Real Housewife of Suffolk County

Friday, 24 April 2015

Five Things | 'Comfort Eating'

I have a love/hate relationship with food, and do regularly have a problem when it comes to comfort eating. It is something I had to discuss with my doctor anytime I had an appointment about my anxiety and was also a factor when he was deciding which tablets to put me on. I was already quite strict with wanting control over what I was taking, and my only condition was that the side effects can't be 'weight gain'.

I remember going to him thinking I had water retention in my legs and feet. He checked and confirmed that in fact, it was weight gain and not water retention. I was horrified and it was part of that wake up call that gave me the push to sort my life out.

My comfort eating is considered a little different to the 'grab-a-tub-of-ice-cream-and-all-the-chocolate-girly-heartbreak' because it is classed as a form of self-harm. This is due to the reasons why I do it, and what I want to achieve from it.

Anyway, part of my "fight" and whatever against what I am going through is to not give in to the comfort eating temptation. I fall off the wagon, mostly when pizza, pasta, or nachos are concerned...or bread....oh why did I start listing the foods I love?!
When we went to Somerset I was caught in this comfort eating mode and really struggled to get out of it. Although I was able to resist Cheese and Marmite tear and share bread, despite the fact I totally regret not getting any.

Wow, that was a longer intro than I planned! are five reasons why I hate 'Comfort Eating'.

It craves specific foods

Probably one of the most annoying things about comfort eating is that it craves specific foods. Ever been really angry, hurt or frustrated and wanted to just stuff your face and thought "oh yes! I am hardcore. I am going to eat a peach. That will make me feel better and cure this emotional eating pang". Doesn't quite work does it?
Emotional hunger needs an instant hit, which is going to be delivered better by fatty foods like a burger, pizza, or something sweet like the biggest piece of chocolate cake you can get your hands on.
Physical hunger is satisfied with healthy foods, fruit and well as fatty foods too.

Bad Skin

Fatty and greasy foods can lead to bad skin. I know that when I'm stressed anyway my skin can react, and this is especially so when combined with a rubbish diet. For me it takes a while and a lot of hard work to get my skin back to normal. In a good way though this does remind me to take care of my skin more, whether or not I am eating horribly or eating well, and to adopt a better routine. However, this then takes getting used to and makes the comfort eating so not worth it.

Weight Gain

Stating the obvious, and this is one of the worst things I think about comfort eating. The weight gain. And is the exact reason why it sucks that specific foods are craved instead of salad and fruit. 
I have now found an almost reasonable way around this by tracking when I have bad days, or when I'm out of the emotional fog I am really strict with what I eat and I make sure I exercise as much as possible. It doesn't combat the weight gain but at least helps me have some kind of control.

Short-term but with long-term effects

As above really, short-term comfort eating has so many negative effect such as the ones I mentioned. Half an hour or less, or more, of filling your face with horrid food which at the time makes you feel better, will create issues that can then take days, weeks or months to fix.

It doesn't fix the original issue

Although whilst eating you may feel some form of relief or comfort, once that is over the initial problem, stress, tiredness, anxiety, or whatever it was that caused you to need to take that form of action, will still remain.
It's so easy to say "Just don't do it" or "Do something else" but when you are in that frame of mind you can't be rational and you don't have time to stop and do something else.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Home Emergency: 5 Tips for Handling Your Repair Emergencies | Guest Post

The last thing you want to deal with in your busy life is a home emergency. Your home is supposed to be an oasis from life's problems, right? However, when emergencies do happen (and they will), being prepared makes it easier. So, stay calm and don't panic, because here are tips for handling five repair emergencies:
Even the smallest leaks can create a lot of damage. The water may seep into drywall, popping its seams. Broken pipes are the most common cause of mold. Act fast:  
  • Find the source of the leak.
  • Shut off the water. (Consider shutting off electrical power.)
  • Open windows and use fans and a dehumidifier to air-out your residence.
  • Use a wet/dry vac to rid carpets and upholstery of water.
  • Call a certified plumber and 24 hour emergency service that offers water restoration. (Mold can start growing in hours!)
  • Call your insurance agent. (Your policy may cover damage made to your property from a pipe but not the actual pipe repair.)
A jammed door may simply mean that you need to remove an item obstructing the door track. Check to see if an item that usually leans on the wall has fallen over, jamming the track with its handle.
Pull the manual override cord so that you can open your automatic garage door when there is a power cut. Usually, the cord has a red handle, and it's near the guide track.
The door's position, weight, and tension from cable wires makes most repairs too dangerous for a homeowner. Call a professional handyman if the garage door:
  • is off its track
  • has broken springs
  • has a jammed pulley
  • has any broken/frayed cables
3. Leaking Roof

Identify the source of the leak. (For example, a clogged gutter may be channeling excess water inside the house so simply remove the debris.) Move furniture, paperwork, or anything else by the leak. Call a roofing company if necessary, and/or call the past roofer if the roof is still under warranty.
While repairing some leaky roof problem may be within your capabilities, the major issue of concern is your safety when climbing up to or on the roof. When in doubt, call a roofer.

4. Boiler Breakdown

If the heat goes out, you may feel stressed to the max. Take a deep breath, and go through this checklist to help deduce problems: 
  • Does your programmer or thermostat have old batteries?
  • Does the condensate pipe to the outside need to be defrosted?
  • Is the pilot light extinguished? (Check the manual to see if this is something you can re-light.)
  • Is there a problem with the gas supply? (If no gas is coming through, call your gas supplier.)
If you can't or don't feel comfortable fixing the problem yourself, call a professional immediately.

5. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless gas, may be difficult to detect but it can cause brain damage and death. If an appliance isn't ventilated properly or malfunctions, it can emit CO, You may simply feel fatigued, dizzy, or get a headache. Get out of your home immediately. Seek medical attention. 

Install carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home. Change and test the batteries regularly. 
As a homeowner, you have a lot of responsibilities. Each problem seems like a major deal, but treat it as a learning experience. Now, you're prepared to try quick problem-solving so problems don't magnify. Sometimes, just knowing when it’s time to call the professionals is the key to being a responsible homeowner.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Five Things | Lifestyle Changes

Last year was a big year for me in terms of my lifestyle. I made major improvements to how I lived and now it feels quite silly to have waited so long to do those things because the changes were so simple.
I somehow lost my way in June which I think was down to Charles' birthday, Britmums Live and I found it hard to find my way again. As a result I've been around the same weight ever since. Although over Christmas and my two holidays I have put on weight but something has clicked and I've been able to get back into that frame of mind to get back on track.


Food was the biggest change for me last year. Cutting out takeaways, reducing portion sizes, reducing bread intake, checking calories, eating more vegetables, simple changes really that now seem so obvious and like things I should have been doing for years anyway.
I really enjoy putting together lunches and dinners for myself and do come up with some weird combinations but I think the fun thing is to try different foods together and seeing what you can come up with.
My latest obsession is with raw beetroot. Before I would buy it pickled or already cooked in the vacuum packed bags, or if I bought it in the fresh bunches I would cook them first and then add them to a meal. Then I Googled to see if they could be eaten raw and then....well then I fell in love and became addicted (I have 3 bunches on order from Sainsburys for this Tuesday, which excites me more than it should).
I also love using Philidelphia Lightest as a base to make my own sauces, and am really becoming obsessed with that mixed with sweetcorn. This week I also mixed it with some cauliflower, broccoli, onions and sweetcorn, served alongside some Calamari. Oh my goodness it was DELICIOUS.


I found the best way to introduce exercise into my life was simply to start walking in the evenings, and walking to school with Charles. I found this really helped me to lose that "easy weight" but recently it doesn't seem to be enough. I am still carrying on with it though as I can feel the benefits of it and set myself targets of either walking so many miles or getting to a certain point on the trail I usually walk until I turn around and walk back.
Up until recently I have been mainly using a running app on my phone to track my walks but needed an alternative as I've found the one I use has become a little unreliable.
Aldi have recently launched a running range with essentials including clothing, trainers, a heart rate monitor and an activity tracker.
The activity tracker, £39.99, is a multifunctional wristband which measures daily activity, time, steps and more.
• Set daily goals
• 7-day data storage 
• USB battery charging
• Interchangeable straps
• Water-resistant up to 3 bar
• Detailed reports available via Smartphone, Tablet and on
• Automatic synchronisation
• Available in 4 colours
 As with all of Aldi's Specialbuys these are only available whilst stocks last.The running range hit stores on April 16th so be quick if you want to check out what is still available.


I had to buy new clothes when I lost weight, obviously. It wasn't until this weekend when I was having a wardrobe sort out that I realised how big I was, and how different my body shape is now.
Last week I wore shorts. I felt a bit paranoid, and self conscious, and like my thighs are too big to be able to wear them, but I still did it anyway.
I think that wearing clothes is all down to confidence, and if you are not confident in what you are wearing then you won't look as good. This isn't an excuse to wear something see through, or two sizes too small and so on. But more like "I like my legs, so I will wear shorts. I don't care if you think my thighs aren't quite right for them".
I've worked so hard to change my body from what it was and although I'm not where I want to be yet, I don't think I look too bad but realise I still have a way to go and work to do. However, I will celebrate and take the opportunity to wear shorts whenever I can now.

Frame of Mind

I'm not silly and I think when losing weight or wanting to improve your lifestyle it is best to be realistic and sensible. There are times I get frustrated and can't understand why I didn't lose a stone by walking Charles to school.
I found a quote recently, when feeling a bit deflated, and felt it was perfect. It reminds me how far I've come, and of the differences I have made so far.
I do have a target to reach by September and I think that, even if the progress is slow, I can definitely reach it.


I am so lazy when it comes to skincare, I anger myself. I have so many lotions, potions and oils and I go through phases of being in a good skincare routine, and then completely lose it. I've been really stressed recently and noticed how it has affected my skin so have taken action and started a proper routine which actually doesn't take too long and is pretty simple.
I think the secret is to get into a routine that is quick, isn't too fussy but also can be adapted if needed. So, with my current skincare routine it's all about using my Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser twice a day, using a face oil twice a day, moisturising twice a day, using a Liz Earle tonic once or twice a day, but also when needed adding a face scrub or face mask, eye cream and so on.
It's amazing how quickly I noticed a difference in my skin from having no routine and being lazy by using face wipes (which I think may have been part of the cause of problems recently) to using good quality products and spending time pampering myself.
 I think one of the best things for me, and my skincare, is being subscribed to Birchbox. A lot of the products I use are ones I discovered because of the Birchbox, or are full size products I have received one month.

A Woman's Guide to Garage Maintenance & Repair | Guest Post

This guest post is courtesy of Door Systems Inc., experts in garage doors in Boston, USA.
Your garage can be a haven or just hideous, depending on how well you maintain and repair it. Garage maintenance and repair falls into two main categories of static and mobile parts, each with its own needs. 
The Immovables 
  1. Floors
Garage floors take the greatest punishment in your home. Part of annual maintenance should include thoroughly sweeping out your garage and cleaning the floor, to reveal imperfections in the concrete that you can remedy. 
  • Concrete efflorescence—the whitish, crystalline deposit of minerals from water brought into your garage—can be scrubbed away and swept up. 
  • Use concrete patch, which you can easily mix yourself in small batches, to fill in small gaps and irregularities in the floor. 
  • Seal the concrete with a high-quality sealer. This preserves the floor and prevents oil spills from discoloring the concrete.  
  1. Walls 
  • Check your shelves to ensure you haven’t overloaded them; inspect the bolts or screws holding shelving to the walls. If you find a sagging shelf, a quick fix is to flip the individual shelf board so the sag becomes a bump. The weight of stored items will gradually flatten (and eventually sag) the board. 
  • The bottoms of walls in garages routinely suffer moisture and impact damage. Check for signs of rodents; you may need to enlist the help of a pest control service. Consider applying rubberized skirting board to both discourage pests and spruce up the garage. 
  1. Windows
  • Garage windows deserve the same cleaning and maintenance your home’s windows get. Clean the glass, check the locks and inspect paint inside and out.
  • For double-hung windows, check the sash channels to ensure the windows open and close easily.
  • For casements, check and lubricate hinge assemblies and handles. 
  1. Overhead
If you have a loft access hatch in the garage, make sure it is weather-stripped to improve energy efficiency, especially if your garage is attached to your home. If you use overhead storage, carefully check the condition of all attachment points. 
The Movables
The largest, heaviest moving objects in your home are your garage doors. Maintaining and repairing garage doors means striking a balance between what you can do safely yourself and knowing when to call in professionals.
What You Can Do
  • Clean metal parts with paraffin—what we in America call kerosene—to remove old grease, grime and dirt
  • Use a light oil to lubricate and prevent rust from forming on those same metal parts; avoid getting oil on plastic rollers
  • Align the tracks—the vertical tracks should be perfectly upright (plumb); horizontal tracks should drop slightly as the door moves into your garage. You can use a spanner to tighten the bolts that hold the tracks. Never attempt to remove the hinges or rollers from the garage door sections. 
  • Run a safety test—your garage door should automatically reverse if it encounters an obstacle coming down. Place a block of wood in the path of the open door and lower it. When it hits the block, it should reverse. If it does not, call a professional. 
  • Inspect—check the lifting cables for wear, nicks or kinks. If you see defects, contact a professional for replacement. 
Bring in the Professionals
If your garage door has real damage, call on a professional garage door company to assume responsibility for the heavy lifting, safety issues, and liability. This applies to:
  • Removing or replacing springs
  • Repairing or replacing the motor
  • Replacing track
  • Repairing or replacing garage door sections
  • Any safety concerns you may have
Working hand-in-hand with trusted local contractors, you can keep your garage maintained and in such good repair that you take justifiable pride in it as an extension of your home. 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Somerset: Instragrammed

When we went to Somerset I wanted to share some of what we were doing on Instagram. It was kind of a contradiction to my earlier post "Don't Tell the Internet"...however, this was slightly different to our holiday in Cyprus where internet access was limited and I really wanted to switch off.
For me, Somerset is like a home away from home I suppose. There's something about it that feels so comforting and I felt that as long as I wasn't interrupting family time, or neglecting anyone, or sitting on my phone when we were entertaining or being entertained then I was free to Instagram the odd photo.

We had quite a busy week seeing family, going on days out and so on so it's nice to look at these photos because they show a moment when I was able to rest and to take in what we were doing, or how I was feeling.
The fact that there are a lack of "days out" photos makes me quite proud really because it shows that I was able to withdraw and to not constantly take photos to share with strangers on the internet, and instead was able to enjoy the time I was spending with my family.

"First Five Guys OMG!"

"I am staying here forever. Charles is being brave and is in his own room until @dalecross29 joins us on Monday. That means I get the double bed all to myself for 3 nights. #winning. This is such a beautiful room and it's SO peaceful"

"Loving life!"

"Cath's Christmas PJ bottoms. #winning"

 "My aunty brought us a lemon cake and I'm finishing off yesterdays champagne. Cheers!"


"When in Somerset...."



 "I am a happy girl right now"

 "This cider is so good. Reason #278 of why I love Somerset"

"Flight path"

 "New make up bag"

 "Cider. Somerset. Sibling. Sun. #winning"

"I don't want to get up"

"Laptop time"

 "Safety first!"

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