Plinky prompts Q&A

Even though it’s September, and eight months of 2011 have already gone by, I’ve decided to join WordPress.com’s Post A Week initiative. Actually, I decided to join last week, but I got “too busy to post”. This is becoming a habit which I need to break, so I’m forcing myself to do a quick post tonight.

I’ve decided to use five random questions from Plinky Prompts to make a little Q&A. If you’d like to add any further questions in the comments box below, I’d be more than happy to answer them! 😉

Cake or Pie?

Cake – every time! Especially cupcakes. I’m having a bit of a thing for cupcakes at the moment, and this week is National Cupcake Week, which is pretty exciting.

Banoffee cupcake

When are you happiest?

Funnily enough, I was asked this question in an interview recently. My response then was “when I’m lying in the bath with a good book”. That’s still my answer, but sadly I don’t have a bath (only a shower) at the moment. It’s killing me, but my books are less soggy.

If you could become two people right now, what are the first two things you’d want to do?

I’ve been so busy lately, that becoming two people would be really nice! I’d leave one of me at home to finish writing all the blog posts and articles I’ve started, while the other went to work. I’d let the work-me go out after work to exhibitions and parties, while the writing-me just stayed at home and wrote about it all.

Would you rather be a food critic, a book critic or a film critic?

That’s easy – a food critic! I’ve been dabbling in restaurant reviews recently over at Haikugirl’s Japan, and it’s something I’d like to get into more seriously. Naturally, I’d be happiest reviewing Japanese restaurants, or pâtisseries…

What’s your favourite month? Why?

It’s probably December, because my birthday and Christmas are both in December. I like that winter feeling, of wrapping up in coats and gloves, going out to a place like Covent Garden and seeing all the Christmas decorations. I’m crazy about Christmas and love any excuse to put a bit of tinsel up… 😉

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Can you think of some more questions for me? If they’re good enough, I might even turn them into a whole new post!


Sugar limits…

I may have finally had enough sugar.

It was hot yesterday, and I decided to treat myself to a cool, vanilla, creamy drink from a high street cafe chain (not the one with a mermaid logo, but another popular one here in England). I often go there, and I often order the same drink, made with skimmed milk.

I didn’t taste the drink until I had left the store. The first sip wasn’t bad, but on the second sip I got a mouthful of sugary grit. My teeth soon became filled with the sugary stuff and I began to wonder what was up with my drink. I gave it a good stir, but to no avail. It definitely had more than its fair share of sugar/syrup/something.

I had been greedy and ordered a “medium” where I usually order a “small”, and it took me the whole 25 minute walk home to attempt to drink the plastic cup of liquified sugar. I ended up dumping the last inch or so in a bin before I reached my house.

I felt sick.

For the rest of the day yesterday I couldn’t face anything sweet. Even dinner (a spicy jambalaya) was a little hard to stomach. This morning I tried a yogurt and some fruit, and my taste buds said “ok, but that’s enough sugar now, thanks“.

So perhaps my sweet-tooth has finally been satisfied. This is certainly good news for my dieting and money-saving attempts, so perhaps I should stop by the cafe and say “thanks“. I won’t be buying a drink though.


Lent: As good an excuse as any to give something up…

When I was a kid, I used to go to church.  I remember trying to give things up for Lent (the period from Ash Wednesday to Easter in Western Christianity).  The most successful time I remember was when I gave up some of my pocket money and then sent it to Shelter, a homeless charity.  I remember feeling very proud of myself for doing something good.

These days I’m not religious at all, but last night I was reminded (on Facebook, of all places) that it was Pancake Day (or, Shrove Tuesday) and that therefore Lent was next.  I had spent most of the day fretting about my weight and trying to figure out new dieting plans, without much success.  Suddenly, Lent seemed like the perfect chance, and just the excuse I had been looking for.

You see, I just don’t seem to have enough will-power at the moment to simply say “I’ll be good, I’ll diet”. I need more of a reason.  And what better reason than “I can’t eat that – I gave it up for Lent”?

So, why am I boring you with this post about dieting?  Well, as one of my friends pointed out to me on Facebook “how will we know if you cheat?”.  You won’t, of course.  You have to take my word for it.  But, how will I know if I cheat?  I figured I needed some rules to stick to, and sharing the rules with you might help me stick to them more, so here goes…

  • These rules apply from today, Wednesday 17th February until Easter, Sunday 4th April.
  • No Kit Kats – I can buy them and photograph them, but I can’t eat them!
  • No chocolate, biscuits, cakes, puddings, pastries. (Exception – a co-worker’s birthday is coming up and we always have cake. I’m allowed a very small bit, just to be sociable.)
  • No omiyage!  It’s a Japanese custom to share edible souvenirs whenever you go somewhere. As a result, my school is teeming with this ‘omiyage’, and we always have so much available to snack on.
  • I am allowed a maximum of one tall size Starbucks a week, so long as I ask for non-fat milk and no cream.
  • I am allowed to eat out with my friends as planned, but avoid dessert and try not to drink too much alcohol.
  • Eat lots of fruit.
  • Don’t buy ready-to-drink coffee from the convenience store – it’s loaded with calories!
  • Do my Davina McCall workout at least once a week.
  • Don’t go crazy when Easter comes…
  • Confess on this blog and on Facebook if I break any of these rules.

In theory, Lent could not only help me lose weight, it could help me save money, too.  My weight is not something I’m willing to share online, but I’ll record it for myself at the beginning and check it again at the end. Actually, I don’t much care what I weigh – it’s more about which clothes fit me.  I own two pairs of jeans right now. One pair is really tight and can give me a stomach ache if I wear them for too long. My aim is to be able to wear them comfortably by Easter.  So, watch this space…! 😉


It's the little things…

It’s the little things in life that make me smile. I walked in to Starbucks this morning, my home away from home, and discovered that xmas drink flavors are back!

I chose to sample the brand new Caramel Eclair Latte (which is delicious!), but I was also happy to see that my old favorites, the Dark Cherry Mocha and Gingerbread Latte are back.

There’s something so familiar about seeing the red cups in Starbucks at xmas time. Sipping coffee while listening to xmas classics. I know some would say it’s too early but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s never too early for xmas in Starbucks!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

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