Sunday, 27 November 2016

Tips For Winter Blues


I love this picture.

I took in June when my hubby and I were walking around the fields down near a cottage we were renting in Cornwall.  The weather was delightful, the neighbours (some cows and their calves were gorgeous) -  it was beautiful and idyllic.  Now winter is coming as they say in Game of Thrones.  Darn right it is - did you see the rain we had!?  And it's also been bitter cold.  I love the great out doors and all she has to offer, but wow wee when it rains and gets cold - it really does.

Now that winter is almost here, the winter blues will be setting in for some.  You just want to grab a hot drink and a blanket and become a hedgehog (let hibernate commence).  This autumn / winter I am determined to not get dragged down and stay active as possible.  Here are some of my tips to be a success.

// Make a date
If I don't have a plan when it comes to working out, it will always go pear shaped.  However to beat this I have been making dates to see Jim - my little friend.  Dates in my diary - commitments.  Two to three times during the week seems to be working out for me at the moment.  I got into a nice little groove where on Wednesday I have little boxing session all by myself in the work out studio.  It's such a shame that gym is closing.

// Get outside 
I am quite fortunate to have lots of green space and parks in my area.  Getting outside is really important to me, as it's good for mind, body and soul.  I love walking my cousins dog on the weekend at our local country park.  It does us both good - I'm not sure who walks who?  You can go a little mad trapped in doors for the entirety of winter but if it is sunny - get outside and catch some vitamin D.

// Join a club or group
Whilst most people are enjoying a lay in, my cousin recently encouraged me to attend a Saturday AM fit club with her.  She was already attending herself and she twisted my arm to pop along to the free class.  I think this is great as once I'm booked in (you have to book a space) it is basically a sealed deal for me.  It's also a great way to socialise with like minded people.  Thumbs up indeed! I've also noticed local classes advertised in my area for example, hot yoga classes, running clubs.  Have a look around, you'll be surprised.

// A space at home
I currently have an array of fitness goodies scattered around my living room.  Sorry hubby. I know this option will not be everyone's cup of tea, especially if you lack in space and equipment.  Realistically you do not need much to get fit, your own body weight will do.  I didn't buy all my at home work out equipment all in one go, I've accumulated pieces over time.  For starters I suggest a good floor mat and a set of dumbbells just to get you started.  Perhaps even a skipping rope, as that's a bit of a cardio work out right there!

 // DVDs &YouTube
Got a TV and a TV license?  Great.  You're half way there when it comes to this next tip.  Some fitness DVDs can be a real bore, however some can really be great and make you feel like an exercising fitness machine!  Oh yeah πŸ’ͺ  YouTube is also a great door way to anything you want.  Want yoga - got it.  Want HIIT - got it.  It's got everything - all you need to do is search for it. 

How are you beating the winter blues this year?  Whats your tips?  Happy Sunday everyone.

Angela
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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Balance



After the gym the other night I had wine.

Wine not I thought... hahah 😭  Sorry a tad lame, but please don't judge me.  When I got home I did have a good dinner of oven baked chicken breast with yummy selection on vegetables.  I then reached for one of my mini bottle of white wine.  I don't do this all the time - probably once a month if that, so hardly an addiction to be concerned about. Tonight I thought what the hell - I had basically earned it at the gym.

I don't like the terms good, bad, naughty treats, however I always find myself saying it.  I try to reframe from calling this a 'naughty treat' because it really is not.  It's called balance.  I went to the gym, I boxed, I swang kettle bells and medicine balls around - I worked hard and sweated so much I looked like I'd been the shower.  My reward is a little glass of wine.

I do not reward myself all the time as I don't want it to become a habit. I will only do so when I feel like I want to.  If it's not wine then I might have two pieces of dark chocolate or a yogurt with a sprinkle of my home made granola on it.  I try to vary it and make it not be a massive amount of calories I'm consuming.   Don't want to undo all the hard work do I? πŸ™‚

What little indulgence do you like to have?

Angela x
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Monday, 21 November 2016

The Gym Vs At Home Working Out


On Friday I was given the sad new my precious gym (aka Jim) was closing down.  The site where my gym is located is being sold to another gym, so I would no longer be able to attend which is quite annoying as it was handily is right on my works door step.  I’ve only just got back in to attending regularly, so as you can imagine to get the news I have to say goodbye made me say an out loud ohhhhhh.  

Good news I'm being moved to another site (still figuring that all out), but it got me thinking.  Do you really need a gym membership??  I wanted to compare the gym with working out at home, which I have been doing - when I remember to!

[GYM] 

// Price

It is well known that gym memberships are not exactly cheap.  Some soar so high you kind of expect for the price tag that the equipment to be made out of solid gold. Before signing on the dotted line... do your research.  Search for different gyms -  there might perhaps be a not so known gym on your door step for quarter the price.  Also does your employer have corporate membership?  Ask your HR department.  Plus when you find gyms,  see what they offer.  Check out the class lists if they have a pool, sauna, spa treatments... you might be surprised.  Most gyms make you sign up for one year... so research is very important.

// Personal Trainers

Need advice to get your summer body...  gyms have PT's to show you the way.  They can be pricey however and make sure they are qualified, as there are some people out there who like to think they know everything when know they sh*t.  They should be on the registered personal trainers list. A legit trainer will take the time to get to know your needs and wants plus they will assess your weight, fat percentage and BMI. If you do invest, try seeing them twice a week for one hour sessions if you can.

// Tonnes of Equipment

Yes there is VIPRs, bosu balls, mats, spin bikes, kettle bells, treadmills everywhere you look however there are also other people you have to share them with.  At peak times you may have to line up to use the treadmill which can be frustrating.  Early morning workouts are best and Friday evenings (most people hit the pub on Friday).  I found the worst times Monday evening, lunch time and weekly between 5.30pm - 7.00pm can be a little more frantic.

// Classes
Most gyms have a mixture of classes on location.  Spin, LBT (Legs Bums Tums)  boxing, yoga to name a few.  Most are included in your membership fees but there are some that are not.  Reception desk staff at the gym will have all the information for you.  Also for well loved classes you may have to book your spot in advance.

[HOME]

// It's Free

The most positive point about working out at home is the money.  You do not have to pay for it as your doing it in your own home. Hipeeee.

// Space

This can be an issue depending on your situation.  Unfortunately I don't have a garage, basement or a spare room to call my at home gym space.  If I do a dvd it's in the middle of the living room.  This could obviously be a problem if you flat share with 3 mates!!  I also don't have large equipment at home due to this which is fine.  I just have a little spot in the living room where all my dumbells and kettle bells live which is fine.

// Get Outside

I have the privilege where I live to be on the suburbs of London town but be surrounded by green space.  Country parks are perfect for running and cycling but also seeing what nature has to offer.  I much prefer this than being stuck on a treadmill.   The other night whilst running I had the honour of seeing a barn owl fly right in front of me.  Most parks have running clubs which you can join for free or for a small fee.  I have also noticed in my park near me they have monkey bars and other various gym like equipment dotted around.  I also ride my  bike around the parks plus feed the ducks... Everyone is a winner!

// Equipment 

I've always done working out at home so over the years I have managed to get myself a collection of dumbells, a decent matt, kettle bells, dvd's... skipping rope to name a few bits and bobs I own.  If you're new to working out at home don't go crazy buying tonnes of things all at once.  Just buy one of each then build up the collection... Amazon, Sports Direct, Argos, Decathlon and even the supermarket have decent work out equipment.  Plus shop around... something I always recommend.  Do not buy big equipment If you have lack of space too!

// Enthusiasm

This is the hardest part of working out at home -  having the enthusiasm to actually do so.   It is very easy to say I'll do it later or maybe tomorrow.  You need to keep to a schedule and make the time and effort.  Try a morning workout as you'll get it over and done with plus you'll more than likely be good after wards.

// Distraction 

Being focused is key and to keep to your routine - make a plan or list of goals.  Set a time for you time.  The house work will always keep till later!!!

That's it folks and now the question is ... which do you prefer - working out at home or in the gym??

Enjoy!

Angela
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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Let's talk breasts!



Boobies, boobs, jugs, melons - ladies breasts have many names don't they?  Whether yours are the size of pancakes or as big as mountains (Thanks Shakira - legend) our boobs need love and support – literally!  If there is one thing that really makes me cringe is seeing lady joggers whilst I'm driving my car. They are jogging along with their bouncing boobies alongside with them. It makes me want to roll the window down and scream 'SPORTS BRA!!!!'.  I can almost hear their boobies say 'ouch, ouch, ouch' every step they take.  It almost makes me cry when I see ladies abusing their boobies. 

Breast tissue is really something we have to take care of.  Unlike other body tissues, breast once stretched too far will not bounce back.  It really doesn't matter if you're big or small gravity does not discriminate.  Gravity is against many of us and will naturally pull our breast tissue downwards.  Sad but true.  

I'm going to do everything in my power to keep my little friends in tip top condition.  The bra I have shown above is my new one I picked up from M&S - link HERE.  It's the Extra High impact with front zip opening and it goes up to a G cup (I'm a 36E I case you're wondering).  It doesn't keep my puppies rock solid, but the bra does limit the movement far better than not wearing anything.  It doesn't have a big price tag either, only £25.  M&S do quite a good range of different bras, so if you want less support the option is there.


What is your favourite sports bra?  What brands do you love.  Come on share the love... x

Angela
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Monday, 14 November 2016

Life 'Weight Loss' Update


Happy Monday everyone, did you catch my latest video about my Slimming World and life update which I uploaded last night? I’m sorry it’s been a while since I showed my face there.  In the video I chat to you guys about my journey and I covered a lot in that video (click HERE for the video), however I thought I would write a few words about it here.

I have always struggled with losing weight, most things in life I can deal with but watching the numbers on the scales not drop is frustrating. All around me I feel like I have a good support network which is brilliant.  But it seems my lard is a firm friend and doesn't wish to leave my side.  I have always encouraged Slimming World as a good thing and I still do.  I have myself had amazing results and I've seen amazing results from friends who chose the SW path.  They went and have succeeded and left me behind in a trail of dust and it upsets me and makes me question it all.  It's no doubt jealousy, but you cannot blame me for feeling a little green eyed monster.  They are getting what I want and I don't understand why I find it so difficult.  Is there something wrong with me?

I am currently struggling with my Slimming World routine, as I find some aspects of it annoying - one word avocados.  They are not a big deal really, but I do love them and I'm still baffled as to why they are classed as bad.  I am also finding it a struggle with the low fat life, not because I love fats, but for the conflicting information that low fats is in fact higher in sugars.  Which is right; a low fat yogurt or a full fat protein rich one?  Answers please.

As for Slimming World I am going to keep at it, but I will just put my own spin on it. My new friend will be My Fitness Pal and I will attempt to track as much as possible.  I'm going to turn this mission impossible to a good ending.   I did set myself the goal of 9lbs by Christmas Eve, but I think that ship has sailed far away.  I'm sorry if my little life update is not to everyones fancy.  I seem to have already lost some YouTube followers since I made my video live, which is a shame.  But I have to be honest.  Why lie and I'm only kidding myself otherwise.

Laters slimming friends!

Angela
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Friday, 11 November 2016

Syn Check


The following story is a true story and I'm about to share with you a lesson I learnt from it.  

Once upon a time a girl was feeling naughty, that girl being me.  My hubby is the time of guy who can eat whatever he likes and still remain nice and trim - b*****d!  We went for a lunch time date, we didn't want anything big like a meal out - so we decided to go to a coffee shop.

I never really go to coffee shops too often, as I know they are not the most healthiest places.  I mean who knew you could chose skinny milk if you wanted - I have clearly been living under a rock!  I ordered a hot chocolate thinking I was being good, by not having the whipped cream and marshmallows (this was me being naughty but good).  However then out came the next sentence...

...can I also have a bakewell tart please?

I blame the Great British Bake Off for that, but before I knew it I'd paid for our drinks and snacks and we were sitting down having a nice time.  I drank, I ate - I was happy... then I go get my Slimming World app out and learnt the reality of my decisions.  20.5 syns for a bakewell tart!  God I nearly died and wanted to cry.  I couldn't change what I'd done, the bakewell was now having a party with my stomach acids and part of me wished I could make myself sick.  I was thinking extreme measures, but what was done was done.

If I could have my time again, I would forward plan and check the app first instead of after.  It's good to be spontaneous and do what makes you happy, but looking back I could of had nearly three hot chocolates instead of one bakewell.  Yuck.

I guess what I'm trying to say is think before you eat.  As I said I don't adventure into coffee shops much and I honestly didn't know what to expect.  I have a sweet tooth and seeing the treats just over loaded my will power till it ceased to exist.  I think next time I will let my hubby do the ordering and sit at the table away from the sweet stuff.  I might not like it at the time, but I'll end up thanking myself later on for staying away from the temptation.

The end.

Angela
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Monday, 7 November 2016

Smoothie. In A Bowl?


I keep seeing the whole concept of a smoothie in a bowl everywhere on the internet.  I've never really been that bothered to giving it a go, as to be honest I thought it sounded a bit weird.  I mean who really wants to eat a smoothie with a spoon - I'm a straw kinda girl if you get what mean.


It was the weekend and I really fancied a smoothie, so I thought it would be the perfect time to experiment as on the weekends I have the time to play around. I would of loved to throw on granola to give it some added crunch, but I didn't have that to hand unfortunately. Note to self I need to make some soon πŸ˜€

Instead I picked out what I had to hand from the kitchen cupboards which was ...
// Kellogg's All Bran 40g
// Flaked Almonds 15g
// Chia Seeds 10g
// Linseed mix 10g

For the smoothie itself I used the Tesco tropical smoothie mix which has kiwi, pineapple, mango and coconut. I had some left over blueberries which I threw in too just to make use of them. I then added fresh mint from the garden, a small Yeo Valley low fat yogurt and a cup of water. If I had my time again I might of added a banana instead of the blueberries or perhaps less water as it made my smoothie quite a watery consistency. It would be perfect for straw drinking but for a bowl it needed to be thicker I think personally.

I popped on my toppings in no particular arty fashion and that was it. It tasted good and kept me full for quite a while as I had the added toppings. I think this is something I certainly want to try again and experiment with.

Have you ever tried a smoothie in a bowl? Got any receipes that you could recommend?

Thanks gangs!

Angela x
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Friday, 4 November 2016

Eat Well Move Better Feel Awesome


I love the title of The Lean Machines first book. It makes you feel upbeat just reading the front cover.  I've been a John and Leon fan for years on YouTube where they are called The Lean Machines.  Both guys are trained personal trainers and are how shall I put it ... ennasy on the eye lol - and a joy to watch. They are not big headed obnoxious personal trainers, they are very down to earth and make the idea of getting fit fun. 

Yea getting fit can be fun!


When word started to spread that they would be releasing a book, I knew before I'd even flicked through it that I'd love it. The book itself is not just a cook book. There is a whole sections dedicated to working out with step by step illustrations and there is also an educational section talking about fats carbs and protein and much more in depth topics.  The Lean Machines want to get you fit, but they also aim to educate everyone on how the body works and the foods it does and doesn't need.  That's what a real personal trainer should be like. Healthy mind, healthy body is how I put it. 

When it comes to to the food recipes, there is a real good mixture.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dips and dessert and even cookies!  There are everyday meals which don't use weird and wacky ingredients that we cannot even pronounce. It's real food. They do use ingredients like coconut oil which could be easily swapped for fry light if you want to make it Slimming World friendly. Another great fact about the recipes is they all show calorie/fats/protein/carb information in case you want to know the nitty gritty details about the food your about to eat. So helpful. 


I hope you pick up your own copy as I think it's really worth the buy.  Click HERE
you where can pick up your own copy.


Angela

PS. The oat cookies are amaziiiing!!  Just saying.
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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Rut



There is a place that all people who are losing weight will fall into when they are on their journey.

It's called ... The rut

The hole that gobbles you up, has steep sides and it feels impossible to even think let alone get yourself out of it. But do not fear, the rut is not somewhere you'll be for ever.  Scouts honour!

Speaking from personal experience a few years back on slimming world I went through the joy of maintaining for at least three weeks on the trot (it may of been longer I cannot remember).  In my mind I was on plan doing everything right, yet I failed to see the results. 

Why I thought?

began to feel deflated and started to think to myself 'is this for me anymore??'  I remained behind for the weekly meeting, which at the time I wish I hadn't.  Reason being my leader made an example of me in front of the WHOLE group and deep down I felt quite humiliated.  The conversation went something like this:

Leader: So Angela another maintain this week, why do you think that is?
Me: I'm not sure, I'm doing everything right. 
Leader: Are you sure? The plan hasn't changed perhaps you have? 
Me: *Face starts to burn and I turn the colour of beetroot!*
Leader: Perhaps reread the books again and restart or perhaps it isn't for you anymore?
Me: *Prays ground will swallow me up but it doesn't.*
Leader: OK, next!

I felt like sh*t after that. 

It didn't help that the lady sat next to me gained 5lbs, yet my leader brushed it off and simply said do better next week to her. Perhaps she was having a bad day I don't know but it really dented my confidence. 

The moral of the story is don't give up. Sometimes we don't like what we hear, but it's the kick up the arse we need in order to change and succeed. I then went on to lose a further 1/2 stone in that group. 

Ruts can seem like a mountain to trek across but if you put your mind to it. It WILL happen. If these journeys were easy everyone would be on it but they never are. That's life I suppose. 

Enjoy!

Angela 
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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Hi Jim


Yes it might sound sad, but I like to call the gym 'Jim' as though he were a real live boy. Lol πŸ˜€ If I say I'm going to the gym I feel as though it is more pressure on myself - a commitment. However if I say I have a date with Jim it just feels causal, more relaxed. It's more like meeting a friend for drinks. It does sound silly doesn't it but it works for me.

I tend to keep it to myself that I'm going to see Jim too. I used to say to friends or the hubby I'm might going to gym tonight and then they'll start to pressurise me too. Are you still going? You gonna go. You should go it'll do you good. I don't need the extra pressuring, as I already pressure myself.

It is technically a bit bit of reverse psychology on my little mind to take the pressure off and it seems to work. My husband isn't stupid though, he knows where I am and like the good man he is ... he goes along with my little stories of seeing a friend call Jim. That's what we all need, support.

Now today I ache all over from having a fun time at the gym. It was quiet and I got a lot done. It made me realise how much I miss it. On Thursday I have arrangements to meet up with Jim again.

Good luck.
Angela x

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Saturday, 22 October 2016

Drink Up With Twinings


I'm someone who finds it quite hard to keep my water intake up.  I don't really like plain water, so I'll generally drink sugar free squash with my water.  Tea and coffee are not one of my favourites either, which is annoying as everyone seems to drink them!  I will say I do like hot chocolates, turkish apple tea but they are not very good for you when it comes to calories and sugar in take.

To try and get more fluids in, I have been adding flavoured tea in to my routine.  I have really been enjoying the Twinings Superfruity Flavour Infusion which has a mix of different fruits like apple, blueberry, hibiscus, raspberries.  The tea leaves are loose in pyramid shaped bags and for around £3.50 you get 12 bags.  The great things about these too are they are naturally caffeine free.

Good Luck
Angela x
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Thursday, 20 October 2016

Scared




Does it sound silly to say I'm scared of exercising?

The last time I stepped foot into a gym was in July and I have not returned since.  Over two years ago I was a avid gym bunny who lived there approximately four times a week and surprisingly I even had a personal trainer. Now I am a 'bigger' shadow of my former self. 


The main reason I gave up my PT was money as I needed to cutback on my spendings.  He was given the chop and do I regret it? Yes and no. I now have money in my pocket, but also a bigger waist line. A bout of anxiety stress basically killed me and the exercise bunny was gone.  RIP slim me.


Tonight my cousin has invited my to an exercise class next week which is run by Herbal Life. I've said yes to going but I'll be honest.... I'm scared. It's been so long since I moved and I will be so unfit. It will be embarrassing. However I have to start some where right?


God please wish me luck. 


Angela 

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Monday, 17 October 2016

AWOL


Hello October.  It's been a while.

I've been a little AWOL from YouTube and my blog.  I haven’t really had my Slimming World mojo going on (more on that in a second) and plus my blogging head has been on holiday.  My motto is to not to force a blog post but to naturally let it happen, sooo no blog posts.  I also feel as though the change in seasons from Summer to Autumn has affected my mood.  I hate it when the nights draw in and we’re just sitting in the dark from 6 months of the year.  I feel like I need to be a in hibernation like a hedgehog. 

On a side note, with regards to Slimming World - I have been bad and I have eaten a few doughnuts (and other things).  Good old Krispy Kreme brought back for a limited time only my favourite all time doughnut, so I had a few. Surprise surprise my weight has crept up. I am upset by it but I shouldn't be shocked really - eat crap and don't exercise then you'll put weight on. It's logical.  

Last weekend I went off to Bath with the hubby for a long weekend. We walked a lot every day when we were there but we also ate out too. It was lovely and I completely recommend Bath if you're looking for a mini break in the UK.  Beautiful looking, plenty to do and see and great restaurants.  Plus they have a spa!

On that note I am no longer 11st 7lbs like I was in August before my hollibobs to Portugal - shameful I know.  On Saturday I weighed in at 11st 10.5lbs and then that evening I had Chinese (my first one since march I might add).  But now that’s it, I’m done. I am back on it with Slimming World - properly. No more crap will pass my lips and I feel slightly more in control than I have done in a while.  I might even attempt to use my gym membership! Shocking I know!  Yesterday I managed to squeeze in 10,000 steps with mum, as we borrowed my cousins dog Chelsea again.  You can meet Chelsea HERE.  She's the cutest doggie ever! 

How are you going with your journey?  

Good luck
Angela
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Monday, 19 September 2016

Remember Why!


Weight loss is not an easy journey, on occasion you hit the invisible brick wall. The stumbling block - it will trip you and attempt to bring you down. It may also come in the form of a friend shoving cupcakes in your face.

Anyway.

There will be a time when you walk up to the scales on weigh in day and you either remain the same of even 'worse' you have a gain.  There is always celebrations when you lose weight on the day of weigh in, however if you gain it's all very hush hush and whispering 'ooooo you've had a gain' cue sad face from the lady behind the scales. It's like a guilt trip.

But should you feel guilty?

No

Why!?

Because you my dear are a human and there is this thing we all lead and it's called LIFE!

Don't let the gain get you down.  If you are an emotional eater like myself, then this could trigger a post weigh in binge.  Don't let just a number get you down. A gain of a pound or two is not the end of the world, us wee humans are always having fluctuations with weight.

An important point to remember is where you were when you started.  Think about it for a moment will you πŸ™‚  You have to look at the whole picture and not that ONE day. 

When I was on my recent holiday I enjoyed a few too many ice creams - I had fun.  When I returned to my weigh in the week after I'd had a gain of 2lbs.  Realistically it is to be expected but I was still felt  annoyed with myself deep down.  Like pretty much everyone I am one of those people who puts myself down - I am my biggest critic. Sound familiar?  But really we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves.   

To summarise in short - don't be so hard on yourself!  You're not going to little miss or mr perfect all the time (note to self!). When you next see the plus on the scale,just smile and say I will do better next week.

Let the not so good be the trigger you need to make you work harder for a better result.

Good luck!

Angela
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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Scrap booking


I must admit I can be quite the magazine hoarder sometimes. I'm trying to be better and not collect them, but I can't promise it will be a forever thing that I'll stick to. 

Over the summer I have been taking the time to go through all my old slimming world magazines and the few fitness magazines I own and I've been snipping out the recipes.  It's very easy to forget when and where you find a recipe and I've been meaning to cut all the recipes I want to recreate. 

I thought it would a fun idea to pop them all in a pretty ring binder (I got mine from Tesco). I also got plastic wallets to protect the cutouts.  I know this technically is not 'scrap booking' as per say but I think the title is catchy. 



Now I can recycle all the left over magazines and declutter my home a little with these gone now. Happy dance. 

I hope you take this idea and use it in your home. 

Enjoy!

Angela 
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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Kitchen Gadgets to Have!


Hi there Slimming World friends how we all doing today?  Sorry for post shortage but with this warm weather I kind of feel like eating ice creams more than writing blog posts.  You understand where I'm coming from right?

This post talks about some of my favourite gadgets in the kitchen.  It might sound strange to say but I do love my NutriBullet and steamer - it's true.  Links for each item will be there for you if you fancy buying any of the products mentioned.  Now let's crack on...

// Scales 
I used to have big fancy scales, you know the kind with the big bowl on top??  Yes they may look nice and cute but they are not the most practical in the world. They are big and not very handy for a quick grab and weigh of your healthy extra A choice.  This is where I invested in a set of digital scales from Salter. I picked up my set from DunElm Mill for about £12 or £14. They are little which is great for storage, plus you have many options when it comes to weighing - grams, oz, mls.
Link HERE

// Joseph Joseph Bowl/Measuring cup set
Cup measurements are mainly a US thing but they have become much more popular in the UK over recent years.  Our friends in the US don't use the terms grams likes us Brits. I find having a set of these really handy. Mine show millilitres too so I always use the 1 cup spoon for 250mls of semi skimmed milk.
Link HERE

// Measuring spoons
The other day I was measuring out some low fat Mayo for a wrap I was making. I guessed what a tablespoon of it was by squeezing the tube and popping it straight on to the wrap. After i did that I thought to myself I should really measure that. So I grabbed my measuring spoon and to my shock I was totally wrong - I'd given myself about half the amount.  After this little story my point is, it is always important to measure out all your syns. 
Link HERE

// Muslin Cloth 
You totally don't have to have this as it's not an necessity, but if you ever feel like making a cauliflower base pizza ... well you'll be a fool not to have this to help you make it.  It helps to use the cloth to squeeze out excess fluid πŸ˜„
Link HERE

// NutriBullet Blender
I've had some gadgets that just don't get used after a while and I was kind of worried it would be the same when I bought this however I was wrong.  I get so much use out of blender and it's always out on my counter top. It's the perfect size and it's not even that expensive. This will make the whole soups, smoothies making process easy peasy. 
Link HERE

// Tupperware 
Is it sad to say that having good Tupperware is important. Investing a bit more cash is certainly better than not. I use my pots every day and they go through a lot. If you've got something cheap and not so durable then you are more likely to have to spend more money in the long run replacing them. My favourite brand is Sistema. They sell lots of different sizes and in different colours. They also sell bottles and other handy items. 
Link HERE

Enjoy!

Angela x
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Friday, 9 September 2016

Nachos on Slimming World


I love Slimming World meals that resemble 'bad/naughty' versions of the same foods.  If you read my ramen receipe a few posts back then you'll see I created a healthy ramen which is SWF*.

Today we have 'nachos' and a healthy dip.  Now sorry to say there are no nachos chips in this recipe, however we do have their super healthy yummy cousin.... the sweet potato wedge.

Instead of naughty chips just swap those for a large potato chopped in to wedges.  Now you're on to a winner. Everything with this recipe is syn free with the exception of the cheese.  The recipe asks you to use your healthy extra A choice however you  could syn that if you wish to.  So basically it's syn free if you want it to be. Choice is yours!

All you need:

// For the nachos
Large sweet potato
Fry light
Paprika
Salt and pepper

// For the toppings
Canned corn
Mixed beans or just kidney beans
JalapeΓ±os (optional if you don't want it a bit hot)
Cheese (syn this or use your healthy extra A choice)
Seasonings: I used a taco mix which is 3 syns for the entire pack however I only used a tsp amount.
Salt and pepper

// For the dip/sauce
Plain fat free yogurt
Paprika
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

If you click HERE you can follow along with my video!

Enjoy!

Angela

Slimming World Friendly
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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Less is NOT more!


Weight loss.... that thing pretty much 95% of the planets population are trying to achieve.  Well let me let you in to a secret ... when it comes to weight loss you have to eat.

True story!

It is driven in to us to cut this, cut that out of your diet and you will lose weight, it will fall off and you will live happily ever after. Well this is not the case my friend - it's a big fat lie.  If you want a quick fix then go ahead and starve... it won't work. Realistically we want our weight loss journey to give us a lasting life long results right?  And the only way that will happen is if we take the correct and healthy path.  How do you think you will survive without food any ways??  You can't.

The truth is the little you eat, it confuses your body... which in turn makes your body go into starvation mode.  It slows your metabolism as your body tries holds on to everything.  Your body will wonder when it will receive its next meal. Basically this kind of eating will screw up your metabolism and sometimes I may struggle to recover from it. 

The key to successful wait lose is to eat a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Yes you NEED to eat carbs and fats - they are essential.  I will probably approach this in another post. 

Strangely enough you have to eat food in order to lose weight, but the most important thing is to eat the correct foods to begin with.  

Enjoy!

Angela

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Monday, 5 September 2016

What I Eat In A Day


Hey everyone.

Last week was my first week back on plan (well kind of). On bank holiday Monday I decided to film a what I ate in a day video and here it is.  This includes all three main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and even dessert. 

There aren't many snacks as usual, as I was running around my house decluttering and tidying up when I got back from holiday so I was pretty occupied by that. 

I read Marie Kondo's book whilst away about decluttering which is making me do it all to be honest.  That book is a amaze balls!  I totally recommend it if you need help with decluttering your life... I think it's a life changer. 

Any way hope you enjoy.  What do you like to eat in a day whilst on Slimming World??

Enjoy!

Angela



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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Survival Guide: The Cinema


I love going to the cinema the hubby. We always make an evening of it, perhaps a nice meal before hand then a good old VIP seat with lots of pic n' mix, popcorn or even Ben and Jerry's ice cream.  Lots of sugary 'goodness' - NOT!  The meal definately, but not the sweets.

All these sweets can play havoc with your results when it is time for your weekly weigh in and we don't want that do we??  Yes you can treat yourself as ultimately that is what syns are for, but let's do it in controlled fashion instead of a fully loaded blow out. 

This is my mini guide on how to survive a night at the cinema and what nibbles to take if you're going.

Firstly my main and best advice is to avoid the cinema treats entirely and bring your own. This is where you'll need a big hand bag ladies, as cinemas don't obviously want you to bring your own lunch box of goodies. They want you to spend your money with them - business is business and you're their money maker ... so be discreet. 

In your hand bag pop in...

// Popcorn
This is a given really isn't it??  I like the Lightly Sea Salted ones by ProperCorn (pictured) as a 20g bag is only 4 syns. Compare this to a small carton of popcorn you get at the actual cinema that is soooooo big it'll fit over your head well I think the ProperCorn is a million times better!

// Mikado
Whether you go for milk, white chocolate or the Daim version these are 1/2 a syn per stick. If you save up your syns for the day you could nearly eat a whole packet if you wanted to. Yay. 

// Pick n' Mix
Might sound strange but you could make you're own pic n' mix.  Grab a small zip lock bag or Tupperware pot and pop in a few Harbios and marshmallows. Both of these are usually 1 syn each, so like above if you save up your syns you could have quite a hand full. 

// Fruit 
Not your traditional cinema treat but what about fruit sticks or a pot?  I've done this before as there is an Marks and Spencer's next to my local cinema and they sell great pots of fruit. I brought melon and pineapple slices/sticks and they were rather yummy. 

The trick of bringing your own goodies is you know you are only consuming a syn value you know instead of guessing.  Once you start guessing it all starts to go down hill. 

Enjoy!

Angela


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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Tacos, Body Magic, Kitchen Gadgets



Me again.

So whilst I'm giving my pale untanned white body its yearly outing in the Med, I thought I'd share details of my new video which went live yesterday with you.

In the video I talk to you about my kitchen gadgets which I think are rather handy to have. I also do a little body magic dog walkies with my Mum over our local country park. This is where our four legged friend Chelsea sees horses for the first time.

If you're a fan of Mexican, then you'll be pleased to know I also cook up some healthy homemade 'tacos' from scratch excluding the synful taco shells.  They might not look too appealing but they certainly hit the spot if you're craving something that feels naughty - but it really isn't.

Enjoy!

Angela
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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Travel Snacks


Everyone needs a lovely holiday, whether it be heading to the slopes, the family caravan in Devon or the beaches of hotter climates than England.

Holidays are time to relax, unwind and to have fun with family and friends. However some people take this time as a cue to let go and and relax a little too much, especially when it comes to what they eat. Relaxing the rules or binning the rules completely and eating whatever they feel like.

The thing is, ask yourself this... who says the healthy eating has to stop once you're in holiday mode??  It's all about the choices we make and balance. 

It's all too easy to eat a heavily syned breakfast at Frankies and Bennys whilst waiting in departures for example. Hot chocolates, croissants, bacon butties are just a few meals you can munch on and we know they are not good for us - and that's before we get on the plane!  Yes food is all part of the holiday adventure and it can be costly - not just with the syns but the price tag attached to airport foods. 

On my flight to Portugal on Monday I took snacks with me on the flight.  I was the passenger who flipped down their tray table and spreads out a banquet of food on it. My banquet was all fresh fruit however.   

By taking a mini lunch box of pre-selected foods with me, it basically stops the temptation to buy something.  Wasting my money on cheap fatty foods restaurant chains charge sh*t loads of money for which are not worth it. Taking foods with me means I won't go hungry and I know exactly what I'm eating. Plus I have to eat it all to get rid of the weight in my hand luggage!

On my table I had fresh water melon slices, strawberries and bananas.  I also packed two Jaffa Cake Alpen Light Bars and an apple in my hand luggage (not pictured). I will admit also to packing a further two apples in my plane hold case. I would of thrown a box or two of Alpen bars, but the hubby and I were only limited to 15kgs and to be honest I thought my shampoo and clothes deserved the space more. 

Basically the moral of this story is to be prepared. Your holiday doesn't have to be end of the healthy eating. Yes you can have an ice cream and let your hair down slightly, but don't have the attitude of 'screw it, I'm going to eat everything'. You will feel like crap afterwards if you over indulge too much.  Reward yourself but rememeber the end goal and why you started your journey. 

Enjoy!

Angela

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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Week 10 Results



Happy Sunday everyone.

I cannot believe it has already been 10 weeks of my journey. It only feels like yesterday I started my new healthier life style. Time flies.

This weeks weight loss was a small one at only 1/2 lb.  The scales did flicker in the sixes but it settled on 11st 7lbs.  I would say hopefully it will be in the sixes next week but I'm off on my holidays so it's pretty unlikely.  We will face to see πŸ˜€

Enjoy!

Angela x


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Friday, 19 August 2016

Keep To The Plan


I recently made my Slimming World week 9 weigh in video (see it HERE) and I maintained my weight staying at 11st7.5lbs.  It is not big deal to me to be honest as you cannot be loosing all the time, however it got me thinking I need to take another look at all my books to refresh myself.

The best way of keeping to Slimming World is to keep to the plan.  We all know the plan works and it is not restrict like some 'diets'.  We just need to stick to the tried-and-tested-plans rules as it works.  If you come to a point in your journey where you're maintaining or gaining - then it time to go back to start.

There are a few things us Slimming Worlders must remember...

// Eat all your healthy extras and be honest to yourself and weigh them out.  If you add a sneaky extra gram everyday, then by the end of the week that's a whole extra 7 grams which you should of syned.  It all adds up.

// Portion control is important.  You obviously do not have to weigh everything, but just try to have 2/3 free foods and 1/3 super speed foods.  And don't fill your plate to the point it's falling on the fall!

// Keep it lean in the meats department.  It can be easy to slip up and leave your fat on meats, but remember to remove as much of the fat as possible and buy 5% and under at the super market.

// Ketchup, mayo are just a few condiments but these have syns.  Yes you can have these on Slimming World but keep your measuring spoons handy so these are measured and syned correctly.

// Fit in body magic when you can.  Just a little bit of extra movement everyday all adds up and all goes towards the new you!  Steal a dog if you have to!  (Joke obviosuly)


Enjoy!

Angela x

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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Aubergine / Eggplant Tagine Stew Recipe


Nothing makes me more happy than buying a new recipe book.  I love getting new ideas of things to create in the kitchen and I go as far as using little stickers on my favourite pages.  Geek.  My hubby is usually the 'cook', but as he has been away on business with work I've really enjoyed having the freedom to how can I say it... to express myself with my cooking a little more.  My hubby is a kitchen hogger and he knows it, but I know he loves to cook and create too so I cannot get too mad πŸ˜„

After watching a fellow YouTuber Anna (ViviannaDoesMakeup) make a meal in one of her recent videos (see the video HERE) I picked up the book where she got the recipe from straight away on Amazon.  I was desperate to make it myself as it looked (a) really quick and easy and (b) OK for a Slimming Worlder to munch on. Plus it did look pretty darn yummy in Anna's video.  

So here it is, this is Madeleine Shaw's aubergine / eggplant tagine stew from her book Ready Steady Glow.  The recipe does call for coconut oil to be used, but I just switched to fry light, so trust me that you can make her recipe very Slimming World friendly indeed.  Happy days. 


I won't go into details on how to make this as its not my own to share... got to be respectful right?  However the recipe only uses a hand full of ingredients and spices. The dish mainly consists of aubergine/eggplant, onion, garlic and chopped tomatoes and that's it. 

It only takes 25 minutes to cook and there is plenty for left overs for the next day or the freezer for a rainy day. I completed my meal with a little cous cous and feta cheese (my HEXA choice) and some pomegranate seeds in the centre.  I also poured some plain fat free yogurt over the stew itself.

I certainly recommend Madeleine's books as they are jam packed with delicious health conscious recipes. 

Enjoy!

Angela x
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Monday, 15 August 2016

Ramen Takeaway



We all love a syn free meal that kind of resembles a cheeky takeaway don't we?  Today I have a new Slimming World friendly meal for you. It is a recipe for those of you who love a good old bowl of ramen. Wagamama style! Unfortunately Wagamama meals can have a high syn value due to fresh noodles and oils being used. However this recipe has got your back covered!

The receipe can be adapted, swapping out the chicken for beef, prawns, Quorn or tofu if you wish. However you just have to remember to account for any necessary syns if you do.  Plus you can make it as hot and spicy as you like or not if you're not a fan of the hot stuff.

Here is what I used to make my bowl of ramen:
A good tasty stock - I used the Heston for Waitrose chicken stock which is syn free
Dried noodles
An egg - I've gone for boiled with a slight runny centre, but you can add a fried version chopped up into pieces if you want.
Skinless chicken breast/strips
A good mix of vegetables; I used spinach, spring onion, pepper, bean sprouts
Seasoning: salt, pepper, chili flakes
Sauce - Soy and Worcester sauce
Optional sprinkle of sesame seeds can be added but these have syns. 


The method you need to use...

1// Grab a big cooking pot and fry your meat with fry light and any of your chosen seasonings. 
2// Once it's cooked, remove it from the pot and put to one side.  DON'T wash up the pot just yet as we still need it next. 
3// In the pot pour in your stock of choice. The stock will get mixed with the left over juices from the cooked meat and this will add to the favour. 
4// Heat your stock through and add your sauces and chillies and let this get nice and hot. 
5// If you want to add an egg, start to cook this (in your desired way) in a separate pot or pan. 
6// If you plan to add noodles, add these to your stock so they start to soften.
7// Next it is time for your vegetables choices.  For me it's spinach, bean sprouts, pepper, some sliced spring onions. 
8// The final leg is re adding your meat to warm through again. Once this is happens your ready to serve. 
9// Grab a big bowl and spoon, add your ramen to the bowl and pop your egg on top. Dust with chilli flakes and sesame seeds and you're done. 

The very cool thing with ramens they become what ever you like. You can throw in any thing you want and every time you make the dish it will be slightly different. It's a new experience every time πŸ˜€

With ramen you could add other things like fresh ginger, steamed broccoli, pack choi, cabbage, mange tout, mushrooms, a slice of lime. With a dish like ramen it is very adaptable and versatile.  All you just need the basic foundation ingredients of a good stock, protein and noodles then you can pop in what you like.  You could even swap out the noodles for courgettie if you fancy.  Options options options.

Let me know if you try this dish out.

Enjoy!
Angela x
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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Parsnip Chips Anyone?





You know when you fancy chips, but you just do not want to indulge in the syns and have real chips?  

I feel ya.  

It's been a while since I had the real deal from the chip shop and I have been trying to create a slightly different alternative.  A healthier one.  I do love sweet potato wedges which is the well know healthier alternative to fried chips, but there is only so many times you can eat them until it feels like your going to morph into one. 

When I was in the supermarket the other day and I spied the good old unloved parsnip.  I love parsnips.  At Christmas my mum makes a smashing parsnip dish - coated in Parmesan cheese. De-licious!!  

As it seems parsnips are not used from January to November, I thought I could attempt to give them more love and attention and make parsnip chips.  Obviously it would not be as fantastic as the real deal, nothing is - however these wouldn't be deep fried.

Here is how I made my 'chips' πŸ˜€

1// Pre-heat your oven or grill.  I had my oven on about 220 fan.
2// Peel and chop the parsnips into a chip like shapes.
3// Pop them in the microwave for around 4 to 5 minutes with about a tablespoon of water.  This will steam them slightly.  You'll know they are ready when you poke them with a knife or fork and they will feel soft inside.
4// When ready, put them into an oven dish and spray with fry light and season with salt, pepper and cumin seeds.
5// Place in the oven or grill for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Keep and eye on them in case they burn.
6// Once they start to brown - turn them and re-spray with fry light.  And leave them once again for a couple of minutes.

With the 'chips' it all depends on you and how brown you want them to go.  As they are already steam cooked you are merely popping them in the oven to darken the outside and make them slightly crispy.



I hope you like this usual recipe and give it a whirl.

Enjoy!

Angela
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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Iceland Mini Food Haul


I'm not generally a lover of the ready meal.  Years ago in my younger days I would of been happy to chow down on a few. However roll on my various stints with Weight Watchers and Slimming World, I now have the know-how of what brands actually throw into these time saving alternatives.

The time saving aspect has been replaced by too much salt and fat.  Also after the horse meat scandal are we sure we know what we are really eating?  I just steer clear of the ready / microwave meal shopping aisles. Now days I get far more enjoyment from prepping meals myself from scratch, but that is a whole entire post on its own.

Not too long ago when I re-joined Slimming World a couple of months ago I found out they had created their own line of ready meals. It took me a long while to pop to Iceland to pick some up, as I thought they wouldn't be that good to be honest. But I have eaten my words and now tried a few which I really do enjoy.  I don't eat them all the time but they are handy to have as backup meal in case of an emergency. The burgers and sausages are especially good as you can be eating them within 25 minutes.  How's that for speed??

The great thing is Iceland (the only place you can by the meals) also have offers on. I took the opportunity yesterday and picked up three ready news and got a bag of frozen fruit for free. We all need a bag of frozen fruits in our freezers ladies and gents as they are so handy. Especially for over night oats I find.

Nip on down to your local Iceland. You maybe surprised what you can buy from the Slimming World range. Heathy curry anyone??  They sell it. Also everything is SYN FREE!!  Sweet!

Enjoy!

Angela x



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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Body Magic Walkies



My exercise routine normally consists of walking from room to room or a spot of gardening/house work at home.  At work it's generally walking from my desk to the photocopier/toilet/communal kitchen and back.

It is lacking.

Yes I do walk to the train station and back Monday to Friday but it's not enough to build up a sweat and get my heart beating faster by any means.  On my weekends I try to fit in something, but it can be hard - or maybe that is just an excuse I make to myself?

In comes a little dog called Chelsea.  An 8 year, full of life, Jack Russell cross to the rescue.

My cousin and her family have recently been away on holiday for two weeks and my Mum was asked to house/dog sit this little cutie.  I never really considered myself a dog person as I've only ever owned cats - I've never walked a dog in my life!  But the idea of getting out the house and giving her and myself (as well as my mum) a good old walk around the park sounded great.  I jumped on board and have really been loving the out door life.  I love long walks in the country parks near where I live any way but to incorporate walking Chelsea too feels like it's does the world of good for us both.



If you are not lucky enough to have a dog in the family you can 'borrow' for walks, there are plenty of opportunities out there with a little digging around.  There are websites like Borrow My Dog or  Waggy Walks and many many more.  In my local area you can walk retired grey hounds which is nice.

Animal shelters would welcome help also too, just look into it.  You can even try the local paper in your area and see what they advertise.  Obviously be wise and safe whilst researching however.  Go through the proper channels - stay safe!

I hope this gives you some body magic ideas?  What do you do for body magic?

Enjoy!



Angela x
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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Sunday Fry Up!



I used to love going to a dirty cafe on a Sunday morning to have a good old greasy fry up with my hubby.  We usually went after a long early morning bike ride and it was kind of a treat for us both after the hard work of the bike ride. Now however when I think of them I feel a bit sick and horrified about the crap I was eating.  I hate to think how many syns I was putting into my body.  Never again.  

Realistically a fry up does not have to be full of syns.  What you see above is a syn free (Yes SYN FREE) slimming world friend breakfast.  I admit after I took the picture I did pop on a TBSP of ketchup, which was only one syn.  When you think about it, one syn is nothing.

To make this I used:

Slimming World sausages from Iceland
Turkey bacon
An egg fried is fry light
Peppa pig shaped beans (way more fun to eat trust me)
Grilled pepper and tomatoes from speed foods.

This was such a filling breakfast that I had no room for my usual morning snacks which was a bonus.  You might think this might not be as fun as going down to your local cafe, but trust me your body with thank you for not swamping it in nasty syns which you don't need to.  Just some simple adjustments and you're on to a winner!

Enjoy!

Angela

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Saturday, 6 August 2016

Slimming World Food Haul



If you follow me on YouTube you'll know the video for this shopping haul (see it HERE) has been up on the channel for a few weeks.  However I thought I would recycle it and turn it into a short blog post.  You never know you might not follow me on YouTube (click HERE go on - I dare you!) and may have come across this blog post first.  It's good to share!

The video is mainly a Slimming World friendly food haul, but it also has me chatting about different fitness apps I was using whilst walking through the park.  I do also show some of my home grown veggies from my back garden that I had picked.  It feels so good to grow your own vegetables right?  Try it if you never have, it's very satisfying.

The food shop/haul was quite a large one as it was our first weeks shop since my hubby and I had returned from our travels to Cornwall.  I wouldn't normally pick up so much, but it's quite nice to show you a bigger than normal haul of food.

I hope the food haul gives you some ideas when you're off shopping next.  What do you recommend I buy when I shop next??

Enjoy!

Angela



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