Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Verbose Chrissie

Well, I just did this little quizzy thing and behold forsooth tis me! LOL

Will write more later :)

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Kidnapped by Aliens...

...which is why I haven't posted for over a week. I am contacting the National Enquirer just as soon as I've finished blogging. Most annoying...I missed Desperate Housewives because of it, AND they didn't have any chocolate neither!

Or *much more boringly* I've had 'stuff' going on with me, AND the teensy matter of getting the Brecons 2 retreat classes live and booking (and sorting out a couple of Design Seminars as well). A bit of my very own retreat class here for y'all. I love those American Crafts papers and brads. The retreat starts in 19 days (for the Scrappers Unlimited team anyway...we're there the day before setting up) so it's all systems go go go from now on in *cue the William Tell Overture music...*
Julia and I are teaching the Shape Up for Design seminar at Crafty Pastimes in Gloucestershire tomorrow (that's NOT Gloh-sess-ter-shy-errrrr you American people reading this... it's Gloh-stuh-shuh - LOL!). At least...I HOPE we are. I had a phone call from Julia at 7.15 this morning from hospital (so why are those last two words just NOT GOOD at the end of a phrase?!) to say her son had been in overnight because he and the pavement had a meeting when he got knocked off his bike (playing - not by a car or anything). They think he's okay now though, so hopefully she'll be there. If not it's still going ahead (before anyone panics!), but will be Julia-less.
And breathe...
Just before I go shake Celyn conscious for school (praise be that she's NOT one of those kids that wakes up at 6 o'clock every morning!), I would like to say a big 'WOO HOO' for Hebe Ambler who is a British scrapbooker whose work I have admired for ages (and I have met once and she was a very nice girly). She found out yesterday that she has received an honourable mention in this year's Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame competition. Good for her!!!!! So cool. Well done Hebe!

Monday, March 12, 2007

More, More, More...

How d'ya like it, how d'ya like it? (showing my age now, quoting 70s song lyrics! LOL)

The classes are almost ready to go up for the Brecons 2 retreat in Crickhowell, but here's another sneakypeeky, this time of Amber's fabuloola class (which is going to be four hours long, oh yes indeedy). It's a book. It's in Blush. And it reminds me of a corseted bustier *insert gasps of longing and admiration*

Ooo, talking of Amber...she's been and gone and got herself a blog... What a Load of Old Scrap. No I'm not being rude. That's the name of it. And some mighty gorgeous piccies of the South Wales Crop on Saturday to boot. Gosh we're stunners.

Interesting week last week. All I can say is, life is very exciting sometimes.

Off to see the X-Factor concert in Cardiff tonight, and staying in a posh hotel afterwards, so I am currently sitting here, at 1.20 in the afternoon, with freshly dyed hair ("What?!!" they all gasp. "You mean that's NOT your natural colour?!" to which I swiftly reply "Oh yes my dears...I am a natural redhead (and can prove it *wink*)...or at least I was *pitiful sob* when I was *sob* younger *uncontrollable shoulder heaving wailing sobs, head down on the desk*). I was saying...freshly dyed hair, drying off from my shower (and thinking how much my shower needs a clean), with a towel pertily wrapped around my head. At 1.20 in the afternoon. Ha! What a slattern.

Monday, March 05, 2007

We Love Paul

Since January I've been determined to be healthy. Which (for me) means losing weight. As I'm someone who naturally has a curvy body shape and I also have developed some very bad eating habits, I've tried to diet many many times in my life. I haven't always been overweight...I weighed about 9 1/2 stone when I was living in France and Belgium in my 20s, and same again when I was living in America (despite the wonderful Mexican food and grasshopper milkshakes!). Since getting married though, I've piled on the weight...and it's reached crisis point now.

HOWEVER, whenever I've tried to diet, except for one time when I lost a load of weight in my late 20s, I have failed. I can't do it. I fail and then eat because I'm fed up I've failed... ya di ya di ya. I tried to diet with my colleague from Scrappers Unlimited last year and started out fine (I always do), but then crashed. She's gone on to lose 2 stone (and has maintained that, and intends to lose more), whereas I just put back on the little I'd lost. Hopeless.

I have said for years that for me dieting is psychological. I have used those actual words. Thin people NEVER get that. They just say stuff like, "Rubbish! I just eat less and exercise. Psychological - pah!". But most overweight people I know really understand the whole stuffing your face when you've had a crap day, working your way across the kitchen cupboards when you're feeling lonely, bored, annoyed, etc. Or eating socially...the need to have a meal or an icecream or a sweet because everyone else in the group is eating, etc. It's very very very hard to cope with.

And then right around the New Year when I said I would lose weight to help a friend who needs to lose weight for health reasons, I happened upon Paul McKenna's TV show which was a 4 week series that talked through his programme for losing weight. Of course it was ALL about psychology. I was fascinated by it. It really made complete sense to me. What I find amazing is that figures show that dieting groups have a 9% success rate of people who lose a significant weight and keep it off, whereas this programme has over a 70% (SEVENTY percent!) success rate. Basically (and this is basic) his rules for losing weight are (and I can never remember these in the order they are in the book, so forgive me if I do it wrong):

1. If you're hungry, eat! (But you have to be hungry. Not starving. Not a teeny bit peckish. Hungry)

3. Eat what you like. (This one's a bit mad. All 'diets' say eat low fat such-and-such, low carbs, low calories, etc. He says if you want sticky toffee pudding (and you're HUNGRY and you only have enough to satisfy you until you're full) then HAVE sticky toffee pudding!)

3. Eat consciously (eat slowly. Slow the speed of your eating down to about a quarter of the speed you eat now. Put your knife and fork down or the sandwich down between chews. Savour the tastes and flavours as you eat the food)

4. When you're full, stop! (Make sure you eat slowly so that your stomach gives your brain the message that you're full in time. If you stuff food in at lightening speed, you don't get the full message until you're stuffed. AND always leave a bit of your meal. Do that consciously at first... after a while you find yourself leaving some of your dinner or whatever anyway because you recognise that you're already full before you finish it).

Now there are other things to it as well. Tapping (I'm not explaining that here, but it does work!). Spinning (LOL!) and visualisation techniques to rewire your mind into achieving these eating patterns. And with the book there's a CD that is basically hypnosis (which is deep relaxation and NOT making you leap around the room with a turnip up your bottom to look silly by the way!) . The CD definitely makes a difference. I don't find the time to listen to it very often but when I do, I'm much better the next day. He also talks about exercise (it's very very funny when he talks about it on the TV show)...basically you just increase what you're doing now. Walk a bit further. Climb stairs. But that's a bit simplistic. It's better expained by him!

The thing I love about this programme is that I don't have to buy in extra foods for me. I don't have to go anywhere and get weighed (in fact, he encourages you not to weigh yourself hardly at all. You're supposed to go 3 weeks at a time before you weigh yourself, if you HAVE to). You just eat what you want. You just eat less of it.

It's. So. EASY.

And yet...

This morning I did weigh myself. And since 2 January I have now lost 1 stone and 3lbs. One more pound and I shall be seeing numbers on the scale I haven't seen for a long long time. So I really feel very psyched about all of this and had to BIG UP Mr McKenna. My scrapping friend Nat has been following this programme too and been seeing success as well.

And for anyone out there who's sceptical about his methods, as he said on one of his shows once, "You don't have to believe in me. You just have to do what I say." He's not a guru. This programme just WORKS.

Because dieting is psychological.

Go me!

We love Paul.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Another sneaky peek at one of the Brecons 2 retreat classes. This one is Julia's. Those who can't cope with crumpled torn paper need not apply :-)

In other news...

I've spent most of the day on the phone and computer sorting out the plethora of paper, cardstock and embellishments I need to order for the retreat, upcoming seminars, and a couple of crops. My head is spinning (and I still haven't finished).

Off to cook dinner now, get Celyn to bed, and sit and watch the Desperate Housewives that I missed last night because I flaked out before it came on. Should have watched it in the middle of the night....

Dydd Dewi Sant Hapus!

St David's Day is always so fun, seeing the children dressed in traditional costume. Awwwww!

Some pics of Celyn and her classmates this morning. Enjoy.

What do YOU do at 3.30 in the morning?

Because after 3 games of solitaire, and checking any updates on blogs and forums I read, I've decided that a more productive use of my time would be to actually create my own blog entry. And *why* am I blogging at stupido-o'clock? Because my incessant illness has now decided I have a blocked up nose, which thus far (although feeling like scrapings of plop some days and coughing for a gold medal) I had escaped.

Plus I needed to pee.

So...Oscars! Well, as I explained last year, we always have an annual Oscarfest at my house (or wherever) with Husband and five of our friends. This year was the first time EVER that we'd all been in the same room to watch them (Clare kept in contact by phone last year, and Shaun went to bed and woke up to his victory in the morning!). But not this By 8pm everybody was settling in for the evening in my living room (although Danny and Katie did go off for naps prior to the ceremonies. In separate beds. Of course.) Shaun drove from Reading that evening, and brought Bertie back (our little Oscar statuette) with an 'I *heart* Crash' piece of paper placed carefully on the front (he voted for Crash as best film last year as opposed to all of us that went for Brokeback Mountain, and he won because of it - LOL).

So I, in a spectacular fashion, was last right from the word go (if you're going to bomb, bomb with style...that's what I say!) and ended up being second to last, next to Katie-Jane. But our 2007 winner was Simon, with Shaun second and Clare pulling a great victory for the girls and coming third. Beating Rob. Hah!

Bertie and the £35 winnings were duly handed over with great aplomb, as you can see (Si on the left, Shaun on the right). Forgive the shockingly horrible photography but give me a was 5.30am and I'd been up all night.

Ah well...the glory shall be mine all mine next year. *snort*

So anyway...whose dresses were gorgeous this year? And whose stank? Us 3 girlies take great delight in wittering on about the apparel, much to the lads' amusement (they can't really see what the difference is between one dress and another). Well...our favourites of the evening were this gorgeous gorgeous dress worn by Cate Blanchett. This photo doesn't do it justice, as it was very shiny-shiny and sparkly, and had the most glorious red beading all around the bottom part of the skirt (which you can just about see). 10/10 for Ms. B we say.

We also liked our lovely Helen Mirren (winner of Best Actress Oscar, thank you very much!) who looked just lovely in this Lacroix dress. And we also thought Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet were looking good in their frocks too, which were respectively blue and mint green...a bit of colour! How exciting (in a sea of black and 'flesh' colour dresses). Couldn't find decent photos of either one though.

But whose dresses were pitiful (considering they have all the money in the world)? Bottom of our list this year were:

This dire 'thing' that Kirsten Dunst wore. Dreadful. And WHAT was with her hair? It looked she'd scragged it back herself. And (as Danny pointed out)...too thin girly girl. Speaking of which, check out the arms and shoulder blades of Portia de Rossi. Blimey, you could cut your chin open on that! Eeek. Now, Penelope Cruz's dress was completely gorgeous at the top...just lovely. And then you pan down and it looks like an ostrich exploded. Bleuch. And Jessica Biel's pink dress was horrid (hated the belt, and her boobs were flopping around under her armpits).

Says she. Ms Fashion herself. Bwaahaaa. Well, I've got a movie director coming round for a chat in't mornin' and then some dresses are being flown in from Milan for me choose. Dahling. I'm so cool.

If I can ever get back to sleep that is. A quarter to 5 now. I'm off to get horizontal in a dark room again.