one of my blankets and apparently loves it, hope this one is as big a hit! I really do enjoy making these blankets, they are so simple and easy to create and they seem to crochet up in no time at all.



I did a little blog hopping last week and found a few new ones that I like so I have added these to my side bar and will make sure that I check them out regularly. What are your fave blogs, do you stick to one 'type' or do you like to mix it up a bit?

Anyway I hope that you all had a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by to read, I really do appreciate it and I love it when I get a comment.

Love and hugs,

Jane xx

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Bannatyne Spa Day

Yesterday I took a days annual leave from work and ventured down to Ramsgate to have a Spa Day with a few of my girlfriends. It was a lovely, lovely day and was the perfect pre-holiday treat. Sadly I didn't get any pictures but I thought I would do a little write up to share with you all.

The day was at the Bannatyne Health Club in Westwood Cross near Ramsgate in Kent. You can find full details of all the treatments and packages they offer here. The cost of our day was £99.00 for two people, we had a package that included two treatments - a back, neck and shoulder massage and a mini facial (40 mins combined time) along with full use of all the facilities on offer and afternoon tea. You can also book and pay for additional treatments if you wish, there are plenty to choose from as well as a indoor and outdoor pool, gym, steam room and Jacuzzi.

Upon arrival we had to fill out a little health questionnaire before our day could begin, this will determine what type of treatment you get. Once that was complete we all bought Spa bags, which basically are a Bannatyne tote bag that contain a towel, a robe and flip flops. The cost for this is £5.00 but you get to keep the bag and flip flops. Our first stop once we were changed was the pool area where we all dived straight into the jacuzzi - it was warm and bubbly and the perfect place for us girlies to sit, chat and catch up. Before long it was time for me to head to the treatment rooms where I was given a Swedish massage. The lovely young lady who was looking after me said I had a lot of tension in my shoulders so she had to work good and hard to loosen them up and I have to say at times it was almost verging on painful but it felt good! After that I had a deep cleansing Elemis facial before I re-joined the others in the relaxation room. Now this room was seriously good - a lovely low lighted and beautifully scented room with hot stone beds to lay on. After my massage this was the most wonderful place to lay and just unwind and chill out.....I think every home should have one of these, if I ever win the lottery and I can buy a big house I am definitely getting one of these installed!

Afternoon tea was served in the coffee shop area of the centre and although it was nice I would have been happy to have not had this included. It was ok but didn't really fill me up, I would much rather have had a lighter lunch. But hey it was part of the day and was a sweet treat.

We finished the remainder of our day in the Jacuzzi and steam room before we all had to say goodbye and head off home. Of course no day like this is complete without a trip to the Spa shop and as I love Elemis products I really had to stop myself from spending an absolute fortune. I was very restrained and only bought a little glowing face and body set which will be put to very good use in the coming week or so as I start my pre-holiday beauty regime. It came in a fab and very handy Elemis tote bag....which you can see it below along with all the products.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day, it wasn't the fanciest of spas/health clubs but for what we paid it was perfect. Hopefully it wont be too long before we can do another one.

Thanks for stopping by, love and hugs..

Jane xx

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You are never too old for Disney.

Its no lie, the excitement for our almost here holiday is building at a tremendous rate, although if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram this will come as no surprise.

We booked our LA and Vegas flights back in July of last year and since the beginning of this year we have planning like mad. Slowly but surely the itinerary has come together and everything is now in place for a fab & fun filled trip. As soon as the flights were booked I knew that if I could convince Tom that I wanted us to spend at least one day in Disney in Anaheim - it seemed daft to be so close and not go. At first he wasn't very receptive to the idea but after talking to a few friends that have recently been and watching countless You Tube vids I finally got him to agree to go, and even better he agreed to two days!! Cue time to shop for Disney essentials....

The first thing I bought were these fab ears. Now I know I could have bought them out there, and the chances are I will buy at least one more pair in the park but I wanted to have a pair that I could wear when we walk through the gates on our first day. I also wanted a pair that were totally unique and unlike any others. I found these on Etsy from a seller called Made for Mouse (she is also on FB and Insta under the same username). Nikki is a joy to work with, you can either buy your ears from the selection on her page or you can message her and she will custom make you a pair. I could not recommend her highly enough, product and customer service were second to none. If your planning a trip to any of the Disney parks and you want a special pair of ears then go check out her page.



Next on my list was footwear. Again I wanted something a little different, the idea of plain trainers or Converse were just not doing it for me so I started to look at Facebook pages and Etsy. The first thing that I found were some hand painted Converse that you could customize with any design of your choice. I liked the look and idea of these and it's what I was going to go with but then I started to worry that the paints might crack or run if they got wet/damp so I continued my search. Now anyone that knows me even in the slightest will know that I have something of an obsession for all things sparkly - so the minute I saw these babies I knew that these were what I needed to have for my Disney days. Again I received nothing but fab service from the seller, I ordered these on a Sunday night and I had them on my feet the following Friday. I just wish I had opted for the fully blinged up version with the bow and crystals on the back too. If you want to see the full range of customized footwear check out the Sparklemixx page.



As we only have 2 days in Disneyland we spent a whole Saturday night with the watching You Tube videos of the attractions on laptop along with park maps and a guide book to try and figure out some sort of itinerary. We have planned out what rides and attractions we want to do and have kind of worked out in what order we should best do them. However its not set in stone as its just the two of us and we are in no real rush. We may try to get Fast Passes for some of the rides if the queues are massive but I don't think that's going to be too much of a problem. There is a handy app that I have downloaded so we can keep an eye on ride wait times as well as find out where the characters are located for those all important pictures.


I have also downloaded a Disney soundtrack so I can refresh my memory with the words to all the songs, you have got to be word perfect when you do the rides right?? Problem is I now cant get the words to A Whole New World and Its a Small World out of my head!!

This will be my second Disney experience and Toms first. My first was a trip to the Magic Kingdom in Florida but that was many, many years ago, I think something like 30 years!! To say we are excited is a total understatement and at this precise moment I am actually more excited to be going Disney than I am Vegas!! A couple of people have questioned why we are going saying things like 'isn't it just for kids?'.....my answer to that is NO!! You are never to old to go to the happiest place on earth and anyway life is too short to not do what makes you happy. I literally cannot wait to walk down Main Street and catch sight of the castle for the first time and I am pretty sure at some point over the two days there will be (happy) tears! I promise to do a full review and share some of the pictures when we are back, if you cant wait that long then just keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram where I will be sharing as much as I can.

Thanks for stopping by and reading. If you fancy leaving me a comment then please do and if you have a blog of your own leave me a link and I will pop by and return the favour.

Leaving sparkles, love and hugs

Jane xx


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Weekend Review

Thought I would try and start this week with a review of the weekend, so here goes with this one just gone. I got the inspiration for this from the lovely Jo who's blog I have been following for a while now.

Saturday
Tom worked a night shift on Friday so as I was awake when he came home I got up to let him get some sleep. I had a quick coffee and decided that now was the perfect time to nip to Primark in Marble Arch to pick up some trainer socks for holiday. I checked the opening times and managed to get there about 20 mins or so after the doors opened. It was heaven, the store was neat and tidy and most importantly it was empty - happy days. Anyway the first things that I picked up were the socks I had planned to get, however by the time I actually left the store 2 tops, 2 fleece throws, an acrylic storage pot, a few beauty items and a usb power bank had all fallen into my basket!! Ooops how did that happen???

Honestly I did intend to only buy socks.......

After I got home I decided that I would clean the kitchen and boy did I clean it! By the time I had finished it was gleaming and it smelt divine thanks to all the lovely Spanish cleaning products I had just stocked up on. I plan to do a future post about the Spanish home and bath/body products I have been using but if you want an idea take a look at the Limon Casa website. I also had a little clear out as I was going along and I got rid of a few odds and ends here and there so now we have a clean and a very well organized kitchen. Once that was finished I gave the spare/craft room a quick going over too, seems like I was in domestic goddess mode!! ha, ha.

Hubby was at work again Saturday night so I made the most of the peace and quiet and after a long soak in a bubbly bath I curled up on the sofa with a large G&T to watch some films. It was bliss to have total control of the remote but I do miss him when he is not here.

Sunday
Another early start for me as again I woke and got up when Tom came home. I made a coffee and headed straight for my craft room where I managed 2 layouts - woo hoo! That's last years trip to Portugal all scrapped, slowly but surely I am catching up! Only Spain, several family birthdays and Christmas to do before I can start on scrapping 2017. Here is one of the layouts I created, very simple but that's how I scrap.

Himself didn't sleep for too long so once he was up and dressed we headed out for a little walk along the river. It was a lovely day, bright and sunny at times but it was a little on the chilly side. The stretch of riverside between Tower and London Bridges was packed, tourist season is in full swing already. We headed home after an hour or so as I wanted to finish clearing out my wardrobes and Tom wanted to watch some football. I also sorted out all of my make up and moved it from a cluttered, dirty and smelly case to some fab acrylic storage drawers/units that I found on Amazon.

Before.....
After.....
I am so pleased that I can now easily see and find my make up, plus the neat freak in me loves that I can store everything by product group. It will probably undergo a few re-arrangements in the coming days but I am so happy with it. All I need now is a new mirror, looking for a light up/flip over one if anyone can suggest a good one?

Oh and talking of make up etc these fab mermaid style brushes arrived today. They are so pretty and super, super soft. I can't wait to give them a try out.

I hope that you all had a good weekend and that the week ahead is kind to you.

Thanks for stopping by and having a read. Please leave me a comment, I love to read them. Also feel free to make some suggestions for future posts.

Love and hugs,

Jane

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Changing it Up

Well its certainly been a long time since I last blogged hasn't it? Its not that I haven't wanted to its more that I didn't feel it was worth it. I have no idea how many people my blog reaches and as I only seem to get one or two comments per post I started to question whether it was worth the time and effort. Plus I began to feel that my blog lacks a certain amount of direction. When I first started I knew where I wanted to go as my blogging was all about crafting with the odd random catch up post here and there. Things have changed a fair bit since then and I do still craft (but not to the extent that I used to) which is why I kind of feel stuck blog wise as I am unsure of what to post and who to aim it at. I love reading other blogs, especially creative, beauty, travel and lifestyle ones and I think that's the kind of way I would like to go but I am not sure how to go about that and how to attract more readers. But is that something I should even be worrying about?? At the end of the day this is my blog, it's my outlet for writing about the things I like and that make me happy.

Anyway I am willing to give this a shot so I have started by revamping the colour scheme and layout, having spent a lot of time looking at other blogs over the last few weeks I have decided that simple and elegant is the way forward. I think it still needs a little tweaking here and there and its going to be a work in progress for a little while so watch this space.

I would love to know what you think, and if you have any hints or tips please feel free to pass them on, it would be much appreciated.

Love and Hugs,

Jane xx
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