Wednesday, 27 March 2013

3TO in action

Just doing some sharing before I fly off into some actual sunshine and miss their first roper gig since the new line u ::(

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Healthy on the sly

Since my youngest and i have been eating healthily I have made a few changes around here but sort of without telling anyone.

Husband has gone gluten free as I manage to identify some of his issues. He has never felt better so has now opted out of all cakes, biscuits, anything crumb or batter coated, all sponge type puddings (which was all of them except the ice cream on the winter menu of our local pub), So I now buy him a handful of packs of gluten free pitta each week & get a couple of packs of normal pitta for everyone else. No more sliced or even 'baked in store' type bread. Baked in store tastes amazing but sits like a concrete block my tummy.

We have been having daily smoothies for breakfast. A little oat bran, some Greek yogurt, some nice honey, a banana each and a handful of other fruit. Fills us up far better than toast ever did.

Oh, and last week i bought some low fat Greek yogurt and some full fat. He didn't notice the difference so this week it is all low fat :)

The only person still drinking fizzy drinks is my eldest son. He has about 6 tins left from the 12 tines whcih i bought him at Christmas. The two heavier drinkers just stopped dead and now have one only if we go out.

I re-ordered the fruit and veggy boxes which we had previously and fill up two massive bowls of fruit,, which are being used for grazing by everyone.

The old fella moved to decaff coffee after noon without noticing. He is sleeping much better and suddenly a big decaff fan. I changed him from sugar to sweeteners and now we are down to half the number of sweeteners.  I think we are on to non sweetened drinks by May.

We are eating about 100% more veggies, with veggie soups, stews or stir fries becoming the norm..

So far no complaints!


Saturday, 23 March 2013

Three Times Over

Did I mention my eldest son is a musician? Indulge me and let me show off a bit this afternoon.


My son is the guitarist on the right.They are normally rockier but this is an acoustic version for us.

Aren't they good, and adorable?? If anyone would like to 'like' them on Facebook then it would a nice little boost for them.  They had a gig this pm but it is has just been cancelled so a bit of a disappointing day for them.

Holiday Count Down

We are off to the Crete house next week for a little break. Only 8 days not the usual 3.5 weeks but nonetheless it will be good. I cant go for longer at this time of year as it is year end but I just tacked a few days onto Easter so that I wouldn't be missed too much. My dad missed out on his holiday with us last September so rather than wait another year I thought it would be good to go on the first flight of the year. There wont be swimming but the temperature will be around 20 plus degrees. Here it is around 2 degrees. Maybe its enough to get rid of the cough and cold I have had since December 1st!


We are taking a single case. So today I am going to organise myself to maximise the use of my 20kg. I like the challenge. If i wanted then I could pay for 2 more bags for £45 but its not necessary. My first thought is to take to pieces a small book case that I have. So that can be today's challenge.


We wont do much work whilst we are there this time. We have a little painting to do, some external woodwork or porch roofs over the front door and some windows, it some curtain poles, we need to chase up the guy that should have fitted our metal fly screens. Because it will be much cooler than summer I am hoping my  mum will help me with a garden plan. She can have good old wander and dig about, which is just way too hot to do in the summer.

After this we don't go again until Summer 2014. We will spend the in between times saving up for some stonework and other building work for which we probably need actual builders rather than DIY.

Slowly we get there.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Plenty of Time

I am borrowing an idea from Moyra I appear to have an eternal quest for enough time to do everything and generally just about fit everything in but I have a suspicion that I might slow down when time is more readily available and sneakily I flourish under pressure or time constraints. So I am going to turn my ideas around a little and see whether I do better with all the time in the world, or is that what I already have? Brain ache might be what I already have.

I just spend two days away at conference. It was excellent and they kept us so busy I feel like I was away for weeks. I went on until 9pm for the presentations and 1.30am if you wanted a lot of free booze (and who wouldn't want to spend the night chatting to other accountants, actuaries, insurers and valuers!). Breakfast was at 7.30am the next day with a big firm of accountants was analyzing the budget for us by 8am. The brilliant Andrew Neil spoke to us at nine. These accountants are made of tough stuff, we had done a days work by 11am, although my boss fell asleep in the breakfast meeting. I am home now but still buzzing with all the activity.

So maybe I do flourish when pushed as I do seem to like to be busy. I also dont mind my staff ringing me when I am not at work so am I needy too? How many faults can I have and still be this happy? Oh well. My time creation plan is first thing to do. I will worry about whether I am needy another time,  or actually I guess, when I have the time.



Monday, 18 March 2013

Make time for 'doing stuff'

My 'to do' list for Saturday was a mix of household bits and potentially fun bits. As usual I didn't get to the sewing or actually any fun bits. I really like sewing so why don't i get to it? I think the whole get the sewing machine out, look for the cotton, try to find someone to thread the needle etc I just get put off by the knowing how long it will take (probably actually less than i think, of course) and it gets postponed again.

As far as i can see, I work (quite a bit, as it happens) and i do housework. Something has gone a little wrong. I need to add a few more fun things back on to my to do list.

Of course it doesn't help that my husband has this low level Aspergers thing going on, so a very haunted look comes onto his face when I suggest doing anything. All the same I am fifty, and obviously not getting any younger so its time to act.

Any ideas????

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Low Obligation Saturday

Laundry is almost complete.
Dishwasher is working again.
Kitchen cleaning is minimal as kitchen is part way through being tiled by my lovely son.
Grocery shopping was done with my other lovely son last night.
I visited my friend last weekend and the weekend before.
I need to clean my car inside & vacuum right through & then I can do whatever I like this weekend. Feels very liberating.

Greek -I am going to do a bit of Greek homework. Where our house is in Greece there are no English speakers and I was told to improve my Greek by next visit by the old folk who want to chat. Bless them, I have to come up with something!  

Ebaying - I have a ton of stuff to photograph and advertise and a ew extra ££££ is always good.

Sewing -I have sleeves to it to a dress which otherwise wont be worn and sleeves to hem on another top. I can only do this i someone else is home to help with the needle threading (sad but true). I this goes well I will have a go at making the patchwork wallet form the kit supplied by Carla, some months back.



I may start pulling together a pile of stuff to take on holiday.



This is our little village :)  Very unusually there are clouds over our 'wedding cake' church.


Monday, 11 March 2013

Money, money, money

We have got into a little bad habit lately. A little touch of frittering away on things we could easily manage without. Some new tops, a new bag, some new spanners (not me!), fix the laptop, fix the car. Some things could have waited. We have some good new habits too. I have upped the monthly standing order to pay an extra £200 from the mortgage.

From now we are getting back on track. We have had 'the chat' and talked ourselves out of our wastefulness. This lasts a couple of months before we have to have a stern talking to ourselves again.

We are quite lucky considering the economy but even for us it is getting tighter and tighter. Petrol is up again, food prices rising weekly. Even with our healthier eating and portion control it is pretty pricey.  And now we have snow in March. It is so darn cold. But even though we went back to drying laundry in the tumble dryer, when the endless racks of washing made the house feel cold & damp all of the time, we at least are not carrying a debit through on our utilities account. Maybe we can decrease our payments as the warm weather comes along, and lets hope it wont be snowing in July.

All the same, roll on pay day!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Happy Mothers's Day

Happy Mother's Day

We are celebrating 'our style'. I had flowers and books (perfect). We have replaced cards, just within our family group, with telling a joke. We figure most cards are just open them, laugh, put them on the mantelpiece, lose them. So now we are just going to tell a joke and hand over the gift ( we still do gifts but there is a £10 limit).
Highlight is still to come. Indiana jones marathon this evening and possibly some home made popcorn.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Eat whatever you like day

I think that this is the second week of healthier eating so in line with our original plan Sunday is eat what you fancy day. So what did we eat when we could eat anything?

Ahdel doesn't appear to have eaten anything all day
Jamal ate a roast dinner without potatoes at his nan's house, probably roast beef, cabbage, cauli, carrots - not especially indulgent but he is now complaining of bellyache and feeling ill.
Fahed & I had our usual smoothies for breakfast, mostly mango since you ask. We didn't bother with lunch as smoothies were late. This evening we had Chinese. Which is to say that I made ham fried rice & a chicken & broccoli stirfry - 2 chicken thighs in total. We didn't manage half of it & abandoned it in favour of yogurt each. I think a little 'high five' might be in order.



Saturday, 2 March 2013

Odd Job Day

With the new google drive set up my little 'to do' list follows me everywhere, there is no avoiding!

So I already did my food shop for the week. Budget is £100 per week but today's total came in at £57. This is all thanks to our healthy eating regime. The foods tend to be the same price or more but there is much less of it but we are all feeling well fed. Only Fahed's gluten free pitta lets us down at £2 a pack instead of 50p. However his tummy is happier and he has more energy so it's worth it. The rest of us are avoiding carbs, other than those in veggies, which I guess is why we are happier with smaller portions and going snackless.  My morning smoothie fills me up more successfully than any marmalade on toast previously has. Amazing stuff. I am not pruning the budget just yet though, to be on the safe side.

Laundry - Done
Dishes - Done
Shower curtain needs a serious wash - Done
I am boxing up the guys tools in the conservatory as they have finished what they were doing but need them for something new ( I think tiling) next week
Sorting out some more books for the charity shop- Started
Extension power lead needs fixing as it has an intermittent fault - Done
Wooden knob needs re-attaching on my bedroom drawers - Done
Sort out pile of stuff to go to the Crete house at the end of the month - Started
Book airport parking
Book parents luggage for flight to Crete
Hang new kitchen clock ( bought in Matalan sale using voucher - free Clock!)
Plant some mustard & cress
Sort my dishcloths, cleaning clothes etc - Done

Howzat!

Summer Rain

The middle of summer on the sunny south coast of England, and the rain is falling heavily enough to keep us indoors again. We were hoping to...