Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Asbestos Awareness Week

Recently I was contacted by an amazing woman called Heather Von St. James. She asked for my help. This brilliant woman is a cancer survivor and here is her story.

"At age 36, I was diagnosed with mesothelioma just 3 ½ months after my first and only child, Lily, was born. I was given just 15 months to live unless I underwent a drastic surgery to remove my left lung. Miraculously, I beat the odds and I’m still here eight years later. Asbestos is not banned in the US, yet it’s the only known cause of mesothelioma. I was exposed to asbestos through my fathers work jacket when I was just a little girl; my diagnosis came about 30 years later. Once diagnosed, most patients die within 2 years. I am one of few survivors who openly share their story and works to spread awareness regarding the dangers of asbestos."

Heather's bravery and determination to share her story to raise awareness of the dangers of Asbestos is awe inspiring.

Heather lives in the US where the use of Asbestos is not banned. Like many other countries including Canada and Russia (and all over the world), people are still being exposed to the dangers of Asbestos every day. However even in the UK where the use of this dangerous substance is now banned, death from exposure to asbestos is still the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the country. My partner David and I have both worked within the UK building trade and have seen colleagues and friends tragically affected by exposure to Asbestos. So this is something which is very close to our hearts. Asbestos is hugely dangerous and many people are simply unaware that they are being exposed to something which could be potentially life threatening.  That's where we can help.

So what can you do? 

1-7th of April is Asbestos Awareness Week.

Visit Heather's Website to find out more.  

Email your friends. 

Tweet it. 

Share on Facebook. 

You might not think it's much, but you can make a difference. You can help. To keep someone safe. To keep someone free from disease. To keep someone alive.Thank you for reading.

What I Ate Wednesday - The Slimming World Edition!

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for another What I Ate Wednesday blog post!


2 Quorn sausages, mushroom and tomato (all grilled) and a few generous spoonfuls of baked beans. Black coffee with Splenda.

Firstly, apologies for the presentation! My tomatoes got a little bit burnt as I was in a rush this morning! Holly and I have Playgroup on Wednesday mornings and we were running late so things didn't quite go to plan!

I do like to have a cooked breakfast every so often so this SW friendly version is great. I would normally have bacon as well but I forgot to defrost it last night so had to do without! You'll also notice I haven't made any eggs either. I'm really not fond of eggs at all. I hate the smell of egg and I find the texture of egg white really unpleasant. I can eat things like quiche and scrambled eggs, but as long as I can't taste the egg if that makes any sense?  As for the coffee, I'm really unable to function until I've had my caffeine! I tend to only have 1-2 cups per day though, and never after 3pm. If I did I would never sleep at night!


Despite not having any bacon, breakfast was very filling and this helped me avoid wasting my Syns on biscuits at playgroup! Even by lunchtime I still wasn't hugely hungry. So I'm afraid today's lunch was a bit boring. I opted to just have a MugShot and a banana! Not very exciting I know, so I decided not to bother with a photo of it! However, I promise you my dinner will be a lot more interesting!


Slimming World KFC Chicken! Yes, you heard me right. KFC CHICKEN...and it's SYN FREE*! I found this recipe on the Minimins forums (which are a godsend for interesting recipes if you are on SW) & I have been dying to try it out. I altered the recipe slightly to suit what ingredients I had in the house.  If you want to try the original recipe you can find it HERE. The only things I didn't include were the Bovril & the Maggi. I also used chicken breasts instead of drumsticks. Most people serve this with salad and /or SW chips but I opted for roasted veggies instead. I have to say, it was very tasty and very filling! The coating was beautifully crispy and unlike real KFC it wasn't greasy at all.  I will definitely be having this again, but next time I will try making it with the Bovril and Maggi to see if I can make it even tastier!


Lidl Mint Choc fat free yoghurt


2 x Quorn Sausages = 2 syns

Yoghurt = 2.5 syns**

What did you eat this Wednesday ?

 * Some SW people suggest that if you use Smash (instant mash) as a coating for KFC chicken then it should be given a Syn value as you are not using it in the normal way. I don't feel this is necessary. I used less than I would to make a normal portion of Smash (which would be free) so using it as Syns makes no sense to me at all!  Syn it or don't Syn it though, it's your choice!

**Just a quick note about the Lidl yoghurts. They are delicious and cheaper than the Muller yoghurts. I believe the fat free cherry and strawberry varieties are syn free but all other flavours are 2.5 syns.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Cancer Awareness Selfie

I'm sick of it. Absolutely sick of seeing it. Not the selfies. The negativity, all those bemoaning this trend. All those holier than thou individuals, particularly on Twitter. Calling it self indulgent, misguided, narsissistic. Asking exactly what a no make up selfie has to do with raising Cancer Awareness. Saying people should donate rather than taking a selfie. You know what I say? Shame on you!

I'm aware that a small minority of people shared their selfies without any mention of charity or raising awareness, but so what? The majority of selfies I saw where positive and uplifting. People sharing their stories about how cancer affected them, telling others how to check for symptoms and giving people information on how to make donations. I took a selfie and shared it on Facebook too. I text BEAT to 70099 and donated £3 to Cancer Research. I reminded people to check their knockers too. Job done. Now if that, the briefest glance at my message on Facebook could encourage someone to check their breasts then isn't that great? If it prompts someone else to donate, then isn't that great too?

I understand the cynicism. I do, but there are always going to be some people who don't do things for the right reasons. There will always be some who don't get the point, but who are we to them judge everyone who took part? Overall I believe this trend has had a hugely positive effect.

So to anyone who's moaning, looking down their nose at these selfies. Put your money where your mouth is. Donate, share and show us all how it's meant to be done then, but keep your negativity to yourself. It achieves nothing.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What I Ate Wednesday - The Slimming World Edition!

Welcome to my very first What I Ate Wednesday! I decided to start doing this because I thought it would be easier than picking my favourite SW meals from the week to share in a post with you. Doing a post on a full day of Slimming World eating will probably give you a better idea of how this way of eating works on a day by day basis. Hopefully it will illustrate how wonderful, filling and easy to follow SW is! So without further ado, here is what I've been tucking into this Wednesday!


2 X  Alpen Light bars. 2 of these delicious bars can count as your Healthy Extra B choice. I believe if you don't want to use them as your HEB they would have a Syn value of 3.5 per bar.

Quick tip - I occasionally crumble one into a low fat vanilla yogurt. It's a great treat!


Slimming World super speed soup and a banana. I really love this soup! I know some people prefer to blend it, but I love the chunky texture. A very filling lunch!


Homemade Quorn lasagne.  Normally I would make lasagne with lean beef mince but I didn't have any and I always have a stash of Quorn products in my freezer so I decided to use my Quorn Mince for a change! I made sure to add lots of veg, carrot, celery, mushrooms, peppers, onion and courgette.

Quick tip - I didn't do it on this occasion but sometimes when making Lasagne I will also substitute the pasta layers for vegetables instead. You can use leeks (but you need to boil those to soften them first) or roasted peppers and courgettes. I personally think the latter makes a much tastier lasagne. I was just far too lazy to do it this time!


Lidl low fat strawberry yoghurt
Options hot chocolate (Belgian Chocolate flavour)


Not many today. Just  2 for my hot chocolate and another couple for the Philadelphia I used for the Lasagne topping. Although, since I didn't eat the whole lasagne it might be less!

So there you have it! What did you eat this Wednesday?

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Thursday, 13 March 2014

All That Glitters...

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will probably already know me feelings on these:

Glitter wine glasses and bottles. In a word - HIDEOUS!  I really cannot even begin to understand why anyone would want to make these or buy them. That's right, people are BUYING these. For themselves or as gifts for others. I shudder at the thought that someone might buy one for me. Eurgh.

Why do I hate them so much you ask? Let me explain....

Firstly, I cannot think why anyone would pay someone to make one. It's not difficult or expensive. Buy a crap bottle of wine and a cheap wine glass (think ASDA smartprice), add some Modge Podge glue and some hideous glitter of your choice and that's it! So why are people on Facebook still clamouring to buy these things for ridiculous amounts of money?

Secondly, once you've downed your Echo Falls White Zinfandel are you really going to keep an empty wine bottle? Really? Are you going to display it with the glass in pride of place somewhere in your home? I wouldn't. I'm an adult. The last time I had something glittery on display was probably when I was a teenager and had Take That and E17 posters adorning my walls! Oh the shame...

Are you aware that very much like sand, GLITTER GETS EVERYWHERE? It's almost impossible to remove it entirely from anything. It doesn't matter how much you brush, sweep, wipe, Hoover or scrub. You'll still find bits of glitter around your home. Even if it came from a glittery Christmas Card someone once sent you in 1992. I swear that glitter has a longer half life than nuclear waste. I certainly don't want to drink out of something glittery. Who wants to end up with a mouthful or faceful of glitter? DISGUSTING!

I hate the idea of these as much as the item itself. Yeah! I'm a woman! So I must like ALL THINGS GLITTER! All women LOVE bloody glitter! We just love sparkly things! Ohhhh shiny things! I want! I want! I want! NOOOOOOO! I'm a woman, not a bloody magpie!

Am I being harsh? Maybe, but it's just how I feel. I'm not a fan of glitter/sparkly things at all really. Some glittery things I can cope with. Like glittery/sparkly shoes. They're ok. Sparkly dress, that's cool. A crystal chandelier, why not?  But glittery wine glasses, over my dead body. So please, never ever give me the gift of a glitter wine glass. Seriously, JUST DON'T.

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