Fearne’s Spelt and Goji Berry Loaf..

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Yes, we ate too much chocolate over Easter…..we never mean to, but we always do it…

Most pleased to say that I have plunged straight back into the healthy eating cook books….

Now my goji berry loaf did have an absence of goji berries just because I don’t have any and it’s quite a drive to our nearest supermarket who might or might not have them….So, I just put in a little extra pumpkin seeds and a little extra chopped apricots…

Yay, I have my baking hat back on again, full steam ahead….

This one is from:

Cook Happy, Cook Healthy  Fearne Cotton.  Very pleased with this book, it has been well used.

If you are just interested in the recipe…already too many cookery books on the shelf?  You will find it here!

Today the sky is blue….I have loads to do…. enjoy your day! Yes,….you!

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Geri xxx

I’d Rather Be Dancing Barefoot in the Grass..

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I have tried almost every fad diet available…..all of them, cabbage soup, eggs, slimming potions instead of meals…..when it come down to it the best diet for me is plain old common sense.  Keep the sugar low, keep the fat low….but stop obsessing about food…  When I am dieting I turn into a mad eating freak….I constantly dream about chocolate, about cake and end up starting the diet “tomorrow” and eating all of today…

Now I keep my diet ROUGHLY based around the Slimming World plan as it covers all the nutrients you should be getting to stay healthy….Click on the picture above to read the Daily Mail article on Iris Higgins, a former Jenny Craig consultant who publicly apologised for wronging her clients with unhealthy advice…. It’s not about how heavy or big you are, it’s about how healthy you are….eat fast food, but rarely….eat cake….I make or buy cake once a week and slowly it’s becoming rare for me to want to eat the whole thing at once…. Cut down on processed foods and eat loads of natural foods, fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts….add flavour, cook in coconut oil and use spices…..bland food will not keep you coming back for more….use mustard, olive oil, honey, lemon and garlic to coat your chicken or as a salad dressing….make it exciting….learn new recipes….

Soon fried chicken and burgers will become a distant memory….

Drink loads of water!!!  My HydrateM8 water bottle has helped me with this!

Too much to change at once?  Start by upping your water intake and then when that becomes a habit add the next change….

Listen to your body….it’s not always asking for biscuits and crisps….(ooooh I did love crisps AND I still do, just not as often…..or I make my own with vegetable peelings baked in coconut oil…yum!)….

Parsnip peeling crisps, my favourite!!

So, if you are on a diet and you love it and it suits you don’t change a thing….but if you are trying to stay on a diet but finding it hard….just give it a break and make a few little common sense changes and be gentle on yourself…. fling off your flip flops and go dance in the grass!!!

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Geri xxx

Whatever Soothes Your Soul..

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I know I go on and on about it, but it is so important to strive not to be perfect, but to love yourself just as you are, right now, right at this very minute…

I try to exercise and eat properly because my thighs are too flabby and my tummy never really recovered after pregnancy and an emergency C section….but to be fair, I  used to try and exercise and eat properly before this, because I was unhappy with my flabby tummy and thighs.. looking back at pictures I realise that they were pretty damn good back then, I just didn’t appreciate it….

Let us not worry about the bodies of others we wish we could have…some things are just not meant to be….Love what you have, don’t listen to haters and bullies and if you want to improve it, just get on and do it….(remember if you are 5 feet tall you will never be 6 feet tall, so go for the achievable…)

But do remember that soul of yours does need soothing, sometimes you should stay in those pyjamas and sometimes you should eat the cake….spend a whole day watching TV with the curtains closed…it’s called balance though guys, don’t do this each and every day…

I find I feel better when I do stuff…..not when I am starving myself on a lettuce diet and not when I am exercising 2 hours a day…. I feel better when I make a list of things to do and I start crossing those things off and at the end of the day I have been so busy that I haven’t eaten as many calories and I have burned more energy and I haven’t even realised it….

Yes, I am larger than I was in my twenties but I am much healthier…..the damn peri -menopause has stolen my waistline….but I have no awful illnesses and I am still here….I appreciate each and every minute whilst thinking about the beautiful friends I have had along the way who are no longer with us….they should have been given the chance of a growing waistline and ever increasing chin hairs, a weak bladder and failing eyesight….so yes, I take all of this and celebrate every one of my so called failings….

So, my lovelies….think about your very own soul today and do some soothing….you deserve it!

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Geri xxx

A Little Progress Each Day..

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Just a little reminder to myself today…..the list may be long but it is achievable….Sometimes that list is so long you forget to even start it because it’s so daunting….

However, today, I vow to start at the very beginning and work through it step by step….

Don’t sit here at your phone or your computer any longer than necessary today….make that list and do it!

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Geri xxx

Five Star Holiday Reading….

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As promised here are my 5 star holiday reading books…..

A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon

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Letters from the only man she’s ever truly loved.
A keepsake of the father she never really knew.
A blue glass vase that catches the light on a grey day.
Gina Bellamy is starting again, after a few years she’d rather forget. But the belongings she’s treasured for so long don’t seem to fit who she is now.
So Gina makes a resolution. She’ll keep just a hundred special items – the rest can go.
But that means coming to terms with her past and learning to embrace the future, whatever it might bring . . .

Very cleverly written, a sweet story line but including subjects we would sometimes rather not contemplate….brilliantly fits in with my current decluttering process….I am inspired…..

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

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What happened to the girl you left behind?

France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie’s portrait – painted by Edouard – a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision.

Almost a century later, and Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting’s true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv’s life upside down all over again . . .

In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for what they love most – whatever the cost.

I started this one having not read the blurb….just because I am a new Jojo Moyes fan….I started it and realised it was 1916 and almost stopped because I didn’t think it would be for me…..Pretty glad I carried on because in Part 2 we leap forward about one hundred years and the links and intertwined stories are fascinating…. Absolutely brilliant! Highly recommended for your holiday reading…..

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Geri xxx

Luxury Need Not Have a Price..

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Definition of luxury…..”a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense”.

The important part here is “great expense”…..this means different things to each and every one of us….  I watched five minutes of a programme about the shop Asprey and had to switch it off….spending over a million pounds on a ring which you will likely be afraid to wear out or thousands of pounds on a handbag is for me beyond great expense and frankly quite silly but I am aware that I most likely buy things that others look on in the same way….what you are willing to pay for an item is personal….some do it to impress others…..this is not luxury…..Some do it because it’s something that will make them feel good, it’s something they have always dreamed of having….that is luxury….

“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury” Coco Chanel..

Some more mindful luxuries….

Get real whipped cream and proper good chocolate to grate on your hot chocolate….enjoy it….

It’s all about transforming simple pleasures into complete bliss….

Buy a really good perfume, not lots of cheap ones…it will last ages and you will feel good whenever you use it…

Treat yourself to cotton pyjamas, nothing synthetic, spray on that perfume and drink the hot chocolate….

Buy some beautiful buttons and spend a day taking off the cheap plastic buttons on your favourite clothing and replace them….

Go get a massage or a facial and have a gossip at the beauty shop…

Do you have an outfit or jewellery or shoes saved for a special occasion….don’t do that….wear them now, whenever you want to wear them, every day alive is a special occasion….enjoy it to the full….

Buy the one expensive painting you love and get rid of all the ones you don’t love….gaze at it and get enjoyment from it daily….

Make cake!! Relish licking out the bowl…..Eat cake!!!

Go to the beach and just sit there and do nothing….

Find your luxury today and enjoy…..

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Geri 🙂 xxx

Fuerteventura…bliss…sun…sea…peace and quiet..

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We have been away for a week! One whole blissful week of relaxation! Lots of five star book reading….good food, blue skies, warm breezes and no work….no cold warehouse….it really does make working hard very worthwhile…

We jetted off to Fuerteventura and using Air BnB discovered a beautiful little apartment with it’s own terrace overlooking absolutely miles of stunning nothingness…..if you keep on scrolling to the bottom you will find a link if it looks like a place you might like… it’s just outside of La Pared on the south west of the island.

We arrived, sat on this terrace and just took some time to breath….to do nothing….to listen to the silence….if you like hustle and bustle and bars this is not the place for you, but as anti social as we have become, it was perfect for us…

Five minutes down the road you can see across the picture above we found this…

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There were two other people on this beach….it’s not a beach for swimming, the sea is pretty fierce but it was very beautiful….we don’t recommend taking your every day vehicle down this track, Christopher had to do some pretty impressive reversing to bring us back up when we got to rough track….

Costa Calma however is only about 10 minutes drive, the beach in March/April is quiet, the sea is great for a swim, the sand is reminiscent of our favourite Cornish beaches and it’s amazingly clean and litter free…

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If you love simple fish dishes take yourself to Bahia La Pared just on the outskirts of La Pared, it’s an amazing view to gaze at whilst eating and the fish we had was good and very plentiful….

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La Pared is the place to visit for a fantastic surfing beach…..always check conditions though, it’s not always safe…Chris managed his first surf in ages here and was massively pleased…. surfboard hired hassle free with a great atmosphere from Wave Guru.. friendly guys with spot on advice on when to go in….

If you prefer more people, more eateries and more action head down to Morro Jable which is as far as you can go with a normal vehicle….(jeep for us next time!) an absolutely stunning beach, busy but not too busy, sea front restaurants, again fabulous food….

Another beautiful beach is Playa de Sotovento on the south east coast just a little further on than Costa Calma…it’s 5km long with some good surf sections, windsurfing and kite boarding championships take place here every year….guess who has already booked windsurfing lessons so that he can have a go when we go back….

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In the south of the island it’s pretty difficult to get lost if you have a hire car, it’s amazingly straightforward and dealing with this amount of traffic is no hardship….

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Another lovely spot to try is Ajuy, further up the coast from La Pared….again great food and a walk along the coast amongst the caves…it’s a remote fishing village where you can normally enter the caves and take a look at the old lime kilns…on our visit we found police tape across the entrance to the steps leading down to this….no idea as to the background story, but we are old and sensible…decided not to limbo and take a chance….

Alas our last day arrived…..a visit to Gran Tarajal… apparently one of the largest towns on the island….still amazingly peaceful and quiet with a lovely harbour and a beautiful huge beach….great for swimming….not particularly touristy which makes it even more special….. with clear and extremely clear waters…

You will find details of El Cobijo, our accomodation here well recommended by us….Fabian and Jessy were lovely and made us feel very welcome, they live upstairs and are on hand if you need them….if you don’t need them they leave you to your own peace and quiet….they have three cats, Sunny the cute youngster with one eye…rescued by Jess from the streets and brought back to health was very entertaining…. she fell in love with Chris, then tried to kill his rash vest, tried to climb posts, left us lizards tails (if you hate lizards don’t worry there were very few), killed some flies for us and liked a cuddle….there are two dogs….Luna the little white Maltese, such a cutie and usually in residence and a family visiting fluffy dog which enjoyed having staring competitions with Chris….fluffy dog usually won….it woofed at him once and made him jump….you would think it was a Rottweiler….

Everything we needed was available at the accommodation…..the only thing personally for us to be sure of next time is insect repellent sun lotion….only in the last couple of days the insects decided to feast on me….it’s not attractive….

We certainly had a brilliant and relaxing time, exactly what we wanted….lots of reading…reviews coming soon ,there were some brilliant ones!  Just chilling and walking and surfing and reading and eating….what more could you need….

We loved it here so much that we are about to work really really hard for a few months and go back for another week in October…..

Massive thanks to Mumsie and Pops who stepped in and did cats, teenager and house sitting…..it takes a brave individual….Mumsie did say out loud that she would do it anytime….best give her a call about her October diary…..

And now it’s the weekend already…..will shortly be throwing on my pink overalls and helping Chris operate on Ethel….exhaust and some other metal bar I forget the name of….

Happy Days…

Geri xxx