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Day 99: The Best Laid Plans...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ah well, it can't be helped. We aren't going into London tomorrow for the Children's literary festival - Word Up! Unfortunately, Tara has been poorly all week, with some weird bug that has mostly affected her digestive system, causing a total loss of appetite, and her energy levels have been shot to pieces as a consequence. While I think she is turning the corner, her tiredness is definitely an issue when getting up before dawn and more than four hours of travelling is involved, never mind that she would find screaming kids hard to take in her weakened state of health (her autistic tendencies make her sensitive to loud noise at the best of times), and if her system starts to grumble out of range of loos, well... Nuff Said :-)

Thank the gods that Bryony hasn't actually paid out for anything yet. She had the tickets reserved, but was able to put them back for other people to buy (a perk of working for the company), and I was buying the train tickets on the day as the price wasn't going to be any cheaper by getting them in advance. So no harm, no foul, just a shame that Tara is missing out. Still, maybe Jacqueline Wilson will do something closer to home one day and she can see her then. :-)

On the plus side, I've been playing with EA Sports and have completed 7/20 routines from the challenge now. Still enjoying it, and I'm determined to complete the routines of the 30 day challenge, and then do the same again on the medium intensity and then the high intensity. After that I hope to set up some custom routines instead. :-) I'm so pleased that I have something that is encouraging me to get some strength training in. I like the Wii Fit Plus ST too, but this EA game is really working me out. :-) Its biggest advantage (so far, anyway) over Wii Fit Plus, is that its routines haven't had me prone. With the random routine generator on WFP, it doesn't let you screen out the exercises you can't do, whereas EA allows you to, but I haven't had to screen any out yet because everything has been done in an upright position. :-)

Today I am rather suffering because I got a bit carried away. After EA, I did 11 minutes of Aerobic Stepping, then I spent an hour (with short breaks between) working three 20 minute cardio routines from Colleen Nolan's Let's Get Physical exercise DVD. Now my bod is having a bit of a moan at me. I think my right leg would rise up and throttle me if only my body was that flexible! LOL :-) Never mind. I Will Survive! Hey, at least they had warm-ups, cool downs and stretches built in. :-)

I've filled another A5 notebook with all my exercise stats. Switching to an A4 one now. I'm about a mile from Liverpool on my Land's End to John O'Groats walk.

It says that I've walked 'Eight Days a Week' 'Across the Universe' on my 'Magical Mystery Tour' with my Nintendo DS, and that 'It Won't Be Long' before I'm sitting in an 'Octopus's Garden' 'When I'm Sixty Four' (48 actually, on 3rd Nov), getting by 'With A Little Help From My (Spark)Friends.

'The Long and Winding Road', well 'You Really Got a Hold On Me', and as I look out over the sea when I reach John O'Groats, I will spot the 'Yellow Submarine' and eat a slice of 'Wild Honey Pie' to celebrate. Then I'll get my 'Ticket to Ride' back to the start of the walk once more. 'That'll be the Day'! *grin*

In short, I've walked 383 miles in 99 days. :-)

So, now I'm cooking dinner for us both. A little pasta for Tara and some of that leftover Chicken Tagine for me. My mouth is watering already. :-)
Hope you've had a wonderful weekend! :-)
Lex xxx
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And I had to find a Beatles one, didn't I! LOL

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 10/24/2011 3:35PM

    Hope Tara is feeling better!
You are doing so awesome on the work outs!
emoticon emoticon
Have a wonderful day!

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CARLA-216 10/24/2011 11:12AM

    Good thoughts that Tara feels better real soon. I'm sorry you both have to miss the trip to London and the Word Up festival.

Love the sound of that EA Sports program. I'm glad you're enjoying it, too!


: Amazing! 383 miles in 99 days!

Comment edited on: 10/24/2011 11:12:33 AM

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SENATOR9 10/24/2011 10:52AM

    Hope Tara feel better soon.The Beatles were great emoticon

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YOYONOMORE1 10/23/2011 5:48PM

    Hope Tara feels much better soon. Good job on those miles. Been missing you on the daily challenges, Wanda and I are getting lonely on Sat. and Sun. as it's mostly just been the two of us posting. We've had a gorgeous fall day, temps in the 60's. My friend and I went for a lovely hour and a half walk today. It's been a nice weekend. Hope you and Tara have a good week.


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ANNIE924 10/23/2011 5:41PM

    Sorry you missed out on your trip, but I hope Tara feels better soon.

Good going on the exercise. I can't do floor exercises either, so I know it must be nice to find something that doesn't include them.

Have a great week. emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 10/23/2011 5:26PM

    Poor Tara! I hope she's soon well again Lex.

I have Let's Get Physical too, great fun and I tend to get carried away with multiple sessions, it's adictive.
emoticon on 383 miles in 99 days. you're an enegizer bunny Lex,,no stopping you.

Loved the song theme LOL.
Take care of those DOMS (delayed onset muscle sorenes) with LIGHT cardio and GENTLE stretching.
Hope you enjoyed dinner, have a good week Lex emoticon

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    Aw, I'm sorry you will miss your trip and hope Tara feels better soon.

Well done with your fitness! Awesome!

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_LINDA 10/23/2011 4:56PM

    Wow! Sounds awesome that program! I have been frustrated that a lot of my classes have floor segments where they work the abs and do those planks, etc., that I can't do.. I will complain about it at the meeting in Nov., as they have lots of classes for muscle sculpting and I don't think they belong as part of a cardio class. That is great mileage you are getting! It is so easy to get carried away with exercising because it feels so good, but those crashes are a bother..
Enjoyed the trip down memory lane with those song titles!
I hope you and Tara feel better soon!
Linda xxx

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Day 95: Answer: A Spider Parachutist! But what is the question?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's ok, I won't keep you hanging, though the spider certainly was!

The question is:

What is the last thing you expect to see out of a Waitrose shop window?

Seriously! I was waiting at the customer service desk while the assistant went to double check the price of my apricots when a movement caught my eye. I looked towards the window, and spotted a plastic bag flying about in the wind, and there was - I kid you not - a large spider clinging to the side of the bag for all it was worth! The bag flew up and away from the window, with the spider still hanging on for dear life, and then they both disappeared from view.

Intrepid spider explorer! LOL

I wonder where it ended up...


Or maybe here...

or even...

In sporting news...

I messed about with EA Sports Active opersonal Trainer again. I'm trying to work out how the rest days work. I did the third routine on the third day and it shifted my rest days along a day as a result. Then I took a rest day on day four, did the 4th routine on day 5, and today (day 6) I've rested. I think that should bring the routine back to how it was originally set up. So tomorrow I get to do the fifth routine. I really feel the workouts. I've never used a resistance band before and my arms are getting the benefit, for sure! :-)

I've done loads of Wii Zumba the last couple of days, and loads of jogging with Wii Fit Plus too. On top of that I've danced a fair few Just Dance and Just Dance 2 songs. The EA game is giving me strength training, so I've been concentrating on cardio elsewhere. The Wii has certainly been getting a workout! :-)

My minimum daily step count is up to 7200 now. I try as far as possible to get those in during exercise, though I do cave when I have a long walk to do, like having to walk into town. Tomorrow, for instance, I may be going into town to pick up a couple of books I reserved at the library. I'm playing with my new slow cooker, so I'm looking for inspiration and all the slow cooker recipe books were either on loan or invisible last week when I looked. That's why I reserved a couple of titles.

And talking of the slow cooker, I made my first meal from scratch in it today. This is the recipe:


I made it exactly as specified (aside from serving it with rice and peas instead of couscous), and it was GORGEOUS! I was very greedy and ate a little more that I should have done, but as it is a really healthy dish, I think I can be forgiven, and I'll make sure to split the rest into less stomach-bloating portions for the freezer. emoticon

I bought thighs still on the bone because if you buy them already skinned and boned they are twice the price! It doesn't take long to cut the meat off with a pair of kitchen scissors and chunk it up. The total cost of the recipe was around 8, which if you stick to the eight portions the recipe poster suggests is incredibly cheap. Personally, once it has cooled, I'm expecting it to do about 5/6 portions, which is still very reasonable.

I am definitely making it again! :-)

To make use of the bones, tomorrow I'm boiling them up to save any meat still left on them, and making a chicken and veg soup in the slow cooker.

Then, on Friday, I hope to make a beef stew or something also in the slow cooker. :-) Yum!

The freezer is starting to fill up again. :-)

Hope today has been a good one for you all. I'll try and catch up with you all around Spark over the next few days. My inbox is jammed again! LOL
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 10/23/2011 5:09PM

    Wow! What a story of that spider! I am not particularly fond of them as a bite from one took six months to heal, but I partcularly hate getting those cobwebs swept across my face when out for walkies..
Great dedication on your fitness! You are making good use out of those games!
Way to go stretching your dollar on your food.
Glad you got a great meal out of your slow cooker! I don't cook at all and don't own anything but a frying pan and a sauce pan I never have occasion to use lol.
Keep up the great work!
Linda xxx

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HICKOK-HALEY 10/23/2011 3:21AM

    Your blog sure put a smile on my face. Love your background pic!

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/23/2011 2:38AM

    OOh thank you I am making that recipe ! I loved your blog (even with my newly acquired spider aversion LOL) hugs,Cheri

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MNOT2THICK 10/22/2011 9:11AM

    I can imagine the spider in flight. emoticon

My slow cooker is coming out of retirement tonight. Awesome recipe, thanks.

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CHEVY63 10/21/2011 9:14AM

    Great blog (as always!) I can just see that spider flying away.

Slow cookers are great - I'll have to try this recipe, I get tired of doing the same thing over and over!

Hope you're having a good day.


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CARLA-216 10/20/2011 11:41AM

    PS: that dog looks so much like Charlie. If he had freckles on his legs I'd swear it was him!

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CARLA-216 10/20/2011 11:38AM

    Mmm, that chicken tangine looks yummy! I need to use my slow cooker more, but I don't care for the texture of the meat when cooked in one. I do cook beans a lot in it, and soup (because the meat is tiny shreds in soup).

Funny about the spider going on a wild and crazy ride!


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SENATOR9 10/20/2011 10:12AM

    I use mine 4-5 time a week.Thank for the recipe emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 10/20/2011 8:40AM

    I have GOT to remember to get my slow cooker out and then put something in it! I've been dancing to JD3 because my daughter bought it and it's already in the Wii. My poor Wii fitness is sitting in the corner waiting for me to stand on it.

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WANDAH3 10/20/2011 7:26AM

    I love my slow cooker...it is so nice to come home from work to a meal that is already! Glad you are finding such a great use for yours too.

Have an awesome day my friend.


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NEW-CAZ 10/20/2011 2:55AM

    Would love to have seen the spider LOL
That recipe sounds yummy and I think I would have had the rice too!
Have a great Thursday Lex emoticon

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ANNIE924 10/19/2011 8:56PM

    Your slow cooker meals sound great. I love using my slow cooker. My favorite is Salsa Chicken, you can find the recipe on Spark Recipes. I like to have it with rice or roll it up in a flour tortilla. Add a salad and you have a complete meal. emoticon

You are really taking care of the exercise these days. I like using resistance bands, hoping to get back to them soon. emoticon

Have great day tomorrow. Hope you get some good slow cooker cookbooks. I use Allrecipes.com too, another good one is Food.com.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 10/19/2011 7:18PM

    Would have loved to see the spider flying by.
Some more great work outs!
The recipe sure does sound yummy!

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Day 91: Had another play with EA

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 2 of the 30 Day Challenge on EA Active Personal Trainer, and it pushed things up a small notch.

Calorie Target: 122.4
Calories Burned: 133.6
Workout Time: 0:22:34
Exercises Completed: 18/18

Instead of 8 reps of strength exercises it upped to 10, 12, and in one case 16. It also started me on some basic tennis moves and added some high knees to my running. The tennis was harder than expected! I'm going to have to work on my backhand! :-)

I love how it varies your workout so you get to do enough variety not to get bored. As I bore easily during strength training, this should help no end! :-)

In other strange news, I played my very first game of Pokemon yesterday. Never thought that would happen, but Tara is a keen Pokemon fan, and she bought a couple of decks over the last three weeks and needed someone to play with so she can get used to using them. As it happens, it wasn't as boring as I thought it would be, and she may not have to tie me to the kitchen table to force me to play again. :-)

But at least I'm not this obsessed...

So, apart from EA Active, I also danced to 12 Just Dance songs (41 mins), and did some jogging on Wii Fit Plus (24 mins). Plenty of exercise for me today. :-)

Tomorrow is a rest day for EA Active, so I'll be playing elsewhere to get my kicks. :-)

Hope you are all having a great weekend! I'm off to bed to carry on reading my Monk book (from the TV series). Love that show and the books are just as funny, if not more so!

Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 10/23/2011 5:19PM

    Great work as usual with the exercise -strength training is boring so that is wonderful this game makes it interesting!
Uh oh, another pokemon convert?? I must admit I couldn't get over my nephew still playing them at 22, really thought they were for kids, honestly..
Never heard of this Monk, will have to do a search on it..
I always enjoy your cheery blogs and don't know how I missed these, but I have had others not showing on my friend feed also, making it a royal pain for keeping up.
Linda xxx

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BIGGEEKDAD 10/19/2011 12:09PM

    The big question is whether EA is FUN? I'm like you in that I get bored easily.

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MOSTMOM1 10/19/2011 10:33AM

    Bwahaha, that text is hilarious! My DS used to be obsessed about Pokemon 24/7. Way to keep things moving!

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MNOT2THICK 10/18/2011 7:23PM

    Way to go Lexie!!

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CHEVY63 10/18/2011 8:53AM

    Sounds like you're having a lot of fun with your new stuff! I know what you mean about getting bored - I've started doing a lot of classes to try something new, too.

Hope your week is off to a good start!

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LOVESLIFE48 10/18/2011 7:57AM


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CARLA-216 10/17/2011 9:45AM

    Good job!

I am also a fan of Monk. I'll have to look for the books.


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BOVEY63 10/16/2011 1:36PM

    You are doing so great! Love your enthusiasm!

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NEW-CAZ 10/16/2011 2:49AM

    Great workout Lex, I love Monk too.
Have a great Sunday emoticon

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SENATOR9 10/16/2011 1:13AM

    Your exercise program is great

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ANNEMAC5 10/16/2011 12:08AM

    Great job with the exercise and doing a little bit more. I love Monk and have read a couple of the books. Have a great Sunday.
Anne x

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ANNIE924 10/15/2011 8:55PM

    Yes indeed lots of exercise, good for you. emoticon

I didn't realize there were Monk books. I will have to look for them at the library. Thanks for the tip. emoticon

Have a great sleep and a wonderful Sunday.


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Day 90: EA Active Personal Trainer - First Impressions

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yay, I finally got to set up my new (to me) EA Active Personal Trainer today and try it out! :-)

The equipment that comes with it is interesting. You get a leg strap which sits round your thigh and holds the nunchuk during some of the exercises. You also get the most bizarre resistance band I've ever seen. It comes as a long plastic strip and two handles that you attach to the plastic. I was dubious when I saw it, but I followed the instructions and it works really well.

EA also works with the balance board as an optional extra, so I activated that too. :-)

To start with you have to set up your profile, which was fun because I work in inches and pounds, and EA works in centimetres and kilos. Fortunately, my work tape measure has both inches and centimetres on it, and my Weightwatcher scales do kilos as well as pounds, so it was only a temporary stumbling block. Like a couple of minutes. LOL

Then I set up to do the 30-day challenge. I've set it to the lowest intensity to start with, and it gave me a total of just under 20 minutes of actual exercise today, even though I was actually using it for an hour!

The reason for the discrepancy was that as it was my first time using it, there was a lot to set up, and every exercise is explained with a video before you do it for the first time. Even though I knew how to do some of them, I still watched the videos and learned a couple of things I didn't know, like when you do side lunges you should have your weight in your heel. It helps to stop your knees tracking over your feet. Doing them that way made them feel more stable than my usual ones, so that's good. I shall be applying that knowledge to the wii fit plus side lunges next time I do them. :-)

You can't cheat with EA Active. If you don't do the move right you don't get a point, so you have to work at it, which is great. I also discovered that I can still use my mini trampoline for the running, which protects my joints. I did try and run on the floor initially, but found keeping the pace up difficult. On the trampoline it worked much better for me.

Oh, and it works on a rota of two days of exercise, one rest day, two days exercise, one rest day, and so on...

So, at the end of my first session:
I had exercised for 19 mins 10 secs.
The projected calorie burn was 104.4 and I burned 111.7 calories.
I completed 16/16 exercises.

I added 1147 steps to my pedometer.

All in all I enjoyed it. The slight irritation caused by having to switch between different equipment for the different exercises was mitigated by the fact that it was just so much fun to tangle up in the swap-overs. *grin* During my first attempt at kickboxing the leg strap slid down round my ankle, causing some distraction and a lot of laughs as I tried to get it off! LOL It wasn't in use at the time because the boxing and kickboxing has you holding the nunchuk in your hand not in the leg strap. Later, while trying to discard the resistance band, I got it hopelessly tangled in the nunchuk cord.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. The game hinted that there will be tennis included in the exercises. :-)

I wish I could write more but I'm really tired, so I'm calling it a night. :-)
Hope you have all had a great day.
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLA-216 10/15/2011 4:45PM

    You make everything sound like fun, even if there are some minor irritants along the way.

I'm glad that it's making you do correct form. It's very important in lunges and squats for your knee to never track beyond your ankle!


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BOVEY63 10/15/2011 12:13PM

    Sounds like a good program with the added bonus of some laughs!
Have a wonderful weekend!

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NEW-CAZ 10/15/2011 3:10AM

    Sounds like you're going to enjoy working out Lex, great that it's a stickler for not cheating LOL

Enjoy your weekend....looks like we're in for more good weather til next week emoticon

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AERYFAERY 10/14/2011 9:31PM

    I really like EA Active too. It's a very good workout, no matter your skill level. You can always make it more difficult by customizing the workouts. I ended up purchasing a set of (cheap) resistance bands so I would have different levels of resistance to work with.

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_LINDA 10/14/2011 7:15PM

    What a fun game, and that is absolutely great its making sure you are getting the proper form in. I don't know that I could ever use something like that, its all I can do not to trip over my own feet let alone worry about a nunchuk strapped to a body part or held in a hand..
I am still caught between the metric and English. My scale is in pounds only and that is what I prefer. I can't picture someone 165 cm tall, but I do get 5' 6"
Hope you get a good night's sleep and rest!
Have fun with your game, enjoy your weekend!
Linda xxx

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Day 88: Free Cereal On The Doorstep, and a New Game To Play With

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It has been a good day today so far. I got woken by the postie first thing, as he was clutching a package for me. Oddlass very kindly offered me her copy of EA Active Personal Trainer, as she didn't have the time to devote to it. I covered her expenses and it saved me 20, as it would have cost a lot more to buy locally, and it was on my Wii games wishlist. She had snagged it at a car boot. :-) The game arrived today, and I can't wait to set it up and have a play.

Thanks Oddlass for thinking of me! *blows kiss* emoticon

And that wasn't all that arrived on my doorstep. Yesterday I had a bright yellow paper bag put through our letterbox, with a note on it to say that if I put it outside by 9am today, I'd get a free box of cereal - All Bran Golden Crunch. I've tried All Bran and Branflakes and they dry my mouth out, but what the hey, if this proves to do the same, someone else in the neighbourhood would probably like them, and if it turns out to be nice, then I win a free breakfast. Turns out I win 8 free breakfasts. It was a 360g box! I opened the pack and munched one of the clusters, and it has a lovely flavour - almost toffee-like. I think I'll have some for breakfast tomorrow. :-)

I clocked up 9500 steps going shopping at Tesco Extra, and we took advantage of a lot of cut prices and special offers in the process, plus had a drop of alcohol on the way home courtesy of a premix promotion van that had set up shop outside the store. I had a nice drop of Vodka and Coke with Lime out of a can. LOL Nothing like a shot of alcohol to fortify you for a long walk home dragging a heavy shopping trolley! I highly recommend it.

Now I'm sitting at my computer writing this and listening to Pointless. I LOVE this show. It is such good fun, and Tara and I really enjoy trying to beat the contestants with our pointless knowledge. :-)

Types of Whales: Go! *grin*

So, as I've done such a lot of steps today and my right hip is complaining I'll have to be patient and not play with my new game until tomorrow, or even Friday, because I really need to go into town tomorrow if possible. I want to raid the library for Crockpot Cookery Books, Tara wants me to pick up something for her from Game, and I'm after a pair of slippers, and a belt to hold up my jeans as my ever shrinking waist is even making my size 16s bag a bit.

Hope you are all having a great day!
Lex xxx
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Surreal Cereal on my doorstep!

A Shot of Alcofrol:

Proper Dresscode For Using EA Active:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WANDAH3 10/14/2011 7:35AM

    The blesses that come your way are wonderful...keep on doing what you are doing and the blessings will keep on flowing.
Have a lovely weekend.

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BOVEY63 10/13/2011 12:45PM

    Sounds like a darn good day - a little vodka does sound good (I mix it with my Crystal Light Raspberry Lemonade - Yummy!)

Hope your hip is feeling better!

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ANNIE924 10/12/2011 9:50PM

    Sounds like a great day to me. Enjoy your new Wii program and your free breakfast. Take care. emoticon emoticon

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SENATOR9 10/12/2011 7:06PM

    Enjoy the breakfast and the game

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NEW-CAZ 10/12/2011 3:32PM

    Enjoy your brekki Lex and emoticon on baggy jeans, can't be bad.

I love Pointless but now addicted to The Chase!
But that Alexander Armstrong is a great charecter. Have you seen him in the insurance ads...what a hoot!

Have a good evening babes emoticon

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CARLA-216 10/12/2011 2:52PM

    Enjoy your free breakfast, and your new game courtesy of Oddlass!

Look at you with your baggy jeans. How awesome is that?


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_LINDA 10/12/2011 2:34PM

    Fantastic! You go girl! The rotten about living in an apartment we don't get those freebies houses get. My Mom has gotten shampoo, dish washing liquid and laundry detergent as well as all kinds of nummy samples!!
Enjoy your new game! Have a wonderful Wednesday evening!
Linda xxx

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