Sunday, 7 January 2018


7 days into the new year and I have lost 2 pounds!  Woohoo! Not sure how I achieved that because I fell off the wagon rather a lot in the second half of the week when I found a huge bag of Christmas spiced biscuits in the cupboard that were too delicious not to eat and of course once the bag was open it had to be finished off before the biscuits went soggy, right? And I kind of accidentally ate a few other things that were a bit naughty too BUT overall there was a lot less junk than I have been inhaling the last few months, so YAY.  I actually did pretty well with meals and MOST of what I ate was healthy food from the Happy Herbivore plan.

Today I spent a lot of time cooking. 5 hours cooking! I think I racked up a week's worth of Fitbit steps just walking between the cooker and the fridge. It wouldn't normally take so long (the HH recipes are generally quick and easy) but I was being good and inputting every ingredient and weight into MyFitnessPal which made it take quite a lot longer, but it's OK. It kept me off social media at least ;-p

I cooked up 12 meals, 6 lunches and 6 dinners. I also ate one of them - 'Oh My Greens! noodles' and had it with a cup of Lady Grey tea.

Maybe I'm just being a bit British but the only thing I don't like about the HH meals is the overly amusing names.  I'm sure it's probably necessary as a selling point to make things more fun but ugh. The food is usually decent and tasty but I like a name to describe what I'm eating, not make me laugh. Mr O asks me what I'm eating and when I say 'Bodacious Butteritos' or 'Broccoli Poppers' I just get laughed at and asked 'yeah but what the hell is that?') Anyway, I digress. Amusing name aside,The noodle soup was massively filling and tasted really nice. So filling, I didn't want my dinner until really late in the evening: Taco Poppers.

They're meant to be eaten with Queso Sauce, which I don't like - not any fault of the recipe, but it's basically a type of vegan cheese sauce, and I never liked cheese sauce even when I did eat cheese. So I made vegan ranch dressing instead. There's not much food that doesn't taste better with a drizzle of some sort of cool yoghurty thing on top.

In other news: the No Buy continues. I have been very good with money the last 7 days and not spent anything I didn't absolutely have to spend. I kept in budget for the weekly grocery shop for the first time in a bazillion years. And I somehow resisted buying anything in the January sales even when people all around me are squealing about how they bought some shoes for £4 or some such amazing price. 7 days down, 93 to go...

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! 

Hopefully you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Mine was actually really laid back and chilled out, spent playing computer games with the family. 

Now it's the 1st Jan and I am putting those resolutions into action. I'm not back at work until the 4th and I'm not really going anywhere until then but this morning I got up and put some make up on even though nobody will see me but my husband and son (and they couldn't care less what I look like). Nothing special just some concealer and mascara plus a bit of lip balm, and some Body Shop coconut body spray, but I felt nice. I also put on a bracelet because I'm trying to get used to wearing more jewellery.

I also weighed myself. Once the scales had finished shrieking in alarm and I'd got over the shock I recorded it on my apps - I'm going to be using the Fitbit app and MyFitnessPal. I weigh 9 stone and 12 pounds. This isn't a whole lot considering there's people on the TV who weigh over 600 pounds and can't even get out of bed, whereas here I am still technically within the normal BMI range, but it's quite a lot for me as my best healthy weight is 8 stone and 7 pounds and my current weight is the heaviest I've been in years. 8 stone 7 is the weight where my joints stop playing me up so that's what I will be aiming for: a loss of 19 pounds. I've also taken my measurements and recorded those on another app; this is the first time I've done this so it will be interesting to see how my measurements change as I get healthier.

Luckily one side effect of all the junk I've been eating over the festive season is that I'm actually pretty sick of junk and my body is craving something healthier, so today was day 1 of eating decent food.

I started by having this for lunch:
Image result for aldi mediterranean quinoa

'Mediterranean Quinoa' from Aldi, with some tomatoes and cucumber.
I've decided to start using the Happy Herbivore plant based meal plans again; I've used them a few times in the past and always found them pretty easy and tasty, filling enough that I'm not left feeling deprived, and, importantly, not expensive!! They work really well for me because I'm the only plant based eater in our family and it takes all the thought and most of the effort out of what to cook for myself, and all the meals can be cooked in advance at the weekend and just reheated later. Normally by the time I've cooked other stuff for the other 3 people I can't be bothered to do something fancy for myself so I usually end up getting a sandwich or some quick oven-junk food instead, but this way if I batch cook at the weekend I can guarantee a zero effort meal for myself all week long. You can get them in a 4 person menu, or a smaller 2 person version which is ideal for me as I can use one portion for dinner and use the second portion for lunch the next day. This is a 'Buffalodilla' which I had for dinner today and it was delicious. Excuse the presentation, I was starving and couldn't wait to eat!

In addition to quinoa it contains wheatberries, olives and some other stuff and because it cooks in the microwave in 1 minute it's my usual fallback for 'quick and easy whilst still reasonably healthy' lunch food. I often have this for work lunches but I am going to try and start having something a bit cheaper and home made. This was just to tide me over a bit whilst I got cooking on the other things I had planned...

Friday, 29 December 2017

New Year's Resolutions (Cliche but Necessary)

It's the 29th December 2017 and I am planning which changes to make in 2018. You might want to get a chair and a cup of tea because this is going to take some time.


My health has been pretty terrible for a while now. I constantly have colds, like literally every 2 weeks or so I will come down with apocalypse-grade lurgy that renders me all but bed ridden for days. I am done with being sick all the time. DONE. So I'm going to try and do something about it. I've always been a bit of a sick-note when it comes to colds and what not - it's a family trait unfortunately - but I keep thinking back to the one time - about a year, 3 or 4 years back now - when I actually caught very few colds and the ones I did catch were only mild and short lived. The main things that were different about my life then were 1) I ate more healthily, 2) I exercised regularly and 3) I was less stressed in general. It's well known that immune systems are boosted by good nutrition and regular exercise and that stress damages your ability to fight disease. I may not be able to do much about stress (although I am going to try) but I can definitely do something about the other two and that's got to help, right?


I have allowed myself to get into absolutely appalling eating habits. I have lived on junk food and what I call 'filler food' - not necessarily junk, but stuff that fills you up without necessarily being nutritious, for waaaay too long. I am aware that this is a combination of comfort eating and convenience eating, as well as a bad habit. It needs to stop.
Image result for foodMy weight is not technically a problem if you look at things like NHS BMI targets etc but I am over a stone heavier than I was when I was healthy, and as I have Ehlers Danlos syndrome, that extra weight is bad because it's causing me to have hip problems again. So whilst my main target is just to improve the quality of what I put into my mouth, if that results in me shedding a few pounds it's a bonus.


Biggest new year's resolution cliche ever, right? I need to get my arse in gear and get moving. I hate exercising outdoors (apart from walking, that's OK) so this part of my resolution is going to have to involve going to the gym. I have one at work, which is cheap, and literally 3 minutes walk from my office, so I have literally NO excuse not to go there. Other than feeling a bit sheepish and embarrassed when I rock up for the first time in 2 years immediately after New Year and start exercising, thereby proclaiming to the entire gym community (which includes various people I work with on a daily basis) that why yes, this is a new year's resolution, feel free to judge and laugh etc. But I guess I will just have to suck that up and get over it eh?

This one is a little bit out of my control because there are various things going on in my life which are very stressful but also unavoidable and all I can really do is ride out the storm. However I have decided that it must be possible to at least minimise my stress somewhat. I'm hoping that better food and regular exercise are going to help. I'm also going to make a big effort to get more sleep (I am a terrible night owl) and also to give myself permission to switch off from whatever stressful things are happening and do something fun for myself at least once a day. I'm going to try and keep blogging, because that's fun and therapeutic, and I'm also going to try and get back to writing. I'm going to read regularly, because I love reading and it's hugely escapist, but it's fallen by the wayside these last few years.
One thing I want to spend LESS time doing is playing on my phone. I can literally lose HOURS scrolling through social media and in between the interesting updates from friends and family there's also a lot of negativity and pointless crap. It's actually really depressing and draining, not to mention addictive. Instead, I'm going to play video games, because in similar fashion to phone-scrolling, you can switch off your brain (the part that worries) and just focus on playing, but in a fun way rather than a 'look at this picture of a starving puppy/ guess what terrible thing a politician just did again/ here's a news article about some kids who got murdered' way. It's important to be aware of these things, but not to the extent I flood my brain with it 24/7/365 and end up depressed and distraught at how shitty the world is - even if you try to help, there's always one more terrible thing that's out of your control and it gets to you after a while. I need some down time.

Image result for time managementI'm also going to try and practice better time management at work. One of my biggest stressors recently has been having to achieve miracle-grade levels of work with insufficient levels of staff. This is through no fault of my own, and is unlikely to change any time soon, but I tend to get overwhelmed and lose focus, then spin my wheels doing stuff that's less important, which wastes time and makes things worse. I see some A-grade use of calendars, white boards and to do lists on my horizon, to help me stay focused. As well as forcing myself to delegate work, which does not come easily to me.


Image result for appearanceOne of the little things that always used to help me with stress was taking some time to pamper myself. I've let that slide. I'm going to try and fix that because I know how much better it makes me feel. I'm not going the whole hog and becoming high maintenance but I am going to make the effort to do my hair, nails, make up, to actually bother with jewellery, and to wear clothes that I like and which make me feel good. I'm also going to make an effort with my skin as I have basically done nothing for the longest time and I deserve not to be dry/spotty/whatever any more.

I have pretty significant hoarding tendencies and have done my whole life.  Not "Hoarders" TV show grade hoarding, but enough to be an issue. It was terrible when I was a child. I've got a lot better since then but I'm far from perfect and it gets worse when I'm stressed. And I've been stressed for the last 3 years, so yeah. My house could definitely do with some work. I find that very overwhelming to deal with so I've been putting it off but I need to do something now because it's on the verge of becoming a really big deal. I've recently been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome which is a big part of the problem tbh - one facet is that I get very easily overwhelmed if I don't have 100% control of my life, and decluttering items that I've previously dealt with by careful stacking and hiding in cupboards etc can be messy and overwhelming!! So I'm going to need to do it gradually. It's also very difficult for me as I also tend to get very attached to everything, but that's another thing I'm going to have to get the hell over because otherwise I'm going to drown in my own junk by this time next year.


This is a big one and significantly linked to my hoarding tendencies. I waste waaaaaaayyyyy too much money buying crap I don't need to try and make myself feel happy (and really just achieve adding to the pile of things I need to declutter as well as adding to my debt mountain). I realise that this is a problem. I am going to try and do something about it. Miracles take longer (especially when dealing with a problem that's taken years to build up) so I am not going to set my sights too high and start talking about being debt free within a year or any tosh like that. However I am going to set myself a challenge: No Unnecessary Purchases for 100 days. Henceforth to be known as 'The Great No-Buy'. Starting the 1st January, before I buy something I am going to have to think: do I really need it? Do I have something else that I could use instead? Obviously things like food and medicine are still allowed, although I have to try and keep expense there to the minimum (I am a bit of a food hoarder and tend to buy things 'for later' or 'just to stock up' and this is not going to be allowed during the no-buy. I am going to try and use what I already have instead). I can still get new school shirts for the Boy when he can't fit into the old ones any more. I can still buy shampoo when I'm out of shampoo - but I have to use up all the stockpiled shampoo first, or come up with a really good reason why I can't. I can't buy new make up because it looked nice/was a colour I don't already have.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

She's alive!!

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Wow. It's been a REALLY long time since I last dusted off this blog and did something with it, huh?

Sorry about that. Life has been pretty... complicated. For a ridiculously long time. I'm lucky I still have any vestiges of sanity at all, never mind the ability to blog. I'm not going to bore you with a long list of the things I've had to deal with but just rest assured it hasn't been pretty and honestly I'm done with ALL of it.

Anyway this is my attempt to get my metaphorical sh*t together once and for all and try and get back to blogging, and indeed life in general. That doesn't mean that things are simple again or that everything is hunky dory - far from it - but it does mean I'm pretty sick at dragging along in the aftermath of chaos and I'm ready to try and carve out some sort of normality and fun in what is otherwise one long stream of OhMyGodWhatTheHellAmISupposedToDoNow.

So yeah. It's nearly new year's eve 2018. The perfect, if slightly cliche, moment to make changes to your life and try to dig yourself out of the poop pile life saw fit to bury you underneath until now.

It's probably best to assume that any and all resolutions and improvements I have made previously on this blog have gone a bit down the toilet by now and I'm basically starting from square 1. Keep your expectations low, people...

Sunday, 2 February 2014

31 Days of Cheapness

I found a great frugal food website the other day: Cheap Family Recipes, and I'm really excited to share it with you!

The authors of this site have provided meal plans and shopping lists for incredibly cheap family eating. They claim that, if you follow the meal plans and shop wisely, you can feed a family of four for a month, for about £100. The recipes look tasty and well balanced, and they have two plans on offer: the vegan version, and a version that includes meat. They also offer the whole thing FOR FREE. I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that I am rather excited to give this a try. Starting tomorrow, I will be following the Cheap Family Recipes 'option two' vegan meal plan for 31 days.
Bean Curry (pic taken from
Now, a few disclaimers. The prices on Cheap Family Recipes were calculated in 2010. Prices have gone up exponentially since then, pretty much everywhere. So I am under no illusion whatsoever that this will be quite as cheap as they're claiming. BUT the principle is still sound. The recipes still use very cheap ingredients so I'm interested to see how cheap it'll be to eat like this in 2014.
Onion Tarte Tatin (pic taken from
 Also, I am not feeding a whole family with this plan, as I am only carrying out this experiment on myself this time. So I have cut all the quantities down to single-person amounts, except where it's something I need for everybody in the house anyway (like potatoes), where I've just bought in bulk like I always do. I'm not sure yet how much it's all costing, mainly because I already had half the required items in my cupboard anyway, but I''ll work it out and put a list up soon.
Red Pepper Pasta (pic taken from
I'm also keen to see what happens to my body if I start following this plan. I need to go completely vegan again because of the effect dairy has on my skin (Psoriasis, spots and what not) and lungs (asthma), but I've been struggling to drop the last few non-vegan things I eat at the moment, because it's just easier to grab something convenient than make the effort to make a 'proper' vegan meal (and I can't afford ready made vegan convenience food, which is super expensive). I'm also interested to see if it will affect my weight. I'm pretty much smack bang in the middle of the healthy range if you go by my BMI, so it doesn't really matter if I stay there or even put on a little bit here and there. But I eat way too much junk food, which obviously will not be part of this new menu plan, so I won't be surprised if I lose a few pounds over the next month. If that happens, that's okay. As long as it's not more than a stone I'll still count as healthy.

Watch this space for updates!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Cheap vegan cream of celery and potato soup

I shot myself in the foot by saying I'd get back to blogging soon didn't I? Pretty much as soon as I posted that, I came down with the mother of all nasty viruses (thanks to my germ incubator of a child) and was flat on my back for AGES. Today is the first day I am even vaguely able to think about looking at a computer screen without my head splitting in half! Anyway, I wanted to share this soup which I made the other day in a rare lucid moment between coughing and sneezing and passing out on the couch like some sort of zombie. Due to being ill, I had been neglecting the grocery shopping and my fridge was rather empty. So I invented this quick and easy comfort food with whatever I could find.... cream of celery and potato soup!

Chop, and throw into a pan:
One head of celery, one onion (I only had red ones, which was fine except it made the soup a bit grey looking. If you want green soup, use normal onions instead). Three cloves of garlic (this was me trying to kill my virus. You might want to use less). One potato. Add enough vegetable stock to just about cover the contents of the pan, bring to the boil then simmer it until everything has gone soft. Pour in about half a cup of soya milk (if you're not vegan you can use cow's milk instead). If you like it lumpy, heat through and serve. Otherwise blitz it up with a stick blender. This made enough for two big bowls of really thick soup. I had mine with hedgehog bread and it was really tasty!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year from Glitter Mountain

Wow... it's been a pretty long time since I blogged hasn't it? 7 months and not a peep!!

2013 was a bit of a mess, unfortunately. We had a whole ton of bad luck: money, health, work, and a death in the family. I pretty much quit the internet while I was trying to deal with it all... there's only so much one person can handle, after all. But I'm back now and quite surprised to see I still have some subscribers! Thanks for being so patient ^_^

I have lots to show you. Watch this space!!