Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Sunday, 20 February 2011
Thursday, 17 February 2011
I really like authenticity of hand-written recipes so I'm trying something new and uploading my recipe rather than typing it out. If you totally hate this please let me know and I won't do it again :)
Sunday, 13 February 2011
I like to think Blondie Boy's style is as punk rock as a 13 month old boy can get so I immediately thought of putting an edgy twist to a normally pink and fluffy holiday. I love anything with skulls so I drew out a pattern for a heart and crossbones.
I free hand every pattern I make- sometimes it takes a few trys, but it's definitely better to screw up a pattern then to waste fabric. I just use a bit of thick paper (or an ad for DFS in this case) so it pins on nicely to the fabric without ripping and then trace around it and cut out.
Normally I just use fabric glue but I decided to challenge myself and hand-stitch the edging. I was a bit worried since I knew there was no chance of each stitch being even in length and spacing, but I kind of like the kitchy homemade feel it brings. I won't lie it did take me almost an hour and a half to stitch, but I think it was worth it.
I can't wait to try it on Blondie Boy tomorrow maybe with a faux-hawk and a jean jacket and have a photoshoot while he dances around to some Social D.
I also made a rose corsage for Blondie Boy's Grandma as she and her fiancé were kind enough to babysit him while NotBlondeHusband and I went out for a Valentine's date on Saturday. I found the tutorial here and it was slightly time consuming, but really simple to follow. It is for a ring but I just made the circles slightly larger for a corsage.
Saturday, 12 February 2011
When it comes to pancakes you want them to be light and fluffy, so when I saw the Best Buttermilk Pancakes recipe in my Google Reader I knew I had to try and make them AND make them Weight Watchers friendly.
Here is my Weight Watchers Buttermilk Pancakes adapted from the recipe by Brown Eyed Baker which was adapted from Cook's Illustrated. I halved the recipe to make eight golden, fluffy pancakes, but here is my adaptation in full. I've include metric measurements in parentheses for those who don't have American baking cups.
Blondie's WW Buttermilk Pancakes
Yield: Sixteen 4-inch pancakes
2 cups all-purpose flour (125g)
1 1/2 tablespoons Splenda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk (1 pint)
¼ cup sour cream (56g)
3 tablespoons Lurpak lighter unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Non Stick Cooking Spray (I used Fry-Light, but in the US Pam would work)
4. Spray a pan or griddle if you've got some super cool stove with the non-stick spray and allow to heat up. You'll know it's hot enough when if you flick water on it, the water sizzles.
Friday, 11 February 2011
Transatlantic Blonde was provided this app to review.
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Let's start with a confession: I'm a dude and I need to diet.
There's some stigma attached to the statement. Diets are for girls. It's "girly", particularly in the UK, to go for a drink with the lads and to pick a light beer or a glass of wine or a spirit with a diet mixer over a pint of your usual or a spirit and "full fat" mixer. If you grab food of course you grab the biggest burger or kebab you can find, why would you ever order chicken or a salad?
I've slowly been gaining weight over the last 10 years, over the last two years I've gained 20+ lbs. While I still play football once a week, it's been longer than that decade since I was playing proper competitive sports and burning all the excess calories that a typical "lad's diet" gives you. I'm generally not very good at moderation. If I feel like a bar of chocolate, I'll have it; of course regular Coke tastes better than diet crap, so I'll have that too; that salad is never going to come close to that burger, so it's not really a choice. Blondie and I are also terrible influences on each other. Both had a long day and don't feel like a trip to the shops? There's nothing wrong with a third takeaway in a week then...
Unfortunately, I've finally realised that I'm not at the age my body can handle that anymore, so it's time to try the alternative. Which is where Weight Watchers comes in.
Two weeks ago if you'd asked me my opinion of WW I'd have probably told you it was a bunch of overweight, middle-aged women sitting in a church hall commiserating each other when they put on a couple of ounces a week, calculators out ready to work out the calorific content of that rice cake they're holding. Not really my scene, and not something I could see fitting in the diary of a busy person. As it turns out, I wasn't even close.
Meetings are optional, you can manage your diet entirely online. If you need support, there are forums. If like me, you don't have time for that and just want to spend 5 minutes a day planning your diet you can. Want to eat from meal plans, that's fine. If like me you like to cook your own food the recipe builder lets you work out what your favourite recipes cost you and you can adapt and update them with lower cost alternatives. You can even search for recipes online and edit them to swap out ingredients you're not so fond of.
There is an element of point counting but it isn't really an onerous task. Weight Watchers own products have pro point values attached. Anything else you stick into a database and it tells you exactly what it costs you. You have your daily allowance but you also get extra pro points for "treats" throughout the week. I don't know what kind of things women use this for, but at 3 pro points a bottled beer or 6 pro points for a pint of lager it's more than enough for one decent night out at the pub a week.
So what has this meant for me? There's no point sugar coating it, to begin with I was hungry. I don't think there is a weight loss diet where you're not hungry to start. I was overeating before so obviously eating a normal amount felt like not enough to begin with. Two weeks in this isn't an issue any more. I eat a bowl of cereal for my breakfast instead of some junk and try to snack on fruit and veg. I can even still have a bag of crisps as a snack. Lunch is usually a healthy sandwich or something I can eat on the go. Dinner can be relatively normal. Last night I even got burgers. My biggest concession is cutting down on sugary drinks but I've even managed that. Watching the football midweek is pretty much the same without the two or three beers that I would sometimes have.
It is frustrating sometimes. I would kill for a pizza right now and the low point equivalents to that just don't cut the mustard. When I'm out and about it would be easier to grab the first thing to hand rather than think about what you're allowed but the iPhone app lets you check exactly how much that takeaway sandwich will cost you. So far, at the end of the week it's been worth it. After two weeks I've already lost over 5% of my body weight. I don't mind a little frustration when the results are so obvious. I've still a bit to go but I'm definitely sticking with it.
We still manage to eat pretty well. I'll stick up some examples of meals as we go along.
Transatlantic Blonde and NotBlondeHusband were provided a free trial of Weight Watchers Online to review.
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
....and the winners are:
LouLoub22 & Tanya!
Please contact me within 48 hours with your postal address to claim your tickets!
After NotBlondeHusband and I got engaged, my wonderful mother-in-law went with me to the Scottish Wedding Show. It was there I stumbled across the company who made me the wedding cake all the other vendors swore couldn't be made. Now my mother-in-law is engaged and I can't wait to go back again with her as the Bride this time!
The Scottish Wedding Show, Scotland's best event for brides-to-be, will take place at the SECC, Glasgow on 19th-20th February 2011.The show will bring together over 300 of Scotland's leading wedding suppliers under one roof, who will showcase everything needed to make the big day just perfect.
There will also be…
• Free expert advice at the Inspiration Theatre
•The chance to enter The Real People Catwalk competition and take to the catwalk at the Autumn show
• The chance to Win a £1000 Gift List towards your 2011 Wedding from John Lewis Glasgow
Tickets start at £9 for a standard advance ticket
For more information on special offers or to purchase tickets visit
www.thescottishweddingshow.com or call 0141 587 6088.
I have two pairs of tickets to giveaway to two lucky Transatlantic Blonde readers!
To enter the giveaway:
Follow my Blog publicly (link on right sidebar) using Google Friend Connect and comment with your favourite wedding movie!
-Follow me on Twitter and tweet: "I entered to win tickets to the Scottish @TheWeddingShow with @Melaina25 & TransatlanticBlonde.com! You can too! http://tinyurl.com/2w6kp8z " and comment to let me know (1 extra entry)
-Blog about the giveaway and comment to let me know (1 extra entry)
Make sure to leave each entry in a separate comment.
All entries will be verified and deleted if not valid so make sure to leave the usernames you subscribe or tweet with.
This giveaway is open to all UK residents and is for two tickets only (travel no included). Two winners will be drawn at random on February 10th at 12:00 GMT. Winners must contact me within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.
Transatlantic Blonde were provided tickets for this giveaway.