30 September 2010

My husband has gone bonkers.

Certifiably, undoubtedly, bona fide bonkers*

A couple of nights ago we were watching the series finale of Biggest Loser USA. Firstly, I must say WOW! the transformations these people went through are amazing! completely amazing. I have never watched the show before, but will be an avid viewer for future series.

Secondly, Shay, the largest ever contestant was invited back for the next end of season finale, with the offer from Subway of $1000 for every 1lb lost. This cued lots of gasps of 'omg, that could be loads' from our sofa. and prompted that lovely husband of mine to suggest he gives me £10 for every 1lb I lose.

£10.... for EVERY lb!!! The man is a mentalist! But despite my astonishment and repeated 'are you sure?' 'you dont have to do this' 'seriously?' 'your bonkers!' from me. He insists.
(And, a new engagement ring into the deal too!... little history, When hubby proposed it was not with what would be my 'proper ring'. He wanted to get me a ring to ask with, and then take me shopping for my 'prope'r' ring. Which we never got round to doing because 'I'm losing weight' ... 2 years on, I'm not much lighter and 'my' ring - which I have already seen and love - is still in the shop)

I have also decided today, that I am going to match that, and save £10 for every 1lb I lose too. That should give me around £500 to spend all on myself when I do get to goal... Which I would like to do for February ish. But I wont have my spree/get the money until April/May time. and to be honest, with Christmas, and Birthdays etc. it'll probably be more like March anyway, even if I am a super good girl!

What to do with it all??
I shall spend some on new clothes of course. all my old clothes that are too large will all be taken to charity shops. and I shall have a little frenzy of shopping.
Darren always tells me I have too many clothes, so perhaps this would be the perfect time to aim for a capsule wardrobe!? (who am I kidding, that'll last like a month before I fill my drawers with extra stuff!)
I also think I shall get a new tattoo, to celebrate, and remind me of what I can do if I put my mind to things.

How exciting! Its definitely given me a motivation boost!

Jules x

*But its probably one of the reasons I love him so much

29 September 2010

Its dark outside

Its just hit 7am. My alarm has just gone off. And its dark outside.
Normally I hit snooze for the next 30minutes, but today I have already been lying awake for some time.

The important part of that, is not that I have been awake since some ungodly hour, but the fact that its 7am, and its still dark outside. Not middle of the night dark, but its certainly not daylight.

I do not deal with winter very well. I have to fight an almost uncontrollable urge to hibernate. Things would be fine if I could rise at say 10am when it was already light and spend the next few hours outside. I actually quite like the autumnal/winter weather, wrapping up warm, curling up with a hot drink when you get back home.
Unfortunately, I don't get that luxury, I am up and at the office before daylight really raises its sleepy head, and am home well after darkness has returned.
No different to thousands of other people out there that are just the same of course. I just complain about it much much more.

2 quick things... What's happened to daybreak? I know I am normally asleep at this time, but adrian and christine seem to be missing. Not that I am complaining. Its still no were near as good as gmtv.

And, ooooh. They are showing the britain from the air exhibition that's on in Bath! ... The company I work for produced the images and map etc! Quite exciting seeing it on tv when you have seen the whole thing in production from the start!

Have a lovely Wednesday people

Jules x

Here is me in my new coat.... Hubby took the photo on my blackberry, and its not the best camera. plus, I had just got in from work. please ignore the random face I am pulling.
and ignore the picture on the wall which we need to move to the new correct position and ignore the home hub on the floor.
But isn't my coat (and boots while we are on the subject!) just the absolute cutest! I love it. x

27 September 2010

Broken. make up-less. raining.

So, our laptop at home is still broken.
well, technically it still turns on and works, but it absolutely will not, point blank refuses, to see any wireless connections, and so we cannot get online.

I guess we could try it with an ethernet cable. But as yet we haven't.

Our hub is sat on the floor in the front room at the moment, along the middle of the living room wall. Its been there since we moved our furniture round... and then discovered the ethernet cable we already have to connect up the PS3 was too short. Apparently it cannot connect wirelessly as it may disconnect more often. This of course would be disastrous for when Hubby is playing MW2 against some random person he has never met.

Another broken thing, is my nail. The nail on my index finger on my left hand to be precise.
I caught it and broke it on Saturday. In all my life I have never ever broken a nail, yes this is because I have never had long enough nails to break.
I was rather gutted. But I did not let it spiral into a nail biting frenzy, nope. I filed it down, and then painted them with some strengthening stuff, and then painted them a deep rich raspberry red. I tried this colour before when I had false nails on. but on longer nails it looked much much to vampy for me to pull off. On my new short, neat, real nails it looks lovely (imho)

Its extremely grey, chilly and rainy today here, probably in most of the UK if the weather forecast on TV is anything to go by.
This of course meant getting out of bed was all the more difficult. especially when we still have the summer quilt on, but we have the fur throw over the top for warmth. Its so snuggly and lovely I really really have to drag myself out from under the covers.

This morning it has culminated in a make up-less day. Hair in a scraggly bun, and a rushed breakfast.

I'm not going to let the weather get me down. I am going to dust off the heater at work, and also track down and get a coat hook put up behind my desk. 3 winters here of having my coat on the back of my chair.
it falls off, gets caught up under the wheels, which then not only creases up my coat, but means I get stuck mid swoosh, wheels jammed. much huffing and puffing later, I can finally move my chair again and the coat is detangled. only for it all to happen again 30 minutes later.

Besides. I brought a lovely lovely lovely new coat at the weekend, and it deserves much better treatment than falling under the wheels of my ever moving chair.

Jules x

24 September 2010

Lovely things

Today I thought I'd share a few lovely things that I like/have/are happening at the moment.

1: Mint green nails

Today I am sporting mint green nails, I can't quite believe I have stopped biting my nails! 30 years old, and I have stopped. and I am finding a new passion for pretty nail colours. Lushesness.

2: This hotel
I keep popping back and looking at this hotels website. I think I am in love with it. I love the decor, especially room 7 and room 8. So light and airy and bright, but looking like they have a lovely cosy rustic feel to them too.
I love it, it makes me feel all dreamy. I can just imagine staying there, waking up under the crisp white sheets and having a cup of tea in bed. Then taking a walk to the harbour, taking some photographs, finding somewhere to stop for coffee and cake.... so relaxing.
*hint hint* lovely husband.... a first anniversary break away perhaps?
(also, if anyone knows any other hotels like this from around the UK, anywhere, so long as we could take some lovely walks, have tea and cake somewhere and its pretty for me to take photos, please let me know! x)

3: Tomorrow I am trying out a new Weight Watchers meeting. I am hoping the change may give me the kick up the bottom I need. Plus, going on a Saturday morning will hopefully give me focus for the weekend. and free up my Wednesday evenings to start playing with my photography and painting etc again. Yay!

4: The Pina Colada mix from my Graze box.

Organic mango, pineapple pieces and coconut flakes. It tastes like summer. <3

5: Marina & the diamonds

I love this album at the moment. I'm listening to it at work, and in the car. I really need to remember to put it on my Ipod for the gym too!

Thats all for today. Happy Friday

Jules x

22 September 2010

The dresses arrived

Hubby answered the door when I arrived home from work with the news that my parcel of clothes had arrived... Hoorah.

Well kind of.

The zig zag dress, even though I brought it in a size smaller than I take now, feels much much too big! (Slight hoorah, but not really, I know I am the size I am, and its more just annoying that the dress is sized wrong!)

And the leopard dress, the one I have been lusting over for oh so long. Meh. Its ok.
Its darker than the picture online shows, so the colours don't pop as much as I was hoping. Which as I was worried about my confidence to wear it, you think would be a good thing, but it just doesn't have the same 'wow'
Plus, unfortunately the sweetheart neck line looks off, like its been miss sewn. So they are both being returned.

Might have to see if I can get the jumper as a replacement!!

Jules x
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

21 September 2010

Tugging on the purse strings

Everything it seems is tugging on our purse strings. Why oh Why I did not work this out before Fridays spending spree I do not know! Ahh well, what's done is done. No point in dwelling on it, just a good job I did not order that jumper too! :)

The bill for the plumbing work came through yesterday, and I'd got an amount in my head that I thought it was, and I don't know why I thought it was that much, but the invoice came and its £200 more than I thought.
Darren pointed out it was always going to be that much, so I don't know what part of my brain decided to deduct £200 and tell me it was less. Normally this wouldn't be a headache, it wouldn't be great, but it wouldn't be a headache. But seeing as dearest husband is self employed, He does not get paid when he does not work, and with taking time off to sort out plumbing (I had no holiday left to take) and only doing small jobs here and there in between big jobs, he's had a fair bit of time off. Boooo.

That coupled with me having to have a new glasses prescription, both of us having to take unpaid time off for our holiday in a couple of weeks, and other stuff... we are 'el skinto' ....


And then our laptop broke.... oh Arse....



.... So, the house makeover is on hold. Any evenings/days out have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, and I have worked out a meal plan for the next week (any more than a week ahead would be overkill! and we would not stick to it!) that is mainly using freezer and store cupboard stuff.

Hey ho. These things are sent to challenge us. A couple of months and we should be back on an even keel and then saving for Xmas will have to start! and there are people out there in much much worse situations than we are, so I should not complain.

And there is another funny thing. Normally I would be complaining and stressing and fretting. I am a complete worry wart. But what will that achieve? Nothing.
So instead, I am putting my energy into how we can save and make some money to get ourselves back on track that much sooner.

This weekends plans now consist of going gym, and sorting out all the stuff in the loft. Which we shall then take to car boot after our hols. Have a big clear out and hopefully make some cash at the same time. I have a couple of painting I have done that are up in the loft too. I'll take those along too see if they sell. I am not sure that the car boot we are going to will have the right sort of people browsing to want to buy them, but its worth a go.

Thinking about Xmas gifts for people too. I think I may make some gifts for people this year. Make it  bit more personal and fun.

Happy saving!

Jules x

20 September 2010

New Dresses

So it may be a little early to be thinking about Xmas. But I am in the process of organising the works Xmas party, and my mind started to wander about what I might wear.

That cued a little 'sightseeing' trip to BooHoo to see what they have at the moment. BooHoo can be a bit hit and miss. Its lovely and friendly on the purse strings, but the stuff isn't always the best fit/quality. Depends on what you are after though I guess, and what you expect from the items you have ordered!

I love love love this Jumper in grey.

But I couldn't afford that on top of the dresses, so that will have to wait for another day.

Though now I am writing this blog post, I am wondering how I justified being quite so frivolous and spending money on a couple of going out dresses, I shall rarely wear (indeed, I need to find reasons to wear, especially when I have nice dresses at home already) but decided a Jumper was too much, even though I would wear it much much more often. hmmmmm

Anyway, what's done is done. Hopefully the dresses will arrive soon and they will be lovely. I had seen this one a while ago, but didn't think I would have the confidence to wear it. Friday I decided 'bugger it, I like it' and so I brought it.

That perhaps goes someway to explain my Jumper vs Dress logic! My downright stubborness! oops.

The other dress.... double oops, is very similar in shape, but I think may be more flattering while I am not so confident, and so if I don't have the balls to wear the bright leopard print, I have a 'back up'

So there is my little Friday unplanned shopping spree. I had a bit of a decadent weekend actually! On Saturday after gym and collecting my new geek glasses. (uber geek. so cool!) I brought a few other bits and bobs in town. Not much, but more than I should be buying when we are suppose to be saving for our holiday. Got the loveliest pink nail varnish. Its called strawberry ice cream.


Jules x

16 September 2010

Thursday - the start to the weight watchers week

In this house its the start to the weight watchers week anyway.

I have my meeting on a wednesday evening. Unfortunately last week I put on 2lbs. Serves me right for rebelling against the plan and also eating out rather a lot.

My husband has been saying that he'd like to lose the weight he put on while we were on honeymoon, so we are both going to start eating healthier.

As I was completely unprepared, as usual, tonights dinner was a bit of a 'what do we have in the cupboard/fridge/freezer' concoction.

In our freezer we have excessive amounts of chorizo. There was a french (yep, I always thought chorizo was spanish too!) Market held in our town centre. One stall which had the loveliest selection of sausages and dried and cured meats.
We perhaps got over excited and decided we would treat ourselves to some chorizo... The biggest chorizo known to mankind.
Ok, possibly an exaggeration, but it was 10 english pounds of big fat sausage. Which upon getting home was chopped into sensible portions and popped into bags in the freezer.
(and by the way, its absolutely wonderful on home made pizza)

Cue getting home, grabbing arborio rice from the cupboard, the frozen chorizo and a bag of frozen peppers (always a good standby to keep in the freezer) a few other bits and bobs (veg stock, herbs, chilli and black pepper) and we have, chorizo and pepper risotto!

I also added a dollop of extra low fat cream cheese right at the end, just to melt through for added creaminess.

5.5 points for a bowlful (julia sized, husband sized was 8points)
And it was really really yummy! Definitely something that will be cooked again, and again and again probably, as hubby loved it too!

Happy Thursday! :)

Jules x
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14 September 2010

It has started...

The house makeover that is.

I'll be honest, I have been a little apprehensive about the whole thing. its a lot of money we are planning on spending, and we are not exactly rolling in cash.
Especially this plumbing malarky. Good gravy, its a lot of money. a bloody lot of money (for us) and on Monday when I arrived home, and we had more pipes in the kitchen than we had started with and the under stairs cupboard smelt like a sewer I was seriously questioning our decision.

I am rather good at over reacting and worrying when really I should just wait and see what happens. Chill Julia, Chilllllllll, it'll all be arlight.

and it was.
better than alright actually, its fanbloodytastic! We have a dishwasher (this in itself is more than enough reason to rejoice, I hate doing dishes, and so it seems does my husband, if the piles of unwashed dishes are anything to go by) and a new washing machine, and a new boiler, which is so quiet compared to our old one. not to mention 2 fully working and quick filling toilets, and space!!! so much space!

My husband can actually climb into the airing cupboard and stand up in it. He's 6foot 4in. That means I could stand in it and jump up and down if I wanted to.
I don't want to, I might break the plinth and crash into all the pipes hidden below. Besides which, what would I actually gain from jumping in an airing cupboard? other than the confirmation that, yes, it is possible.

So we are going to add shelving and rails and use it as a storage cupboard come wardrobe. Now I have not mentioned this to him indoors, but this does fill me with excitements somewhat.... Just imagine how many more clothes I can have! and shoes! I am certain I can fit some extra shoe storage in there too.
I am sure on some level he knows that this is what will happen, and he is either hoping he is wrong, and a shoe shopping frenzy is not on the horizon. Or his subconscious is blanking the thought so we dont have to discuss how many shoes I have... again.
(for future reference, the topic of how many shoes I have is always an interesting one. apparently, I have way too many, and when I buy a new pair, I should get rid of an 'old' pair. I heartily disagree, of course. he likes football. I like shoes. They are not hurting anyone, so where is the problem? also, just for the record, I do not have 'way too many' at all, more than some people yes, but not as many as others.)

Anyway. I don't think he needs to worry just yet. with all the work we have planned on the house, I wont have the time, or the money to go shopping anytime soon!

x Jules x

13 September 2010


Hello to anyone out there thats taking the time to have a little read of my new blog.

My hope is to fill it full of things that I find beautiful, inspiring, funny, tasty, cute... generally things that make me smile. I'll also be using it to document the makeover of the home I share with my husband, my weight loss journey and other random general aspects of my life!... and no doubt a few annoyances, and bumps in the road along the way!

SO a little about me.... you could click on the 'About me section' over there on the left, or just continue to read this... as to be honest, I can pretty much guarantee I shall copy and paste this info straight into that section over there anyway! I am Jules. I am 30, I live in a small house in Northamptonshire (England, incase anyone overseas happens to stumble across this) and around 3 months ago I became Mrs Mann.
That was a fun day. Really fun. I shall share pictures and tales of our wedding at a later date. It kinda goes without saying though that I loved it. My husband is just ace (husband!! hehe) and it was the best fun ever!

I studied art at college (not uni, just college!) and I want to bring some of that creativeness back into my life. I enjoy food, good food especially, but just food in general will do... hence the weight loss journey mentioned above. I have dabbled in weight watchers for years, and yet again I am a member, going to meetings weekly, and pointing my food. It does work. I know it does. I just need to learn how to stop being so stubborn and just get on with it! I have lost about a stone and would like to lose another stone and half or more.

The small house I live in with my Husband is having a makeover. long story short... we brought when house prices were pretty much at their peak. It was supposed to be a short term place, our first step onto the housing ladder with the view to move after a couple of years.
House prices crashed. the recession hit and we are now clinging onto that first rung of the ladder, and wont be moving up it for some time yet.
But we are not going to sulk, we have a home, we cannot grumble about that. Its just that when we moved in we gave it a bit of shine, a lick of paint, that sort of thing. We didn't put much effort in as we were not planning on staying too long. Now we shall be staying for the foreseeable future it really needs to be made into our home.

This is a bit scary, as its quite a commitment doing so much work and spending so much money. Also, I am rather fussy, and a complete control freak. Should be fun!!

I shall stop my rambling now, I hope you come back to see how things are going!

Jules x