MRS.DOYLE's SparkPeople Blog MRS.DOYLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Fifty Shades of Magnolia..... I have just returned from a typical Bank Holiday weekend trip to the local DIY store. I say "local" but it is about 5 miles away. I hadn't planned to go there. In fact I was already dressed in my gym clothes when Hubby uttered the immortal words "I'm just off to buy some paint for the hall". <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We don't paint the hall very often as it involves ladders, dust sheets and lots of ma... Sat, 30 Apr 2016 10:37:47 EST Quick Easter trip..... We just paid a flying visit to the English Lake District. We stayed in Grasmere and here was the view from our bedroom window. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I took this on Good Friday because I want to remember this amazing view and the amazing weather. It was cold, but otherwise sunny and dry all day. <BR> <BR> Grasmere was affected by the winter floods and is still suffering. We noticed far fewer tourists... Sun, 27 Mar 2016 16:21:37 EST Skirting boards finished.... This is a photo-free blog post. You lovely Sparklers have been asking for photos of my house decorating. But all I have been doing is painting skirting boards. Photos of them would be as interesting as....watching paint dry. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> But if you want a better image, just picture someone painting a white line down the M25. For those who don't know, it is a circular motorway that surround... Wed, 9 Mar 2016 16:50:56 EST The builders have gone.....WOO HOO! We started renovating the ground floor rooms in our house before Christmas and I am DELIGHTED to announce that the last builder finished today. <BR> <em>244</em> <em>244</em> <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> I have been doing the happy dance since this morning. <BR> <em>355</em> <BR> <BR> I have also just given some little chocolates to the neighbours who have had to put up with some horrendous noise and never complained. <BR> <em>304</em> <BR> <BR> The low points were Christmas wh... Fri, 12 Feb 2016 11:25:57 EST Sugar addict I recently bought my first Smartphone. I have never really felt the need for one before. But Daughter left home and occasionally sends photos that I wasn't able to open on my dumbphone. Then Hubby showed me an app that he had downloaded on to his all-bells-and-whistles phone. It is the Change4live Sugar Smart app. <BR> <BR> This app was the final straw that broke my I-don't-need-a-Smartphone back. I have been using it whenever I remember to. It is very easy to use. Just open the app a... Thu, 4 Feb 2016 10:55:29 EST New kitchen... By popular request (thanks New-Caz) here are a couple of photos of my new kitchen. I don't have any of the old kitchen. But it was very bland with brown units, brown worktops and a brown floor. We installed it ourselves 13 years ago and realised straightaway that we had made a mistake. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This shows the insulation that our clever carpenter put under the kitchen floor. Our house i... Sun, 17 Jan 2016 13:36:15 EST 2015 recap and goals for 2016 Greetings and Happy New Year to everyone. <BR> <em>411</em> <BR> <BR> I have just read the post I wrote this time last year and found it to be happy and hopeful. I also had a pang at how innocent it was. Some bad things happened in the world in 2015 that were very upsetting. <BR> <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> 2015 continued to be generally great for me. Hubby and I are enjoying the peace and quiet of having our home back to ourselves. We have renovated the bathroom and are currently doin... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 03:52:18 EST Warning to car drivers.... <BR> Look out for little animals ... <BR> <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> v <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 6 Dec 2015 12:41:44 EST Bit of a shocker :-(( Well I have just been for the results of my recent NHS blood checks. This is a really excellent free service still available to us here in the UK at a time of austerity. The thinking is definitely prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure. <BR> <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> Some of my results were good. Liver and kidney functions are good. My sugar level is low. My weight is within the healthy BMI range. My blood pressure is 106/62 which I thought was low, but apparently is within the "... Fri, 27 Nov 2015 07:31:26 EST 9, 1, 5, 9, 9, 1, 5, 9........ ...those numbers have controlled my waking hours for 8 of the last 12 weeks. <BR> <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> They were the times I had to put in 3 different lots of eye drops after 2 eye operations. I had to leave 5 minutes between each drop, so the whole performance took at least 10 minutes plus however long it took to wipe all the sticky mess off my eyelashes afterwards. I learned the hard way that not cleaning up immediately made it very difficult to do later. Taking a hammer and chisel ... Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:28:58 EST Second sight.... <em>244</em> my second, delayed eye op took place yesterday and it seems to have gone well. <BR> <em>250</em> <BR> <BR> It is standard procedure here to operate on the weaker eye first. That's what happened to me at the beginning of September and, because the second op was delayed, I had to get through 7 tortuous weeks with uncomfortable put it mildly. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's operation was quick and painless and I can already see well. Considering that healing and eyes... Thu, 22 Oct 2015 11:38:39 EST A bit more about me... THANKS FOR THE IDEA NEW-CAZ <BR> <BR> Where is your cell phone? NEXT TO MY LAP TOP <BR> <BR> Spouse? YES <BR> <BR> Your hair? 10% BRUNETTE, 90% GREY <BR> <BR> Your mother? ALIVE AND KICKING <BR> <BR> Your father? SADLY DEPARTED <BR> <BR> Your favorite thing? A GOOD BOOK <BR> <BR> Your dream last night? ALL FORGOTTEN. HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING AS I'M WEARING A PLASTIC EYE PATCH FOR PROTECTION AFTER A CATARACT OP <BR> <BR> Favorite drink? SPARKLING WATER <BR> <BR> What room are you in? ... Tue, 8 Sep 2015 13:03:02 EST Oh nooooo!!!!!.... Well my first eye op went well yesterday. Hubby took a photo of me when I came home. But I am definitely not looking my best in it. So it will go into the family archives and won't be published online to scare anybody! <BR> <BR> I took the bandage off this morning and I now look even worse with a bloodshot eye. But that is completely normal and only to be expected after all the poking about it endured...including about 5 injections. Eugh! <BR> <em>234</em> <BR> <BR> The big "oh no"... Fri, 4 Sep 2015 07:04:22 EST 60th birthday celebrations....warning: photo heavy! My biggy 60th birthday was last week and I decided to celebrate it over several days as it is quite a milestone. <BR> <BR> I did things that I have been meaning to do for some time. SO....I had a family meal in the Shard, visited Holmfirth in West Yorkshire, toured the Peak District and went to look at the phone boxes sculpture in Kingston. <BR> <BR> Here are some of the best photos: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <B... Mon, 17 Aug 2015 03:27:42 EST A fat weekend....? I just had a brilliant weekend in Dublin....meeting up with distant family and introducing Daughter's boyfriend to Ireland for the first time. <BR> <em>220</em> <em>440</em> <BR> <BR> The food was good and mainly healthy and I managed to even lose half a kilo of weight. When I entered that on my Spark tracker it calculated that I had lost 2kg! <BR> <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> Not possible or true!!!! It simply means that I haven't tracked my weight for quite a while. <BR> <em>24... Wed, 24 Jun 2015 03:19:49 EST Blown it, but not all bad news..... Well, I knew Easter would be a challenging time to give up chocolate. I even told the people who were likely to buy me an Easter egg that I didn't want one this year. Then daft Husband gives me a small box of Maltesers and even dafter me opens them. <BR> <em>29</em> <BR> <BR> I even ate a few before realising that I wasn't enjoying them and didn't know why I was eating them. <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> There was a bin near me and I happily poured the rest of the chocolates into ... Fri, 3 Apr 2015 11:34:18 EST Saying NO to chocolate.... I started a Spark streak a while ago. It measured how many weeks I could last without chocolate. Well, I never managed a full week. I often managed 6 days out of 7, so I wasn't too perturbed about it. It compared to eating chocolate EVERY day before becoming a Sparkler. <BR> <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> A couple of weeks ago, I read "Chocolate Busters" by Jason Vale. It looked worth reading because a lot of the reviewers said that they ate chocolate for decades and gave up as soon as they ... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:27:27 EST 2014 recap and goals for 2015... I just reread the blog post I wrote at the beginning of 2014. I started by saying that 2013 had passed in a blur of sameness and I ended by vowing to go to the gym at least 3 times per week. <BR> <BR> Well, 2014 went fairly quickly as well but there were more highs and lows. The Pilates class that I had been attending for the last 8 years closed down. <BR> <em>46</em> <BR> I applied for voluntary severance from my Sunday job but was turned down as they did not want to lose my skills an... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 05:06:14 EST Santa comes from the North Pole Recently on tv there was a trailer advertising a forthcoming programme. Two children were having a conversation as follows: <BR> <BR> Child 1: Santa comes from the North Pole. <BR> Child 2: There's no such thing as the North Pole. <BR> <BR> It sounded like a completely genuine, unscripted conversation and made me laugh every time I heard it. <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> For everyone who might be worried, let me assure you that there IS a North Pole. <BR> <BR> I will carry on logging... Sat, 20 Dec 2014 11:07:36 EST Six years ago today..... .....I discovered and joined SparkPeople. I was overweight, knew why I was overweight and didn't have any high hopes of losing weight online. How wrong I was. I reached my target weight within 6 months and have stayed in my maintenance range ever since. <BR> <em>244</em> <em>252</em> <BR> <BR> It definitely hasn't been easy. I have to stay motivated by logging in EVERY day. That helps me to connect with some lovely, inspiring Spark friends and helps to ram home the message about ... Wed, 12 Nov 2014 03:40:08 EST 21 today...., not me!! Twenty one years ago today my daughter finally deigned to be born, only 9 days late. She was supposed to be a Libra but ended up as a Scorpio. I take all that with a pinch of salt. But Scorpio sums her up well as she can be very prickly. She has also been very hard work, though there were good times: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As an example of the hard work, the photo was taken just after her first birthday.... Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:14:57 EST The computer saga rumbles on and keeps me fit..... So...a couple of weeks ago I baptised my laptop and put it out of action. That was annoying <em>24</em> but I didn't lose any documents or pictures as I now backup everything up in lots of places. <BR> <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> I went back to using an old laptop. It had gone in for repair a year ago and was working pretty well. Then yesterday the same problem put it out of action. It just isn't worth carrying on repairing something that is on its last legs. <BR> <em>198</em> <BR>... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:21:29 EST Back in the saddle... My last blog post shows me grinning happily. Little did I know that 3 days later my knee would cave in and cause me lots of problems for nearly 2 months. I don't think the knee gave in because I had recently travelled from London to Manchester and back again on the same day. That meant about 6 hours sitting on a train. I was worried it might be a blood clot, but I didn't have the right symptoms. Instead I can only blame jumping up too quickly from a chair when I was doing one of my theat... Wed, 8 Oct 2014 14:35:10 EST A brilliant Corrie tour.... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here's me having a fantastic time on the Coronation Street Studio Tour. I am literally standing where hundreds of actors have stood over the last 50+ years. I think I spent the whole tour beaming from ear to ear. <BR> <BR> I recommend the tour to any Corrie fan who can travel to Manchester. It was a bit of an eye-opener as the sets are so SMALL and the actors' dressing rooms and Green Room were very basic. <BR>... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 03:26:09 EST For the knitters among you.... I have designed and knitted a little keepsake or gift bag in memory of the child who touched so many hearts in 10 short years. <BR> <BR> Here is the link to the free pattern: <BR> <link><BR>-precious-moments-gift-bag </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I published it on Ravelry which is a free crafting website and well worth a look for knitting, crochet and other crafting ideas. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:22:06 EST Uplifting triathlon story.... Here is a moving story about an 8 year old boy who brought his disabled 6 year old brother along with him in a youth triathlon.... <BR> <BR> Here's an updated link: <BR> <link><BR>ear-old-boy-carried-his-disabled-broth<BR>er-through-an-en </link> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:04:57 EST Just devastated... I had some really sad news today. I volunteer as a reading helper at my local primary school. In February I was assigned to a boy who was identified as likely to benefit from one-to-one reading help. He was the sort of well behaved child who just disappears in a class of 30 children. <BR> <BR> Well, he flourished and his reading level advanced by 3 subgrades which his teacher told me was more than expected. <BR> <BR> Yesterday the boy was almost squealing with excitement about a forthcom... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:49:07 EST Need a bit of advice about phones...... <em>213</em> Hello all you clever people... <BR> <BR> Maybe someone can help me with a query about mobile phones. <BR> <BR> I have a really basic mobile phone that is years old and does not connect to the Internet. I really like some of the Spark People tracking apps, so I am considering joining the 21st century and upgrading my phone. <em>246</em> This would be a big step for me as I like my current museum piece! <BR> <BR> I have always resisted buying a new phone as I didn't th... Sun, 15 Jun 2014 02:33:11 EST Use it or lose it..... How true that expression is! <BR> <BR> Last week I was uber busy and had to miss going to the gym for a whole 7 days. Considering I have been to the gym 4 times per week since I rejoined in December, that was a big deal for me. <BR> <em>46</em> <BR> <BR> My 4 visits tend to be divided equally between cardio and weights work outs. I am back in my old routine now and what a difference that missed week has made. <BR> <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> I have had to slightly reduce the weights I a... Thu, 22 May 2014 02:55:05 EST The half-marathon that went pear-shaped..... If this was April 1st I would have thought the following story was a joke. Sadly it wasn't. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>yorkshire-26910318 </link> <BR> <BR> I understand both sides of this story and can quite see why the runners set off anyway. Sun, 6 Apr 2014 12:40:00 EST Moving up a level... I have a busy few months ahead of me and need to be as fit as possible. So I have started tracking my food again. I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to keep within my targets in all nutritional categories on my first day of tracking. That bodes well. <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> To make tracking easier, I have edited my favourite foods list and deleted some items that I never intend to eat again. Chocolate doughnuts have no part to play in a healthy lifestyle. <BR> <em>29</em... Wed, 26 Mar 2014 17:29:33 EST Horrible facts about fast food.... Just in case anyone needs more reasons to avoid fast food... <BR> <link><BR>ast-food-facts-090000818.html </link> <BR> <BR> These facts are stomach-churning. I wish I hadn't been eating my breakfast when I read them. <BR> <em>29</em> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 01:10:39 EST Maybe I should sort out my priorities...... This has nothing to do with fitness and exercise......though maybe my mental fitness needs some work. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> The background to this is that I left home at the age of 18 and have supported myself ever since. My daughter has been threatening to leave home since the age of 16 and now, at the grand old age of 20, is finally financially able to do so. <BR> <em>104</em> <em>244</em> <em>100</em> <em>250</em> <BR> <BR> She has decided to fill a vacancy in a ... Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:27:11 EST Goals for 2014 Last year was fairly non-eventful for me. It whizzed by in a blur of sameness. I managed to maintain successfully, but always near the top of my healthy range. I think I have learned the art of doing "just enough". <BR> <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> I made an attempt to rev things up when I joined a new keep fit class in September. But, I don't know how else to say this without sounding smug. it is a little too easy for me. The benefits for me are minuscule. <BR> <BR> So on Boxing Day I j... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 01:47:31 EST This made me laugh... I saw this on another forum I visit. (Vegetarians could substitute "nut roast" for "turkey"). <BR> <BR> How to cook the perfect turkey; <BR> <BR> 1. Buy a turkey <BR> 2. Have a glass of wine <BR> 3. Stuff turkey <BR> 4. Have a glass of wine <BR> 5. Put turkey in oven <BR> 6. Relax and have a glass of wine <BR> 7. Turk the bastey <BR> 8. Wine of glass another get <BR> 9. Hunt for the meat thermometer <BR> 10. Glass yourself another pour of wine <BR> 11. Bake the wine for 4 hours ... Tue, 24 Dec 2013 06:40:27 EST Just for fun.....a light-hearted Christmas performance <link><BR>nt-Monks-Does-Will-Make-You-Laugh-2484<BR>.html </link> <BR> <BR> I think all these performers are children or teens and it must have taken them ages to learn this routine. <BR> <BR> I hope everyone has the Christmas and 2014 they are looking forward to. <BR> <em>446</em> Sun, 22 Dec 2013 01:49:22 EST From the mouths of babes...... <em>46</em> <em>198</em> <BR> Botheration.....I missed it. One of the children who I help with reading happened to mention that yesterday was 11/12/13. (This only works in countries like the UK where we put the day before the month). <BR> <BR> It will be another 100 years before that happens again and I missed it! <BR> I'm kicking myself: <BR> <em>216</em> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 11:18:46 EST My cat likes to be spark out on my laptop... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here's the proof that my cat Fleur likes to be spark out all over my laptop while I am trying to use it. She even knows the times of day I'm likely to go online and waits on my desk. Funny cat. Mon, 21 Oct 2013 13:55:19 EST When life gives you lemons..... ....make lemonade .....or make hay while the sun shines. <BR> <BR> Most of the summer we have been knocking down massive hedges and replacing them with walls. This means there has been a cement mixer looming large in my life for about 7 weeks. The rental company wanted it back today. So Hubby pulled out all the stops and finished all the cement work yesterday. There are just a couple of railings to fit and we are done. <BR> <em>244</em> <em>244</em> <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> I go... Mon, 30 Sep 2013 11:03:42 EST This make me chuckle..... I just had to share this story about a woman who won a marathon accidentally. She intended to run only a half marathon but missed the exit point. She went on to run the whole marathon and won it!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>f-sport/half-marathon-runner-misses-tu<BR>rn-runs-full-marathon-174833121.html </link> Fri, 27 Sep 2013 10:35:37 EST On top of the world..... Today was one of those days that will go down in memory. I treated hubby to a trip up the Shard which is the tallest building in Europe. I took loads of photos....including the area I lived in for the first 4 years, where I went to secondary school and where I volunteer as a theatre steward. <BR> <BR> Here's one of the photos that looks along the Thames towards St. Paul's Cathedral. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was a glorious ... Sun, 7 Jul 2013 13:33:34 EST Buzzing after joining a new keep fit class... Despite still working on Sundays and having 2 voluntary jobs, I consider myself to be a lady of leisure with quite a lot of spare time. Today I decided to use it wisely and I went along to a keep fit class that runs in my local community centre. I have known about this class for quite a while but thought it might be a bit too easy for me as it is called "Keep Fit for Seniors". That title is something else that put me off going before. <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> I'm really glad I we... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:49:31 EST What 2 typical Sparklers look like.... <BR> I saw this on a blog that I read regularly. It made me think of my Spark friends. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Keep on keeping on. <BR> <BR> <em>381</em> Thu, 23 May 2013 03:35:34 EST Best funny exercise video... <BR> This is a funny video of a walrus exercising with its trainer. At certain points the walrus is actually leading the moves. <BR> <BR> My cat likes to exercise with me, so I believe this walrus is having a genuine good time with treats along the way. Worth a look. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Sat, 11 May 2013 15:29:02 EST Great article about walking v. running I just had to share this with everyone. It's an article about the benefits of walking versus running. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>r-running-benefits-heart-strain--09513<BR>2714.html </link> <link><BR>r-running-benefits-heart-strain--09513<BR>2714.html </link> <BR> <BR> it seems to be good news for Sparklers (like me) who can walk for miles but aren't too keen on running on pavements.......which is all that is on offer in ... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 10:54:30 EST A walk with photos...inspired by Chicchantal! There is a Sparkler called Chicchantal who writes brilliant blogs about her long walks. She wrote one yesterday and it inspired me to do the same today. <BR> <em>213</em> <BR> <BR> I usually work on Sundays and only remembered very late last night that I had booked today as annual leave. Phew! I very nearly went in and that would have been terrible. <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> So to celebrate my unexpected free day, I planned a walk. The weather recently has been grey and cold a... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 11:53:53 EST Restarting my no chocolate streak When I joined SparkPeople 4 years ago I was a chocoholic with a capital C. <BR> <em>493</em> <BR> I ate one and sometimes two bars every day. Needless to say that was the main reason I piled on the pounds. I managed to give up chocolate completely and that was the main reason I reached my target weight in 2009. Easy peasy. <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> I have been maintaining successfully ever since which I am really pleased about. <BR> <em>250</em> <em>252</em> <BR> <BR> However... Fri, 1 Feb 2013 14:27:07 EST By popular demand: a photo of my crocheted scarf <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Especially for Sparkler Slenderclaire: a photo of the first scarf I have ever crocheted. I've been faffing about for the past year trying to learn crochet and finally decided it wasn't going to beat me. I found a lovely pattern, spent ages reading it and then got on with it. I'm so pleased with it that I have just started another one in stripes to use up some wool oddments. <BR> <BR> I'll try to post the link ... Thu, 24 Jan 2013 10:46:45 EST Review of 2012 and goals for 2013.... I looked for last year's blog and found that my goals for 2012 seemed to revolve around learning to crochet. How very healthy! <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> I'm happy to report that I have made progress and can now do all the major stitches. I have completed lots of little samples. My goal for 2013 is to actually complete a garment or useful item.....possibly a scarf as I need to start with something easy. <BR> <BR> My other goal was to stay within my healthy weight range and "not to turn in... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 04:45:15 EST Food When I was growing up, you ate what you were given and counted yourself lucky not to be starving like "the babies in Africa". Meals were cooked from scratch and fast food restaurants were almost non-existent. Supermarkets were seen as not quite British and most food was bought in the local grocery store. <BR> <BR> Food labelling was misleading and people still believed adverts. Healthy looking children were shown eating chocolate that contained "a glass and a half of milk". Mothers wer... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 19:39:09 EST