Sunday= cinnamon bun-day?

Well, normally I do baking on saturday, but I made soup yesterday, and then we went to the cinema in the early evening (Girl who played with fire) so there was no time!

Today I had a friend visiting (yay) and also cakes fto make or sunday tea, so I made some cinnamon buns.

They look a bit splodgy when waiting to go in the oven. It is such an old recipe from an old fashioned book called “Baking; A commensense guide” which I find is such a funny title!

Of course baking these is commensense!

Anyway, the recipe used normal flour, not bread flour, so I used wholegrain spelt. I also left out the raisins as they always burn.

Here they are with some icing on:

(Some were already packed up for sunday tea).

Well I think they were pretty tasty, and so did all who tried them so I will have to remember that recipe for when I next have a cinnamon craving! Of course they will go perfect with a cup of chai ๐Ÿ™‚

Aside from that, I spent the first half of the day catching up with my friend about our holidays, jobs and lives which is always good, and then the rest round the family for sunday tea.

Now it is truly back to reality as at work the children start tomorrow- I wonder how many names I will be able to remember by the end of the day!

Night ๐Ÿ™‚

PS thanks to Laura for answering my running questions!

Long run and running questions

Afternoon!

This morning I was off on my long run, and as it was not too hot I tried out a new route with more roads and less grass, which ended up a little bit longer than last weeks’ long run. I want to increase the lenght of my long run but I don’t run well in the heat so if it is very hot I am going to run a shorter distance.

In the end I was out for 90 minutes, for about 8.5 miles. On the Nike+ I was pretty consistent (I made a concious effort to start out slower this time), and only slowed down in the middle part where I am running on grass full of mole hills and rabbit holes- for the sake of my ankles I need to slow down!

Once home it was time for a clif bar (peanut) and some chocolate nesquick (yum).

So good!

Then after my shower I spent some time in the garden (in fact it ended up being an hour of digging and planting the new plants!) before luinch of squash and carrot soup, and some toast.

I was also having a look at some other blogs and on Lauras blog she had a list of questions for anyone who read it to answer. So- here they are:

  1. What do you feel is your biggest fitness acheivment?- For me this would be recently running a half marathon (well, 2 in fact). I never even thought I would run a 5K so I was very emotional when I finished.
  2. What is your favourite type of music to listen to when you run? I love upbeat rock/ indie music, I suppose you would describe it as- Ash, A, Kasabian, Hard Fi- I have a few albums but normally have a “running” album on my mp3 which I add to when I fancy it. I also love a bit of cheese like girls aloud- shhhh don’t tell anyone!
  3. What is your favourite distance? At the moment I think it is 10k, as it is the distance I feel I can improve on the most. I am not built for sprinting so I think improving my 5K time is hard. I did love the first half I did, so it’s between those two.
  4. What’s the most impulsive thing you’ve ever done fitness wise? Booking a 10K race after I had run a 5K. I kept it a secret for a while as I was a bit worried that I would not manage to run it!
  5. What’s your favourite post race/run meal? What I love is a massive bowl of soup (with some beans or lentils- I love sainsburys spicy 3 bean soup), some home -made bread and a big cup of tea. This is especially perfect in the winter.
  6. What’s your favourite pre-run fuel? Something with oats. Either porridge, or bircher muesli.
  7. Do you use gels or anything similar to fuel during long runs? The only thing I used when running half marathon was either a gluten free nakd bar after 8ish miles, or some of the nakd flavoured raisins. I find I could eat these while still running, and they gave me a little energy for the end of the run.
  8. Why did you start running? I walked a race for life with a friend (I had not even heard of them) and after it I felt that I should have been able to run it after seeing all the women of all ages, shapes and sizes running. So I kept it to myself as a secret new years resolution to run it the following year to prove that I could run it.

Good questions Laura!

Now if anyone reads this and also runs, maybe you can answer some of my questions (either here or on your own blog- let me know!).

1- Why did you start running?

2- Where is your favourite place to run?

3- What would your ultimate running goal be?

4- Have you ever sustained any running related injuries?

5-What is your must-have piece of running kit?

6- What other sports/ exercise do you do alongside running?

That’s all folks!

๐Ÿ™‚

Teapigs chai

Hooray! Today I decided to treat myself (well, after 2 days at work I needed the weekend!!!) to a lovely cup of teapigs chai tea.

Teapigs chai is made from tea (assam), cinnamon, ginger, cassia, cardamon pods, vanilla and cinnamon flavour.

It comes in a pretty “tea temple” and you can see all the spices through the fabric.

I had mine with milk as I like chai like that, and it was soooooooooo good. It really tastes so warm and spicey; the cinnamon flavour is delicious, but not too sweet. A lot like the starbucks chai tea (which I love by the way) but in a nicer teabag! And you can keep a box in your kitchen- bonus!

See the pretty bags?

Anyway, if you like chai I bet you will love this! Look on the teapigs site here for more info if you want to!

Aside from that, I went to work, came home and went on a gentle 2.6 mile run (27 mins) and then did the level 1 shred- helps to get over the body pump aches! My run was very up and down today; I think I kept speeding up and then realising it and trying to slow down as I wanted a gentle run- save some energy for my longer one tomorrow.

I made some nice bread to have with dinner (didn’t take a pic) and also had a walk this evening in the sunshine. Honestly, each year as soon as the schools go back the weather gets so much better!

Toodlepips!

New faces and new tea :)

Well, today was back to work after my lovely long summer! It was great to see everyone, and we had loads of new staff starting, so loads of new faces (and names) to get to know.

But on to last night first of all. It has been feeling so autumnal lately, and I had a load of apples from my parents tree, so I decided to make my own version of an apple crumble (in my clean oven ๐Ÿ™‚ย  )

First, I cored the apples and stuffed some blackberries into the holes. I had some blackberries left over so I put them in the parcels with the apples. Then I added a little squirt of agave, and sprinkled with cinnamon.

I baked them in the oven for about 25 minutes (low-ish heat)- they were still quite firm but had that lovely cooked apple taste. If you like them squishy then keep on baking!

Then I put one in a bowl with some caramel alpro (instead of custard) and a sprinkle of bear granola (that was the crumble bit). It was heaven! Autumnal heaven in a bowl. This was perfect after our walk in the evening as it had got a little chilly by that time. The blackberries had almost melted into a sort of jam in the core. yum yum yum!

Then at work we had fun- it was mostly art today, lots of sketching, and look what I made!

It was some kind of printing with ink- with tissue paper, looks pretty impressive but not sure how easy it will be with 5 year olds!

Anyway, whenย  I got home I was so excited to find this on my doorstep:

While looking for chai tea (can only normally get it in Whitards) on the net I came across Tea pigs (what a cute name!). They offered to send me some samples to try in exchange for some reviews- and I am always happy to try tea ๐Ÿ™‚

Look at pretty chai tea mmmm

The tea bags are pretty pale nets, biodegradable and very delicate looking.

I decided to try some rooibos creme caramelย  (don’t want caffiene before body pump!) :

An attempt at a close up of the pretty tea bag and all the bits inside. Proper tea, not just brown dust ๐Ÿ™‚

And lastly brewing in my cup ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh my, this stuff tastes amazing! I have had plain rooibos tea before, and I could never decide if I liked it or not as it seemed very “earthy”. Well, this stuff is soooooo good. I tried it first without milk, then it was a bit hot (and the site recommended adding milk) so I added some milk to the last half of the cup. Good both ways!

It tastes sweet, really like drinking warm caramel, soooooo good!ย  10/10 for me and as it is caffiene free would be a good drink later in the evening. Look here for the info. It could easily replace hot chocolate as a comforting winter drink.

I am off to body pump later (yay) and have another training day at work tomorrow so am being broken in gently!

Last day of freedom!

This is what the last day of the summer holiday feels like! I forget that even during term time I actually do manage to do things like running, seeing friends and so on. Also I usually have a mini panic as it has been so long since I was teaching- have I forgotten how to do it?

Anyway, today started off with me doing some work, while a man came to clean our oven. A friend recommended it to me, and I decided to give it a try. We moved in 4 years ago, but the oven must be about 8 years old, and even though I do attack it with the cleaners, it is never sparkling.

The guy did an amazing job! He took the doors off, took the trays and the brackets they fix to, and cleaned it all. He even got the grease out from between the two layers of glass in the doors (no idea how) and replaced the bulb that had gone. I am so excited that now when I am cooking something I can see it!ย  Next time I bake I may well have to do an oven-cam pic!

After that it was run time, so I loaded up my mp3 with some podcasts (including an interesting one, medical matters from radio 4, about a man who lost his memory- very interesting)), took some water and headed out. I went up to the lakes, but after 20 minutes I was getting a pain in my side (right-front stomach). After ten more minutes I stopped and walked for a minute, tried some stretching, but it didn’t go away, so I decided to carry on as the quicker I got home (hopefully) the quicker it would go away. Well, it didn’t until I got home and say down for a bit. No idea what it was about, but looking on my Nike+ after, I think perhaps I set off too fast. My miles went 8.48, 8.48 (is that possible to have two identical ones??), 10.33 (I walked a bit during that mile), 12.11 (not sure what happened there but there is a big hill!) , 11.20 and then 10.34 (home is in sight!). All in all the 6 miles took me 59 mins, including a walk, so not too bad, but I think I need to start off a bit slower, although it didn’t feel that fast!

Once home and stretched I had my last Seed Stacked bar- this one is carob topped.ย  It was also super delicious- the seeds give it such a great texture, and the carob was a nice addition (I can never tell it apart from chocolate anyway!). For the 50g bar you get 214 cals, 5.2g protein, 20.5g carbs and 4.3g fibre. Not too shabby.

Then I took a pic of my cute tin:

which I keep my cereal bar stash in:

I am very tempted to order a box of the seed stacked bars (plain or carob are both gorgeous) but I am not sure where I will put them!

After a shower it was lunch which got more and more processed as I went on!ย  Home-made squash and carrot soup, cherry tomatoes, then rye bread and cream cheese, then some so crispy bites (I fancied something salty).

I then sat down to watch The Great British Bake-Off. I love this show! Although I am finding it hard to pick up tips as the guy seems to sometimes tell them, but is never specific enough. I wonder if there will be a book to accompany the series? Remember the good old days of BBC fact sheets?

Later on I am getting my hair cut as it is such a rush to get there after work. I am wondering if I fancy a bit of a change but I am not sure. Hmm.

Anyway, while checking emails I tried this:

as I fancied something sweet. I picked it up on a whim in the health food shop the other week, as I am always tempted by the nice sounding flavours of all the dairy free “milks” (almond milk always sounds good) but I have never seen a trial size one before. I would not want to buy something and then have to chuck the rest away if I didn’t like it. Anyway, this stuff is lovely, very creamy and rich tasting. A nice treat for my taste buds!

Then to continue with my clear out I have sorted out my underwear drawers. I had so many socks that the drawer would not actually close. So I have sorted them into rows of thick socks, medium socks and summer trainer socks. Anyway, I found this in my drawer:

I got it ages ago and had completely forgotten. It is 88% organic, and has a long list of stuff that it does not have, including formaldehyde. So then I was thinking about the products I normally use- do they have nasty stuff like formaldehyde in them? I am not so bothered about it being organic, but I don’t reallt want nasty chemicals being rubbed into my skin. So I think I will have to read the ingredients more closely from now on. Anyone got a good product / range that is more natural than chemical?

Anyway, off to get my hair cut now, then dinner tonight will be my last quinoa and black bean bake (defrosting now) with some butternut squash, maybe green beans too. I am hoping for a walk this evening, as the last few days, although it has been cooler, it has also been much sunnier. I was reading on JAG’s blog about how Autumn is her fave season, and I think I don’t have a favourite season. I like the fact that in the UK the weather changes during the year, but most of all I love the sunshine. A sunny autumnal day where the sun shines off the golden and orange leaves, is as perfect as a summer day with beautiful blue sky, or a crisp winter morning where the sun shines off the frost (or snow).

I just love the sunshine!

๐Ÿ™‚