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My little sister’s blog! Bit of a different vibe to mine (weight loss vs cake!!) but give it a read. She’s only young and she’s a fab little chef!

Cooking With Milly

Hello everyone, my name is Milly and this is my new blog all about me cooking and baking. I love to cook and that is why I decided to set up this blog. I will post on here every time I cook/bake something interesting.

A few days ago, I decided to make a Victoria Sponge using the damson jam my mom made. Here is what it looked like:

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Recipe

For the cake:
225g of softened butter
225g of caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g self raising flour, sieved

For the filling:
Homemade damson jam

Everyone that tried it said how delicious it was, so you should definitely give it a go! If you don’t have any homemade jam, then any jam will do. Why not try something unusual like Apricot Jam?

Thank you for reading my blog, until next time…. Keeeeeeep baking!

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Day 162; Netflix bingeing and shopping

I went shopping into town today to grab some bits and bobs for Bella’s arrival tomorrow, as well as useful things to go towards my holiday. Knowing me, I had in the back of my mind that I could buy a dress or two if I saw a nice one, but nothing seemed to grab my attention today unfortunately! 😦 The only one I was close to buying was in H&M, and I even texted my mom a picture of me in it for her opinion. I instinctively picked up a large because I’ve been so used to having that size now for a while but it was a bit loose on me around the shoulders, waist and chest area. I went back to see if they had a medium and they only had XS and L. That was a shame. I’ll show you guys what it looked like anyway:

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I have a weird thing about not taking my socks off when trying clothes on, and it drives my mom mad because she thinks you can’t get a proper understanding of what a dress looks like if you wear socks. But here’s me being a rebel and keeping them on. The dress was black and had purple pineapples on – don’t ask me why but the pattern was really funky. Shame, though.

The whole trip wasn’t in vain though. I got a giant beach-style bag from primark which will be good for Wednesday. We have to take towels and stuff for the lake festival and considering me and Bella will be together I thought we may as well share a bag. I even got some new pjs (who doesn’t love a good pair of pjs….?) and a film. Maybe if we end up having a night in tomorrow we can watch it then. I also bought some new bed sheets as I probably won’t get mine through the washer and dryer in time for tomorrow considering there is already a queue of laundry baskets from my housemates in the kitchen as we speak.

I’ve really gotten into this programme on Netflix called Person of Interest. I really recommend it! The only problem is that I get so into it that hours fly by and I am still lying on the sofa 8 episodes in and I haven’t got any of the jobs done that I planned for the day! Tonight we are thinking about having a film night again but there are two contenders for the chosen film. I would quite like to watch The Hobbit (I think it’s called the Battle of the Five Armies, so the third film in the trilogy) as I haven’t watched it yet. But Joe fancies watching Back to the Future. I haven’t watched that either, and he thinks it is a right of passage to watch it.

I haven’t had dinner yet, or even decided what I am having. It may have to be a really easy meal as it is coming up to 8 o’clock now and I don’t like eating too late. If I eat at this kind of time I get the urge to snack afterwards and that’s a bad habit to get into. I will have a gander on the slimming world website for some inspiration. Knowing me though I’ll just throw things into a pan and hope it tastes good. Yesterday I had the rest of my diet coke chicken that I had saved. Although you can’t see it in the picture, I had some brown basmati rice with it to help soak up all the extra sauce I had. Turns out I hadn’t split the portions evenly so the second meal seemed much larger than the first; and with MUCH more sauce too! It tasted great though – I will definitely be cooking it again at some point! Speaking of, I still have some diet coke left over from Thursday come to think of it…..

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It’s weigh in tomorrow and I really don’t want to. I have eaten more this week than I usually would, and whilst it is all healthy things that are within the limits of Slimming World rules I know that I should’ve stopped eating. Now that exams are over and the days are less busy I find myself boredom eating. For me, that’s worse than emotional eating because it’s easier for me to tell when I am emotionally eating than when I am boredom eating. Not to mention that I had a massive night out this week, and there are several planned nights out this week (Waterworks festival and the university Summer Ball) which will be big nights for drinking. I need to just bite the bullet and weigh in – if I don’t own up to it I will just sit here in denial, won’t I?

Day 160; Summer has officially begun!

Second year of university is finally over and it doesn’t quite feel real yet. It’s flown by so fast and it has been a life changing year. My last exam went pretty well; I thought it would be really difficult given all of the past papers I read that were vile but some nice questions came up and I gave them my best. Walking out of the exam felt awesome! Plus it was really sunny so I had a nice walk home. Me and Bella booked our holiday as well! The price had gone down by about £30 from when we looked at it the day before so we were pretty chuffed. All of the plans falling apart months ago must’ve been for a reason and I think we’re going to have a great time. Only 16 more days now until we leave!!

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The beach near where we are staying. I cannot wait!

I went out Thursday night in celebration. We did the army bar crawl (crawl of duty) and my outfit came together quite well. By the time we got to the end of the crawl (i.e. a club) we’d mostly split up and gone to different places. I ended up having a great night though so I didn’t mind that we didn’t stay as a big group. I probably drank more than I realised because we were going from bar to bar so it would all add up pretty quickly. I didn’t really count because it was a celebration and I didn’t want to worry the whole night, but I stuck to low syn spirits and diet coke mixers.

IMG_0721Me and Janice – she didn’t go quite as ‘army’ as I did but she had dog tags on at least!

Considering it was my first day of complete freedom yesterday it was quite uneventful. I still had to get up for a dissertation at 10am which thankfully only lasted an hour. I have to decide what topic my dissertation will be on; it is based on Muscular Dystrophy, but I am not allowed to post anything about specifics as I had to sign an NDA! Afterwards, I went to the main eatery on campus with my friend Imogen for a chat. She left to go to Budapest today with some of her housemates and friends so I won’t see her for a while! In the evening, our neighbour (who is my housemate’s girlfriend) had a BBQ which I fully intended on going to. I was pretty exhausted and fell asleep at about 6 o’clock through to gone 8! I felt quite ill too because I have a cold and a sore throat – not the best start to my summer after all. I managed to whip up some dinner (no burgers and hot dogs for me 😦 ). Lots went into it (manage 7 or 8 veggies) but I can’t remember the specifics. It’s basically a chicken stirfry with chopped tomatoes, veg and spices thrown in. I did get a pic though!

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I’m still sat in my pjs despite it being almost 3pm. The life of a student eh! I’ve not long had lunch which was a tomato, mushroom, mangetout and pepper omelette with cucumber and baked beans. Yes, my go-to lunch as per usual. I don’t have any sliced meat so I had the beans to bulk it out a bit and keep me full until dinner. I plan on doing some sort of a chicken tray bake with roasted potatoes and tomatoes, courgettes too! I think I will have to ring mom to get a recipe or some sort of timings for doing it. I can cook things I’m used to but attempting anything else and it can all go wrong very quickly.

IMG_0724I might have overdone the omelette just a tad but it was seriously yummy. I can’t believe I used to dislike omelettes; what would I possibly eat for lunch now otherwise!!! 

I’ve got a few chores done like tidying and my laundry, but now I need to start preparing for Bella’s arrival for Waterworks fest in a few days. I should probably start that now…..

Day 158; Last day of exams

So today has finally arrived! I have my last exam at 2pm, so I have a few hours now to buckle down to the last bit of revision I can squeeze in. Given that the rest of my house has finished, I’m surprised that they weren’t out celebrating or using their free time more productively; they just watched a film and went to bed at like 11pm! That’s earlier than a standard night during exams. I didn’t mind though because it meant I wasn’t missing out on anything.

I forgot to post on here yesterday because it was all a bit busy with revision but uneventful in any other respect. The weather was amazing and I just wanted to go outside and chill out. Instead, I revised from the moment I woke up until I went to bed, so it was a tough day on my poor brain. It will be worth it today though when I walk out of the exam room finally finished!

Yesterday I actually remembered to take pictures of my food so I can get back into the habit of posting what I’ve been munching on. For lunch I had chicken in cajun spices with garlic veg stir fry;

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Chicken, green beans, asparagus, courgettes, peppers, mushrooms, mangetout peas, cucumber, fresh tomatoes, garlic and some cajun spice

For dinner I had a simple jacket potato with baked beans, and peppers and cucumber on the side. I was deep in revision and didn’t want to cook anything fancy,

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On a side note, me and Bella are booking our holiday today! We’ve settled on a hotel in Gran Canaria and the price is great. We will be leaving in less than 3 weeks so now the pressure is on to stay slim until then! I presume we will have loads of photos so I want to look my best!

Day 156; Back to university

The internet on the train seems to be much better today. So I may actually be able to finish this blog and get it posted before I even arrive into Reading station! I got to Birmingham station about half an hour before my train was due to leave because I hate having to rush around last minute to jump on. Mom walked me in to the lobby and I said goodbye. I think she got a bit emotional and I have cried every single time I’ve gone back to Reading and this is no exception. I just can’t do it infront of her else I’d set her off! I’d already printed my return tickets off when I was in Reading so I didn’t have that to worry about. I just killed a bit of time in WHSmith and M&S. I didn’t buy anything other than a magazine because my mom has made me a full lunch of chicken, pasta, mangetout peas, carrots, mushroom, bbq sauce, sweetcorn and petis pois and some fruit and a water bottle. I get complimentary food in 1st class so I’ll probably have a cup of tea (they give you biscuits, crisps and cake to accompany that) but without any sugar or sweetener. I can lose just that one luxury for now 🙂 Speaking of, the 1st class host just asked me what I wanted!

Surprisingly, the sun is shining today. If it keeps up, I won’t have to get a bus back to my house and I will walk it instead. It’s a good 40 minute walk so great for Body Magic, and with the luggage I’m carrying it will certainly get my heart pumping a bit. It’s a hillier walk from the station > home than home > station too.

And so Tuesday has come rushing back around again. This week has gone so fast. I think it’s probably because I was at home having fun, and any time I have an exam coming up time seems to whizz by. I don’t really want to go back to uni as I know the next few weeks will be tough on my diet. I know there will be lots of nights out planned and that makes it difficult to stay on track. I will be back in Birmingham in just over a fortnight though as Ken is picking me up on the 16th. Me and Bella haven’t made too much progress in terms of what to do for our holiday, but top of the list right now is Gran Canaria! That is something to aim towards – we’re right next to the beach so I want to be rocking a bikini by then (only 3 weeks from now!!!).

I will leave you in suspense no longer. I weighed in this morning, but the scales at my house aren’t digital so you have to interpret it from looking at which notch it sits on. We moved it around a few times and I got 3 different results so I just averaged it and hoped for the best. Last week I weighed 12st 9lbs. This week I weigh….

12st 6lbs!!!!!!

Yes, really. I have hit TARGET!!! I honestly can’t believe it. It seemed so far away just 5 months ago, yet I really am here! I have added the awards for 4 stone and target onto the awards page. A part of me is glad that I hit target whilst being at home because I had my mom there. Plus, at the party for nan every single person commented on how good I was looking. It was an awesome feeling. So that means I have lost a total of 66lbs and have gone from 240lbs to 174lbs. It’s unrealllllll.

I have now made the decision to drop my target to 12 stone 2 lbs. It’s good to have something to aim for, whether it be fitting into a particular dress or for a certain occasion. But for me at the moment, being a ‘healthy’ weight would be fantastic. It would give me a BMI of 25 which, although on the uppermost end of healthy, is still a healthy weight. Plus, for my 5 ‘ 9 frame I am quite broad so I won’t ever be 10 stone or something.

I will get to updating my graph and table. Monthly weigh in is on the same day as the summer ball so if all goes to plan I will have maintained this weight loss. If I lose a bit more and hit a healthy BMI I will consider writing to slimming world and applying for my story to appear on the website. It would be a cool thing if my story could inspire others. If I saw a girl lose more than 4 1/2 stone in less than 6 months I would be so inspired, but looking at my own achievement doesn’t inspire me in the same way even though it is the exact same thing. I think I need to pat myself on the back to be honest!!!

Day 155; A quiet day

Today has been uneventful. I haven’t even left the house; I neither needed to or wanted to! The weather today has been the most vile of the whole time I’m been home, it’s been really windy and rainy all day. I’ve been in the house on my own for most of the day because my mom works on Mondays and Milly is back at school. No more half term for her!

I got a bit of revision done today for my exam on Thursday. The final one. It’s going to be one of the more difficult exams but I have done really well on the coursework side of it so it takes the pressure off slightly. The only downside is that I am the last person in the house to finish so everyone else will be chilling out and I’ll still be in frenzy mode. Oh well, once it’s done it’s done.

I actually remembered to get some pictures of my food today. Breakfast was just cereal. For lunch I had a mushroom, green bean, pepper, sweetcorn, ham omelette with a bit of garlic and baked beans and cucumber on the side.

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Dinner was pretty huge too. I had chicken, my moms BBQ sauce, sweetcorn, red pepper, aubergine, tomatoes, roasted potatoes and some big chunks of garlic. So as you can imagine, I’m completely stuffed! This is my last dinner at home before I go back to uni tomorrow though 😦

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I have almost finished packing now. I’m just blogging as I watch Made In Chelsea – definitely my favourite reality TV. It’s weird having a TV because at uni we don’t have an aerial, hence Netflix or the xbox/playstation is constantly on. My cat Sammy is sitting next to me too, I don’t think she really missed me to be honest. I hope the weather gets better as I was planning on walking back home when I get off the train in Reading, but if it’s raining or windy I’ll either get the bus or a taxi. I have to get up early to get sorted to go, but I also have to get up and weigh in too! I may or may not hit target this week but fingers crossed!!!

Day 154; The last few days!

I’ve been blogging every day for the last 3 days, I’ve just been typing it into a word document. Realising how pointless that was, I decided to just do a blog post every day from now on as per usual. But, given that there has been a bit of a gap since my last post on Thursday I thought I’d fill you in on what has been going on.

Day 152; Rain, rain, rain

The weather today has been awful. It has been raining/hailing since I woke up this morning, and it’s been horribly windy too. I didn’t sleep great last night – the weather woke me up at 4am and I was a bit chilly too. Our student house is always really warm, presumably because it’s small and has 5 of us in it, so going to a bigger, colder house is noticeable.

Despite this, mom and I braved the weather and went to Northfield for a shop. My clock at uni has broken so we went to B&M bargains (my mom’s favourite shop) to get one. We picked up a few other bits there too, like car mats for Phil and a new flowerpot. We got some new light bulbs too, as all 3 in my room at uni have blown. Aldi was next on the list; it was absolute chaos. I don’t think I’ll ever go to a supermarket on a Friday EVER AGAIN. But I suppose it was handy because I got lots of fruit and veg for the next few days, as well as meat for the BBQ for nan’s birthday party. Oh, that’s been moved back to Sunday again. Apparently the weather forecast did a complete 180 and so the dry weather is on Sunday!

Tonight we are going to Bengal Fusion, the favourite curry restaurant we have found. I am going to have a salmon dish with boiled rice, to keep the syns down. I can feel my tummy rumbling, so I will definitely enjoy this meal! Now to just get some makeup on and get dressed!

So I just got back from the curry. I had a popadom with some of the yoghurt/mint sauce that comes with it, followed by a Salmon Machli Dupiaza which was delicious. It’s a low syn curry too – only 6.5 syns! Much better than a 20+ syn chicken korma. I was still wracked with guilt but I’ve decided to just get back on track again with a good day of eating. We went back to my aunt & uncle’s house after the meal and my uncle owns a company called USN. It’s a protein supplement company (basically) but it also specialises in weight loss. I don’t particularly want to take supplements so I have decided to attempt the exercise plan they set out. Hopefully it will go well!

Day 153; Merry Hill and cat hair

Today has been yet another busy day. I had a bit of a rubbish sleep again so I woke up still tired. As we are hosting nan’s BBQ tomorrow, mom has to detox the house because my uncle is allergic to cats. Although our house is actually very clean, mom has to go around getting every cat hair off the chairs, cushions, etc. I also just found out that my other cousin who is at uni, Bella, is coming home for nan’s party too! So that will be nice to see her. She’s the one coming to Waterworks Festival with me in a week and a half! After all that, I had lunch which was an omelette packed with mushrooms, peppers, courgettes, sweetcorn and mangetout with cucumber on the side.

Then we went off to what feels like our second home, Merry Hill. I just fancied buying a few clothes whilst I was here, as I have someone to go shopping with. At uni, the boys wouldn’t want to go shopping with me and most people are still in exam mode (I should be, but oh well) so I took the opportunity for a shopping day. I didn’t buy too much in the end, just a new pair of white jeans (this is a first, they are for my holiday) and some tops. We went in quite a few shops but nothing was really grabbing my attention. Oh, I also want to point out that all of the clothes I bought today were a size 14!!

Pretty much as soon as we got back I went for a lie down. I had a pear because I was feeling a bit peckish but then I fell asleep on the sofa! I came upstairs to bed and had another ‘nap’ – quite a long nap. All of these bad nights sleep are catching up to me. I am about to have dinner too (it’s pretty much 8 o’clock now) – I’m not 100% sure on the ingredients as Mom has prepped it all on her own but I think it’s chicken, mangetout, peppers, broccoli, sweetcorn, spinach, her BBQ sauce, and some cucumber. I wont be able to take a picture of the meal because my phone is dead and I’ve been asleep so I forgot to charge it up. I haven’t taken any photos of my meals at all over the last few days but I assure you they’ve been on plan and delicious!

 Day 154; Nan’s birthday party!

Well today has been both busy and amazing! I yet again had a disturbed night’s sleep, but I wasn’t feeling as tired during the day as I did yesterday. It could just be being in a different bed to usual that is messing with my sleeping pattern, or the noise from the motorway. Either way, it wasn’t too bad. I got showered, put my makeup on and put on my new outfit for nan’s BBQ gathering today.

IMG_0652 My new outfit from primarni – cheap and cheerful!

First to arrive was my uncle Andrew shortly followed by my aunty Maria, Sophia and Bella. Bells needed to do her makeup so we rushed upstairs to get that sorted, and we were discussing what on earth we are going to do about our holiday! June is looking unlikely now, because they are going away as a family to the lake district over one of the weekends we were planning on being away for, and she has to be back in Cardiff to move her stuff into the new student house for next year. Maria is ringing her friend at Co-op travel to get us some deals and keep us posted for a good, cheap holiday.

The rest of the family started arriving pretty quick after that – there was about 22 or so people in the house! Obviously, last to arrive was my uncle John and Melanie who had told nan that they were taking her to lunch at The Sun which, from their house, makes our house en route. As soon as she saw everyone’s car on the drive she clocked that we had a surprise party for her, and when she walked in we all sang happy birthday! She looked so happy, bless her, and when she looked around the room and saw me she looked so surprised! I think both me and Bella being there (mostly out of the blue) as well as the whole family was a great way to send her into her 75th year.

Now, I bet you’re wondering what on earth I ate. Given that it was a Bullivant family gathering, there was guaranteed to be Maria’s salad, some great tasting meat on the BBQ, lots of wonderful veg prepped by my mom, as well as a wide range of puddings for afters! For nibbles, I had carrot, cucumber and pepper batons dipped in aioli (made with lighter than light mayonnaise, 0.5 syns per level tbsp), whereas most other people had crisps/pitta bread dipped in full fat mayo! Next was the main, and I had salad (no dressing) with 2 salmon fillets, a chunk of marinated steak – about ½ syn, negligible amount of oil (visible fat removed) and some of the best potatoes I’ve ever had. I can’t be certain of what herbs mom used to make them, but they had been slow roasting and they were fluffy and yummy. Again, I’ve put the syn value as ½ syn because the amount of oil on my 4 potatoes would have been very little, given that there was 4 tbsps between roughly 45 potatoes in the tray. Now, pudding was a whole different ball game. My aunty ali and aunty mel were on duty for puddings, and wow did they deliver. There were 2 eton messes, a swirl roll thing of sticky toffee pudding with nuts, a chocolate fudge cheesecake, vanilla cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, chocolate brownies, trifle, a cheese board, crackers, salted caramel cake, strawberries, grapes, icecream and cream. If you don’t believe me, I’ll post the picture!

IMG_0655And that wasn’t even all of them. As a family we barely made a dent in this array of pudding!

I really want to hit target this week, so I did deprive myself. The whole day only amounted to 2.5 syns, so I could’ve very easily had a slice of this or that, or a scoop of those, but I resisted. I really have my eyes on the prize, and I hope that it shows on the scales. I just had a plate of grapes and strawberries – I must add that they were really tasty so I still got my sweet fix! My nan actually ‘awwed’ at me; although she sounded like she was pitying me I think a part of her is very proud of me! As well as all of those puddings, my uncle Russ had got nan the birthday cake, which looked AMAZING. I felt like having a Bruce Bogtrotter moment from Matilda when he eats the entirety of the massive chocolate cake. Nan’s was a triple chocolate fudge cake. My mouth is salivating as I type this!!

IMG_0661 Nan and her massive cake. Per 1/24th of this cake was 30% of your daily sugar allowance!! Hence I steered clear, but look how yummy it looks….

After the party came to a close and everyone left, I got a text off Ed saying that the only time we could see each other whilst I’m home would be this evening, so I went to his. I caught up with him and his mom for a few hours and then came home.

My thighs have been BURNING all day. Absolutely aching. It hurts to stand up, sit down, bend over, go up stairs, go down stairs, you name it – it hurts. I suppose it must mean that the exercises from yesterday have really worked my thighs!! I’ll have to give them a rest though, I don’t want to damage them any further – I still have exams to walk to this week and train stations to be running around.

Mom helped me enter all the syns into the weight loss planner on the SW website, and I also chucked out a few clothes from my drawers here at home. Some of the tops I bought from Merry Hill yesterday go perfectly with some old pairs of shorts I have!! Happy coincidences are the best. Hopefully I will get a good night’s sleep now as I have some revision to get on with tomorrow. Just going to throw this photo on the end – all of the cousins (minus 1) with Nan. Such a lovely photo – the one we had of the cousins at Christmas was vile and I looked massive but I actually look slim and HAPPY on this one!

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Melissa, Sophia, me, Joe, Bella, Sam, Milly
Josh, Nan, Alfie