Bullet Journal

My Journey to Wonder Woman

Just wanted to share my weight loss spread with you.

On the left hand side you can see a standard countdown to goal. I’ve decided that I want to lose somewhere between 15 and 21 kilos – the upper end of that is 45lbs. Since pounds are smaller increments and so easier to mark off they should be more motivational than using kilos as the yardstick. Although to be honest the whole concept of stones and pounds used here in the UK leaves me totally bamboozled. They just don’t make sense at all – yet that’s what makes sense to everyone else here so I’ll go with it. Also, I found this layout with the exact same goal and did a wholesale copy of it.

Right hand side is a fairly standard layout of body measurements before and after. I was looking for some ideas for the central figure, most of them were variations on a plain body with shoulder length hair when I caught an picture from an interview with the stunning Gal Gadot. That lead me to go and seek out this image of Wonder Woman. I didn;t design it myself, I found an image from a colouring book and copied it. I think she’s a lot more motivating an image than a mannequin – after all if I can do this I will think of myself as an all powerful super-human. (yes I know I already am, but to conquer oneself is an even bigger feat than some of my other super-accomplishments)

Recipes

Mango Curry

Date night. It used to mean theatres, jazz clubs, bars and walking through town together. Now that we have two wee people and no obligated babysitters it now means a take-away in front of the TV after the kids are in bed. On the rare occasion that we do actually get to leave the house we often spend the time talking about or worrying about the kids anyway so our stay-in date nights feel more secure and cosy in many ways.

We started using a few different take-away places before we settled on our favourites. Our favourite Chinese place does something amazing with deep fried beef and our favourite Indian place does an incredible mango curry that quickly became a firm favourite. That is until the incident.

We’d gotten used to a delivery time of 45-60 minutes but on this night when we were both really really hungry that hour came and went and at 10 minutes past I got a text message to say that there would be a delay of 20 minutes. We were annoyed, but at least we had our own supply of poppadoms and mango chutney so we broke those open expecting to finish our starter and have the main on the table. We waited, and waited. At the 2 hour mark finally our food arrived. By this stage we were hungry enough that we could eat an entire zoo, let alone a horse. The curry tasted great but there was a horrid aftertaste of feeling ripped off. I got online and fired off a message to the company expecting at the very least an apology. Nothing.

And so it was that I decided it was about time that I learnt how to make my own mango curry. A little bit of experimentation has gotten me the following recipe and to be honest, we like it better than the take-away. And even better, if I use the slow cooker I can do the hard work in the morning and we can sit down to eat as soon as the kids are asleep – no more waiting!

Anyway, I do hope you like it. Let me know in the comments if you give this a try.

Serves 4

Ingredients
4-5 chicken breast fillets diced (you can use thigh fillets, or even another meat if you prefer)
2 onions
3 Tb korma paste (milk allergy? Try the Sainsbury’s version which at time of writing is totally dairy free)
2 cans mango
1 can coconut milk
1 sachet of coconut cream
handful of toasted flaked almonds

Directions
Chop one onion into thin wedges. Set aside.
Quarter the other onion and place that into a food processor (or blender).
Brown the chicken in a little oil in a frying pan. Put that into your slow cooker and add the onion wedges to the pan. Cook until the onion softens. Add to the slow cooker with the chicken.
Put the korma paste mango, coconut milk and coconut cream into the food processor with the quartered onion. Whizz it up until it forms a sauce – taste test for the heat levels. Add more korma paste if you prefer a hotter curry.
Put the sauce into the slow cooker and stir.
Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
Serve with rice and sprinkled with the almonds.

Note – if you find the curry too hot, stir a tablespoon of lemon juice into the curry to neutralise the heat a little.

Another note – I’ve not been able to have this dish stick around in a bowl long enough to get a nice picture, but it looks remarkably like the picture I’ve used here!

Knitting

A Good Haar Day

Yet another migraine morning for me today and wee Elisa had a horrid night with fever – I tell ya, we’re all glad here it’s the weekend!

12070624_1687310361499186_1537387375_n The Haar is in this morning – that’s the sea fog that envelopes the Firth of Forth and the surrounds. It’s really thick and visibility is about 10 metres at the moment. (Picture added later when it had started to burn off) It’ll hang around for a little while by the looks of it too. I remember being at a friend’s place and watching it roll in – reminded me of the dust storms in Melbourne many years back.

This morning is a quiet one in. I’m going through our list of meals to organise the week and the shopping. I love online shopping but I do miss the walking around and instant inspiration of seeing products on the shelves.

One thing I’ve noticed is when trying to find new dinner options it’s actually not that easy. You can readily find sites with thousands of recipes, and it’s all very well seeing recipes that look amazing for restaurant quality fussiness but what do people actually eat for dinner? You can easily find a recipe for an elaborate roast with amazing artisan and rare to find veggies, but how easy is it to find a decent recipe for lamp chops and veggies? What are your plans for dinners this coming week? Are there any staple dinners that you always seem to fall back on?

Later today I’ll be heading off to Stockbridge to join in the fun of a knitting Tea Party. WHile I’ll be there in person there will be a concurrent virtual event happening so anyone can join in. This is to celebrate the launch of Clare Devine’s fabulous Tea Party Collection of knitting patterns using Jess of GingerTwist Studio’s wonderful hand dyed yarn. We’ll be casting on for the knit-a-long while there. I figure I need a winter hat so why not make a lovely one with friends where there’s a reason to finish quickly and not eat into Christmas knitting time. I’m really looking forward to the event tonight. It’s so nice to get an adult break, now if I can only get my stupid head to cooperate!

Stuff

Row Row

Elisa’s favourite song is Row Row Row Your Boat. At any time of the day she will climb up onto your lap and start leaning backwards saying “row row” and you have to start singing (banshees visit if you should dare not to).

She loves it and especially loves the actions and sounds at the end of the verses, in particular the alternative verses. I’ve taken to making up new ones just to relieve the monotony.

Here’s a few of our alternative verses:

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream

Row, row, row your boat gently down the river
When you see a polar bear, don’t forget to shiver (Brrrr)

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream
When you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream (aarrgghh!)

Row, row, row your boat rocking side to side
When you see a dinosaur don’t forget to hide (hands in front of eyes)

Row, row, row your boat gently ‘cross the bay
When you see a pirate ship, row the other way (Aarrr!)

Row, row, row your boat across the deep blue sea
Have some scones, some jam and cream and make a pot of tea (yummy!)

Row, row, row your boat gently to and fro
When you see an elephant wave and say hello (Hiya!)

Recipes

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

2015-05-12 12.08.16These Raspberry and White Chocolate muffins are very quick and easy to make. I tend to make small cakes rather than large muffins and in this case I’ll get 24 out of this recipe. If you go for traditional sized muffins you’ll get 12.

Ingredients
2 cups (264g) self-raising flour
2/3 cup (147g) white sugar
2/3 cup (100g) finely chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
1 egg (medium)
125g butter, melted
150g plain or vanilla yoghurt
4 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup (125g) frozen raspberries

Method
1. Preheat oven to 200’C (400’F) and prepare a 12-pan muffin tray. I just line mine with cup cake liners.

2. Combine flour, sugar and chocolate in a large bowl.

3. Add the melted butter, egg, yoghurt, vanilla essence and the water. Mix.

4. Add the raspberries and stir through. They should break up and distribute evenly.

5. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

My Week in Pictures, News & Updates

Eclipse!

It was about 2 weeks ago that I first heard there was to be an eclipse visible from my home in Edinburgh. Oh the excitement! However, I had far too much to do with chicken pox and preparing for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (a post about those to come if I get around to finishing it!) and so the sum total of my preparations was to check that the nursery was aware of it and would do something. I confess, I did consider having Katja home for the day to view it but again the chicken pox thing and a rare, brief moment of rational thinking stopped me.

I assumed I would be able to get eclipse glasses, but a check on amazon/ebay plus a number of tweets from various people wondering where they could be sourced showed that this was not to be so this morning I found an inner tube from some kitchen roll and made myself a pin-hole camera.

As I started to get Elisa ready for a trip out I realised that I had a prime viewing location right in my front room – bonus! This meant that instead of trying to sneak peeks while watching an 11 month old in the playground I’d be able to enlist the support of CBeeBees.

So everything in place I started to watch. This is when I found out how utter crap a tube and piece of card is for viewing an eclipse. Seriously, I got a blurred bit of light and nothing discernable. I modified my “camera” but that didn’t help. The problem is always going to be the difference in angle of the viewing surface and the camera “lens”. So back to the drawing board.

I managed to come up with this – a cereal box with the ends taped up (some foil to stop light getting in the ends), a ruddy great hole in the side and a pin pierced through near the top. Hold with the pinhole facing the sun and look through the hole in the side and you know, this worked rather well. Next time I’ll have less of a hole in the side.

So, that’s how I could watch the eclipse. To be honest you do get a better view watching online through one of the observatory feeds, but there’s a charm in do it yourself.

Even better was watching the phenomenon of the shadows lengthening, the room going dark, the sharp drop in temperature, and seeing all of the people gathered in the park below. Dogs seemed to suddenly want to stay close to their owners, birds seemed confused. There were contrails from all of the watching planes overhead and Elisa got very very cuddly (although to be fair, she has been lately anyway thanks to her first tooth appearing two days ago).

At the time of maximum eclipse we had quite a bit of cloud cover – the bonus to this being that you could look directly at the sun and see the crescent shape without hurting your eyes. Of course as the clouds thin a bit you need to look away, but oh my what a magical sight!

Anyway, a few pics of the event. The next total I’ll likely be able to get to isn’t for another 10 years – best get planning then!

Katja, Parenthood

Telling Tales

2015-03-06 19.36.05

As I approached the kindergarten I had no idea about the drama that had happened inside. No sooner had I walked inside when I heard “Katja’s Mummy!” from one of the little boys and found a group of small people rushing up to me. They were all desperate to tell me the news – “A**** bit Katja!” “A was naughty!” “No biting!”

So I asked Katja for confirmation which she gave me most emphatically then turned around to A**** and said loudly “A**** is naughty, no bite!”. (Apparently the staff are not allowed to call a child naughty, but that doesn’t stop the kids from doing so!.) In the few seconds all of this took I could see out of the corner of my eye Katja’s key worker all but falling over her feet to try to get to me before the kids blurted out the news, but no adult can hope to compete with a toddler who has quality gossip to impart.

And so the full story came out. Katja and A**** were playing with a doll. A**** snatched the doll, Katja snatched it back then A**** bit – hard. I was given the incident report and could tell that there was an air of slight alarm.

2015-03-06 19.35.36

Perhaps I’m doing this mummy thing wrong. I found the kids all rushing to dob in the criminal, A**** keeping to herself – clearly shunned from play circles and the rush by the staff to get to me first rather amusing.

The truth is that I’m actually quite impressed that there have been so few incidents in the time that Katja has been there. I fully expect toddlers to bite, pinch, push and more. It’s what they do. It’s part of growing up and learning what’s right and what’s wrong.

I’m also relieved that it wasn’t Katja doing the biting. And it means that she’s learnt a valuable lesson about how much biting can hurt. But I get the feeling that many mothers would react differently.