A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

School Night Sleepovers

It's no secret that Andy and I adore spending time with our grand baby;  he's seriously one of the greatest joys in our lives at the moment.  His smile could melt an ice-burg in seconds and already his sense of humour is epic. He talks a mile a minute and although almost every word is still ineligible, we are all eagerly awaiting the moment when his words become clearer as this boy definitely has some tales to tell. He's an absolute chatter box. I won't even begin to brag about how well he eats and sleeps.

His momma has just started working a new job and because she will sometimes need to work early mornings and nights throughout the week they asked if I would be able be able to help out with Jayden.  I don't think I have to tell you what my answer was. Andy and I have him quite a lot on the weekends (when his other grandparents aren't vying for him, we all have to share out our time) and I couldn't see an issue with having him a bit more.  A little one-to-one time with our boy is always a bonus. 

Last night he came to stay for the 2nd time (mid week that is) and it works out remarkably well.  He's an easy child to care for and let's face it - taking care of kids has always come naturally to me.  It's not that hard especially when said child is an easy-going one and sleeps all night.  I perhaps wouldn't be so willing if he was the obnoxious spawn of Russel Brand, but that he certainly is not.  I only need to set my alarm a bit earlier in the morning and make sure everyone is sorted and off to our respective daycare/job we go;  the only one who isn't 100% happy with this deal is Molly.  She's a bit partial to her Mama's attention.

Having sleepover's with our boy actually assists me in my quest to drag my lazy ass out of bed in the morning.  Sometimes I think it's a damn shame I wasn't raising six kids in Walnut Grove or on Walton Mountain.  Roll your eyes if you will but I should have been born in the days when raising a family while staying at home with them was considered perfectly natural. Other than all the manual cooking & housework of course.  When it comes to that I'm definitely a mod-con kind of gal.  

Anyway, I'm digressing again.  What I meant to do was just show you this adorably cute photo: 

(How could I ever say no to this?)

In other news I managed to score a fantastic (on line) deal with one of the coffee houses here,Costa Coffee and Tassimo and am now delighted to have one of these in my kitchen: 

(As mentioned previously, I do love my mod-cons)

Local grocery stores don't carry a wide variety of flavours but as soon as I get a chance I'll log onto the Tassimo Website to see if they offer a larger variety of exciting flavours. (I won't hold my breath on this one though as England hasn't caught up with the rest of the western world just yet in terms of coffee flavours).  Now tea is a different matter.  Sadly, I'm not a tea drinker.

Andy was meant to be away last weekend but managed to get home.  Aside from getting to see his kids and Dad on Father's Day, he managed to finish off the renovation of our fire pit.    

Because it was a balmy evening I served my man his ribs and baked potato outside next to the fire pit while we both enjoyed an ice cold San Miguel. 

Hopefully we will have more mild evenings when we can fire this baby up and enjoy whatever summer weather we might be lucky enough to get. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Not 100% Convinced

Yesterday I had a lengthy discussion with my manager on whether or not I should be at work due to the 'outbreak' that was invading my skin.  However I'm not 100% convinced it IS chicken pox;  I have absolutely no other symptoms and its not spreading any further than my torso or thighs.  They are big, red and ugly but other than that I wouldn't know they were there if I didn't look. And don't worry, I'm sparing you all a photo of it - I don't want to put you off your weekend.

I won't have any client contact and will refrain from seeing Beryl or my in-law's this weekend just in case it is the pox. They are older and have a more delicate constitution.  Luckily Jayden has recently had chicken pox so his parents aren't bothered and I'm so looking forward to having our baby boy come and sleep over this evening.

Our other baby boy, Connor turned 17 last weekend.  Seventeen.  I can't believe that our curly topped, joyful little chatterbox is now almost legally an adult. Where did the last ten years go?

Because he was working away with his uncle last Saturday, we will celebrate this weekend.

A colleague at work made a cake for his daughter's birthday last week and when he showed me the photo,  and after I had a momentary flash of fear for any diabetics that might come into contact with it, I knew right away who would also appreciate such a cake - our chocolate fiend himself.  So last evening I finished it off and although to me it looks like a mountain of chocolate overload, I think he might just like it a lot.

(I think Willy Wonka would be proud)

The hardest part?  Not having a small piece myself... or at least a few of the pieces its decorated with. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Olivia Cromwell

It's been kind of strange week around these parts and I will explain why in just a few sentences, however I first need to confess that I had a bad day yesterday and ate a carb overload.  My boss friend and I went out for lunch to a quaint French bistro and as there were no salads on offer, I had a gorgeous vegetable crepe. Oh and to top it off, last evening I indulged in some dark chocolate and a big old bag of Walker's French Fries.  Oops.  

Today I'm back on track and eating the way I should be: 

Trying to keep my salad and fruit choices interesting :)  

I gave myself a hard time over it last night but today I've come to my senses and realized that we all have blips every now and again. I've been so good for five weeks now and I deserved a treat; This now means no chocolate birthday cake for me this weekend when Connor is with us.  (I can't believe he turned 17 last Saturday!)

OK, I will stop boring you with talk of my weekly food choices and instead tell you something you might find a bit more interesting:  

Late Monday afternoon at work the gardener was out mowing the lawn and managed to stop the mower just before he went over this tiny girl: 

Meet Olivia (Livvy) Cromwell

Polly, a practice nurse in the building, adopted her and is now feeding her every 2-3 hours.  The vet told Polly that the kitten was no more than a week old (she still has an umbilical cord).  We figure the mama cat must have had a fright and was unable to come back for her.  The centre where we are based is called the Cromwell Centre and there are always a ton of cats in the car park.  I don't think for one minute that there would have been a shortage of adoptive mother's on hand if Polly hadn't taken her in.

And get this: 

Sunday night I noticed I had a lot of blister-like spots on my upper legs. This morning I woke up to find a ton more of these blisters all over my torso.  I'm not experiencing any other symptoms but thought I'd nip over to the GP and have Polly have a look just to see what she thought.

 And get this... it would appear that I have chicken pox.  

I had it as a small child and have experienced shingles twice as an adult, however I thought I was immune to the pox.  I thought wrong.  It's running rampant throughout the town at the moment and I've been around a lot of kids so I suppose that explains it. 

Either way, I'm not experiencing any of the side effects that go along with chicken pox so I'm only gross to look at and thankfully it's not on my arms, face or lower legs so Andy is the only one who is going to have a front row seat to the viewing of my lurgy.  

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Not missing you as much as I thought I would.

A few weeks back I posted about how I was a wee bit disappointed for not quite sticking to the goals I'd set out for myself in the month of May. However I managed to turn things around by the last two weeks of the month. I didn't follow the Accountability Calendar to the day, however I did set a few goals of my own to aim for:

Run the whole 5K for the Race for Life
Cut down on carbs 
Shred at least three times a week
Lose 5-6 lbs
Post here at least 7-10 times

I'm patting myself on the back because I can gleefully report that I have done all the above.  I will admit that I was late in starting the shred as I only got back into over the last week or so, however I'm now back into it and have also increased my level of outside activity.

I haven't had a bag of crisps(chips) or even a cookie since the 14th of May and instead I'm enjoying  plenty of fresh fruit, low fat Greek yogurt and other healthy snacks.

(Part of my packed lunch today :)

Oh, and I do still eat pasta about once a week, but that's OK - what I'm doing is working for me.

Because I'm not drinking any wine and tons of  water, I do treat myself to a diet coke a few times a week.  I'm not going to deny myself everything I enjoy and have decided that eventually I will allow myself the bonus of a sinful dessert or glass or two of wine, but not quite yet.

I'm not ready to break my stride and fall off this healthy wagon I've been managing to practically drive, never mind just hang on to.  I'm surprising myself with how dedicated I have been and I don't want to risk not being able to climb back on board if I do step off, however temporarily.  I'm giving myself at least another week or two before I treat myself.  Besides I'm not particularly missing anything at this point so why eat  or drink something I'm not craving?

Crisps and Wine, what I'm trying to say is that I'm really not missing you.  Well not most of the time.  Sometimes on a Friday or Saturday night I remember you fondly and look forward to our next hook-up.

Anyway, back to my regularly scheduled post:

I've also been trying out different versions of home-made hummus.  Making good  hummus is fairly easy when tahini is the key and oh so delicious ingredient; however it's high in fat and be it a 'good' fat or not, I can't afford the extra calories so hence my quest to find a lightened up version. Which I managed to achieve last evening:

I roasted some red pepper and garlic then blitzed it up with a can of chick-peas, freshly squeezed lemon juice, low fat fromage frais (you could use low-fat, plain Greek yogurt instead), garlic salt and some Cajun spice.  Go on, try it out and let me know what you think.

It's not quite the same texture and definitely doesn't taste the same as regular hummus, but damn it's tasty just the same.  Fresh and perfect for dipping veggies in or using as a sandwich spread.