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Anna on Lockdown: How I treat myself...treat yourself....

No, not a hotel room! So on Lockdown, where there is little division between home and work and things are getting blurred. Normally all the times I used to treat myself was food related. Food, food, food.....biscuits, sweets, pizzas, takeaways, cakes... However I soon discovered a new treat. A visual treat, and that was making up my bed. 

Normally making up my bed is a chore, and sometimes I used to wonder what the point was, I was only going to go back into it. Why bother? Also because I go on morning walks, I see a lot of people are of the same opinion. They rarely make up their beds until I realised it was a VISUAL TREAT! 


After a hard day at work, and yes Lockdown work, is busier than normal-in-the-office work, I realised that after sitting at my desk for so long, there was nothing more welcoming than a make-up bed at night time. 
So now, I've been making up my bed reminding myself that even though the treat is not an instant gratification like food, it's a visual treat and…
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Anna on Lockdown: Hot Sauce Pancakes made with Flour & Polenta (cornflour)

Once in a while, I make pancakes where I add hot (pepper) sauce to them. The pepper gives it a sharp kick.  For lockdown, I used my normal recipe but the only difference was I used equal parts of cornflour (polenta) and self-raising wheat flour. The polenta gave it a grainy taste - so perhaps not to everyone's palate but who cares? My mother also bakes a lovely cornbread - more like a cake so I'll happily use it as a substitute for flour.  This polenta was finely milled.

At times my normal recipe varies depending on if I have the ingredients but what is normal? Flour, milk, eggs and sugar. I normally use self-raising because I like the fluffy or spongey feel to the pancakes, rather than just plain flour which feels and tastes a bit heavy. It just depends on the texture.

Normally because I LOVE pancakes, I tend not to have flour at home. I could just live on pancakes, which I normally do until I run out of flour. HOWEVER, due the lockdown, I grabbed a pack before official one,…

Anna On Lockdown - Trying to Keep Calm and Carry On #1: General things

Hello everyone,

I hope you and yours are all safe and well.

There is so much going on that I try to switch off because it's what's everyone is covering and let's face it I'm scared and so is the world including leaders. There are people out there doing amazing work - the key healthcare workers (including caregivers in home and on hte field), the postal service, the local utility service - refuse collection, gas, water etc. Then the brave supermarket workers and delivery workers, the law enforcement and everyone else.

So what have I been doing on Lock Down?

Baking, lots of baking
I tired to make some biscuits, and they didn't quite meet the mark but they hit the spot. I love biscuits but I used less ingredients than I should. A lot less sugar and butter. I used more flour but in hindsight that is now a scarce commodity.  But this was before everyone started baking.

Staying in touch with Family and Loved ones.

I ring Sis and my mother twice a day. Mostly in the morni…

HAPPY NEW YEAR! My 2020 Goals, and how I plan to achieve them!

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a good time, I saw the 2020 watching the London Fireworks and digitally with family! With 2019 behind us and lessons learnt, we move forward to 2020 and a new decade unless you use another type of calendar and believe me there are loads around! 
So with celebrations we move into the New Year.
My 2020 Goals

This time I'm just going to focus on three top goals though there is plenty I want to do. Normally I overwhelm myself with about ten but I think streamlining is the way forward for this year. 1. Complete my novel-in-progress fit for publication This is carried over from 2019, and I'm committed to finishing it in May but it's something I want to complete this year. If you have been following my blog, you'll also know I've done a few workshops and courses. The last one was the Faber Edit Your Course where I got a reader's report with some comments.  2. Fitness and Weight loss This comes up every single year, and I seem to g…

My End of 2019 Blog Review

This was my most prolific year blogging, and as at now I have published 208 blog posts this year and I'll probably do a couple more before the year ends.
At first I started writing everything day, hoping it would help me with editing my novel-in-progress, but it didn't. Then I branched out to doing blog features for everyday such as  weekly film/movie post, places in London, the state of my deskEditing my novel52 week money challengeother features 
Eventually, I got overwhelmed and decided to cut back, in fact I changed the schedule a few time and in the end due to a busy offline life. Towards the end, I was only doing blog topics and finally  I ended up just doing the 52-week money challenge - which I saved £1,004 in cash from, the rest in IOUs.
What I learnt from Blogging
To get blog hits or build an audience, a blog needs to be about what people are interested in and you get that by being specific. It's simply that. However here I blog what interests me and what I like …

52 Week Money Challenge - How Much Did We Save? A whooping £1,004

This isn't bad for a year's long challenge which has been tedious, cumbersome and boring! The final cash savings was £1,004 and the IOUs were £374. As frequently with this long term saving projects there was some double counting - I think mostly to do mixing up weeks so I had to got by the cash savings!
The Details On Boxing Day,  I went down to my mother so she could assist in the counting.


To help with this count down, I asked Ma who willingly obliged as she had been keenly reading my blog posts about this. Sis acted as an independent observer. Well she was on the sofa while Ma and I counted the cash and the IOUs.

At first there was a debate about what surface to use, and Ma and Sis advised it was best to use red since that represented money and wealth in many cultures, so that was taken on board. As a result we used the Christmas table runner.


We poured the contents of the money pot on the table and proceed to sort out the cash in different denominations and IOUs.
This was…

WEEK 52 of the 52 week money challenge! YES! I MADE IT!!! £52 IN THE POT!!

Happy Holidays! This was touch and go because Christmas is an expensive time, and I wasn't sure if to put in a final IOU but I thought it was good to end on positive note for the year. So I get the cash together from my bank accounts. 
I'm posting this earlier in the week - basically week 52 - because I have other stuff to do, like buy Christmas presents - I tend to be late.  I guess it's probably a good time to do a final review.  Review of 52 week money challenge This challenge is based on saving money 52 weeks of the year, but the caveat is you save the according to the week number. So in the first week of the year £1 or $1 is saved and this increases as the year goes on until the final week of the year - week 52. What's good about it  1. It highlights saving. So as result, I did review my 'proper savings' plan which is a regular amount each month. 
2. It is fun to start with!
3. It simple to understand. What's not so good about it! After the first few w…