Sunday 14 January 2018

Writing, Birthday, Killer Body & Canvas Cake

      2018 has had a very busy start. I've spent the last two weeks catching up with a backlog of Christmas and New Year orders, which I'm very pleased to say I've now completed, and putting animals for this year's gallery exhibit together in their jars. I've got 30 odd to go, which is going to take some time, and I've still got about 10-15 animals still to make. Mostly birds, I think, but I've also decided to sneak in some forest spirits! One or two in each plinth, hidden amongst 15 other creatures (45 creatures filling 3 plinths, and then duplicates in another three plinths set up on the opposite side of the room). I'm quite excited about that little detail, actually - they won't sell, but they're beyond my quota, and as every unsold piece will be listed in my Etsy shop when I get it all back in September, I'm confident that they're worth making.

   But it's taken until now to finally find the time to start work on my book again. I submitted the first of this trilogy to agents on January 1st, and I'd hoped to have resumed work on the second by the 7th, but it wasn't until last night, the 13th, that I'd managed. The bright side is that it was easy to ease back in - I'd done some writing on paper on the week before Christmas when I closed up shop, so I had very precise notes to work from and I did a pretty good job, but even before that I reread what I'd done so far and I have to say I was surprised by how well-written it was. Hey, if I don't toot my own horn, who will?!
   Well yesterday I looked over all the notes, polished them and typed them into something readable, which led me to finish the chapter and switch perspective where I can finally get creative again. Yay!

   And, of course, amongst all this has been my birthday! Seeg and I went to dinner and to see the new Star Wars film on the 5th (I'm not getting into it - it was a good movie to watch, but it was filled with holes), and it was a wonderful evening - not to mention that it was the first time I'd been confident enough to step out of the house in a dress since I was 16 years old, and a size 16 to boot, and even that was an obligation. Prior to that one-off, I hadn't done it since I was 9. The difference is, now I'm 27 and a size 8. Hello.
  Aside from the worst PMS I've experienced for a few years, I had a very enjoyable birthday. I made a delicious duck, sausage and oat cassoulet from a recipe in Women's Fitness that I'd been keeping for something special, and damn it was worth it, which was followed of course by a praline ice cream log. I got some wonderful gifts, as outlined below, as well as a few belated ones (my birthday can sometimes still be affected by the Christmas postal back-log and crazy people clogging up the shops in the new year sales), though I admit that the best two are the Mr Bean box set and the Jawa plush. I freaking love those little guys! And he talks! Utinni!! I also admit that those Champion leggings from Wild Bangarang were a gift from me to me...
   Seeg's birthday prior to mine was also great, with a delicious Domino's Pizza (Meateor is the best!), and we have since been watching Star Wars The Clone Wars series and it's actually great. It's canon, too! We're half way through season 2 and loving it.

   I've also decided to prolong Killer Body. While my new year's resolution is to recognise when I need to take a break from my writing, I also think I need to adjust my workout habits. Instead of changing my workout every month, I'm going to look into giving bigger workouts a greater chance since they give me the best challenge and subsequently the most room to grow and my body the best chance at change. So I'm sticking with Killer Body for another 3 weeks, until the end of January, which gives it a total of 2 months, 9 weeks. Somehow, despite having been at it for 6 weeks now, I'm not at all sick of it.
   That said, I'm still going to swap down to a low-impact workout every few months, because my resolution in 2017 was on to something, but those I will keep to just 1 month or perhaps even just 3 weeks.

   And while we're on the subject of health, here's another canvas cake I made for my birthday - though I admit it was premature, as I actually had blueberry and white chocolate pancakes for breakfast on my birthday! It also looks more like it was made for spring than birthday, but I didn't want to use sprinkles because I am so sick of the sight of sprinkles on birthday cakes. It's boring! So I opted for Popaballs and matcha chocolate instead. Though I guess it tasted more spring/summer too, since the cake was lychee. And it was yum.

   I used the original canvas cake recipe, but removed the Stevia and replaced 50ml of the 80ml of water with Funkin lychee puree. I dusted the cake with Sugarflair silky peach lustre dust, topped it with my usual Yeo Valley 0% fat honey greek yogurt, then decorated with 5g of Purechimp matcha white chocolate shavings, 12 shimmer Popaballs in passionfruit and cherry, a squirt of light Anchor cream and 2 mini marshmallows. And then some little flags I made out of tooth picks and washi tape.

Birthday Cake Mug Cake:
295 calories, 8.8g fat, 26.5g carbs, 5g fibre, 27g protein
Cake + 50ml Funkin lychee puree: 180 calories, 2.8g fat, 13.5g carbs, 5g fibre, 22g protein
50g Yogurt: 50 calories, 0g fat, 7g carbs, 4g protein
  - 2 mini marshmallows: 4 calories, 1.5g carbs (0.9g sugar)
  - 7g Popaballs (approx 12 balls): 7 cals, 1.5g carbs (1g sugar)
  - 5g Purechimp matcha white chocolate*: 30 calories, 3g fat, 2g carbs, 0.5g protein
  - 12g Anchor light whipped cream: 24 calories, 2g fat (1.5g sat), 1g carbs (1g sugar), 0.5g protein

*The measurements listed for the matcha chocolate were what I intended to use, but after chopping up 5g of chocolate I only actually used half of it. I've kept the measurements in place, though, so if you want to use the lot, go for it. I did, after photographing. More whipped cream may also have slipped in.


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