Thursday, 31 July 2014

Have you entered any comps?

So last day of the month and a competition bonanza? Have you entered any and are you enjoying it?

Let me know if you win! :)

Good luck x

Battling the bulge

Its just not fair. I do not and never will understand it. I eat well, I exercise and nothing. I have a glass of wine or two and I lose weight. What is going on I ask? Not a clue I answer.

I'm not talking massive over indulgence, just small treats along the way. This seems to work for me, whereas denying all = bloated up and feeling fat like I do right now.

See what happens tomorrow, but right now I'm bloated, fed up and bloody grumpy!! :(

End of the month - loads of competitions!!

I'm a comper - its a hobbie I love. You don't always win, and sometimes there are lulls, but as hobbies go it is very rewarding. When you win something - even something small, it feels amazing.

For us compers, the last day of the month is a big deal. Loads of competition end on the last day of the month - and that's today!!

I'm having my hair cut at 3.15pm today, but once I'm home I'm locking myself away for month end fun! It can get a bit stressful when you start to run out of time, but in a fun way.

I shall probably share a few with you later so watch this space if you fancy trying your luck too! :)

7 Day Count Down to holiday!

7 days until hols and the count down begins. This is the schedule:

  • Today (Thursday) - hair cut this afternoon (grey require coverage!)
  • Friday - buy suncreams and write packing list
  • Saturday - PT session and clothes try on session - start packing
  • Sunday - shopping & toiletries & book taxi
  • Monday - PT & packing
  • Tuesday - leg wax in the morning, nails in the evening - exfoliate
  • Wednesday - PT & spray tan & finish packing!!
  • Thursday - get on the plane!!! 

Phewf, gonna need a holiday! :)

My Next Week with is.... REM!

So decision made, its REM! I shall choose 7 songs over 7 days, review each one and post here on my blog.

At the end of the week, I shall review my choices and pick my favourite!!

Very excited, so come back later when we take a closer look at this great band! Have a good day :)

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

One step closer to our house :)

We are making progress. We viewed it, we put in our offer, it was first refused, so we put another offer in. It was accepted. That was last Tuesday, and I had the mortgage promise in place.

Once the offer was accepted, I called the bank and set the ball rolling. We then viewed it again with my step daughter and my parents. We fell even more in love.

Over the last week from then until now, its been a waiting game. Waiting for the bank to run their checks,  listen to the recorded call, make their recommendation - on and on. Finally, today - the recommendation was made.

I have now parted with money - for the bank's valuation and for the product fee. Whatever happens next, I've done all I can and its all systems go!!

Bit scared, bit excited, very nervous. Everything crossed!! Keep you posted :)

Who shall be next??

Last week it was Coldplay. So who should it be this week?

The options are: Kasabian, U2, Madonna, Kylie, David Bowie, INXS, Abba, The Beatles or perhaps somebody different altogether!!

What about Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Manic Street Preachers? Maybe Kaiser Chiefs or the Killers?

Or perhaps David Bowie or Amy Winehouse, Katy Perry or Whitney Houston?

Will make up my mind and let you know later :)

Last night's PT - I'm improving

The scales are up slightly, but more importantly, it was PT tonight. He worked me hard, oh yes. Here is what he put me through ce soir:

  • 30 second hill sprints
  • box squats with belgian bags
  • squat box jumps
  • burpees with box jumps
  • tricep dips
  • tricep pulls
  • bicep pulls
  • tricep rope pulls
  • bicep rope pulls
  • leg press - various weights
  • squat jumps
  • eliptical cross trainer sprints
It was hard and I was a mess. A real mess - hot and sweaty, straight from work and had lovely panda eyes going on!! 

I can tell I'm doing better with the weights, I can tell I'm squatting lower. I didn't feel like I was going to die, although it was a close thing!! He says I'm improving though - so that's great. But it does not get any easier, believe me. Its still god damned hard work!! Worth it though :)

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

9 years late but loving Prison Break!

Last week the other half had a chance conversation with a colleague that went along the lines of "I'm watching Prison Break on boxset". One of the ladies at work is in the process of watching back to back episodes and was raving about how great it is.

I vaguely recall it being on at the time, but I never watched it. In the absence of anything else to watch on Sunday evening, we popped an episode on. All I can say is wow. We were instantly hooked.

We watched 3 episodes that night. 3 more last night, and this evening we are now on our second episode of the night. 8 episodes in all.

Still, 8 in, all I can say is wow. Oh, and also, how bloody scary are the secret service fellas? I am utterly into this now, and absolutely loving it. 2005 it was released, but by gosh its brilliant.

If you have never seen it, I recommend it strongly. I just hope it remains as good until the end (although there are loads more episodes until I have to face that prospect). For now I just can't get enough!

My Week with Coldplay is Over

My Week with Coldplay is over. Its been fun, and a bit bit melancholy, but ultimately a beautiful sounding talented band. For more about this band click here.

So lets get to the fun part - putting the seven song choices in order - so which will be in the number one spot? Without hesitation, lets go:

In at number 1 - Yellow
Number 2 - Trouble
Number 3 -  A Sky Full of Stars
Number 4 - Fix You
Number 5 - Paradise
Number 6 - The Scientist
Number 7 - The Hardest Part

It had to be Yellow in the number one spot. An oldie but a goodie. And that's it - my week with Coldplay is over. What a truly great band.

I shall announce my next week with tomorrow, but if you just can't wait, then check out My Music page here for my previous choices. As always, happy listening :)

Monday, 28 July 2014

Day Seven of My Week with Coldplay - The Hardest Part

Day Seven of My Week with Coldplay, and for my final choice its "The Hardest Part".

The Hardest Part was released in 2006. It was the third single from their third album X&Y released the year before, 2005. Fix You was another single from this album, which I have also chosen this week.

The Hardest Part was a radio only song, so no chart position for this one. That doesn't reflect how good this song is, so don't be put off!

This video is brilliant. Its shot as if the band (Chris with some dodgy hair) are singing live as an elderly lady dances with a young guy, being flung around quite shockingly - just like this year's BGT act incidentally!! the crowd look on in a mix of horror and applause!! Brill.

The song itself is very piano based, with guitars and low drumming too. Its quite slow paced - more ballad-esque than pop. Chris, as always, sounds great but back to his melancholy ways again with this one.

This track has been likened to REM and you can hear that in its style and music. No bad thing really. No big notes, just a lovely pop record with a bit of rock style.

So there we have it. My last choice of My Week with Coldplay. Go take a listen, and let me know what you think.

Pop back tomorrow when I decide which of my seven are in the top spot or for more of my music, check out my page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

Why do I do this??

Fed up now. Had a big bowl of quorn swedish balls for my tea with veg. I had already eaten some bread and butter. I was really hungry.

Now though, I am bloated and feel really uncomfortable. I just know the damned scales are going to blip up because of this, so from tomorrow, I need to stay off the darn bread!

I know my body, and I should know better so why do I do this? I do this, because I sometimes just give in.

I suppose it could have been worse. It could have been a block of cheese and a bottle of wine, or a take away, but I've still stuffed it up for the next few days. All I have done is set myself back and made it that bit harder for my forthcoming hol.

I will make amends tomorrow. Its PT tomorrow so I don't have a choice. Still fed up though - with myself. :(

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Off to bed now - nighty night. :)

Its been a long day. I'm off to bed now so here's to a (hopefully) good week to come. So much happening in my life right now - holiday imminent, house offer underway - not to mention birthday's, meals and loads of things happening.

I'm tired and emotional, but in a good way. Just anxious at what is yet to come. Plus the prospect of packing is looming..

So I bid you goodnight lovely peeps. Nighty night and sweet dreams x

Been to the Gym today - it was the last thing I felt like!

I did not want to go to the gym today. It was absolutely top of the list of things I really did not want to do. We went for tea last night at the Spotgate pub and restaurant. I will explain more about that another time.

The point is this - I had 3 large glasses of Pinot Grigio plus a meal - Chicken Stroganoff. It was divine.
On returning home, I had a couple of vodka and diet cokes. This is why the gym was the last thing I wanted to do today.

I have been very silly on the food front today too. I couldn't face eating first thing, so it was gone twelve before I ate. I had 2 rounds of toast and cottage cheese. Low fat.

Then I went to the gym. My other half guilt tripped me into it. I actually managed quite well. I accomplished this:

  • warm up stretch and walk (15 cals)
  • 1 mile jog/run (120 cals)
  • Stepper (100 cals)
  • 2 sets of abs:
    • 30 full sit ups x 2
    • 30 table crunches
    • 30 crunches
    • 30 ball reach and leg raise x 2
    • 60 ankle reaches
    • 60 cycle crunch
    • 30 leg raises x 2
  • cross trainer (100 cals)
  • incline walk (70 cals)
So in total, well over 400 cals burned cardio plus abs. Which isn't bad considering I really did not want to go!

When I got home, I had 2 rounds of toast and marmite. I just couldn't face eating. For my tea, its been ryvita and cottage cheese, with some Branston pickle. 

I don't advise eating this way, but just could not face it today. However, at least I have limited the damage from yesterday. :)

Day Six of My Week with Coldplay - A Sky Full of Stars

Day Six of My Week with Coldplay and today its "A Sky Full of Stars".

This is a recent one released in May 2014. A Sky Full of Stars is taken from Coldplay's sixth studio album Ghost Stories, also released in 2014. Its actually the third single from the album the first two being Magic and Midnight.

This single peaked at number 9 in the UK singles chart and was a top ten hit virtually everywhere. Its a more dancy track than is the norm for Coldplay. Its still rock and pop, but definetely bigger and faster than their usual offerings. It may be a step away from their usual style, but sound wise Chris's vocals suit it perfectly and its a great song.

It starts off quite piano led, and a bit more subdued but then it builds. It becomes faster, louder and altogether more kind of house influenced. This track in particular shows that Coldplay can and will evolve rather than sticking to what they know.

This video which accompanies the song is great too. It show Chris Martin walking down the street as a one man band, singing away. He reaches a corner and the rest of the band, also decked out as one man bands join him. People follow them down the street building into a crowd. Eventually they perform in front of a crowd whilst paper stars are blown all about them. Its a happy sounding happy looking video and song.

Its good to see Chris smiling in the video to this - he usually looks so forlorn. Overall, A Sky Full of Stars is a happier more upbeat and optimistic track than my other choices this week and its a good change. His vocals are still beautiful and the lyrics to this one are also more uplifting.

This is yet another great song from a great band. Go take a listen and let me know what you think. Or you can check out My Music page by clicking here  for more songs and great bands. Happy Listening :)

Friday's PT = knackered me!!

I went to PT Thursday and Friday this week. Thursday's session was hard - you can read about that one here. You might think that how hard he worked me the previous day that he might have gone a little easier on me. You would be wrong diddly wrong there!!

Friday's session saw me put through this:

  • lunges front and back with weight bar - 30 reps x 3 sets
  • lunge jumps x 30 reps x 3 sets 
  • abs - leg raise with weight wheel - 30 reps x 3 sets
  • stair master - 90 seconds of level 14 double steps x 3 sets
  • abs - leg tuck and raise x 30 x 3 sets
  • running intervals
  • squat thrusts - 20 reps x 3 sets
  • rope pulls - 1 minute bursts x 3 sets
  • squat and step jumps
  • cycle sprints
I was knackered. I don't know if it was just this session, the aftermath of the previous session or the heat, but my shoulders burned, my thighs burned - hell, everything burned!!

With it being so warm I am struggling to get a deep breath in, which ended up with my having stitch as well, which wasn't particularly helpful!! I am determined not to pile weight on again though, as all of this would have been for nothing. 

Its hard but its rewarding. Am finally under that stone mark, and that feels good. I am but a few pounds from my hol goal, and only just over a stone away from my ultimate goal of weighing in at 10 stone anything!! 

I am not the most successful dieter - I yo-yo. But exercise wise, I can work hard and that's the key. I can handle blips if I keep going to the gym. So one week and 3 days to go. Hol here I come! :)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Off to have my nails done now - toodle pip :)

Ok lovely peeps - off to have my nails done now. I have acrylics as mine don't grow very well, and I bite them anyway if they do!!

Just don't know what colour to go for today. They are currently dark blue, and were red before that. Decisions decisions. Back in a bit anyway. Toodle pip :)

One week since the house viewing :)

Its hard to think that this time last week, I hadn't set eyes on what I hope will be our new home in the next few months. It was throwing it down with rain this time last week, and we had 3 house viewings.

The first one, it rained and rained and rained. The second it was not so bad. By the third, it was barely raining. The third one was the one. The third one, will, everything crossed, be ours!!

Since then, we have had a second viewing, put our offer in, been accepted, and driven past at least half a dozen times. We have been the closest pub to it, which is lovely, twice already. I have printed off the pics of it, looked into the area and generally really fallen in love with not just the house, but the whole area.

I am beyond excited, but sooo nervous as we aren't there yet, and things can and do go wrong with these things. That said, its such a lovely house. One week ago, I didn't know anything about it. Now, its all I can think about.

What a difference a week makes!! Everything crossed. :)

Day Five of My Week with Coldplay - Trouble

Day Five of My Week with Coldplay. Today its the song "Trouble".

Trouble was released back in 2000. It was taken from their debut album, Parachutes, also released that year. Trouble was the third single from the album - not bad for a debut album! Shiver came first, then Yellow.

Trouble reached number 10 in the UK charts, but that doesn't reflect how beautiful it is. I find myself repeating that phrase when it comes to Coldplay, but beautiful they are. This one in particular is on the melancholy side. Chris sounds very moody and melancholy indeed in his tone, but his voice is almost angelic its so pure and clear and lovely and yes, beautiful.

Its a very piano based song this one. Its quite slow in tempo, but that suits the nature of it. The lyrics repeat the title "trouble" frequently throughout this, and also feature the lines "I never meant to cause you trouble", "i never meant to do you harm". Its very sincere and apologetic.

There are two official videos for this one. This one is the US version of the video. The US one is a bit bland - the band are cardboard cut-outs riding through an animated landscape, with a tornado taking the house back to a housing estate at the end. Bit odd. The UK one is much better, and much darker. Chris is singing strapped to a chair, whilst cars circle around him. Very sinister. Another band member gets tied to another chair, struggling a lot. Chris tips his chair over struggling to get out. He carries on singing on his side, tied to the chair as the sun rises. This turns out to be just a set, as he is front of a stage, still tied to the chair. There it ends. Somehow it fits the song though.

Trouble is a dark, melancholy song, with beautiful lyrics, lots of emotion and sung so wonderfully. Chris has an amazing voice, but the music that accompanies it and the choice of words - just perfection. Wonderful song.

Go take a listen and let me know what you think. Or for more you can check out My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

I have got under the stone mark!!!!!

Weight update - I am now 11 stone 13.8lbs. 0.2lbs under the stone mark!! Hallelujah!!! At last I start with an eleven not a twelve!! At last!!

It seems a long long time since those scales said 11 anything. I didn't quite manage it for my last hol - I hit the wall at bang on 12 stone and couldn't get under it. So it was last year's hol the last time I was this weight. Its silly, because its only half a pound just over shifted, but its that number that is all important.

Just got to be careful today not to blow it, as its a non gym day, and the pub is calling. Not today - maybe just one glass later, but I have to get some distance between me and that 12 now I've come this far.

I'm really pleased as I still have a week and a half to go, so time to make more a dent in the weight loss still. Happy bunny now :)

Doing weights makes me grunt!!

I am the Monica Seles of the gym. I used to listen to the gym bunnies and think it was about attention seeking. 9 months of PT and I assure you, its not. Its pain. Pure and simple.

There are certain exercises that require more effort than is the norm. That's a given, and previously I never really gave it that much thought, as it didn't affect me. Even when I have exercised its been low key in reflection, though I never realised it.

Now I have a PT, I understand hard work. Oh boy do I. You would just never push yourself that hard. Well, most of us wouldn't. I guess the real athletes amongst us might, but I am not, never have been and never will be one of them!!

I might have a better body now than I did, but that isn't hard comparing where I was before!! Believe me!

Its like every part of you wants to stop. I have no idea how it is that I keep going sometimes. Take kettle bell swings as an example. I hate the god-damned things so much its beyond ridiculous. Just the mere sight of them makes me sweat!! So I can get to about ten ok, but then my thighs and arms start to feel it. By twenty, the grunting kicks in and I'm accompanying each swing with a "grrr" or a "ahhh" or even worse by the last 2 or 3 reps, more of a whimpering "erghhhh".

I don't know what makes me do it. I do know I can't stop doing it. Doing weights and PT makes me grunt!!

Friday, 25 July 2014

The unsuccessful comper!

A few months back, I would have described myself as a low key, but regularly lucky comper. This year looked set to be one of my best yet.

But now, to use the American parlance, it appears I have entered a slump. I usually win something, even if its small, but nothing since 30th May - almost 2 months.

Yes, comping is all about luck. For those of you, most of you, that aren't really all that into comping, it won't make sense. But there is a certain addictive quality to wanting to enter competitions, because of that chance of winning no matter how remote.

I started slow, then I started to win. Over the last three years, it become more of a hobbie and pastime than I would have ever thought it would. Then I have hit the slump. No choice but to keep going, but boy its frustrating!!

Even a pack of dishwasher tabs or a bottle of shower gel - I'm not fussy and I'm not greedy. Just entered the slump and hoping my luck is going to chance. And soon !! :(

Weight loss update!

As of this morning, the scales had dropped. From 12 stone 2lb yesterday, today it was 12stone 0.4 lbs!! So so close now to getting under that stone mark!!

Hoping that by tomorrow, I shall weigh eleven stone something. It sounds soo much better than 12 stone anything. Despite only being fractionally lighter.

I have worked hard this week. I deserve to get under that stone mark!! C'mon the morning, I need to get on those scales!! ;)

Day Four of My Week with Coldplay - Fix You

Its Day Four of My Week with Coldplay and today I bring you the single "Fix You".

Fix You was taken from their third album X&Y and was released in 2005. This is quite a slow, lovely song to begin with, with Chris singing so beautifully. About halfway through though it kicks in with big guitars, piano and drums and it really becomes quite epic and powerful.

The video is Chris walking through London looking thoughtful. And a bit morose but then its not exactly a dance tune. But then as it kicks in he sprints and the next thing, he's bounding onto the stage as the drums and guitar really give it some. Chris plonks himself down at the piano, as the song becomes quite anthemic and big.

Fix You reached number four in the UK charts, which surprised me as I would have thought it would have been higher. Here's some trivia - Chris wrote this for Gwyneth when her father died. Apparently, her mum, Blythe Danner (she of Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers) weeps everytime she hears it.

The lyrics to this song in particular are very poignant. "Stuck in reverse, and the tears come streaming down your face", "when you lose something you can't replace". So meaningful whether a person or a relationship you are mourning. When it gets to "lights will guide you home" its hard not to be moved. Just give in and enjoy this gorgeous song.

Another perfect pop song from this great British band. Beautiful words, beautiful vocals, gorgeous music. Love this track, love this band. Go take a listen and let me know what you think.

For more music, check out My Music page by clicking here . Happy listening :)

Another reason to stick to the diet!!

Here is me a couple of years ago on holiday in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. From a distance, it perhaps doesn't show the size I was, but trust me, I was a big girl back then. 

I shall pop this on my gallery which is mapping my progress from before, during and hopefully after when I hit goal! 

You can see my pictures here in My Body Gallery. Or you can check out my battles with the bulge here. Slimming and getting fit is hard work, but its looking at pics like this that keep me going. 

Last night's PT session was soo hard!!

Back to PT - this week I had back to back sessions. One Thursday evening, one tonight. Arghhh!!!

Last night before I even started my workout, I was red hot and not in a "hot" way i.e. looking. Just hot as in sweaty!! He was relentless though. This is what he had me doing:
  • squats with belgian bag - 3 sets of 30 reps
  • squat thrusts - 3 sets of 20 reps
  • 1 minute of burpees x 3 sets
  • squats over box and squat jumps onto box x 3 sets
  • box jumps x 50 x 3 sets 
  • running intervals
  • jumps on and off step
  • cross trainer intervals
  • kettle bell swings - 3 sets of 1 minute swings
  • planks with medicine ball
  • rowing fish game
I was so hot and sweaty. At one point, mid squat with belgian bag he said he had never seen me look like I was about to cry mid-exercise. I must have looked like I was suffering as much as I felt that I did. The worst part was knowing that I had it all to do again tonight!! :)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

2 Weeks until my Hols - revised goal!

As of this morning, I still weighed in 12 stone 2lbs. Things not really gone according to plan on the diet front. Last ditch effort now underway therefore.

Originally, I had aimed for 11 stone 7lbs. I think in 2 weeks, 9lb may be a tad on the optimistic. However, I can and I will get under that darned stone mark.

So that's the goal. Will now be back to daily weigh ins - not doing so hasn't helped at all!! So that's the plan. I can do this!! :)

Hazard light, loud banging sound and driving at 10mph means there is a problem!!!!!

Last night, we went for a drive past our (hopefully everything crossed) new house. I could hear a ticking sound as I drove, and on inspecting the area it appeared to be coming from, I soon established a piece of rubber had come away from my tyre and that was what was making the sound.

I determined that I would have to take my car up to the garage in the morning and thought no more of it. So this morning, I hop in my car thinking I would just run it up to the garage - about a 4 mile trip give or take. As soon as I pulled off what had been a ticking noise last night, sounded like a drum under the back end of the car.

I slowed down to about 10mph because it sounded horrendous, and stuck my hazards on. Cars, very helpfully were papping their horns at me. Yes, of course its clearly someone just choosing to be annoying driving along with a loud thumping noise emitting from their back end, hazards on and driving slow. Couldn't possibly be something wrong with the car could it!!

Honestly, I must have been papped at least ten times, not to mention tail-gated, glared at, overtaken impatiently... I was getting really wound up by the time I got the garage. Not to mention relieved!!

About 1 mile to go, I had to speed up to get across a busy junction. The thumping suddenly magnified and my car suddenly became really difficult to control. It was pulling badly on the side of the poorly tyre, and was making worrying lurches to that side, and dipping every now and then - I could feel the car actually dipping down. I could also smell rubber and it was burning and hot smelling. Oh dear.

I limped my way at less than 10mph hearing a ripping thumping noise on each wheel rotation. I got to the garage, got out and boy could I smell the tyre. No doubt by that point it was a goner.

They ramped it, and had a good look. The mechanic fetched me over and showed me the damage. I had no idea tyres could shred like that. Huge chucks of the outer tyre - the tread bit, were hanging from it - so many strands it looked like a grass skirt or one of those old fashioned door drapes from the 70's!! Not good. You could see like a metallic thread under the scalped rubber.

Eeek! My horror wasn't helped by the mechanic's deadpan delivery of the news that had they not been run flats, it would have blown out and likely buckled the wheel such was the pressure it must have taken to shred like that. As it was, the tyre had kind of imploded he said, probably due to losing pressure and the hot hot weather, plus then driving it to the damage.

He invited me to touch the tyre to feel the heat of it - it was red hot. This was a good ten minutes after I had pulled up. All in all, he told me, I had been very lucky. That as may be, and I am glad - the experience still cost me £145 for a new tyre, so not that lucky!!

So my day started on a bad note, and let me tell you, it sure hasn't got any better since!! :(

Day Three of My Week with Coldplay - Paradise

Day Three then of My Week with Coldplay. Today it is Paradise. (Days one and two were Yellow and The Scientist).

Paradise was released in 2011. It was taken from fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto which was released the same year. It was a major success, reaching the number one spot here in the UK, becoming their second single to hit the top spot.

Here's a little bit of trivia for you about this one - this song was originally written to be the winners song for the X Factor!! Obviously it didn't go onto become that, instead being recorded and released by the band - having been written by Chris Martin anyway. Strange but true.

This is a catchy song. Its kind of rock pop, Coldplay's typical genre but its more heavy on the drums than usual and the title "Paradise" sung as "Para-para Paradise" gets totally stuck in your head after listening to this. Its not fast paced, nor is it ballad slow. Its not really an anthem song, but its big. Chris, as ever, sounds perfect.

I really liked this video for the single. For unfathomable reason, they are dressed as elephants. It begins with said man dressed as elephant (later revealed to actually be Chris) escapes from the Zoo. He busks, and hitches rides, eventually making it to South Africa (I think). There, he finds three more elephants aka the rest of Coldplay!! Its funny and I love how naf the elephant outfits are!!

This really is a beautiful sounding song, a catchy song and has a funny video. What more can you ask for? Go take a listen and let me know what you think.

Check out more of My Music by clicking here. Happy listening :)

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Second viewing - I love this house!!

Second viewing of the house. This time, me and the other half, plus my parents and his daughter. I have fully fallen in love with it now. Totally.

Unbelievably, my  mum knows the people selling the house. They grew up in the next street to where mum grew up. We walked up the driveway and the clue that mum knew them was when they were hugging. What are the chances??

Just hope to god it all goes through now. So excited, and want this house so much now!! :)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

OMG!! Offer accepted!

Oh my gosh - our second offer was accepted!! Now, now, I am excited. Cue phone calls to the estate agent to arrange a second viewing - for the kids and parents of course!!

For us, its the long haul now. Instructing the solicitors, sorting the mortgage, and importantly deciding where the furniture is going!!

Its so hard not to get carried away right now. I have been on the phone for well over 2 hours sorting the mortgage application. All well there so far.

The sellers have yet to find a place to move to, but accepting under asking suggests they want to move, so everything crossed now!! Scary, exciting - OMG!!

Off to the gym :)

The time has come for me to put some real effort in. So its with a heavy heart that I prepare for the gym. Its so hard just to get out of the house sometimes and just all seems too much of an effort.

This is thing though - when I'm on hols I will regret not going more. So I am going. I am out of excuses. I'm quite sure I could find some if I tried, or even without trying really - I'm the master of excuses for not exercising!!

Not today though. I promise ;)

Offer Number 1 on the house = X

Pah. I put an offer in on a house to buy yesterday. The sellers had to discuss it overnight. I got a call a little while ago - its a no, they want a slightly higher offer.

Have discussed with the other half and made the call. Offer 2 now on the table. Ooooh this is so nerve wracking!!

Just got to wait for that call now. Fingers crossed :)

A day off work today - lovely :)

I randomly booked today off as leave. I'm not having a lazy day - I just have things to do. Lots of things actually!!

Getting some washing done and hung out - it being so sunny, and clothes smell so lovely dried outdoors. So there's that for starters. Then my ebay wrapping is mounting up, so there's that to be done.

On a more pleasant note, there's the bookings I need to make for haircut, waxing and spray tans as part of pre-hol preps.

I need to go the gym. I need to get some shopping. I've already cleaned the house - that was last night. So what else? Oh yes, I am not going to weigh myself. I am also, hopefully, going to deal with house buying related issues, plus a few other bits and bobs and then finally - a sit in the sun with my kindle later, no wine though, coffee is today's only acceptable vice.

I like random days off. What are you up to today? :)

No Scales for a week - Arghhhh!!

I admit it - I have become obsessed with the scales. I can't say its helping with the old diet plan if I am honest. The scales determine the effort I make, or lack of therein!

If I got on the scales this morning and they had dropped, I might be inclined to slack off a bit. If I got on the scales and they had gone up I might be inclined to sulk or I might just not eat. None of these is particularly helpful. So here is the new plan - do not keep weighing myself!!

It is Tuesday today. I am not weighing myself now until Saturday. Saturday morning to be specific. Its pointless keeping jumping on and off them. I'm not getting any thinner as a result of endless weigh ins and its really hard to see how much you have lost day to day - much better to go week by week.

So this is a new idea for me - not being so scale obsessed. Lets see how this week goes. :)

2 Weeks 'Til Tunisia!!

2 weeks to go. Woohoo!! Getting excited now. Where are you off to this August?

Not wanting to be on too much of a downer, post Tunisia, I am very excited to announce we have booked up for our next hol next year. Now this one is somewhere I have never been, always wanted to go, so am super super excited - we are off to Marrakech.

But back to Tunisia. I'm the final throes of planning now, not to mention dieting!! I love dresses when I'm on hols - for some reason I never wear them here in the UK.

I have lots to plan - spray tan, waxing, nails, hair!! My gosh!! If only I did this all the time I would look more prepared for the world!! What's your pre-hols routine?

Monday, 21 July 2014

My Week with Coldplay - Day Two - The Scientist

Day Two of My Week with Coldplay, and today's song choice is The Scientist.

The Scientist was released in 2002. It was the second single from their second album A Rush of Blood to the Head also released in 2002.

This is a really beautiful song, full of gorgeous piano. Its all about love this one, and the lyrics sum it up perfectly "nobody said it was easy". It also seems to depict how love is so overwhelming. Just beautiful - in the words and in the music.

Chris Martin sings beautifully and elegantly. He has such a note perfect voice, and it fits beautifully with the ballad style of The Scientist. Piano's, soaring notes - perfect.

To match this, is the video. This is one of the most fascinating videos I have ever watched. It goes in reverse basically, but its much more clever than just that. It looks like Chris is singing the correct lyrics whilst the video is going backwards. To accomplish this impressive feat, he apparently had to learn the song backwards!! Amazing!! Quite poignant too - it finishes / starts (depending if you class the start as the end or the end as the start given that its in reverse!!) with a car crash, where you clearly see the female passenger take off her seat belt to put her jacket on. Bad move in this instance.

As you can tell, I love this song. It only got to number 10 in the UK charts, but that doesn't reflect jut how gorgeous this song is. Its beautiful which I may have mentioned!! Go take a listen, let me know what you think.

Check out more of my music by visiting My Music page - click here. Happy listening :)

Made an offer on a house!!

So of the houses we viewed on Saturday, we have deliberated and considered. Come to some conclusions, made a decision - gone back over it with a fine tooth comb.

Firmed this up with a call to the bank, sorted the mortgage promise and took the plunge. Our offer is in!!

The seller is discussing with her hubby this evening so tomorrow we shall know. Ooh its exciting this house buying business!! Also very nerve wracking and a tad scary!!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

We viewed 3 more houses today

So today, having lost out on what we previously termed as the "dream house" we went off to view 3 more.

On the plus side, I have come to realise that there are other lovely houses out there. On the downside, the first one take some beating.

Today's offerings were similar in price, very different in description. The first one was lovely, but needed some work and the price didn't reflect this at all. So whilst the location was good, it was dismissed.

The second one came with its own woods!! Beautiful views. Loads of land. Problem being the maintenance - its own orchard, water features, veg plots - you are talking lots of maintenance. Gorgeous, but I think it would be a bit scary at night when its pitch black. Plus the house was old fashioned and needed some money spending on it. It was at the top end of our range too, so there wouldn't be much to plough into it.

So number three then. Perfect area - close to where I grew up and where my parents live still. Pretty garden, gorgeous house. Not so much land but the location - wow. This could be the one.

Now I need to get back onto the bank again and get the mortgage offer in place. I tell you what though, its nerve wracking this house buying business!! Fingers crossed!!

Friday, 18 July 2014

This evening's PT

This evening was PT. I don't know if I have told you before, but my PT is named Gregg. This is not the name I call him - think of the worst names and words and you might be close!

This evenings session consisted of:

  • Triathlon - smashed it with 4 min 33. (last time was 5.05!)
  • side skips up and down studio x 3 sets
  • box burpees - 3 sets of 30
  • side skip and squats up and down gym x 3 sets
  • box jump x 3 burpees x 20 x 3 sets
  • stair master intervals - 2 mins x 3 sets of increasing levels
  • sit up with weight ball and throws - 3 sets x 20 reps
  • sit up ball to feet - 3 sets x 15 reps
  • squat jumps with TRX - 30 reps x 3 sets
  • skater side lunge x 30 x 3 sets
  • rope pull x fast minute pull x 3 sets
  • bunny jumps - 15 reps x 3 sets
  • press ups on bench x 10 x 3 sets
It was so hot in the gym. Gregg said he thought I looked like I had lost weight though!! Very pleased. Makes it worth it if people can see it!! 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Having some bad luck

Can you get runs of luck? good or bad? I believe so. In the space of 2 weeks, ours is definitely a bad run.

In no particular order, the following have happened:

  • Slid off step and fell down three steps on my coccyx
  • Fell over the hurdle at the gym
  • My car reversed into last week - £200 worth of damage
  • Person who hit said car has yet to turn up to pay for the damage
  • Other half reversed into a fence
  • Didn't get our dream house
I am also a comper. I am going through a dry spell on the wins too. Which seems to coincide with the bad luck run. Its like a rain cloud is following me around at the moment!!

Hopefully, that's the end of the bad stuff as I'm getting pretty damned tired of it. I feel like I've been flattened by it all. There's other stuff happening around us too that is raising the pressure and stress stakes. Its been a rough few weeks. I just want the wind to change now. :(

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Me and my blog

I started blogging towards the end of last year, 2013. I had no clue what I was doing, and I dipped in, posting an occasional post. There was no rhyme or reason to what I blogged about - I just started off randomly.

At the start of the year this year, 2014, I decided to choose more of a theme. I stopped randomly posting everything that came into my head and chose certain subjects.

As the months have passed, I've come to really enjoy blogging. I'm still an occasional blogger - I've not really gotten into any sort of pattern or rhythm - that will come in time I'm sure.

However, it is now clear to me what I enjoy most when it comes to writing. So what will you now find on my blog? Well, you will find these pages:

I love music and film. That's where I put my main focus. However, as a dieter and always trying to get to my goal weight, I post about battling my weight, food and also post pics in my body gallery. Linked to this, I love my holidays and I love clothes here you will find my loves and likes, and sharing of my experiences. 

Finally, we all need to vent a little sometimes. So I have a mustn't grumble page. This is basically where I air issues that annoy me or frustrate me. Its also quite amusing (well I think so!) . 

So there you have it - this is me. The eternal hopeful. Over the coming months, I shall start to get into a pattern - single of the week on a set day of the week for instance so you know when to expect me as it were!! It takes time to get into these things doesn't it? Its been great so far, but I'm still learning so feel free to tell me what you think or share any tips. :)

My single of the week - Milky Chance - Stolen Dance

Quirky song alert - Milky Chance with Stolen Dance is an unusual music single for sure. Its also immensely catchy and fabulous.

Want to know more? Of course you do. Stolen Dance are a german duo. This track has been around for ages, been a hit in loads of places and has recently debuted into the UK charts.

Its a bit folksy, a bit pop, and features some gravelly vocals and acoustic guitar. Its quite slow paced, but its a beautifully melodic tune. The guys vocals are really unusual, but so catchy.

I can see this song being huge this summer. Its a slow burner but once it hooks you, it really gets in your head.

The video is simple and suits the song. Just the singer sitting on a stool with his guitar. There are some visuals of surfers etc.. projected over the top, but in essence, its just a guy and a guitar. Brilliant. Click here to watch and listen to it.

I love this track - its a real chill out track and is definitely coming on its hols with me this summer. Check it out and let me know what you think.

For more music check out My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

(video published on youtube by Milky Chance)

My very bad day

So we heard about the dream house. The phone call from the estate agent came - bad news she said. A substantially higher offer had been made she said. So we didn't get the dream house.

I cannot tell you how upset I was. So I booked the afternoon off, and me and the other half went driving about to see what other houses are out there that could potentially be as lovely as the one we lost.

After a few hours, we had seen 2 that we liked the look of enough to make an appointment to view. So we are going to see them on Saturday. Back on the horse and all that.

I'm still gutted. But life goes on and worse things happen. We decided to go and sample the nearest pub to one of the potentials to see what it was like. I can report it was very nice as was the Pinot Grigio they served!! 2 glasses later and we headed home.

Then we decided, having got a taste for it, to head over to our local to have another. Another 2 glasses and tea later, we toddled home somewhat tipsy!! However, it did the job. I feel much calmer even though  it was horrible yesterday. Wine does help sometimes.

Blew the diet for this week mind you - between the wine and the chicken skewers, but I needed it. Sometimes life is hard. I really wanted that house. But its over now - onwards and upwards. Hopefully there is another out there that will be even more perfect.

My Week with Coldplay - Day One - Yellow

So here we go then - My Week with Coldplay. My first song choice is the classic single Yellow.

Yellow was the second single to be released back in 2000 from their debut album Parachutes, released the same year. The first single being Shiver.

Despite being a massive breakthrough single for the band, and one of their most memorable, I was surprised to find that it peaked at number four in the UK charts, and didn't make the top spot.

I remember hearing Yellow for the first time and being absolutely blown away by it. It sounds just as amazing now, which is incredible. Coldplay are not the typical sounding rock band, more on the alternative sound and they have a beautiful quality to their songs. Chris Martin's voice sounds so utterly gorgeous on this record.

The video is simplistic but effective. Basically, its just a very young and ordinary looking Chris on a rainy beach in an anorak. Its just all about the music, no gimmicks, so special effects or dancing girls. Purely him singing this wonderful song.

As to what Yellow is about it seems the jury is out. It may have something to do with a yellow pages according to urban legend on such things, or it just as easily may not do. Whatever its about it sounds perfect. It sounds romantic, the lyrics make it emotional, but all in all its a happy song. Yellow is a happy colour - Yellow is a happy song. To me it is anyway.

So, what you have in this song is a beautiful voice, beautiful music - one of my favourite songs ever which I am happily revisiting and putting on my playlists!! I had forgotten just how much I love it. Go and have a listen.

For more of My Music go check out my page by clicking here . Happy Listening :)

Monday, 14 July 2014

Gruelling PT session this evening

I can say hand on heart now that I am back on track. Firmly. Tantalisingly close to getting under that 12 stone mark now. It should happen this week, I'm confident. I still have 3 and a half weeks to go too, so I should at least get close to my hol goal of 11 stone 7 if not quite on it. This is all good.

Which brings me to this evenings' PT session. What a grueller it was!! I was in no uncertain terms exhausted. This is what he put me through for tonight's fun!!

  • Warm up on treadmill
  • Stepper - 30 seconds steady - level 12
  • Stepper - 1 minute hard on max level 25!!
  • Squat jumps x 15
  • 3 sets of the above.
  • TRX lunge and squat jumps x 15
  • Medicine ball pass abs x 20 each side
  • Lunges with weight bar
  • 3 sets of the above
  • Cross trainer intervals and sitting (where you bend your legs and kind of squat pedal!)
  • Cycle sprints
  • Weight machine - bar pull down - 3 x 15 reps heavy, and 1 x 20 lighter (still heavy!)
  • Burpees and step jumps x 15 - 3 sets
  • 5 minute run on treadmill
I was knackered!! However, when my thighs were burning, my arms and everything else and I was ready to drop, all I could think was "bikini" and "11 stone"!!. It worked, I kept it going to the bitter end. 

I am so on a mission right now. Really am back on track and determined to get these old bones looking as good as they can :)

And the wait goes on.......

Its Monday evening and we still have not heard if our offer has been accepted. We put our offer of the asking price in on Thursday, having viewed on Wednesday and still in limbo!!

Our stress levels are through the ceiling right now - not good. I totally understand - if I owned that house, I would take my time too, but honestly, my nerves are shot! Everytime my phone went today - or anyone else's I was that on edge - I jumped!!

We should know tomorrow. Everything I can cross is crossed :(

Sunday, 13 July 2014

We will know tomorrow :(

Tomorrow is D - day. We are submitting our final offer for the dream house. All final offers have to be in by 12 noon. Then, hopefully, we will know by tomorrow afternoon if its a go.

So nervous!!! I feel like I have that butterfly feeling in my stomach like when you have an exam!!

One way or another I shall be so glad when tomorrow is done with. Either we will be proceeding, or we won't. At least we will know and be out of this awful limbo.

Its the house of my dreams, but I have to get perspective. There are other houses. I will feel like this about another house if I don't get this one. That's all well and good and I know it to be true.

But, and here is the crux of it. I want this house. Not another one. This one. Fingers and everything else crossed :(

Saturday, 12 July 2014

House Offer - In Limbo

We put our offer in on the dream house. We got a call from the estate agent - the other viewer had also put an offer in, and higher than ours.

We upped ours. They upped theirs. We went to asking price. So did they. Now, we have to submit final offer by 12 noon on Monday.

We don't know what the other bidders are going to put in. We don't know how much we should put in. All we know is that we want that house. Its sooo nerve wracking!! Monday will be the decider. So scared !! I want that house!! :(

My Week with Coldplay begins

Here we go then - My Week with Coldplay. So lets look at the background of this great band.

Unbelievably, Coldplay started back in 1996. But they weren't called Coldplay at first. They were called Pectoralz. Not as catchy is it?. Wisely changing the name in 1998. Their first hit was the single "Yellow". I remember Yellow, and I bought it. It was one of those tunes that is memorable, and even then it was anthemic. I still love that track. Yellow was in the year 2000.

Following shortly after the release of the single Yellow, their debut album Parachutes came out. They went on to release A Rush of Blood to the Head in in 2002,  X&Y in 2005. Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends followed in 2008, and Mylo Xyloto in 2011. Finally, 2014 saw them release their current album, Ghost Stories.

Its fair to say Coldplay are huge. Five studio albums, releasing hit after hit and winning accolades all around the world, including Brit awards, Mercury Music awards, MTV awards and grammys to name a few.

Coldplay are an English band, and formed initially by Chris Martin and his uni friends. Thank goodness they did! The band are known for being great live, and having seen them several years ago at the V-Festival I can honestly say they sound better live.

I'm really excited by their new stuff - Magic, and a Sky Full of Stars the singles so far, are beautiful. Coldplay have this niche in the market. Not rock, not pop they are a beautiful melding of both. Emotional lyrics are their forte. They are intriguing and unique.

The band consists of Chris Martin - who is lead vocalist, but also plays rhythm guitar and piano, then Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland and Will Champion do drums, backing vocals, bass and everything else!

Over the next week I shall pick seven tracks, review one each day and post it on my blog. Then I shall consider my preference and which is my best of all from this great band. Pop back tomorrow for Day One, or if you just can't wait, you can check out other artists I have spent a week with here on My Music page. :)

4 weeks to go!!!

So just less than 4 weeks to go until my hols!!! Off to Tunisia next time. So, as of this morning I weighed in at 12 stone 1.8lb. Tantalisingly close to dropping under that stone mark!!!

2lbs to go. If I can get 2lbs off this week, all of a sudden I will be a different person!! Fingers crossed. ;)

My Favourite Film is on now!!

Yay!! I come home, I'm fed up, I pop the TV on. I scroll for something to watch and there it is - The Devil Wears Prada!!!!!

Get in. Love this film :)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Scales down, PT done :)

Well its working. Down to 12 stone 5.2lbs again. Still 2 and a half to drop, but jolly good that its coming down again. I should think so the effort I am making this week!!

So, off I toddled to PT this evening. He was mean tonight, just plain mean. I actually asked him if he was in fact trying to kill me at one point!! The torture session tonight consisted of:

  • sprinting on treadmill
  • A triathlon consisting of rowing, running and cycling (quite a respectable time)
  • double hand kettle bell swings
  • one hand kettle bell swings
  • bunny jumps
  • box jumps
  • kettle bell sweeps
  • leg raise abs with weight wheel
  • knee tuck abs with weight wheel
  • stair master double steps intervals
  • kettle bell sweep with squats
It was really hard. I was sweating a lot. I felt like I was going to collapse!! So it was a good session! :)

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Reason to Stick to My Diet Today #2

#Reason No 2 - I want to be a Size 10/12

My intention to think of a reason every day to stick to my diet. 

If I can keep this thought in mind for each whole day, I hope it will be enough to keep me motivated and inspired.

Reason Number 2 is that I have reached a Size 12 once or twice, but never maintained it, and I need to be a bit smaller still. So size 10/12 is the goal. 

Oh goodness - am about to put an offer in on a house!!!

I have been to view a house this evening. Not the first, but the first for a while. I wasn't sure what I thought before I got there, but instantly on getting there, it felt like I had come home.

I have done the maths, scrabbled together all the cash I can, and I can afford it, just!! It's the house of my dreams. It has everything I want and more.

So, tomorrow morning I am calling in my offer. Then its waiting to see if its accepted. Soooo nervous!! Let you know what happens. :)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

4 Weeks until my holiday - 1 stone to lose

Today, my weight is back to 12 stone 7.2lb. Down 2 1/2 lb from yesterday, but so far my lowest was 12st 2.5lb. I need to be back to close to that by the end of this week.

I went to PT last night, fell over (more on that here). The session however, consisted of:

  • standing lunges with belgian bag
  • body weight lunges
  • cross trainer sprints
  • burpees
  • bunny jumps
  • hurdles
  • side skip lunge moving
  • squat jumps
  • squats with belgian bag
  • body weight squats
  • one leg lunges with TRX
  • resting leg raise abs
  • walking lunges with belgian bag
  • body weight lunges
  • sprints and jogs
  • rope pulls
It was intense!! Went off to the gym again this evening with very stiff thighs indeed. Tonight I worked off 600 cals in cardio and did 2 sets of 150 abs. My session was a 1 mile jog, walking on an incline, stepper, cross trainer and sprints/incline on treadmill to finish. 

I am really trying to get back on track but its hard this week. I am really struggling. I just keep thinking of that bikini, but its a real effort just now. Determined to get my motivation back again. Why is it so hard though? :(

Reason to Stick to My Diet Today #1

#Reason No 1 - I want to look good in a bikini!! 

Right then, Reason number 1 it is then. This is my intention to think of a reason every day to stick to my diet. 

If I can keep that thought in mind for each whole day, I hope it will be enough to keep me motivated and inspired. So here goes with reason number 1. 

Monday, 7 July 2014

Karma is restored - a tumble at the gym!

This evening was karma in motion. Do you recall my hysterical laughter at some poor unfortunate at the gym who fell spectacularly off the treadmill whilst removing her sweatshirt? 

Well tonight was my turn. 

After 9 reps of burpees followed by 2 footed jumps over hurdles, I didn't quite clear said hurdle. 

Both hurdle and myself smacked down with a total lack of grace and dignity. 

Karma has now been restored. And yes, I laughed just as much as my own misfortune, as did that of others!! All is well :)

Am I the World's Worst Dieter?

I try so hard. I really do. But then things just keep going wrong!! Am I the only one going through this? It feels like it at the moment, it really does.

I had reach 12 stone 2.6lb. Tantalisingly close to that next stone down. Then there was a wedding, a Robbie, a night in Manchester and a big night out, a lovely meal and lots of wine. I pulled it back from the brink, to a not too awful 1 1/2lb gain. I could live with that. It was fun after all.

I made all sort of promises to myself, and announced my plans to others. Somehow, it came around to Saturday and it was time for Buffet Island. The intention to stay off the carbs and stick to a couple of crispy duck pancakes and that was it.

Before I knew what I was doing, I was on the chicken balls, the skewers, the fried seaweed and prawn crackers. The sesame prawn toast, the chow mein, the fried rice, the sushi and the duck pancakes of course as well. EEEEKK!! It didn't stop there though - oh no. When I fall, its from a great height to a great low. No middle ground here.

I ordered a glass of Pinot. They didn't do it by the glass, so rather than change my choice, I ordered a bottle. Then drank most of it solo. Wine consumed, I then headed for the desserts. Cue cheesecake, chocolate cake, profiteroles and gateau, layered with cream. So yummy, so high in calories and diet officially blown out of the water on all counts.

Sunday should have been the day to repair the damage. I felt tired and irritable, and when we went for a walk, and some lunch, in the absence of a healthy option I went for the best I could find - a cheese and onion toastie and a bag of crisps. Yes, full fat ones - those old fashioned ones. In for a penny, I accompanied it with a Mocha. No cream - yes, I thought that would make a difference! I wasn't toooo bad for the rest of the day, but the damage was not undone, not by a long chalk.

So the moment arrived - Monday morning weigh in. I am appalled to say I weighed in a whopping 12 stone 9.6lb. 7lbs from where I was 2 weeks ago, and now seriously off track.

My holiday is 4 weeks on Thursday. At this rate, I will be buying a bigger seat on the plane!! I feel like I am the world's most unsuccessful dieter right now. I would promise you that I will do better, but right now, I am feeling far too sorry for myself and most fed up. I've been extra good today - been to PT, had the BooTea and even drank 1.5L water ( a first for me). Its a small step.

The problem with small steps? You need to take a lot of them to actually get anywhere!! Ain't that the truth!! So, 4 and a half weeks of small steps is the small plan for the moment until I stop sulking :(

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Such a clever Three Ad - Brag Responsibly!!

I saw this ad for the first time yesterday and it had me chuckling to myself. So very clever. Some bright person in marketing is a genuis for coming up with this.

Three, the mobile phone company have changed their tariffs is the point of it. However, the ad sees a very dead pan delivery of an apology for the resulting #holidayspam. The ad features numerous snapshots of beach feet, plane wings and sunsets - you know, the ones we all take!!

It apologises for hot dog legs, and finally finishes with "brag responsibly". What an absolutely brilliant ad!! Watch it here on youtube if you haven't seen it, or just want to laugh at it again! I'm not being paid to feature this incidentally, just think its brill and wanted to share it! Enjoy :)

Rod Stewart Live - The Pics Part III

Finally, here is Rod in a very dapper gold suit. Then lovely red trousers and beach shirt! What a star! Finally, some fireworks marked the end of the show. Fabulous :) (see more pics in Part I and Part II)

Rod Stewart Live - The Pics Part II

Rod is getting on a bit, but he was amazing live. So much energy and sounding great. Here he is minus the snazzy silver jacket he donned at the start (Pics Part 1) :

Rod Stewart live - the pics Part 1

Do you remember me telling you that I went to see Rod Stewart live at the Britannia Stadium a few weeks back? Well here are the pics:

New Trainers and No Excuses

My new trainers - bright aren't they? I have decided that I needed a boost to my fitness efforts in the hope it will spur me on to go to the gym more. These blue beauties are my new Nike's and I love them! 

When I wear them, they make me feel like I'm bouncing - in a good way!!  No excuses now! :)

Saturday, 5 July 2014

c'mon holland - I have Van Persie as goal scorer!!!

Come on Holland!! Hate penalties. :(

Off to Buffet Island tonight - nom nom nom

I am on a diet, so its unsurprising that I am really looking forward to going to Buffet Island this evening. I absolutely love Chinese food. I love Buffet Island, though haven't been for some time now.

I love having to go and pile your plate up from the buffet - its like being on an all inclusive holiday!! We are going for my mum and dad's 40th Wedding Anniversary. 40 years!!

Should be a good night. Will let you know what we end up eating and how it goes. Catch you later :)

My Movies - Thrillers

Dante's Peak has put me in the mood for watching a good thriller. Do you know any great thrillers? Here are a few of mine which I have already watched and reviewed to get you started:

Alex Cross
Basic Instinct
Consenting Adults
Jack Reacher
Sleeping with the Enemy
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Let me know if you have one to recommend :)

Saturday afternoon and watching Dantes Peak - yay!!

I realise its a beautiful sunny day out there, but its Saturday afternoon and for once I have no charging around the place to do. The house is clean and tidy, I have a soothing eye mask and moisturising face mask on to attempt to make me beautiful (lot to ask of a mask!).

To my delight, I find Dante's Peak is on!! So sitting here, pampering and watching Dante's Peak! Fabulous :)

Weighty matter - scales half a pound down :)

Popped on the scales and hoorah! Half a pound off. Still means I have gained a little this week, but its moving down which is all that matters. I am 12 stone 4.2lbs. One and a half pound gain from last Sat.

Considering the scale of the blip this week (wedding, Robbie Williams, overnight stay in Manchester and teas out plus wine!) that isn't too bad. Going out for a meal this evening though, so need to keep in mind that its less than 5 weeks until bikini now.

Its creeping up fast - be here before I know it, and I will reach my goal. I will. Positive mental attitude and all that! 9lbs to go. :)

My Single of The Week - Rixton - Me and My Broken Heart

I heard this for the first time and thought "that's Maroon 5". No bad thing - I love Maroon 5. Then I realised it didn't sound quite like his voice. The more I thought about it as it played, the more I realised it only sounded like them, and wasn't them at all. The song turned out to be Rixton - Me and My Broken Heart, (who do sound like Maroon 5 by the way).

Its a really catchy pop number, from this new band on the scene. They are an English band, and this single, released back in March as an EP but only now seeming to find its feet in anticipation of its main release this month (July) as a single in the UK. It is the lead single from their debut album. Their album isn't released yet, but if this track is anything to go by, they are going to be huge. Its already huge in the USA, so big things to come for these guys in my humble opinion.

Lead singer Jake Roche, really shows his talent on this track. Here is a bit of trivia for you - he is the son of Shane Richie and Coleen Nolan! The rest of the band then are - Charley Bagnall, Lewi Morgan, and Danny Wilkin. A four piece.

Described as a boy band, but what stands them apart is that they wrote this, and they play instruments. No gimmicks here, just plain talent. The result? A catchy, brilliant pop song that's well presented, well sung and just plain good.

If you can't wait for its release then check out the video where you can watch the boys and listen to it if you haven't heard it yet. The video is great - the boys in a sort of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels-esque situation. Poker and bag of money, con artists and the boys being conned! Good fun, good song. Go and check it out.

Let me know what you think, or for more music check out My Music page by clicking here. Happy Listening :)

(video published on youtube by RixtonVEVO)

Friday, 4 July 2014

9lb to lose and 5 weeks to go

9lbs, 5 weeks to go and the challenge is on. Do you have any tips on how to achieve that beach body?

If you do, please share them. I need all the help I can get over the next 5 weeks. Its going to be intense folks!! Its 2lbs a week, which doesn't sound a lot, but I don't think its going to be that simple somehow!

I am going to try my very best. I just hope that's enough!! Fed up of hating my hol pics. :(

I will share some more of my more hideous pics so you can see what I mean!! Actually, looking at those pics is quite some motivation, but also makes me realise how far I've come. Hard though isn't it?

Are you on a diet at the moment? x

My Next Week with Is..... Coldplay!!!

Right then, I have decided on My Next Week with and its Coldplay!! I  shall choose seven songs, post each review and then consider which was the best. Looking forward to it!

First up, I shall take a look at the band, where they came from and a bit more about them before we embark on our week with this fab band. Excited much!! Back soon. :)

Who Shall I spend this week with??

I'm wondering who I want to spend this coming week with. So many choices, so many great artists out there. So who to choose?

I think I might choose someone less teen pop come diva this week. I've already done BeyoncePinkRihanna and of course Britney. I still fancy a week with Madonna or Kylie, or even Whitney, but they shall have to wait. So who then?

Maybe some good old rock and roll. I've already had The Rolling StonesKings of LeonOasis and The Stereophonics, but I think there is space for more. Maybe U2 or the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, or the Foo Fighters? I don't know, I'm not sure.

So maybe then, some pop? I've already done edgy with Blondie, cheesy poptastic fun with Take That and the fabulous pop star Robbie. So could we do more pop this week? Someone a bit cooler perhaps - Coldplay? Pharell Williams? Maybe some Maroon 5 or The Script? Hmm.

A bit more thinking time me thinks. Don't worry - you can check out My Music page whilst you wait in anticipation. Just click here. Back to let you know who is next shortly :)

My Week with Britney Spears is over

My Week with Britney Spears is over. We have learned a lot about Britney over our week with this phenomenally successful artist. For more about here click here.

Now comes the fun bit - which track I have chosen over the 7 days is my favourite? Here are my seven songs in my order of preference.

In at number One its...Baby One More Time
Number Two: Womaniser
Number Three: Scream and Shout
Number Four: Toxic
Number Five: Oops I Did it Again
Number Six: I'm A Slave For U
Number Seven: Piece of Me

And there we have it, my favourite Britney song is Baby One More Time. Classic Brit. Now my week is over. If you can't wait for my next choice of artist or band (who will it be??) you can check out previous choices at My Music page here.

I hope you have enjoyed it. Pop back later to see who is next. Happy listening :)

Scales have dropped - woohoo!!

After all my over indulgence, as of, ooh, 20 mins ago, I am back to 12 stone 4.6lb. Still 2lb over what I weighed last Saturday morning, but taken back to last Friday i.e. 1 week ago, I was 12 stone 4. Thats just a 0.6lb gain.

Pleased with that, as it means my extra efforts Weds and Thurs have paid off. Just goes to show that you can pull back even from a major diet blip.

So now to get under that stone mark. My goal is to be there by next Friday. 5lb? I can do that :)

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Tonight's PT session was hard!!

It was always going to be tough tonight. Lots of overindulgence and sins (in the diet sense) committed. Plus no exercise to speak of since last Friday - that is unless you count drunk dancing at the wedding and bouncing about to Robbie Williams of course!!

So, with trepidation I headed for PT this evening. It was my punishment you see! Tonight's session consisted of:

  • squat thrusts
  • ball burpees with ball raise and jump
  • sit ups with ball raise
  • squat jumps with TRX
  • front lunges with weight bar
  • cross trainer intervals
  • chase the fish on the rower
  • sprints on the treadmill
  • leg raises
It was sooo hard. I was sweating like I had run a marathon!! That was the worst over though - it was the worst one, and although it hurt, it will be better next time :)

Slight weight gain and 5 weeks to go - Arghhh!!

Its fair to say, I have overindulged. Sat night = wedding reception. Sunday night = pub. Monday night = Robbie Williams, Printworks and Canal Street. Tuesday night = pub and meal out. Oops!!!

Thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed it. Absolutely paying for it now!! Weight as of this morning = 12stone 6.8lbs. 4lb gain!!! Oh dear. I do like to make life hard for myself.

This time in 5 weeks I will be on holiday, so I have 5 weeks to get my ass slimmed down. Started with PT tonight, then gym tomorrow, PT sat. That should help. Lets see!! :(

Day 7 of My Week with Britney - I'm A Slave for U

So with a small delay, sorry, I bring you the last day of My Week with Britney Spears, and Day Seven brings us I'm A Slave For U. Released back in 2001.

This single was taken from Britney's third studio album, Britney, also released in 2001. Here's a bit of trivia for you - this single was produced by The Neptunes. No? Not ringing any bells? The Neptunes are Chad Hugo and, wait for it, Pharrell Williams!! Who knew?

Back to the song. This was in fact the lead single from the album. It peaked at number 4 on the UK charts. I think its fair to say thats another big hit for what was then the first sign of the "sexy" Britney we now know. This was a step forward and away from her "girl next door" image, despite always being just a bit too sexy for innocence if we're honest about it.

The sound is much more dance and urban - no surprise when you think of Pharrell's involvement in particular. She's all breathy and vampy in this one, not so strong on the vocals really, more about the image and the sexiness than anything else.

This image is further aided by the hot and steamy video to it. Click on the link to have a watch. Seemingly filmed in a sauna, its all skimpy clothing and sweaty tanned skin. Fine if you like that kind of thing - but there is no denying she has an enviable bod here. Lots of dancing and writing about match the song perfectly.

So this is the last of my single picks for Britney Spears as my week with her is over. Ok, yes, she is a great artist. Is she a great singer? Not an all time great no. Is she a big star? Undoubtedly. Is she talented? Yes. Her songs are fun, pop, a bit sassy at times, a bit sarcastic at others, but all in all great entertainment. She has evolved from her early days, and has lasted well past the shelf life of many a wannabe. I like Britney. She's not just a pop star - thanks to tabloid obsession we know much more about her than perhaps we should, but for me, that makes me like her more. Because she has struggled.

If you want to check out my previous Brit picks, or for more music, check out My Music page by clicking the link here.  Happy Listening :)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Ebay wrapping marathon tonight!

OMG. I sell my old clobber on ebay and recently had a bit of a wardrobe clearout. This resulted in my sitting and wrapping 19 items this evening. 19!!!

I have literally just finished. Honestly - there has to be easier ways to earn a crust by gosh. My back is in half!! I do feel quite purged though, as my wardrobe is much less cluttered than before. I have had a tendency to hoard too much in the way of clothes previously.

No more - if I haven't worn it, it goes either to the charity shop, clothes bank or ebay. Pointless having stuff clogging up your rails if you don't wear it isn't it? Yet we all do it.

My plan is to get rid of things I no longer like, am too mature (ahem) for these days, and replace with some new bargains!! 19 items though. If I never see a roll of brown packing paper again, it would be too soon! :)

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Diet? What diet?

Oh dear. Its been a disaster on the diet front. Lets start with Saturday - wedding reception. Cupcakes, and buffet food. I could handle that.

Then it was Sunday. A minor crisis saw me in the pub, several glasses of pinot and a pub tea. Monday saw me off to Manchester for Robbie Williams gig and an overnight stay at a Premier Inn. This saw me drinking lovely long island ice tea (very nice) and a "burnin" burger at Beans at the Printworks.

Then at the gig, I was on the cider, then the JD. Onto Canal street post venue, and it was more JD. On route back to the hotel, I bought crisps. They were lush.

Today, Tuesday, with a hangover, we went to Bagel Nash. I had Mexican chicken bagel. Lovely. On the way home, we stopped off at Wilmslow and I had a glass of pinot.

Reaching Scholar Green, we stopped off at The Bleeding Wolf. I had pate to start, followed by chicken fajitas, and 3 glasses of wine!!!

Right now, I am nursing a serious "food baby" and feeling very over indulged indeed. Thoroughly enjoyed myself, but dear me. Diet? What diet?!!! :(

Robbie Williams - Swings Both Ways

I went to see Robbie Williams last night. His Swings both Ways tour. What I can say is Wow! This is the third time I have seen him, and it was by far the best. Not Knebworth - not as big, not as bold, but better entertainment.

Robbie was funny. His voice was awesome. The dancers were fab. The set was amazing. Just 100% brilliant.

I will post some pics tomorrow. If you get the chance to go see this guy, do not hesitate. :)

You can check out more of Robbie and others on My Music page here