Hurraw Obsession

Hey peeps- I hope the UK folk had a fab 3 day weekend! I did- more on that another day!

I always have lip balm in my bag, by my bed, at work and so on. I used to like the Nivea stuff but I have been trying to use more natural products (especially lip balm as I am sure I eat a lot of it!) and last year ordered some Hurraw stuff from i-herb. I bought two; a chai spice (lovely) and a coconut one which I didn’t like so much. But they are so moisturising and are cold pressed and organic, as well as being vegan, so I was well and truly converted to the brand.

When I ran out of chai spice I went on i-herb and spent ages trawling the flavours.

In the end I went for Almond, Earl Grey, A night treatment one, and Almond, Cardamom and Rose.

Then, while I was waiting for them to arrive I went to London and saw that Wholefoods stocks them, so along with some other goodies I bought the almond flavour then too.

Annoyingly I thought I had bought the chocolate mulberries but they turned out to be goji berries which I didn’t like as much.

The almond one is gorgeous, if you like marzipan, which by now you must know that I am slightly addicted to.

The Earl Grey one is fab too. The Almond, Cardamom and Rose one is nice, but I prefer the plain almond one. The only one I am not so keen on is the night treatment one, but it is not too bad it just has a bit of a rich flavour/ scent which is not great for just before bed.

Anyway, I would highly recommend these. Next time I run out I shall be going to London instead of ordering them from i-herb, but if you can’t get to Wholefoods then it is worth a look- the almond one is here. I have signed up to the i-herb rewards scheme so if you click through the link I get a small % of credit if you spend anything.

Also, we were in Brighton on Monday and I found some of the flavours in Infinity Foods- I managed to resist even though they had a lovely sounding black cherry one. They did however stock chocolate mulberries so I bought a couple of little packets- hooray!

Are you a lip balm fan? What flavours do you like? 

Pretty dresses and a few reviews

Isn’t the weather lovely first of all??? I am not sure which weather forecast I saw but I didn’t expect this!

Yesterday we popped into town- we have a wedding to go to in a few weeks time and although I have the dress, I needed a cardi or something, so I wanted to have a look. Anyway, no success there, but Debenhams were having 20% off dresses, so I came away with this:

This morning I went for a 9 mile run. I found it very tough as I wasn’t expecting it to be so warm- I wore a t-shirt when really I should have worn a vest. I also think I was a bit dehydrated- my mouth felt really dry from early on, and then I started to imagine all my blood getting thicker and my heart having a hard time pumping it around which didn’t help things either. Anyway, all done now. As soon as I got home I had an apple and some coconut water, and then after my shower made pancakes.

One with honey pb, one with blackcurrant curd, and one with coconut butter and jam.

Onto the reviews.

Seed and Bean sent me some gorgeous chocolate to enjoy.

Seed and Bean make their organic Fairtrade chocolate by hand in England. Recently they have changed their packaging and I must say that I think it is gorgeous and really eye catching. I also like it when the colours “match” the flavours if that makes sense. Also their inner “foil” wrappers are all home compostable as they are made from cellulose.

They sent me four flavours; Milk chocolate with Sicilian hazelnut and almond, Milk chocolate with Cornish sea salt and lime, Fine Dark chocolate with Espresso, and Extra Dark chocolate with mint.

I love nutty chocolates, and the combination of hazelnut and almond is just gorgeous. The lime and sea salt really impressed me too- I love trying more unusual flavours and this was great- the lime was fresh and zingy.

Andy has been enjoying the Espresso chocolate as coffee is not my thing, but it does smell good (I love the smell of coffee, but do not like the taste).

The Mint chocolate is delicious. Mint and chocolate is a classic combination- I have been having a couple of squares after dinner. The dark chocolates have the Vegan society logo on them, but also the disclaimer that they may contain milk traces.

Holland and Barrett stock them, but they never seem to have a big range of flavours, so if you fancy having a look there is an online shop here.

I was also sent some Viva drinks to try. Now, I would not agree to being sent something unless I thought I would like it (for example I was offered some Quorn products but I don’t tend to eat “fake meats” so declined as I didn’t think I would enjoy them), but when the drinks arrived I was not sure about them as I read the ingredients. They are drinks made with fruit juice, water and herbal extracts, but they also use stevia to sweeten them, and I have not always got on well with stevia in the past.

The first one I tried was the Mind drink, as it was flavoured with mangosteen and pineapple, which I liked the sound of. I liked it more than I thought I would, and I didn’t get the weird chemical/ metallic aftertaste I have had with stevia drinks in the past, so maybe they have the balance a bit better.

The Calm with melon and white peach was also quite nice- pretty refreshing. I am not convinced by the claims of the botanical extracts- I would imagine you would need to consume on a regular basis to glean any benefits, but I am sure they don’t do any harm.

My favourite one was the Detox- the Mint and Lemon flavour was lovely- like a fresh mint iced tea made with real mint leaves. If I was out and about on a hot day and needed a refreshing drink I would buy this, although some might find it quite sweet tasting due to the white grape juice and stevia.

I liked these more than I thought I would. I did find the packaging a bit hard to read- it was hard to find where the flavours were written as it was not immediately obvious.

Finally I was sent the most gorgeous cookery book:

Treat Petite by Fiona Pearce is filled with gorgeous miniature recipes for pastries, cakes, meringues and savoury bites. If you were holding an Alice in Wonderland themed party, or a delicate afternoon tea, this is the book for you!

How gorgeous do the mini macaroons look?

I love that each recipe has a photo and an “actual size” picture too.

I have not made anything from here yet, but I am sure it won’t be long!

Fiona runs a blog, Icing Bliss, which I urge you to check out as it is filled with beautiful photos of afternoon teas and delicate cakes.

Right, I had better get on with some real work! I have been excellent at procrastinating today (in a good way I suppose- I have ploughed through tidying, dusting, cleaning bathrooms and the kitchen, loads of washing and catching up on blogs from the past week) but now I have run out of other things!

Do you like getting dressed up? Personally I do not like it at all. Tights are my nemesis! Finding the right size is hard, and even the short length ones end up under my rub cage, and then I always manage to rip them when I put them on/ when I go to the loo.

Speed training!

Hey peeps

I hope everyone has had a good week. I had a crazily busy week, hence no posts, and I am going to keep the catch up short.

On Monday I went to have another sports massage on my back and then made some fudge for work when I got home (I was keeping it as a rest day as I had been to parkrun and then ran 8 miles on Sunday morning).

Tuesday I got home late but the weather was gorgeous and I ended up going off on a slightly new route across the fields- just me and the rabbits.

As I started a new card I got a new technical t-shirt from Sweatshop, although I got an old design (the new designs have cool smiley faces).

It was intervals. The guy had a whistle. Yes, it was serious! We ran out to the fields where there is a strip of concrete (an old taxiway as it used to be an airfield) and then we had to run out as hard as we could until the guy blew his whistle (after 1 minute) and then we had to jog back to recover for one minute. We only repeated this 5 times, but my that was enough! I am generally near the back of our runs, and I think I am pretty good at pacing so often I will catch people near the end as they slow down, especially if we go for nearer 4 miles than 3. But as soon as the whistle went I was left in the dust! I just could not move my legs any faster! I didn’t mind, I was just genuinely surprised by how much faster everyone went. I looked at home at my Garmin and I reached 6.01, 6.45, 7.05, 6.54 and 6.58 for the fast sections. The guy from the shop generally stayed with me and encouraged me on while he looked at the time, and I am sure that helped me too.

We had a little cool down jog before I jogged (slowly) home- my legs were so sore after that (and so were my lungs!)- it was a good workout but so tough. I did just under 4 miles in the end (including the run there and home) but I was more tired than from my 5 miles the day before. Next week is hill training- I think the whistle may come out again!

I think this was my breakfast after my 8 miles last Sunday- watermelon, muesli, granola, strawberries, honey munchy seeds and teapigs chocolate tea.

Yesterday was my birthday, so after work I went to the Waffle House (where else eh?) with some friends. Andy texted me during the day to tell me I had to be home by 7, and when I got home we walked up to the uni, where it turned out we had tickets to see Mark Kermode talk about his new book. We love listening to the radio 5 film podcast on Friday evenings, so it was a great surprise and a great evening! But it meant I didn’t open my cards until just before midnight!

Have you tried interval training? I have used the audiofuel podcasts before, but I found it hard to keep in time with the slower sections. I like doing it with a group as I kept going whereas I am sure if I tried that on my own I wouldn’t go as fast, and probably would stop before I should.  I think it is going to be a more regular feature as the shop had a beginners running session on a Tuesday, but now they want to have that on Monday, have a steady Tuesday run and then have extra bits like hill training on a Wednesday.