Saturday, 31 January 2015

Things I'm currently loving

1) Pug Birthday cards - how well people know me! I got a load of pug cards for my birthday. I love pugs. Sadly Chris does not share my enthusiasm for all things pug. Hold on - how did that first card get in there? 



2) Our Nespresso machine - this was a complete splurge treat to ourselves over Christmas and I am so glad that we did it!! It makes the best coffee. We have one that comes with a frothy milk maker, so the coffee really does taste as good as any of the coffee houses. Bizarrely I now drink less caffeine, because the quality of coffee is sooooo good that I'm not bothered for the rest of the day about caffeine. And believe me, I had a serious coke habit ( that's coca cola, not the class A drug). Love, love, love the nespresso machine. 

3) Dropkick Murphys - loving this band and getting very excited at seeing them in March - woohoo!!!!

4) Snowy weather - I must qualify this by saying that I hate driving in it, but love seeing it on the ground, preferably from a window whilst holding a hot chocolate. We went over to the tip today and the view of snow on the Pennines was breathtaking. 



5) Robin of Sherwood - my sister and I used to watch this at 5.15pm on ITV back in the 1980s. Imagine my delight when I found it was available to watch on the Now telly box!!! What was very scary was that I can still remember quite a few lines from it. (Helen and I used to tape it and watch it ALL the time. Both of us cried when Michael Praed's Robin was killed off and even more gutted that he cut his flowing locks off and married a princess in Dynasty! 




It's the weekend

Hi there

First of all Happy Pug Day!! Here's a picture for you.


I hope you have a great week and are enjoying the weekend!! This week for me has been really odd as I felt like I never really got going. I had two days off for my birthday and the second day was spent writing essays all day. Then on the Wednesday night we had lots of snow which meant that I need up taking a snow day on Thursday and then went into work on Friday so lots of stop start stop start. Chris has also had a really nasty bout of man flu, but is now recovering. 

But it's the weekend! We've already been very productive. More plaster is going on the fireplace, we have done a tip run, bought more plaster and as Chris announced "I'm living the dream, we own a Dyson" haha! Yes after months of swearing like a bunch of sailors at the old Hoover for its general rubbishiness we have now finally bitten the bullet and bought a Dyson and it's awesome!! 


I'm hoping normal service is resumed next week and I get back in my routines again. I have only exercised twice this week. I'm missing Billy!!!

It's only a quick stop by. As Chris is busy away plastering, I am gutting our paperwork, post etc. Are we rock and roll or what? 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Book review - Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon

One of the things I thought it would be fun to do this year would be to track my reading. So I'm kicking off with Mystery in White by J Jefferson Farjeon, which I received at Christmas. The snowy weather outside made it a good book to read.

First off though, I have spotted my first snowdrops! Spring is nearly here. We spotted this outside the Spa hotel and Chris bravely scrambled up the bank to take this picture.






The plot concerns a group of travellers on a train, who become stranded due to heavy snowfall. They decide to try and walk to the next village and end up taking refuge in a deserted country house which has been lit and the table laid for tea, but which is completely empty. The travellers seek to unravel the mystery of the house and discover there is a murderer in their midst! 

The book was Ok, not brilliant and would be a good recommendation for fans of Agatha Christie. The book evokes the spirit and times of the 1930s, but my main issue is the book seemed confused as to whether it was a crime novel or a ghost story,and I wasn't 100% engaged with the characters. Still it was enjoyable and nice to read during a mini snowstorm of our own!


I've made it to the second floor part two

I woke up on Sunday at 8am to find Chris staring intently at me. Now, if I had half a brain, I would have twigged that he was up to something, but what can I say people! It was 8 o'clock in the flipping morning. I was barely functioning. I went to make a cup of tea and when I came back found an envelope propped up in my bedside table which announced 'important information inside'.

When I opened it I found this letter....



I appear to have taken the above photo with a wobbly hand... It read

" my darling Caroline, 
Today we are going on an adventure! 
It might take a little while so I need you to pack an overnight bag
In the bag you.l need to have some gym wear and trainers, some swimwear and something to wear for going out ( you can check with me if you like) 
Other details will be provided on a need to know basis
So get packing" 

Wooho! We were off on a road trip. After packing at about a million miles an hour, I was handed another envelope when we got to the car. Chris had mapped out a route to where we were going.mchris had plotted all the A roads so that he could drive, but as it would add another hour to the journey, then I said I would drive and Chris would be navigator. (I was so touched by this - Chris had really thought of everything.). We arrived at The Parsonage spa hotel just outside of York. As check in wasn't until 2pm we hit the gym and I had a good go at hill cycling and did a 2.5k run. 



For the next surprise, Chris had booked an afternoon tea at the spa, which consisted of 3 types of sandwiches, cakes and scones all laid out out on delicate China. It was sooooo nice. We checked in and then returned to the spa which was 30second walk away. The spa had a beautiful pool, large jacuzzi and a steam room, sauna, aromatherapy room and salt inhalation room. 

The facilities were great. In some spas the jacuzzis have been tiny and you feel almost like you are sitting on top of other people. This one was huge so we got time to have a chat without disturbing the other people in the jacuzzi. The sauna was soooooo hot, but was brilliant. I do love a hot sauna. I had never been in a salt inhalation room before. The idea being that the salt balances you back out after exercise. It is like a steam room but with a big salt crystal in the middle. After all of this pampering we laid out on the sun loungers and I was feeling so relaxed I nearly nodded off. For those who know me, I NEVER fall asleep in public, but came close this time.

Then Chris told me had booked treatments for us. I had a facial and Chris had a back massage. It was heaven, as part of the facial I also received a face and scalp massage.

We returned back to the hotel feeling immensely chilled, and it was then time to get ready for dinner at the hotel which was amazing! I had Brie tart, pork loin and then a winter crumble. It tasted amazing and was presented beautifully. After all of this beautiful food, we staggered back to our room and had a great snooze. 



The next morning, we sadly checked out and went shopping at a local designer outlet where I purchased a capsule holder for the new nespresso machine. And then it was time to make our way home. I had an amazing birthday and Chris completely surprised me. He got me good! And it was such an amazing thoughtful gift. I am one very lucky girl! 


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

I've made it to the second floor!

Hi there,

Hope you have all had great weekends, I certainly have as it was my birthday!!!!! I'm going to do a birthday recap in 2 parts, starting with saturday. 

First off the title of the post, is related to the picture below, I saw this and though haha my age means I've made it to the second floor. (Even though I actually made it last year) but new starts and all that. 


So I started the weekend with a lovely massage. I tell you I love those things, I had already been texted by my friend Danielle to say that she was going to be dropping round with my birthday pressie. When I got back from my massage, Chris had made a start plastering the fireplace. I had visions of Dani sat among buckets of plaster when she turned up, but had no need to worry as when she did arrive. She told me to get my coach on as she was taking me somewhere !!! I had no idea we were going out. Dani drove us to Catherine's house and when I got there, they had set up an amazing tea party for my birthday ! 



Catherine and Phoebe are amazing bakers and had made cucumber sandwiches, small breads filled with egg mayo, cheese, sausage rolls, and of course cake!!!!! It was totally unexpected and a complete surprise. Chris had been in on the whole thing. We had great fun discussing what the boys were getting up to, what they talk about, what we had all been up to. It was cut good fun to catch up and we spent most of the time giggling until it began to make Phoebe cough. For my next surprise I was then taken to the cinema to see 'Into the Woods' which was immensely good fun and made even better as I was watching it with my 3 best girlfriends. !!!! We had a fab time and made me realise how special these 3 ladies are and how much I love them. It was an ace way to spend an afternoon. Big thank yous and squidgy hugs to dani, Cathy and Phoebe for surprising me with a gorgeous afternoon tea and cinema visits. 

The surprises then continued as I spoke to my sister who lives in Singapore. We had a jolly good giggle as well and then she told what my birthday pressie is - flights to Singapore to see her! (Chris is also getting the same!) all being well, we will be visiting her in July. How awesome is that!!! Another amazing surprise. And so generous too, best of all I get to see my sister! 

There were more birthday surprises which I'll post tomorrow.


Friday, 23 January 2015

It's friiiiiiday!!!!!

Hi there, 

Well we made it folks! Friday is here. Woo-hoo! Bring on the weekend. This weekend I have an extended weekend as it will be my birthday on Monday. Chris and I have a few jobs planned and I have an essay to write, but have been told to keep my schedule clear?? Not sure why and Chris is giving nothing away. On Monday, I'll find out and let you know. 

So today I wanted to tell you about a technique that my one of my best friends, suggested to help with the depression. I've noticed a few of my favourite bloggers using the technique as well. (Clearly she has been talking to them too! ). At the end of the day, I think of 3 things that were good about the day. Because work at times can be quite difficult for me, I try and make one of my things about work. Each night as we lay in bed, I tell Chris my 3 things for the day and I have to say for me it really works. I'm not going to lie on odd days I have struggled to come up 1 let alone 3. (My standby is I have earned money today to pay towards our house). I love this technique! And what has happened is that during the day, when nice things happen, I appreciate it at the time and think "oh that's going on my list today". My three things from yesterday were:

1) a brilliant Tae Bo session. I felt awesome after it! 
2) finding out who had nominated me at work for a positive award and why. (I was seriously touched about this)
3) having a great cup of coffee and doing some menu planning.

Ooh, I'm in a good mood already. 

I also must share with you about our pigeon. We are in the process of taking out our grim 1970s brown gas fire and replacing it with a wood burner. We had noticed that a wood pigeon kept cooing and it was so loud we genuinely thought he was nesting in the chimney. (He isn't) since we have removed the gas fire, and stripped back the fireplace, the cooing has been getting louder as it now created an echo. The other day, there was so much cooing going on, Chris went to see if he could see the pigeon and sure enough, stood on top of the chimney,neither his beak pushed down the chimney was the pigeon, clearly enjoying the sound of his cooing. My friend Bec, who hates pigeons would have had a fit! Hahaha! 

And on that note, it's time for Tae Bo. Have a great day xx

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Snow!

Hi there, I hope you are all ok and starting to look forward to the weekend.

So, this being the first week of my new hours is a lot about learning what works and what doesn't. Yesterday i decided to have a rest day from exercise and boy did I miss it. I love that for half an hour each day I will be doing some form of structured exercise (I know I've only done two days so far, but work with me here). So, no exercise, coupled with the fact that it was snowing and did not look like it was going to slow down, made me a bit anxious to say the least, and then I began thinking about work. Big mistake! So the late start felt like a bit of a bust, as I was thinking of going into work the whole time - getting there and what I was going to do at work once I was there. I hated it. 

So learning points, if not doing exercise, do something else or do exercise. Exercise calms me down, and brings me into the now as you are either counting or trying to do good form. And breathe.....

The snow, though, was gorgeous. As I said earlier I do dislike driving in snow and also seem to have developed a fear of falling over in it. But I find it incredibly beautiful to watch and I love the silence. The picture below was taken just before it began to really come down. Now in the garden, there is no green showing. But you can just make out the big, fat snowflakes coming down....

There's no business like snow business

Hope you all have a great day xx

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Bits and bobs

Happy hump day! 

Hope you are all having good weeks and enjoying the fact that we are nearly more than halfway through. I can't wait as I have a 4 day weekend. Woo-hoo!!! (Part time and taking holiday - shocking!) 

I will be very pleased of the break. Last night and today have been spent worrying about things at work. I really need to work on this big time as this is what got me here in the first place! I was worrying about things before work, after work and have been awake since 5am worrying about things again. gaaaaah! If any of you have any helpful tips, then they are very much welcome. It wasn't helped that when I got home, I finally made a start on my coaching essay. Boy that deadline is looming fast. But I did manage to watch a sneaky episode of Robin of Sherwood so the universe was restored to its rightful balance! 

Breakfast was an old classic - porridge with blueberries and honey. Yum yum. Perfect for the snowy weather we are having at the moment. 

We are in the process of using up stuff in the freezer, which is leading to some interesting flavour combinations I can tell you! I want to do more menu planning. Chris and I tend to struggle when it comes to our lunches and so if I can plan accordingly instead of turning up to the supermarket without a list, then can plan to make larger portions of our teas to take leftovers to work. We have lots of really good cookery books with great recipes in. And it will be great to getting round to making some of them. We have recently bought Davina Mccall's new book ( review coming soon) about giving up sugar and yesterday enjoyed a tweaked version of Salmon Nicoise. It's tweaked because neither of us can stand olives. 

Am most definitely looking forward to this, which will help with eating. I am not following a diet per se and indeed there will be treats aplenty in there knowing me, but it's so expensive picking things up for lunch, it will be great to putting the money towards more exciting things like the new woodburner !!!!!

Right I'd best be off. Have a great day. Xxx

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A day in the life .... Day one

HFor posterity, I thought I'd share with you my first day with my new hours.....

6.50am wake up
6.55am - Get up/ get dressed, put a load of washing on
7.10am - Make breakfast
7.20am - Eat breakfast, (wholemeal muffin, scrambled egg and tomato)
7.35am - say goodbye to Chris
7.40am - write blog post
8.00am - Tae Bo !!!!!
8.30am - finish Tae Bo and collapse!!!!!

Yes I am really that red!!
8.45am - enjoy a coffee with the nespresso machine



9am - wash up, put washing out, get ready for work
10.00am - travel to work
10.30am to 12.30pm - work
12.30- 1pm lunch - a chicken tikka flatbread, crisps and a creme egg. I can't tell any difference in the chocolate casing.
1pm -5.25pm (stayed later then I meant to)
5.25pm off for my Monday cuppa with Cath and Timmy. When I arrive, Timmy is naked and manages to make us giggle by doing a doggy belly flop. (I feel I should explain that Timmy is a dog just in case you are wondering what situation I have got myself into here)
7.30pm - home and tea with Chris
8-10pm - chill with an episode of Robin of Sherwood which is fast becoming my guilty pleasure. Chris wonders what the dickens I am watching as grown men towel each other down and there is male mud wrestling. I swear I don't remember it being like this. what with naked Timmy, and the episode of Robin of Sherwood, we christen this "Monday porn".
10.30pm off to bed

Not bad eh!!!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Happy work life balance day

Hi there, 

Hope you all had a fab weekend! I had a brill one. It has been snowy and icy here in our neck of the woods. This normally makes me really giddy, but not when I have 4 tip runs to do over the hills! We ended up calling it off after one tip run as the ice began to make the roads a bit scared to say the least. Despite 'Ice Road Truckers' being a complete TV guilty pleasure, I have seriously not picked up any of their driving skills and end up clamping the wheel in a vice like death grip, when driving in snow and ice. That coupled with Elsie's brakes being a bit, ahem keen, mean that I am able to achieve jumps that Torvill and Dean would be proud of! 

I also got to have a great time with my friends as we went for an amazing breakfast at our local farm shop. Not only did we have full English breakfasts, but because we were talking so much ended up staying for a jam and scone as well. It was all yummy. 

I have an odd title for my post today, and it is not an official named day, but it is one to me. So today, I commence my reduced working hours. The last year has left me feeling frazzled and exhausted and whilst not fully out of the woods, I am feeling so much better. One of the things to help me, is I have taken a reduction in my working hours and have changed my working patterns slightly, in that while I still work each day, I start my work day later, the idea being that I can fill my morning doing the things I love such as a bit of exercise, writing here along with a few house jobs as well. And it's Day One!!! 

I had been nervous about reducing my hours and a lot of the weekend was spent in doubt - have I done the right thing, do my work colleagues think I am lazy, can we take the money hit? This ended up working me up into a bit of a state on Saturday night, but after seeing those friends and talking with Chris, I approach this with excitement. I mean, seriously, it will be so nice working out each day before work and not at 6am. It will be nice to have time to drink a cup of coffee and really savour it, I will have time to menu plan, I can actually look after lovely Chris for a change, instead of him looking after me.... And we are making lots of changes to our house, which means I can always do a good tip run or two. 

I appreciate that not everyone can make the financial sacrifice, and that to some it may seem a bit self indulgent, heaven knows I have thought that myself. But... If you are sick, would you keep carrying on and carrying on until you collapsed and ended up in hospital? Because that is what depression is, a sickness. 

This ended up being a longer and more personal post than usual, but I am very optimistic and am looking forward to the opportunities this affords me. And as a I dust off my copy of Billy Blank Tae Bo, I have a smile on my face (and fear in my heart - this is going to hurt) have a great day xx

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Happy new year !!!!

Happy new year from me to you, I hope that you had an a brilliant Christmas with lots of fun, giggles and the odd Home Alone Movie!!

It's been a while, and I have missed my blog so very much. So what's been happening? I briefly touched on my 2014 in an earlier post but am slowly and surely picking myself right back up. Back in early 2014, I was diagnosed with severe depression brought on by stress. I have had depression about 10 years ago, but did not see this one coming. The warning signs were all there, apathy, lack of excitement for the things I usually love...like Christmas for example, which I stumbled through blindly. I think the best way I can describe depression, is that it there is no joy anymore. And we all need a bit of joy in our life. 

Now before you think this post is resembling a Morrisey song, then don't worry. Spoiler alert.... I am getting better, a lot better. I saw the Doctor and did a course of counselling, am learning to say no at times, and am fighting back with a whole heap of positive things to do. Today, is the first time I feel genuinely excited and happy again about my life. Chris has been amazing, as always. 

And I am finding the joy again. 

So don't give up, it will change and be better. 

Now before you think, oh no, it's finally happened, caddyslims has turned all spiritual, I can assure you I haven't! The blog will continue to be a record of my mad experiences. Starting with our visit to see The Hobbit last night. 

We were in the cinema, in a relatively quiet screen. There were abundant seats everywhere, on every row. A young man comes in and sits.... Right next to me. Even more bizarre, he came in with 2 lady friends, and they sat with him for a moment and then went an sat elsewhere....AND HE STAYED WHERE HE WAS!!!! Next to me. He was a good companion.... He giggled at all the funny bits and ate about a ton and a half of sour cream crisps, but I couldn't stretch out my legs. Hahaha! Chris and I got a fit of the giggles and could not stop. It was brilliant. Oooh and The Hobbit was really good too. 

So I'm back, and very pleased about it too. Oh and I will be changing the colour scheme of my blog soon. How I did not realise I was depressed with that colour scheme I will never know.