1940s and wartime wish-lists!


Some of you may already know, but for those who are passing by and new to the blog and don’t, I work as a freelancer and mostly at the moment working on creating lists and doing some web admin for a new social media list-making website called WRAPPLER!

Well today WRAPPLER officially launched it’s proper website. Bertie, Ben and Caroline, who’s baby it is, are understandably very excited as this has taken literally several months and thousands of man hours of very hard work to get to this stage. It looks absolutely great!

You can take a look at the main website by CLICKING HERE and please feel free to sign up and make lists or just browse, leave comments or add items to playful lists… any feedback is appreciated xx

ALSO (and here is the exciting bit for us 1940s nostalgia lovers) there are over a dozen 1940s lists already created by blog readers which include, 1940s clothing, books, shoes, costumes, signs, music and so much more. I’m looking forward to adding in more and if you do a list of your own please share the link here, it’s such fun browsing lists that other people have made.




Food and fitness


The baked potatoes are making a return to my diet regularly. Late afternoon, when my energy is taking a dip, a large baked potato often comes to the rescue served with something containing veggies. Today I modified a wartime Ministry of Food veg curry recipe slightly by using what vegetables I had to hand which was marrow, leeks and tomatoes.

The baked potato served with a marrow and leek curry cost me about £1 to make and was roughly around 500 cals. I didn’t use any fat.

I’m still eating over 2000 cals most days so I need to make some changes there and rein that in a little bit, just have a little bit less on my plate instead of piling it up.

It was day 2 at the gym today and it went very well but boy do I ache in places I never thought possible! No pain, no gain as they say!

C xxx

PS: Here is the video that Barcroft Media did in my kitchen. They asked me to make mock turkey and talk about how I had lost weight in 2012 (80lbs) living on just wartime rations. It’s still hard for me to look at myself as I know there is so much still to lose but in many ways it also helps…


A month at the gym


Looking at longer term goals, there are many things on my bucket list I want to do. Most involve a level of fitness..

Perhaps two of the more easier attainable goals are to get back into hiking and to learn how to cycle again (Richard cycled throughout Europe in his past and his stories are inspiring me so much). Both however need a better level of fitness than I currently have and of course continuing weight loss.

To hasten weight loss and to get to the stage where I can hike 5 or 10 kms again, I need to exercise more so when I saw that http://www.puregym.com were offering a no joining fee/ no contract membership at just £18.99 per month, I had to take the opportunity to do a month to get me kick-started. It’s also just around the corner from me..

So this morning I set off at 7:30am to do an hour and it went very well I thought. First I did 1 km on the treadmill doing the ‘rolling hills’ setting, then 5 km on the bike on the ‘rolling hills’ setting and maintained my pulse at around 125. Following that I did some rope work for arms and shoulders then some resistance work for thighs and abdomen and finally went back to the treadmill and did a 1 km jog (pulse about 160) Was soooo pleased at my first attempt!!


There is something else on my bucket list for further down the road, hiking in Peru and ultimately hiking up to Machu Picchu… not something that I could do right now but take off 100 lbs and a year or two of getting fit and suddenly anything is possible especially with such a lovely man holding my hand.

I’m so happy right now 🙂

What dreams do you have?

Wartime Austerity Cooking

Image courtesy of Mama Bake

Thank you to Mama Bake and Emma Chow for the mention in their latest article about ‘Austerity Cooking’ CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE… It’s always good to find articles like this and I devour them with interest. Anzac Day is of course next Friday (April 25th).

But I can’t give a shout out to Mama Bake without making a comment on what they appear to be all about.. Mum’s getting together to do big batch cooking!

Image courtesy of ‘Mahone Bay Settlers Museum

Many years ago I worked as a volunteer for the ‘Mahone Bay Settler’s Museum’ in Nova Scotia, Canada (I now live back in the UK where I’m born and bred). One of the specific things I volunteered most weeks for was the ‘jams and jellies’ big batch cooking several of us did together in a commercial kitchen at the Lions Club. We methodically would cook up and bottle maybe 70-80 jars of jams and jellies which were then labelled and sold in a local store to raise money for the museum.

During those times I often thought what a good idea it was that a bunch of ladies worked together and produced vast quantities of food so when I looked through MamaBakes website and read that Mum’s were getting together, all cooking up a large batch of food each then sharing the finished dish with the other Mum’s (and therefore returning home at the end of their communal cooking session with several different dishes) I thought of those times jam and jelly making at the museum.

Reading about what Mama Bake is doing I can’t but help think what a fantastic idea and maybe ladies did that back in the 1940s too, certainly for celebrations one would have thought.

Love C xxxxxx

My holiday and say hello


A week ago we came back from two weeks of bliss in California. The last proper, going abroad holiday I’d been on was 25 years ago so you can imagine how excited I was at not only going away but spending two weeks with Mr Tiddles (Richard) who I’m not afraid to tell anyone, I have fallen in love with.

IMG_0523We had a hoot from beginning to end as we travelled in a campervan from San Francisco, down the central Californian coast to Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz and then across to Sequoia National Park, Death Valley and then Las Vegas, returning via Pamona (Los Angeles), Mount Baldy, Cambria and finally returning to San Francisco for our last couple of days.

We often free camped over looking beaches and oceans and took in a motel every few days to enjoy showers and huge beds!

The beaches we visited were amazing and mostly very quiet with it being off season, the scenery and changing landscape absolutely stunning. Arable lands, orchards, solar farms, desserts, mountains with snow (and yes we threw snowballs 7000ft up) and vineyards.

We ate sensibly and lots of vegetables but nevertheless enjoyed wine and lots of Irish Coffee at Buena Vista’s. We also did lots of walking and I was convinced that maybe I may actually have lost weight during the two weeks! It didn’t happen but did stay exactly the same and have lost 5lbs in my first week back home! IMG_0471


Richard (Mr Tiddles) is behind me 100% in trying to get below 200 lbs and I feel because my mind is in a happy place and the love I am able to feel,  receive and give, that this is providing a good, stable foundation to keep on going. I am thinking when I reach 250 lbs I am going to teach myself to ride a bike again. In the interim it will be lots of walking…



Kale and Bean Stew – Recipe No 131


Here is today’s lunch and how much it cost me. It’s a slightly modified recipe based on ‘Haricot Stew’ that was an economical and tasty recipe put out by the ‘Ministry of Food’ during World War II.


  • 1 or 2 oz of dripping or margarine
  • 1 leek or onion
  • 2 oz plain flour
  • 1 pint vegetable stock
  • 8 oz haricot or kidney beans
  • 4 oz corned beef (optional)
  • 1 lb mixed vegetables (I used lots of kale, some carrots and a couple of potatoes cubed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mixed dry herbs


  1. Heat the dripping/margarine in a frying pan
  2. Add chopped leek or onion and cook until lightly browned
  3. Add rest of veggies and stir and continue to saute for a few minutes
  4. Add vegetable stock and beans (and corned beef if you are using that- I’m veggie so mine is without)
  5. Mix flour with a little water to make a smooth paste and slowly mix in to the warmed stew until the desired consistency has been reached.
  6. Add plenty of dried mixed herbs, salt and pepper to taste
  7. Simmer over medium/low heat until carrots & potatoes are tender enough to eat (about 15 minutes or so)

Serves 4

Cost per serving:  35p (without corned beef)

Calories per serving:  200


Thank you so much

I just got back from holiday…the first proper one in 25 years. It truly has been the happiest time. I feel lucky and happy to have spent this time with someone I care for deeply. Hopefully I’ll share some photos with you soon.

Have started the day with porridge and toast and for lunch I’ll be making a wartime vegetable stew. I’m committed to losing another 100 lbs by continuing ‘the ration book diet’ (for want of a better word)…

The article did appear in the Daily Mail (click here – have just now seen it in the newspaper) and THANK YOU for the kind comments and support here on my blog and on my Facebook page. I couldn’t bring myself to read the comments in the on-line article as some people can be so cruel. My daughter tells me that she spent hours standing up to the bullies who left upsetting comments. LOL! I laugh but my sensitive nature just wouldn’t cope with reading them so I won’t xxx


THANK YOU to Sara who said a different article and a VIDEO appeared in the Daily Express (click here)

And another article and photos in the Daily Star (click here)

At the end of the day it was an exciting and fun opportunity to cook up some of my wartime recipes and get dressed up and I hope some people head this way and maybe take note of this simple way to feed oneself in a healthy and inexpensive manner. As you know historical cooking is my obsession…

And it’s really simple.

Eat lots of vegetables, walk a few miles every day, eat very small amounts of meat/cheese and bulk up on beans and pulses instead, and eat very little convenience food.

I’ve looked at the pictures and the videos in the articles, they did a great job but of course I see a fat lady still with over 100 lbs to lose…. I am a long way off goal but really, really want to get there.

It’s tough putting yourself out there open to criticism but I’m just ignoring the non constructive type. I believe anything is achievable if one works hard and is willing to keep getting up after falling down.

Thank you sincerely for the supportive comments and messages.

Lots of love

C xxxx