The Joy of the New

Aha! So that's where they have hidden the food...

Aha! So that’s where they have hidden the cat food…

So long January (almost) – glad to see the back of you.

Actually, scratch that. I’ve rather been enjoying 2013 so far (not least because I have my May wedding to look forward to) and there have been plenty of new and interesting experiences…

Many a Friday night has been spent sans wine, as have many other evenings. And you know what? Sobriety is OK. I won’t, however, be turning into an evangelical teetotaller as I’ve yet to find a soft drink that goes as well with cheese.

I wrote a piece of flash fiction. It is as it sounds, a very, very short story. The definition of short varies, but my story was 100 words and I wrote it for a competition to win a residential writing course. If anyone else is interested, I’m not afraid of competition (!) so here’s the link.

I had a Brazilian blow-dry. I now possess wavy, rather than curly hair. I’m pleased with the results but would caution any prospective customers to try the treatment out via a deals website. I don’t think the treatment is worth full price at all.

I took to using electrical appliance on my face to tighten it up. Ooh it hurts so is therefore good for me? One week in and I think I see a difference on the nose to mouth lines and my complexion looks brighter. However, it’s not particularly a scientific, controlled experiment. Maybe the better skin is down to all the fruit and veg I’ve been eating?

The cat was forced onto a diet. Unlike we humans, it’s much easier for a cat to diet, seeing as he gets no say in the matter. We weighed him and its turns out he has two pounds too heavy – pretty significant when you’re a wee beastie.*

As cakes have been absent of late, I made soda bread. Healthy baking hmm?
250g plain flour
250g wholemeal flour
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp salt
400ml buttermilk, or use 200g plain live yoghurt made up to 400ml with water

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.

Sift the flours and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Add in the salt and make a well in the centre. Add in the buttermilk or yoghurt and bring together quickly. It will be pretty sticky. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for a minute.

Place in a 20cm round non-stick, loose-bottomed cake tin and mark the top with a cross. Cook for 40-45 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. (You’ll know it’s cooked as it will sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Serve warm with butter and raspberry jam.

My final new experience of January takes place on Monday. I’m going to an NLP session to cure (hopefully) my addiction to blasted diet coke (ahem – two litres a day…)

 

*We’re a day past Burns Night; I had to throw in a Rabbie reference somewhere.

A 60-Second Facelift; Can it Work?

Yikes, the lack of wine drinking and cake baking has left me with plenty of time on my hands to surf the net, fall for the hype and purchase skincare products…

I am now the proud owner of a Rio 60-second face lift thingie. One of the (many) advantages of the world wide web is the wealth of reviews you find online so I did read these before pressing the ‘order’ button and the vast majority were positive.

Motive for buying? A desire to look fresh-faced and unlined for my wedding especially as I’m older than your average bride.

Basically you press the device on various parts of your face and it causes the muscles to contract. Exercised muscles stop sagging, allegedly. It is pretty uncomfortable and it doesn’t half hurt your teeth, but in the four days I’ve been using it, I have noticed an effect around my eyes and on the nose-to-mouth lines. I shall report back…

I’m back at my pre-Christmas weight. I made up my own diet; eating between three to eight ‘superfoods’ a day and sticking to about 1,400 calories (try myfitnesspal.com for a great calorie counting app).

Superfoods are a marketing concept, but spinach, berries, broccoli and oily fish are very good for you and they give you great skin too. I may well trademark my concept and write a diet book (as the world DEFINITELY needs another diet book, non?).