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February 2020

Weekly Update – Slimming World Results – Week 9

I haven’t felt like I’ve done anything different this week to last week but it’s a much better result this week.
I haven’t had as much ice cream this week but when I have it, it’s always synned so it shouldn’t make a difference but it must have.

week 9 weight loss results

Weigh-In Results

Date 26th February 2020
Weight – 27 st 4lb
Result – 3lb loss
Total Weight Loss – 3 st 11lb

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Declutter your surroundings and welcome Spring

As we slowly bid adieu to the heart-wrenching winters and welcome the pleasing spring, we also have to tend to an important task of decluttering our homes, backyard and the rest of our surrounding radius. This helps us move upwards and onwards into the new season with a fresh atmosphere that mirrors your clean and brisk houses. The task of decluttering can appear to be quite cumbersome but is actually really easy to get around if you conduct the process with proper planning and determination. All you need is some established strategies and a little help like that from skip hire and such to give your surroundings a refreshing makeover.

Hiring a skip keeps the tidying process organised

skip hire

When you think of the cleaning act it usually revolves around gathering stuff you need to get rid of or compiling the items you need to donate. The task usually gets pushed into the back seat because you just keep shifting the things from one room to another, then into the garage or in a pile in your backyard. If you hire a skip it will help you to discard all the unwanted garbage at one place in the skip and save the trip to the dump yards. A few steps have been listed below that might aid in getting your spring cleaning done in an orderly manner.

Clear your calendars

As mentioned above, you will never get around cleaning everything if you just keep shoving the garbage from one room to another. You have to take ample time and clear your schedule for one or two days and focus only on getting the surrounding neat. Organizing the space and trying to make the maximum out of your living area is necessary to declutter effectively. You have to be realistic while making a plan for decluttering and give enough time to each aspect as it can get overwhelming to tackle everything at once. Prioritise the rooms and take the next task only after completion of the one in hand.

Sort each item thoroughly

The main task while you get on with your decluttering is trying to figure out what item needs to be thrown away, what needs to be donated and what needs to be put back in your cupboards and cabinets. We have witnessed several tidying strategies like the Marie Kondo method where she helps you to decide whether you should retain any object or not on the basis of whether it sparks joy for you. Once you decide that you need to get rid of certain objects they go straight into the skip and the skip hired will come back to collect it once you are done.

Refurbish and replace old items

Certain items in your kitchen like utensils and pieces of equipment that are used on a daily basis are bound to be worn and torn. The spring cleaning session is a good time to get rid of these worn pans and dishes and get a fresh set to lighten up your kitchen. Similarly, your tools in the garage and some of your bathroom wear could also use an upgrade and give your house the much-needed makeover.

Skip hires result in efficient cleaning

Making sure that you welcome spring with a refreshing outlook is manageable if you make a proper to-do list and go through with the process in an orderly fashion. Hiring skip bins can lead to an easy way to dispose of the unwanted garbage and also saves you several trips to the landfills and dumping grounds. You can also pile the toys, clothes and other such used items that you no longer use but are in a good condition and donate them to Goodwill or anyone who seems to be in dire need. This cleaning process will lead to making the transition from winters to spring pleasant and revitalizing.

This is a collaborative post

Simple DIY procedure to remove stickers from glass without causing any damage

The most attractive showpiece of glass might look ugly if it has a price sticker attached to it. Not merely with the showpieces, but starting from your new cooking utensils to that of the windshields, it becomes essential to remove those unwanted labels.  

No doubt, removing these labels from the glass products might be a difficult task, but if you follow proper guidelines and hidden tactics, you will be able to remove the stickers most reliably. Rather than purchasing expensive products for removing these things, there are higher chances that it might damage or put scratches on your glass product. However, with the help of DIY, you will be able to get peace of mind that your product is quite safe and protected from those harmful chemicals

Why should you apply proper procedures when removing stickers from the glass?

sticker residue on glass

Starting from glassware to clothing to that of home décor, stickers and labels can be slapped on everywhere. Consequently, there comes a situation when you try to remove that sticker, but removing the adhesive, which is left behind, can turn out to be the most difficult task. By using the wrong solutions or sharp-edged tools for removing stickers, it can damage the glass where the sticker was stuck. Yeah! Getting rid of these labels is quite challenging as, if not done properly; it will leave residue on your new items of glass leaving them ugly, scratched, and spotted. This is why it is always recommended to apply proper procedures while removing stickers from glass so that the authenticity and elegance of the items will stay perfectly. 

Possible DIY stickers removing procedure without causing any scratches 

So, before you get fed up and give up on the ever getting rid of that sticker, label, or the adhesive left behind, you can take a deep peek at the best ways to remove stickers perfectly from the glass without even causing any scratches:

Method 1Using Hot Water and Soap

soapy sponge - soap and water
  • The first step is soaking the glass object and the sticker in the hot soapy water for about 10-30 minutes. During this time, the sticker had already softened, hence making it easier for you to remove the sticker with your fingers.
  • Soaking the glass object and sticker in hot soapy water helps in dissolving the glue and breaking its connection with the glass. If you are unable to dip glass objects in the hot water, you can try reducing the sticker area by soaking the hot wet washcloth.
  • After soaking in the hot water for a good 30 minutes, the sticker can be easily removed with the help of your fingers.  If you are unable to do so, you may use a knife. However, make sure, the knife is not sharp because it will run the risk of scratching the surface.  Consequently, clean the glass properly with the help of microfiber cloth, as they are as gentle on the glass. 

Method 2Using Washing Soda 

Baking soda, water and a toothbrus
  • For this method, you will require a bucket filled with hot water and washing soda. The combination of baking soda and hot water will act as a dissolving agent. It will break the bond of the glue from the glass surface, hence making it come out easily.
  • For safety reasons, you can put on gloves while handling washing soda because some people develop skin allergies and irritation while working with it.  You need to dip the object for a good 30 minutes or maybe even longer than that if you have stubborn stickers.
  • Washing soda is a stronger alkaline compared to baking soda. After soaking the object in the water for some time, take it out. You will be surprised to see stickers much easily sliding off the glass surface.

Method 3 Using Heat

heat gun

 Heat up the glass surface for 2 to 3 minutes with the help of a blow dryer. The other way is, placing your object in the sunlight for several hours. Moreover, if you have a sticker on your car, you can park it in a sunny place for some time and then try to peel off the sticker. It will come out much easier.

  1. The sticker can be easily peeled off with the help of your fingers. However, you must be careful, as the surface of the object will be hot. You can also use a knife (which is not sharp) to peel the sticker gently.
  1. You may also use oil, soap, or other glue removing agents if you find part of the sticker is remaining. Apply the desired removing agent and let it sit there for some time before you remove the residue off with soapy water.
  2.  You may require repeating the process several times until the whole glue residue has successfully come off. 

Which method is most recommended and why?

sticker on car window

If you’re looking for the simplest way that won’t even require any special material, you’re suggested to remove the stickers and labels with the help of hot water and soap. Soap and hot water are one of the most effective tools for breaking down the bond of the sticker’s adhesive material. You don’t have to buy any expensive products to get rid of these labels. With the help of this method, you will be able to see your glass full of attractiveness and elegance. Don’t worry! The grace and sophistication of your glass will still be the same. 

Wrapping Up:

Don’t let the labels destroy your windows. Sticker removal procedure isn’t as simple as it looks. If you go through the previous information, you will be able to do it by yourself. You can save your hard-earned money and quality time by applying these easy steps. By adopting a relevant method for removing the labels, you will be able to preserve your expensive items from scratches in the most reliable manner. 

This is a collaborative post 

Decorating Update

Poor Ant has been left to finish the decorating on his own after I ended up in pain for a week with my hernia, after stretching to paint the walls on the first day we started decorating.
We finished the hall downstairs and my Treasure Hunt Bookcase wall canvas is looking lovely 🙂

treasure hunt bookcase from photowall
Treasure Hunt Bookcase from Photowall

He’s painted the stair steps black and the bookshelves white and fixed the floorboards on the landing upstairs. He’s ow painting the woodwork upstairs and will then move on to painting the rest of the walls.
The final job will be painting the floorboards on the landing.

The stair risers are still to do and I should be ok helping with that job because it doesn’t require any stretching at all! We’re going to paint the front of the risers white before painting each one a different colour ready for the book titles I’ve cut out of vinyl using my Cricut Maker.

Hopefully, we’ll get it finished this week and I can come back next week with the ‘After’ photos 🙂

Schwartz Chilli Con Carne Pasta Bake – Slimming World Recipe

Ant usually cooks all our meals from scratch but this week we’ve been busy decorating and the house has been turned upside down. Everything seems to have been dumped in the kitchen which means space and time have been limited.
We always have syn free Chilli Con Carne with rice but after trying a Chilli Con Carne pasta bake at a recent Slimming World taster, I told Ant we had to make it at home!

Schwartz Chilli Con Carne Pasta Bake Recipe

Schwartz chilli con carne recipe mix

With limited time, we decided to use a Schwartz Hot Chilli Con Carne recipe mix. It’s not syn free but the whole packet is only 5.5 syns and is shared between 4 of us so I just counted it as 2 syns per portion.
We’ve been trying to cut down the amount of red meat we eat so we substituted it with Tesco meat-free mince. Also, I’m not a fan of kidney beans so we added a tin of baked beans instead!
It was delicious topped with one of my healthy extra portions of cheddar cheese.

Ingredients for Schwartz hot chilli con carne pasta bake

Serves 4
2 syns per serving

Ingredients

  • Schwartz Hot Chilli Con Carne Recipe Mix
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 2 onions diced
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 tin baked beans
  • 500g meat-free mince
  • 340g dried fusilli pasta
  • 120g grated cheddar
  • Fry Light

Method

  1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions. When cooked, leave in the water and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, spray a deep frying pan with Fry-Light and fry the peppers and onions until softened.
  3. Add the meat-free mince and fry until cooked.
  4. Sprinkle over the Schwartz Hot Chilli Con Carne recipe mix and stir.
  5. Add the tinned beans and tinned tomatoes and stir well. Bring to boil then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
  6. Heat the oven 200°C/Gas 6
  7. When the sauce is ready, drain the pasta and place in a large oven-proof bowl. Add the sauce and mix well.
  8. Sprinkle with the cheese and put in the oven until the cheese is melted.
Schwartz Hot Chilli Con Carne pasta bake

I don’t think I ever want to go back to having rice with my Chilli Con Carne, I much prefer pasta!

Thanks to Schwartz and Tesco for proving the recipe mix for us to try.

Weekly Update – Slimming World Results – Week 8

After my 3lb gain last week I said I wasn’t going to let it get to me. I did fine Wednesday and Thursday but Friday, not so good.

I had a small chocolate egg that was 1.5 syns and that started me off on a secret chocolate and rubbish food secret binge.

I managed to have a good day on Monday but Tuesday I fell off the wagon again.

Weigh-In Results

Date 19th February
Weight – 27 st 7 lb
Result – lost 1 lb
Total Weight Loss – 3 st 8 lb

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Slimming World

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Photowall Picture Canvas Review & Discount Code

When Photowall got in touch and asked if I’d like to review one of their products, I got all excited thinking about having a wall mural, but then I realised that we didn’t have any walls suitable for a mural because just about every wall in our house has either bookshelves on it or bookcases against it!

I decided that instead of a wall mural, I’d check out the canvas prints and went straight to the fantasy section – I LOVE fairies!
I was totally spoilt for choice but as soon as I saw the Treasure Hunt Bookcase canvas I fell in love with it.

photowall canvas Treasure Hunt Bookcase

DIY Canvas

After checking the size of canvas I’d need for the wall I had in mind, I made the order and waited for it to arrive.
With it coming from Sweden, I thought it would take a while to get here but it arrived really quickly.

I hadn’t read all the information on the website (I’m always doing that!) so I didn’t realise it wasn’t going to be framed when it arrived.

photowall unmounted canvas

It wasn’t a problem, though, as it came with instructions, everything was good quality and it was easy to put together, according to the husband! (I’m sure if I had to do it on my own I could have!)

The only problem I had now was the state of the walls in the hall. They were in desperate need of repainting and we’d been putting it off for months because it was such a big job!

Let The Decorating Commence!

Seeing my new canvas in all its glory made me eager to get it on the wall so we went shopping and bought emulsion and gloss and set to work.

The reason it’s such a big job is that there’s a bookcase at the bottom of the stairs, 4 long bookshelves on the wall in the middle of the stairs (we have stairs that have a mini landing then more stairs) and more bookcases on the landing at the top of the stairs.
There are also lots of pictures on the walls.

We expected it to take 2-3 days like it usually does when we decorate but here we are, nearly a week later and Ant has ended up doing the majority of the decorating on his own because I pulled my hernia the day we started and haven’t been able to do anything since.

My Treasure Hunt Bookcase Canvas Cheered Me Up!

I’ve been pretty down all week due to the pain and also the frustration of not being able to help Ant.
He finished the hall yesterday apart from repainting the bookcase and last night he hung the canvas.
Every time I walk through to the kitchen or bathroom I see it hanging there and it makes me smile 🙂

There’s so much detail. Every time I look at it I notice something new.

a girl holding a lantern and looking for a book on the treasure hunt bookcase canvas
white dragon a knight on the treasure hunt bookcase canvas
white horse on the treasure hunt bookcase canvas

More Decorating On The Way

A few years ago we decorated the stairs. I loved it when it was first done but now it’s starting to look a little grubby so we decided that we’d redo them while we were decorating.
Because of all the books and my lovely new treasure hunt bookcase canvas, we thought it would be a good idea to keep the book theme so we’re going to paint the stair steps black and the risers are going to be book spines, something like these on Pinterest.

We’ve each chosen our favourite books and I’m going to use the Cricut to cut the book titles out of vinyl.
I can’t wait!

I’ll be back with pictures when the rest of the decorating is done 🙂

Photowall treasure hunt bookcase wall canvas

The lovely people at Photowall have given me a discount code to share with you 🙂

Use code: shelllouise2021 for a 25% discount. The code is valid for 1 month from today.

Please note: I received the wall canvas from Photowall in return for this review, however, all opinions are my own.

Weekly Update – Slimming World Results – Week 7

Well, despite being on plan all week again, I had a feeling this morning that I was going to be disappointed today.

I wasn’t wrong.
I have no idea why I gained but I’m not letting it get to me. I have to lose this weight because the hernia pain is happening more often. I’ve been in pain since Monday and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

I’ve brought home an S.A.S. log (slimmers against sabotage) as they always help when I think I’ve had a good week but the scales don’t agree!

Slimming World SAS log

Weigh-In Results

Date 12 February 2020
Weight – 27 st 8 lb
Result – gained 3 lb
Total Weight Loss – 49 lb

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Slimming World

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How to Declutter Your Wardrobe This New Year

declutter your wardrobe
Image by TEENA COBB from Pixabay

As a new year approaches, people will usually find their wardrobes full of clothes. Some of these garments are their favourites. Others are hardly worn items that they may need to dispose of because these take up too much space in our closets.

Letting go of the clothes that you have owned for years can be difficult. However, you must throw away items you no longer use if you want to have enough space or, better yet, to have a more organized wardrobe.

Do you want to organize your closet, but you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. These six useful tips should help you declutter your wardrobe.

Tip 1: Sort Out All the Stuff in Your Wardrobe

Before deciding on throwing anything away, take everything out of your wardrobe. After that, start organizing clothes according to their types: pants, tops, dresses, and etc. Similar items are easier to compare when they’re grouped together.

When segregating clothes, keep only the items you love and frequently use. People usually don’t wear at least half of the clothes in their wardrobe, so don’t feel bad if you dispose of many clothes. After all, what good will an item bring you if it won’t be used for years to come?

Tip 2: Try to Wear the Clothes in Your “Maybe” Pile

Sometimes, you don’t know if you truly want to keep an item or throw it away. The best way to resolve this problem is to try out the clothing you’re unsure of. Check yourself in front of a mirror, and determine how the item makes you look and feel.

If an item looks nice and is comfortable to wear, keep it. On the other hand, unflattering clothes must be taken out of the closet and be disposed of properly.

Tip 3: Follow the Six-Month-Clutter Rule

Many have a lot of second thoughts when it comes to getting rid of clothes. People tend to keep everything in their closet because they think that these may come in handy someday. However, the truth is that they’ll probably never wear those clothes again.

Unless the items are seasonal and very important, follow the six-month-clutter rule. Make a commitment to discard clothes you haven’t worn in the past six months. This way, you can easily have more space for new clothes.

online shop
Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay

Tip 4: Sell Your Preloved Clothes Online

Many people want to sell their hardly worn clothes but don’t have enough time to put up a garage sale. To solve this problem, set up an online shop to sell all your preloved items.

Online selling is very convenient and highly lucrative. When you sell your preloved clothes, you’re also earning back a portion of your past shopping expenses.

Tip 5: Host a Clothing Swap

A clothing swap is a fun and creative way to replace some of the gently used clothes at home. It involves meeting up with friends and swapping preloved clothes for the secondhand items they’d love to take home.

Organizing a clothing swap is easy. You just have to contact your friends and ask them to bring some preloved items they’re willing to exchange for another. If there are clothes left unclaimed, you can give them away to people who are in need of basic clothing.

Tip 6: Donate to a Local Charity

Donating preloved clothes to local charities is probably one of the most rewarding ways to declutter your wardrobe. Selecting the best local charity to donate to can be a little challenging since many organizations accept wardrobe donations.

When the time comes to make a decision, pick the one you feel strongly about. You must also ensure that the type of clothing you’ll be donating fits the charity you’ve chosen. Don’t give away impractical items like costumes and gowns if your chosen charity is looking for basic clothes.

This is a collaborative post

Curried Veggie Burger and Chips Slimming World Recipe

We decided to have our curried veggie burger without the burger bun and served it with Slimming World chips and a side salad.
Not everyone enjoyed it (KayCee and Ella!) but that was ok because it meant there was some leftover for my lunch the next day!

This recipe is great for vegans. You can learn more about the benefits of not eating meat in essays on vegan diet. I hope that over time, more people will begin to devote time to a healthy diet. This will prevent many diseases.

Curried Veggie Burger with Chips

Serves 4
1.5 syns per serving

curried veggie burger and chips Slimming World vegetarian recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ red pepper
  • 1-2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 2 x 400g can of butter beans, drained
  • 110g sweetcorn kernels, drained
  • 60g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium egg, beaten (or vegan egg substitute)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 900g Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes
  • Frylight
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C Fan/Gas Mark 9.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion.
  3. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot
  4. Deseed and finely chop the pepper
  5. Place onion, carrot and peppers in a pan with the curry powder and 150ml water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well.
  6. Mash the beans with a fork or blend in a food processor until smooth.
  7. Stir in the sweetcorn, vegetables, breadcrumbs, egg and seasoning. Shape into 8 burgers, cover and chill until required.
  8. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1cm thick chips.
  9. Place in a pan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and set aside for 10 minutes to dry.
  10. Return the chips to the pan, cover and shake to ”rough up” the edges – this helps make them crisp.
  11. Spray a baking tray with Frylight, add the chips, spray again and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden.
  12. Arrange the burgers on a foil-lined grill rack, spray with low-calorie cooking spray and place under a medium/hot grill for approximately 5 minutes on each side until golden.
  13. Share the chips and burgers between 4 plates. Sprinkle with coriander to serve.

For more recipes, click here

Recipe from Slimming World

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