Sunday, November 3, 2013

Losing weight, excerising and feeling great

Its amazing how one little stint in hospital can change your whole life.  I have changed my whole eating pattern and have rid myself of all those processed foods and junk.  It is amazing how much companies who sell the so call diet products really aren't that good for you at all and they are the reason you do not lose much weight.  At this time I have now managed to lose just over 6kg which is great.  I can't wait until I can fit into at least a size 14-16 dress.  That was the size I was when I met Bill all those years ago.  I know I have awhile until I reach that but I am determined to do it. 

In my kitchen I have a whiteboard where at the moment I have a quote that I love...............

I have the same determination that I had when I gave up smoking 5 years ago.  I feel the healthiest that I have felt for along time and I am so far off my target weight.  What are my secrets...............  There really isn't any secrets.  I walk.  Every morning I wake up at 4.45 am and have a cup of coffee then I head down to the beach at Redcliffe and walk.  I normally walk about 3-4 km in the morning before I go to work.  I am a morning person so early mornings don't bother me.   I'm not the only one and so many people are down there doing the same thing.  Even on the weekends I do the same.  I walk.  Some afternoons after work I head to Scarborough and walk before I need to pick up William.
My food choices have changed so much.  I eat loads of greens, and of course fruit.  Nuts, eggs, avocado, berries, fish, chicken, steak and so much more.
I don't eat chocolates and of course junk food but have also taken out bread, pasta, processed cereals, crackers and diet (low fat) so called foods,  Gluten free foods I really check the labels to see the fat and sugar content.  Fake butters and margarine and vegetable oil.  I have removed Soy, wheat and corn from my eating.   
I do have a few things I want to do............  I have decided to join the Dragon Boat Club here at Redcliffe.   I need to be a bit fitter to do this but know I can achieve this.    I will be buying myself a pushbike as well.  Last time I rode one I was 15. 
So for now my clothes are slowly becoming baggy which I am loving.  I can't weight until I reach that size 14 and know I will get there.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Courage Award goes to.............................................

Last Saturday was a very special day for our family.  This is the day that my eldest grandson Callum was being awarded for the "Children of Courage" Award through the Lions Club of Australia.   It truly was a great afternoon witnessing so many children receiving their awards and listening to their stories of the many obstacles they have had to overcome in their lives.  It made me really realise how lucky we are. Some of these  "Special children" have had to overcome major health issues that we would never want our children to have.  Some are confined to a wheelchair, ASD, and have various impairments but the one thing they all have in common is that they have shown great courage and bravery.  

You all may of read a previous blog I did on my other blog page about  State school issues with Callum and see the issues Callum was facing at school.  At the beginning it was so hard to see my grandson going through so much crap.   I hated to see my daughter having to deal with it but she did it.  Instead of sitting back and just being another family dealing with ASD in Queensland with little support from anyone my Grandson and mother fought back. 

I had tears in my eyes when Callum was called up to receive his award on Saturday.  This grandma was so proud.  You see Callum and I have this special bond and that will never ever change.  I truly adore all my grandchildren and treat them all the same.  I am blessed with 5 amazing grandbabies and can't wait to attend all their special moments in their lives.    

Thank you to the Lions club of Australia for this award.  This organisation does so many fantastic things for the community.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Lifestyle Change Begins......................................!

Well its only been a couple of days since I was given the news of change your lifestyle, eating habits, exercise regime and work on your stress levels or you will have a heart attack or stroke in the future.  I'm feeling quite good at the moment and have taken all the advice.  Funny how something can change your whole outlook on life.  There has been quite a few massive things that has happened in my life that has impacted me so much.  Meeting and marrying my man was a positive impact.  Birth of our children positive.  The loss of 2 sisters in 10 years was negative and at present I am not ready to be the 3rd sister.

I had a look at my eating habits of late which consisted of snack foods, food, wine, chocolate, pizza etc.  You get the idea.  So easy in the morning to throw in a couple of muesli bars a chocolate and a apple into my handbag to keep me going at work.  Very rarely would I actually have a lunch break away from the computer so was eating on the run.  Travelling through Brisbane in the car from one side of town to the other was probably the best lunch break I had.  The reason for the snack foods are easy to eat when you are driving.  Wasn't a breakfast person but occasionally may stop at the shop near work for a strong coffee to kick start the work morning with.  Funny by the time I got home and picked up William from his day service it was now close on 6pm.  I made sure most nights he had a cooked dinner which consisted of fish, salad and chips or spaghetti, or sausages.  Most nights I didn't eat as I didn't feel hungry.  Some nights I spend long hours creating candles, making soaps, wrapping soaps and filling and sending out orders for Green Me Up Granny.  Some nights I would have a glass or two of wine.  Friday nights were always Pizza Night.  William loves pizza night.  I would also stop at the bottle shop on the way home for a bottle or two of wine. 
Weekends consisted of catching up with family or setting up a market stall somewhere.  This also meant lots of fast foods or quick easy things to buy to eat.  Sausage Sizzles, Hamburgers etc.  You get the picture. 

As you can see my eating habits are were bad.  In a length of 5 days everything changed.

I really checked out websites, different diets, meal replacements, diet tablets etc to find out different ways to lose some weight.  The real issue I had with all of this was the four letter word DIET. 

I really don't like that word as I have tried so many DIETS over the years I don't want to set myself up to fail again.  All I need to do is to change my foods and exercise.  Walk. Walk, Walk.

Yesterday saw me purchase a Magic Bullet.

I love it.  My new toy that will play such a big part of my healthy lifestyle journey.  I have already started using it. 
My DH with my SIL also moved a massive Treadmill from my daughters place to here.  No easy feat as it was heavy as anything and of course didn't fit through any of the doors.  They had to pull it a part to get it inside.  It is all set up and yesterday I walked 1 km.  I know not much but it is to a person who is obese and doesn't exercise.  Slow steady steps. 
As you can see very little room to swing a cat around but the treadmill is in and I will continue the 1 km walk each day and slowly build up the speed and distance as the days progress.
My eating has changed.  I now have breakfast and its healthy. I have a healthy snack at morning tea..  Salad for lunch, piece of fruit or handful of almonds in the afternoon and a healthy dinner.  I also found this clear stuff in the tap here called water and starting to drink plenty of it.
I am not ready yet to advise the world of my current weight as I am embarrassed that I could let myself go so much.  I will put a couple of pictures up.  One of me when I met Bill all those years ago and one of me last week fishing.  You will then understand why I am not ready. 

I know I may not get back to the size I was when I was 17 but I am going to at least give it my best shot.  The weekend is fast approaching and I am sure being the first weekend it will be had but I know I can do it. 
Sue X

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Calm Blue Ocean

We spent just over a week at Woodgate last week in the only tourist park up there.  It was a glorious week of relaxation.  Fishing and just enjoying the scenery.  We did head into Childers for the morning and came across this amazing Pharmacy Museum in the main street.  If you are ever in Childers you need to check it out.  The couple who run it knows quite a bit of history.

We spent a couple of days fishing but didn't catch anything but it was so relaxing.  The beach was straight across the road from the park so we went for plenty of walks and loads of shells to collect.

If you are looking for a place to get away from everything this is certainly the place to do it. Only a couple of shops there so was great to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Health Scare

Well it has been a turmoil over the last couple of days.  After spending a glorious week at Woodgate in Queensland I had to return to work on Monday.  (Will do another blog on our holiday).  Monday morning got out of bed not feeling the best.  Very light headed but new as a Manager I had to go to work as a week off meant that I had a weeks worth of work that I needed to catch up on plus deal with the normal things that I have to do.  Arrived at work just before 7am as I knew today would be a long day and would not get home until at least 6pm tonight.  How wrong was I. 

After arriving and unlocking dealing with the first issue of the morning which was staff telephoning in sick.  Agency staff organised.  The list continues.  Pays need to be done.  Staff claiming for days they weren't at work being denied.  Phone calls from my manager.  More things to do.  Variances due.  Some staff having issues completing time sheets.  Following up things that happened over the week.  Sifting through nearly 100 emails.  Reports to complete.  Clients arriving wanting me for different reasons.  Blah!  Blah !Blah!  The list is endless and I have only been at work just over 90 minutes.  The next hour was a bit of a blur.

Tightness in chest, aching arm, sweating, cold, dead arm feeling and staff are now telephoning ambulance.  Taken off to Prince Charles Hospital.  I won't go into anymore but I am home now but a big wake up call.

Green Me Up Granny needs to take control of her life.  Make some lifestyle changes and better choices or next time it could be a lot serious.

Need to cut out a lot of the foods that I have been eating.  More home cooked low fat foods.  More vegetable etc.  Everyone knows the rest.  More exercise.  Found this one a challenge since work hours and running a home business is very time consuming but going to try.

Love you to follow my journey.  Not returning to work until at least next Monday on a directive from my Manager. This gives me time to start and change a few things.

Today Bill is heading to the daughters place to pick up a treadmill for me.  We did a swap.  Then I need to start looking at the foods etc to eat and remove those processed foods from the cupboard, fridge and freezer.

Todays the start of my new and improved life.  I know it is not going to be easy but I need to make sure that I am still around for my grandchildren's weddings etc.  Plus Bill and I have just celebrated 27 years of marriage.  I want to see out at least 2 more life sentences with him. lol

Sue X

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Where has the year gone?

My god where has the year gone.  I was only reading on a comment on Facebook the other day that apparently there is only 15 weeks until Christmas.  Quite scary isn't it.  I had to quickly stop into the supermarket here the other day and notice some of the Christmas food is starting to appear on their shelves again.  Well this year I haven't really started my Christmas shopping.  Only have one present and that is for my eldest grand daughter Rhiannon.  The twins celebrated their 8 birthday earlier in the month and their little brother Noah had his birthday in August.  Off we went to the pet shop here and Grandma bought them fish.  I think their mum is over cleaning the fish tanks by now.  Callum has 2 gold fish and Noah and Rhiannon each have fighting fish so in total 3 tanks to maintain. 

Well looking back over the year it certainly has been a eventful one. Transferring at work into a Management position earlier this year has certainly seen me busy.  Having to say goodbye to an old school friend 3 months ago as she lost her battle with cancer.  Its a funny old world the people who come and go in your life.  I met up with her and her hubby a couple of years ago when we travelled down to Tassie.  That was the pre cancer days.  It is amazing how many old friends you can now find on social media.

A few months ago we traded in the Camper Trailer and upgraded to a 21 foot caravan with nearly everything we need to travel around this country when we retire.  Yes I am now thinking of retirement.  I have a 4 year plan.  This time in 4 years I will not be working fulltime.  We will be on the road travelling around and picking up odd jobs as we go for money.  I will be taking Green me up Granny on the road and spreading my soap love around the country.  I am really looking forward to that.  I have made so many friends who share my passion in creating beautiful items from oils.
Once again thanks to social media this has occurred.  There is now a Aussie soap making  group on facebook and last weekend we had our first meet up.  One of many that will happen around the place.

We had a great couple of hours at Southbank all talking about the one thing that we all have in common.  Our passion for soap making.  Plus we spoke about a lot of other things.

In a couple of weeks I am heading off for a weeks holiday at Woodgate Caravan Park.  Spending the week relaxing and surf fishing.  I will be for sure taking the camera and sharing on this blog.  
I have a few new markets I am attending these days.  Unleashed markets has been a new one I have been part of.  A truly alternative market.  If you are after the unusual you will find it here.  Whether you are looking for vintage, punk, gothic or just something out of the ordinary these are the markets to visit.  I will be attending all of them in SE Queensland up until Christmas.  It is going to be a busy time.  I also have a couple of new wholesale customers coming on board.  The talented Suzi from Co-op Stop and Jen from Green Frog Gourmet Foods.  Plus you can find my soaps locally on the Peninsula Deb at Redcliffe 2nd Hand.
Any way like I said only 15 weekends until Christmas and 9 of them I have market stalls at.  Looking forward to meeting my regular and new customers. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Liquid Soap Making. A first for this Granny.

Well yesterday saw me trying for the first time ever to make Liquid Soap.  For years and years I have been making CP and HP Soaps and truly love it but lately I am starting to believe that I could do it with my eyes closed and it is such an easy process for me.  My range of soaps has grown to a massive 40+ types using the most amazing ingredients that you find in the fridge and in your cupboard.

I belong to so many different Soap Groups on Facebook.  It is great to talk to others through out the world who share the same passion with me.  We are always getting ideas from each other and learning new tricks of the trade.  A couple of days ago I joined a Liquid Soap group.  You see I have had the ingredients at home for over a year in the back of the cupboard in my soap making room still in the original postage box from one of my suppliers on the Sunshine Coast.  Late yesterday it was finally out of the box and ready for usage.

Anyway at my home I own two slowcookers.  One for food which I rarely use and one for soap making which is over used.  Yesterday it came out for usage. 
First of all I had to mix the Potassium Hydroxide with the water. Yes I know its a chemical but guess what if you don't use it you can't make soap.  Even in bar soap you need Sodium Hydroxide.  If you don't use it all you have is a bucket of fat.  All soap has to be made with it. 
Any soap maker or retailer that you buy your soap from says they don't use it is a liar.  But just remember when you buy your soap there is no trace of it in your soap. 
I don't have a photo of me mixing the Pot Hydroxide to the water but it really made a crackling noise.   After this process I left the bucket in a safe place and then turned on the crockpot on high and started melting down the oils.

Oils melting in the crockpot.

After the oils were melted down I pulled the ceramic bowl from the crockpot, turning it off and then pour the Potassium Hydroxide into the oils.   To this I decided to pull out the trusty stick blender and started blending.  Now normally when you make CP soap it will go to trace (thick custard consistency) quite quickly but with liquid soap it takes quite awhile.  So I  blended for about 3-4 minutes then walk away for about 5 minutes then did it again. 

Stirring with the stick blender.

Now this blending and walking away I did for quiet some time.  About 30 minutes until I felt it was thick enough.

Custard like consistency.

Now I had it thick enough it was time for it to do its thing.  I placed the bowl back into the cooker.  Put the cooker on high with the lid on and walked away.  I had already read up on the different phrases it goes through.  Every 10-15 minutes I would come back, lift the lid and stir.

Foaming up.

Scrap down the sides of the bowl so it doesn't burn.
After awhile it starts to look like meringue.  Its all foamy and full of air. 


Really foamy like meringue .

Now after about 1-2 hours it is starting to turn into a paste consistency.  You must be careful it doesn't burn so keep scrapping down the sides and stirring.

Drying out and starting to come to a paste.

At this stage it did have a few burnt bits.  Even after years of soap making this is my first attempt at liquid soap so I accepted that it wouldn't be perfect.  All I did was remove the burnt bits.

Nearly at a taffy paste consistency.

Now the fun bit begins.  After it is taffy looking and hard to stir its time to water it down.  I added in half the water.  I boiled the water first.  It is impossible to break down the taffy paste so I just made sure it was all covered with the water and then I walked away and came back every so often to check on it.  This was about an hour.

Adding the water.

I then added the other half of the water then walked away.  Now it was coming on close to10pm at night and I was quite tired.  It was a busy day with a grandsons birthday party and all so I turned the crockpot off and went to bed hoping it would do its thing over night.

Liquid Soap

This is what it looked like this morning.  I neutralized it with the citric acid solution in the recipe.    I was concerned with the colour but it is fine.  I suppose we all look at those beautiful clear or colourful liquid soaps that are mass produced and available in our supermarkets.  But after some research this morning I would rather use Liquid Soap made by a Artisan Soap maker then a supermarket one.

My ingredients are:
Coconut oil
Castor Oil
Olive Oil,
Potassium Hydroxide
citric acid
Essential Oils (Australian Tea Tree and Pine)

7 ingredients is all it is.

I researched before the ingredients of one well known brand we have available in our supermarket and here is their list of ingredients.
  • Water
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Acrylates Copolymer
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Fragrance
  • Sodium Chloride
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Tetrasodium EDTA
  • Zea Mays (Corn) Oil
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)
  • Citric Acid
  • Gelatin
  • Acacia Senegal Gum
  • Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Extract
  • Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract
  • Mica
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • FD&C Red No. 40
  • Ext. D&C Violet No. 2

  • My liquid soap may not look as pretty as theirs but I would rather use mine then theirs.

    I hope you have enjoyed this blog on my first attempt of Liquid Soapmaking.  Now the pot is cleaned and put away.  Today being Sunday I am bringing out my food slow cooker to cook a piece of corned silverside in ginger beer.  Now that's another recipe.

    Have a great Sunday everyone.

    Sue xx

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    Some rest and relaxation.

    The last couple of months have been extra busy with attending markets, my wholesale orders, conducting workshops and as well as my job that pays my bills.  Work has been hectic running a Day Service and a Residential property and yesterday asked to look after another one.  A year of audits and a external audit in two weeks.  That has been the last 6 months of my life.  As you all maybe aware over the last year I have been enjoying time away in our camper trailer but last Friday we picked up our caravan.  Its been two years searching to find the one that would suit us both.

    This is our first step to semi retirement.  Our long term outlook is to take Green Me Up Granny on a road trip around this amazing country.  Setting up markets stalls in small country markets and festivals.  Seeing this country.  This is a 3 year plan.  Selling up all our possessions and travel.  Soaping on the road.  Candle making on the road.
    Last weekend we took the caravan up over Cunningham's Gap to a gorgeous little place called
     Best brook Mountain Resort.  A three hour drive from Redcliffe but I managed to get Monday off work so it was a weekend of R&R.  Our youngest daughter Emma and her family and in laws were there as well and we also took William and our eldest grand daughter Rhiannon.  A working farm where the children ran around.  Fed the animals, learned how to throw a boomerang, crack a whip and just have fun.  Ride a horse, feed the ducks.
    Rhiannon and Eli on the quad bike

    Checking out the ducks and duckling

    Riding the horse

    Grand dad helping out with the horse riding.

    Playing with the 3 week old puppies.

    My favourite thing was just relaxing and taking in the view.

    Sitting around the campfire toasting marshmallows and just relaxing.   Our first weekend in the van was fantastic.  Looking forward to October where we are travelling north to Woodgate for a blissful week of nothing but fishing and relaxing.
    Life couldn't be any better.  Roll on retirement.
    Sue XX


    Saturday, May 4, 2013

    Favourite photo of the Week.

    I love taking photo's of my family and my favourite things and places I go to.  Each week I will post my favourite photo of the week and tell you what and why it is. 

    This photo was taken last Saturday night at 1770 in Queensland.  For those who don't know where 1770 is it is approx 500 kms north of Brisbane.  A small seaside town where there is no traffic lights but an amazing fishing village.  We were camping in the camping grounds which was on the beach front.  This was the sunset last Saturday.  I loved watching the sunset that day.  In my busy life of work I am normally driving home in peak hour traffic and I miss out in enjoying this amazing part of the day.  While we were up there relaxing I found time to really enjoy the simple things.

    Do you have a favourite photo of the week.  If so why not share it with everyone.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    Easter Camping

    We had the most amazing Easter in quite a few years.  So relaxing for a change.  For the last 5years I have been part of one of the many festivals here at Redcliffe on Good Friday for the Brisbane to Gladstone Boat Race.  This year I decided that I would not be at any festivals and instead Bill, William and I went away camping to Mt Warning Rainforest Park just over the border.  What an amazing place and the owners were so friendly that we have already booked for next easter with a longer stay.  We were amazed that the weather was quite good except for Sunday Night when the heavens opened up but thats the joy of camping.

    I have been neglecting my blog lately and I am sorry for that.  Presently my full time work has been quite stressful but hopefully at the end of the week when I lose a chunk of it I will be able to get back on top of things that I truly enjoy.  With this in mind this was the reason for the camping trip.

    After spending 2 hours in the traffic.  Note to self next year we will be leaving a day earlier.  So many campers and caravans out on Good Friday.  Everyone had the same idea this easter.  We arrived at our destination.

    Camp all set up now to sit back and relax

    The scenery was magical


    Beautiful little creek nearby

    I could sit here all day and listen to the birds and the water.  Truly magical.
    Quaint little bush cafe just up the road.

    Never been so relaxed.  Bill and I.

    Tropical Fruit growing close by.

    Even the wild life were friendly.

    Easter Sunday saw a visit from my youngest grandchildren with their mum and dad.
    Everything was perfect for the weekend.  Not even the rain on Sunday Night bothered us.  We were so impressed by the place that we have booked again for next easter as well as a week in October.
    I am really enjoying camping and in 2 weeks time we are heading to 1770.