Thursday, 19 December 2013

Top Ten Christmas Rants

OK, its been a while. I've gone all light and fluffy on you. Just when I think I've written everything that could possibly get right on my tits then Christmas comes along and BHAM I'm back to my best! Now before you all think I'm a miserable bastard the Top Ten listed below are not exclusive and range between mildly irritating to down right explosive. I should have a rating system like they do for curry's shouldn't I? In fact, that's what I'm going to do. You will see a number in brackets with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest rant factor.

So here goes.....

1. The Christmas Martyr 

You all know one and they are generally female. In fact, what bloke would be a Christmas Martyr? I shouldn't coco.  Talking of which would Chanel ditch their lame attempts of trying to shift Chanel No 5 based on Marilyn Monroe wearing it. Its rankton and smells like an old granny hence why it was popular with 30 somethings in the 1960's as those women are now very old or have croaked it.

Back to the Martyr. This is the woman that strolls on up to you, usually outside some type of school premises, and proceeds to tell you that they have been so busy making personalised Xmas food gifts, charity work, mince pies, taken the kids to Lapland and back, danced with Reindeers, bought an elf costume to greet the kids from school and any Xmas cliche you could possibly imagine. Then they sigh, huff, puff and say "I'm so bloody knackered and I wouldn't mind but I just haven't got any time to be doing this blah blah." Well NEWSFLASH oh Martyr one DON'T!! No one cares!!  The only person that needs to be doing this is you and you secretly love it so quit your moaning and bugger off back to Lapland for the weekend. (4)

2. The Facebook Check In's 

Facebook and hands up we're ALL guilty of it can be a Christmas keeping up with the Jone's nightmare. I am guilty of posting foodie pics which no doubt (and I'm not doing this intentionally) probably makes someone feel they should do some baking. When why should you unless you actually enjoy it?

No matter how hard you resist there is a tiny part of you that thinks mmm maybe we should have booked to see Father Christmas at Harrods (in the summer mind) or the winter wonderland at Hyde Park, Hamleys, Ice-skating at Somerset House (my personal oh should take the kids is this one) and let's not forget the Panto.  IGNORE it all! Seriously, you know the image is not all its cracked up to be. You know, in your non-Facebook head, that going to Hamelys on the train with the kids at Christmas time is not going to be pleasant. Its ugly man, just ugly. You KNOW that the winter wonderland is just an overpriced fun fair with fairy lights and will be heaving with people making out they're having perfect family Christmas fun. Do they mention that they feel well and truly fleeced, the queues are a nightmare, the kids are whinging because they're cold, one's got the right cob on for no reason and the trains are all packed with commuters resentful that your little fuckers darlings are on the train in the first place?  I know a mum who went to Lapland with her kids and said it was bloody freezing and just the worst experience ever.  Stick the telly on, batten down the hatches and give Facebook a virtual finger. (3)

3. The Weight Gain

I've only got to start thinking about Christmas and the pounds are piling on. Technically it should be one bigger meal on 25 December but it so isn't. Its a big food fest from early December onwards. Its like all logic and reasoning on the food front goes out the window and we forget that January is only a couple of weeks away.  The weight can take until March to come off.  Rein it in. Its not worth it. She says. Watch this space. My goal for Christmas is not to put any on (which is currently working) but for how long? (5)

4. The "I've Eaten So Much" Brigade

Closely linked to the above but these people are slim. They say they have eaten SO much. They can't stop eating. They've indulged in everything that has been offered and more. Let me tell you something, guaranteed they will weigh the same or less at the end of the Christmas period.  Something ain't stacking up is it sisters. Clearly they don't consume more calories than their body can burn up. I put it to you, The I've Eaten So Much Brigade, that you doth protest too much and in fact are telling fucking porky pigs in blankets. (3)

5. The Christmas Card Slacker

I'm ahead of myself on this one my friends - here's last year's post on the matter. (4)

6. The Get It, Wrap It and I'll give you the Money Later Buyer

Like I haven't got enough to be doing (who's the Martyr now?!) that this person asks you to buy the gift, get it delivered and wrap it and give to your child. Yes, I'm grateful for the present but would be even more grateful if you do the above.  Having said this, I have fallen into that category this year with my mother - but that doesn't count! (3)

7. The Christmas Countdowns

Again, ahead of myself - see this post also closely linked to Facebook (5)

8. The Christmas Jumper

Granted I liked it last year, I actually bought a Rudolph one but I actually look a right twat in it. I stand by my views that you can get away with it if you are on the right side of 35. I would put it in the same caterogory as the onesie (see this post) and ballet pumps. They are so popular now they are going back to their full naffness rather than a quirky coolness. The fairisle sweater is the way forward for those of us who are never going to see the 30's again. (3)

9. The Faffy Bits 

You know the bits you forget (guess what yup moaned about this before). The person you forgot to write a card to, the teachers presents, tags, almonds, lemons, cream, the postman's tip and all those faffy bits that creep up at the last knockings (3)

10.  The Child Like Adult

This one is closely linked to the Martyr, the Onesie wearer and the Christmas Countdowns. These irritating adult sized children stick their tree up in November and are squealing like guinea pigs for weeks. They clap their hands at any mention of Father Christmas, presents and twinkling lights. They ruin the whole meaning of Christmas with their commercial Christmas rammed down your throat. They need to eat a big dose of humble pie. I recommend news reports on the real world (remember the one which doesn't have elfs skipping around) and wish Santa brings them a present which makes them grow the fuck up. (5)

Please feel free to add any of your personal favourites. Oh and....

(that's another one saying it too early!)

Monday, 16 December 2013

Oh La La Hotel Chocolat

It rhymes what can I say.  This is a review for a box of chocolates. Forest Gump said "life is like a box of never know what you're gonna get". I love that movie. When we were in Las Vegas there was an actual Bubba Gump store with all things Bubba and Forest in. I digress.

Forest and his box of chocolates - pic ebay

A 1970's tin of Quality Street - Massive I might add not that we need super size but notice how the plastic 'tins' are reducing?
Compared to today's chocolates - The Signature Christmas Collection from Hotel Chocolat
Back to the chocolates.  No ordinary 1970's chocolates. No sorry, they have come a long way haven't they?! I, or rather my husband (I had two from this box) had the hassle (sigh hate blogging!) of having to eat these to review.  My husband is partial to a bit of Art Deco and used to be an avid collector of Clarice Cliff pottery but then we had three he liked the box design. The chocolates look very appealing and whilst a bit pricey at £25 a box, they would make a wonderful gift. The flavours are original, decadent and are to be savoured. I don't know about you but when the quality of chocolate is more cocoa than sugar, I wouldn't be able to eat more than two in one sitting in any event.  This is about quality over quantity.

I was actually torn between this box to try and this lovely Christmas Wreath that features on their website Hotel Chocolat.

Love this Christmas Wreath from the Christmas range - this would make a fabulous gift to give any host over the festive period  - price £21

And let us not forget the kiddiwinks -again, this would make a great stocking filler or a little gift to one of the kids friends and very reasonable at £7 or £6 for 3.

Love these gingerbread men - a steal and the parents will think ohhh Hotel Chocolat - quality! 

Check out their website and discover some original scrummy chocolate for all budgets.

Hotel Chocolat gave me a box of chocolates for free in exchange for a review on my blog. The review is honest and I very much enjoyed the two I had (this is a diet blog after all) - the hubster gave the thumbs up to remaining chocolates.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

My Husband is a Pig...

...a Moon Pig! I had to share this with you. My husband has recently discovered the delights (and no this isn't a sponsored post) of For my birthday he arranged for a personalised photo card from the kids and himself.  Now, you'd think they've had their day wouldn't you? Uploaded pics onto a card - its been around for a while but I think I might have been wrong. I really enjoyed the card I got this Xmas one from the hubster and thought I'd share it with you all.  I don't know how much they cost but he says the days of spending £20 on a few cards are long gone and he's Scottish so they must be good value.  They also come the next day.

What do you think?  Very Kenneth Williams what with the stuffing and all. Love the fact he put 'my favourite' Sgt Tom Jekins on there too!  And it wasn't jokey inside = result.  Now am just waiting for the kids cards......!

In other news, we went to Leicester Square last night to see the Comedian Stuart Lee - he's not rip roaring funny but funny in a clever lefty way and I really enjoyed it. The first part of his act had me really laughing. They were filming for his BBC stand up which will be out in March. On the way home I'd thought we'd check out the Norwegian Tree which is always donated to us every year. Now if you're going to have a tree donated then wouldn't you decorate it a bit better? Come on London put some effort into it!

Possibly the lamest Xmas tree in the country?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Tickled My Fancy

These are a few things that have tickled me recently. Maybe tickled isn't the right word - they didn't piss me off (I know a first right?) or make me LOL - does anyone actually laugh out loud to anything written? They were a trifle puzzling. Now I've just come over all Dickensian.

Firstly, I saw a blackboard sign outside our local Coughlan's (much excitement in the local community when this opened. We don't get out what I can I say) advertising soup and a roll. Nothing unusual about that I don't suppose except the price, it was £2.39.  Yes for the nominal sum of £2.39 you can trot out of your local Coughlan's with a soup and a roll. Now, I was really pondering this sign whilst waiting in the chip shop queue. Yes, this is a diet blog and we did occasionally have chips from the chippie. In my defence, we went to the Panto on Saturday to watch Peter Pan and it is obligatory to get chips from the chippie afterwards. Back to the soup.  Isn't it normally £2.50 or £2.99 or even £2.49 but £2.39? Maybe they have a giant surplus of 10p/1p's. I don't know but anyhow it tickled and puzzled me in equal measure. What else you going to do whilst waiting for the chippie to open?

Mr Tickle giving it some - pic ebay
Talking of which the other sign was in the chip shop window. It was advertising a waiter/waitress position (they have an adjoining 'restaurant') and it said something along the lines, in between giving the hours etc, "would not suit student. Needs to be reliable".  So there we have a huge sweeping assumption that students are not reliable. They are incapable of studying and holding down a part-time job.  I do have some background knowledge in that I know they did have a student who they let go but don't punish the rest of the student population. Okay, least they're honest I suppose - once bitten twice shy and all that but really in this day and age you can't be saying stuff like that.  My student self would have been outraged at this advert as actually the hours were perfect for a student!

In other news on the Christmas prep front. I am sorted on the present front just not so on the dreaded wrapping front. I cannot motivate myself to wrap the sodding things.  The kids break up next week - Buddy on Friday so I need to get my wrapping mojo on.  I have a hamper (an old Fortnum and Mason hamper when we were once decadent many moons ago) filled with Aldi goodies! I have the turkey - yes turkey this year ordered from a local butcher which will be delivered. So more or less set and its only us on Christmas day. 

We have yet to put our tree up. We have differing views on the Christmas Tree.  I can't be doing with all the child like adults who put it up in November/beginning of December but I do feel this weekend is acceptable. My husband thinks it should "technically" go up on Christmas Eve!! So the compromise is the 20th - 5 days before Christmas Day. Which will mean it'll be up for two weeks and by that time I can't wait to get the decs down. It is a bit late and I prefer the build up to Xmas so by Boxing Day I think its over really whereas my husband likes New Year's Eve so the decs are still relevant to him. 

We have a date night on Saturday - get us. Don't get out for years and then we go away for 5 days and now a night out. We're off to London for the evening and I managed to get a babysitter so am looking forward to that. My kids will start to wonder if we're ever at home!

I managed to fit in my weights on Tuesday - only 30 minutes but it felt good. My heel is heeling (excuse the pun) nicely and I am planning on doing a little Wii dance tomorrow. So I am gradually getting back into the exercise routine.  On the food front I haven't gone into Xmas free for all. Having said this, I couldn't resist saying yes please to receiving free chocolates from Hotel Chocolat to review. These are due any day but I'm going to get the hubster to review them - so stay tuned.

See you very soon!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

I give you...Las Vegas..

...I would love to say this is a sponsored post and I was paid handsomely by some mythical magical company to go to Vegas for 4 nights but, alas, nothing could be further from the truth. I didn't really think about the groaning of my husband's credit card when I flippantly expressed a desire to see Las Vegas for my 40th a year or so ago. But I am so glad I did. I was well worth every penny and let's face it, although I don't think life is short, you only have the one so if you can see the places on your bucket list then DO IT! I am totally fine about being 40. I figure that to be alive for 40 years is an achievement in itself. Sadly some don't even reach adulthood, childhood or even make it past their first year so I'll try and bear that in mind when I'm approaching 50!

By the way, if you'd like to see my fabulous Vegas cake which was made by Tracy at Fondant Fetish, then check it out in my previous blog post .

So without further ado, here is my post on our trip to Vegas. You will see from the glorious food pics that it certainly isn't hard to put on 4lbs and beyond. It is all off now, which really wasn't hard I just ate European portions the moment we landed.

Our flight was excellent. It took off more or less on time which, seeing as my husband tends to jinx all flights, was worthy of a celebration of epic proportions. We were nearly dancing in the aisles when we realised that no one was sitting in our row! Every time a potential passenger walked towards our aisle we kept nudging each other willing them not to put their bag in the over head locker. And would you believe it this also happened on the way back! Not only that, the last time I travelled longish haul you had to look at a communal TV screen to watch one movie, now you have a little in flight entertainment system with a variety of films, TV shows and music.  Whilst the flight was a long nearly 11 hours it was actually not too bad. 

When we landed it was lashing it down with rain and carried on raining for THREE days! Where in the world can you escape our rainy climate - why you'd think a desert wouldn't you?  Well, all the locals kept telling us it NEVER rains in Vegas and it was most unusual. I didn't care, I was in Vegas! 

The cab driver did take us the long route to the MGM Grand and it even said in my little guide to tell the drivers not to take you all around the houses but we couldn't do it.  We had read up on tipping - you tip the person that takes your bags, the person that gets you a cab, the cab driver, the person that brings up your bags (different to the person that took them), the maintenance guy etc. You also tip 20% on all meals etc.  We took lots of dollar bills with us and really got into the swing of it.

Our room on arrival though had a funny damp smell at this time we were really tired and desperately trying to stay awake. Within 5 mins we had the maintenance guy come and check it out and promptly got a porter to move us to a King Suite with a view on the 10th floor. We were nearly doing another merry jig!! As we were tired we just had the buffet in the hotel for the evening and only managed to stay up until 9pm Vegas time. Although, I couldn't really sleep in the most comfortable bed I have ever stayed in as I was too excited!

The next day we headed straight out into the drizzle and walked down to the famous sign. We tipped the waiting guy who took our photo (I think he was homeless there are quite a few in Vegas) and he then gave us an umbrella to keep.  The rain got heavier and it continued all day like proper driving rain. We sought refuge in The Peppermill restaurant a little of the main strip and OMG who were sitting in their but the Vegas Police. We had both been watching this show prior to our arrival so I just couldn't believe it when I saw my favourite Sargent Tom Jenkins. I have to say I was a little star struck and promptly got my picture taken with him.  The food in this joint was awesome and a firm favourite with locals. The fireside lounge was so cosy and perfect for a rainy day. We sat drinking in there after our meal which I could have happily done all day but we had a dinner date later that evening.  Although we could barely touch our meal in The Canal Restaurant in The Orleans Hotel. Another fantastic setting with booths and soft lightening. This was after The Rat Pack is Back show at the Rio.

I had written lots more on our trip in great detail and added all the pics and then the computer started playing up and I hit the 'save' button many times but it has not saved it!! Argghhhh so I may re-visit and tell you the rest or I may just go and kill myself now!!

Anyhow, I'm back, I'm alive and I'm 40!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

I'm Alive!!

Yes I am. Just wanted to do a mini mini post pre big post! I had a fab-u-lous time in Las Vegas and have lots of pics and stories to share with you. We got back last week and I was ready to see the kids etc as felt like I'd been away for weeks and weeks. Surprisingly it was my daughter, who gives me the most grief in terms of back chat, who missed me the most.  She burst into tears when I collected her from school ahh bless her.  Also whilst away I got a text to say her school place had come up. Yay! Which means I no longer have two school runs - although it wasn't a major hassle as they are less than 10 minute walk away. But I had to sort out her uniform and let the other school know etc so that's why I didn't blog anything last week after my return. 

She started Monday and is already raving about the school. I'm so pleased she's joined now as there's lots of festive fun going and means the new year will be a new start etc.  So the normal festive madness is approaching - xmas fairs, concerts, carols (even better they are both at the same school now) etc.  I have done all my xmas shopping and am not focusing on the food department. My heel is getting slightly better - I have purchased an ankle strap and gel insoles. I did Pilates on Monday and hope to fit in some weights this week amongst making a gingerbread house. 

I put on 4lbs in Vegas and when I show you the pics you'll be able to see why. There's not much else to do in Vegas especially when it rains solidly for THREE days!! Yes, you hard correct where could we go in the world that wouldn't rain. You'd think the desert wouldn't you?! Well think again!

Anyhow, that's my brief update. Its good to be back and can't wait to tell you all about it......