RAWCOOKIE's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=RAWCOOKIE RAWCOOKIE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Freecycle, Goodwill, Not-ironing etc reply to yesterday's blog! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6296437 I was surprised by all the comments on my new iron blog yesterday. I found I needed to make several replies, so forgive me if I put them all together here! <BR> <BR> Freecycle <BR> <BR> Yes, I belong to my local Freecycle group - I tend to make offers more than requests. Freecycle can also be tricky in terms of transporting items - things like irons rarely come up here - it's usually larger items. I also belong to another skills-sharing site where you can borrow tools and skills from eac... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 04:32:14 EST January 11th - pressing situation! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6295857 Well, I had a feeling January would be about de-cluttering, and I knew I would need a new iron sooner or later - but I didn't expect it to fall apart whilst I was ironing! The bottom plate fell off - and the inside is...... well, completely corroded and caput! <BR> <BR> I suddenly realised that an iron was actually an essential item in my life - so I've sacrificed my mobile top-up money to purchase a new iron! Click and collect this afternoon on my way to work from the Argos shop in the tow... Wed, 11 Jan 2017 08:22:40 EST January 9th - sweet inspiration http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6294680 I enjoyed a lovely sweet potato which I'd cooked in my slow cooker today - it was soft, buttery, delicious. As I have a bag of sweet potatoes this week, I've been noticing sweet potato recipes. I aim to be mainly vegan - so these both recipes are both vegan - both recipes I am going to try! <BR> <BR> Enjoy these two short cooking videos - sharing the sweet inspiration! <BR> <BR> Sweet potato flatbread - two ingredients - really clear demonstration video <BR> <link>www.youtube.com/watc... Mon, 9 Jan 2017 14:50:55 EST January 8th - cleaning & connecting http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6293902 I started my Sunday with a leisurely run out into the countryside - it is winter, but not too cold here, in fact the sun came out to encourage me. There was low cloud over the hills, but it drifted out to sea, and didn't descend on me (that would have been cold!). <BR> <BR> When I got home I made some fresh coffee and did an exercise routine for strength & mobility for runners (on You Tube - Kyle Kranz). I managed a shower - then it was pretty much time for lunch! Funny how days off go fa... Sun, 8 Jan 2017 13:40:46 EST January 7th - Shock Absorbers! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6293118 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/a947c28f-0239-440a-8a75-92b1d6cb34ad.JPG"> <BR> mystery object?! <BR> <BR> Today's clutter-clearing celebration was tossing out my well-worn sports bra! The elastic is now slack, and it's frankly too big for me! I bought a new one - and, gosh, what a difference! Now that I'm a 'real' runner, I feel justified in buying 'real' equipment! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/3f2152eb-df9d-4d7e-bd08-e5cca1d5b4b0.JPG"> <BR>... Sat, 7 Jan 2017 10:00:43 EST January 5th - Penny Sale! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6291877 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/f9a7f80e-0b02-4ee3-ab61-d2811c74e09a.JPG"> <BR> <BR> I've been shopping again! For those of you who have followed me for a while, you'll know that I'm on a low income and a tight budget..... and have a savings goal. Spending money is currently being micro-managed, and the savings are happening, which is amazing! <BR> <BR> This month I have bought a new Thermos, a new sports bra, and today I bought some SUPERFOOD <BR> <BR> <img src="http:/... Thu, 5 Jan 2017 11:46:43 EST January 4th - goodbye old thermos flask! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6291183 I have enjoyed the use of a very old Thermos flask for years - it's old, has a slightly broken neck, hard-cased. This month I decided to get myself a new Thermos flask - it's a soft-shell case, a modern design with a twist-and-pour lid, a little chamber for storing things (coffee, tea, creamer maybe) and has a nice size mug. It's just 500 ml, so about the right size for me to carry in my bag. <BR> <BR> I had another, large, Thermos too - unbreakable kind with metal liner - but I never use... Wed, 4 Jan 2017 12:57:36 EST Back to normal! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6290079 Monday, 2nd January was the first NORMAL eating day I've had since before Xmas really. Every single day (pretty much) had been basically OK, but then snookered by a few chocolates here, a few cookies there - dipping my hands into those left-over tubs of chocolates at work. Then the social events post-Xmas that also involved party foods. That, plus tiredness, really wore me down over the last 2-3 weeks. <BR> <BR> I'm taking a fresh look at Xmas 2017 - and considering how I can navigate m... Tue, 3 Jan 2017 04:38:47 EST Ah........... I've found a good space http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6289198 I'm a day late starting a 31-day yoga series by Adriene (Yoga with Adriene on-line and on You Tube). It's like receiving the most loving hug. If you are even remotely interested in exploring yoga, I really recommend checking her out. We're all different, but if you find you connect with her style, you'll be so happy! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/c3dccc33-678a-4aab-be9c-a6981a958547.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Today she explains the meaning and spirit of 'suka', meaning ... Mon, 2 Jan 2017 02:19:45 EST January 1st - goodbye tatty old bath brush :) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6288577 I'm de-cluttering this month. Today I threw away my old long-handled skin brush - it had gone black round it's roots - as they do with the damp etc. I'm guessing it's probably a kind of mould, and, as such, not good to have around. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/4acbf3ac-1175-4ce8-bdd3-9d5c4884837b.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Skin brushing is supposed to be good for you - it gets the lymph moving and helps the body to get rid of toxins. You're supposed to use the brush d... Sun, 1 Jan 2017 11:05:04 EST Delightful - Lucky Dip! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6286340 One of my Xmas gifts was a package of herbal/fruity teas from English Tea Shop - six different boxes with yummy names: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/2c11df6e-3938-4bad-a172-d88f5ada26cb.JPG"> <BR> Cranberry Vanilla Delight <BR> Pomegranate Blackcurrant Medley <BR> Chocolate Super Berry Burst <BR> Apple Rosehip Raspberry Ripple <BR> Lemongrass Peppermint Tropical Punch <BR> Honeybush Acai Berry Punch <BR> <BR> I keep a container in my cupboard with herb teas in ... Wed, 28 Dec 2016 07:30:52 EST Delightful - the day after http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6285403 I had a lovely Xmas Day spent with my friend. It was really mild here (although a bit drizzly and grey) - we took a leisurely walk on the beaches, we shared coffee & mince pies & cream, we shared a lovely meal, had G & T, played Scrabble, we burned candles, listened to Xmas jazz music, talked & talked, ate chocolates & drank tea. Ended the day feeling tired and happy. <BR> <BR> Today it feels lovely to have 'the day after' to just chill and generally rest. I started by waking late, takin... Mon, 26 Dec 2016 05:37:35 EST Delightful - colouring http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6284946 Yes, it's Xmas Eve (nearly over here in the UK) and it's been a long day.......... I was listening to music on the radio, waiting for 9.30pm to go out and listen to carols in town. So I sat down and did some colouring to pass the time. I kind of liked the result, so thought I'd share it with you. It looks a bit like an angel, a butterfly, a Xmas present, someone dancing? <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/cf2a76b6-9ac8-4035-8b9e-b362d0df477a.JPG"> <BR> <BR> Happ... Sat, 24 Dec 2016 16:09:49 EST Delightful - a safe home & Spring is on her way! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6283829 21st December - Winter Solstice <BR> <BR> 5,000 people and more gather at Stonehenge. <BR> 1,000 people and more gather in Penzance for the crazy, anarchic Montol festival. <BR> Lantern parades, bonfires, drinking and merriment. <BR> <BR> or a quiet night in? <BR> <BR> I have a little book called 365 Days of Mindfulness, which has little thoughts for each day. For today, it says: <BR> <BR> "Winter Solstice: In the heart of midwinter we can be appreciative of our warm cosy homes and all t... Wed, 21 Dec 2016 13:53:22 EST Delightful - Midwinter http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6283369 Tomorrow will be the shortest day of the year - then the days will begin to lengthen again. <BR> <BR> It's been quite tough today - just feel a bit down. I did all the right things: got up, went for a lovely run, sat and looked at the sea, had a wonderful bowl of porridge. I had a lovely shower. I went out and bought my Xmas week veggies and stuff. I sat and enjoyed a coffee on my doorstep. I had a healthy lunch. Read for a while. I fell asleep listening to a podcast about sugar (sig... Tue, 20 Dec 2016 12:51:39 EST Delightful - mistake! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6282814 As I was getting on the bus to go to work yesterday (Sunday) I noticed that my bus ticket was out of date, and I had forgotten to get money for a new one! So I had to get off the bus, go back into town and go to the ATM for money. I texted work to let them know I'd be an hour late; and I had an hour to wait for the next bus. <BR> <BR> I could have gone home for half-an-hour, but I decided to go and sit in a cafe - had a coffee and couple of little cookies, read my library book. It was very... Mon, 19 Dec 2016 07:48:28 EST Delightful - books! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6281938 I currently have NINE books from the library! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/bede58c3-20ba-4ab0-a393-81e6c7b26499.jpg"> <BR> the bottom one in that pile is on loan from a book-loving friend, and there is one library book in my work bag (for reading on the bus to/from work). <BR> <BR> When I was in the library last time, I said to the librarian "I really must stop taking more books home - I've got more than I can read!" and she laughed and said "You never know, yo... Sat, 17 Dec 2016 03:36:03 EST Delightful - Xmas Party! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6281729 Today, as part of my work, I attended a Xmas Party with someone I support who goes to a drama group on a Friday. I'd never been there before. <BR> <BR> I arrived at midday, and they were still working, so I was able to sit and watch for a while. It was so amazing! The group is called Shallal and is an inclusive performance art group - they work with all kinds of people and do kind of improvisation/dance therapy, process led work. If you're interested in that kind of thing here are some ... Fri, 16 Dec 2016 13:37:25 EST Sometimes you have to break through the fog to find the delight! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6281296 This morning I just did not want to get up and go for a run. It wasn't raining. It wasn't particularly cold. I had time. But, I just didn't 'want' to. <BR> <em>39</em> <BR> However, my brain knows a few things about this feeling of not wanting to do something! So, although, for another hour, I snoozed and argued very well with myself about not going for a run - entirely reasonable to take the day off from running - I ran yesterday etc etc! I did go in the end! <BR> <em>102</em> <... Thu, 15 Dec 2016 12:12:16 EST Delightful - smells http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6280797 In honour of the full moon in Gemini, I treated myself to a foot soak (I don't have a bath, otherwise it would have been a bath), with Lavender and Clary Sage essential oils. <BR> <BR> I sat quietly, watching my beautiful advent candle burn down to the next number. <BR> <BR> Ah, what delightful smells. Aside for the beneficial effects these oils can have on the body, mind and spirit - they simply smell divine! <BR> <BR> A foot-soak can seem like such a small thing to do - but it really... Wed, 14 Dec 2016 09:08:40 EST Delightful - plastic! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6280390 I'd been wondering what to add to the little 'xmas tree' branch I have in a pot by my front door. It has some red baubles, and a mermaid as a 'fairy'. I had been thinking about shells (might still add some shells actually) with holes in....... or plastic bags kind of cut into strips to make something fluttery and dangly. Then this afternoon I had an aha! moment and cut some shapes out of some clear plastic packaging. They're kind of like icicles, or mother-of-pearl. <BR> <BR> I cut out s... Tue, 13 Dec 2016 11:58:16 EST Delightful - decorations! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6279947 Well, I'm not the world's greatest photographer, so these photos don't really capture the cosy, candlight and colour - but never mind. I'm sharing anyway. <BR> <BR> I decided to do it differently this year - and I'm not sure it's as pleasing as what I usually do - but, well, it's something different. I blame Do Something Different - it's got to me! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/11319af1-e67e-4cc9-a69e-786d0c2d1e1e.JPG"> <BR> that's my dining area - coloured fa... Mon, 12 Dec 2016 13:36:43 EST Delightful - stars (& review of Xmas pudding oatmeal) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6279275 A few days' ago I posted a blog about oatmeal - if you were interested in that, you might like to know that I had the Christmas Pudding Muesli this morning. The grated carrot works really well - it's like coconut without the fat and sugar! I had to add quite a bit more milk as my mixture was very firm when it came out of the fridge. I also added a chopped Clemantine and I liked the flavour and 'lift' that gave to it. <BR> <BR> Most mornings, I take my first coffee of the day out to the ... Sun, 11 Dec 2016 02:23:07 EST Delightful - Running in the rain! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6278900 It's not everyone's cup of tea - I realize that! I'm not a gym bunny, or a spinning diva, or an zumba babe.... but I do love to go and do a 5k with a load of other people on a Saturday morning. Park Run - free, timed, 5k, 9am every Saturday, inclusive: walk, jog, run - pushchairs, dogs, blind people, all ages - it's a great vibe. The Park Run I go to is called Penrose and we run through part of a National Trust estate - a woodland route along the edge of a lake that leads out to the sea. ... Sat, 10 Dec 2016 07:46:22 EST 10lb difference http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6278586 I love to go to a 5k run on a Saturday morning - and one of the benefits is that there is usually someone there taking photos. I just got a shot of myself at the finishing line last Saturday - unfortunately it's caught me licking my lips (concentration!) but, I was pleased with this photo, partly because I look pretty fresh after 5k (not panting and dripping with sweat), but also because of the loss of that little roll under my running shirt. (Of course, it could be the way I'm standing, or... Fri, 9 Dec 2016 12:05:10 EST Delightful - potato! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6278414 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/f4b00d1b-e676-4c19-818f-9e1f17f5bbf9.JPG"> <BR> <BR> Baked potato is on my lunch menu - I was delighted to find this one in my potato bin! <BR> Fri, 9 Dec 2016 06:37:55 EST Delightful - oatmeal! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6277903 Today I was delighted by my breakfast oatmeal! Oh yeah! Porridge is one of my regular breakfasts and usually I add in some raisins, and some cinnamon spice, and some toasted seeds + plant milk. Good to go! <BR> <BR> This morning I indulged! I added a few dried sour cherries (that I've got in for Xmas cooking), and opened a new jar of Mixed Spice, and toasted a few chopped hazelnuts! It was off the scale in porridge-deliciousness! <BR> <BR> The Mixed Spice has: cinnamon, coriander seeds,... Thu, 8 Dec 2016 05:22:21 EST Poignant Poet http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6277470 I have a book from the library "Public Library and other stories" by Ali Smith. I haven't found it easy to read, but I've persisted. And gosh, this morning I found some treasure! There is a short story about a poet called Olive Fraser. Her story is heart-wrenching (in part it's about a mis-diagnosis of mental illness) - but this poem just really struck a chord in my heart. I wasn't an unwanted child, but as I grew up I became unwanted & my father disowned me. That sense of rejection is ... Wed, 7 Dec 2016 06:50:22 EST Delightful - free to roam! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6277464 This morning I had strong desire to just get out for a walk straight after breakfast. I've been on holiday from work for 12 days and am really enjoying feeling unravelled and free to roam! <BR> <BR> For some reason, today I decided to go through a gate I've not been through before - into the grounds of the Tregenna Castle Hotel. There is a 'permissive path' through there - but I've never ventured in before. They have a wooded area amongst which they have some beautiful, unusual, holiday c... Wed, 7 Dec 2016 06:33:48 EST Delightful - knowledge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6277164 I just enjoyed listening (oh, what bliss to have time [and energy] to just listen to something!) a new podcast from Sigma Nutrition. It's Lyle McDonald talking about "glycaemic load, trigger foods, behavioural eating, hyperpalatability and the difference between giving practical recommendations and what is correct from a physiological perspective." <BR> <BR> From about 30 mins in, he starts talking about what interested me most - trigger foods. I love getting new knowledge - this really de... Tue, 6 Dec 2016 12:48:45 EST Delightful - story-time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6276649 Today I happened to remember that there is usually a play or drama on the radio (BBCradio4) in the afternoon.......... (daily - 14.15 Drama; 19.45 15-min drama; 22.45 Book at bedtime). I'd forgotten how restful and delightful it is to just listen to someone tell me a story. <BR> <BR> While I was listening, I got out my box of 'stuff' and made a bit of my Xmas decoration. <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/ad0c8203-5b4f-4abf-9255-3a3e076e63a9.JPG"> <BR> (you can see, I d... Mon, 5 Dec 2016 10:46:20 EST Delightful - vibrant plate http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6276111 I think my Vision Board (see my photos) IS having an effect on me. First I buy a soft & cosy Xmas jacket - the words 'warm & cosy' and 'snuggle' are on my Vision Board, as is a small pop of quirk in the top left corner - a red exotic bird. And today as I made my lunch, I remembered that I have 'fresh fuss-free food' on my Vision Board too. I've also been for a walk down by the sea - and I have 'beside the sea' on my Vision Board. Interesting! <BR> <BR> Today's lunch delighted my eyes a... Sun, 4 Dec 2016 09:26:14 EST Delightful - soft & cosy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6275633 Well, my inner 'Lady Spendthrift' got me to buy a Xmas 'jumper' today! I've had Xmas jumpers on my mind, and thought "they're a waste of money/unnecessary" etc. But this one just 'got' me and it jumped into my shopping basket along with the coffee and creamer! Hmm. It was 16GBP. I have NOT taken the money out of my savings pot, but it will have to come out of the money I had earmarked for paying for evening classes (or perhaps the Universe will reimburse me!) <BR> <BR> <img src="http:... Sat, 3 Dec 2016 06:56:57 EST Delightful - creativity http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6275136 Today is going to be filled with all sorts of delightful things - I'm so lucky! I am spending today with a friend, we are visiting a mutual friend together, then I am being treated to a late birthday-lunch. This evening, the town will burst into life with Father Xmas arriving by lifeboat, then meeting his reindeer and turning on the Xmas tree lights! <BR> <BR> But today I was delighted to see that my son has created an advent calender for his sweet wife - check this out! He might be 30, ... Fri, 2 Dec 2016 04:22:41 EST Delightful - coffee in the park http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6274713 This morning I went out into town and bought all my Xmas gifts. It's a lovely day - cold, but the sky is blue and the sun is shining (although it's getting misty now). I felt good because I'd completed the shopping (within budget) - and I was going to walk home via a small 'tropical garden'. When I got there, it was looking so lovely - and there was no-one else there - so I decided to walk back to the shops and get a take-out coffee. I chose to buy from the local bakery shop as that's che... Thu, 1 Dec 2016 07:54:10 EST Cybergreetings & Sparklove http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6274407 Once your birthday is saved in the memory of the great computer of the world-wide web - it remembers you on your birthday. It's kind of cute! (whoops, there's that word again!) <BR> <BR> Twitter makes a fistful of colourful balloons float up the page - and everytime you refresh the page, it does it again - for the 24 hrs. I love it! <BR> <em>179</em> <em>179</em> <em>179</em> <em>179</em> <em>179</em> <BR> <BR> Google makes you a special gif on the search page - awesome! ... Wed, 30 Nov 2016 16:08:00 EST Cake anyone? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6274131 OK, it's my birthday! <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/aef57b88-2461-4294-a767-a807c15e6efb.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Look what my sister sent me (via twitter - I don't know where she found the photo)! Isn't that awesome inspiration for a great birthday! <BR> <BR> I have two cake-eating engagements lined up today - in the spirit of allowing friends to celebrate my birthday. Both of them are 'damage-limitation' engagements. One friend wanted to take me out to lunch, but I've al... Wed, 30 Nov 2016 03:13:44 EST Bear Hugs http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6273708 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/fe07a6ef-83aa-46bf-ae66-e915c91c1512.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When my son (now 30) moved out, I kept just a few things of his - there was a cookie-jar, a VW campervan money box, a big brown mug, and this teddy bear. I never think of myself as being a soft-toy person, but I do occasionally pick this little teddy up and give it a hug! <BR> <BR> Today was one of those days. My payslip came yesterday, and I didn't immediately open it (unlike me!) but... Tue, 29 Nov 2016 07:46:45 EST Try Something New http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6273110 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/7758a65b-5630-4f55-84ae-2bd663945c7a.jpg"> <BR> A Cornish Bunch by Simon Reed <BR> from his website: cornishculture.co.uk <BR> <BR> One of the missions in the Fly Lady Holiday Control Journal is to list family traditions, then think about what you'd like to keep, and what new things you'd like to try. I've found this exercise to be very good at stimulating my creativity each year! This year, I'm not going to have a tree, or even a decorated... Mon, 28 Nov 2016 05:54:42 EST A change in behaviour http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6272846 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/a3ed5fd3-a896-4a24-bc52-a0dd38b9543f.jpg"> <BR> photo from @doituk on twitter <BR> <BR> I've been working on 'change' since August.......and doing things differently. Kind of trying to get out of habitual ruts that perhaps aren't the most life-supporting for me. However, this one has taken me by surprise! <BR> <BR> I've just done shopping for Xmas food on-line! I realise that some people do this all the time, but I usually just pop down ... Sun, 27 Nov 2016 14:15:46 EST A crafty solution http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6272719 Seems like everyone is powering-up for Xmas already, especially in America. I guess once you've done all that work for Thanksgiving, it kind of rolls over into Xmas fairly naturally? My Dad never used to decorate the house until after we'd gone to bed on Xmas Eve - so we came down in the morning to a magical wonderland - the tree! the lights! the paper lanterns and paper-chains! That memory forms a kind of bench-mark for my Xmas experience! So, of course, it always falls short - because, ... Sun, 27 Nov 2016 09:18:26 EST Savings tracker http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6272442 It's amazing how much I can do when I'm travelling on the bus! I make notes in my diary/notebook, I fiddle with my basic little mobile phone (not a Smartphone). It has a basic little spreadsheet thing on it where you can record daily spends for the month, and it'll total up the day and the month. <BR> <BR> So, I've edited the columns so that I can record my daily savings! The headings I've put in are: <BR> Points used (loyalty points) <BR> Left over (small change) <BR> Freebies <BR> Found... Sat, 26 Nov 2016 15:50:47 EST 12 Days of Christmas! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6271815 Following my last blog about heaping coins and building a financial fund for my future, I've had loads of great suggestions from Spark friends - and I've noted them all. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I bought a couple of extra items for my lunch, using loyalty points on my local supermarket card - so no money exchanged, and I thought how cool that was. The Co-op now give back 5% of the value of shopping on their own-brand items (which I mostly buy), and 1% to a community project. The 5% back is so ... Fri, 25 Nov 2016 01:32:14 EST The argument of the growing heap http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6270729 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/3cc0df75-981f-493f-ac3f-e798d9d9d4bb.jpeg"> <BR> <BR> This month, I am working on setting up vision boards for some of the things that weigh me down. One of my most pressing concerns is my future housing situation. I don't have any savings at the moment - and can't see how to save anything as I live pretty much hand-to-mouth. <BR> <BR> This will feature quite strongly on my vision board - but for now, I wanted to share with you my thought... Tue, 22 Nov 2016 11:46:51 EST Finding My Vision http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6268209 As I've been focussing on things that weigh me down, I've come across several articles about vision boards, and am thinking of creating one for myself. I have some annual leave at the end of November, so will have free time to be creative. <BR> <BR> Here's something I copied down from a website (mindbodygreen maybe?) a while ago, about setting intentions, ie, what do I even want on my vision board? which things are most important? <BR> <BR> "Review your list and for every option, ask yours... Thu, 17 Nov 2016 03:15:08 EST Sit somewhere different - feedback http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6267090 OK - so this is feedback on my 'Do something different' action from yesterday: sit somewhere different. <BR> <BR> I tried this on my bus journey to and from work. Usually I sit mid-bus where the seats are higher, on the left, by the window. So, I decided I'd try sitting front-bus where the seats are lower, on the right, maybe not by the window. (Note, both my journeys begin at the start of the route, so I do get to choose my seat, mostly). <BR> <BR> It wasn't a comfortable experience - I... Tue, 15 Nov 2016 01:14:06 EST Do Something Different http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6266670 In any assessment of happiness or well-being, I always fall down on the bit where they ask you about your 'family & friends' support network. Whilst browsing the Action for Happiness website today, I hit upon a free programme which sends you a daily 'Do'. This, based on the information you put in when you register, aims to gently coax you out of your comfort zone, broaden your thinking & behaviours, which, in turn, lead to healthier happiness habits. Well, today seemed to be the day for m... Mon, 14 Nov 2016 10:04:15 EST Plan, do, reflect, review..... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6265640 Well my plan to run today worked - I ran - and got a new best time of 30:49 which was brilliant! Here's a photo I took of myself before I left for the bus this morning (I took it to send to my sister - but Spark friends usually like to see what each other look like - so here you are!) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/f5bdab6f-ce66-4351-b2fd-e84804ba9516.JPG"> <BR> <BR> I did do my bus transfer at the supermarket and used the loo - I was able to pick up an almond c... Sat, 12 Nov 2016 10:13:23 EST Working it out http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6264630 I want to go to the 5k Park Run on Saturday morning. (It's not my first one, but I don't always get to it due to work or weather) <BR> <BR> This means getting a bus at 6.30am, another bus at 7.30am, to get there for a run that starts at 9am. Without a car, this poses challenges for keeping warm & dry, and finding public toilets (restrooms) before the run, because many are not open that early in the morning. <BR> <BR> Then there's the weather - the muddy trainers afterwards, wet gear if it'... Thu, 10 Nov 2016 04:00:59 EST Election Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6263351 Sometimes I feel ashamed to be human - this is one of those times! The choice facing Americans on Election Day is beyond belief - both candidates scare me out of my wits! <BR> <BR> We are holding our breath here in the UK.................... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/273c4ece-0d64-4f1e-b3c3-960419695049.jpeg"> <BR> Mon, 7 Nov 2016 13:05:08 EST