You Are Awesome.

Hi *waves* *taps on computer screen*. Yes, you, the lovely person reading this post right now.

No, look, stop it with that "she's not talking to me, she means someone else bollocks." I mean you. Why in the hell wouldn't I mean you?

You're beautiful and the fact you exist makes the world a better place to be.

Today the fact you're alive has made someone else happy. Maybe they read a comment you left on a post of theirs, maybe you clicked their youtube video and upped their count, maybe you smiled at them on the train, maybe you bought something from their shop and helped them achieve their target for today, maybe you said thank you when no one else had, maybe you held a door for them on a day when nothing else had gone right.

You matter, even on days when you don't think you do and to people you don't even know. And yes, some of those things "anyone" could have done. "Anyone" didn't. You did. You're awesome.

You're smart and funny and lovely and different from me or anyone else and that's brilliant, you make life interesting because you like different things for different reasons - and the best part of being an adult in a free society is that we can all be right, all at the same time.

Thank you for being you. You're awesome.

I wear short....skirts

Wow, I've been a little quiet around here. I blame my stupid kidney infection (and also zombies. They're usually to blame somewhere and the World War Z filming taking place in my city was inordinately distracting).

Anyway, onwards and downwards. As of three days ago I am officially 60 pounds lighter than I was at the start of the year, which is something I may never, ever stop celebrating. I still have about 40 pounds of fluff still to go, but I'm finally absolutely, definitely out of fat-people shops (Evans et al) and fat-people ranges (Inspire et al) and into normal-people shops and clothing ranges (wheee Gap). It's fantastic (and expensive, but I'm thrifting a reasonable amount of my wardrobe backfill which is how I discovered I'm mostly a UK 16 now without either trying anything on in the shops - hate - or breaking my sad and creaky bank account) and I'm very much enjoying my knees.

Thanks to my mother (blessed genetics) I have pretty good legs, which upgrade to fantastic pins when ensconced in 70-denier black nylon, so I've been wearing the hell out of skirts recently (short skirts, but not short short. I want to show my knees but still be able to sit down) and, actually, given Scotland's entirely decended into autumn now (and we're due a storm on Monday) and is wet and miserable, they're a very practical garment, because a short skirt gets worn with long boots which are knee high, leather and waterproof (and wipable down, unlike jeans) and a longer coat, which comes down almost to meet the boots and is also waterproof. I arrive at my destination fundamentally dry (the only soggy bits may be my knees, which are only encased in tights anyway so dry quickly) and pretty much warm (I wear knee high socks under my boots and they keep me remarkably cosy. I'm actually only wearing them because I've lost weight from my legs and that stops my boots being too big, but it's a nice side-effect). I've purchased some heavier-weight thermal tights for the colder weather and I'll be looking for new long boots in the January sales. The only impractical part of this get up is the fact I sometimes have to crawl around the floor at work, but I've taken to wearing very decent knickers.

Noting Achievements

I've been working away at some things (in amongst having a kidney infection and gallivanting around the country with visiting friends) so I thought I'd revisit my list of bigger projects. Apologies for the two posts in one day - I promise not to have a dearth of posts I need to make up for again (unless I get another kidney infection, in which case all bets are off).

Unframing all my signed convention pictures. Done, and half the frames are now off to the charity shop (they're heavy!). I need to sort out my newer pictures now, too - they're waiting in a little project "to do" pile that I can do in front of the T.V..

Going through the stuff in the bottom of the spare room closet Half done - it's all out the cupboard and that's now resorted to how it will be, and I've got a box with a couple of things I still need to find homes for (I think the homes will end up being in places I haven't yet sorted out).

Going through my present drawer
Done, ish. I'm going to make a real effort to use the things in there and re-visit it again after Christmas

Removing Aged paperwork
Not started. I can do this one incrementally, but it feels like an enormous and slightly annoying job to start so I haven't.

Re-clearing my wardrobe
Done. I do, however, need to do it again because my shape's totally changed and I need to take that into better account - I've had rather too many encounters with things I've tried on and thought were good that then proved annoying when I was actually wearing them (when I have run across clothes like that I wash them and add them to the getting-rid pile so it is incrementally improving, however I really need to Gok myself and avoid having that kind of mild irritation in my day altogether).

Cataloguing the contents of my freezer
Sort-of done. I've certainly emptied it a lot more, which makes it easier to have a running total of what's in there.

Computer related decluttering
I need to have a real think about what I need to do and list it out.

So, not bad, all in all, enough that I feel that I've achieved something (and I've also improved my bookshelf organisation a bit whilst I've been at it) and some things that I can just pick up and go with when I want to do more but don't want to think about it.

Menu Plan Monday w/c 30/08/11

So, I didn't make a plan last week because I had an issue with a kidney infection and mostly felt deathly, but I very much felt the lack and ended up plotting some things out in my paper diary anyway. I'm back at it with a vengance this week.

The week before last didn't have too many changes: on Friday I had fried rice, not beany chilli, for lunch because I hadn't made it as I'd planned and I had extra rice that needed eaten, Sunday I went veggie for and had noodles for lunch and mujadarrah (spiced lentils & Onions, lovely) for dinner and I had the mujadarrah again for dinner on the monday night.

This week will be a little more prone to change, once I get in some proper groceries, and because I've got a funeral to go to, but not, I hope, too much.

Lunch: Chicken Salad w/pomegranite seeds
Dinner: Grilled Chicken Kebab

Lunch: Baked Potato and Beans
Dinner: Fried Rice

Lunch: Mujadarrah
Dinner: 1/2 Frittata & Noodles

Lunch: 1/2 Frittata
Dinner: Roast Chicken and Veggies

Lunch: Chicken Salad
Dinner: Chicken Chilli

Lunch: Quorn Cottage Pie
Dinner: Noodles

Lunch: Baked Potato and beans
Dinner: Quorn Cottage Pie

So, the new meal this week is the Quorn cottage pie (and, theoretically the mujadarrah, which also handily uses up the green lentil mountain that I'm currently scaling).

Going Bananas

I eat a ridiculous amount of fruit - or, well, it seems like I do because on the whole most of us don't eat enough - around 4 to 5 portions a day (and then the same of veggies). I know I'm supposed to have more veggies than fruit, and I suspect I'll revert to that in the winter months, but right now there are nearly-almost-going-out-of-season cherries and strawberries, and just-going-exponentially-up-in-price mangos and grapes to be had. I may weep when cherries leave the shops for the winter, just sayin'.

I'm not made of money, though, and fruit, even in season, isn't super-cheap. Some fruits are cheaper than others - I always try to go for what's in season because it generally tastes better that way as well as being more economical but apples and bananas are usually consistently pretty affordable here.

Apples I'm avoiding for the moment, because they won't really be in season here for another month or more, so the fruit we currently have has been shipped in and chilled and mostly tastes like turnips. Cheap fruit is great, but I can't justify food miles on fruit that I'll do anything to avoid eating.

Bananas, however... Yes, they have horrendous food milage (I live in West central Scotland. Bananas are tropical. They don't swim here by themselves) but they are tremendously cheap, they're nutritious and I get fairtrade ones so that they're not screwing up the local economy where they're grown.

They're also delicious, when they're properly ripened, and the best way to do that is to buy them quite green (so they're firm enough to withstand transportation without bruising) and then hang them up.

I love my Banana Hanger - it keeps the ethylene gas out of my fruitbowl (so my other fruit doesn't over ripen in 20 seconds flat) and it allows the bananas to ripen evenly, with no dark patches where they've been resting. In fact, it lets them slowly turn that perfect, lightly freckled, yellow and they'll keep for around a week without getting too over-ripe. Perfect.

(Of course, if they do get over-ripe, and you do cakes, then just bung them in the freezer until you've got time to make banana loaf with them: 3 medium/2 large bananas, 150g (1 cup) Self-raising Flour(self rising), 150g (3/4 cup, if it's brown) some kind of sugar, 1 egg. Beat all ingredients bar the flour together, fold in the flour, stick in a lined 2lb loaf tin and bang in a 180C (350F/GM4) oven for about 25minutes (until a sharp knife comes out clean). Easy and delicious, but because of the lack of fat it doesn't keep terribly well. Darn. If you want small children to follow you about like the pied piper you can also chop up a mars bar and submerge it in the top of the mixture before you cook it.)

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Menu Plan Monday {w/c 16/08/11}

Menu Planning again - the week just goes in so quickly. Anyway, I've seen that I tend to eat a lot of the same thing (not just through the neccessity of using things up, which is fine, but by repeating what I'm cooking) so I'm going to try and have at least one NEW dish (new to my menu planning, anyway) every week... I shall see how that goes!

Last week was much as planned; on wednesday I was working late so I ended up having a mishmash of noodles and cheesy beans at various points through the evening because I was so late and so tired. Friday's dinner was beany chilli that needed eating (and I was tired enough that just dinging something in the microwave was bliss). On Saturday I went out to lunch atSuperfood Salad with chicken, without dressing - bliss) and yesterday I was feeling very blah so had a veggie day involving too many eggs (I was already feeling blah, so the extra blah may not have been food related, but Cheese Omlette and then Noodles and frittata is a LOT of eggs and my innards weren't super happy). Today's lunch was the 2nd half of the frittata (I photographed it when I made it so I'll stick it up in a post at some point). Other than that I was as planned - and I'm happy that I would have been much more to plan without the surprise!working late and resultant sleepiness!

This week I'm having:

Lunch: Pork Salad
Dinner: Grilled Chicken Kebab (MUST ALSO COOK RICE FOR TOMMORROW)

Lunch: Beany Chilli
Dinner: Veggie Fried Rice

Lunch: Veggie Fried Rice
Dinner: *NEW MEAL* Pasta w/marinara sauce and cheese (not, admittedly hugely exciting, but I like it and it's tasty).(BUY POTATOES, MAKE BEANY CHILLI)

Lunch: Beany Chilli
Dinner: SW Chips (I use frylight not oil, or Pam spray would work), Beans, Cheese & Pickles

Lunch: Noodles
Dinner: Beany Chilli

Lunch: Bacon & Scrambled Eggs
Dinner: Fish

Lunch: Paid for Curry Lunch at the office to say thanks
Dinner: Fish (because it's light and I have lots in the freezer)

I'll be linking this post up at Org Junkie's Menu Plan Mondays

There Was a Little Girl, Who Had a Little Curl...

I'm very much liking the results of a weekly facemask (my skin's never been better) and the hairmask I used last night (and the small scrunching of gel) has made my hair look really good and un-frizzy today, too. I think this may end up being a regular treat.

I've got curly hair and it can be a bit of a nightmare - when it's sitting well it looks brilliant, but it doesn't always sit well and I can't blow dry it to fix it (because then it expands to take over the universe) - but it has been a great deal better since I changed to the the curly girl method (if you're interested I suggest you get the book, it's not expensive and it goes into more detail - there's also a version with a DVD
although it's more expensive and new since I got my copy) and I also spend a lot less on hair products (I suspect that everyone with curly hair has a bathroom cabinet full of fairly expensive things that didn't really work). Conditioner and gel are more or less all I use now, and I'm adding in a hair mask as well when my hair's really suffering with the weather. The £1 microfibre turbie towels (thank you £land) are deeply brilliant at absorbing most of the water out of my hair without "roughing it up" and all whilst keeping it neatly tied up off of my face. I have 5 turbie towels of varying age that I use all the time (if it's cold I'll use several over the course of drying my hair so that my head doesn't get cold) and I've now discovered them in black, which is super useful for when I get my behind in gear and cover up the greys for a bit (else it looks like I've slaughtered someone and cleaned up using my hair towels).

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