LilySlim - Weight loss

Thursday, 17 August 2017

I'm a customer - get me out of here!

Today was another lovely "stay at home "day - this time with pouring rain.  Erm - maybe a chance to get on - and rock towards finishing that anniversary commission?  Of course, me being me, there were plenty of opportunities to use my best friend - the seam ripper!  However, the end is in sight and I now just have to add the binding, hanging sleeve and the label.

To break up the day, I popped out into the village to draw some cash out.  Seeing a large piece of equipment being moved into the shop, I went to the garage first to book a service and MOT.  Ten minutes later the shop door was still blocked so, of course, I waited.  Once the equipment was inside the shop, I moved forward - only to be almost trampled in the stampede by the customers pouring out of the shop!!!! Well, it made me laugh!

On a sadder note, and I really hope that bad news doesn't come in threes, I woke up to the news that the father of a good friend had passed away peacefully in the night.  This friend lost her husband a few months ago and is therefore going through a difficult time but luckily has other family close to her.  Then, at lunchtime, I find out that a brother, who is currently away on holiday, has been burgled and so is cutting his holiday short to go back and assess the damage - ironically they have just had the house redecorated!  So this afternoon was hijacked - a mercy mission to Mum and Dad's to pick their dog up and look after her for a few days whilst they go over and help sort the possible mess out! Mind you, Maisie seemed quite pleased when I said "shall we go and see the girls?" and jumped straight into the car!!  As I write this Mum and Dad are driving over to meet my brother and his wife - with a car full of cleaning supplies (plus tea making facilities!).  Meanwhile I am poised ready to book them into a hotel for the night - the police were called by a neighbour but wouldn't let the neighbour in the house saying that it was a disaster area upstairs - hopefully they were exaggerating but, clearly, they may not all be able to sleep there tonight.  Another brother is also on standby to drive over tomorrow for the day (a 4 hour return trip I should add) to help with the clear up - families eh?  Where would we be without them?

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

No longer a greengage virgin

Don't you just love a "stay at home day"?  Loads to do, of course, but the time to tackle the tasks!

First up was a gutting of the kitchen and deep clean -sadly I get such a satisfaction from seeing the shiny surfaces emerge.  Just as well, really, since the next task caused me unlimited frustration.  It's the commission that I am doing and, truthfully, I was putting it off in fear of ruining my progress so far.  All I had to do was to use my sewing machine to embroider two words -Diamond Anniversary.  Rather than my usual technique of rushing in and hoping for the best, I decided to sew the word Diamond on some scrap first - so that I could measure the length and centralise the word.  Just as well  since no matter what I did there was too large a gap between the first and second letter!  Grrrr!!  In the end I have gone for my preferred option - trace the letters and hand embroider it tonight.  But the exercise showed me one thing that has been mulling around in my mind for some time - I NEED another machine!  So - I am going to just shove this out there - I AM going to lose my 5 stone by 9th November - no questions asked - that's a given if I have anything to do with it.  That then leaves me 6 weeks before Christmas so if I have lost 6 stone by Christmas (and that's after I put on with the sewing retreat!!!!) then my present to myself will be a new sewing machine - you have heard it here!!

The next task was to tackle medal number two.  This time the challenge was to walk 5k - in one go -at some point during this current week.  Well, with the sun up in the sky and the lovely breeze blowing, I thought - let's use today for the challenge.  One very red faced walk later - not to mention Daisy finding every dyke going to jump in and out of -we made it!! Now I am just waiting for confirmation that they have accepted my evidence (I used"Map my walk" and took a screen shot) before I get my medal.  This time the charity is for Kidney research and, since I only have one kidney, I thought it was a charity that I ought to support.

Once home, and after a late lunch, my thoughts turned, naturally, to some crafting.  I embroidered the centre of this block several weeks ago but just couldn't get around to putting the borders on - well, today it was time to finish.  There are still holly leaves and berries to attach by hand but we are getting there.  It's the homework that I set the Textile Group - so I ought to do it myself!!

 And the greengages?  Well, at Slimming World, we were talking about them and I cannot remember ever having them.  So when I spotted some reduced ones yesterday I thought - why not?  Actually they are very pleasant and something that I would have again!  Talking about SW, as we were, when I won the Slimmer of the week basket, there was a punnet of freshly picked blackberries so it is my mission, this week, to try and do something different with them every day.  Last night I tried a recipe on the SW website - mixed berries floating meringue.  Today I have rustled up a blackberry and apple summer pudding  - picture to follow tomorrow (providing it manages to turn out ok!)

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A penny a day ..........

Last December I started the £1 a week challenge - where you save £1 in week 1, £2 in week 2 etc.  Of course that means that in the last month you need to find £49, £50, £51 and £52!!  So I will admit to cheating a little and printing out the weeks - combining some of the larger sums with smaller ones to balance the savings.  That being said, with just three months to go, I am pleased that I have continued with the challenge and will have amassed a reasonable sum for my cruise wardrobe next year!  So, why the blog title? Well, today, I am embarking n a slightly easier savings challenge - the 1p per day savings challenge!  ie 1p for day 1, 2p for day 2 etc.  Doesn't sound too bad does it?  However you will end up saving around £671 over the year - not too shabby!  In this link there are free printables to spread the load throughout the year - so why not jump on board and join me?  If it all goes to plan then that's most of my summer holiday expenses taken care of next August!

Today started well -a trip to Tesco's for essentials followed by lunch at Mum and Dad's.  They have gone on an adventure - their shopping trip to Meadowhall via the train (I am sure that Mum was as excited as we used to be on a school trip!) - so I stopped off at theirs to spend a bit of time with Maisie and let her have a comfort break or two.

After a stop off at home to store the groceries away, it was back off out again around to Jenny and Ruby's to try to finish the tops we started yesterday.  I had taken the spare fabric home to create some bias binding but, truthfully, one of the fabrics just wasn't playing ball so I will admit to buying some this morning!  Ruby had made some cookies from my cookie mix - so I just had to taste one (out of politeness of course!)  They were, erm, gorgeous!!

The tops still have to be hemmed but Ruby has done a good job with them - and has added some embellishments of her own - it was an afternoon well spent! I should add that the "tail" will disappear - we added a vent at the back which turned into a pleat!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Slimmer of the week - who knew?

Yesterday, at the gala, I was talking to a friend, Jenny, who had her granddaughter staying with her.  Ruby wanted to make a new top for herself (she is 10 years old) and they had bought a second hand machine but was waiting to find out how to use it.  Since Ruby was only here for another week or so, and since they had bought the fabric, I offered to go round and try to work it out - which, fortunately I was able to do.  Sadly, however, Ruby had never used a machine before and was a tad scared of the speed - so I also took my workshop machine around and showed her how to restrict the speed.  Two hours later we had drafted a paper pattern from her existing top, sewn one top together and cut the second one out!  Next stop - create some bias binding for both tops - but that's tomorrow's task!

This afternoon it was, of course, Slimming world!  I was hoping that I would lose most of my holiday / weekend weight gain - and did it!  In fact, I actually lost 8 lbs which takes me below my pre-holiday weight!!  Yippee!! It also means that I have lost 3 1/2 stone in total so I am only 1 1/2 stone away from my first target!!

Not only that but I was also awarded Slimmer of the week for the first time - and came home with such goodies as rhubarb, blackberries and a voucher for a pound of slimmers sausages!  Ain't I the lucky one?

On a totally different note, I was sent this photo last night - it's of my brother's house which they have decorated for the impending wedding at the end of the month.  The bunting in the photo is part of the 100m that I sent them!  It makes a change from the Leicester City flag!

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Well -when the mood strikes you!

Having moaned (a lot) about not sleeping, I must report that I am sleeping fabulously at the moment and am regularly don't wake up until gone 7:30 / nearly 8am - oops!  It still feels a bit naughty!

Anyway, today was the same - but church wasn't until 10:30am so made it - phew!  Sadly we had no organist today so  was put in charge of the cd player - rather scarily!  However I think we sane the correct hymns to the correct tunes!  I would also add that someone brought in some punnets of blackberries to sell for 50p each - cue three of them wending their way to Mum's freezer!

After a  short meeting (plus cuppa and biccie) to discuss a forthcoming fund raiser, it was home to let the pooches out before turning around and going out to a local gala.  You may recall the cake mixes?  Well today I volunteered to help man the stall between 2:30pm and 4pm.  Fortunately we managed to sell out of everything (well, there may just be a fruit cake heading towards Mum's freezer for an impending visit from family!) before then and so was packed up and home by 4!!  And that's where the inspiration in the title struck!  Those of you with elephant memories may recall that I bought two tins of paint to paint my front fences last year - and then only completed one!  Well, with the sun out and a cool breeze, I can now report that I have been outside for nearly two hours making a start on the front fence.  It doesn't look much, to be honest, (curse those picket fences)  but my aim is to complete it by the end of the week - if I can dodge the showers of course!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

From an idea to something that gives pleasure - it's a journey!

First let me just say thank you - thank you for such a lovely evening watching Oklahoma last night - bliss!  Mind you, it was a late finisher and I didn't wake up until, erm , gone 8:30am this morning - oops!

I had assigned today to start the 60th wedding anniversary commission that I have talked about before.   The idea for this wall hanging came about on holiday as we travelled in a car to Warwick Castle, of all places.  Cue lots of discussions and scratching of heads before this draft design appeared.

Then came a visit to Doughty's where Julia spent over an hour deciding on the 4 pieces of fabric that she wanted and assigning the fabric to the design.

Once home, I drew it out to scale, worked out the sizes of fabric required for the background and made a template for the photos.

Today, now that the photos have arrived, they were scanned, cropped, enlarged and printed onto printable fabric - and then the template was used, along with an "add a quarter" ruler to give me the seam allowance, to cut out the diamonds and add a border to echo a frame.  Finally the photos were needleturned onto the background - ready for the next stage (embroidery, heart applique and quilted).   Truthfully, the best part of today was when I sent Julia a picture of the progress and to check the order of the photos - and got a wow almost by return.  She did faff a little about the order of the photos - before settling back with my original design -ah well, that's our Jules!

Feeling somewhat tired, and fearing a mistake, I called a halt there and went to mow the lawn (the weather forecast suggests that there may not be many opportunities this week!), before heading on out to deliver the WI cake mixes before going to my parents with the train tickets I printed off yesterday and then onto the Theatre for my monthly volunteering.  It's been a strange, yet satisfying, day!

Friday, 11 August 2017

A day of normality

Firstly apologies for no photos - for some reason my compute is not playing ball!

Well, after a day of secrecy, today has returned to normality ...... or what passes as normal around here!  After the usual tidy round and hoover, it was time to deal with the disaster that I like to call my craft room.  I like to say that a messy room belies a creative mind - but even I have a point beyond which I can't create!  So - one bin bag later, plus more scraps cut and sorted - the craft room now looks a tad more usable (well for a few minutes at least!)

Next on the agenda was my front drive - it is full of cracks and, more importantly, full of weeds growing in said cracks.  Well, like the dead parrot sketch - they are no more!

On a rare sit down, Mum phoned.  When I popped round yesterday I ordered her a "Two Together Rail card" - now that they live so much closer to the rail station, they are going to try using it more - the two together card knocks 33% off an already discounted price meaning that they can both travel to Meadowhall, for example, next week for around £25 - its hardly worth getting the car out at that price!  Anyway the card arrived today so I sat down and ordered the train tickets out for her and printed them out at home - ain't technology wonderful?

After a lunch of my current favourite - lean corned beef quiche with side salad - and, of course, the compulsory nap, it was off out with the dogs before starting to sort out the crafting for tonight.  Tonight is the only prom that I put in my diary - it's the John Wilson Orchestra performing my favourite musical of all time - Oklahoma - BBC 4 at 8pm (just in case you want to watch it!).  Whenever I watch The John Wilson Orchestra in a prom I find myself smiling - it's a real treat and one that I am planning to really savour!  If I said that the planned dinner to accompany it was Slimming World Fish and chips, perhaps you will see what I mean! (If you have never heard of him then look him up - he is a young geordie man who loves old musicals but found that, often, the scores didn't exist so he has listened and watched each musical many times to get the score written down and preserved for the future - each performance is as a result of a real labour of love!