Sunday 28 March 2010

1 Lone Purple Carrot

I've had a cold since about Wednesday... I'm sure you've seen the Tweets. So, I've been down and out for a few days. I don't know why - but for some reason these Scottish Colds have hit me harder than usual. Before about October - I hadn't had a real cold per se for about a year and a half I think. Since about that time, I've had about 12 I think... I was fine for the last month or so - until Wednesday. :-( However, I'm feeling mostly better now. I forced myself out of the house yesterday morning because we had our Primary Easter Party - which went very well - and with a fair amount of cold medication in me - was enjoyable overall. The kids had fun, and so did I. I admit though, it was quite stressful planning/organizing and anticipating it. It was all worth it in the end - I think everyone had a lot of fun. :-)

That's right - you do see glasses on those chicks... the other ones had head scarves. Oh Lidl - how we love you.

Then, after that, Steve and MBCB convinced me to go and see their new allotment - which I will be helping them with while they are gone for most of the summer...

... now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking - remember what happened last year Becky? The mass garden murder of 2009? Well - this will be quite a bit easier for me to care for - as it's in the same city see? It will only cost me £2.40 round trip on the local bus - and take me 10 minutes of travel time. Also, I'm not going to be spending money on Heritage Variety Seeds, etc... ALTHOUGH, I discovered yesterday amongst the carrots that Steve pulled out of Sue Anne's patch - 1 lone purple carrot. That's right - 1 purple carrot survived...

However, it was in rough shape, and therefore I'm not going to eat it. Also - apparently these purple carrots are orange inside. What's the purpose of having a purple carrot if it's still the same boring orange inside? *snore* Well, I have learned my lesson though - start with the hardy, tried and true varieties. Anyway - this is Steve and MBCB's allotment - so I'll just be maintaining and harvesting whatever they want to plant. It is a lovely little spot though...

It comes with trees (we think Pear, Apple and Cherry), Strawberries, Raspberries, and any number of other lovely things. Also - there's sheds, a patio, and room for Greenhouses. PLENTY of room. Makes me want to have one of my own... sigh. Apparently it's dirt cheap too - £21 a year!!! for land! Quite a large chunk of land! The trouble is getting one. However, it's doable - you just have to put yourself on a list, and be patient. There's some right close to me here... maybe I'll see about getting myself on a list. In the meantime, I'll help my friends with theirs.

So - yeah - I know how most of my summer week-ends will be spent... at the allotment of course.

Back to work tomorrow. Busy times ahead. :-/ I hate being sick... the reason I hate being sick (besides just general sickness) is because there's always so much work to do when I go back to work. I REALLY hope that's the last cold for a while. The next time some random sickie walks past my desk - I'm going to pull out a face mask and tell them to go away - FAR away. People are so very generous with their germs. I do resent that a little.

Tuesday 23 March 2010

My Response to Ah In...

This is in answer to George Stroumboulopoulos's campaign to answer Canadian children's pressing questions.

Well Ah...

People all over the world believe differently about what happens after we die... some people believe that we go to Heaven, some people believe that there's a Hell - where "bad" people go to. Other people believe that we are re-incarnated... which means basically that our essence or what makes us who we are as individuals gets recycled into another living thing after we die. So, in this philosophy we could come back as a tree, or a bird, or another person, or anything really. Some people believe that nothing at all happens to us after we die. They think that death is the end of our entire existence.

I personally believe that after we die, our spirit separates from our body, and as a spirit, we will face our maker, sit down and have a chat with him, and then he will mercifully give us the blessings which we worked towards in this life - whichever blessings those may be... (It's a bit more detailed than that when you have a big conversation about it, but to simplify it - that's what I believe)

However young Ah In - It's up to each person individually to find their own belief about what they think happens after we die. The best way to go about this is to study all of the different sets of beliefs out there about life after death. The internet may be a good place to start. Then, you can ponder all of the things you've studied, and think about what you think might be right. Then finally - you can pray and ask God which of these sets of beliefs are true. This is a pattern that has helped me to find out what is true, and I think it can help you. Whatever set of beliefs you follow now, start with that, and build on it by seeking more knowledge and light.

I hope that helps you.

Becky (A Canadian in Scotland)

Sunday 21 March 2010

It's Too Tasty To Be Called A Slimming Diet...

Ok, so this diet.... is AMAZING!!!!! Not only am I losing weight and noticing a difference in girth, but I feel great!!! My energy levels are back up, AND I'm never that hungry at all. Plus, the food is tasty... AND!!!!!! I think it's actually saving me money. I make everything from scratch - but it's simple things. Simple, easy things made from - you know - food. I find, that I'm actually enjoying meal planning, and grocery shopping. It also seems that my grocery bags are lighter, because I'm buying quality, not quantity.

Some examples of things I've eaten this week (MUFAs in bold)...

PB&B - 1 whole wheat English muffin, toasted, spread with 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter and topped with 1 small sliced banana.

Raisin Toast - 2 slices raisin bread, toasted, spread with 2 wedges of light laughing cow cheese spread, and topped with 2 Tbsp Sunflower seeds (the book says walnuts, but I don't like walnuts); supplemented with 1 apple.

California Chicken Burger - 1 grilled medium chicken breast, skinless on 1 small seeded wholemeal bap, dressed with 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 3 large lettuce leaves, 1 oz roasted red peppers and 2 oz of sliced Hass Avocado.

Dijon Turkey Wrap - 1 large seeded tortilla wrap, warmed spread with 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, sprinkled with 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, and filled with 50 g cooked wafer-thin turkey breast, 1/4 sliced red onion, 1/2 fresh plum tomato, sliced, and 3 large lettuce leaves.

Tuna Pitta - 1/2 a wholemeal pitta filled with 3 1/2 oz water-packed tuna, 2 diced sun-dried tomatoes jarred in extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp chopped sunflower seeds (again, I replaced walnuts), and 1 oz crumbled feta cheese.

Waldorf Pitta - 1 wholemeal pitta spread with 2 wedges of light laughing cow cheese spread and filled with 2 sticks chopped celery, 1 medium apple, sliced, 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds (ditto with walnuts), and 3 large lettuce leaves.

Slaw Dog - 1 small hot dog browned in frying pan in 1 Tbsp peanut oil, on 1 hot dog bun dressed with 1 Tbsp mustard and 1 heaped Tbsp reduced-calorie coleslaw.

Turkey Quesadilla - Spread 1 wedge light laughing cow cheese spread on 1 large seeded tortilla wrap. On half of wrap, place 50 grams cooked turkey breast slices, 1 small handful baby spinach leaves, 30 grams crumbled feta, and 10 sliced large black olives. Fold over and heat in toaster oven or a non-stick pan over medium heat.

Chocolate-Raspberry Oatmeal - 1 packet original Oats-So-Simple, cooked with 6 fl oz semi-skimmed milk topped with 3 Tbsp raspberries and 1 1/2 oz dark chocolate chips.
(I really should have taken a picture of this for you, as it was ABSOLUTELY delicious - and beautiful too - sorry for the google pics - I've been slack on my food photography as late)

Pineapple 'Sundae' - 130 grams pineapple, tinned in pineapple juice, mixed into cottage cheese, low-fat 200 grams sprinkled with 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds. (again, replaced walnuts)

So - as you can see - each meal is fairly well balanced, but the thing that makes a difference in this diet (the scientific thing) is the MUFA rich ingredients (mono-unsaturated fatty acid) Apparently - they're the thing that are targeting my belly fat. Hey man, if it means losing my belly fat, I'll eat more chocolate - that is NOT a problem. (dark chocolate being one of the MUFAs) I feel like I'm not at all missing out on anything. Honestly, I've never been this excited about a diet in my life. I could just eat like this the rest of my life and be happy - even if I never did lose a single pound. I'm down-right impressed with the creativity in the menu.

This week, I get to try this...

Banana Split Oatmeal - 1 packet Oats So Simple original variety made up with 6 fl oz semi-skimmed milk mixed with 3 Tbsp microwaved frozen berries and topped with 1/2 small sliced banana, 1/2 oz dark chocolate chips, and 2 Tbsp peanuts.

Honestly, how much better could it get?

I've also broken down, and decided to weigh myself. I won't be weighing myself often though... maybe once every couple of weeks or so. I weiged myself at the end of the 4 day jump start - and I was at about 207, whereas today I weighed myself, and was at 205.8. Not bad really - for not doing much exercise this week, and just changing my diet - with very little inconvenience at all. I shall make a chart on the side of my blog - listing my current weight and dates weighed so that you can follow along.

You may notice also - that I have changed the layout of my blog. You would not believe how many different templates I went through before finally deciding on this one. It's simple, it's green-ish (my favourite colour), and it says "Becky" to me. It was ridiculous really - I couldn't settle on one. I'd pick one, it would be there a day or two, and then I'd say - nah - I'm looking for something else. So, I'm not going to change this one, even if I do have that thought again... I'll leave it on - at least a few months.

I have also started tweeting. I don't know - thought I'd give it a go. I can send a text on my mobile phone, and it updates my twitter, facebook, and also the wee blurb on the side which you can see says "I Tweet Now". It seems almost like it should simplify my life, but I'm sure it will just complicate it further... :-)

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Sunday 14 March 2010

Caffeine Withdrawal & Diets

For some reason or other - I have been leaving my blogging to the last minute on Sunday nights lately. My apologies for that. I'm about to go to bed, but I will tell you what I've been up to for the last week or so...

So I started my new diet - "The Flat Belly Diet" this week. The diet begins with a 4 day jump start that includes a well balanced, 1200 calorie a day plan... this part I could live with. The part I had trouble with - it seems was the cold turkey restraint from carbonated drinks - which lead me to quite possibly, the worst caffeine withdrawal I have ever suffered. May I advise those of you who are thinking of starting this diet... please give up caffeine before hand - and gradually. Otherwise - you shall hurt - much. There will be much pain. There was much pain, and nausea. Honestly, I felt like a heroin addict trying to go clean... I'm over it now mind you. I feel like a million pounds (that's £££, not lbs). The jump start did the trick. I start the main diet tomorrow. I'm treating it a bit like a science experiment. I want to see if it really will do what it promises to do.... which is - to target belly fat over all other fat in the body. We shall see whether or not these MUFAS will do what they promise to...

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday 7 March 2010

What I Did This Week-end

I've left it a bit late in the evening to be blogging, but here goes...

I went to the Preston, England Temple this week-end. (it's actually in Chorley though - not Preston) In our faith - the Temple is the equivalent of God's literal house on earth. It's a sacred place, and one can only enter the temple doors if they are worthy to do so. It's a place where we learn more about Christ and his plan for us. We grow closer to him through the sacred ordinances performed there. For me - it has been about 18 months since I last went to the temple. That was back home in Alberta... Cardston to be exact.

When I walked into the temple doors, it was like I had returned home. It's always nice for me - to step outside of the world and enter the house of the Lord and feel a sort of peace that only comes in that place. So... for me - it was very refreshing. The week-end has left me feeling like a new person somewhat. I won't wait for 18 months to go back again. I'm hoping to go next month. :-) I also had a nice experience in that I finally go to meet a friend of mine - who has been an internet-based online friend for something like 3 years. So - there I was in the temple, getting ready to do my session... I turned around, and there he was. He's an engineer at the temple. Imagine getting to be in the temple every day, and also get paid! That's a great job - if you ask me. It was nice to finally meet him in person and catch up. :-)

If anyone wants to learn more about temples, you can find information about them here... (link)

Also, here's a video about temples...

Have a great week everyone. :-) Next week-end I'm hoping to get my long lie-in. I've been away for 2 week-ends in a row now. But both week-ends have been worth it.

Monday 1 March 2010

Gangsters, Singles, and Ice Hockey

So - this week-end a couple of Dundonian lads and I decided to hit the road and head to Nottingham for an LDS mid-singles dance entitled "Valentine's Massacre" - a Gangsta Valentine's Dance. I'll tell you what drew me in - it was the "Valentine's Massacre" title; because really - that's something a girl can relate to. Haha. Anywho - 7 hours later - we arrived (shattered) but had THE TIME OF OUR LIVES. We came across some fantastic people. I met some men. (a few actually), saw an old friend, had a great time. It was gangster themed - as in dress up as a gangster from the 20's and 30's. I didn't really dress up - but check out how THIS mad mob dressed...

(stolen from facebook) These were the two lads I went down with and some of the fun folks we met down there. p.s. - the cigarette is fake - Julian has NOT taken up smoking

Anyway - fun times. We stayed the night - I stayed at Virginia's BIG house - which was also a fun time. The next day we went to church and then the steak house, (had to eat) had a laugh with some friends, and headed home. 7 hours later, I was yet again shattered - got home, checked my facebook, posted the following status, and then the following thing happened. I will copy and paste it here - so that you can get the full effect...

Becky - just got home from spending a fantastic week-end in Nottingham. It was a great time. Thanks friends - for making it fun. :-) Totally shattered just now, and therefore going to sleep.
Yesterday at 21:56

Karlo - Sleep?...How can you sleep at a time like this??...:)
Yesterday at 22:01 ·

Becky - I KNOW, I KNOW!!!! It's totally unpatriotic of me, and as you know - I've been obsessively following the results. Alright, alright - what period is it? I MIGHT be able to hold out a bit longer...
Yesterday at 22:03 ·

Karlo - lol...Canada up 2-1....Under 15 min. of the 3rd left...:)
Yesterday at 22:05 ·

Becky - alright!!!!! Eeeeeh. You'll have to keep me posted then. I have no tv. Sigh...
Yesterday at 22:06 ·

Karlo - OK....I will look away from the tv once in a 11 min. left....:)
Yesterday at 22:09 ·

Becky - ok Karlo... what's happening now? Have we won yet???????????????
Yesterday at 22:20 ·

Karlo - 5 min. to go.....You should try to watch it online, just go to
Yesterday at 22:20 ·

Karlo - 2:09 left...:)
Yesterday at 22:23 ·

Karlo - 1:17....The US net is empty...:)
Yesterday at 22:25 ·

Becky - ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!!!!!!!!!!! It won't let me. I would have LOVED to see it live. However, I don't have this silverlight nonsense, and I use Ubuntu anyway - so I never know what to download. Plus - there's no time to download. I'll just wait for your update.
Yesterday at 22:26 ·

Becky - Empty net?!?! We're in.
Yesterday at 22:26 ·

Karlo - About 55 seconds left....US empty net...Canada takes a time out
Yesterday at 22:27 ·

Becky - oh the intensity!!!!!! I'm totally re-watching the end of the game on the BBC iplayer tomorrow...
Yesterday at 22:28 ·

Karlo - Crap....The US scored
Yesterday at 22:28 ·

Becky - NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yesterday at 22:29 ·

Karlo - US tied it with 24 seconds left....Going to overtime
Yesterday at 22:30 ·

Becky - OH MAN!!!! Well, at least I'm now awake....
Yesterday at 22:31 ·

Karlo - Now we have to wait and it's anybody's game now.....crazy
Yesterday at 22:33 ·

Yesterday at 22:34 ·

Deborah (my sister) - Crap. What a disappointment - 20 seconds left and they score!
Yesterday at 22:42 ·

Becky - I'm calling you now - you can put the phone to the tv...
Yesterday at 22:47 ·

Becky - Did you change mobile phone numbers? How come you're not answering the landline?
Yesterday at 22:49 ·

Jesse (my nephew) - yes!!!! we just won WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH
Yesterday at 22:54 ·

Jesse (my nephew) - crosby from iginla
Yesterday at 22:54 ·

Becky - Thanks for the details Jesse Bear.
Yesterday at 22:55 ·

Becky - I was listening on Grandma's TV via phone. Haha...
Yesterday at 22:56 ·

Jesse (my nephew) - rofl
Yesterday at 22:56 ·

So - that in a nutshell is how I followed the ending of the GREATEST game of Hockey played in history. I'm only kidding - there's been a lot of great games through the years. I'm guessing though - this one will be right up there on the list. The US did NOT let go of the gold lightly. Good for them for fighting all the way. That's great hockey right there. Sadly - they haven't posted the game on the BBC i-player. :-( I guess I'll have to wait until it comes on You-Tube. I'm guessing it will show up in a day or two - that goal - that MAGICAL goal. Crosby is now a legend. Canada has won 14 Gold medals in these games. That's a record. Not bad at all for a country where we have NEVER BEFORE won a gold medal on home turf. We went in wanting to win - and we won. I think it's about time Canadians started abandoning politeness in sports and cheered on their athletes in reckless abandon - like other countries who will remain nameless. *cough - USA* They certainly showed their disgust for our overt patriotism via their commentators (from what I hear) - I say - it's about time they saw what it was like for the rest of the world - every time they show a disgusting display of patriotism. Get over it. Eat Silver - haha... Right - that's all I'm going to say about that. I have good friends who are Americans, and I admit that there are idiots in all countries of the world - and that we shouldn't judge all people from a certain country by a few people - simply because the few happen to be the loudest, most obnoxious people in the world. I know some great people who are Americans.

Anyway - the Olympics are over - and I can now get back on with my life. No more obsessive score checking. What a great week-end overall. What an amazing way to top it off though - with a Gold Medal in what we as Canadians call "Our Game". It really is our game. We invented it, we love it the most, and we make it a part of who we are. It's part of our national identity.

I could almost kiss Don Cherry right now. :-)

*amendment* - The BBC i-player DID show me highlights. It's at the beginning of the Closing Ceremonies. So - FANTASTIC - to see the winning goal and to see them all receive their medals. To hear the anthem was SO sweet.