Author: thethingsnotsaid

Happy Women’s Day to my women

As I scrolled through Instagram this morning, it seemed that there was an usually large amount of love going out to women on my feed. It took a moment to register as to be fair, in the current climate there is generally at least two or three ‘strong women lift each other up’ type posts every day. Today it’s almost constant, occasionally interrupted by a pretty plate of food  (I love me some #foodies). It is of course International Women’s Day. It’s prompted me to think about the women in my life and I realise that there have been, are and will be a HUGE amount of significant women in my life. What better way to celebrate than say thank you. To the most important woman in my life, who is yet to be a woman, my daughter. Thank you for being the little embryo that could. For giving me hope when I was at my most hopeless. You could forget every Mother’s Day and I will still be indebted to you for making me …

It’s not OK, but it will be

Sometimes, it’s just not OK. You’re not OK. Life isn’t OK. Things are not OK. There is pain, disappointment, anger, fear and it feels like more than you can bear. You can’t stand up as it crashes down on you. You have nothing left. You’re lost. You can’t escape. But oh no, you’ll just have to go through it (yep that’s a ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ reference). To be in a moment where it feels like you have nothing left, is the worst place to be on earth. And yet, I’m here to say, it is possible to walk on, to stand, to get through. There is something that gives us what we need to conquer the giant in front of us. We see people do it all the time. A husband stands outside the room as a team of medical staff help his wife fight to deliver their first born through shoulder dystocia. A woman who has married three times before, in the face of her doubts and those around her, chooses …

Dear Joe Wicks (for the last time)

Happy New Year! Hope you had a good Christmas and your new book is selling well. Thanks to you, I had a good start to the New Year. I graduated from the 90 Day SSS plan on Saturday 6th January.  I had worried that my interpretation of Cycle Three had been too flexible and my results would have started going in the wrong direction. This is not to say that I went careering off the rails. But it was December, there were nights out, family gatherings, Christmas Day for heaven’s sake! I had planned to have blow-out days on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, but as the days (and nights) went on, it was obvious there were going to be quite a few mini blow-outs along the way. I had a few nights were I had a festive tipple and with a lot more treats in the house, I ate way more chocolate and sweets than I had in the previous cycles. All that said, I did carry on with all the exercises and …

Dear Joe Wicks (again)

I am very pleased to report that I graduated from Cycle Two last week and today is my first day on Cycle Three of your 90 Day SSS Plan. I have to say, it does feel good to be over halfway. It’s been such a positive experience for me. I guess it’s a good sign then, that I am beginning to feel like I have learnt enough and it would be quite nice to test my wings, and see if I can fly this balanced-diet-with-focussed-exercise journey alone. That said, I do like to finish things that I start and after a weekend of letting myself off the hook a little, I am ready to be a good student and work to plan for a final 30 days.  This takes me, rather inconveniently, to the 2nd January. Nothing like increasing the challenge tenfold by doing the final cycle through the Christmas season eh! It’s OK though. Don’t panic, I have a plan. One thing I have learnt so far is that calculated “blow outs” are no …

Oaty Millionnaire’s Slice

At the moment, I am not getting much opportunity to bake. I miss it. I need a school fundraiser or something!! Once a week, I bake something sweet for the children to have in their packed lunches or as a yummy treat when they come in from school.  I always want to have something in the house that I can offer to anyone who pops in. To have a tin with something in is what makes a kitchen homely I think. Normally I love experimenting with dairy free baking, but as I’m on the SSS 90 Day Plan at the moment (you can read about what I am up to here and here) I am going all out on baking with butter, cream and milk, so I can’t be tempted. This one is full of it! I LOVE caramel and I am of the opinion that Millionnaire’s Shortbread is just one of the best slices ever. This recipe adds some extra goodness with oats and coconut getting in the mix.  My theory is that although the …

Lessons from the Body Coach

One of my main motivations for challenging myself to do Joe Wicks’ 90 Day SSS Plan was to learn some new habits. I’ve always loved sport and exercise, but after having a bulging disc and then the operation to sort it, my fitness routine had taken a bit of a battering. Selling our house and moving back to the UK had played havoc with my diet too.  Normally a healthy eater, who likes treats on the weekend and special occasions, I had got into the habit of eating a 100g bar of chocolate before 5pm every day. Apart from anything else, it was getting expensive! You may be the same as me, busy and distracted by being as good a mum as you can? Doing something that is good for your well-being often comes second to putting the needs of your children and husband first. You know you need to look after yourself so you’re in a good place to look after your loved ones, but it takes discipline to actually do it. Simple truth …

Freelance Re-visited

I first became a freelancer when I was 30.  After graduating with a languages degree in 1999, I had spent the rest of my twenties working for various companies and charities in Liverpool. It was a considered career move, something I wanted to do and I took my time to be ready to take the leap. At the time, it felt really scary, almost reckless. With hindsight, I can see that it was the best time to go for it.  My husband had just been employed by a big, global company, which gave us at least one secure income.  We didn’t have any children, so I could pour my all into the work and my availability to clients was 24/7. Having worked in Liverpool for almost a decade, I had contacts to approach for possible work. It was a great experience for me.  To begin with, I had lots of little pieces of work.  A fundraising job from an old employer, book keeping for a friend’s business, a monthly event to manage through another friend …

Rice Krispie Treats

At the moment I am on the Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, 90 Day SSS Plan.  I fancied a challenge and my body needs some care after all the neglect of repatriation and back surgery. The rest of my family are not on the programme so they still get treats. The trick for me is to make them with dairy. That way I won’t be tempted. Take these Rice Krispie bars for instance.  Made with a large Galaxy milk chocolate bar I had hanging around. Once that is in, there is no way I am going anywhere near them, even though they smell so pretty. That said, I have some ideas of what I am going to do when I finish the SSS Plan (Joe is an advocate of occasional treats, I’ve seen the cheesecakes his brother makes!) which I will share with you at the end. Ingredients 50g coconut oil (could be butter but this probably makes them a little healthier) 200g milk chocolate 100ml golden syrup 150g Rice Krispies A handful of …

Would I have been a better mother in the 70’s?

Our children are six and seven years old. Both are at school. They can use forks. Conversation with them is coherent and interesting, sometimes illuminating and educational. One of them can wipe their bum, the other still prefers to let others take care of that.  Our family can walk 5km in about an hour. At least once a week, they make their breakfast without setting off the smoke alarm. OK, that’s cereal day. We are officially parents of children: no babies, no toddlers. Quite often, either Gareth or I will turn to the other and say these words; “I would never have talked to my parents like our children do to us.” This is often followed by a frustrated debate about why our children can be so disrespectful. Gareth leans towards our children being punks, I lean towards our skills being deficient. We settle on, maybe we’re being punk’d? I could be paranoid but I get the feeling that our parent’s generation are quietly wondering what all the fuss is about. Why do mum’s get …

Old fashioned slice of sweetness

The Louise Cake is a classic Kiwi tea time slice. I imagine that it’s been around for decades, because first of all it’s called Louise so it must date back to the Seventies at least. It doesn’t have any fancy ingredients, a simple treat that goes very well with a cup of tea and a yarn. It’s made up of three layers; “cakey” biscuit bottom, jam and coconut meringue topping. What I love about this, is that you can easily make it gluten and/or dairy free, it’s nut free too so you can pack it off in the children’s lunch boxes or donate it to a school cake sale.  Plus you can have fun with the middle layer; it could be any flavour jam, or lemon curd, caramel or if you can eat nuts, you could spread Nutella in there. Oh my gosh, I want to do that right now! Despite having three layers, it is quick and easy to make and it looks really pretty. I’ve used the recipe given by Natalie Oldfield in …