Mornflake cereals

So last week I was sent a lovely package from Mornflake.

Some Plum and Almond granola, and some Cranberry and Nut muesli. I have been in a bit of a breakfast rut lately- sticking to porridge. I do love porridge, but I have not even had pancakes for months, so it was time for a change.

On Saturday morning I had some of the muesli alongside some clementines and a tea. There is barely any added sugar (the dried cranberries contain some, but that is it) which I think is great,as I feel dried fruit is enough sweetness. I loved the little bits of apple in there, and the nuts (could always do with more nuts though). I am not a big dried apricot fan, but the pieces were only tiny. I didn’t measure out a portion (trying to steer clear of weighing foods now) so I have no idea how much I had, but I ate this at around 8.30am on Saturday, and it kept me going all through the school Christmas Fayre, including taking down the grotto- I had a hot chocolate at around 2.15pm, so pretty impressive.

On Sunday morning I had some of the granola with a chopped apple- before doing the Jingle Bell jog! I loved the pieces of plum in there, but this had honey and added sugar which I didn’t think it needed. I think it would be gorgeous with a sprinkling of cinnamon as that would go so well with the plum and almond flavours.  Again I didn’t weigh out the portion, but it says the pack contains 11 45g portions- this kept me going during the 5K jog (I had an early breakfast as I had yet more work to do before heading out)- I probably ate it at around 9am, and had lunch at around 1pm, so again, not bad.

I prefer the muesli as I like that texture more, but the granola would be good to sprinkle on yoghurt and things.

Do you ever get stuck in a breakfast rut?

I was provided with the products in exchange for a review- all opinions are my own.

Thermal tops

Usually when I run, I get very very hot. In the summer I struggle to stay cool when running in very hot conditions, and so stick to a vest and capris for several months of the year. Even into the Autumn I have learned to dress for the end of my run rather than the beginning.

However, when it starts getting frosty I swing the other way, and need to wrap up a lot. I will tend to wear a thermal long sleeved top, with a normal top over the top, plus gloves, headband (to keep my ears warm) and possibly leg warmers over my tights.

The change has happened, and so recently my evening runs have taken ages to get ready for as I layer up.

I was sent a thermal top from Damart to review- what perfect timing!

It even came packaged with a candy cane- how festive!

I won’t subject you to a photo of me in it! The sizing was hard to judge- it was either 8/10, or 12/14, whereas I would usually go for 10 or 12, depending on the label and how fitted I would want it. I chose the smaller size, as I have a few thermal running tops that are baggier and they don’t keep me as warm. It looked tiny when I unwrapped it, but luckily the fabric had a lot of stretch in it- phew!

It was lovely and cosy and worked perfectly as a base layer. I don’t think I would wear it on its own, but that is partly to do with the pattern, and partly that if it is cold enough for a thermal top, I generally need another layer anyway.

I tucked it in my running tights, and wore it under my jacket, and it did keep me very warm indeed. The only problem I had (which is the same with other thermal tops) is that when I got home I was boiling! I walked a little bit to cool down, and did a few stretches outside, but as soon as I got inside to the central heating, it was waaaay too hot for me!

How do you cope with the changing weather conditions? 

* I was sent the top in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Jingle Bell Jog and a Christmas hamper

Hey peeps- I survived!

The Jingle Bell Jog was rather hilarious! My friend picked me up and we headed into town to collect our Santa suits. The suits were, um, interesting! I could have worn the trousers as dungarees, and even though they were baggy with a big drawstring, if you moved at all you split them in the crotch! It was also boiling! There was no bag drop so I kept my capris and top on as it was freezing walking from the car, but I ended up being so hot. I attempted the beard on, but it was so fluffy and itchy so I left it around my neck.

After a “warm up” we were off- the most laid back run ever- no timer clock, no signs to say how far we had gone- the roads weren’t closed so at several points we had to wait at roads for the green man!

But we got a lot of beeps from cars driving past and we were wa ving our flags back at them. We took it gently (one of my friends had not run at all in preparation so she did really well)- we ran the first mile, then ran/ walked the last two- making sure we ran to the finish. No idea what my time was as I didn’t stop my Garmin until it beeped for 4 miles back in the car!

What a cool medal though! Santa has the right idea in a sleeveless top to run in!

I made sure I stretched when I got home, but my leg has felt fine again, so that is good news. If I feel OK then I will have another run on Tuesday.

Now I am trying to persuade Andy to get our decorations down- I have suggested watching Home Alone as a sweetener! I think we are now putting it back to this Tuesday though.

A few weeks ago I was sent a gorgeous Christmas hamper from Hampergifts. They have a lovely selection, including lots of vegetarian/ alchohol free hampers. The one I was sent was called The Noel, and it is chock full of goodies. It came beautifully wrapped in ribbon, and I have no idea how all the contents fit in the basket as once I had unwrapped it I could not fit them back in!

The contents as listed on the website:

  • Olives Et Al Chilli & Garlic Olives 150g
  • Dark Chocolate Coated Marzipan Loaf 100g (I got Lindor truffles instead)
  • Cottage Delight Spicy Mango and Ginger Chutney 340g
  • Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Co. Fresh Ground Breakfast Coffee 56g
  • Large Christmas Fruit Cake 500g
  • Milk Chocolate Coated Almonds 150g
  • Alice McPhersons Petticoat Tails Shortbread 150g
  • Olive & Sesame Savoury Breadsticks 100g
  • Triple Chocolate Gourmet Cookies 100g (mine were lovely lemon ones)
  • The Wooden Spoon Cranberry & Orange Sauce 113g
  • Walkers of London Milk Chocolate Fruit & Nut 240g
  • Buchanan’s Chocolate Russian Caramels 100g
  • English Breakfast Tea x 10 Envelopes

It had a lovely mix of savoury and sweet items, and I love that it included coffee and tea instead of wine (although of course there are hampers with wine too). The Russian Caramels were in lovely gold and red wrappers, and sprinkled about the basket, so they have all been eaten now. I am saving the Lindor for the Christmas holidays as I have seen a way to make little reindeer with them, and I am thinking the cranberry sauce will be perfect in sandwiches. My Mum and Dad have been enjoying the mango chutney, and Andy’s family have been loving the spicy olives.

The chocolate coated almonds are also slightly gold coloured.

They are also huge: brazil nut sized and very moreish!

I have made hampers for people before, and it is always hard to find something to put them in- I love the idea of using reusable things like a utensil holder or something. I also think the range on the website is really good so well worth a look, even just for ideas.

Have you ever made/ bought a hamper for someone? Have you ever run in fancy dress?

Thanks to Hampergifts for providing me with the hamper to review. All opinions are my own.

Gingerbread hot chocolate

Hey peeps- I hope you are all having a lovely weekend.

I have been feeling really festive now- hooray! Earlier in the week we had a walk to John Lewis after dinner, and I bought myself a couple of Christmas treats.

Some gingerbread hot chocolate flakes, and some gorgeous coconut tea- I bought some of this in the summer but have not had any yet as it seemed too nice to use!

Look- the tea comes in little pyramids with a little leaf thing to hold!

I had another week of rest this week, but felt like I was climbing the walls a bit by the end of the week. I have felt totally fine, so on Friday after work I attempted a gentle 2 mile jog.  I felt fine again, although I am now feeling like I can’t tell if I feel normal or not- or am I being paranoid! I stretched loads when I got home, and I felt alright, so fingers crossed. I wanted to see if I would be OK for the 5K tomorrow, and I think I will be fine so long as I take it nice and slow.

After spending lunch time at the school Christmas Fayre, I was off for afternoon tea with friends.

Photo from one of my friends as the picture I took was not as good.

We had such a lovely selection and they had even made some of the cakes look festive with little stars and holly leaves. The Christmas tree was up and it was so cosy in there- I think we spent about 3 hours just catching up and relaxing, it was wonderful.

This morning I made some dough for some stollen- after seeing so many last weekend in Cologne it has been on my mind! So when I got back I shaped the loaves and they are rising now.

Loads of cherries and marzipan in there, yum.

I have also booked my next physio appointment, although it is not for another week and a half. I think between now and then I will be sticking mainly to walking, with perhaps a couple of short runs- I shall see how I am after the jog tomorrow.

Also, I signed up for the marathon talk Jantastic challenge- team Run Blog Bake! is up on there, so please join in if you fancy it (it is just for fun!). 🙂

Perfect pasta and baths for the win

Hey everyone, I hope you are all doing well.

Since I visited the physio I have been trying to have regular baths. Now, I am not that good in the bath- I don’t like sitting around and I generally get too hot, plus it always takes longer than a shower. To make the time pass quicker I have sorted out a temporary measure- (and also because I am getting behind on my marathon talk listening as I usually listen on my long runs)- I have worked out that I can use my running headphones (they loop around my ears and won’t fall out) and tuck the mp3 player into my hair bun (mental blank- can I just call it a bun?) and then, success- I can listen to a podcast in the bath. Hooray.

I was kindly sent some bath salts (magnesium flakes) last week from Better You, what perfect timing. The instructions were to pour the whole packet (250g) under running water and then soak for 20-30 minutes. I didn’t take a photo of them in the bath, but they looked like coconut flakes- really huge chunky bits of salt, but they dissolved really well.

I also really liked the packaging- nice and bold and clear. They are available online and I think quite reasonably priced compared to the Epsom bath salts I have bought before. Something to add to my Christmas list as well, as I think I may need to carry on with the baths when I start running again.

We have also been enjoying plenty of pasta, thanks to this very generous package from Sainsbury’s.

My favourite has been the wholemeal spaghetti- we have enjoyed it with lovely Zest green pesto, courgettes and peppers. I had a lovely meal the other day with some Zest sundried tomato pasta, avocado and cherry tomatoes. It sounds like a strange combination, but seriously it is lovely.

Today I had mountains of work to do, and Andy was out, so I needed a quick and easy dinner (usually I am very lucky in that if I am working Andy will sort my dinner out for me)- I baked some herby tofu and some butternut squash, and then cooked up some of the chunky pasta tubes. Some red pesto stirred in to the cooked pasta and voila! A quick and delicious dinner. I was making some more honeycomb while it was cooking…

Bubbling away!

Anyway, of course it was ready just as the timer pinged for the pasta, but even though I left it for a little bit the pasta was still perfectly firm.

Just what I fancied.

I look forward to trying all the other pasta types- we don’t have enough cupboard space to have all the packets on the go at once, so it may take a while!

I am starting to feel very antsy indeed with no running for over a week now. At the moment I have zero pain, and although I feel I am moving cautiously, I have felt fine and am sure I could run if I wanted to. But I don’t want to start back too soon and make it worse. I have not booked another physio appointment yet- I keep getting home too late to call. I am going to give pump a miss tomorrow, as I think the squats and lunges are not a good idea, but I might try a gentle run on Friday. It is my local Parkrun’s 100th run on Saturday, but I am not going to that as I have the Jingle Bell Jog on Sunday which I want to be fine for, and I know I will be tempted to push too hard at Parkrun. The race is a 5K, and we have to wear Santa suits, so no pb chasing- I shall be running gently and possibly aiming for my slowest 5k time. But hopefully it will be fun and festive- I have never run a race in fancy dress before so I am looking forward to it.

Also, I got my first Christmas card today! To be fair it was from my cousin who has moved house, so partly it was so I had his new address, but I am still so impressed with their efficiency. I think that is another job for the weekend!