In just over one week I will be taking on my second half marathon with my two sisters. We’ve been training since the start of the year, our longest training run is done and now there’s just 5 more runs to go until the BIG day.
So how am I feeling about it?
Prepared – I’ve done my training and I know what to expect. That’s the great thing about having done this length of race before. It’s not unknown, I know exactly what I’m letting myself in for. I can do the distance. I can certainly run for 2 plus hours. I know that if I want to walk, I can. I know when I’ll hit a wall and how to push myself through it. I understand that the preparation is 50% running training and 50% mental training.
Calm – This time last year, before my first half marathon, I was panicking. Now because I know what to expect and because I’m prepared I’m a whole lot of calm. Which is excellent as honestly there’s so much other stuff to be worrying about right now, that I can’t waste it on this run!
Excited – Yep, you read that correctly. I’m excited to run. To spend time with my sister’s, to chat and laugh and enjoy ourselves. Becca hasn’t done a race like this before and I’ve been trying to tell her how fun it will be. The atmosphere, with the crowd is amazing and it really helps to spur you on. I’m also excited to get my hand on the medal. I really love the design of it this year. Is it possibly better than last year’s? I’m not sure.
I’m not known for my patience, it’s most definitely one of my flaws. But at the moment I’m trying to be patient and trust that things will get there eventually. Even if they aren’t happening now like I want them too, they are happening and I have to just wait some more. There is no hurry. After all if it’s meant to be, it will be.
At the end of January I spent a lovely relaxing weekend away in the Midlands with my sisters. This is becoming a bit of a tradition now, each year we investigate somewhere new around the UK, we find a cosy cottage and indulge in lots of walking, eating and catching up. I always have such a fun time, and I really hope it’s something we continue with every year.
This year we booked a two bed converted barn near Newark and Lincoln for our stay. From here we had a blissful weekend. There were trips to Lincoln, the Sherwood Forest and Newark as well as a quick brunch stop in Nottingham. But it wasn’t all gallivanting around as we managed to fit in watching the first weekend of Six Nations matches and a couple of films; Taken 2 and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
A sister selfie
The Big Oak
A Trio of Wellies
Our garden for the weekend
Phew! All in only three days.
Aren’t sisters just the best? Who else absolutely loves a weekend away?
Does anyone ever get totally bored of their wardrobe or is it just me? I swear some days I go to choose something to wear and I realise that my wardrobe is empty. Like, there’s nothing that works together, nothing looks good and all my clothes are just blah! That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that these thoughts have appeared while I’m on a slight spending ban. With the moving house plans coming together I gave myself a bit of a talking to about saving money. Not to be good with savings or anything but more to allow myself to spend on the new house once I’ve moved – good planning right?! But of course since then I’ve seen so much lovely stuff in all the shops. It happens every time.
One of my clothes mantras is ‘if all else fails, go with stripes’. So of course this top is crucial to all my wardrobe needs. One of my other mantras is ‘nothing beats polka dots’, so hello to this spotted top.
Isn’t this Kate Spade pendant just beautiful? A couple of outfits recently have called for a short pendant and I just don’t have any. Now I don’t know if these thoughts are a direct result of seeing this pendant or not (the answer is probably yes) but it definitely on the wish list at the moment.
Now it’s quite obvious that I don’t need another jumper. Firstly because I have at least 20 already, and secondly because my office is like a sauna and I can’t even wear the jumpers I do have! But it’s me and I love jumpers so I couldn’t create a wishlist without adding one. This pink waffle one is just perfect. The only slight issue is that I know that if I owned this I would certainly drop something down it as soon as I put it on. Actually the same goes for the cream hoodie, but it looks so warm and cosy that it has to be part of this wish list too.
My favourite pair of black heels have finally died – sad times. But yay for the fact that I can shop for some more. This pair from M&S look perfect, plus their shoes are always incredibly comfortable – perfect.
And finally on my list of wants is this floral skirt. Isn’t it dreamy? The colours are perfectly spring like and it would get worn numerous times at work.
What about you lovely people? Any payday dreaming happening. Do you have any favourite things in the shop that you’ve got your eye on?
My friend messaged me with this quote early one morning and I knew immediately that it would be a thought of the day soon.
It’s hard sometimes to remember to step away from the safe place. To take that first step and to open ourselves up to something more, something new, or something different. But often times, when we do, amazing things happen. Life requires risk.
I’m here today to share one of my all-time favourite (not to mention easiest) dinners. It’s the perfect thing to have when you’re in a ‘I should be healthier’ phase, want something quick and easy or just want something full of flavour. Honestly this meal ticks quite a few boxes, plus it’s one that can be easy adapted to what you like/have in the fridge. There’s just one condition, you have to add the smelliest cheese you can find in the world. That’s an essential!
This salad came about when we were trying to be good in the winter and eat more healthy. So limited cards, loads more veggies and protein galore. Salad was the obvious choice, but after a long day at work and with the wind and rain hammering on the windows it’s not always enough to prevent you reaching for the chocolate is it? Enter the winter salad of joy and problem solved. I defy you not to love it!
As with most salads its super easy to make:
* Chop up your veggies and salad. My go-to is avocado (always avocado), raw mushrooms, red pepper, spinach and tonnes of lettuce
* Next chop up 30g of really smelly stilton
* Cut a wrap into long thin strips and grill until crispy (a couple of minutes on each side)
* Cook some chicken. I use the George Foreman grill as it’s super fast and you don’t have to add any extra oil
* Bung it all into a bowl and eat.
* You can add salad dressing if you want but I don’t think it’s necessary with the strong cheese in there.
So there you go, my favourite winter salad. A scrumptious bowl of healthy food that’s just perfect for busy, cold or just lazy nights. Enjoy.
When it comes to running I can get a little bit bored if I’m not running an interesting route. I need distractions. I need something to stop me from looking at the miles as they clock up. Without something interesting to look at I’m likely to run only a mile or two. So mixing up the running route is essential to me, especially when I’m half marathon training and need to up the miles each week. That’s where exploring where I live comes in.
Recently I was back at home and we decided to mix up the running route on a crisp Sunday morning exactly for the reasons mentioned above. And what a brilliant run it was. Two hours later I’d run across the common, alongside a field of bright veggies, past the Wisley greenhouse, through Wisley itself, through muddy woods, alongside an icy river, along the canal and passed (and nosed at) many a gorgeous house. And the best part, I definitely did not feel like I’d been out and about for two hours – maybe an hour max.
So it’s definitely worth remembering this and breaking out of your comfort zone on a run. You never know what you might discover as you explore your surroundings. After all I had no idea John Donne had lived near where I grew up, let alone that his house (top photo) was still there. Just think what you might discover as you distract yourself and clock up the miles. Do it!
Here are a few recent learnings from the last few days that I thought I’d share. You might find them intriguing too!
* 10 stripy jumpers/long-sleeved tops is enough for any one person to own
* Some people get confused by the words emancipated and emaciated. Yes really!
* New shoes, with added sparkly bits, and new (sale) jeans automatically give you more confidence. Sorry credit card
* An hour in the office before anyone else gets in is the equivalent to three hours in the afternoon. You can literally get all the things done
* Pancakes, bacon and maple syrup does work as a combination, despite my long-held reservations
* It’s perfectly possible to forget you’ve bought a coat if you did so right at the end of Winter and hid it away somewhere sensible
* Kale grows on a stalk. Who knew?!
* A swimming pool on Saturday morning is like hell. There are small people everywhere and slow swimmers in the fast lane. You need coffee to recover
* Turquoise, grey and white is a winning combination and might have to appear in any and all future homes I own
* I am very happy to spend 72 hours in a cottage with the sisters and I won’t get bored – the crazy sisters in question ^^^
* It’s impossible not to salivate over the recipes on How Sweet Eats. One day I will make something off the site.
* South West Trains have a sense of humour. On Valentine’s Day the signs looked a little something like the below. I also spotted Darling Dorking, Wonderful Woking, Rich (in love) mond and London Water-Love. Genius.
Have you made any discoveries or learnt anything new recently? Do share!
There’s nothing I like more than a night at the cinema. Comfy seats, good food and becoming completely engrossed in the latest offerings from the film world. Living in London there’s plenty of cinemas to choose from; Cineworld, Odeon, Empire and Vue but they are all so boring and similar.
When I travelled in New Zealand one of the things that struck me the most was the number of independent cinemas. They are everywhere out there. There’s those with comfy sofas and late night films, others that only show old classics and we even stumbled on one that sold warm homemade cookies during the interval and where seats include an old beetle car. They are charming and fun and cheap! So so much better than what you can find in the UK.
Don’t get me wrong there are obviously some other options aside from the bog standard cinema chains. Take the Picturehouse chain for example. It’s the first cinema I’ve found that offers something different from the usual out of the box option of all those others; there’s a bar, good events and there’s one just down the road from me. Plus you can take an actual glass of wine into the screen with you! Winning at life right there! So Picturehouse easily wins best cinema in my book. Or at least it did until last month. You see that’s when I was introduced to the Everyman Cinemas and now I’m spoilt for choice!
There are 12 different Everymans around the country, one of which is located not too far from my parents’ house. One Saturday night back in January I was visiting home for the weekend and we made the last minute decision to watch a film. With the 9 pm showing of Whiplash all booked up off we headed. The Everyman in Walton on Thames has an upstairs bar with quirky decorations; old film posters plastered on the wall, books stored in alcoves and a comfortable blue sofa hidden in a corner with it’s own typewriter. It was here that we killed time before the film started. Instead of bar food or wine we settled on coffee and cookies for a post dinner pudding and chatted away before heading back downstairs to Screen 1.
The screen had around 10 rows of sofas and armchairs in a sumptuous red velvet. Each chair had it’s own table and even ice buckets for the wine – it’s these genius touches that give a whole new level to film watching. While waiting for the film to start we were treated to a whole host of foodie delights arriving in the room. Other viewers had ordered food to have while watching the film and the staff we delivering them straight to their seats – amazing! The pizzas looked absolutely delicious and while I’m not a fan of hot dogs, I have to admit they looked pretty darn good too. I definitely want to sample the hot food next time I go. Can you think of anything better than curling up on a sofa with some wine and pizza? Followed by a delicious ginger and chocolate cookie? Nope me neither.
So that’s it, I am now pretty enamored with the Everyman cinema. It’s just the perfect combination of being at a cinema and being in your own living room. I’m hoping I can persuade the powers that be that they need to open one near my new house. Would someone please put a good word in for me? Great. Thanks!
My love for rice krispy treats is fairly self-explanatory. After all what’s not to love about a food item made of caramel, marshmallow and rice krispies and that involves zero baking? You’d have to be stupid not to love them wouldn’t you? I must have eaten hundreds of these things in my life as they were always the go-to treat as a child purely because we’d always have the ingredients in the cupboard and they’re so simple to make. Well just to up the ante on these awesome snacks I recently added a twist on the recipe and I think they might be even better now. Blasphemy I know. But seriously I think it’s true!
So how do you make these awesome rice krispy treats even better? Well you add a layer of marshmallow fluff and then a sprinkling of melted chocolate. Genius right?! Literally the best thing ever once everything’s set in the fridge. Insanely good if you ask me!
Weigh out 4oz of caramels, marshmallows and butter
Melt in a saucepan until smooth and shiny
Mix in 4oz of rice krispies until everything’s covered completely and perfectly sticky
Press into a greaseproof paper lined tray
Add a layer of marshmallow fluff and drizzle over melted chocolate into a pretty pattern
Leave to set in the fridge for four hours
EAT three in one sitting. Or one, you know it totally depends on your willpower…!
So tell me, have you ever pimped up a favourite snack? Tell me all about it. I love a new recipe!
– Fi x
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