LilySlim - Weight loss

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Wow - what a weekend!!

For the past six months, or so, I have been planning and organising a surprise lunch for Dad's 80th birthday.  Of course I couldn't mention it before - he never reads my blog - but it would just be my luck!! The plan was that I was going to take them both out for a birthday lunch - my present to them.  Mum was in on it - but the whole family (over 30 of them ) were then congregating in a local "Steak on the rocks" restaurant.  Imagine the surprise when dad walked in - just to be greeted with everyone!

It was a lovely lunch - the food had been pre-ordered and the service excellent - but, eventually, we had to com home - to Mum and Dad for a cuppa and birthday cake.  We rather filled the lounge!!  Dad even enjoyed a cuddle with the latest addition - Ruth.

My niece, Cadi, had made the lovely cake and all of these wonderful cupcakes - she had put a lot of thought into it and should be proud!!

Meanwhile the great grandchildren did a chocolate Easter egg hunt around the house - and then just loved rolling around on the floor!

Mike gave Dad this lovely jigsaw - the family photo from his wedding last summer!

Eventually, all good things come to an end - and we all went home, apart from my cousin and her family who were staying overnight.  Consequently I went back to Mum and Dad's today to help her mend a very decrepit sewing machine (we got this much dirt out of it - nearly fifty years worth she believes).  I am pleased to say that it is now working again!


I also made pudding - this recipe for a Creme Egg chocolate fondant kept popping up on my Facebook page and I wanted an excuse to make it - I only had half - honest!  All that I now need to do is to make a Slimming World Ameretto cheesecake for tomorrow - before thinking about my sewing retreat on Sunday and checking that I have everything that I need!  Phew - I should sleep well again tonight!

Friday, 16 March 2018

You've gotta love a bargain!

Last night I seemed to have problems falling asleep - I certainly saw 2:30am - it must have been the combined excitement of the swim and the fashion show (yes I did pick up a top or two!) - so it was no real surprise that I didn't wake up until around 8:50am!  Even then I could have turned over and gone back to sleep but, when I saw the time, I decided not to.  Consequently the day was half gone by the time I had had breakfast and fed the dogs.  Nevertheless I managed to sew some more coasters - they just need top stitching and wrapping /labelling, cut and prepped some more bags and made some frames for an even smaller retreat bag - well, I did say that I wanted to go smaller now didn't I?

Around lunchtime, Wendy phoned from Tesco - did I want any more Really Useful Boxes?  well, naturally, I have more than enough and would have said no - until she said that they were slightly larger than then usual ones and were being sold off at £1.75 each!!!!  Let's just say that, between us, we cleared the shelf!

To continue with the bargain theme, We had been told about a lady, in our village, who was selling her HUGE collection of fiction books for 75p each or 2 for a pound.  Well - I did need a book for the cruise so just had to investigate.  three bags full later (32 books!) and I think that I am set up for the next couple of weeks lol!  We did say that we would go back after Easter!  As the title says - You've gotta love a bargain!

Right now we are being threatened with some more snow overnight so take care everyone - particularly if you are driving anywhere tomorrow.  Talking of which, I am taking Mum and Dad out for a birthday lunch (it's mum's birthday tomorrow after all), so if there's no post you will know that we have had a good time -and I will catch up on Sunday!

Thursday, 15 March 2018

In an experimental mood

Well, after the excitement of yesterday - and the momentous achievement last night of a one handed press up - I know - get me!!! - I felt in an experimental mood.  You cannot have missed that I am obsessed, at the moment, with making "retreat bags".  However they need a frame which only comes in two sizes and I had seen others making their own frames and, therefore, making smaller ones.  I had no idea of what size to cut my fabric or how to make the frames - but its a challenge - right?

I sat down with the dimensions of the two sizes of bag and frame and tried to work out the ratio (there wasn't a consistent one!) and then used these aluminium welding rods to make the frames (don't get me wrong - I have bought zillions of the original frames and am not looking to cheat anyone out of profit -I just want a smaller size) and bound the ends with electrical tape to ensure that the frames didn't poke through the fabric.

The sewing went well, the frames fitted - but the zip is a little bit difficult to do up - due, I feel, to the frames needing to be 1/2" longer.  So, there will be a second version to test this theory!   However it did work better than I hoped and forms a small, but wide opening rubbish bin.  In fact I might even make one without the zip for that exact purpose! I have pictured today's effort in front of the other two sizes so that you can see how dinky it is!  Now, dare I go smaller still?

Otherwise, today has seen the start of this year's swimming session.  The pool opened last Friday (and stays open until November) but today has been the first day that I have been free to go.  I won't lie - I am sure that I will be stiff tomorrow, but it's good to be back - I do love the swimming - its just the cold when you get out that I don't like.  However, I managed 126 widths (equivalent to 1 1/2 km) so it wasn't too bad.  Truthfully I had set myself a target of 50 widths for my first time - but the pool was relatively empty and I can't go again for around 4 weeks so thought that I would push myself.  Just as well - tonight it's the WI fashion Show and I shall be sat down all evening selling raffle tickets!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Happy birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you ........

Today is a day that Dad, in particular, worried would never happen - Dad's 80th birthday.  Since his father died a few days before his 80th, Dad has spent some time, this year, worrying about making it.  So - how did he celebrate?  Well - I woke up around 6:30am, fed the dogs, showered etc and then set off to "house bomb" the house with bunting, banners and balloons!  Thankfully the curtains and windows were closed so everything was done in secret and I could "escape" to the local spar to buy a paper and a coffee - and then park up to while away the time.  Around 8:30am I pitched up at the house - and he was none the wiser!

I had arranged to take Mum and Dad out for a birthday breakfast - but it was also their anniversary so I treated them to an echo dot - for the kitchen -and spent some time setting it up.  Dad was in his element - opening cards and then preparing to make his infamous meringue roulade for tonight - they are having friends over for a "do"!

The breakfast was lovely -as ever - and then we got the weekly shop in - which meant that I delivered them home around lunchtime.  This afternoon they will spend getting ready for tonight - and sorting out the "games"!  Me?  Well I went and paid for the swimming membership before coming home to unpack the shopping and fall asleep for 40 / 80 winks!! Well - I did get up early today and there is Pilates tonight!

As for Dad's celebrations - well, he's making a week of it!  Tomorrow he's off for a private viewing of my brother's exhibition and Friday he's off out with friends for a coffee and cake session.  On Saturday I am taking Mum and Dad out for lunch - well, it is her birthday!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Happy International Nap Day x

I woke up to pouring rain and it is, quite frankly, freezing!  I guess that I spoke too soon yesterday!  Thank goodness I didn't swap the summer and winter duvet over yet!

This morning was the usual Textiles Group - I was attempting to finish my Lynette Anderson Spool holder - it is the second one that I have - and needed since I now have more threads than storage sections.  As it went, I clearly learnt from my first attempt and this one went well - once I had finished the handsewing of the cover.  In fact, this morning, I managed to sew the binding on, sew the plastic pockets in place, sew the dividing lines to create the pockets and then sew the binding in place -et voila!  Just one problem - I have a number of threads to wind onto the spools and fear that a third holder may yet be needed!! Help!

This afternoon, it was, of course, off to Slimming World and the weekly weigh in.  This afternoon was more poignant since we said goodbye to Paul who was going into hospital to have yet another tumour removed - and we gave him his bag as a present from us all (remember that toiletry bag?)  Well it was well received and I was pleased that we had something to give him - he hs promised to return once he is given permission to do so (he has to have a pulped diet for so many weeks).  So - how did I do?  Well, amazingly, I lost 4 lbs - it just goes to show that my efforts this week were worth it.  I even got slimmer of the week!!

Tonight I am off to the local theatre to watch "Hi-De-Hi" - hopefully it will be a good laugh!  I might even enjoy an ice cream as a treat.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Summer starts here!

I guess that the weather must have read the blog yesterday and gone into holiday mode! Today has been lovely and sunny -and warm!!  Not in church, you understand (although these daffodils brightened my day!) but generally out and about - I even walked the dogs without a coat on!

With my sewing head on, I made a set of coasters to sell - things are so much quicker once everything has been cut out and sorted!  However I wanted to make the most of the weather - so I enjoyed a cuppa in the summer house (for the first time this year), swept the pathway and spent some time generally tidying outside.  Heck -I even planted out my seed potatoes using this lovely trowel that Mum gave me for Christmas and came across two potatoes that were lurking in the sol.  Since they feel firm and haven't gone green, I may even cook them for tea tonight!

Of course my main objective for today was to get ready for the Textile Group tomorrow morning - and so I sorted the outside and attached the ties - ready to tackle the plastic pocket tomorrow.  I even cut out and prepared Sewingbuddy's mystery project supplies for the forthcoming retreat - you see, a bit of sunshine works wonders for the flagging energy levels!  I will admit to tying to have 40 winks (and Daisy did curl up in her traditional "conservatory" position) but I just couldn't drop off so gave up!

 Oh, and yes - I did speak to Mum -several times!  She had visitors over for a meal and the bag I made her was being admired.  She wanted to know where she could get another kit.  Apparently I don't have anything to do tomorrow so can I ring the shop?  That's my mother!!

Saturday, 10 March 2018

The holiday starts here - well, almost!

Today's main event was a meet - up with the girls going to the sewing retreat in a couple of weeks.  Since it was a lunchtime meeting, I had time to rustle up the third retreat bag - I now have the completion time down to around 2 hours! Tonight I will sew the seams up and put the three bags away in a plastic bx for safe keeping before thinking about labels , prices etc - oh the pressure!

The lunchtime get together was fun - Terry even blagged a free glass of prosecco.  I am not sure how much organisation went on - but at least we know how many irons and extension leads we are taking!! Of course I was accused of leading Heather astray by suggesting that she indulge in an afternoon tea - whilst I had a jacket potato - yet again!  She then returned the temptation by FORCING me to buy some fabric from her and make a donation to charity!  I can see a difficult retreat ahead - lol!

Back home, and after a catch up with the folks, it was time for a dog walk and the final two seams on the retreat bag - before playing around with the waste and coming up with a cube - ready to be stuffed and sewn up tonight.  It's a kind of pin cushion but I did include a loop of tape that could be threaded around the handles of the holiday bag that Trish has bought for me - it would match the grey colour of the bag and identify it as mine - for the holiday at least - a pin cushion seems kind of apt!

As well as the finishing off that I have mentioned, tonight will see the continuation of the knitting.  I am pleased to report that I have reached the arm holes for the first side - after one evening's knitting - go me!  It's a really lovely wool to knit with and is clearly growing fast.  Mind you - Daisy doesn't enjoy sitting on my knee whilst I am knitting - she keeps getting clobbered by the needles!