Books, General

TBTB Secret Santa | Unboxing

Happy Sunday everybody! I’m sitting under a blanket in a big jumper. The tree is fully decorated next to the TV. Emma and I are enjoying The Holiday (which is one of the most underrated Christmas movies out there) and have decided to share all things #TBTBSanta this year. Last year, I fell in love with this awesome Christmas tradition and have been looking forward to it, well, all year and now as the secret is out of the bag and I have gifted and received my boxes, I can share them with the world.

Have you ever taken part in a secret santa? It’s a staple of most school yards and offices around the world, and is a great way to spread some Christmas cheer without breaking the bank. Simply put, everyone adds their names into a hat, picks someone out, and buys a gift just for them from ‘Santa’. It’s a great idea, but, do you know what’s better? The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa (TBTB Santa). Hosted by Jamie and Jana from The Broke and The Bookish, and The Artsy Reader Girl, the TBTB Secret Santa is a huge secret santa for the bookish blogging and online communities.

There are 3 levels to enter, and you fill out a long questionnaire that helps your Santa buy books and goodies for you.

a) 1 book and a small gift/candy
b) 1-2 books and a couple goodies
c) 2+ books and goodies

Once Jamie and Jana have collected all of the names, they’re split back out, and you have lots of fun patrolling the twitter tag, buying and wrapping gifts, and eagerly awaiting your parcel to arrive. Obviously, as someone who has taken part before, I dived right back in with option 3 and decided to go big and go home. It turned out to be a great decision! Continue reading “TBTB Secret Santa | Unboxing”

General

Small Business Love

Hello there lovely people, how are we all today? This post is going to be a little different from anything I have done before, and is something I have toyed with doing for a few weeks now. I think we all love getting incredibly thought through items, presents, and products, and if we can do that while supporting a small business then it means that much more. I wanted to share some of those businesses that I’ve discovered over the past few weeks and months, partly to bring them recognition, and partly to say a huge thank you!! So in the run up to Christmas, here are some shops I really like and think are awesome small businesses!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to write this, and have not received any free products/discounts in exchange for writing this post. These are my own thoughts and are based on my own experiences. Continue reading “Small Business Love”

Books, General

December: It’s a Wrap

It’s the last wrap post for all of the books I read in 2017. Can you believe this is It? I didn’t read that much in December overall really, due to family news, a holiday to London, and then the festive period, my concentration has been poor and my free time has been focused on other things. But that’s no excuse, my book of the year was finished this month!

Let’s get on with the show: Continue reading “December: It’s a Wrap”

General

Christmas Unwrapped

Happy New Year! I hope everyone doesn’t have too sore a head after last night, and that you all have a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. As New Year’s day is here, and we’re now a week away from Christmas 2017, and just 358 days from Christmas 2018, I thought it was high time that I unwrapped Christmas for all of you.

Christmas is always a time for family in our house. Since I’ve moved out of my parents house, I had been taking a couple of things round with me when I went round to put around the Christmas tree, before moving myself back into my old room for the festive period (I didn’t return home until late on 30th December!) This meant old traditions of making more than the specified amount of stuffing and also meant new traditions of having a takeway on Christmas Eve (Indian of course) followed by a quick trip to the local pub. It also meant going to bed on Christmas Eve knowing that family, and presents would be there on Christmas morning. Like always in our house, my Aunt and Uncle on my Dad’s side had travelled up from the Midlands, and my Gran was down near Oxford with my Aunt, Uncles, cousins, and dog. Continue reading “Christmas Unwrapped”

Fat Friday, General

Fat Friday: Week 13

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, dogs and cats…you get the idea. How are you? Have you had a good Christmas? We’ve had a quietish one this year. Well, no we haven’t, we’ve done a lot, but Christmas day itself was fairly calm and quiet and pleasant. I’m hopefully going to write a (longish) Christmas post this weekend before New Years Eve, so I won’t go into too much detail.

Fat Friday is a weekly blog post tracking my weight loss and fitness journey, used to keep myself accountable, keep a record of my progress, and share hints & tips that have helped me. To track my progress, or read my previous entries, click here.

Please join me, support me, and help me along my way as I am to improve my life for the better!


So, Christmas eh? A time for sharing, caring, and over indulging on nice food. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all lovely, but the last one is not exactly great news for a diet and fitness regime is it? I’ve really tried to be good(ish) about what I’ve been eating. I haven’t snacked (too) much, and I have tried to think about what I’m eating when it’s not for a main meal or event. I haven’t gone ridiculous and not enjoyed myself or my Christmas, but I have tried to at least think.

That said, we’ve done a lot. Of course there was Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and  Boxing Day to contend with, as well as my Mum’s birthday on the 28th, and our annual walk and dinner with my Aunt and Uncle. All of these are a bit of a blowout in our house. Christmas Eve was celebrated with an Indian Takeaway, which although lovely is never a healthy option. Christmas Day is, well, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day is leftover and ham joints in our house, so that wasn’t the healthiest day either. We went to a lovely fish restaurant in Liverpool for my mum’s birthday where I did order a healthy option, something that helped compensate for the cake at least. And then Bob and Marian’s, well, their spread is always lovely and yummy, with a huge choice for both main and dessert, so holding back is never an option.

When I have eaten unhealthily, and that has been quite often, I’ve tried to include any healthy bits in there with it, and I have really tried to enjoy and savour what I am eating. My Christmas Dinner plate, while very full, had a lot of vegetables (I promise the sweetcorn had peas underneath it too!) and I have been trying to cram as much health in with the crap. My family and friends even helped by reducing the amount of Chocolate and alike that was gifted. I got a really nice amount that left me with enough to enjoy without becoming weight increasing.

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Sadly, I haven’t got out and done any running or working out. I have walked quite a lot, whether it’s around the sales in town, too and from the football, or today on an actual walk to a park, but my foot has started hurting which has put me off doing anything more strenous. My Mum, who is a doctor, has said it is plantar fasciitis, I’m hoping it’s just being stuck on my butt eating too much really. Once Emma is back on the 2nd, I am planning on ramping up the amount I am working out again, and as soon as 2018 is here, I am going back on a strict Diet.

All of this sounds like I am pre-emptively making excuses for an absolutely horrendous weight gain, something that I was apprehensive about yet expecting. Well, it didn’t happen. I didn’t lose weight, obviously, but somehow I survived Christmas with no weight gain???!!!


WEIGHT: This week: 0lb Total: -19lb

EXERCISE: 0 Sessions, but quite a bit of walking

MOOD: Surprised

RECIPE/FOOD/SNACK of the week: Christmas Dinner

HINTS/TIPS of the week: (when looking at anything unhealthy) But It’s Christmas…


I feel like this week has been a loss, even though it hasn’t been. Not gaining weight is as good as a loss any other week of the year anyway. I feel like this was a good place to launch into the New Year. I’ve lost 19lbs since I started, which isn’t a small amount, yet have plateaued of late, which leaves something to work on going into the New Year. I’m 10 months out from Disney, which is when I want to be reaching my target size/weight/fitness level,so getting straight back into it will certainly help. I hope.

The next time we talk will be in 2018, so, I wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

General

Festive Favourites

A Very Merry Christmas. I hope Santa has been kind to you, and that your day has been full of festive fun, family, and happiness.

As it’s Christmas, and no-one wants a heavy post, I thought I’d put together a festive favourite post, full of all the little things I like about Christmas, from movies to songs, traditions to food.

Movies

Not all of the movies that are in this list are strictly Christmas films, but they are movies that I enjoy watching over the Christmas period:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I love Harry Potter, and the castle in the snow combined with the heartwarming scenes of Harry and Ron opening Christmas presents in the common room make this a Christmas must!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

There is a whole section of this film set on Christmas Eve, in the snow, at Godric’s Hollow. It’s so pretty and lovely.

Die Hard

The best Christmas movie. Simple.

The Christmas Prince

I watched this a week or so ago, and it is glorious in the best way. I then made my friend watch it less than a week later.

 

Food

Let’s be honest with each other, one of the best things about Christmas is the food. It’s just awesome.

Pigs in Blankets

I love bacon, and I like sausages, so this is just a heavenly package on a plate

Bacon and Mushroom Stuffing

The family stuffing recipe made predominantly from bacon, mushrooms and onions, is the best stuffing recipe in the world.

Leftover Christmas Lunch Sandwiches

The above stuffing on fresh bread with turkey. Yum Yum.

Advent Calendars

Nothing quite prepares you for Christmas than eating a chocolate hidden behind a small numbered door. I usually have a Dairy Milk one, but this year, I have a No.7 Make Up one and a Malteasers one with a pun behind each door too.

Songs

We all love it when Christmas songs play on the radio, and when a festive playlist accompanies the wrapping of presents. Here are some of my favourites:

Merry Christmas Everyone | Shakin’ Stevens

Fairytale of New York | Kirstie McColl and The Pogues

I Believe in Father Christmas | Greg Lake

Christmas Wrapping | The Waitresses

TV Episodes

I am a serial TV watcher, and love a great TV episode. There are some that I have watched over and over again, and there are some that aren’t as good, but here is a couple of the best:

The Best Chrismukkah Ever | The O.C (S1 E13)

The O.C. is possibly my favourite TV show ever, and this is just the greatest holiday that Seth Cohen (and I actually think just Adam Brody) gets excited about. The moment Ryan hangs his stocking on the mantle piece is so cute!

Forgiveness and Stuff | Gilmore Girls (S1 E10)

I think this is the first time I really really invested my time in Gilmore Girls and just loved it.

The One With The Holiday Armadillo | Friends (S7 E10)

I mean, a Friends Classic. Who doesn’t love a Holiday Armadillo and Santa with a belly like a bowl full of jelly.

Queen of Sheba | The Royale Family (2006 Christmas Special)

This was clever, emotional, and funny, such a underrated Christmas special.

Traditions

We all have little traditions that our families observe that we enjoy. To be honest, our family don’t have that many that still go on now as we’re adults, but there are still a couple that I enjoy.

Two Christmas Trees

Dad has a real tree in the front room. Mum has an artificial tree in the dining room. It’s just how we roll.

Christmas Sack

I have a Christmas sack, in which i still like to receive my presents even though I am 26, and every year hope that it will be full. It pretty much was this year.

Making the stuffing

Making the stuffing is a Christmas Eve tradition. And not just making a little bit, enough to go in the turkey and for at least one loaf tin’s worth too! We like stuffing, what can I say!


We’ve had an enjoyable day so far, and hope to have an enjoyable evening.

Books, General

TBTB Secret Santa | Unboxing

Have you ever taken part in a secret santa? It’s a staple of most school yards and offices around the world, and is a great way to spread some Christmas cheer without breaking the bank. Simply put, everyone adds their names into a hat, picks someone out, and buys a gift just for them from ‘Santa’. It’s a great idea, but, do you know what’s better? The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa (TBTB Santa). Hosted by Jamie from The Broke and The Bookish, the TBTB Secret Santa is a huge secret santa for the bookish blogging and online communities.

There are 3 levels to enter, and you fill out a long questionnaire that helps your Santa buy books and goodies for you.

a) 1 book and a small gift/candy
b) 1-2 books and a couple goodies
c) 2+ books and goodies

Once Jamie has collected all of the names, they’re split back out, and you have lots of fun patrolling the twitter tag, buying and wrapping gifts, and eagerly awaiting your parcel to arrive. Obviously, as someone who has never taken part, I dived right in with option 3 and decided to go big and go home. It turned out to be a great decision! Continue reading “TBTB Secret Santa | Unboxing”