Thursday, 10 July 2014

Blogging through the alphabet {Horticulture, high excitement, heat, and Healthy Mama (the Trim variety)}

(This post was providentially written LAST week, in error, before publishing the correct letter for the week. Providential, because I've been too busy with ill children to write one this week! Yet, here one is! So, imagine me writing it last week. I didn't do any of this THIS week!)

I am going to be a bit Irish, and begin with the last thing on my list in my post title.


Finally, we are experiencing more than one day of half decent weather, here in rural Bedfordshire!  Summer, I believe, may finally be upon us.  Blink, and you may miss it.  Alternatively, it may get so hot that I sit indoors, beside a fan, and only go out when it cools down.  I am a Scot. I'm not used to hot, sticky weather. I am not sure whether it will ever be something I enjoy.  My favourite day would be one in the mid-twenties (70's, I believe, for Americans...), with a breeze.  Gorgeous. However, I have been so crazy busy, I haven't really got OUT to enjoy it much, as yet.  Maybe next week? Hang on, it'll probably be wet again by then.

On a plus, I HAVE to get out tonight.  This week, I made my annual trip to the local garden centre, to get some more plants.  I am enjoying add things, bit by bit, every year, to get the garden how I would like it. I am hardly a true horticulturist, but I try. I am attempting to work out, and learn, which plants would be happiest where. Thankfully, there is a very wonderful lady at the garden centre who answers all my questions very capably. Crazily, on my part, I don't even know her name. Yet, strangely enough, with a multitude of children in tow, she remembers me. Crazy, huh?  She was able to tell me that I have probably planted my peonies too deep.  I will have to wait ANOTHER year to see the flowers on that plant.  My lilac, which also didn't flower, apparently just needs patience. She pointed me in the direction of some plants which should be happy in my shady corner, and advised about thinning out our tree to let more light through to the back border. It's so good to get such a lot of advice, for free!

I also got some plants which are scented - not the flowers, the leaves! I am going to have a "sniff and guess" corner, where people can try and work out the scents of each!

So, tonight I will go back out, like I did the other evening, and finish planting.  I just love it out there.  I get my current audiobook playing, headphones in, and away I go, into a little world of my own, planting, watering, and pruning as I go. Hands dirty.  Happiness, in the extreme.

(My poppies out again - LOVE them!)

My other high excitement of the week was related to a shopping trip. Our friends were here for the weekend, and our husbands decided to to bless the ladies to a shopping trip - CHILD FREE! It was only a short trip, as I needed to be back to feed Tabitha, but it was CHILD FREE! I never go looking for opportunities like that, really, but when they are offered, I say "yes"!

So, off we toddled to Olney. It's a pretty little town, renowned for 2 well known occupants, in years gone past - John Newton, and William Cowper. If you don't know who they are, shame on you! Olney has several charity shops (thrift stores), and invariably I manage to find SOMETHING worth grabbing.  ON Monday, I picked up two pairs of shoes for Bethany - each would have been £40 new, and one never worn, the hardly worn - a cardigan, a top for myself, and then I hit the high excitement moment.  My friend spotted a lovely skirt, which didn't suit her when she tried it on. I thought I'd give it a whirl, and even though it was a style that I am not always convinced is the most flattering, it looked great on! (My friend agreed, so it wasn't just me being optimistic!) I asked her, through the changing room door, if she had noticed where the skirt was from. I started to turn it inside out to find a label...when, I shouted (yes, it was pretty much shouting) in excitement, from inside the cubicle "It's...." my sentence was finished by my friend, who had seen what was going on, under the cubicle door... "REVERSIBLE"!!! You cannot imagine how excited I was! It was highly amusing, quite frankly! I find it VERY hard to find long skirts, which fit, and I like. To get ONE I liked was awesome, to get TWO!?!??!..... HIGHLY exciting! The other moment, which was rather hilarious (another "H"!), was when we went to the till, the lady remembered us from being there before! "You're the ladies with all the children, aren't you?!" What a lovely way to be known!

Skirt one

... and skirt two! 

Beth's skirt has a drawstring, so although an adult's size (from MONSOON!), it fits her! 

(Oops, a photo of Tabitha made its way in.. such a shame...)

My final "H" is what I have jumped into this last week or so. I have heard a  LOT about Trim Healthy Mama - the way of eating developed by two lovely ladies - Serene and Pearl.

 I had seen friends using this method to lose a LOT of weight, and was pretty impressed.  I go the impression, however, that it was a bit complicated, and used some weird ingredients that I was a bit wary of (simply due to not knowing quite what they were, or how to use them), and that it used a lot of dairy, which I hadn't been eating. I decided to bite the bullet, and give it a try, using my sister's book to see how it worked.  Well, I realised it WASN'T as tricky as I thought, in fact, more simple. The whole system can be as simple or as complicated as you like, eating pretty normal foods.  My favourite discovery has been the smoothies - my favourite one is actually FAT STRIPPING!!! Not unhealthy at all, and like drinking a creamy, McDonalds milkshake, without all the junk in it! Oh, and I found another stonking recipe, for a strawberry MIAM (Muffin in a mug). It takes seconds to mix up, and about 90 seconds to cook! You can even eat it for breakfast! I would suggest, if you have heard of it and were unsure, give it a whirl. If you have weight to lose, and want to do it enjoyably, give it a whirl! There are things there to suit everyone, and the results I have see are amazing. I have lost a few pounds, but am noticing more that I have SLIMMED already! Go figure! You can buy a hard copy of the book, or an ebook.  I have borrowed a hard copy, and I think it's probably better for flicking through. Oh yes, the other thing - having not eaten gluten for ages now, I can finally EAT CAKE! The MIAM is gluten free, and still delicious.  I will share the link below, so you can try it for yourself. All the ingredients are readily available, and if you have any questions, ask in the comments below.

1 comment :

  1. Your flowers look beautiful!
    I've been doing a bit of the Trim Healthy Mama thing. I also love that MIAM!

    Hope your sweeties are getting thru the chicken pox okay.