Great start to the weekend

Hello all

Thanks for the comments about my hip- I looked up loads of stretches on the internet in the end, and didn’t even go on a walk on Wednesday or Thursday. By Friday it was loads better, and was just stiff if I sat for too long, and so Friday evening we had a walk after dinner, just to test it out.

Anyway, all was well so this morning I went out on a run.

In one of my new Thoosa vest tops, and my lovely Bondi band too! I love the Bondi band- when it was colder I was having it over my ears too, to keep them warm, but now it is warmer it just works like a hair/sweatband.

I did a 3 mile route, 5 mins running, 1 min walking, and all was well. The wind was pretty chilly, but that is much nicer than being too hot.

Smiley and shiny when I got back home again! I like the before and after- see how much my mood improves when I get to go running 🙂

Then I got to use my new bowl and cup for breakfast!

This breakfast was amazing! Blueberries (massive ones on offer from Ocado that taste delicious), Dorset muesli, almonds and Kara coconut milk, all left to soak overnight. Then I added some cinnamon this morning. It was so creamy. Plus a mint tea as I was a bit cold.

Earlier in the week I made some more macaroons (mostly because standing up was more comfy than sitting down):

The pink ones (were meant to be orange- I used some yellow and some red food gel but the yellow didn’t mix in very well!) are orange flavour, and the purple ones are coconut flavour.

I made a ganache for the filling- equal amounts of cream (I used some Alpro soya cream) and dark chocolate. You warm up the cream, then pour it over the chocolate and stir until it melts the chocolate. Then leave it to thicken up.

Yum that ganache was good! I have never made it before but it was so simple. I don’t really like cream, and so I normally get put off recipes that use it, because the rest would go to waste, plus I never know if I will like it, but using the soya cream worked really well, and as it has a longer date than cream (and comes in a smaller carton) I might try it in other things too. Anyway, they went down well at work again!

This weekend I have plans to plant some new seeds, as I did plant some before but the little greenhouse they were in got blown over, and they were not salvageable. We need to get to the allotment and plant our carrot seeds too. I might make some blueberry scones, or maybe a lemon cake. And hopefully get out for some walks in this sunshine.

Have a lovely weekend everyone 🙂


Photos of food

Yup, an imaginative title indeed!

I have been taking pictures for ages, and not posting them. I was going to do it for WIAW but missed that, so here we go!


(In my new cup and bowl)– peaches, muesli, almonds and coconut milk left overnight, along with mint tea.


I am having a bit of a crumpet obsession right now- one with pb and jam, and one with lime curd. Plus my lovely Whittards chocolate tea (black tea with coconut, cocoa beans and macadamia nuts). Soooo good!

Tea (who knows what kind it was) with a Hotel Chocolat penguin left over from Christmas. Pretty chocolate lasts a long time because I never want to eat it!

Bread making:

One lot of sourdough with hemp seeds (for a little loaf), and one lot with fruits soaked in lemon green tea (for mini loaves).



I took this with me one day- spinach leaves, roasted sweet potato, red and yellow peppers, butternut squash (all roasted in hemp oil), sprinkled with hemp seeds and served with a little tub of hummus.

Spinach, balsamic, roasted squash, peppers, courgettes, baby corn, basil tofu, hemp seeds.

Wholemeal pasta with lovely zest pesto, peppers, courgettes, fresh basil and pine nuts. I am sure I added some cheese on the top too.

Mystery dinner! I defrosted something from the freezer which turned out to be sweet potato burgers/ patties, alongside a salad with cucumber, spinach, pepper, basil tofu and some hummus.


This is the best snack ever! 30g peanut flour, with a little coconut milk to make a sauce, then stirred together with a chocolate alpro pot, and sprinkled with some trail mix.

It is nice with the caramel or vanilla ones too, but the chocolate rules 🙂

Some baking:

I made some of the protein brownies I saw Laura make- as I have hemp protein powder and have not been that enamoured with the flavour. I had to use some raisins as I didn’t have all dates.

I sprinkled the top with some cherry raisins too, to add to the cherry flavour.

I weighed out the ingredients- mine came to:

120g raisins/dates

100g almonds (soaked)

30g dried cherries

30g cocoa powder

50g hemp protein powder

and a few tbs water.

I had one as a snack at work and it was nice- I can taste the hemp in there, but they do taste lovely and gave me energy for the afternoon. The rest are wrapped in cling film in the fridge and ready for other days.

And for fun, a new top:

It is a vest (from Threadless) but with this weather I have not worn it yet.

Running news:

This week I was feeling a bit worried about increasing the distance (this happened to me when I first started running too- I totally lose confidence in myself) but I went out for 5 min run, 1 min walk this week on Tuesday. All was good- but then later on that day I felt like my hip had popped out and needs to pop back in again, and have been limping since. It is not down to the running because I had it on Saturday when we were walking up some steps, but it went away again, and was fine when I got back from my run, it was only much later that it came on. I barely slept on Tuesday night because no position was comfy. I hobbled about all day Wednesday (it seems worse once I have been still for ages so I have tried to keep moving or standing at home) and looked up some stretches on the internet last night which seemed to help. But it is still a bit sore, and not normal, so not sure when I will get my next run in. Grrr. Any ideas how to get it to go back into place?

Surprise birthday trip!

Hello peeps! I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend. Mine was eventful!

On Wednesday (my birthday) Andy gave me a card which said I would have to wait for the weekend for my birthday. I was thinking it was something coming in the post! He later told me we were going away for the weekend, but would not say where. I guessed that it was the Lake District, as we have fancied it for ages and now have our National Trust membership. I had planned to meet some friends at the waffle house on Friday after work, but he said that was OK, and that we would leave later in the evening.

He said to pack for weather similar to here, and comfy clothes (which again helped me with my conclusions). Anyway, we packed up, drove away and ended up at Heathrow! We had a hotel there for the night, as we had an early flight the next morning (but I still didn’t know where we were going). It was all rather exciting, but a bit nerve-racking too. I am not a nervous flyer, but I like to pack ages in advance and know what I am packing for! I was guessing still- my main guess was Norway as we have fancied there for ages too.

Anyway, we checked in for our flight (just after 5am! The airport hotel was a good idea) and it turned out we were going to Paris! I had discounted Paris because I thought the Eurostar was easier (but no availability for the bank holiday weekend).

I have trouble keeping my eyes open in photos- this was the best one I think!

Anyway, once we landed we got the train into the centre of Paris, left our bag in the luggage locker at the station and went for a long walk! We went to the Arc De Triomphe, then to the Eiffel tower (but not up it- I am not keen on heights and have done it once, plus there was a 2 hour queue!), then back to the Champs-Elysees, all the way down it, to the Louvre, and then finally to the train station. At one point we bought sandwiches (I had a lovely Avocado salad one) and sat in the park for a bit. By the Eiffel tower there was a couple in wedding clothes, and tourists were going up and having their photos taken with the wedding couple! How strange.

I knew that our hotel was not in Paris, but I only worked it out once we went to get a train in the evening and saw the signs for Disneyland Paris! We stayed in a hotel one stop along from the parks (and it had a bus that went there too) and had two lovely days in the park. Although Andy did tell me it was going to be a relaxing weekend- not quite!

We were really lucky with the weather. Saturday was quite warm in the end, Sunday was more overcast, but dry (lucky as we stayed at the park until 10.30 for the fireworks show) and then Monday was so warm!

I bought some macaroons (they are mini ones)- fruit flavours like mango, raspberry, orange and coconut- for ideas on flavours of course.

So cute! We bought lovely french bread to take for lunch in the parks (the parks claimed that all eateries have a vegetarian suggestion, but in most places it was a salad with lettuce and grated carrot, lots of them had parmeasan cheese, and one place the suggestion was a salmon dish!) and also went to the Earl of Sandwich, (have only seen them in the US before and they do lovely fresh sandwiches and wraps) and in fact I didn’t eat any of the macaroons while I was there. I did however get treated to a crepe with nutella- mmmm.

I also got a replacement cup (remember when my Minnie mug broke?) and a bowl to match! The original cup was from there- me and Andy went for a few days one Christmas just after we had our offer accepted on our house, so they were our house-warming gifts to each other so it was sad when it broke for sentimental reasons.  Anyway, I was pleased to get replacements, even though ours no longer match.

Coming home turned out to be a bit stressful! Andy had booked a TGV from Disney to the airport, but it was running an hour late with nothing sooner, so we knew at that point we would miss our flight(a taxi would have taken too long as well as we looked into it). We had to get the airlines’ number from the tourist information, rang up and managed to get on a later flight, for the price difference of 500 Euros! Anyway, while I rang the airline, Andy rang the insurance company and they think we are covered- phew! I did have to get the TGV lady to write it on some headed notepaper for the insurance company though- luckily her English was much better than my French! The flight back was so quick- and it took us ten minutes to get through passport control and get our bag- and the bus for the parking was right there! Phew!

When I got home I remembered the macaroons in the suitcase- I managed to salvage some, but the rest were crumbs! Oops!

It is strange to think that this time yesterday I was wandering around a theme park, and today I have been to work as normal! Anyway it was a fun weekend, and a great birthday present. Back to reality now!

How was your weekend?

A lovely birthday (and a little more running)

Well I had a lovely day yesterday. It started with a trip to the post office on my way to work- I had missed a parcel on Tuesday, but I was not sure what it was.

I opened it on the way back to the car, and was so excited and surprised to find it was a birthday parcel from the lovely Lucy! Tea + chocolate = birthdays! Those chocolate pies are in the fridge and ready! I had the cinnamon, cardamom and ginger tea last night and it was delicious, and I tried the chocolate with stevia today (despite saying that when I was in the US last summer I had some iced tea with stevia and it had a funny aftertaste)- anyway the chocolate was yummy- I loved the little bits of freeze-dried berries in it. So thanks Lucy! 🙂

When I got to work I was so surprised to see a bag on my chair with some gifts in it too from some friends at work- how lovely.

I put all the macaroons and brownies in the staffroom and I think they got pretty positive reviews!

I left work pretty quickly, and decided to have a short run (as a birthday treat!)- this week I have done 4 min run, 1 min walk, and have upped the length of the route to about 3 miles now. It is still going OK, although I am a little paranoid about doing damage still. I keep getting stitches, which is unlike me, and the trouble is the stitch pain is right where my actual stitches were (where my scars are) but anyway I have my hospital scan too and I am sure everything will be fine. I did have a moment of sadness (or frustration, or something else) when I realised that last year for my birthday we went to the peak district, and I did that 20 mile race in preparation for the marathon. I mean running for half an hour non-stop is unattainable at the moment, yet one year ago I ran for 4 hours without stopping. But then the sensible voice told me to just get on with it.

After some Earl Grey tea (made my Andy while I had a shower) I opened my cards- I had a lovely message from my parents which summed up how I was feeling- my Mum had written than I have had a year of ups and downs, but it was a fantastic achievement that myself and Andy ran a marathon last summer, and even though I have been unwell I am finally on the mend now. I also had a card from some relatives who mentioned that they will see me on the start line of the Great North Run (I have a charity place for a charity that they are very involved in- they run it for the charity each year)- that made me panic a bit about getting up to the distance. But again I am telling myself off and just taking it a week at a time.

I got to open some presents too- some lovely baking tins (which I am going to use to store my baking equipment in as they are too nice to use), cupcake cases, cookery books, a lovely address book, plus a bag of Lush goodies and a posh chopping board set. I have to wait until the weekend for my present from Andy- and keep the days free so I am quite excited to find out what we are doing 🙂 (Fingers crossed for a tea room visit 😉 )

Also, I treated myself this week to some running tops from Thoosa. I got a racer back vest and also a couple of scoop vests. Anyway I got an email and as they were voted best women’s running clothes by Runners World, if you enter the code RW before 7th May you get 30% off, which is not to be sniffed at. The fabric is sweat wicking, but they are cut in a looser style, so I think they will be lovely in the heat of the summer, plus they are more flattering. And the vest does not have an “inbuilt bra” (which what is the point of anyway? Who would just have that and not an exercise bra???)- so easier to put on! Anyway, it did say to share the email, so I have 🙂

Have you treated yourself to anything recently? 

And thanks again Lucy- that was so kind of you 🙂

First attempt at macaroons

Hey! After watching a demo at the cake show on Saturday, I was inspired to have a go at making macaroons. As it is my birthday tomorrow I normally make cakes/cookies for work, so it was good timing too. Although I found loads of internet recipes, in the end I chose one from Home Bake by Eric Lanlard.

Preparation seemed to be the key- I made two lots and the second lot seemed better. The egg whites had to be at room temperature, and I weighed out all the other ingredients, lined the baking trays and got the piping bag ready. Whipping up those egg whites made my arm ache- I used an electric whisk but it took ages.

A tip I picked up during the demo was to put the piping bag (end snipped off) in a glass- made for much easier filling. Then if it is dripping you can put the end back in the glass whilst piping, so it does not go everywhere. Optional- have icing sugar and ground almonds all over your worktop.

My first attempt was pink ones, which I flavoured with a little almond extract (they have ground almonds in them anyway), and yes I need to practise my piping skills!

Once they cooled I sandwiched them together with a little dark chocolate spread.

The second batch were lemon flavoured (although the yellow colouring was hard to mix in).

I sandwiched the lemon ones together with lemon curd.

All ready to take to work 🙂

I also made some chocolate orange brownies (my usual brownie recipe with some orange extract and some chocolate orange buttons mixed in) just in case the macaroons didn’t work out! I put them in the cake cases once they were cooked to make them easier for people to eat.

Personally, although they look pretty, I can’t see the appeal particularly- they seem like posh coloured meringues really. But they are fun to do because I get to use my food colourings! I much prefer the taste of the brownies.