The Longest Shower of My Life & Other Stories

**Original post was written 8/12/18**


Right week one is done, time to go through the check list.


Practising Gratitude


I’ve completed the weekly questions and the weekly challenge which was to write an email to the future that you will receive around the time that you complete the 6-Minute Diary (it suggested around 6 months). You are to describe where you see yourself and your life a that point in time. I thought that was a pretty cool idea and like I said to my sisters, probably the closest we will ever come to receiving a letter from Doc Brown! I used futureme.org for this. 


Some of the things I have been grateful for this week have included stroller mitts (thanks Eilidh!!), caffeine, cosy slippers, car windscreen wash and Ross being off and taking Hamish in to nursery. Some of the great things I’ve experienced are Ruby’s laughter, the welcome I get from Hamish when I collect him from nursery (almost golden retriever level), Method Wild Rhubarb kitchen cleaner (honestly can’t get enough of that stuff) and Three Billboards which is finally on Now TV. Really enjoying this diary, it’s definitely making me more aware of trying to do good deeds just so I have something to write, eventually it will come naturally right??


#TOMM

As I sit here at my beautifully clear kitchen table (which as Kathryn pointed out only happens at Christmas – bear in mind we haven’t hosted for three years…possibly more) I’m quite happy with the state of the house. That is mostly down to Ross being off on Friday and entertaining Ruby between feeds so I could crack on. I have managed about 15-20 minutes housework in random order throughout the week but not according to the schedule. There’s always next week and at least I’m starting off from a happy place but I’m determined the kitchen table stays clear! Fly tippers will be prosecuted.


Exercise

Monday was great! I did A Little Obsessed Total Body Core. Then regretted it for the rest of the week as my cold tripled in severity and Ruby kept up her gruelling night schedule. So there wasn’t any more this week and I’ve decided I’m just going to have to scrap it for the next week or so until this cold shifts. I would like to be able to taste Christmas dinner as well as stay awake for it. So no advent challenge group, I’ll catch the next one! Instead I’ll use my free hour to cook or wrap presents that have been stowed away or even – brace yourself – have an early night. Crap, I think I can hear Ruby stirring even as I think about it…


New Recipe Challenge

White velvet soup with smokey almonds





#notporridge


Texture wise it was lovely and thick but as a stand-alone soup it was a bit boring brains. In fact even with the addition of sweet smoked paprika and toasted almonds I was still ready to file it under ‘recipes I’ve tried so you don’t have to ‘. However, instead of scrapping it I figured I’d take it to my sister’s for lunch (that was my good deed for that day). She agreed it looked just like porridge but when we toasted more nuts and added hot smoked paprika instead of the sweet one it made a huge difference and I actually think I might consider making it again but purely as a nice bland carrier for some delicious toppings like crispy sage and salami, a good glug of truffle oil or maybe even chilli coated seeds and siracha would be good. A decent grating of parmesan wouldn’t go amiss either. 





Onto the spiced carrot and apple muffins. The first batch I followed the recipe completely but they tasted too strong of bicarbonate of soda and hardly any flavour from the spice. The second batch I only added ¾ tsp of bicarb, an extra ½ tsp of cinnamon as well as the mixed spice and an extra 10ml of honey as even though I know they’re supposed to be refined sugar free, I still think cake should be sweet otherwise what’s the point?! I used gluten free flour but added just a tiny amount of xanthan gum to help with the crumbliness.




Note to self: don’t photograph cakes in front of your  healthy cookbooks 


So second batch much better but I think I’ll happily move onto next week’s recipe choice – shredded beef chilli taco bowls from the October 2018 issue of BBC Good Food.


Book of the month – A Christmas Carol and other Christmas writings by Charles Dickens


I’ve been getting well stuck into my reading. I really thought I had no time left for reading and that it would be a luxury I’d struggle to squeeze in but it’s amazing (or perhaps appalling) how much time was freed up once I deleted a stupid puzzle game from my phone. While Ruby would feed, especially at her bedtime, I would just zone out and play this daft game. I justified it a little in that I never spent any money on it and as it was problem solving it technically counted as exercising my mind right? As soon as I deleted it and picked up my book instead, it was like my head sighed. No prolonged screen time and I get to escape in to stories the way I used to! The first story in the book is called ‘Christmas Festivities’ and contains this gem that I love and will try to keep with me:



Excerpt from Christmas Festivities by Charles Dickens


In other news this week, I went to my sister’s house so I could dye my hair as it’s really getting quite hideous. Terrible roots, new greys and the new growth from the post-partum moult is just a horrible frizzy mess that won’t hold my usual curls for more than five minutes. Wah.

Kathryn suggested I try ‘the curly girl method’ which she has adopted for her own hair and both my nieces (all three have corkscrew curls, I’m more wavy) with great results. I thought hey why not. First of all though, I had to dye my hair. Now, bearing in mind that I’m on matty pay and Christmas is coming, I thought I would save a couple of quid and just get Superdrug’s own cheapo dye instead of my normal £7 one. That was a mistake. I don’t think I’ve used dye so cheap since the days of ‘hint of a tint’ sachets from Kenny Froggans that I would hear advertised on LW Atlantic 252 (I still miss it). I swear if there had been any naked flames in the house the whole place may have gone up with the fumes! Luckily my hair was going to be in for a treat once I rinsed it out. 


She emphasised that the curly girl method is quite technique sensitive. I was already in a world of regret. To kick things off I used a silicone free conditioner instead of shampoo. Ok. Gotcha. Then I used a leave in conditioning mask as conditioner (I’ll state now that all products for curls had to be silicone, sulphate and probably rabies free). Then, I had to spray on a leave in conditioner. Still with me? After that I was to use ‘Only Curls’ hydrating curl crème (more conditioner) followed by their enhancing curl gel (which I assume also conditions). THEN I had to apply some VO5 mousse but only to the roots and finally finish it off with some kind of oil to lock in moisture (my hair was drowning by this point) and reduce frizz. Throw in the fact that I wasn’t allowed to rinse any of it out yet had to use water to scrunch the products into my hair AND had to use a detangling comb to brush the scrunched hair at various points I can conclude that it was the longest, most stressful shower of my life. I should have looked like flicking Merida from Brave but instead my hair still looked frizzy as an old tooth brush. I’ll try again another day when I haven’t just scorched it with cheap dye and maybe laminate the instructions and take them in with me.


I’m now extra exhausted reliving it. Anyone else go through this kind of crazy hair care schedule?? Hands up if you also miss LW Atlantic 252? There is a Spotify play list (not one of mine) dedicated to it, I’ve already checked and you’re welcome.


I’m counting sharing that as my good deed for today.


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