Saturday, 19 March 2016

Shopping, Comping and Slimming World - a perilous combination

Shopping, it's something we all have to do at some point in our time on earth.  Whether it be online or if you brave the dangers of the town centre, we all shop at some time during our day to day lives.  When you look at shopping in the life of a comper who is also trying to follow Slimming World, this is where it really gets tricky.

For example, take today.  A fine day, a normal Saturday. I always do my big grocery shop online seeing as I don't drive and carrying heavy goods home by public transport is not my idea of fun.  So I have it delivered.  But invariably there are items I need to purchase that don't come as part of that shop, some are necessary and others are just something to treat myself.

So I headed into the town centre where I live for a little light consumer shopping.  I first tackled a supermarket, not the one I get my groceries delivered from but another one.  They sell a couple of items not available in the first one so I headed in for those.  Having successfully avoided the cakes, biscuits and confectionery aisles, I purchased the couple of items I required and headed into the town centre itself.

Now there is much in the time old advice: Never shop on an empty stomach.

I made my shopping trip before I had eaten lunch but that was my own fault.  However being hungry did not help when I went into town.  I was heading for two shops only.  Iceland to purchase some Slimming World products and Candle Delight for a new Yankee Candle I had been told about.  I headed for the candle first of all and to get there I had to head past the local bakery and the smell coming out was heavenly.  Fortunately for my slimming plan, the queue wasn't so heavenly and was out of the door so I scurried past, savouring the smell of freshly baked sausage rolls.  No more temptations hit me and I purchased my candle as pictured.

As you may have noticed, the scent of this one is food related and while I was chatting to the lady in the candle shop she happened to mention the sweet shop is just across from the candle shop.  Even buying candles can be hazardous to a diet.  So I shut my ears to the lure of the sweet shop and headed on my merry way towards Iceland.  

To get to Iceland, I have to pass Subway.  I have today realised what makes Subway so tempting.  It's the smell of the bread they use, the fillings they use, whilst delicious of course, are just fillings but there is something about the bread used in Subway, I can smell it part way down the road and already my mind is wandering inside and ordering that steak and cheese melt.  But I put my head down and made it past, heading into Iceland.  I successfully located the Slimming World burgers and sausages and even added a couple of other items to my basket, just fish sticks so nothing to lure me off my bikini body plan and I was heading for the cashier when I passed a display for Easter.

My comping antennae began twitching as I got closer and my eagle eyes spotted the word WIN emblazoned on the display.  It was a competition to win £10,000 with runner up prizes of £1000.  All you had to do was buy a chocolate bunny and you MAY find a lucky ticket.  Now although my head was screaming at me that the likelihood of me actually winning this competition and finding a lucky ticket was very low indeed, my comping gene would not allow me to walk out of the shop without having a try.  But it's CHOCOLATE, my dieting gene was shouting back.  In the end, the comping lure was too strong (and probably the fact I was hungry) and into the basket went a chocolate bunny.

So once I had left the frozen foods and chocolate behind, I headed for home,  But even heading for the bus stop can be dangerous to a slimmer.  I could brave my way past Subway again and head for a bus stop that way.  I decided not to risk the Subway route and went for the bus stop in the other direction.  Oh dear heaven, that one passes KFC and across the road, a chip shop.  I also have to sit at the bus stop and look at the signs on the pub beside me boasting Sunday Roast dinners, and Burger & Chips.  I buried my head in my phone (taking advantage of the pubs free wifi) and played Candy Crush.   Oh why is everything about food........

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Happy Mothers Day

I bought the Thank You Mum bouquet from Tesco Direct, the coupon arriving in perfect time for Mothers Day. I did have a few problems with the website trying to get it to accept my mums address for delivery but I got there in the end. The delivery was very easy to track and I got regular updates regarding what time the flowers would be delivered so I colluded with my dad to make sure mum was available to receive them. The flowers arrived at exactly the time they promised and my mum was delighted with them, she just had to find enough vases to put them in. Great value for money and brilliant quality.

I was sent a coupon through the Tesco Orchard Program for money off fresh flowers at Tesco Direct. I was not paid anything else for this review. #TriedForLess

Friday, 1 January 2016

Reading Challenge 2015 Review

Back at the beginning of 2015 I started the Goodreads Reading Challenge 2015.  I had done this the year before and read 24/24 books so I set myself a higher limit for 2015.  I decided I would read 36 books last year.  Here's how I did.

As you can see I didn't quite meet the challenge, I was 7 books short.  I put this down to the fact I used to read a lot on the way home from work on the train but since I got my new iPhone which makes talking to Lauren on the Messenger app so much easier, I haven't read anywhere near as much as I used to.  I'm not blaming Lauren of course, but the train was where I did most of my reading.

So I am planning to do the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge, of course I am but I have lowered my expectations again for this coming year.  I have reverted back to 24 books and judging by the last two years, this should be acheviable.  Of course I don't get any major punishment for not meeting the challenge but I hate not acheving goals.

So onto 2016 with a fresh start, a clean slate and a lower target.  Read on!

Monday, 30 November 2015

BEDN comes to an end, how did I do?

Well lets be honest, it could have gone better.  The challenge was to write a post every day in November and when I count up, I managed a grand total (including this post) of 13/30.  So not even 50%.

The posts I did do, I didn't always stick to the topic of the day given to me, or I may have switched days around on occasion if something was more suited to another day.  Some topics did not appeal to me or I knew absolutely nothing about them, I chose to write about what I knew about or cared about.

However, the comfort I take from this challenge was that it go me thinking about this blog again.  Okay so I may not have managed a post every day, not even close but I have blogged more this month than in the previous 12 in total.  My blog is no longer neglected and hopefully I have given those who stopped by here something to read.  It may have even been interesting or entertaining.

There was no pressure on me to write these posts so I found myself enjoying it and not stressing about missing a day or a few days without posting.

All in all, it was an experiment and who knows, I may even take up the challenge again if I see one.  So I now move onto December and I have a couple of challenges planned.  I will be doing Vlogmas over on YouTube where I will attempt to vlog every day in December.  I planned on doing this last year but I got to day 2 and the builders my landlord had hired to replaster the outside of the house decided to screw about with my phone cable and my internet connection was decidedly dodgy and erratic and videos were taking half the day to upload so I abandoned it last year.  I'm hoping this year will be more successful.

Also, as I mentioned yesterday I will be taking part in Garden Tea Cakes and Me's Instagram challenge for the next 25 days as well so that will be a fun thing, I don't have to think too hard about that one as it's just photographs.

So until the next post my friends, it's been a fun November

Sunday, 29 November 2015

25 Days of Christmas

I follow a lovely blogger, another Angela, over on the blog Garden, Tea, Cakes and Me which I will link below.   She is running a 25 days of Christmas challenge on Instagram so I will be joining in with this.  Feel free to check me out on Instagram to see my progress (hopefully more successful than this BEDN challenge but more about that tomorrow).

Angela's blog Garden Tea Cakes and Me

My Instagram

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

More shelves please

Collections.  I think if everyone looked hard enough, they would find something they collect.  It might not be something very obvious but there will be something there.

For me, it was a case of what collection would I talk about.  Well first of all there is my Disney collection.  Now I would point out that although I do collect Disney 'things' most of it is now in boxes in the spare room because I just simply don't have the space to display it any more but I will put in some photos of the various bits and pieces from my old flat when it was all out on display.

As you can see it varies from DVDs, pictures, mugs and dolls to plushies of various sizes.  not to mention as well as these, the not displayed items such as the Disney Cakes and Sweets collection of magazines, cookie moulds, cake and baking accessories etc and also several T-shirts and shirts, PJs, cushions, pins etc.  There is Disney stuff everywhere to be fair.

But one of my biggest collections, which is still on display is my DVD/video collection.  As I have mentioned in other posts, I am not a big TV fan, there isn't much I watch 'live' so to speak.  I much prefer TV from yesteryear or things I have seen before.  So I tend to watch mostly DVDs.  It isn't just TV either, I do have a large film selection also which ranges from old classics through to quite up to date things as well.

And of course I still have some old VHS titles, mainly things that have never been released on DVD or things that I just haven't got around to replacing yet on DVD.

Either way, I have enough of a collection to keep me amused throughout the long winter evenings, and the summer ones too.  Who needs cable TV when you have this much enjoyment on your shelves? Now calling Argos, when will you be getting that shelving unit back in stock please?

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Another weekend bake off

So I was back in the kitchen over the last two weekends, making delicious goodies for my work colleagues.  My love of baking was rekindled when I did a blog post at the beginning of November about baking and I had pulled out my folder of Disney Cakes and Sweets recipes to fetch the one for the chocolate cake.  Whilst I had the folder out, of course I started browsing through it and decided to make some of the goodies from it.

My first creation was Bolt's Rocky Road Bites.  I had made a rocky road previously from the folder but it contained cherries which I'm not a great lover of so I decided to give this one a try which contained nuts instead.  It was very sweet and sickly but it was oh so delicious.  I filmed the recipe while I was making it and I'll post you a link here if you feel like having a go yourself.

So the next one I made was a big cake.  These have never been my forte, I'm much better at cupcakes but I thought I would give it a go. It was a lemon tray bake and it actually turned out pretty good really.  This proved most popular at work with all of it disappearing quickly.

Finally, yesterday I decided to attempt some cookies.  Again, they aren't a speciality of mine, I never seem to time them right and they burn underneath but I thought I'd try again.  I'm not sure I got them exactly right but they taste pretty good, even if they don't look perfect.

So now I'm looking through the folders to find out what next week's tasty dish might be.

Happy munchings and crunchings (points for anyone spotting the Disney reference there)