Sunday, 22 October 2017

10 Scary Films for Halloween #1 - Jeepers Creepers

So my first choice to kick us of for our 10 Scary Films for Halloween is the now classic Jeepers Creepers. This was released back in 2001, and was billed as an American Horror film.

Its much better than that though, so don't be put off! This is one of my favourite scary films. Its got all the ingredients to make you watch it, get a bit creeped out, but then watch it again, and again. Its become one of my horror staples.

Why is it called Jeepers Creepers? It sounds creepy for one thing, but actually its because of the old song by that plays throughout it at poignant points. "Jeepers Creepers, where'd you get those peepers". Ooh spooky.

The film focuses on brother and sister, Trish and Darry (played by Gina Phillips and Justin Long). They are driving a class big old American car, with a dodgy stick shift, down huge big empty highways that you only seem to find in the states.

An old truck harangues them, and has the licence plate "BEATNGU", before charging past them and disappearing into the distance. Just the truck itself, battered looking and scary looks terrifying enough, before we even get to see the driver!

The siblings come across an old abandoned church, and see the same truck with what looks like a body wrapped in a sheet being pushed down an old pipe into the bowels of the earth. As you do, they sneak back when the truck has gone and after falling into the pipe unintentionally, Darry discovers a really gruesome scene. The ceilings of the underground chamber are lined with the bodies of young people, who have been stitched back together and embalmed. Lovely!!

Be warned, this film will make you jump and will gross you out to at times. I won't spoil the ending for you, as this is a great film. Not an all time great - but you know what you are getting and its a fab Halloween choice.

It's makes you jump, is tense, creepy, and has just enough ghoulish factor to appeal to horror fans but with a bit of tongue in cheek dialogue that keeps it pacy and entertaining. Justin Long is convincing as a teenage dufus, with his sister being the smart one. Throw in those long American roads and creepy locations, that scary truck and voila - spooky classic. The creature, whatever it is, is one of the most horrible things I have ever seen!!

Even after you know the twists and turns when that old song cranks up "Jeepers, Creepers, where'd you get those peepers" you cant help but want to run - or at least hide behind a cushion!!

Let me know what you think of this one and enjoy. Happy Halloween #1 woooohhh!

Day Seven of my 30 Day Beach Challenge

Day Seven:

  • 3 x 60 Second Planks
  • 200 Jumping Jacks

Day Six:
  • 50 Supermans
  • 50 Squats

Day Five:
  • 100 High Knees
  • 75 Russian Twists

Day Four:
  • 200 Crunches
  • 100 Skater Slides

Day Three:
  • 50 Burpees
  • 50 Kick Down Crunches

Day Two:
  • 100 Bicycle crunches
  • 2 x 30 second planks
Day One
  • 2 x 60 second planks
  • 50 crunches

My Top 10 Pick N Mix

  • Flying Saucers
  • Strawberry pencils
  • Apple Bon Bons
  • Jelly Beans
  • Cola Cubes
  • Rum Truffles
  • Chocolate Brazils
  • Clotted cream fudge
  • Chocolate covered cinder toffee
  • Snow Balls

All these places I have seen :)

Places I have been:
  • Tunisia x 3 times (Sousse x2, Port El Kantoui)
  • Egypt x 5 times (Sharm El Sheikh x4 and Hurghada, Luxor and Cairo)
  • Canada - Banff, Jasper, Edmonton, Calgary, Lake Louise, The Rockies
  • New Zealand South Island - Queenstown, Milford Sound, Christchurch, Franz Josef
  • Fiji islands - South Pacific
  • Cyprus x 2 times
  • Gran Canaria x 4 times - San Augustin & Maspalomas
  • Lanzarote x 3 times
  • Fuerteventura x 2 times
  • Mallorca x over 10 times!
  • Menorca x 2 times
  • Ibiza
  • Zante
  • Rhodes x 4 times
  • Crete x 2 times incl 2015 to Hersonissos
  • Jersey
  • France - Brittany & Calais
  • France - St Malo, Rennes, Nantes, 
  • France - Normandy, Mont St Michel
  • Northern Ireland - Belfast, Giants Causeway
  • Dublin x 3 times
  • Cork - Republic of Ireland
  • Mexico x 3 times - Puerto Vallarta, Xcaret, Cancun, Riviera Maya
  • USA - New York via QM2
  • USA - California, San Francisco, Grand Canyon, Big Sur, San Diego, Las Vegas, LA, Colorado, Santa Barbara
  • Marrakesh - Morocco
  • Belgium x 3 times
  • Spain - Almeria
  • Turkey x 2 times - Kusadasi & Marmaris 
  • Barcelona

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Word of the Week - Rebarbative

Rebarbative


  • causing annoyance, irritation, or aversion; repellent

  • Unattractive and objectionable.

  • ‘rebarbative modern buildings’





definition derived from Meriam Webster and dictionary.com

Learning Spanish - This Week's Learning

This week's learning:

  • See you later - Hasta luego
  • mushroom - seta
  • I'm fine - Estoy bien


And the rest:


  • seashell - concha
  • biscuit - la galleta
  • open - abierto
  • a table for two please - mesa para dos
  • ham - jamon
  • yellow - amarillo
  • married - casado
  • river - río
  • charmed - encantado
  • apple - manzana
  • name - nombre
  • red - rojo
  • sausage - salchicha
  • nice - bonito
  • orange - naranja
  • restaurant - restaurante
  • read - leer
  • salad - ensalada
  • leaving - dejando
  • nuts - nueces
  • grey - gris
  • dinner - cena
  • fifty - cincuenta
  • mother - madre
  • fish - pescado
  • reservation - reserva
  • when - cuando
  • chair - silla
  • nose - nariz
  • pasta - pastas
  • kiss - beso
  • smile - sonreír
  • onion - cebolla
  • friend - amigo
  • thunder - trueno
  • why - por qué
  • thigh - muslo
  • donkey - burro
  • warm - calentar
  • drink - bebida
  • what - qué
  • lemon - limón
  • garlic - ajo
  • forty - cuarenta
  • tree - árbol
  • teeth - dientes
  • father - padre
  • suncream - crema solar
  • milk chocolate - chocolate con leche
  • crazy - loca
  • girl - niña
  • happy - contento
  • steak - filete
  • sunburn - bronceado
  • horse - cabello
  • cough - tos 
  • head - cabeza
  • Summer - el verano
  • February - febrero
  • Pillow - almohada
  • Nine - nueve
  • Eyes - ojos
  • June - junio
  • key - llaves
  • dunes - dunas
  • home - casa
  • Stomach - estómago
  • Jump - saltar
  • May - mayo
  • October - octubre
  • Thirsty - sediento
  • Leg - pierna
  • Breakfast - desayuno
  • Six - seis
  • Hungry - hambriento
  • Moon - luna
  • Rice - arroz
  • Vegetarian - vegetariano
  • I don't know - no lo sé
  • Butter - mantequilla
  • Seven - siete
  • July - julio
  • Tired - cansado
  • Speak - hablar
  • Mirror - espejo
  • Small - pequeña
  • Amazing - asombroso
  • Sunglasses - gafas de sol 
  • Toilet - inodoro
  • Excuse me - disculpe
  • Tasty - sabroso
  • Mountain - montaña
  • How far is - que tan lejos esta
  • Waves - olas
  • Sandwich - emparedado
  • Roof - techo
  • Blanket - cobija
  • Eight - ocho
  • Forgot - olvidó
  • Woman - mujer
  • Night - noche
  • Another - otro
  • September - septiembre
  • Hands - manos
  • Flight - vuelo
  • Laugh - risa
  • Sing - canta
  • Can I have the bill - Me puede traer la cuenta
  • Spoon - cuchara
  • Black - negro
  • Bread - pan de molde
  • April - abril
  • Five - cinco
  • Sand - arena
  • Hot - caliente
  • Ear - oreja
  • Dark - oscuro
  • Like - me gusta
  • Sick - enfermo
  • Spicy - picante
  • Kettle - tetera
  • Flowers - flores
  • Sunbathe - tomar el sol
  • Feet - pies
  • December - diciembre
  • Cake - pastel
  • Fireworks - fuegos articiales
  • Rain - lluvia
  • Dress - el vestido
  • Year - año
  • Door - puerta
  • My name is - me llamo
  • Cooking - cocina
  • Four - cuatro
  • August - agosto
  • Massage - el masaje
  • Back - espalda
  • Purple - púrpura
  • Fork - tenedor
  • Knife - cuchillo
  • Three - tres
  • Dog - perro
  • January - enero
  • Stars - estrellas
  • Dancing - bailando
  • Brown - marrón
  • Two - dos
  • Spring - primavera
  • Crisps - patatas fritas
  • Friday - viernes
  • The Menu -La carta 
  • Bed - cama
  • Strawberry - fresa
  • Windy - ventoso
  • Can I have? - puedo tener
  • Bottle - botella
  • Birthday - cumpleaños
  • Green - verde
  • Ten - diez
  • Thursday - jueves
  • March - marzo
  • Umbrella - paraguas
  • November - noviembre
  • Autumn - el otoño
  • One - uno
  • Soap - jabon
  • Wednesday - miércoles
  • Cold - frio
  • Boat - barco
  • Hotel Room - habitación de hotel
  • Newspaper - periódico
  • Man - hombre
  • Walk - caminar
  • Shop - tienda
  • Running - corriendo
  • Cat - gato
  • Swim - nadar
  • What time is it? - que hora es?
  • Big - grande
  • Cloud - nube
  • Pink - rosa
  • Silver - plata
  • Pepper - pimienta
  • Omelette - tortilla
  • Shower - ducha
  • Tuesday - martes
  • Ice - hielo
  • Beautiful - hermosa
  • Awake - despierto
  • Love - amor
  • Shoes - zapatos
  • Money - dinero
  • Hat - sombrero
  • Monday - lunes
  • Glass - vaso
  • Water - agua
  • Sleep - dormir
  • Chicken - pollo
  • Sun - sol
  • Ice-cream - helado
  • Seat - asiento
  • Gold - oro
  • Sunday - domingo
  • Hair - cabello
  • Book - el libro
  • Garden - el gardin
  • Bathroom - el baño
  • Nude - desnudo
  • Towel - toalla
  • Sea - mar
  • What's your name? - Como se llama?
  • Cheers - Salud
  • Wine - el vino
  • Good - bueno
  • Beer - cerveza
  • Cheese - queso
  • Suitcase - maleta
  • Blue - azul
  • White - blanco
  • Where is? - dónde está?
  • Market - el mercado
  • Swimming Pool - la piscina
  • Saturday - sábado
  • Winter - invierno
  • English - inglés
  • I want one - Quiero uno
  • How much does it cost? - Cuánto cuesta
  • Tomorrow - mañana
  • Good evening - Buenas Noches
  • You're welcome - de nada
  • I'm sorry - lo siento
  • Please - Por favor
  • Thankyou - Gracias
  • Beach - La playa
  • Hello - Hola
  • Good morning - Buenos días
  • Goodbye - Adios

The Walking Dead - 3 Degrees of Separation recap so far

Previous:
  • The Baddies demise
    • Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) - still surviving
    • Gareth (Andrew J West) - eats some of Bob, gets killed by Rick
    • Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) - killed by the Governor, walker Merle killed by Daryl
    • Shane (Jon Bernthal) killed by Rick, walker Shane killed by Carl
    • The Governor (David Morrissey) stabbed by Michonne, shot by Lilly
  • The X Files
    • Scott Wilson - Hershel - appeared in an episode in 2000
    • Jeffrey DeMunn - Dale - appeared in the X Files movie in 1998
    • Laurie Holden - Andrea - appeared in 10 episodes
  • CSI
    • Michael Rooker - Merle - appeared in CSI Miami
    • Scott Wilson - Hershel - regular on CSI 
    • Jon Bernthal - Shane - appeared in CSI Miami
  • The Cast:
    • Rick Grimes -Andrew Lincoln - English
    • Daryl Dixon - Norman Reedus - American
    • Glenn Rhee - Steven Yeun - Korean /American
    • Maggie Greene - Lauren Cohan - British - American
    • Carol Peletier - Melissa McBride - American
    • Michonne - Danai Gurira - American
    • Carl Grimes - Chandler Riggs - American
    • Sasha Williams - Sonequa Martin - American
    • Negan - Jeffrey Dean Morgan - American
    • Morgan Jones - Lennie James - English
    • Abraham Ford -Michael Cudlitz - American
    • Eugene Porter - Josh McDermitt - American
    • The Governor - David Morrissey - English
    • Shane - Jon Bernthal - American
    • Andrea - Laurie Holden - American/Canadian
    • Merle Dixon - Michael Rooker - American
    • Hershel - Scott Wilson - American
    • Beth Greene - Emily Kinney - American
  • Charmed
    • Norman Reedus aka Daryl - played Nate, Paige's boyfriend
  • Great Music they have used in TWD
    • Bad Moon Rising - Mourning Ritual
    • Crying - Roy Orbison
    • Fast and Loose - Motorhead
    • Town Called Malice - The Jam
  • Trivia
    • Daryl Dixon didn't even exist in the comics - he was created for Norman Reedus!
  • Prison Break
    • Sarah Wayne Callies - Lori Grimes in TWD
    • Sarah Wayne Callies - Sara Tancredi in Prison Break
    • Michael Cudlitz - Abraham in TWD
    • Michael Cudlitz - corrections officer series 1 Prison Break
  • 24
    • reboot 24: Legacy - to star Corey Hawkins
    • Corey Hawkins plays Heath in TWD
    • Michael Cudlitz plays Agent Rick Phillips
  • Weird fact
    • Here I am doing my 3 degrees of separation for TWD
    • Corey Hawkins in Theatre - 6 degrees of separation! 
  • Spin off from TWD
    • Fear The Walking Dead
  • Actors from other great films
    • A River Runs Through It (Michael Cudlitz )
    • Love Actually (Andrew Lincoln)
    • Norman Reedus aka Daryl - Blade II
    • Lennie James aka Morgan starred as Sol in Snatch
  • Lost
    • Michael Cudlitz played Big Mike Walton
  • Comic book origins TWD
    • number of issues - 170
    • written by - Robert Kirkman
    • illustrated by - Tony Moore
    • first issued in 2003
  • Stage names
    • Andrew Lincoln - real name Andrew James Clutterbuck
  • The Walking Dead
    • Zombies
  • 28 Days Later
    • Zombies
    • Danny Boyle
  • Danny Boyle
    • Sunshine
    • Music from Sunshine Episode 5 Series 1 TWD
  • Stephen King 
    • 3 actors from TWD in The Mist
    • Jeffrey DeMunn - in The Green Mile, The Mist, Storm of The Century, Shawshank
    • Andrew J West went on to star in Stephen King mini series Under the Dome
    • Michael Rooker - starred in The Dark Half
  • Andrea - TWD
    • dies as Andrea by shooting herself in the head
    • dies in The Mist by being shot in the head
  • Game of Thrones
    • Series 7 reference to "Walking Dead Men"
  • Zombie films homage and references to other films
    • Day of the Dead
    • Dawn of the Dead
    • Jaws - Ben Gardner's head
    • Return of the Living Dead
    • Zombie
    • An American Werewolf in London
    • Creepshow
  • Hints at what's to come
    • barbed wire wrapped bat next to corpses
    • gun with barbed wire wrapped bat on it ( Negan)
  • The "Baddies"
    • Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)
    • Gareth (Andrew J West)
    • Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker)
    • Shane (Jon Bernthal)
    • The Governor (David Morrissey)

The Walking Dead - 3 Degrees of Separation Part V

Part V
  • More of the cast
    • Gareth - Andrew J. West - American
    • Lori Grimes - Sarah Wayne Callies - American
    • Eugene - Josh McDermitt - American
    • Dale - Jeffrey De Munn - American
    • Heath - Corey Hawkins - American
    • Dr Edwin Jenner - Noah Emmerich - American
  • Actors from other films
    • Noah Emmerich - The Truman Show
    • Laurie Holden - Silent Hill
  • More great Music
    • Ben Howard - Oats in the Water
  • My favourite characters so far
    • Sasha
    • Abraham
    • Daryl
    • Rick
    • Michonne
    • Hershall
    • Glenn
    • Maggie
  • The characters I despise so far
    • Merle
    • Lori (adulterer and not very nice before the outbreak!) 
    • Shane
    • Negan
    • The Governor
    • Gareth

My Single of the Week - Sam Smith - Too Good at Goodbyes

My new single of the week is from the wonderful Sam Smith with 'Too Good at Goodbyes'.

Sam Smith is one of our best here in Blighty - his voice is simply beautiful. His voice is so soulful its hard to think he is still just 25 years old. Such talent in one so young.

His vocals have never been better showcased in my humble, than in this absolute gem of a song. He has some great hits in his back catalogue, but this one appeals to me on a deeper level. Its just so raw. Sam has featured on some great tracks before releasing his own material, but its his solo output that truly show his talent.

This single 'Too Good at Goodbyes' is the lead single from Sam's second album, The Thrill of it All. His first album, In the Lonely Hour, was released in 2014. It reached number 1 in the albums chart.

The official video that accompanies the song, is a simple stripped back video. It suits the song, and its very effective, and it also shows the physical transformation of Sam himself. He has lost over 50 pounds and he looks almost unrecognisable from his former self. Kudos to Sam!

I love how humble Sam Smith is too. This song, is part pop, part soul, and very orchestral, but he comes out with comments in the press like worrying people won't want to hear his voice again. Seriously, I could never tire of his voice - its so rich and yet so effortless.

A bit of a sad song this one, but its a lovely song for the Autumn / Winter season when the nights are long and the days are short, and we all feel a bit more morose as a result. This suits the season.

I love Sam, and I love his latest output. Here's hoping for much more to come.

If you haven't heard this song, or haven't heard his previous stuff, including a James Bond theme no less, then quickly, go google or youtube him and enjoy. You can also check out My Music page here for more of my music choices, singles of the week and music stuff. Happy listening :)

Day Six of my 30 Day Beach Body Challenge

Day Six:
  • 50 Supermans
  • 50 Squats

Day Five:
  • 100 High Knees
  • 75 Russian Twists

Day Four:
  • 200 Crunches
  • 100 Skater Slides

Day Three:
  • 50 Burpees
  • 50 Kick Down Crunches

Day Two:
  • 100 Bicycle crunches
  • 2 x 30 second planks
Day One
  • 2 x 60 second planks
  • 50 crunches

Stephen King - how great books don't always make great movies, but sometimes they come back...

Saturday night at the movies

Who cares what picture we see? Well me actually, especially when it comes to the King. Stephen King I am referring to. I doubt many would argue that he is the master of his genre in horror when it comes to books. He writes like true God of all things scary - from killer dogs, to telekinesis, to the most scary of clowns, he rocks the written scare fest. 

Not only does he scare the pants off us, he also writes a great story that whilst it may have an element of supernatural sometimes, it doesn't always. So yes, he is the king of the book. 

But how does that relate to the big screen? You would think, given his talent, his eye for the detail, his essence of story telling, his ability to transport us to his plane, that the translation to film would be a given. But there you would be wrong. 

To begin with, here are my Top 10 Stephen King books: 
  • Salem's Lot
  • Needful Things
  • The Dark Half
  • Gerald's Game
  • IT
  • Misery
  • The Shining
  • Insomnia
  • Under the Dome
  • Bag of Bones
Some of these have become good films, don't get me wrong, but some of his best film adaptations actually were short stories, barely even memorable! Some of his best books made truly awful films.

Here are my Top 10 great King film adaptations:
  • The Green Mile
  • Shawshank Redemption
  • The Shining
  • IT
  • Stand By Me
  • The Mist
  • Misery
  • Pet Sematary
  • Salem's Lot
  • Carrie
The problem with coming up with a top 10 list is that I always struggle when there is so much choice! On another day, my list might have included different choices. So for argument's sake, here are the ones I considered for my Top 10 Stephen King books, which are still amazing, and well worth a read and then some - King by name, King by definition in my humble. 
  • Doctor Sleep
  • The Regulators
  • Rose Madder
  • Dreamcatcher
  • Mr Mercedes
  • The Stand
  • Cell
  • Christine
  • Pet Sematary
  • Lisey's Story
Some of his books have made great made for TV films or short movies too. Actually, I think some of these have turned out better than the book, and benefited from not being big budget. Some were better on TV. 

Here is my round up of the rest of the best of his movie and TV outputs:
  • Thinner
  • Apt Pupil
  • Christine
  • Cujo
  • Needful Things
  • The Dark Half
  • Big Driver
  • Riding the Bullet
  • A Good Marriage
  • Storm of the Century
And now, for the inevitable list of the not so good verging on downright terrible King adaptations:
  • The Stand
  • Under the Dome
  • The Tommyknockers
  • Dreamcatcher
  • The Mangler
  • Hearts in Atlantis
  • Delores Claiborne
  • Sleepwalkers
  • The Lawnmower Man
  • Cell

My Top 10 Buffet Foods


  • Cheese and onion quiche
  • Sausage rolls
  • Potato salad
  • Pizza slices
  • Potato Wedges
  • Chicken goujons
  • Garlic bread
  • Cheesy coleslaw
  • Pasta salad
  • Crisps and dips

My Top 10 Stephen King books


Blue skies and a good book - it doesn't get any better!

I have loved reading Stephen King's work since High School, and as long as he produces books, I shall continue to devour each output with greed. But as with all things, there are some that I consider better than others. So here is my Top 10 Stephen King books. 

  • Salem's Lot
  • Needful Things
  • The Dark Half
  • Gerald's Game
  • IT
  • Misery
  • The Shining
  • Insomnia
  • Under the Dome
  • Bag of Bones
The problem with coming up with a top 10 list is that I always struggle when there is so much choice! On another day, my list might have included different choices. So for argument's sake, here are the ones I considered for my Top 10, which are still amazing, and well worth a read and then some - King by name, King by definition in my humble. 

  • Doctor Sleep
  • The Regulators
  • Rose Madder
  • Dreamcatcher
  • Mr Mercedes
  • The Stand
  • Cell
  • Christine
  • Pet Sematary
  • Lisey's Story


My Perfect Packing List

I do not travel light...


After many years of travelling, I think I have just about perfected the perfect packing list to make sure I am prepared for anything!!

Here it is:

  • Beach towel (if self catering)
  • Towel pegs (great invention to keep your towel on your sunbed!)
  • Sun cream (absolute must)
  • Body butter / after sun
  • Socks, pants, bras
  • Assorted bikinis - some suitable for water parks or jumping in the sea - supportive ones!
  • 2 x sarong
  • 2 x kaftans - one black, one white
  • Flip flops for around the pool and in the room
  • Walking shoes for beach and waterproof
  • Evening shoes - 1 x kitten heels, 1 x pumps, 1 x posh flat sandals
  • 2 x shorts for day
  • 1 x skirt for day
  • 6 assorted vest tops for day
  • Deodorant and mini body spray
  • Hair brush and tangle teezer
  • Hair bobbles and clips
  • Make up kit, including bronzer and one shade darker than usual
  • Nail polish and remover pads
  • Make up remover wipes, cleanser and toner
  • Eye cream, moisturiser and tinted moisturiser
  • Cotton buds and pads
  • Plasters, insect bite cream, savlon, eye drops
  • Probiotics, energy effervescent, aspirin, gaviscon, dioralyte
  • Toothpaste mini, mouthwash mini, toothbrush
  • Body wash, shampoo, conditioner, soap, razor, body scrub
  • Evening outfits - incl 1 x smart trousers / black jeans, dresses and skirts
  • Evening cover ups (in case the temperature drops or you have too much sun!)
  • Power brick for wires and travel plugs
  • Separate purse for currency (less confusing, just stick English one in the safe)
  • Evening bag, beach bag, backpack for hand luggage and for walking
  • Folder for passports and tickets and insurance paperwork
  • Playing cards, notepad and pen
  • Sunglasses x 3 pairs - best ones, day time ones
  • Cami set for night time - cool and loose
  • Hats - baseball hat, floppy hat - nothing worse than a burnt head!
  • Hair dryer, straighteners, hair serum mini
  • Warm fleece - for the return journey
  • Clothes for the return journey 
Now, obviously this is for warmer climes - but still good to be prepared even when heading somewhere hot! Socks, cover ups, you never know - best to have them and not need them. I always come in around 18-20KG on my packing, depending on what clothes I decide on, but that's easy to reduce if need be. 

I've learned over the years what I need, what I don't and what comes in mighty handy :) 

Potential holiday, 7 weeks to go, I need incentive


Yes, that's right, another holiday is potentially on the horizon in just 7 weeks from now. That has me feeling several emotions all at once. Firstly - how amazing it would be to go away in December. I've been away from Boxing Day onwards, but never before Christmas, so that's exciting. 

However, its also panic inducing - especially given the face to reality weigh in on the scales this morning! I have just 7 weeks to lose, well, a considerable amount of weight gained in recent months. 

How much would I ideally want to lose? Try 3 stones. Yup - that's the scale of the problem. What can I realistically expect to lose if I try to diet and stick to it? Average 2lb per week = 1 stone. 

If I go hell for leather, exercising, eating the right foods, upping the protein, cutting down on bread? I reckon I could shift 24lb or so - just over a stone and a half - 3lb per week would be 21lbs, but banking on big first week loss. 

I need some incentive so going to come up with a list of what I will reward myself with at each point of my progress. The important thing is to keep going. 

Take each day one step at a time. Treat every pound loss as a huge success. Booking a holiday depends upon how well I do. If, in 2 weeks time, I am still porking it up, then I shall not be booking a holiday. 

If by 4 weeks time, I am nowhere near goal, I shall not be booking a holiday. 

So at this point, my holiday depends on how much I lose, so the pressure is on - great incentive though! But I think I need a little more .... 

Friday, 20 October 2017

The Haunted Isles – A Map of Ghost Stories in UK & Ireland

The Haunted Isles – A Map of Ghost Stories in UK & Ireland

How I am going to get slim :)

I am desperate to get this weight off. Seriously, this time I have to get it off for good. I am so sick of this endless yo-yo cycle of weight gain, weight loss. I have to approach this from a different perspective if I am to ever accomplish the holy grail of weight loss - goal weight.

So with this in mind, I have compiled a list of everything I can think of to tackle this head on. Here it is :
  • Jogging - outdoors, no cost involved, and no excuses apart from the monsoon rain!! 
  • Gym - lots of cardio, fat burning - stepper, stair master, cross trainer
  • Running - gym treadmill - intervals - hills and sprints
  • Ab work - can't see them at the moment, but they need to be ready for their moment!!
  • Green Tea - can't stand it, but I will literally try anything right now!!
  • Fat metabolisers - yep. Cheat it - science like
  • Water - drink lots of the wet stuff. Its supposed to help!!
  • Grapefruit - apparently it helps burn fat. Likewise celery
  • Exercise first thing before eating anything - negative calories burned! 
  • Do squats. Every day. 
  • Weights - arms, chest and back will benefit, plus burns calories
  • Low carb - keep it low. 
  • High protein - focus on the proteins. 
  • Move more - walk everywhere rather than drive
  • Smaller portions - cut portions down by a third
  • cut out snacks - apart from fruit
  • 5 a day - make sure to stock up on the fruit and veg
  • 3 Day Diet - 3 days on, 2 days off. Ongoing
  • Swimming - whenever I get the chance - home or away
  • Cycling - get my bike out, get on it
  • Kettle Bells. Ultimate fat burning and toning
  • Dancing - anywhere, anytime
  • Zumba - get my DVD out and burn it!! 
  • Gym classes - worth a try I suppose
  • Squash - oh yeah - chance to hit something hard! 
  • Weight watchers - yes, I know. But it works for me!! 
  • Cut down / cut out the alcohol. How many calories does that glass of wine contain!! 
  • Choose healthy options, and no starters or desserts
Pinterest Boards:

What I'm Listening to


  • Dua Lipa - New Rules
  • Maroon 5 - What Lover's Do
  • Amy Winehouse - Love is a Losing Game
  • Awolnation - Sail
  • Taylor Swift - Look What you Made me Do
  • Bon Jovi - Bed of Roses
  • James Bay - Hold Back the River
  • Keane - Bedshaped
  • Plan B - Deepest Shame
  • Pink - What About Us

Things to do After 40 - life goes on!

Things to do After 40 
  • Have regular massages 
  • Have a bikini bod (lots of squats required)
  • Maintain my weight
  • Go see a show at the theatre
  • Have a coat for every occasion
  • Get some glamourous 1950's vintage style dresses that make me rock!
  • Be manicured and pedicured always
  • Get a tattoo - done! 
  • Get my belly button pierced
  • Wear very short shorts in the UK (never done this ever)
  • Get killer abs
  • Go to a very expensive restaurant - just the two of us
  • Stay in Chester overnight
  • Go on regular spa breaks
  • See more of my friends
  • Make more effort in general
  • Learn another language
  • Go to the cinema, alone
  • Scuba dive
  • Go to Wimbledon
  • Get to the gym / exercise 4 times a week, every week 
  • Start to write a book / novel
  • Get everything organised
  • Update my wardrobe style - work in progress
  • Go to one more new place and do one thing new every week
  • Plan / design my tattoo 
  • Get under 9 mins 30 mile on treadmill
  • Get under the 11 stone mark

HomeStyle - Competition - Win a Moba Moses Basket!

HomeStyle - Competition - Win a Moba Moses Basket!

My 34 Reasons to lose weight ( so far)

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

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. 


Number 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. 



Number 3
Reason number 3 to stick to my diet: To fit into all those lovely clothes in my wardrobe!!

I have many items in my wardrobe that I can't currently wear. Some are mere pounds away from fitting, some I can barely get up to my knees!! Some do fit, but look awful because they fit in all the wrong places!!

It would be lovely to open my wardrobe and just be able to select an item, knowing it will fit me. It would make packing for holiday a pleasure, not a challenge!!


Number 4
My reason number 4 for sticking to my diet is to look good at work. I am fed up of wearing the same old clothes every day. I want to be able to wear what I want to wear, not just black and grey.

I want to be more stylish, more groomed, more put together. So my fourth reason is to look good at work.

Number 5
Number 5 on my list of reasons to stick to my diet is to have more confidence. When I gain weight, I feel self conscious, and horrible, and grumpy.

When I lose some weight, I have more confidence, I feel happier and better. So that's reason number 5!

Number 6:
I want to be noticed for the right reasons!! I am fed up of walking into bars, restaurants, offices and feeling eyes on me - for all the wrong reasons! I want to be the person that gets looks in a good way. So that is my reason number 6!!

Number 7:
Ok so number 7 is a bit different. This reason is a bit of a phobia I seem to have developed. I have a real issue with facing the mirrors at the gym. When I am working certain exercises, I am supposed to check my technique in the mirror. Not me, no way, never!! I will face the other way, or if I have no choice, I will look anywhere but at that damn mirror!!

So reason number 7 for sticking to my diet is to reach a weight where I am comfortable seeing myself in the mirror when I work out.

Number 8 :
When I am overweight in the summer when its warm, it makes me feel even more hot and uncomfortable. I lose weight to go on holiday abroad, and it feels so good being able to wear bikini's, shorts and skirts.

Unfortunately, when I get home to the UK, I gain weight and then when it gets warm here, I am not able to wear my summer clothes. This is ridiculous. So I am changing the pattern this year and I am going to be slim for the summer here for once!!!

I want to be cool, and look cool, not hot and uncomfortable!!!

Number 9:
Today, I want to get under the stone mark. I am sick of almost reaching goal, then never quite getting under that stone mark!!!!

Number 10:
As a woman, and just turned 40, the area around my middle is a problem. Always has been if I'm brutally honest, but now it bugs me more than ever!!

So, my reason to continue with this intense plan is that - I want that middle trimmed down and not bulging over the top of my waistbands!!
Its also a reason to do a lot of abs. :)

Number 11:
I have never been one of those women that throws on a pair of shorts in summer. At a push, I will don a pair on holiday where noone I know is likely to see me but I don't have the pins for shorty shorts.

I would love to have toned pins so that I can - so that's today's motivation :)

Number 12:
Today's reason to stick to my diet and exercise plan is that I want to see my cheekbones again. I am very lucky to possess good bone structure - I have been told many times.

Many times that is, when you can actually see them, unlike now!! My face is the first place weight seems to go from when I lose it. Unfortunately, its also the first place that it goes back on, which is what I am rocking or sadly not, at the moment.

So, today's reason is to rediscover them bones them bones them dry bones. Cheekbones that it is :)

Number 13:
Today's reason to stick to the diet - lying on the sofa won't make me bikini ready!! And yet I am having one of those days when that is all I want to do.

I just want to put my head in those cushions, lay back, still a film on and be done with it. But I can't. Well, I could, but then there would be no point when I am looking back on holiday in beating myself up and feeling fat. If I choose that option, I deserve to look crap on the beach.

So, today's reason is that lying on the sofa will not make me bikini ready. So that has to be a start to get me up and active today and stay away from the chocolates!! :)

Number 14:
Today's reason to stick to the diet - I want to look good in lingerie.

Yes, its that female enjoyment of wearing beautiful underwear. The problem at the moment, is that my underwear is tending to be functional rather than beautiful. This must change.

I want to wear gorgeous lacy things, delicate items - not boulder holders!! So that is today's reason to stick to the diet. :)

Number 15:
Today's reason to stick to the diet - I am not getting any younger!!

Right - its that old saying that as you get older, you generally thicken out, and gain a few pounds. Now, if this is the case, having just turned 40 myself, it sure is not going to get any easier battling against my body.

If age does slow the metabolism, all the more reason to lose the weight now, before biology starts to tick against me!!

So that is today's reason to motivate me, and as reasons go, this one seems to be pretty powerful!! :)

Number 16:
Today's reason for sticking to my diet - I want toned arms.

Yep, I want rid of the bingo wings and the armpit fat. I'm not really that big - probably somewhere between a size 12 and a size 14 at the present time - a size 13 if you will, if there was such a thing!!

However, I want my arms to be defined, to be toned, to get rid of these annoying flabby bits so that I look nice in dresses and am not worried about the hammy area at the top of my arms.

Diet alone won't shift this so I need to up the ante on the weight front.

Number 17:
Today's reason to stick to the diet - I want to have some wine!!

Yes, when I reach goal weight, or holiday, whichever comes first, I can finally have some wine!! But only, and I repeat, only, if I get under that stone mark!!

So that is today's reason. Bribery. Works a treat with me :)

Number 18:
Today's reason to stick to the diet is that I want rid of the muffin top!!

I am losing weight, I am sticking to the exercise and yet still, that unsightly bulge over my waistband when I sit down remains. I don't know how slim I will need to get to in order to get rid of this damned bit of flab, but I am determined.

So that is today's reason. No more muffins - either the food variety or the overhang!! :)

Number 19:
Yep, today's reason is simple. It is not at all long now until my holiday. I am just weeks away now, and I have to make each day count!!

Tonight, I could easily have given in. The last thing in the world I wanted for my tea tonight was the 3 day diet measly portions. But I have done it. Why? Because I want to be the best I can be when I get on that plane.

Ok, so miracles don't happen, but I can at least be unbloated and more streamlined that if I pig out at this point!!

Number 20:
Today's reason to stick to my diet is that the scales have not dropped on weigh in this morning. I was really fed up. I have been so good, exercised so much, every single day.

The result? Stayed the bloody same!! So, today's reason to stick to it is exactly that - I haven't lost any weight, so I have to keep going until I do!!

Number 21:
Today's reason to stick to the diet - I want to go to posh restaurants!!

What I mean is, that I want to get dressed up in glamorous clothes looking amazing and go out to posh restaurants. I do go out, to lovely places, but I always feel frumpy.

I end up overeating- starters, mains and puddings, washed down with wine. Calorific? Hell yes. Taste good? Damn right!!

The problem is the getting ready and how I feel about me. I want to look nice, to feel confident. I do not want to look like the person who orders everything on the menu!!

So that is today's reason, so that one day, I will look like the person I want to be :)

Number 22: 
Today's reason for sticking to my diet is because I am fed up of being fed up about my weight and my body. I go on a diet, lose a bit, go on holiday or to the wedding - whatever the event that prompted the weight loss.

I pile it on again, and it all starts all over again. I never maintain - I only ever lose or gain. The more fed up I get, the harder I try, but then when I get to the end of the path, I go overboard everytime. I put it on and I feel fed up. I eat what I want, but then I feel fed up when I am fat.

So, that's today's reason - I do not want to be fed up about this anymore. It is just ridiculous and it has to stop.

Number 23:
Today's Reason to stick to my Diet - I want toned inner thighs My legs are toning up a bit, slowly. I am developing some good definition, but clearly, my inner thighs are not being worked in quite the same manner, as they are refusing to change.

My inner thighs are flabby and unsightly, and nothing - not squats, not Zumba, not running, seems to be making a difference. Losing weight will help of course. It won't tone them up, but it will remove some of the fat.

However, in order to accomplish this goal, I need to stick to my diet, every day, and stick to the exercise plan but also add some specialist moves to tone these bad boys up!!

So that is today's reason - if I do not stick to it, I shall have flabby inner thighs forever!! Not having that!! :)

Number 24: 
Today's reason to stick to my diet is that I want to be proud of my body. I am 40 years old, and not once have I felt totally proud of how I look.

Don't get me wrong - sometimes I look ok and I scrub up well, but put me in a bikini or a pair of shorts and panic sets in. I resign myself to how I look thinking "when I reach goal weight" and then it never happens.

Not this time!!! This time, I am going to exercise, I am going to diet, I am going to reach goal and why? Because I want to be proud of my body.

Number 25:
Today's reason for sticking to the diet is that I want to be in control and not my body. My mind needs to rule, not my hunger or cravings.

This is the problem - I get the strongest desire to eat crap and drink wine. Or a lovely cold beer and a burger, or crisps, or cheese or cake. Its never good stuff. I give in and then I enjoy it for a few minutes, and then within minutes, I am feeling fat and horrible, and the impact lasts for days.

I am tired of being ruled by cravings for fatty foods and I want to be in control. The longer I stick to the plan, the more I form new habits to replace the unhealthy ones and the better I feel mentally because then I am in the driving seat and in control.

Number 26:
Today's reason to stick to my diet is how wonderful it feels to lose weight. When you get on the scales, and it has dropped, its a good feeling.

When the pounds start to add up and become half stones it feels great. When you start to drop whole stones and look and feel better, its the best feeling ever.

I need to keep that in mind, as the reverse is also true. When you get on those scales and its gone up, it feels awful.

So, I need to remember how bad it feels when the scales go up and how wonderful it feels when my weight is coming down.

Number 27:
Today's reason to stick to the plan is simple - I will never get my ass in shape by sitting on it!!

What I am saying is that there is no point sitting around, bemoaning the fact that I am not at goal weight whilst spending my time sitting on my backside. If I want a banging body and to reach goal weight, I have to get up and move and work at it.

Number 28:
Today's reason to stick to my diet - I want to be free to have a pint!!

Today was a lovely sunny day, and it killed me not being able to just go to the pub, sit in the beer garden and have a cold pint of lager. I used to do it a lot, but then I realised I was overweight and wanted to not be, so I stopped doing it to lose the weight.

The problem is that I spend most of damn summer trying to lose weight and I never get to have that pint!! So I want to stick to my diet, get to goal weight, and stay there.

Then I can have my pint in the sun!!

Number 29:
Today's Reason to Diet is that I want to enjoy the sunshine not dread it.

It breaks down like this - the sun comes out, I panic. I have a desperate hunt through my wardrobe to find something I can be cool enough it whilst not looking like a hippo.

It gets on my nerves. I should be like "yay, sunshine, damn girl". Nope. It fills me full of fear.

So that is today's reason.

Number 30:
Today's Reason to Diet is that I want to look good wet.

Yep, no matter how much I can hold it in, patch it up and camouflage when it comes to getting in the water, all bets are off. I want to be able to get in that pool, dive in those waves, and come out looking good instead of coming out looking like I have narrowly avoided the harpoon!!

I want to be as glamourous soaking wet as when I am fully loaded with the war paint and spanx!!

That is today's reason :)

Number 31:
Today's Reason to Diet is that I want to show off my belly piercing!! Yes, I finally got it done, so now I need the body to be able to show it off!!

That is today's reason :)

Number 32: 
Today's reason to stick to the diet is that I want to be a good role model. My step daughter loves her food, but I want to be able to encourage her to be healthy and to exercise.

I feel a bit of a hypocrite if I am overweight and not in shape, so that is today's reason :)

Number 33:
Yes, I recently discovered that because I am with a life insurance company who value good health, if I get to target weight and maintain it, I will get a cheaper insurance.

Not only that, but you also get perks like free cinema tickets and discounts on healthy stuff. Fab. What more reason do I need!!

Number 34:
My reason to stick to my diet number 34 is because of my wedding. Scheduled, but not yet booked for 2018, I need to get to goal weight before I can even begin to think about my dress.

I have no idea what style I want as I have no idea if what is in my head will look right on my body, until said body is at the right weight. I don't know if my goal weight is going to be the right weight until I get there, and as I never quite manage it, its making it difficult to crack on with my wedding plans.

Now that is a big incentive and should be all the motivation I need this time!

Day Five of my 30 Day Beach Body Challenge

Day Five:

  • 100 High Knees
  • 75 Russian Twists


Day Four:

  • 200 Crunches
  • 100 Skater Slides


Day Three:

  • 50 Burpees
  • 50 Kick Down Crunches


Day Two:
  • 100 Bicycle crunches
  • 2 x 30 second planks
Day One
  • 2 x 60 second planks
  • 50 crunches

My Top 10 Milk Tray

  • Salted Caramel Charm
  • Orange Truffle
  • Strawberry Temptation
  • Apple Crunch
  • Fudge Duet
  • Truffle Heart
  • Perfect Praline
  • Surprise Parcel
  • Hazelnut Swirl
  • Caramel Softy

The Walking Dead - 3 Degrees of Separation Part IV

Continuing my newfound obsession with all things Walking Dead, here is part IV. Continuing to find links between programs, look at the stars, the music, and well, everything that comes to mind really. Here we go then:

  • The Baddies demise
    • Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) - still surviving
    • Gareth (Andrew J West) - eats some of Bob, gets killed by Rick
    • Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) - killed by the Governor, walker Merle killed by Daryl
    • Shane (Jon Bernthal) killed by Rick, walker Shane killed by Carl
    • The Governor (David Morrissey) stabbed by Michonne, shot by Lilly
  • More of the cast
    • Jon Bernthal - Shane - American
    • Laurie Holden - Andrea - American/Canadian
    • Michael Rooker - Merle Dixon - American
    • Scott Wilson - Hershel - American
    • Emily Kinney - Beth Greene - American
  • The X Files
    • Scott Wilson - Hershel - appeared in an episode in 2000
    • Jeffrey DeMunn - Dale - appeared in the X Files movie in 1998
    • Laurie Holden - Andrea - appeared in 10 episodes
  • CSI
    • Michael Rooker - Merle - appeared in CSI Miami
    • Scott Wilson - Hershel - regular on CSI 
    • Jon Bernthal - Shane - appeared in CSI Miami


Previous:
  • Main Cast:
    • Andrew Lincoln - Rick Grimes - English
    • Norman Reedus - Daryl Dixon - American
    • Steven Yeun - Glenn Rhee - Korean /American
    • Lauren Cohan - Maggie Greene - British - American
    • Melissa McBride - Carol Peletier - American
    • Michonne - Danai Gurira - American
    • Chandler Riggs - Carl Grimes - American
    • Sonequa Martin - Sasha Williams - American
    • Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Negan - American
    • Lennie James - Morgan Jones - English
    • Michael Cudlitz - Abraham Ford - American
    • Josh McDermitt - Eugene Porter - American
    • David Morrissey - The Governor - English
  • Charmed
    • Norman Reedus aka Daryl - played Nate, Paige's boyfriend
  • Great Music they have used in TWD
    • Bad Moon Rising - Mourning Ritual
    • Crying - Roy Orbison
    • Fast and Loose - Motorhead
    • Town Called Malice - The Jam
  • Trivia
    • Daryl Dixon didn't even exist in the comics - he was created for Norman Reedus!
  • Prison Break
    • Sarah Wayne Callies - Lori Grimes in TWD
    • Sarah Wayne Callies - Sara Tancredi in Prison Break
    • Michael Cudlitz - Abraham in TWD
    • Michael Cudlitz - corrections officer series 1 Prison Break
  • 24
    • reboot 24: Legacy - to star Corey Hawkins
    • Corey Hawkins plays Heath in TWD
    • Michael Cudlitz plays Agent Rick Phillips
  • Weird fact
    • Here I am doing my 3 degrees of separation for TWD
    • Corey Hawkins in Theatre - 6 degrees of separation! 
  • Spin off from TWD
    • Fear The Walking Dead
  • Actors from other great films
    • A River Runs Through It (Michael Cudlitz )
    • The Truman Show  
    • Love Actually (Andrew Lincoln)
    • Norman Reedus aka Daryl - Blade II
    • Lennie James aka Morgan starred as Sol in Snatch
  • Lost
    • Michael Cudlitz played Big Mike Walton
  • Comic book origins TWD
    • number of issues - 170
    • written by - Robert Kirkman
    • illustrated by - Tony Moore
    • first issued in 2003
  • Stage names
    • Andrew Lincoln - real name Andrew James Clutterbuck

  • The Walking Dead
    • Zombies
  • 28 Days Later
    • Zombies
    • Danny Boyle


  • Danny Boyle
    • Sunshine
    • Music from Sunshine Episode 5 Series 1 TWD


  • Stephen King 
    • 3 actors from TWD in The Mist
    • Jeffrey DeMunn - in The Green Mile, The Mist, Storm of The Century, Shawshank
    • Andrew J West went on to star in Stephen King mini series Under the Dome
    • Michael Rooker - starred in The Dark Half
  • Andrea - TWD
    • dies as Andrea by shooting herself in the head
    • dies in The Mist by being shot in the head


  • Game of Thrones
    • Series 7 reference to "Walking Dead Men"
  • Zombie films homage and references to other films
    • Day of the Dead
    • Dawn of the Dead
    • Jaws - Ben Gardner's head
    • Return of the Living Dead
    • Zombie
    • An American Werewolf in London
    • Creepshow


  • Hints at what's to come
    • barbed wire wrapped bat next to corpses
    • gun with barbed wire wrapped bat on it ( Negan)


  • The "Baddies"
    • Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)
    • Gareth (Andrew J West)
    • Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker)
    • Shane (Jon Bernthal)
    • The Governor (David Morrissey)

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Win £1,000 of National Book Tokens for your favourite student!

Win £1,000 of National Book Tokens for your favourite student!: Nominate your favourite student (or yourself!) to win the huge National Book Tokens Book Bursary.

Win the Man Booker Prize shortlist with Caboodle!

Win the Man Booker Prize shortlist with Caboodle!: This year's Man Booker Prize shortlist has been announced and we've got a signed set of the six incredible books up for grabs!

2017 - Still got a lot to look forward too :)



It may be October, and the Christmas ads have begun in earnest, but there is still a lot to look forward to in our household. First up, this coming week we are hitting the gym whilst our free membership courtesy of a competition win last year runs until end of November. So whilst we are on a bit of a health kick, we are going to max our membership, enjoy some classes and the steam room!

Next, it is of course the scare fest that is Halloween at the end of the month. Not that Tuesday is a very good day for Halloween, but still we get a pumpkin and watch scary movies so its still fab.

Then its off to Manchester for the brilliant Jamiroquai! Legend. Really looking forward to it. Possibly going to stay over in the city for a mini break too which should be much fun. Hopefully get some shopping whilst we are there - not that I need an excuse!

After that, its bonfire night - we always head off somewhere for a bonfire and fireworks and the obligatory hot dog! I love fireworks - just hope it doesn't rain - we've been luck the past couple of years on that front.

We decided today that as a bit of an incentive to shift some pounds, and as something to look forward to as the nights get longer and the days get shorter, that we would get away for another holiday in December. Its got to be Gran Canaria - its our total favourite. Not booking it yet, going to do a last minute jobby, but its got me to the gym today so its already working.

As well as all of this, we have our lovely dog and we are planning lots of lovely walks for her, exploring places and pathways we haven't walked before. These past weeks have seen us go to Rudyard Lake, Tittesworth Reservoir and Consall Valley, not to mention lots of fields and canal paths. Just spending quality time together is lovely, but this time of year when the leaves are at their brightest autumn colours is fabulous.

I am looking forward to getting fit and losing weight again. Not just for my holiday, but because it feels good and makes me feel so much more satisfied and confident. Just opening the wardrobe and picking something nice, instead of what I can fit in always feels fantastic.

Then, after our holiday, it will be almost Christmas. For me I love the whole thing - putting the decorations up, being silly and childishly excited on Christmas Eve handing out Christmas Eve boxes. Christmas Day is just fab - we at my parents for Christmas Dinner this year so no cooking for us :)

We don't usually go out for New Year's Eve, we usually enjoy it at home and have a takeaway. I love it - watching all the fireworks and the look back at the year shows on the telly. Best way to celebrate New Year to my mind - in our lovely home together.

This year has had its ups and downs, but its going out with a high that's for sure. :)

NEW - My Weekly Challenge Week 1 - Upcycle something


Each week I am going to set myself a challenge. One thing I need to do to save money, make money, reuse, or upcycle.

To kick off with I am setting myself the challenge to upcycle something. I have no idea what, but I am sure there must be something in the house or garage I can turn into something lovely.

I shall post a pic once I have identified a suitable project!

I used to be quite crafty and artistic in my younger years. I'm sure my creative tendencies are still inside somewhere. Bring on the paint, scissors and glue! Or maybe even a needle and thread. Let those creative juices flow (I hope).


What's Happening in the World this Week


  • Red sun. Hurricane Ophelia is apparently to blame, with the high winds sucking up sand from the Sahara. All I know, is it looked mighty spooky outside. 

  • Sean Hughes the comedian has sadly died. I loved Sean's Show back in the day. Truly funny, so talented, so young at just 51 years old. RIP Sean. 

  • New Zealand faces 'chipocalypse' as farmers warn of crisps shortage. NZ have had problems with their potato crops due to wet weather. Disastrous for crisp lovers! 

  • Fault delays new high-speed train's first journey from Bristol to London. A fault on the air con, meant there was a 45 minute delay. Not so high speed today then! 

A Look Back at My Week with Paloma Faith

My Week with Paloma Faith is over. Seven songs, seven days and its been absolutely fantastic. She is such a great and unique singer with or without big bands behind her.

So which of my seven was my favourite? Without further ado, here are my seven choices in order of preference:

Number 1: Just Be
Number 2: Only Love Can Hurt Like This
Number 3: Never Tear Us Apart
Number 4: Changing
Number 5: Stone Cold Sober
Number 6: New York
Number 7: Upside Down

Paloma is such an icon. I think the way she dresses really shows off a womanly shape. That era of dressing is so beautiful and she pulls it on in an unusual way, making it modern. Her music, like her style, has elements of vintage and references to soul and jazz, but in a new way. She is a true talent, with a voice that is so full of power and range, yet so versatile. I have loved learning more about her and listening to her work this week.

But now its over. So now to decide who next? If you can't wait, then check out all my previous choices over at My Music page - just click here :)

Learning Spanish - This Week's Learning

This week's learning:

  • seashell - concha
  • biscuit - la galleta
  • open - abierto

And the rest:
  • a table for two please - mesa para dos
  • ham - jamon
  • yellow - amarillo
  • married - casado
  • river - río
  • charmed - encantado
  • apple - manzana
  • name - nombre
  • red - rojo
  • sausage - salchicha
  • nice - bonito
  • orange - naranja
  • restaurant - restaurante
  • read - leer
  • salad - ensalada
  • leaving - dejando
  • nuts - nueces
  • grey - gris
  • dinner - cena
  • fifty - cincuenta
  • mother - madre
  • fish - pescado
  • reservation - reserva
  • when - cuando
  • chair - silla
  • nose - nariz
  • pasta - pastas
  • kiss - beso
  • smile - sonreír
  • onion - cebolla
  • friend - amigo
  • thunder - trueno
  • why - por qué
  • thigh - muslo
  • donkey - burro
  • warm - calentar
  • drink - bebida
  • what - qué
  • lemon - limón
  • garlic - ajo
  • forty - cuarenta
  • tree - árbol
  • teeth - dientes
  • father - padre
  • suncream - crema solar
  • milk chocolate - chocolate con leche
  • crazy - loca
  • girl - niña
  • happy - contento
  • steak - filete
  • sunburn - bronceado
  • horse - cabello
  • cough - tos 
  • head - cabeza
  • Summer - el verano
  • February - febrero
  • Pillow - almohada
  • Nine - nueve
  • Eyes - ojos
  • June - junio
  • key - llaves
  • dunes - dunas
  • home - casa
  • Stomach - estómago
  • Jump - saltar
  • May - mayo
  • October - octubre
  • Thirsty - sediento
  • Leg - pierna
  • Breakfast - desayuno
  • Six - seis
  • Hungry - hambriento
  • Moon - luna
  • Rice - arroz
  • Vegetarian - vegetariano
  • I don't know - no lo sé
  • Butter - mantequilla
  • Seven - siete
  • July - julio
  • Tired - cansado
  • Speak - hablar
  • Mirror - espejo
  • Small - pequeña
  • Amazing - asombroso
  • Sunglasses - gafas de sol 
  • Toilet - inodoro
  • Excuse me - disculpe
  • Tasty - sabroso
  • Mountain - montaña
  • How far is - que tan lejos esta
  • Waves - olas
  • Sandwich - emparedado
  • Roof - techo
  • Blanket - cobija
  • Eight - ocho
  • Forgot - olvidó
  • Woman - mujer
  • Night - noche
  • Another - otro
  • September - septiembre
  • Hands - manos
  • Flight - vuelo
  • Laugh - risa
  • Sing - canta
  • Can I have the bill - Me puede traer la cuenta
  • Spoon - cuchara
  • Black - negro
  • Bread - pan de molde
  • April - abril
  • Five - cinco
  • Sand - arena
  • Hot - caliente
  • Ear - oreja
  • Dark - oscuro
  • Like - me gusta
  • Sick - enfermo
  • Spicy - picante
  • Kettle - tetera
  • Flowers - flores
  • Sunbathe - tomar el sol
  • Feet - pies
  • December - diciembre
  • Cake - pastel
  • Fireworks - fuegos articiales
  • Rain - lluvia
  • Dress - el vestido
  • Year - año
  • Door - puerta
  • My name is - me llamo
  • Cooking - cocina
  • Four - cuatro
  • August - agosto
  • Massage - el masaje
  • Back - espalda
  • Purple - púrpura
  • Fork - tenedor
  • Knife - cuchillo
  • Three - tres
  • Dog - perro
  • January - enero
  • Stars - estrellas
  • Dancing - bailando
  • Brown - marrón
  • Two - dos
  • Spring - primavera
  • Crisps - patatas fritas
  • Friday - viernes
  • The Menu -La carta 
  • Bed - cama
  • Strawberry - fresa
  • Windy - ventoso
  • Can I have? - puedo tener
  • Bottle - botella
  • Birthday - cumpleaños
  • Green - verde
  • Ten - diez
  • Thursday - jueves
  • March - marzo
  • Umbrella - paraguas
  • November - noviembre
  • Autumn - el otoño
  • One - uno
  • Soap - jabon
  • Wednesday - miércoles
  • Cold - frio
  • Boat - barco
  • Hotel Room - habitación de hotel
  • Newspaper - periódico
  • Man - hombre
  • Walk - caminar
  • Shop - tienda
  • Running - corriendo
  • Cat - gato
  • Swim - nadar
  • What time is it? - que hora es?
  • Big - grande
  • Cloud - nube
  • Pink - rosa
  • Silver - plata
  • Pepper - pimienta
  • Omelette - tortilla
  • Shower - ducha
  • Tuesday - martes
  • Ice - hielo
  • Beautiful - hermosa
  • Awake - despierto
  • Love - amor
  • Shoes - zapatos
  • Money - dinero
  • Hat - sombrero
  • Monday - lunes
  • Glass - vaso
  • Water - agua
  • Sleep - dormir
  • Chicken - pollo
  • Sun - sol
  • Ice-cream - helado
  • Seat - asiento
  • Gold - oro
  • Sunday - domingo
  • Hair - cabello
  • Book - el libro
  • Garden - el gardin
  • Bathroom - el baño
  • Nude - desnudo
  • Towel - toalla
  • Sea - mar
  • What's your name? - Como se llama?
  • Cheers - Salud
  • Wine - el vino
  • Good - bueno
  • Beer - cerveza
  • Cheese - queso
  • Suitcase - maleta
  • Blue - azul
  • White - blanco
  • Where is? - dónde está?
  • Market - el mercado
  • Swimming Pool - la piscina
  • Saturday - sábado
  • Winter - invierno
  • English - inglés
  • I want one - Quiero uno
  • How much does it cost? - Cuánto cuesta
  • Tomorrow - mañana
  • Good evening - Buenas Noches
  • You're welcome - de nada
  • I'm sorry - lo siento
  • Please - Por favor
  • Thankyou - Gracias
  • Beach - La playa
  • Hello - Hola
  • Good morning - Buenos días
  • Goodbye - Adios

10 Songs for a Rainy Day


Ok then, its grey and soggy out there folks. I'm in the Midlands area myself, and its gloomy and wet. So lets cheer ourselves up then. Lets think of songs for a soggy, rainy day.

Here are the first 10 I can think of to begin with, feel free to comment with any you think of!

  • Rihanna with her Umbrella
  • The band "Wet, Wet, Wet"
  • Prince with Purple Rain
  • Gene Kelly - Singin in the Rain
  • Zoe - Sunshine on a Rainy Day
  • Phil Collins - I wish it would Rain Down
  • Eurythmics - Here Comes the Rain Again
  • Its Raining Men by the Weather Girls 
  • Carpenters - Rainy Days and Mondays
  • Travis - Why Does it Always Rain on Me?
Given the amount of rain we get here in the UK, is it any wonder that we get a bit fed up of it? So lets cheer ourselves up and think of as many rainy songs as we can. Lets will the sunshine to come shining through shall we? Lets soak up (sorry, couldn't help myself) this dismal weather and get our happy faces on!!

I bet there are loads and loads of rainy songs, because as we all know only to well, we are a country obsessed with the weather. You don't stand in a shop in Spain for instance, and hear every one referencing the fact that its sunny again now do you? No. I think its a British thing, based around the fact that our weather is so inconsistent. 

Anyway, enough of the talking about the weather, lets focus on the music! Let me know your rainy songs by commenting. I love comments - they make me happy, in spite of the weather!! :)

What I'm Watching This Week


  • The Walking Dead. Almost at the end of season 3 in our rewatch, and despite already seeing this series before, its scary how much you forget, or even miss first time of watching. Still gruesome, still scary, but nevertheless brilliant. Still think Daryl is the coolest character ever. 

  • Blood Father. Mel Gibson plays the coolest dad coming to his estranged daughter's rescue. I won't spoil the ending, but be prepared for some brutal action, cool motorbikes and just general tough guy badass stuff from Mr Gibson. The support cast are great, as is his on screen daughter. More on this to come in my movie reviews. Great stuff. 

  • Emmerdale. Flipping heck the Dales are dangerous this week! Just when you think it cannot get any worse for the Barton bros, the police turn up right at the time of poor sweet Finn's funeral. Emma still causing drama, even from beyond the grave. Tense stuff. 

  • Corrie. Well, Pat is now an actual ticking time bomb. It was looking like Daniel Barlow was going to be Pat's next target, but that was until his daughter dropped the bombshell, first that she was preggers, and second that it was none other than Mr Gary Windass!! Crikey, the fastest bonk in history on the cobbles has resulted in a baba! Who knew? Gary - your card is marked matey boy. 

Looking for some winter sun - but where is the hottest?

I was thinking earlier about fitting in a late holiday this year - I'm thinking November, even December. We are going to Barcelona in June and its going to be scorchio, the Fuerteventura in August - going to be scorchio!

Different kettle of fish when the weather turns particularly cold and unpleasant here in good old Blighty, so I wanted to go somewhere warm. In previous years, I've been to Egypt and also Tunisia in late December, but in the present climate, I'm not talking heat, I aren't that keen to be honest on either.

I've been to Gran Canaria in early November, but not this late in the year. So I thought I would take a look at the average temperatures to see if that helps to guide us.

So here is my round up of the average temps in November:

  • Lanzarote - 21
  • Gran Canaria - 21
  • Tenerife - 20
  • La Palma - 21
  • Maldives - 27
  • Fuerteventura - 21
  • Mexico - 25
  • Bahamas - 25
  • Caribbean - 27
  • Greek Islands - 17
  • Balearic's - 14 
  • Italy - 13
  • Malta - 17
  • Morocco - 17
  • Brazil - 24
  • Sydney - 20
  • Egypt - 23
  • Sri Lanka - 27


December
  • Lanzarote - 19
  • Gran Canaria - 19
  • Tenerife - 17
  • La Palma - 19
  • Fuerteventura - 19
  • Mexico - 24
  • Bahamas - 22
  • Caribbean - 26
  • Greek Islands - 14
  • Balearics - 11
  • Italy - 10
  • Maldives - 27
  • Malta - 14
  • Morocco - 14
  • Brazil - 25
  • Sydney - 22
  • Egypt - 19
  • Sri Lanka - 27

Day Four of my 30 Day Beach Body Challenge

Day Four:

  • 200 Crunches
  • 100 Skater Slides


Day Three:

  • 50 Burpees
  • 50 Kick Down Crunches


Day Two:
  • 100 Bicycle crunches
  • 2 x 30 second planks
Day One
  • 2 x 60 second planks
  • 50 crunches

My Top 10 Crackers

  • Jacobs Cream Crackers
  • McVities Cheddar Cheese Crackers
  • Hovis crackers
  • Digestive biscuit
  • Cornish wafer
  • Water biscuit
  • Tuc biscuits
  • Ritz crackers
  • Granary wheat squares
  • Salt and cracked black pepper crackers

I am a Yo-Yo dieter

Where I was:

                    Jubilee Party 2012                                                     Tunisia 2008


Cairo 2007


Sharm El Sheikh 2006

Where I am now (ish):



Marrakech 2015




Tunisia August 2014


Tunisia 2014

 
May 2014 - Gran Canaria


Menorca 2013


Menorca 2013



Where I want to be:

Goal weight - the diet has begun :) (Again!)

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

My eating plan for the next few weeks and why I am not losing weight

We are in discussions about booking our next holiday and that means bikinis. Right now that prospect fills me with utter dread. I have been sporadically dieting and exercising, but the weight has firmly refused to budge. Leaving me way over the weight and size I want to be. Drastic changes must be made therefore to maximise my efforts this coming few weeks then.

This will involve upping my protein, taking in a small amount of wholegrain carbs, and cutting out any form of snack - low fat, low sugar - no matter, its not coming in. I'm not much of a meat eater, I rarely eat any at home - the odd bit of chicken breast, and I hate tuna, so this is going to be a challenge for me.

I do eat Quorn, but its not enough. Having really upped my game on the exercise front, including resistance and weight training, as well as cardio and sculpting work, I have researched why the scales are not dropping. It would appear that its down to something called Adaptation. Basically, my muscles are tearing and ripping, repairing using protein, but then requiring water as they first inflame and then repair. Resulting in my retaining a lot of water. Its temporary apparently, but upping the protein can help fuel my body - rev my engines if you will, and also speeds up the repair meaning less water, meaning weight loss again.

Its worth a go I reckon, as so long as I keep tracking my calorie intake, and just change the type of foods, I should see results. So my plan is to incorporate these foods:

  • Eggs - in moderation
  • Nuts - almonds, pistachios, walnuts
  • Chicken breast
  • Oats
  • Broccoli
  • Lean Beef - mince in my case
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sprouts
Yes, no tuna on there, and no fish - I can't bear the stuff other than fish fingers which I don't think is what they mean when they say "fish". I can tolerate some chicken and some lean beef if I cook it with something else. 

I am also massively cutting back on salt - I've cut out even low fat crisps as if I am retaining water, salty foods have got to go as they only make things worse. I'm also staying off the low cal fizzy drinks - water, fruit juices and green tea for me from now on! 

I have also decided to eliminate bread for the time being. I've switched to crackerbreads and wraps - all in all, this should help the scales start to move again. 

If it doesn't work, its not going to make things any worse. If it does work, I can enjoy my bikini on holiday. Worth a go!