Author Archives: Millie

Week 3 & 4 at Weight Watchers – The Magic has worn off

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I’m 3 weeks back into Weight Watchers. The first week was like magic, I’m not certain how I lost weight. The next two weeks… well the magic has worn off, plus I’m feeling terribly miserable.

Le sigh. So week 3 & 4 contained enough junk and comfort eating and “oh sod it” eating, “it’s in the cupboard” eating, “I like food” eating, “there’s only one left” eating, “I NEED CARBS” eating, “I’ll stop at one” eating, “Someone else is eating” eating, “I’m stood in the kitchen” eating, “the kids are driving me crazy” eating, “I’m all by myself” eating and also “no one is looking so it doesn’t count” eating that I’m almost back to no weight loss at all.

The plan for week 4 is to just track all the food I eat. Write everything down & the time too. The Group Leader chatted with me about triggers, and habits, and the target for this week isn’t magic weight loss, it’s just paying attention to what I put in my mouth.

A little less miserable about Weight Watchers

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I completed my first week (back) at Weight Watchers.

It was alright , they tricked me, and I liked it.

Previously I’ve joined and you have to buy the calculator & the scales, so you know how many points the food you’re putting in your face is worth, and the special book that tells you how many points that’s in a pizza from the chain takeaway, so you can’t have it and then cry and order anyway (or is that just me?)

This time, for the first week I wasn’t allowed to point. The leader wouldn’t let me take the little green “tracker” booklet, and aside from the membership fee, I wasn’t told to buy anything. Don’t get me wrong, the ladies at the stall didn’t slap products out my hand, and actively discourage me from spending money, but they didn’t push products into my hands, as I’ve previously been used to. I was given a list of foods, this was what I could choose from to eat. If it wasn’t on the list, it wasn’t allowed in my gob.

Well, actually I was given 2 lists. One list I could eat as much as I fancied from, and the other I could have 2 things off every day. Like a treat list.

I didn’t stick to it. On Tuesday I had cake with the kids, and on Wednesday night I had 2 pints of beer, that’s a whole extra pint than I was allowed. (Beer is a treat, you could have 2 half pints a day if you wanted to) And more beer at the weekend.

So it was actually quite a nice week. With out the miserable looking a 3 grammes of something nice to eat and crying because it’s more points than you’ll ever be allowed in a week.

I am honestly amazed that I lost weight, I’m down 2% of my starting weight. I don’t know how. Witchcraft possibly. Roll on next week.

 

Lush Kitchen – Vanilla in the Mist

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In the middle of August Lush Kitchen made Percup massage bar. (I wrote about it>  It’s gorgeous)  And while writing about it I mentioned a soap I love but they no longer have in stores.

There hasn’t been a coffee product in Lush since Vanilla in the Mist, a really great soap that made you smell like a vanilla latte.

Then the Lush Kitchen went and made it over the Bank Holiday Weekend… I had to order some. It was like the rules. Or something.

(Also there are some new LUSH product spoilers in this post. It’s not the Christmas products, but you know, just warning you!)

I didn’t just order soap

I also ordered the Godiva Solid Shampoo. It’s the yellow looking hockey puck thing in the video. Think of it like 3 bottles of shampoo with all the water squashed out, so there’s no need for any packaging. No water & no packing means it costs less to transport & store, and it’s concentrated so lasts ages. Godiva is £6.50 and last me ages.   This one has lots of oils & coco butter in it, so it’s almost a conditioner too. I like this one because it’s got the extra conditioner in it, there’s a whole heap of them in Lush store, and if you stalk all things Lush on instagram, then it seems like a whole heap more are on the way ….

See that one at the bottom right… A coffee & henna shampoo. NEED / WANT. (Is it strange to be so obsessed with shampoo? IDK, I always have been, and conditioners too. Perhaps it’s just a red head thing?)
If you don’t want any spoilers for the LUSH 2014 Christmas range, then DO NOT check out any of Bathgoddess‘ other photos. It’s a little like getting lost on Pinterest, and soon you know what’s *probably* know what’s on the way.

 

Vanilla in The MistOn to the soap

I love this soap. I LOVE IT. It’s really sweet. Full of Fair Trade vanilla from the Ndali estates.   If you’re a foodie then you might have heard of it, Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall used / uses it at his River Cottage and has high praises for it. (is that still going? I stopped watching ages ago!) And here it is in my soap. There’s both a Vanilla pod infusion & Vanilla Absolute AND bits of the vanilla pods in the soap. It’s sat on the desk next to me as I’m wrighting & the smell is like a warm delicious fug of vanilla. But all that sweetness is tempered with some Bergamot Oil and Cocoa Roasted Extract, so the final bar is a delicious sweet latte style of vanilla. It’s a really soft soap too, you can see in the video how wet & fresh it was when it was shipped to me, and even though I haven’t had chance to use it yet  and it’s been sat on my chest of draws, it’s still moist and squidgy.

I’m very much looking forwards to colder weather & an amazingly hot shower with this soap. (I need to get out more eh?) And then following up with Percup Massage bar.

Vanilla in the Mist Soap was £4.50 & the Godiva Shampoo bar is £6.50 (and £3.95 P&P) so the whole box cost me just under £15.

Unfortunately all the Vanilla in the Mist as sold out at Lush Kitchen, but if you keep an eye on their instagram feed, http://instagram.com/lushkitchen they post what their making each week, and you get some snaps of how they’re made too!

Mixed Feelings.

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I’ve returned to Weight Watchers.

I’m feeling very conflicted about it. Not conflicted that making an effort to be healthier, or that I’m actually paying attention to what I’m putting into my gob again.

More mixed feelings because of my past experiences with Weight Watchers. I’ve done this multiple times, and most often I’ve left after the leader of the class does one of two things;

1) leaves. And some weird stranger comes takes over the meeting and I really struggle to get motivated, or trust them.

2) becomes so sales pushy, that I start resenting that I pay for the class and the raffle, and then Weight Watchers brand products that I just don’t want to go. I felt like I should just arrive and hand over my wallet, and credit card PIN.

OR

The meeting has 3 or 4 women who just whine that a) they can’t have mash potato with half a stick of butter & a block of cheese in, &/or a block of cheese, and b) absolutely just can’t possibly have any time to move a little more, not even when the leader makes standard suggestions like “get off the bus a stop early, park at the far end of the car park, and always take the stairs instead of the escalators & lifts.”

That’s a lot of moaning, why am I paying to do this?

Because there’s something about committing to standing on a scale and showing someone your weight. There’s also what I’ve come to call “the Gold Star” effect. There’s clearly still a school child inside me, I just love the possibility of getting some sort of gold star or pat on the  back, and the opposite side of that, getting a frown and a “oh dear” mortifies me.

I’ve decided that I’m going to follow Will Run For Cakes‘ lead

Ans if I get a gold star for loosing weight, I don’t have to stay and do the “detention” hopefully that will at least stop me getting depressed and jaded with the class.

Any other suggestions to make my next attempt at Weight Watchers less traumatic?

Septemberathon or something

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So apparently September is “Better Breakfast Month” & “Self Improvement Month” and my husband has challenged me to “Septemberathon” or something like that.

One thing at a time

So “Better Breakfast Month” and “Self Improvement Month”? Well these are the things I end up finding out about when I guest host a afternoon chat show on my community radio station. I’ve opted to actually have breakfast, and that’s a self improvement, isn’t it? Instead of just COFFEE!

I’ve taken a risky path with this, the only breakfast I’ve ever regularly eaten has been Greek Yogurt & chopped fruit. “Why is that risky, Millie?” I hear you ask, well dairy tends to make me fart. (Glamorous confessions here on RFTQ!) Well, I’m pleased to say that, 3 days into this I seem to be ok, and I have been eating 2 servings of fruit in the morning.

Blood Orange Tea & a LadyFest CupI’m also making an attempt to drink more water, but I’m really rubbish at drinking cold water, so when I went to Liverpool at the weekend I visited Leaf Teashop & bought a tea pot & some luverly tea. So far I’ve been drinking about 3 pots of tea in the evening. It’s not a giant pot, but the Blood Orange Tea is very yummy (and caffeine free) and it’s a start.

“Septemberathon or something”

This is an invention of my husband. He’s challenged me to run the equivalent of 1km a day for the month. It’s the 3rd, I’ve not ran, so I’m 3km in the red. I might end up running 30km on the last day of the month.

I don’t know why, I just can’t make myself move. Can’t I just stay in bed all day? At least I don’t have to blog about it too.

Jogg Box – Unboxing

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Remember #Juneathon? Were some people ran & blogged everyday of June, and some of us ran for about 3 days, then entered the prize draw for a Jogg Box anyway because we’re a cheeky sod?

Yeah, I won a Jogg Box!

What is Jogg Box?

Well over on their website (www.joggbox.com) they say

JoggBox is a fun and exciting way to discover new running products and accessories. Each month, as a member, you will receive a box filled with the best nutrition running products out on the market. Discover also exciting new accessories and outfits designed to keep the perfect balance of comfort and style while running. The value of the items in a box is always bigger than the price you are paying for.

I love monthly subscription boxes, I just want to sign up for them all, because it’s like someone sending you a present every month. If only they were actually presents (or prizes like this one) and I didn’t need to pay for them! This one should have been £15 + £3 P&P, but you can get them a bit cheaper if you sign up for a Quarterly or Annual subscription.

What did I get?

All the goodies inside my Jogg Box

Lets start with the things I’ve tried before…

 

HIGH5 Sample pack & Energy Gel

I think the first #Juneathon I took part in someone was offering out HIGH5 samples, and I love freebies so I jumped on that band wagon, and I’ve been a fan of the HIGH5 stuff ever since. The gel were also what was on offer during the 1st Liverpool Marathon. I’ve got the Summer Fruits gel, which is good because I’ve never tried that one, and the drinks sachets I have are Cherry – Orange, I’ve never tried them either. So that will be fun.

Pulsin Vanilla Choc Chip Protein Snack

I got one of these in a Vegan Tuck Box (I’ve mentioned I like monthly subscription boxes right?) They’re vegan, soy free, gluten free and non GM. This is where you think they’re made of cardboard and dust and must taste the same, but they’re surprisingly tasty and there’s currently a little bit of a battle between me & my husband over who will get this one.

The other stuff…

Miracle Tree teas

I’ve got 2 tea bags, a Moringa Original & a Moringa Apple & Cinnamon. They say  “Miracle Tree Moringa is 100% vegan, gluten-free, Non-GMO, ethically sourced, and completely caffeine-free. Moringa is extremely nutritional plant, which is shown to have many health benefits and effects.” I’ve no idea what Moringa is but apparently it’s “carefully chosen by the artisans in Sri Lanka.”

SOS Rehydrate

At the end of the description for this it says “Taste salty.” Before that it says it’s a rehyrdation drink that prevents and combats mild to moderate dehydration in athletes. That should be good, the volume of coffee I drink in a day probably puts me in a permanent state of light dehydration. It’s also got 6 times more electrolytes than other sports drinks, because of SCIENCE!

Beet It Sport Shot

This is 98% concentrated beet root juice. I’m a little weirded out by that. I don’t know why, I’m a little nervous about trying it. I’m also amused that it suggests you should take it 1 to 12 hours before sport, so any time really just not while you’re actually out sportsing.

Good Hemp Nutrition Active Shake

It’s a protein shake that’s made of hemp. “It’s a complete natural source of protein to support your active lifestyle and immune system.” I’ve never tried a protein shake before, but it does say you can mix it with yogurts and cereals, so I might try it that way.

Halo Sports Wash

This is sports laundry detergent. I’ve never considered that my sports bras might need a different was to my everyday T shirts. It kills bacteria rather than masking smells, according to the packet. I might save this for #Janathon,(as there’s no way I can slack through that, Cathy has said I have to!) and give it a real challenge.

Due North Foot Rubz

This is a weird knobbly golfball thing. You kinda roll it about under your feet and it makes them feel awesome. I haven’t tried it yet, but I love having my feet rubbed, so I’ll give this a good testing over the next few weeks I think & report back.

Lastly the Jogg Box watter bottle

It supposed to hook over your jogging bottoms, I think it might pull my pants down, but I’m willing to give it ago.

There’s also a card with a discount for Sports Tape & another with a discount to Bobo’s Organic Juice too. But I’m probably not going to take them up on them.

 

Lush Kitchen – Percup and Avowash review

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Lush Kitchen is quite a new part of Lush. They make small batches of classic Lush products, something that used to be called Retro, but they also make exclusive products, or advance order products, again all in small batches.They also do regular G+ hangouts where the Compounders (the guys & gals making the products) & the Inventors (the people who come up with the products) talk about the ingredients they use, or where they source the ingredients, or inspirations behind the products.

Yada  Yada Yada – Tell us about the stuff you got!

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Avowash made on 5th August 2014 by Peter

Avowash soap

I love the ballistic Lush make called Avobath, it’s bright green, full of avocado, lemongrass oil and bergamot. Add them all together it’s brilliant. It’s great & citrusy for the summer & then also has really big powerful scent for the winter, specially if you’re full of cold, plus it’s got loads of avocado that’s super for the skin.

This smells nothing like it.

I know, should have read the ingredients better, and I’d have know it was packed with pine oil, but there’s a little bit of panic when you see you’ve only got 30 min to complete your order once you’ve put a Lush Kitchen product in your basket, so I didn’t.

Initial disappointment over, it’s nice. The pine in this is quite strong, it smelt quite antiseptic, or bathroom-cleanerish when I unwrapped it, but once it’s wet & on the go it’s quite nice.  It’s probably going to get used more as a hand soap than a soap I take into the shower. (It’s going to take something very impressive to take the mighty Sandstone off the number one spot!)

Avowash is £4.25 per 100g and is only available through Lush Kitchen.

 

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Percup made 8th August 2014 by Peter

 

Percup Massage Bar

This is what incited me to place the order. A massage bar made with coffee. There hasn’t been a coffee product in Lush since Vanilla in the Mist, a really great soap that made you smell like a vanilla latte. But Percup is not a soap.

It’s a massage bar. It’s a beautiful chunk of fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter & Fair Trade Shea Butter blended with some gorgeous ingredients. The massage bars melt surprisingly quickly in your hands, even my perpetually cold hands, and you can use it for massage (and they do in Lush Spas) or, as I did with this, use it after the shower (or bath) as a really great body lotion.

As well as the shea & cocoa, Percup has organic jojoba oil and extra virgin coconut oil. All of those by themselves are great for skin, wrapped up together with the coffee beans, vetiver oil and fair trade vanilla, it’s freaking UHMAZING!

It’s a real sweet & warm scent, like the smell of your local coffee shop in the morning when they’re still baking the pastries, and steaming the milk for lattes while you’re sat at the bar with a perfect espresso.  Even 8 hours after I’ve covered myself in it, I still want to lick my own arm. Unfortunately, Percup isn’t edible.

Sometimes, allegedly, products that start in Lush Kitchen will then end up in the stores. I hope so, because I think I need this in my life all the time!

Percup is £6.50 and only available through LushKitchen

If I’ve tempted you with these products, then be quick! The menu at Lush Kitchen changes frequently, and they might not make these again. Postage is about £4, so this package cost me just under £15.

 Anyone tried something from Lush Kitchen? What are your favorite Lush Products?

Biscotti for #vlogchallenge

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#VlogChallenge Week 6
Week 6 of #VlogChallenge was all about food. So I tried to video myself making biscotti. First disaster happened even before I started recording, I just didn’t want to. I wanted to curl up and hide someplace, but #VlogChallenege has been good for making me do *something* and also for preventing me from fiddling with things until they’re “perfect.”

Here’s the ingredients, (as the second disaster was that I failed to press record when adding them to the bowl)

To make beautiful (vegan) biscotti … You will need

2 cups flour
1 cup ground almond
1 cup almond milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pistachios, because I like them, you could use more almonds)
1/4 tsp baking powder (ish)

Brilliant video aside, this is  one of my favorite thing to make, and I’ve also dipped one end of the final biscotti fingers in chocolate, dark delicious chocolate. It was for Christmas Eve breakfast, with some really nice coffee (and really nice friends.)

Once you’ve made it a few times you can start getting cocky and doing stuff like adding chocolate powder to the mix and some chunks of dark chocolate instead of the chopped nuts. Then you’re doomed, as it’s gorgeous and you’ll just have to eat it all.

I wonder what the next #VlogChallenege will be?

Free Money! Campaign Coins from my Pact rewards!

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All the Coins!

You may have heard / seen the Pact App. You commit to doing healthy things, and you are rewarded, they literally give you money, how do they get the money to give to you? Well it’s taken from the people who don’t meet their commitments.  I’ve blogged about it before.

So, I’ve had various Pacts on the go since the start of the year, and I had stashed about $35 USD, so I decided it was time to cash it out & spend it…

What did I buy?

Campaign Coins! Yes, I bought money with the money I got from pact. FREE MONEY!

They’re an Australian company who make coins to use as part of RPGs! I’ve actually been longing to get some of these for ages, but could never really justify getting them, they’re not really needed Role Playing Games are all in the head after all, but now I’ve gotten them I love them!

I bought the Coin Collectors Pack, with 32 coins (8 coins from 4 different metals) I think my favorite ones are the Gold coins, they have a very Dwarven feel & I’m a sucker for a good Dwarven tale. The “50” coin has a couple of tankards on it, I that makes it a “beer token.” My iPhone pictures don’t do justice to how detailed they are. They also have a satisfying clink and decent weight when you have a few in the hand. It’s 90% certain I’m going to get more, possibly some of the Trade Bars.

Silver coins would also go well with the WFRP setting we play, as the “10” has a comet / meteor that features a lot of the imagery & myths of the setting. I’m not certain what I’m going to do with these coins. I’m possibly just going to covet them, and say “my pressioussses” quite a bit.

The guys who make these coins currently have a Kickstarter project on the go with FATE, it’s not a system I’ve ever played, but the coins look pretty cool, plus I think they reached funded status  us in the first few days of the campaign!

Any RPG players out there with ideas for some adventure hooks? Or novel ways I can use these into a campaign?