Reasons to be Cheerful

What a week!

I had the best ever one to one session with my new manager. I came away energised, full of ideas, feeling enabled, valued and excited for the future. Long may it continue!

I'm on holiday this week and have come away with MrC for a few days, something I didn't think he would enjoy. MrC's idea of a holiday is to go visiting places, rushing off from one activity to another. However his illness means he doesn't always have the energy to do that.

For the last couple of years I have been trying to persuade him to try something quieter and lower his expectations. He finally agreed and the holiday has been a complete success. I booked three nights at a cottage in a place called Chapel Amble It is beautiful, quiet and just what I needed. We took things to do in the cottage and have gone out for an hour or so each day.

Okay, we haven't done very much and have watched a lot of TV but we've gotten away from the everyday pressures and stresses and spend time alone together. I feel so relaxed and am already planning a week away in February!

And lastly, the plans to move Amy to London are moving along really well! She is staying with friends for a couple of weeks while she searches for a place of her own. Maybe only having just over a week to get her sorted has worked out in our favour, less time to worry!

We are having cocktails (lots of) on Friday night and I am driving her to London on Sunday morning, so a busy weekend for us all! The last few days away were well needed!

She also took my advice and has started to blog about how she feels about the move. Marvellous Adventures of a Devon Girl so please show some support. I am going to miss her so much but think that will be another blog post!

So that was my week, how was yours? Any advice for Amy on how to survive living and working in London?

Don't forget to get yourself over to Michelle's Mummy from the Heart and show your love for other people's Reason to be Cheeful!

Photo's this week were from a visit to Truro Catherdral, a beautiful calming space

Life Circle - Week 2

Life Circle

So here I am, week 2, giving Kate's Life Circle a go. Have a look here to see the background.

Last week's post had me looking at my Wheel of Life to identify areas which I felt need some work.

This week Kate has asked us to describe how we see our lives in five years, two years, one year and six months. I am not sure if my head is in the best place for this. I am on holiday this week and am just enjoying the moment. Am going to bash this out and see what happens, not too much thinking or editing, lets see what my brain comes up with!

Five Years
I am probably living where I am but the house is beautiful, clean and tidy! All the DIY jobs are done, every room is decorated and its easy to keep it that way, because the kids have moved out! It means we have two 'spare' rooms. One which I'm using as a hobby room/office and the other is a proper spare room, available for the kids to pop back or for friends to come and stay.

I have more time to do the things I want to do, rather than cleaning and tidying! So I'm spending time taking photo's and then using PhotoShop instead of getting MrC to do it for me.

I'm slim and feel healthy and full of energy. I'm doing a worthwhile job I enjoy and love getting up in the mornings to go into work. I am successful and feel fulfilled.

Time is what I have in abundance, time to do all the things I want to do without compromising on the things which have to be done.

Two Years
The house is clean and tidy and the last of the DIY projects have been completed. I am using the yearly bonus money to pay for someone to come in and finish the decorating.

Amy is loving it in London and has just moved into her own flat. James is just going into his second year at University and although the first year was a struggle he has found his focus and can see where he wants to be in life.

I'm going to evening classes to learn how to take great photo's and also how to use PhotoShop to enhance them. I have just been promoted and although things are hard at work, I am loving the extra responsibility. The money comes in handy too! I've reached my goal weight and my family are so proud of me.

One Year
Been a great year at work, and my new boss is pleased with the progress I have made and the changes and initiatives I've implemented. I am starting to look around for the next challenge at work.

James is off to University, so me and MrC have more time to ourselves. The house although not completed is getting there. I am busy but can see real progress in the goals I have set. I feel in control and my life has a purpose. My weight loss is steady and achievable and I feel fabulous

Six Months
It's March and my weight loss is finally going in the right direction. It isn't going up and down, its small regular losses each week and it is sustainable. Half a pound a week is how I want it to progress.

I'm working well with my new boss and she can see I have potential and is coaching me, something I have never had before. I'm learning new things all the time and not just through attending courses. I have volunteered for projects and come into contact with new people and new ways of doing things.

There is a clear plan in place for each of the DIY projects!

I have a plan of what I want to achieve and by when, it is written down and has bullet points and everything! So it must be real!!!!

I am taking control back and am being responsible for my future. I am saying where life is going to lead me and not the other way around.

Well, there you have it, my five year plan. Bit scary! And even though I have just banged it out, it seems to make sense.

What do you think?

Meal Planning Monday w/c 10th October
It's Monday so its meal planning with At Home With Mrs M, my chance to get sorted and start the week as I mean to go on, organised!

Last week's Singapore Vermicelli was delicious! And as promised the recipe can be found here. I didn't get to the sushi, but will very soon.

This week's plan comes to you courtesy (in part) to Amy, my 22 year old daughter who will be in charge of the house and James (my 18 year old son) while I'm away with MrC staying in a little cottage in deepest darkest Cornwall. We leave on Tuesday for 3 nights, so not too long for all hell to break loose (but you never know!)

So this weeks plan will be:-
Monday - Spinach Cannelloni (didn't get made last week!)
Tuesday - The biggest batch of chilli con carne and tiger bread (A proper student staple)
Wednesday - Left over chilli with rice (A student favourite)
Thursday - something which looks like bolognaise from the freezer (didn't know it was in there!)
Friday - Night out (Amy's leaving do!)
Saturday - Homemade burgers and chips
Sunday - No idea!!!

So planned but not very Slimming World. Amy's leaving do, to celebrate her getting a job in London will involve a lot of cocktails and Sunday will be a meal on the road followed by lots of tears as I drop her off somewhere in London to start the job on Monday.

So, I have a feeling the two pounds I lost this week (now just 1 pound shy of the elusive 4 stones) may be put back on! But hey ho, that's the way it goes and its not very often your daughter moves from home properly!

Check back next week to see how much I do actually put on! And don't forget to look at some other meal planners for inspiration!

Slimming World Singapore Vermicelli

I saw this recipe in Slimming World magazine July 2011 (page 69) it looked delicious, and it was! A one pot meal, which I love, but I did find it a little bit fiddly, with heating this, then set it aside type instructions. But saying that, it was worth it! 

7oz/198g dried rice vermicelli noodles
1 cal spray
5oz/142g pork steaks, all fat removed and cut into thin strips
5oz/142g raw,peeled prawns
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1in/2.5 cm fresh root ginger, finely grated
1 onion, thinly sliced
6 spring onions cut into 1in/2.5cm pieces
300g pack of stir fry vegetables
1 tbsp curry powder
6 tbsp dark soy sauce
salt and pepper
4 beaten eggs
2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
2 limes, quatered

Syn free!

Cook the noodles, following the packet instructions. Spray a large frying pan with 1 cal spray and fry the pork on a high heat for 4-5 minutes until cooked. Transfer to a plate and keep warm

Add the prawns to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to the plate with the pork. Rinse out the pan and dry.

Spray again with the 1 cal spray and over a medium heat, fry the garlic and ginger for about a minute, then stir in the onion, spring onion and stir fry vegetables and cook until softened. Add the curry powder and carry on cooking for another minute then add 2 tbsp of water and the noodles and mix together. Add the soy sauce, salt and pepper and stir fry for another minute.

Push, the vegetables to one side and pour the eggs in to scramble, then mix with the vegetables and noodles. Add the pork and prawns and mix again. Garnish with the chillies and serve with the limes to be squeezed over. The limes really lift the flavour
Apologies for the picture, took it from the magazine. We'd eaten ours before I remembered!
It was a very quick and tasty meal and once I have fully mastered it, I think it would make a brilliant dinner party meal! 

Go on, give it a go! 

Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

I'm very pleased to be posting and linking again to Michelle's Mummy from the Heart Reasons to be Cheeful. It's where a group of people take a look back at their week and take time to celebrate and record things which have made them cheerful, no matter how insignificant.

It's Saturday and therefore I'm on holiday! Hoorah! I really feel I need it! I know it was really only 5 weeks since I had a long weekend, but my batteries need recharging. And this time I am going away with Mr C which is extra special.
We don't have a lot of time alone together to just enjoy each other's company. There is always something to be done, or someone else around, so four days off just us will be amazing, a real treat and something we deserve.

As regular readers of this blog or followers in Twitter may know, I was recently put at risk of redundancy and had to apply for a role to stay at the company. I found out I was successful several weeks ago (or this would be a whole other post!) but hadn't asked for feedback on how the interview went. I'm just not brave enough. I thought 'I must have been good enough to get a job I don't want to know the rest!'
But I've been mulling things over (probably as a result of joining with Kate's The Five F's Life Circle) and thought it would be a wasted opportunity to not get some feedback on how I actually did and find out areas I could improve in.
I'm not very good at asking for feedback, not because I don't think I have areas to improve on, but because I can't bear to think someone doesn't like me. I have need issues! What can I say? I know its irrational, I can be good at my job without someone having to like me, but what can I say? It's me, it's who I am. I'm sure dear reader I'm not alone....oh god, please say you agree with me. I can feel the panic rising!
Yesterday was F day ie 'feedback day' And ......they like me! Phew! I didn't break down in tears or anything, which is a result! (another habit I have! I must be a nightmare to manage Sorry @breenster, my old manager. I haven't broken down with my new boss yet, but there is always time!) The feedback was positive and constructive and not a surprise which is an added bonus. I think I'm emotionally intelligent enough now to know myself, something I wish I'd had at 20! There was one surprising thing though, maybe sometime's I'm too helpful. In my book is there such a thing? Or am I too nice (another of my posts) What do you think?

And now I have been saving the best still last! I recently had Amy's Graduation as a Reason to be Cheerful and she is featuring again.
She has gotten a job! And is moving to London! On the 16th of October! Just over a week away.......OMG! My baby is really growing up
She had been struggling to get past the first stage of the interview process as a lot of companies needed someone with experience. As a a recent graduate, she had no experience and was finding it difficult to break through!
But she has done it!
I am busting with pride and have a whole raft of emotions running through me even as I type. She only got the news on Tuesday and there is so much to do, finding somewhere to live for a start! (let alone process those said emotions!)
It's going to be hard for her, the pay isn't very good, but it's the bottom rung of an industry she wants to be in, using her Toxicology degree for a company she was desperate to work for. What more could a recent graduate ever ask for!

So a brilliant week for me, but then I can always find something which has made me smile or a lesson learnt, no matter how bleak. But please take the time to have a look and maybe leave a comment on some other posts at Michelle's for some other Reasons to be Cheerful.

PS and the significance of the pictures? They're ones I took on a solitary walk around my home town of Plymouth and The Hoe in particular. I love living here, another reason to be cheerful

Meal Planning Monday w/c 3rd of October
Another meal planner (the week goes so fast!) but this one was difficult to do. What on earth was the weather going to be doing over the next few days? Should I let that decide what I cook or just go like I normally do with what I fancy?

I went with what I fancy! Although I did let the family pick a couple of meals! 

Very disappointed with NO weight loss this week! Have been doing some thinking about why. I know I've each week had a day where I've eaten off plan for a meal. But I've done this other times before and been fine. Plus I upped my exercise, been going to the gym everyday, so maybe I've more muscle?? Either way going to have to get a plan in place soon to get that weight moving again. I seem to have been around this weight for weeks just moving up and down!

Onto my meal planner (this week is going to be a challenge because I am in London one day and Bristol another, so having to rely on the family doing some cooking)

In no particular order, but rather led by the complexity of cooking for when I'm not there I have planned:-

Meatballs and spaghetti (syn free)
Egg and slimming world chips (syn free)
Spinach and mushroom canelloni (syn free if you use the cheese as your healthy extra)
Cottage Pie and vegetables (syn free)
Roast chicken, potatoes and vegetables (syn free)
Homemade burger, wedges and chilli jam relish (syn free)
Singapore vermicelli (syn free)

The last dish on the list, singapore vermicelli is a first try from the Slimming World magazine July edition. Will let you know how we get on (Amy is cooking this one!) and if its a winner I'll blog it.

We're also giving sushi a go! I've been out and bought all the stuff for it, so Amy and I will have lots of fun (and maybe some swearing!!) Photo's may follow, depending on the results!

So there you go, the glass half full meal planner for this week. Don't forget to get over to At Home With Mrs M for some more inspiration