Regular readers will know that the first thing I do having seen Him Indoors and the children off to their various Monday lives is to get weighed. I am very good and only get weighed once a week and at the same time.

I am delighted to report that this week I have lost 5 pounds. I am over the moon. In fact I am so excited that right now I cannot be bothered to work out exactly how much I have lost and in how many weeks. I will probably keep that till tomorrow when I do my #groovingmums post.

Here is my learning which I hope will help others tackling excessive weight issues.

1. Fill your eating plan with healthy foods that you really love. For me, this includes smoked salmon and eggs. You will have your own favourite so by incorporating them, you will still feel like you are having treats.

2. It is OK to have fish and chips and takeaways. It is what you eat most of the time that makes a difference. This week I have had fish and chips, a Chinese takeaway and a roast chicken dinner and lost 5 pounds.

3. Visualizing myself at future events I have coming up in smaller sized clothes has really helped me make positive progress. I go window-shopping now and gaze at clothing in smaller sizes and really do believe I will be in them one day.

4. You don’t have to measure yourself but it is another way of marking progress and can sometimes be more heartening than the weighing scales especially if your weight is affected by the time of the month. I have lost 7 inches off my bottom in less than 3 months!

5. Reporting to your diary, your blog or people on the same journey as yourself helps to keep you accountable and on track when you are tempted to sabotage all your lovely efforts.

6. Exercise helps shifts the pounds but don’t become a slave to it. It is important to enjoy your life and not feel bad on the days where you don’t do as much exercise as you had hoped.

Health Warning – There now follows a pleasing but potentially embarrassing photograph. This is me in trousers that not too long ago were tight but that fell down for pretty obvious reasons from this photograph.

National Adoption Week – a birth mum’s tale
I know she doesn’t understand. She will blame me I am sure. I can’t see her. I can’t face the upset it will cause to my family. What will she expect of me anyway? I can’t be her mum now. It is too late for that. What good would it do?

I had her in the Sixties. It is true that they were swinging and I had a great time in the dance halls of London. Away from Ireland, away from my parents, being young and free.

I thought I was in love. An Irish lad of course. A plumber by trade and a great dancer to boot. We talked of marriage. I was probably young and daft. I fell for his charm and was easily led. I don’t like to talk about it but he hit me. In the end, I decided he was not a good bet.

The problem was by then I was pregnant with his child. I had to hide it from Mammy and Daddy. This was difficult as I usually went home at Christmas every year. As I was due in mid-December, I had to say I was working over Christmas. I don’t know whether they believed me. They never knew about their grandchild.

He came to see his new daughter and said she was beautiful. A big baby with curls and soft skin. We argued though and he went away. I don’t know where he ended up.
My daughter went to a Yorkshire family. I told them to make sure she had a big garden to play in and to keep her in the Catholic faith.

I had to take my baby up to Yorkshire and hand her over to the nuns. I left her with a blanket and a doll I had bought her. I wonder if she still has it. (SHE DOES BY THE WAY)

Diary of an imperfect mum

I feel I have so much to say about the #groovingmums blog hop. I may well break this down into several posts over the course of this week.

The #groovingmums blog hop is about encouraging mums to rediscover themselves, to reinvent themselves, to seek out some time just for them and their interests and perhaps to just live a little more vibrantly. Each mum decides how they want to tackle this journey. From weight loss to volunteering, from new courses to seeking employment, from having a new hair cut to having a special day out or anything else for that matter. How can we sum all this up in a badge that you can display on your blog should you wish to do so.

Katie, one of our #groovingmums helped me with this so huge thanks are due to her.

In the Celtic calendar Halloween is the New Year festival of Samhain. It marks the time of death and rebirth, of letting go of that which no longer serves us and celebrating our new intentions. That sounds quite groovingmumsy to me!

I opened a fortune cookie yesterday and it said the sunflower was relevant to me. Could this be because us #groovingmums are turning our faces to the light?

Last week, as well as our regulars we had some newbies and we love you already for your honest posts and willingness to change and add a little spark to your lives one step at a time. Have you noticed how we all seem to be in this together supporting each other on the good, the more challenging and the bloody awful weeks?

I had asked #groovingmums to consider how 5 weeks of the blog hop had helped them and was really touched to see that people really can see a benefit to their lives and in very individual ways.

I also wondered how we could deal with the frankly shitty weeks where we are hit by negative self-talk, external setbacks and so on. We all seem to have had these in the last month or so at different times and in different ways. I liked the suggestion that we should care for the carer (ie ourselves as mums). Part of that is not beating yourself up if you think you are not up to taking part at all, yet, every week or whatever. The whole point of establishing this blog hop was to help people not to hit people with a big stick.

Now here are possible challenges you may or may not feel like giving a go this week.

1. Photographs – Put a photograph up on your blog post about #groovingmums If you don’t normally do this, do it in a way that is comfortable to you. Even if it is from the back if you really don’t want to show your face to the world yet. For those who do put photographs of themselves on their blog, do it differently. Put on fancy dress, flash your pants like Glasgow_Mummy, whatever does it for you without making you feel overly embarrassed. Break out of the comfort zone one step at a time. I will be joining in on this one too tomorrow but for now, if you want to see me in all my triple-chinned glory, check out the Britmums Live website. It took me weeks to pluck up the courage to do this so I do know the photo thing can be very daunting indeed.

2. Write the blog post you have in your mind but are scared to publish. Every time I have done that on some quite controversial topics, I have had supportive comments so put it out there and see what people think. You can always set up comment moderation so you are in charge of which comments go live.

Ready, steady go. Your mission is to write a blog post about how you are doing one or all of the following ..

1. Rediscovering yourself

2. Reinventing yourself

3. Making time for yourself

4. Getting your Groove Back

5. Developping your va-va-voom

Then send the link for your blog post to me on mums-the-word@live.com and I will promote it here and on Twitter and other social networks.

Visit back here tomorrow to see my post as I am on the journey too and some of my achievements are really tiny but still vital for me in moving forwards. I need your support just as the other #groovingmums do so please do try to leave a comment here and on the other posts. If you are not on Twitter, do let me know if you would like to be alerted to new entries to the blog hop via email. On Twitter, if you want to know what us #groovingmums are getting up to, just enter #groovingmums into the seach box and all will be revealed.

N.B. Yes you are good enough to take part. No, you don’t have to do massive steps, the slightest move forwards counts. You will tap into a lovely group of mums just keen to share the journey with you. Newcomers are really welcome and if you have any questions or concerns, just email me on mums-the-word@live.com

Let’s get grooving!

Recipe for Fiendish Fizzies cupcakes

Makes 36 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 Free range egg
2 oz Self raising flour
2 oz Unsalted butter
2 oz Caster sugar
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1tsp Vanilla extract
2tsp Coca powder

Decoration:
6oz Icing sugar
3oz Unsalted butter
1tsp Vanilla flavour
1tsp Green food colouring
1 pack of Fiendish Fizzies

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
2. Cream 2oz of unsalted butter in your food blender. Once smooth add the sponge mix of caster sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla extract and one large egg. Mix into a smooth batter.
3. Place 36 mini muffin cases into a mini muffin tin and spoon in the batter. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
4. Smooth 3oz of unsalted butter. Then add the icing sugar with a small amount of water, mix slowly for two minutes and add the vanilla flavour and green colour. Then mix until smooth.
5. Spread or pipe the icing over the top of the cooled cupcakes. Then decorate with your Fiendish Fizzies. Your cupcakes will need 15 minutes for the icing to set.

www.lovehearts.com

www.heylittlecupcake.co.uk

 

 

You Baby Me Mummy

Halloween Carrot Muffins

Preparation: 20mins
Cooking: 25mins

Makes 12

 

200g/7oz soft light brown sugar

200ml/7floz sunflower oil

2 medium eggs

200g/7oz plain flour

2.5ml/1/2 tsp baking powder

2.5ml/1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

5ml/1 tsp ground cinnamon

200g/7oz carrots, peeled and grated

50g/2oz walnut pieces, chopped

5ml/1 tsp vanilla essence

For the icing:

225g/ icing sugar, sifted

25g/1oz unsalted butter

75g/3oz chilled full fat cream cheese

food colouring and writing icing

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/Fan 150C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Line a deep 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

2. Place the sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl, then beat together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and thickened. Sift over the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon then fold in until well mixed. Fold in the carrots, walnuts and vanilla essence.

3. Divide the mixture between the paper cake cases. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25mins or until golden, risen and the middle bounces back when lightly pressed. Leave to cool in the tin for 5mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. For the icing: Use an electric whisk to beat the icing sugar and butter together in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the cream cheese and briefly beat together again until just combined. Don’t overbeat or it will become runny. Spread the icing over the muffins, then let the kids go mad icing the cakes with spooky characters.

Freezing instructions:

Un-iced these muffins freeze well. Once cold pack them into a freezer proof container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour, then ice as instructed.

 

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