Monday 23 January 2017

Good start

After 2 weeks back on the WW regime I've already lost 2.1kg (about 4.5 lbs) 😊 That's like a big bag of potatoes!! I know the weight comes off easily at the start so I'm realistic about my long term goal.  But it was a nice start to my week 😊

Sunday 22 January 2017

Meal prep

For some reason this picture makes me incredibly happy which is actually quite sad! I wish other parts of my life were as neatly lined up!!

I spent a few hours yesterday doing some meal prep.  This is my second fridge and it's got (almost) all my meals for next week in there. Some will go in the freezer later today. I've got 4 mugs of Spicy Carrot soup (lunches), 4 slices of Turkey Meatloaf , 3 portions of Veg Curry and 3 portions of the Turkey Chilli Con Carne.  And all have the WW points marked on them 😊 so I don't need to think about what's for eating when I get in from work.

So far after 1 week I've lost 1.5kg (about 3lbs) and tomorrow is weigh in day so fingers crossed for a wee bit more lost.

I'm really enjoying trying out some new recipes and so far OH is enjoying them too (although he thought the veg curry would be nicer with chicken!!) He just has more potatoes/rice/pasta than me and he's full up.  I've found a few good websites for inspiration, I'm also using the WW magazine and I've pre ordered Oprah's new cookbook. It's good to have my cooking mojo back!

Sunday 15 January 2017

It's all about the planning

I've spent most of last week and this weekend fighting off a nasty vomiting and diarrhoea bug that's swept my class.  I haven't had a full set of kids all week.  I think my daily multivitamin has helped my immune system fight it off although I've spent days feeling nauseous but never actually sick.  OH was away for work all week so I've spent a lot of time planning.  Above is my work planning folder.  My termly meeting with the Head is next week so need to have it finished soon.

And since the seed companies are starting to send out their catalogues I'm planning my garden.  Sarah Raven has a 20% off code.  Well it would be rude not to 😉 I've used her seeds for the last few years.  Good quality and unused seeds keep well for use the following year.

And of course there's meal planning.  I'm back on the WeightWatchers plan.  It works for me when I stick to it.  Last year I lost 6kg.  I've put some of it back on 😞 but I'm starting afresh.  I treated myself to the WW magazine.  It came with a wee book of winter comfort food recipes.  Here's my first recipe! Turkey Chilli Con Carne.  It tastes amazing and there was plenty for 5 generous portions (the recipe said 4!) I had it with cauliflower.  Really good and only 6 SmartPoints!!!

We've booked our summer holiday so I have a target.  Bring it on! 🌊🌞

Thursday 5 January 2017


I survived my first yoga class.  In fact it was my first ever exercise class!  I've never really been interested in taking classes, much preferring to do my own thing by myself.  So I was a little apprehensive going in.

As I opened the studio door the overpowering smell of incense hit me and I could hear loud chanting music.  I'll be honest, my heart sank a wee bit at the stereotype.  But luckily the teacher was friendly and welcoming as were the other 6 students (5 didn't turn up so New Year resolution fail on their part!) There was only one other total beginner like me but most of the others were just starting their 'yoga journey.' 

The hour passed really quickly.  I'm reasonably flexible and reasonably fit but it was challenging.  I have tight hip joints and couldn't sit in the lotus pose at all.  So that's this week's homework!!  But the main reason for going was to give me something away from the house that was just for me.  It was relaxing and I did switch off for those 60 minutes.  And I slept well too!

Then it was back to work this morning.  Don't know if the kids were more shell shocked than I was at the early start again!  I'm a bit stiff and sore today so I'm glad tomorrow's Friday.   It's a nice easy way to start back after the break.  Next week the hard work begins!

Wednesday 4 January 2017

My 2017 plan

During this holiday I've spent a lot of time thinking and writing about 'stuff,' mainly about how I can get organised and make quality time for myself.  This is a hugely condensed summary of that thinking so you won't have to wade through my stream of conscious ramblings.  I do find writing/drawing helps me focus on the issues especially if I use the mind mapping technique.  So here goes.  This is how I'm going to make 2017 work for me.

This time last year my main focus was on getting a permanent teaching post.  I worked really hard towards that goal and secured a post in a local school teaching early years.  I knew it would be tough leaving the school I'd been in for a few years and starting over but I completely underestimated how challenging it would be.  My new colleagues are nice enough but not as friendly and supportive as the ones I'd left behind.  I have more children in this class and the parental support isn't great. These things I cannot change.  But it's a permanent post.  I have financial security.  So I'm going to focus on that positive and work smarter at managing the time I spend on work stuff.

This was a tough one.  It's true what they say about finding out who your real friends are when the shit hits the fan.  I hadn't realised over the period of my marriage that 'my' friends were actually joint friends we'd made over the years mostly connected with running and ultra running circles. I had a circle of close friends who I had supported through some really tough shit over the years. How many of them keep in touch now?  None.  I've tried to meet up with a few over the last couple of years and every single time they've stalled/cancelled/ghosted me.  What hurts is that I know they're still socialising etc with my ex.  So yeah, I'm keeping that circle really small! And I'll make more effort to see my real ones.

Stuff! Oh yeah, there's a lot of stuff in my wee house.  I keep telling myself if I could just get it organised then it'll be ok.  I've worked out that I have 2 areas of major clutter.  And by that I mean a whole room you can't actually walk round and several cupboards that are so full you need to wear a crash helmet when opening them.  One area is the boxes and furniture that hasn't been used/moved from moving house THREE years ago. The other is my teaching stuff from my old school.  My new classroom has little storage.  Solutions?

Sort/donate/toss the furniture and boxes from my old house.  If I haven't needed them in 3 years then I don't need them.  That's a simple one.

The other one is a bit trickier. First I'm planning to ask my headteacher if I can get rid of the washing machine, cooker and fridge from my classroom (it used to be the nursery).  Then I can use that space creatively to store my teaching materials. Of course the easiest answer is to stop buying school supplies with my own money (and I'm going to try!) but frankly what the school provides is very basic and most teachers buy stuff to give their kids better experiences for learning.  I hope I can get this one resolved soon.

I've also cleaned out my storecupboard.  I was ruthless with opened packets and out of date dried goods.  I'll happily eat things past their date but some of it was 3 and 4 years past it!!  It's not a great photo but everything is now in glass storage jars so I can see what I've got.  Like most people I'm trying live/eat more healthily and now I can see what's in there.

I still go to the gym 3 times a week with OH (ok he drags me reluctantly!) but I've also signed up for a beginner's course in yoga.  That starts tonight and I'm really looking forward to it.  I'm hoping it will help me to relax and switch off from work.

So there you have it.  My sort of plan for this year.  I'm going to declutter my house.  I'm going to work smarter at school and focus on the positive.  I'm going to plan to eat and exercise better.  I'm making more time for myself to switch off from work.  It's not rocket science but I really must put some extra effort into it this year.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

The 3 Rs


Happy new year!  Did you have a lovely Christmas?  I did.  For the first time since I returned to teaching I wasn't ill over the holidays 🙌 However, I have been very lazy and have taken time to just chill.  I was mentally and physically exhausted and really needed to re charge my batteries and just spend some time to relax, reflect and recuperate.

I did some knitting.  I finished a pair of socks.  I added more squares to my sock blanket. It now has 120 squares stitched together 😊

I ate lots of leftovers.  Not a scrap of food was wasted.  We had various stir fry combinations of turkey/veggies/stuffing/pigs in blankets.  I made a few batches of soup with leftover veggies and the turkey carcass.

Or sometimes I had just the veggies on their own with a spoonful of Cranberry Chutney.

I made a batch to give as presents

I also made some caramel

This was definitely the laziest preserve I've ever made.  Fill clean jars with condensed milk, cover with hot water  and leave in slowcooker overnight on low.  Instant caramel sauce to serve with ice cream, bananas or just straight from the jar. Lovely!

ETA Recipe in the comments as I couldn't get it to copy and paste properly!!

To counteract all the eating we did lots of walking in the cold freezing rain!! Here's the view from the Ochils over Stirling.  That's the Wallace Monument below us in the distance.

I still have one more day left before school returns.  I'm done relaxing and recuperating.  Now I need to plan and act on my reflecting.  I'll share that tomorrow.