Slimming World Update – Week 68

Ayup chuck (sorry the boy has just discovered Wallace and Gromit!)

How was your week? If it was anything like mine it was filled with festivities, from Halloween parties to fireworks and even a Christening. What a busy weekend we had. Friday’s children’s Halloween party was a real hoot, with all involved having a smashing time (especially me – I smashed a glass lamp – how embarrassing!) Oscar went in monster themed pyjamas (as ‘dressed up’ as he can manage at the moment). I thought he might feel a bit strange leaving the house in pjs but he didn’t seem in the least bit bothered and had a great time playing with his buddies and eating spooky themed food. I took my Pretzel Pumpkins and at the last minute decided to make some spooky devilled eggs, with black olive spider detailing. They looked (and tasted) awesome and were so low syn (approx 1 syn for two halves) I was able to eschew the cakes and the chocolates and stick to just two spider eggs. I was so proud of myself.

Devilled Spider Eggs. Approx 1 syn for two

Devilled Spider Eggs. Approx 1 syn for two

The Christening could also have been difficult. The service was great but the food table at the party afterwards groaned under the weight of cakes, cheese and cheesecakes! Pastries, buns, sausages, you name it, the buffet table had it all. But my lovely friend Emma, mother to said christened child and fellow SWer, had also provided lovely fruit and salad, meaning I could food optimise, and still feel like I was ‘joining in’.

A Christening Buffet. Thoughtful catering

A Christening Buffet. Thoughtful catering

So, yeah it was Saturday’s Halloween themed Fireworks party that broke me. I didn’t mean to drink. We’d had a bit of a grumpy afternoon with the boy and by the time we got to our neighbour’s, I was worn out. When I was offered wine I jumped at it, not like me at all. And really alcohol is my downfall. Because one glass lead to two then to three and by then I was nibbling at the chocolates and chomping the cheese straws!

Frightening!

Frightening!

I was so annoyed with myself. I set myself a goal for the week and I knew it was one that would require the utmost focus to achieve and yet I’d eaten things I knew wouldn’t give me the results I wanted. So yeah I was pissed off with myself, but I did all I knew how to. I let it drive me forward and went straight back to ‘normal’ eating the next day.

So last nights result was something of a mixed bag really. I lost 1.5lb taking me to 6 Stone 5.5lb (89.5lb). I was a bit gutted I hadn’t lost the 3lb I set out to, but I was pleased it had been a loss at all. So all in all the positive cancelled out most of the negative (most of it – sorry Hels).

We also had the results of our Miss Slinky and Mr Sleek awards that I mentioned last week I had been nominated for. The winner’s were the lovely Sarah-Jane for Miss Slinky and James for Mr Sleek. I couldn’t have been happier (I voted for them both!) Both have completely embraced food optimising and both look amazing in their new found confidence! Sarah-Jane is so close to her target. She’ll be there by Christmas, of that I have no doubt.

Haslemere 7.30 2014 Mr Sleek (James Winstanley-Wilder) and Miss Slinky (Sarah-Jane Duncton) Congratulations guys!

Haslemere 7.30pm 2014 Mr Sleek (James Winstanley-Wilder) and Miss Slinky (Sarah-Jane Duncton) Congratulations guys!

So the coming week wont be the easiest. My friend from school, Helen, is coming to visit this weekend. I’ve got us tickets to go to go to The Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia and I can’t wait! A whole day out, up in that London, without the small people. I can’t wait to immerse myself in the festive feeling of it all, but to be honest I could just be going up to London to sit on a bench and I’d still be happy, and grateful, for the day off. I am a little concerned about how many tasters there might be available on the stalls, but I think I’m going to chose wisely and only have one or two. I’ll let Helen have the rest 😉 I would really like to get my 6.5 Stone award next week, so I need to keep my wits about me and plan ahead. I’ll take low syn snacks to keep me going and concentrate on looking for this year’s Christmas bauble rather than on any food that might be on offer! I’m thinking maybe a glass bauble? What do you reckon? I love glass baubles, but I don’t know if I dare, what with the boy. I’ll let you know what I get next week.

Hope you all have super weeks

Big loves

xx

 

PS – did you see I was chosen as November’s Weigh Loss Warrior of the Month over on the lovely Leah’s blog losing100lbplus.wordpress.com? You can read in the interview we did here if you fancy 🙂

 

Pretzel Pumpkins

Whether you subscribe to the traditions or even agree with it, Halloween in it’s current form is big business . Some years I join in, others I don’t. What can I say, I have a take it or leave it attitude towards dressing up and the boy is really too young to get involved. However, this year I have found myself feeling a little bit of Halloween love, partly because I was invited to several Halloween parties and partly thanks to the time vortex that is Pinterest! While this isn’t a post about Halloween as a festival or any of the other issues surrounding it (is it too commercial?, are we feeding our children too much sugar?, is trick or treating safe? etc, all of which are valid questions and should be answered by more learned folk than me!), it is about something I’ve made to give to friends this Halloween.

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You may have seen my pictures on Instagram or Facebook of the Pretzel Pumpkins I made for the children’s party yesterday. I originally found them, via Pinterest, on a blog called Butter with a Side of Bread and couldn’t get over how cute and easy they looked. The hollows in the pretzels resemble the face of a pumpkin when covered in chocolate and despite never really going for anything quite so cutesy, this year I just couldn’t help myself! No they are not Slimming World friendly (I couldn’t even hazard a guess at how many syns one would be) but they went down a storm, with both the ladies and the children yesterday, so I’ve made some more for today’s party. And as so many people have asked me how I made them, I thought I’d write it up. You wont believe how easy they are.

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Ingredients. 300g of white chocolate, 1 tbsp of shortening, Pretzels, orange food colouring and green M&Ms.

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Break the white chocolate up and melt. I always melt chocolate in the microwave, but go slowly. This much only took 1 min and 10 secs. I’d start with 30 seconds, stir then blast again for another 30 seconds, stirring well each time.

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The shortening is to make the chocolate thick enough to coat, but thin enough to show the hollows of the pretzels (the face of the pumpkin). Melt it with the chocolate.

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I used about a teaspoon of this super concentrated Wilton colour, but you may need more or less depending on the type and brand you use. I think pastes would be better for this strong colour.

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I go slowly with the colour, adding a drop at a time, then stirring really well before adding more. Keep going until the colour is as bright as you want, but remember you can always add more, you can’t take it away! I used my glass jug as it doesn’t take on any colour.

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Separate out the green M&Ms. This many came from two large bags. Which does now mean I have lots of M&Ms left over. Not that Ben seems to mind! Someone suggested using green Smarties. Personally I think they’d be too big, but go for it if you’d rather.

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Then getting dipping. As messy as it may look I found using good old (clean) fingers was the best and neatest way to do this. Lay the wet pretzel on a baking sheet covered in greaseproof paper and gently push an M&M into the crook at the top while the chocolate is still wet.

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Now you could let them harden in a cool room, but as I have no particularly cold areas of my house and a curious toddler flying around, I felt it safer all round to put them in the fridge. Yes the chocolate sets too quickly and you loose that shine, but really, it was that or a wet chocolate pretzel covered toddler. And any way I don’t mind the matte look.

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And there you go. Peel them off the paper when set and enjoy. Even those who were dubious about the coloured white chocolate loved them.

I loved making them so much. I noticed the pretzel shape is also one of a heart. I think I may have a crack at making red ones for Valentines Day, although as you wont need to the see the hollows I might leave the shortening out.

Happy Halloween folks!

 

 

 

 Toddler Approved Tuesday
Mama-andmore

Slimming World Update – Week 67

Hi there buddy – how are you?

I’m not too bad thanks. Bit of an up and down week, as per. Some great days, spent with great friends and playing with my boy, some stressful days and even some days feeling a bit pants (probably as a result of the stressful days – did you know high levels of stress raise the levels of hormones in your body and after extended periods of stress, if everything goes back to normal, it can take up to 6 months for your body to recover? No neither did I!) Had a couple of situations where I ate things I wouldn’t normally for reasons that really weren’t reasons at all. It’s been a while since I’ve felt obliged to eat anything so it was a bit of a weird one actually, but c’est la vie. Anyway meh, what’s done is done. 0.5lb on. Disappointing but still 6 stone 4lb off.

Despite that, last nights group was wonderful for several reasons. Firstly it was Halloween themed with spooky decorations and a spooktacular SW quiz. Who doesn’t love a quiz? Here’s my team busily checking out the syn value answers in their books! And all that diligence paid off, as we won! Go us!

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Sara our consultant had an awesome witches hat on. I loved it so much I asked to borrow it – and she let me keep it. I’m going to two Halloween parties this weekend and had nothing to wear so this’ll come in very handy! Thank you Sara. As requested here is a pic, just for you!

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Last night was also the nomination evening for Miss Slinky and Mr Sleek Award. Every year Slimming World run an in group award for those you think have embraced food optimising and made significant changes to their life because of it. I was nominated, along with several others in the group. It was so flattering to be nominated, but to be honest there isn’t one member who couldn’t have been. We have such a dedicated group and everyone deserves recognition for what they’ve overcome to reach the point where they decided to take the bull by the horns and, with SW’s help, change their lives. Everyone’s got their story and last night we were privileged enough to hear some of those. I was humbled time and again. So thank you. Everyone.

So looking forward, the coming week does actually pose a couple of challenges. Firstly I have the children’s Halloween party at my NCT buddy Kat’s house tomorrow. We had one for the children at ours in the first yerar of their lives, but didn’t bother last year. This year however we’re going have another crack at it. I’ve already made some chocolate pretzel pumpkins to take! I couldn’t even begin to syn them so I shan’t be having any (I’ll take some fruit for myself – had I thought about it more carefully I’d have made some actual pumpkin to take – but I got so swept up in the Pintrest of it all, you know how it goes!!)

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Then I’ve got a Halloween themed fireworks party next door on Saturday. I’ve got a bit more time before that though, so I think I’ll go shopping on Saturday for a few bits to make some syn free, warming nibbles. So yeah not easy, but nothing I can’t come through smiling.

And I really want to be smiling next Wednesday, because you see I’ve set myself a sneaky little challenge. My good friend Helen is coming to visit next weekend. I haven’t seen her in nearly a year and she’s coming up for a proper girly weekend. We’re both massive Christmas fans, so I’ve got us tickets to the Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia. It’s going to be brilliant. But you see Helen’s one of my oldest friends, she’s known me since I was a teenager.

And I spent so long looking like this

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I just want my oldest friends to replace the picture of me in their heads.

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So what I really want for this week is to reach my 6.5 stone award by next week. Its 3lb away but I really, really want to reach it in time for her visit. It’s a big ask, in a week with two parties, but I just really want her to be proud of me. What do you reckon Hels? Can I do it?

I’ll let you know.

Have a super, spooky week people

Mmmwwaaahahahaaha