Wednesday, 21 October 2015

How to loose five pounds

I have the ability to drive myself potty.
For example, I received an invite to a hen day. It was for a relaxing event at a local spa.
Did I:
a - Jump at the chance to become Tommy free on a Saturday (no offence Tommy) and think about self indulgence and Prosecco.
b - Decline, I am far too busy for such things.
c - Accept, and spend weeks hardly eating anything and worrying how I would look in a swimming costume, next to girls up to thirteen years younger than me and two stone lighter than me.
Have you guessed it yet?
It was c.
Although to be fair, I finally lost five pounds. (The Cake and Bake Show was my day off, and yes I did manage to justify it!)
During the weeks leading up to said hen day, let me explain just how seriously the invite affected me:
I deprived myself of all my favourite, delicious, meals in the office canteen, and stuck to tuna salads.
I watched enviously as Mark tucked into hearty home-cooked dinners, as I nibbled on carrot sticks and lettuce leaves.
I said, "No!" to my mother's desserts. I never do this. Especially chocolate profiterole roll night.
I exercised my heart out at the gym, until my hair was sticking to my scalp. This has never happened to me before.
I weighed myself continuously and sighed. Usually I avoid the bathroom scales at all costs.
I spent days surfing the Internet for a 'miracle swimsuit' which did not cost the equivalent of a small, precious, pearl. Finally I found one.
I looked nervous when skinny, young, friends mentioned the hen do.
I treated myself to a spray tan the night before. Fat looks better brown.
So, dear readers, taking into account all the above, when the day of the hen do finally arrived, let me explain my time frame. Because it was most unusual:
I bathed, without Tommy. It was a rare, relaxing and weird situation.
I washed my hair, this is the norm every day but I actually gave myself time, and wanted to - BLOW DRY. That's right, I did not leave the house with a soggy mess on my head. I made the effort.
I painted my toe nails pillar box red. Alas, this is a neglected area and colour these days.
I moisturised myself from head to toe, such a frivolous activity has been banned from my life these days.
I wore my new black and white sixty's style dress, with brown knee high boots and miracle swimsuit underneath.
And I was ready to rock and roll! Or at the very least, visit a spa with skinnier, younger, friends.
Dear readers, you may think the above way too much preparation, and on reflection, I am inclined to agree. But please allow me to explain, I am neither vain nor high maintenance, but I think I needed to be reminded, sometimes it's okay to care and bother about your appearance, and maybe I do neglect this a teeny bit.
So I arrived at the spa, slimmer, browner, somewhat polished and preened, and slightly more confident as a consequence, especially with the knowledge of miracle swimsuit underneath white robe.
And guess what?
To my great surprise and pleasure, most of the hen party did not jump in pool, with all skinny and young frames on show. We sat around in white robes, drinking Prosecco, and enjoying a spot of self indulgence. Including a fabulous back massage. I did not, I repeat, I did not, take my white robe off all day.
After all that worrying and preparing!
If only I'd known.
Still, at least it made me loose (a very much needed) five pounds.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

For people who like cake

I was sitting on my cousin Sarah's sofa, eating my auntie Helen's chocolate cake, when my auntie Leslie approached me and said, "You like cake, don't you?"
I nodded enthusiastically. (I had a mouthful of sponge, and considered it rude to open my mouth and spill its contents, by attempting to speak.)
She was dead right though. I do like cake. I like eating it, baking it, and watching other people bake it on the aptly named, The Great British Bake Off.
It was my cousin Sarah's birthday tea, and not wishing to break tradition, we had all gathered at her house for nibbles and cake.
After the liking cake comment, my auntie Leslie handed me two, free, tickets to The Cake And Bake Show, at London, Docklands. I smiled my biggest smile and thanked her. (The sponge had been swallowed by then, you will be pleased to know.)
You see, my cousin Jack's girlfriend works for a conference company and one of the perks for her dedication and professionalism, is free tickets to events. How thoughtful of her, in this instance, to provide entrance for myself, my cousin, my cousin's daughter, my two aunts, and my mum.
We were all going to London to eat cake!
On the day of the big occasion, I wore comfy shoes, loose clothes, and carried plenty of cash in my purse. I wasn't quite sure what to expect at such an outing, but it really was heaven in a conference centre.
It had lots of stalls handing out free and yummy samples of cake, cheese, pizza and vodka, to be enjoyed with family. In my eyes, that is an act of heaven!
It also boasted stalls demonstrating fancy gadgets for the kitchen (I bought a silver power whisk), stalls selling shabby chic items for the home (my mum bought me a gorgeous vintage looking chalkboard), stalls featuring antique teapots etc (I bought my mum a huge silver spoon) and lots, lots more.
We even all sat down for a family catch up, with coffee and cupcakes. It really was bliss at a table.
Here's a few of my memories from the day.

There were quite a lot of steps to climb, until we reached our destination. Rather like I imagine heaven to be, ha, ha.


Inside. One of the many pretty displays.


The official show cake. I would be proud of this creation.


I was rather taken with this ornate offering.


Loved the rustic charm of this stall.


All things considered, it was a very successful day. Without a hint of calorie awareness.
My kind of day indeed.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

You had the power all along, my dear - Glinda, the good witch

My comfort zone is the place I feel the most confident and at ease with. It is my comfort zone, after all.
Yet sometimes in life, I have to remind myself, if I cautiously step outside this zone, potentially great things could occur.
Yes it's often tempting to take the easy route, especially as I find drastic change daunting, and I'm very happy, thank you, when life is simple.
But if you don't take a few chances in life, how will you ever reap the rewards?
That's what I've decided, dear readers. I have to take one of my few chances, and for my trouble, I sincerely hope to gain.
It has actually taken me seven days to reach my most recent decision.
It's a big 'un.
In a world where my most common questions are; shall we have fish cakes or chicken stir fry for dinner? Shall we go to Sainsburys before or after Tommy's nap?
So I am a little out of touch when faced with anything larger than my mobile phone bill or my weekly shopping list.
Therefore, I have not taken this decision lightly, I have discussed, dissected and dreamed my dilemma.
It is time for me to make myself clearer; I am applying for the role of Production Manager, at my current company.
Some might think this would be an easy conclusion; more money, more responsibility, more recognition.
Of course it is all these things. Plus; more commitment, more meetings, more time in the office, more stress. Which is exactly what I was trying to avoid!
I'll admit, when my manager, the current Production Manager, approached me about the position, my heart sank. Because I realised, before Tommy I would have jumped at the chance. Now, with Tommy, he's my priority, not promotion. The plan was to cut back my hours/days/tasks, not gain!
You see, that's exactly what unnerved me, I had it all planned out, this wasn't supposed to happen!
But it did. And I decided I should be positive that my boss was encouraging me, the salary would be beneficial, we could then afford to place Tommy in nursery three mornings a week, to ease my mum and my commitments. (We have a date in the diary next Wednesday, to view a recommended nursery, and don't even get me started on all the changes this involves!)
Plus, maybe, I would like to think, I have to stop being scared and believe I am good enough to be a Production Manager, just as Glinda the good witch quoted; "You had the power all along, my dear."
Let's hope so.
Wish me luck.
Interview with scary presentation coming soon.