Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Today we booked another little trip during our trip back to England. We are going to stay in a cottage in the Yorkshire moors at a village called Goathland. It's a quaint little village where Heartbeat is filmed (an English show) but it's also where some of the Harry Potter movies were filmed. Goathland train station and the steam train was "Hogsmeade" How exiting!  We'll only be a few miles on the steam train from Whitby (where Bram Stoker wrote Dracula) and Robin Hood's Bay and Staithes - two breathtakingly beautiful seaside towns.
There's 17 weeks  to go before we set off, but it's hard to contain my excitement.

Goathland Station  (Hogsmeade) 
Robin Hood's Bay


Monday, March 30, 2015

46 Today!

I am 46 today, which is just bonkers. I still feel young, much younger than 46, but I think we all do. The older I get the more I have come to recognize that we are all just winging it.

This past weekend was low-key but I had a good time. Let me see: I drank too much wine, fell off a chair, went bowling, went to the cinema to see "Home" with friends & their kids, had 2 delicious margaritas with my neighbor friend, ate a fabulous roast dinner cooked by Craig, and watched The Walking Dead Season finale and nearly gave myself a heart attack. Somewhere in there I did a bit of housework, walked, and weighed in at Weight Watchers.

I got some marvelous presents - Craig got me Chanel No5 and the boys got me Bert's Bees lotion and a Yankee candle that smells of fresh cut grass and flowers. My mum and Craig's mum got me some lovely English things and my step-mum sent me some money so I can get something naughty (her words haha!).

Today I had 270 messages from people on Facebook. That made me feel so good.

Tonight Craig & Jack are at Scouts and Daniel just put on a laser show for me with glow sticks and his own made-up music. That was a treat. Now I'm contemplating whether to mess around on my computer with a glass of wine or work on the kitchen and get an early night. Those of you that know me already know the answer..

An expensive perfume does wonders for the soul

English things! Squeee!

Who is this impostor in my bowling lane?

Bowling. I am terrible at it, but had fun. 

Maureen - the bowling shark
A bunch of flowers from my mate, Maureen

Saturday, March 28, 2015

First B&A and a Cute Cat

This is my first "before & after" picture of the kitchen. The rest will come soon (Hopefully, since motivation has left the building).

Bench seat - Martha Stewart brand. Cheap chipboard, caving in, re-covered at least twice

New, bigger bench seat (thank you Craigslist), was black,  now the same colour as the walls. Solid wood and sturdy, with good storage and soft new cover. Love it. 
And the cat post has no relation to the kitchen, it's just that I love him and liked this picture a lot.
Bart is the dog's doodies.

Weight Loss Week 7

Weight lost this week: 5.4 lbs
Total weight lost: 18.4 lbs

I did cheat somewhat as I drank wine last night but I wasn't too dehydrated when I weighed in, I think. And I've walked LOADS this week, doing around 3 miles each day.  I signed up for a 5K this week too. Bring it!

The crazy thing is, my jeans fit exactly the same as they did 18 lbs ago, which is very weird. Where has all the lost fat come from then? Am I going to completely lose my boobs and still have a belly? That'll be attractive!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weight Loss Week 6 & Photo Dump

I gained a pound on Week 6, Gawdammit.   But that's what I get for drinking with my neighbor on a Thursday night and then my husband on a Friday night. Somewhere in-between there I also scoffed a lot of English cheese and a Kitkat. But I'm walking 2-4 miles every day and I did a 5k in 51 minutes which is my fastest time so far.  So I mustn't get disheartened. I've just got to keep going.

So much has happened this week. I want to post separately about some things but for right now I'm just going to share a few photos.

His bonkeyness

My mum made 62 of theses and we made $186 selling them for the boy's school. What a lovely thing she did. 

Chaos, just utter chaos. NEVER doing this again!

A Brit Expat party to celebrate spring!

Bart, always watching over Jack


Snow awful snow. Go away snow!

New Lancashire flat caps

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Weight Loss: Week 5

Weight: Heffelump
Weight loss this week: 2.8 lbs
Total weight lost: 14 lbs. ONE STONE!

I have lost a stone and I'm so happy about it. Craig has lost 29 lbs (don't you just hate men sometimes) and looks 10 years younger. He looks great. We are both feeling so much better and looking forward to spring and especially excited about losing more weight for the pool and our trip home.

Oh, and I got my aviators today :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

My Summer Wishes

I rarely buy anything new for myself. Clothes and shoes and bags come from thrift stores and I own far too many grey bras with knackered wires and threadbare knickers.  I am neglected.

Now I know I'm not unique in this way as Mothers all over the globe are doing the same, putting their kids first and totally neglecting themselves. We feel guilty if we have a pee in peace never mind spending money on ourselves. God forbid we do that.

So anyway, this is entirely whimsical and probably won't happen but I have a little wish list of things I'd like to get for ME this summer....
  • Some Chanel No 5 would be nice. Pity it's so expensive, but it's my birthday month so who knows. Maybe Craig will sell one of his kidneys and get me some.
  • Aviator sunglasses.  I've tried the big circular bog-eyed ones that have been all the fashion the last few years but I have a round face and round-on-round does nothing for a woman's look. Give me a pair of aviator glasses any day.
  • A new tattoo to cover up my old, hated one. I've said this for 3 years now and just need to get the damn thing done. I'd feel so much better about myself this summer if I wasn't walking around with a demented pixie on my back.
  • A swimsuit 3 sizes smaller than last summer

So there you are. I don't think this list is too obnoxious, it's very doable & I can make it happen. But will I?  It'll be interesting to come back here in Autumn and say whether I did or not.

Monday, March 09, 2015

OBGYN Calamity

My lovely Dr. Sarah
For 15 years I had the most amazing OBGYN doctor. She helped me during my pre-cancerous cell procedure and calmed me down when I cried after a bad result from a pap smear. She guided me through both pregnancies and delivered both of my boys, safe and sound. I thought of her more like a friend than a doctor and always enjoyed my visits to see her (yes, even though I was having the dreadful deed done).  I bet I never waited longer than 15 minutes to see her and she was always quick and friendly and super professional.When she told me last Autumn that she was closing her small practice because it was no longer sustainable I was heartbroken.

So I've dragged my feet on finding a new OBGYN, even though I know I need to keep up with regular checks (the ladies in my family have a history of ovarian cysts and lady-troubles so I need to be alert).  When I got a sharp nagging pain in my groin recently I bit the bullet and on the advice of a friend called another practice to make an appointment.

After filling out 10 pages of paperwork I sat in the waiting room for an hour. An HOUR. Then they called me back to his office. HIS office. Oh.My.God. I do not want a male doctor who looks like he's just walked off a cheesy soap opera. He had slicked back hair and a bright white Oscar-worthy smile and I nearly puked. My nether-regions are seen by (1) me, (2) Craig (3) a female doctor who looks like a Sarah and not a Britney, (4) my children and pets if they follow me into the bathroom to keep pestering me, which is often the case.

Anyway, after chatting with said doctor for 5 minutes and him telling me that the pain could not be attributed to cysts because my lady-parts are not in the groin area, he led me to the examination room and said "get yourself undressed and I'll be back in a few minutes". So I sat, with the white paper square across my lap on the exam table for another HOUR. I'm not kidding. By this point I'm furiously texting Craig and contemplating leaving the building, after I got dressed of course. Instead, I peeked out of the door, still with white paper clutched around my bare arse, and called out "hello?"   And then the doctor came around the corner, positively growled at me, grabbed my folder from a shelf and came into the room. He then barked at me "I'm sorry but I was seeing to a woman who had a miscarriage!" At this point I'm not sure what's worse - the fact that he just told me another woman's private business or the fact that he was quite content to leave me all day without sending a nurse to let me know what was going on. With over 2 hours invested already and a strong desire to just get it over with, I lay back and thought of England while he did his job. Afterwards he said "good luck" and left the room. No handshake, no kind words or follow-up plan. And no advice on the pain, which is getting worse by the day.

I have already found a new OBGYN, a woman who used to be Dr. Sarah's partner. So as soon as I get the results from numb-nuts I'll follow up with her. And I looked at a diagram of a woman's body and the pain I have is right where my ovaries are. What's the chances I find the only OBGYN doctor in the USA who doesn't know where a woman's damn ovaries are?

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Kitchen Update

My friends Gina and Matt had a baby last week so we went to meet her. Their oldest daughter and Danny got alone so well. I love how he's forming his own friendships with kids now.

On Saturday we went to a birthday party for one of Danny's school friends. he's a great kid but the party was at a lazer place and it was packed with people and my kids were whining for game tokens and kept running off and it was, well just awful. I wanted to sit in my car and cry. The kids loved it of course, but  I don't want to go to any more birthday parties. I just don't.

Progress on the kitchen is coming along and I can't wait to get it finished. Now that the snow is melting I'm already itching to get in the garden, so I must finish this job before then.

I need to find this cabinet emblem. The one we had snapped when we tried to screw it back on. Of course they aren't made anymore. so I'm trawling Ebay and thrift stores...

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Weight Loss: Week 4

Weight: Small elephant
Weight lost gained this week: 2.2 lbs
Total weight lost: 11.2 lbs

So I gained this week, but actually I don't think I did.  Let me explain.

Last Friday night I drank a LOT of wine and woke up Saturday morning so dehydrated I made a raisin look positively turgid. When I went to weight in  at 8.30am I had lost 4.8 lbs! Woohoo Then I went home and drank my body weight in water and didn't pee until later that day.

This week I have been really good and actually wore a pair of jeans that I haven't worn for years. But when I weighed in this morning I was thoroughly hydrated, hence the gain.  So really, I tried to cheat last Saturday morning and it bit me in the ass this week.

I am not demotivated or upset. I feel great. I know I'm losing weight and I'm as excited as ever to keep going.  But I did learn a lesson - no wine the night before weigh-in and no cheating!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

A Week of Starts & Finishes

It was a week of things that ended or got done.

Basketball is done for the year

Finished Elijah's quilt

The last big snow of the season?

A start! - both boys can now roller skate with confidence

Finally had wet enough snow to build a snowman

At Barry Manilow's Farewell Tour concert

Burrito Recipe

I'm tagging this fabulous  Burrito Recipe for future reference. They are so easy to make and my family devours them. I'm not sure why I even freeze them because they get eaten in a few days.

To make it a bit healthier this time, I switched out the ground beef for ground turkey, left out the enchilada sauce and skimped on the cheese  - but they are still DELISH!

February 1 Second a Day