LEXIE63   56,547
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A Small Change that could help with calorie control

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I know - shocking isn't it? I'm being serious for a change. :-) Thing is, I need to remember this myself, so I'm hoping that writing it down not only helps me get it into my head, but that is may also help you.

Portion control is an awesome tool for weight loss.

But we still hit plateaus or find weight fluctuating, which can be quite frustrating.

So I'm sharing something that I'm trying out to see if it makes a difference.

I measure all my ingredients, and it was thinking about this that gave me the idea...

Cut the quantities down by a few grams from what I'm used to eating and see if that helps me lose a little weight.

For example, for breakfast I used to have 30g of rice krispies. I've cut this to 25g, and also I pour out 20ml less milk. The only thing I have allowed to stay the same is the amount of fruit I top it with.

Same goes for the porage. Instead of weighing out 30g porage oats, and 270 mls milk, I weigh out 25g oats and 225 mls milk. However, I still have plenty of apple or pear on top.

It is only a little difference in the size of your breakfast but it could add up to a significant difference in your calorie count over time, and ultimately for your weightloss

Fancy a sandwich for lunch? Try one slice of bread for lunch instead of two. I call it an 'open' sandwich. :-) You still have the same filling you planned, but eat it with a knife and fork. Psychologically it can even feel like a bigger meal if you eat that way. especially if you take small mouthfuls and chew thoroughly. Put a veg on the side. I love beetroot with a smidge of salad cream on the side of my open sandwiches.

What about your evening meal? Usually go with a 75g portion of pasta or rice? Try cutting back to 60g. If that seems too big a jump at first, just drop back 5g at a time. After a short time you genuinely won't miss the extra grams.

Also, when buying food at the supermarket, farmers' market etc, remember big is not better, and small is beautiful. Get used to the size of a potato that is a perfect size for one portion, or in the case of small new potatoes a weight amount, and be religious about purchasing the ideal quantities. When buying packs of chicken thighs (or breasts if you prefer), look for the packs with more in. A 500g pack with five thighs instead of four, means each thigh weighs less, and therefore is a better choice, while still giving you the taste you wanted from your meal. Again, bulk out the meal with extra veggies.

It may be helpful to know that since I've been trying this out, in the last few weeks I've lost 3lbs.
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Oh, I do love playing with my food. :-)
Have fun,
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YJNANA 8/22/2014 10:39AM

    Good simple ideas :)

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YOYONOMORE1 8/21/2014 8:32PM

    I think your plan is a good one, small changes can make a big difference. emoticon on the 3 lb. loss.


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KATIBUG49 8/21/2014 11:15AM

    Love it, great ideas for us to remember!

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CARLA-216 8/20/2014 2:30PM

    That is smart! One shouldn't even notice cutting back a smidgeon on food, whereas cutting a portion in half would be very noticeable.

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IMEMINE1 8/20/2014 8:11AM

    That's a emoticon idea. I know my portions were off.

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BOVEY63 8/19/2014 5:10PM

    Great advice - paying off too with your three pounds lost!

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ICECUB 8/19/2014 8:53AM

    love the pics. I think it is a great idea to cut back.

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MACANBEFIT 8/19/2014 8:43AM

    emoticon on the weight loss.
And thank s for the great idea. Cutting back a little at a time doesn't make you FEEL deprived. Also with chicken breasts, I like to slice them to make thin cutlets. I get twice as many meals.

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NEW-CAZ 8/19/2014 8:28AM

    emoticon ideas emoticon emoticon

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SHAWFAN 8/19/2014 8:03AM


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NUTRON3 8/19/2014 7:19AM


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MAURIZIA 8/19/2014 7:11AM

  Lexie! Genius suggestions! I am going to incorporate these into my food plan. Thank you for sharing them.


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WENDYSPARKS 8/19/2014 7:06AM


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GARDENCHRIS 8/19/2014 7:03AM

    great idea!

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Whether the Weather...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

...be fine, or whether the weather be foul, avoid getting a soaking, sunburn, or being struck by lightning by following my advice in this blog.
First, let me say that this blog comes courtesy of a little inspiration from NEW-CAZ's last blog, so if you are offended by my sales pitch, blame her! I'm just trying to boost her shares profits in weather gadgets. If I do a good enough job, maybe we can talk partnership, eh Caz?

So, ways to predict the weather.

There are plenty to choose from.

I have something here for everyone, no matter how deep your pockets, or how knowledgeable you are about meteorology.

Option 1:

Hire your own Meteorologist.

Starting at a modest minimum wage, and rising to a cost of 'the sky's the limit', you do get what you pay for here.

This sample shopping list should help you to get started. Some of the best names are on this list, but - buyer beware, so are some of the worst!


Also, do remember that nothing is 100% guaranteed. After all, even the best meteorologists sometimes get it badly wrong.


And as a little entertainment aside: who can forget this little earworm, called 'John Kettley is a Weatherman':


Option 2:

Purchase and set up your own weather station.

This is the one NEW-CAZ's hubby has set up in their garden:


Very smart, isn't it? And on sale, currently! Gotta be worth a looksee, huh?

Word of warning... Do be careful where you set this one up. You don't want weather station-shaped white patches on your body when you were really going for the all-over tan!

Also, remember that gadgets can go spectacularly wrong from time to time, so be prepared for the odd surprise.

Sadly, not all of us have the budget to accommodate options 1 or 2. But never fear, you can still know the weather forecast. You just need to be a little inventive, and you won't go far wrong. You do still have options. Yes, don't let lack of finances be a barrier to forecasting the weather yourself. Remember that there is a lot of satisfaction in DIY.

Options 3 to infinity and beyond:

The Budget Choices.

Do you have a smart phone? Why not try a local weather app like this one?

Still too expensive? Well, you can always go with watching the TV forecast, or listening to the radio forecast, or even, buy a newspaper and read the forecast there. These options are rarely even close to accurate, however, so I would suggest these alternatives.

The Seaweed Forecaster.

Picked up at almost any beach for free, you can take it home and nail it up outside your door. The smell will deter unwanted cold callers an added bonus the weather station doesn't offer, plus there are a number of useful settings for your seaweed that will help you tell at a glance how the weather is shaping up.

Wet: It is raining
Dripping Wet: It is raining a LOT!
Burnt smell: There is Lightning about
Dry: Not raining
Shrivelled: Drought conditions
White: Snowing
Shaking: Windy
Missing: Hurricane

If, however, you live inland, and especially on the hills, seaweed is harder to come by, so may I suggest this little gadget instead, which can be put together quite simply, with the most rudimentary of DIY skills, and serves much the same purpose as the seaweed:

Or, failing that, and some of us have the throbbing thumbs that are testament to our DIY failures, get a cat:

Hopefully, you found something that took your fancy in our selection. We are willing to ship strips of seaweed in the post for elebentytwelve pounds plus post and packing. Stones, string and weather boards sold separately for oodles and oodles more dosh!

Enjoy your day whatever the weather!
Lex xxx
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P.S. In case anyone does get the wrong idea, neither Caz nor I nor anyone associated with Sparkpeople endorses the weather station or any other purchasable item mentioned in this blog. I hope everyone realises this is a joke blog, but better safe that sorry, eh Caz?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 8/19/2014 5:14PM

You are too funny. Thanks for making me laugh!

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ANNEMAC5 8/18/2014 2:38PM

    Great blog, I like the idea of sending my cats out and if they are wet it is raining we do spend a lot of time talking about the weather I am intrigued by Caz's weather do da. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHAWFAN 8/17/2014 6:57PM

    emoticon Too cute! Thanks for the laugh!!

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NEW-CAZ 8/17/2014 4:13PM

    emoticon Lex can't be too careful emoticon

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ICECUB 8/17/2014 2:15PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HICKOK-HALEY 8/17/2014 1:49PM

    emoticon Years ago the weatherman kept getting the weather wrong for our area. He actually started a show waving a white flag lol. emoticon

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GARDENCHRIS 8/17/2014 12:55PM


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MAURIZIA 8/17/2014 9:19AM

  Hahahahaha....oh, hahahahaha...Thanks for the Sunday chuckles!

I always think that in the US meteorologist is the best job...you can be wrong everyday yet still get paid!!


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AMARILYNH 8/17/2014 9:00AM

    emoticon Love it!

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_LINDA 8/17/2014 8:34AM

    Nothing more reliable weather forecaster then the old bones cranking up, eh?
Thanks for the chuckles!
Our dog's water bowl outside is also a good forecaster -empty drought, overfull rain.
Enjoy your day!
Linda xxx

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MACANBEFIT 8/17/2014 8:13AM

    Personally, I like the weather app the best. I know when weather is coming by how stiff my joints are so the app would coincide with my mood.
Have a great (and hopefully sunny) day!

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LEANJEAN6 8/17/2014 7:37AM

    We need warmer weather up north here!--Send some our way!!!---Lynda

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NEW-CAZ 8/17/2014 7:34AM


Making clear I don't endorse the weatherstation LOL in case SP is watching LOL
But it is worth it's weight in gold- better than the phone app as illustrated .
Although that said we do blame it for my bad moods if we get lousy weather predictions- hate rain emoticon love sun emoticon

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The Further Adventures of Lexie and the Birds and the Biopsy...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Hawks:

Adventure Double Oh One a subsidiary of Buyagift - are not going to be allowed to have my money. I cancelled the Bird of Prey experience with them, and I'm glad I did! The peeps at Castle Hedingham got back to me, and they've had no end of trouble with the Adventure 001 crowd that Buyagift arranged these bird of prey experiences through.

Amongst other things, they had to cope with the Adventure 001 people rallying over the pristine castle lawns, doing handbrake turns and churning the grass to mud with their cars. And if that wasn't bad enough, they also had to contend with threats made to the castle staff! They stopped offering hawk experiences through Adventure 001 last October because of all this, and also because of being expected to host crowds of 30 plus per experience, when they normally have only 6-10 people at a time to make sure everyone gets a chance to hold and fly a bird. Annoyingly, Buyagift didn't remove the venue from their site for at least 3 months, which is why they were still a venue in Jan 2014 when I bought our vouchers, but had vanished when we went back to the site to book our experience a few months later.

So I am still waiting for my refund from Adventure 001, and once it arrives Bry and I will book direct with Castle Hedingham for another date after the kids are back at school. Apparently, if we time it right we might even get to be the only people with the keeper and 7 birds to fly!

The Biopsy:

As for the biopsy, it is all over finally - and I don't have mouth cancer, just severe gum dysplasia which has its own set of problems, but not cancer means less of a worry, and I am getting used to managing without a lower set. Apparently I only have two options now:

Either I'm looking at a potentially very expensive operation to rebuild the lower jaw in order to accommodate a lower denture, but the operation isn't guaranteed to be successful, or I have to just accept that I will be minus lower teeth for the rest of my life. Option B is the clear winner at this point, unless the dentist comes up with an Option 3.

On my way home from the hospital I made up a limerick, which, astonishingly, stayed with me - aside from a last line - which I finally came up with tonight:

A scatterbrained dentist from Cheadles,
Quite liked to stick patients with needles
The screaming with fear
was heard far and near
Because she used large knitting needles!

Off to bed. Maybe I'll sleep tonight. The last couple of nights have been rather sleepless.
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 8/19/2014 5:12PM

    So happy to hear about the biopsy results, and that you will be getting a refund.
Good idea to book directly for the tour.

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PAULALALALA 8/15/2014 9:18PM

    Love your limerick -- and I firmly believe that those who can inject a little humor into life situations are going to have the very best outcome. Sounds like you might have a one on one with the birds at some point in the future!

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MACANBEFIT 8/14/2014 5:18PM

    Good news that you don't have cancer. Not so good news regarding your lower teeth.

It is a shame that people can not respect other people's property. Especially if it is a historical site. I am envious that you can visit castles and receive hands on experience with hawks. We have a raptor center near me which tends those birds who are injured. I hope you enjoy the experience when you get to go.

Have a wonderful day, Lex.

PS: Thanks for adding me as a friend.

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CARLA-216 8/13/2014 2:42PM

    I am relieved for you that you do not have oral cancer. I hope your dentist can come up with another option for you. Good thoughts for you.

I would love to do the birds of prey experience. That would be awesome to not have others in your group and you'd have the keeper and the birds all to yourselves!

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NEW-CAZ 8/13/2014 2:53AM

    SO glad it wasn't cancer Lex but I hope the dentist can come up with a plan for you.
Hope you get that refund too.
Keep positive hun emoticon

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_LINDA 8/13/2014 1:24AM

    Hoping you get your money back from that unscrupulous lot!!
So glad you don't have cancer, but that is awful news about your jaw :-(( So very sorry :-( Hope a miracle comes up!
Linda xxx

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SHAWFAN 8/12/2014 9:09PM


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SDEHNKE 8/12/2014 6:23PM

    So a kind of good news/bad news kind of thing. Hoping they can get something sorted out for you.


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MAURIZIA 8/12/2014 6:11PM

  Lexie, so glad to read it's not oral cancer but sorry you still have to deal with dysplasia and all it brings with it.

Now, for that Adventure 001 - GEESH!!!!!!!! since I can't post the word that really is in my head! Glad you will be able to still have your bird adventure...and hopefully, the payoff is that you two are the only visitors that day.

Hugs. Good night.

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Buyagift should be called buya-beware!

Friday, August 08, 2014

OK, so Bry and I decided on a joint birthday treat. In January we bought a Three-hour Bird of Prey Experience through Buyagift.com, worth 50 each, planning to go with the local Castle Hedingham venue, so that we could also enjoy the castle grounds and have a pleasant lunch in beautiful surroundings.

But by the time we could get a date sorted out, the Castle Hedingham venue was no longer available.

Checks the rules of the website... Oh, terrific! Venues can change without notice!


The next closest place was Orsett Showgrounds, a three hour round trip, which wasn't ideal, given my health issues, but I thought, "Suck it up, girl, it'll be fun! You can handle it."

But my panic attacks have worsened and my leg is getting quite tricky, especially the knee, and Bryony was struggling to contact anyone to ask about the venue, and we couldn't even find the place on Google Maps. In the end we were convinced that it was all a big con, and we'd find ourselves in a field in the middle of nowhere, with no Experience happening and my money down the drain.

Finally, however, Bry found a phone number, and after loads of tries, someone actually answered the phone, and sounded convincing enough that we decided it wasn't a con after all. So we booked the Bird of Prey Experience for Sunday 17th August.

And then, the you-know-what hit the you-know-which (which is a fine analogy, as you will see in a minute).


Last week, we were chatting on the phone, and I asked Bry about the facilities. Oh, she says, she doesn't know, but they are bound to have loos and a cafe at the very least, so don't worry, Mum!

Yep. Bry really hasn't got a handle on the old Diverticular and IBS issues - namely that when I gotta go I've GOT TO GO!!!

So I can't leave that sort of thing to chance.

I'm way-y-y past the stage of being willing, or indeed even able, to squat in the bushes! Always assuming there is even a bush to be found. I don't know what would be more embarrassing - having to do that, or having to ask someone to help me up afterwards! UGH! Doesn't bear thinking about!

Anywhoo, I went off on an internet search after Bry gave me the venue name. Finally, I found the details of the owner of the showgrounds, so I emailed to ask about the facilities.

Guess what....

There are none!

Remember the field in the middle of nowhere we were talking about?

It's a field in the middle of nowhere!

No toilets, no seating, no food, no drink.

No bushes either!!

The nearest toilets are in the local village pub! Not exactly venue-adjacent. The pubs close at 2.30pm, and we are going to be at the venue from 1pm to about 4.30, and the pub doesn't re-open until 6pm.

So, I've spent the whole day trying to decide what to do after a terrible panic attack last night from the worry. Bry forwarded me the booking confirmations and I found that we have to cancel in writing SEVEN days before the event or I won't get my money back.

Oh Great! No more time to think about options. It is go time or cancel time, so start the Countdown Clock!

So now, I've had to contact them on Facebook AND by email, and all I can do is keep my fingers crossed that they don't mean seven working days. *sigh*

It isn't looking too good for getting a different venue booked by the 17th either, but we WILL have our Bird of Prey Experience, as I plan to book directly with the folks at Castle Hedingham this time. I figure that way there's less chance of them vanishing when we try to book the date. :-)

Oh, and Buyagift won't refund the money! They say the people we booked the experience with are responsible for that. I wonder what Buyagift's commission is on 100. Hmmm...

Wish us luck!
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAWFAN 8/8/2014 9:27PM


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MAURIZIA 8/8/2014 8:17PM

  Oh, my. As Linda posted, I sure hope you can find a more civilized location for your experience. I think we all know, as we get older, that when you gotta go, you gotta go!


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_LINDA 8/8/2014 5:34PM

    Sorry this isn't working out for you :-(( I fully understand the IBS issues as I am dealing with it myself.
It was totally astonishing to me when I entered my first 5 km race, a Color Me Rad, that they did not even have so much as a Port-a-Potty!! And the nearby Exhibition grounds made sure all their washrooms were locked up tight!! Outrageous! This was an event throwing water and other hydrating beverages at you, but not expecting you to need a loo?? Needless to say that is one race I will never enter again!!
I hope you can get this rebooked at a more civilized facility!!
Linda xxx

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BOVEY63 8/8/2014 5:01PM

    Good luck. Sure sounds like a rip off to me.

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NEW-CAZ 8/8/2014 4:24PM

    You lead a complicated life Lex, so many considerations emoticon what a beep beep nuisance.

Hope it works out emoticon

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OMG! Look who Tara bumped into...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Yes! It's Olly Murs!!!

Tara and her bestie, Charlotte, were in Game in Colchester, and Olly Murs was in there, shopping. He asked them if they wanted a photo with him, so, naturally, they said yes please!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 8/1/2014 4:42PM

    How exciting for them!

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_LINDA 7/28/2014 11:41PM

    Isn't that the score! So glad for Tara and her bestie! What a cutie!

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ICECUB 7/28/2014 6:42PM


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ARTJAC 7/28/2014 6:20PM


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HICKOK-HALEY 7/28/2014 5:18PM

    He seemed a bit familiar, but I had to look him up too. I like his voice. That's nice he was so kind.

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MAURIZIA 7/28/2014 3:03PM

  Obviously wonderful...now I have to google him to know who he is. LOL

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ANNEMAC5 7/28/2014 1:39PM

    How lovely for Tara and her friend. He seems like a nice guy good of him to do the photp

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SDEHNKE 7/28/2014 11:40AM

    I feel so old. I had no idea who that was. I had to look him up on YouTube. LOL


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SHAWFAN 7/28/2014 11:09AM


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NEW-CAZ 7/28/2014 10:58AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CARLA-216 7/28/2014 9:25AM

    How neat is that? What a good guy to have his picture made with Tara and Charlotte!

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