#DryJanuary… Mission Accomplished

So day 31 is finally here.

(Ok so this post is a tad late! Last week i was feeling so ill with, id like to say cold but, it felt like flu. Im still catching up with all my posts while still trying to blog this weeks planned posts! Prepare to be bombarded ;-))

It’s weird to think that when #DryJanuary started l still had Christmas decorations up. Id not seen any snow. The kids were still on holiday. So much has happened, it seems like an age ago. But no, its only been a month, 31 days!

In all honesty, I set out thinking that this would be a doddle! I didn’t drink heavily. I was an occasional evening (when kids are in bed) drinker who liked to have a night out every now and again. ‘How hard could it be?’, I said on Day 1!! But it’s been hard, harder than I could ever have imagined.

This in turn has made me realise what effect alcohol actually has on your mind and body without even realising. I found myself thinking about it and wanting it (but not needing it)! So when you think about people that have alcohol dependancy issues, what they must go through on a daily basis must be physically, mentally and emotionally draining. The fight they fight every day trying to stay off the drink must be sooooo hard. I have so much respect for those people. Its fair to say thats its given me a different perspective on ‘addictions’ as a whole!

So, Mission Accomplished. I had planned on doing #DryFebruary but I dont want to over do it, I really fancy a drink, just a little one. Celebratory you might say. But, #DryMarch sounds like it could be a plan 😉

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Related Posts:

#DryJanuary… Day 17

#DryJanuary… Day 9

#DryJanuary… Day 4

#DryJanuary… Day 3

#DryJanuary… Day 1

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#DryJanuary… Day 17

So, day 17. I’m more than half way now. Its not been an easy two week, but i’ll tell you something, these these last few days its like its stepped it up a gear… i’ve been really craving a drink. Not because I need one, but because I just fancy a one. Sunday was particularly bad, I went to my Dads and he caught me completely off guard by asking if I wanted a Snowball. One of my favorite drinks!! I almost said yes!

This week I’ve been to Dr’s and been given antibiotics for a chest, throat and ear infection. So now I can’t drink. This has made me want one even more. I know how soothing a little Whiskey would be on my chest and throat too!

Today is my Hubby’s birthday. No celebratory drink with him tonight 😦

I just need to keep telling myself 2 more weeks 2 more weeks. I can do this…. I’ve given up Chocolate for longer!

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Ive heard there is talk of #DryFebruary… could I do that too?? Lets get January over first shall we 😉

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Are you doing #DryJanuary? How are you getting on?

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Related posts

#DryJanuary… Day 9

#DryJanuary… Day 4

#DryJanuary… Day 3

#DryJanuary… Day 1

#DryJanuary… Day 9

So, Day 9. I’m now more than a week into #DryJanuary. I cant say its getting easier. I still find myself wanting a drink. I do wonder though if there wasn’t any in the cupboard if id still feel the same way.

I successfully got my through my night in with my friends on Day 4. It did kill me not been able to join them for a drink. But it was also quite an insight towards the end seeing how giggly they were 🙂

At night, I am beginning to see a difference; I’m not falling asleep half as quick! 😉 In the morning i’m waking up feeling quite refreshed and although i’m not getting straight up, I am lying there wide awake. (I’m a firm believer that when the children are still in bed asleep, I should be too!)

Id like to say that my skin is looking better for it. However, i’m still troffing my way through the remaining Christmas food so its fair to say i’ve got a few breakouts!

Tonight though is feeling particularly hard going. Im feeling hormonal, we’ve had a tough day with Bruiser and his meltdowns. I don’t need one but, I just really really fancy a drink today. Just one!

But I won’t

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Related Posts

#DryJanuary… Day 4

#DryJanuary… Day 3

#DryJanuary… Day 1

#DryJanuary… Day 3

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So #DryJanuaryDay 3. Its not getting any easier just yet. Last night (day 2) I could smell my dear husbands Baileys from across the room. But I was good and I’ve not seen anywhere in the rules that I cant smell it. On the plus side, the Baileys has now gone. We just have another 5 bottles of various drinks in the cupboard which sit staring at me and, I’m sure if I listen really carefully I can hear them calling my name 😉

STOP STARING AT ME

STOP STARING AT ME

Tomorrow night will be probably the biggest challenge of the month I think. I’m having a night out with my closest friends. That usually involves copious amounts of alcohol, curry and laughter. But, I’m confident that good food with good friends will make for an equally brilliant time.

Wish me luck 🙂

Related Posts

#DryJanuary Day 1

#DryJanuary… Day 1

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Can I stay off the booze for 31 days??

My Mission; should i choose to accept…. to avoid that cheeky after work pint, that glass of wine on the sofa, or that big boozy night out, for the whole month.

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How hard can it be you might say. I thought the same thing when i signed up for #dryjanuary which is being run by Alcohol Concern. But, come January 1st and i’m already thinking that i hadn’t thought it through properly… New Years Day Dinner, no Bucks Fizz for me… Ladies night out at the end of the week 😦

I’m sure it’ll get easier though. I’ve gone longer in the past when I was pregnant and breastfeeding my babies… I went 18mths with Wriggler and almost 2yrs with Bruiser. But I think the easy bit was that i had the reason not to drink growing away inside me or feeding from me. Now all i have is my will power.

So as i type this post, sipping away on a ginger and lemon tea on the evening of my first day almost done, i’m thinking about why i’m doing this;

*To save money? No! Ive never been a big drinker by any stretch of the imagination so, i probably won’t save that much money in the grand scheme of it.

*The benefit to my body and my overall health? No! I don’t think i’ll see a great difference to my waistline or weight in general. When i drink its little and often as opposed to binge drinking. We’ll see though. I’m 9st 4lb as I type this, I’ll weigh myself again at the end. You never know!

*I’ll have more energy? Now, this would be good! Come the evening when kids are in bed and once I’ve eaten, I do usually slump and fall asleep on the sofa. Having said that though, I don’t stop all day long. I’m a Mummy!

The reason i’m doing this is a personal challenge for myself and to raise awareness. The benefits above are more than enough reason to do it on their own. But, alcohol for me has played a big part in my life these last few years (that’s a story for another day) and as such, it has changed my attitude towards it. I will admit that once upon a time i would drink because i ‘needed’ a drink, bad day at work, kids have driven me up the wall, you know the story! But those are the wrong reasons to drink. If I feel the need to have one I don’t and won’t. When i drink its because i genuinely fancy a little drink.

So the mission is set. #dryjanuary it is!

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Are you taking part? Its not too late to sign up!

no-alcohol

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Last Orders

ONE FOR THE WEEKEND

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I’ve never been a big drinker by any stretch of the imagination but I’ve been there and done that and i got myself a few t-shirts along the way 😉

But, in recent years, any tolerance I had for alcohol has well and truly been evaporated, having spent a good 4 years out of the last 7 either pregnant or breastfeeding. So, its true to say that after a couple of glasses of wine now, I can be found under most tables giggling inappropriately!

Just recently having had a night out with the ladies, drinking copious amounts of wine and cocktails (rough the next day would be an understatement of the very least) its given me a new taste for a good drink and on the odd weekend of late, I’ve been trying new drinks and its fair to say some have taken me by surprise and made it to my favorites list.

But what are my favorites? Here goes…


Taboo and Lemonade with plenty of ice. An old old favorite. This was the first alcoholic drink i ever bought, it was on a Sunday evening out with friends at The Mason’s, my local back then 🙂

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Baileys on Ice! This drink speaks for itself… Who doesn’t like an ice cold Baileys??

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Martini and Lemonade with plenty of ice!

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Snowball. A favorite going back to my childhood. Every Christmas my mum would make me and my brothers a very very weak snowball, with lots of ice and lemonade with a cherry on a cocktail stick. Even now I still buy it in for Christmas, although the strength of the drink has increased somewhat.

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Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer (with ice). A recent discovery! To say i don’t like ginger beer as a soft drink, this took me by surprise as its a huge favorite now!

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Rum and Coke with ice. Another new addition to the list. I borrowed a bottle off my dad to make my Christmas cake, he said to use it all. I took him literally 😉

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Mojito. Another new favorite. It actually leaves you feel surprisingly human the next morning. Just not when mixed with copious amounts of Rosé and several pitchers of other cocktails 😉

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What are your favorite drinks and why?

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Mums Christmas Cake

When I think of all the amazing calorie rich indulgent Christmas treats i’ve tucked into over the years, my Mum’s Christmas cake comes to mind every time.

Given that we are now less than 90 sleeps away, I think it’s definitely time to get my cake on the go so its ready in time for Christmas AND I’m going to share it with you all.

This cake goes back to my great grandma and she in turn passed it on to my Mum.

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Ingredients:

8 oz of butter
8 oz natural dark muscovado sugar
1 (level) tsp black treacle
4 medium eggs
10 oz plain flour
¼ tsp salt
1 (level) tsp soluble coffee powder or essence
1 & ½ tsp mixed spice
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp rum
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp of sherry
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp baking powder
8 oz currents
8 oz sultanas
4 oz chopped mixed peel
4 oz chopped glazed cherries
8 oz raisins
4 oz flaked almonds

All good to go!

All good to go!

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The day before you make your cake, mix all the fruit together in a bowl and add 4 tbsp of brandy, 4 tbsp of rum and 4 tbsp of sherry, more if you’d prefer 😉 Mix well and keep covered with some cling film.  Keep giving it the odd shake to keep mixing it up and leave overnight.

all the dried fruit mixed together and soaked over night in 5 tbsp of brandy, 5 tbsp of rum and 5tbsp of sherry and covered in clingfilm.

all the dried fruit mixed together and soaked over night in 5 tbsp of brandy, 5 tbsp of rum and 5 tbsp of sherry and cover in cling film.

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Prepare

Grease and line a 7-8in cake tin (square or round, your choice) with grease-proof paper.

lined and greased cake tin

(that cake tin was my Mum’s and her Nan’s!!)

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, coffee powder, mixed spice and ginger into a large bowl (this is the spiced flour).

Beat the eggs in a jug and add to it; the vanilla extract, brandy, rum and almond extract.

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Cream the fat and sugar together well and add the treacle.

Add a small amount of the egg mixture to the fat, beat well.

Add a tbsp of the spiced flour to the mixture and mix well.

Add some more egg, beat well and add a 2nd tbsp of spiced flour.

Add the rest of the egg gradually and beat well between each addition.

Add the remaining spiced flour.

Lastly add the dried fruits and almonds and mix well.

ready to add the fruit

ready to add the fruit

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Pour the mixture into the pre-prepared cake tin.

After adding the mixture to the cake tin, make a dip in the center of the mixture of about an inch. this stops the cake rising too much in the middle and thus cracking and burning.

use the spatula to create the dip

use the spatula to create the dip

Bake in the middle of a (preheated) warm oven (gas 3/325F/160C) for 1 hour.

Reduce heat to very cool (gas 1/275F/140C) for the last 2 hours checking it after one hour and every 15 minutes thereafter.

To check to see if the cake is done, you will need a fine instrument to check that it is cooked in the middle, (i use a kebab skewer) by inserting it diagonally around the center of the cake. Leave it in for a second and withdraw. If the skewer is clean then it’s cooked. If there is still some cake stuck to the skewer then return it to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes. Keep doing this until the skewer is removed clean.

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Leave to cool on a wire rack in the tin until it is cold.

Cooked and Cooling

Cooked and Cooling

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When it is cold, remove from tin and remove the grease-proof paper. Re-wrap in fresh grease-proof paper.

Cake 'fed' and ready to be wrapped up

Cake ‘fed’ and ready to be wrapped up

At this point my Mum would use the skewer and make lots of insertions all over the top of the cake going almost all the way through and then ‘feed the cake’ some brandy by pouring little amounts over the surface of the cake making sure it goes down the tiny holes and rubbing any remaining brandy over the surface to make sure it all gets absorbed. She would then repeat this process for the bottom of the cake 24-hours later. You can repeat this process as many times as you like.

Always be sure to wrap the cake in grease-proof paper well followed by foil and store in a tin for a few months until you are ready to decorate. Do not wrap in foil on its own as the alcohol reacts with the alcohol.

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Fancy decorating the cake??

Christmas Cake

check out my post on decorating your cake by clicking this link

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Then sit back and relax with a slice….

slice of cake

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Don’t forget to wear your Santa Hat while you make it 🙂

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