Everything but the kitchen sink

How s-l-o-w-l-y things seem to drag when you’re soon to be going on holiday. Every day seems to crawl by…I know I shouldn’t complain though. I’m very grateful to soon be on a beach in Mexico applying another layer of suntan lotion…

It couldn’t have come at a better time as well. I feel a bit frazzled. And I know Ben is as well with all his travelling and hard working he’s been doing lately. So bring on the cocktails!

But first I have the small tiny little Bristol half marathon to get through first…I’m strangely looking forward to it. It should be great to do such a big race in terms of numbers of people. Cheddar Gorge half was under 200, whereas this one is around 20,000! Even Reading was only around 15,000 I think. So a lot of people!

What’s crazy as well is that when we get back from our holiday the ‘big’ training begins. Marathon Training. Those words just look scary to me. Marathon? Whoa. It’ll be less than two and a half moths until the big date when we get back from Mexico. I already have two races planned to help the training along:

End of October: Great South Run (10 mile road race – very popular, should be brilliant)

Mid-November: A nice and local half marathon (Gosport Half)

December 22nd: Marathon

Annoyingly enough our work Christmas party is the night before. My work always do a really good Christmas do. Last year’s was in Bruges for the weekend. This year it’s at a beautiful stately home in Winchester. Unfortunately Ben and me will opt out as it just wouldn’t be a good idea. Not with a 9.30am start the next day. I’m not too sad… *sobs*

Anyway, like I said I’m feeling a bit frazzled with work. Definitely in need of a holiday. I’ve been using my workouts as a bit of a escape. Seriously, I can’t think of anything important during those tough spin classes. My mind is purely “this hurts” or “I’m tired” or “when’s it over”. And running is like a cool breeze flowing through my mind. It just wipes all that stress away. For the half marathon I plan on just putting on some music and enjoying the scenery. I do enough introspection and worrying in my daily life to allow myself to get bogged down by unnecessary thoughts for 13.1 miles.

I haven’t really posted much about food lately. Mainly because it’s all been a bit samey and not interesting at all.

However, as it’s Wednesday (WIAW: go check out Jenn’s blog!) I did stumble across a quick meal that I just can’t get enough of at the moment. It was after I’d gotten in from spin and my body was like FEED ME. We had a lot of vegetables in the fridge that needed to be used and I just thought “what the hell”. So it was pretty much a meal with everything but the kitchen sink.

Kitchen sink meal

This delightful mess is a three egg scramble with lots of stir fry veg, mushrooms, sun dried tomato and diced trout. With a side salad of course – because you can never have too much veg, am I right? Winking smile

What made this was the trout and the sundried tomatoes. The tomatoes were in oil so this helped increase the flavour as well. I loved this. And good healthy omega oil from the fish as well!

Another meal that I’ve been enjoying is gammon steak.


I grilled the steak and had this with cauliflower mash with goat’s cheese mixed in (heaven) and broad beans…and maybe a sneaky bit of beetroot (it needed eating). Oh how I miss eating gammon! I’m on such a meat kick at the moment.

And at work it seems everyone can’t stop bringing in cakes. Not that I’m complaining!


Hello oat and raisin cookie. How I love thee.

Sadly our cake stash in our freezer is quickly going down. This is not good. My mum came over the other day for a catch-up…and we had the last slices of Victoria sponge. I almost cried. Winking smile Well, that just means getting/baking more I guess!

As my last point, I’ve just started reading Gone Girl after it seemed the blogging world exploding with how amazing it is a while ago (I’m so behind the trend). I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. I’m 17% through (God bless the Kindle) and I’m not massively keen. DON’T HURT ME. It’s just that it reads a bit like a comedy romcom style book but so clearly is not. I don’t know how to take it if I’m honest. It just seems a bit odd. I shall persevere though.

Have a great week guys!

When’s and where is your next holiday?

What’s your latest favourite meal?

Do you use exercise to switch off or switch on? Sometimes a long run is quite cathartic to think about different things, but usually I just like to stop thinking and shut off from the world for a bit.

What are you reading at the moment ? Have you read Gone Girl? Thoughts?

What makes you happy?

Hi guys, hope the week has treated you well. I thought I’d be a little reflective in today’s post. I read something online during the week that really got my brain ticking. It was this article from the BBC news website:

Can we make ourselves happier?

Everyone wants to be happy in life. I think when people make goals and plans, whether that’s to save up for a new outfit, run a significant race, or progress in your career, it’s ultimately to be happy. Unless you have some pretty altruistic goals, that tends to be the case I think.

In the article, for example, apparently you’re happier if:

  • You’re in a long-term relationship
  • Go out to dinner (that’s my kinda happiness right there Winking smile)
  • Lead an active life
  • Actively engage in politics (I listen to the news does that count??)… and so on.

So this got me thinking: what makes me happy?

Well, I guess it comes as no surprise that my husband is on the top of the list.


Marrying him was the best thing I ever did.

Page 12 copy

Oh sure he annoys the hell out of me quite frequently (man-related bathroom paraphernalia not put away, ringing me panicked and confused when I ask him to put the washing on if he gets home before me from work despite the fact I have told him a million times how to do it Winking smile) and I’m 100% certain I annoy the hell out of him too (apparently I malt like a yeti…). But we’re stronger every day because of our trials and tribulations.

Sorry, mush over.

I would also say that a strong contender for increasing happiness (that I didn’t see mentioned in the article) is having a pet. Specifically, having a dog. Cat-lovers don’t hate me – I have limited experience with cats…but we’ve always had a dog. When I was living at home my parents had dogs (and still do) and now Ben and me have our own pooch, Alfie.


He’s part of our little family and our home would be empty without him. His little quirks which drive me mad (eating kibble on the LIVING ROOM FLOOR, thus crumbing everywhere) only make me love him more.

And obvious family (and friends) in general:Family

They’ll do Winking smile

And it will come as no surprise that I love running and it makes me incredibly happy.

DDay Photo

When I couldn’t run properly for a couple of weeks it made me the grumpiest person known to man. And my husband (and family) were getting pretty fed up of me. I called it my Running Depression.

But we’re through that. I’m past it. I’m a new woman. A more-cautious-terrified-of-any-niggle woman, but it’s all good. Though honestly, I don’t even want to admit how many races I’ve got coming up. It’s become a problem. But I’m hoping they’re staggered sufficiently to avoid any over-training/injuries.

Food. BIG contender for making me happy. Cooking healthy, hearty meals:

Healthy food 2

And enjoying not-so-healthy, but equally enjoyable food:


That was the day is ate three and a half puddings. It was a great day.

Food for heart and soul is essential for happiness. It’s all about balance.

And though there are hundreds of things I could write that make me happy, the last thing I will note is reading.


Going to bed with a good book is the best way to end a day in my opinion. I may sound like an old granny, but I really relax when I lose myself in a book Currently I’m absolutely gripped by Ken Follet’s Winter of the World. It’s a good’un.

Just one simple question today: what makes you happy?

Coffee mugs, egos and interesting books

I do believe I’m getting a bit of a reputation at work…We’ve had a few new starters and they clearly have not been on-boarded with regards to the usage of my mug.


I’ve spotted a couple of them using my mug (on separate days) but decided not to mention anything. But they are quickly informed of their error by the other members of staff when they see them using it. Apparently I seem to strike fear in my co-workers. Can’t be a good thing…or can it? Winking smile

Speaking of work, on Thursday night after work we had a little light-hearted fitness competition of running 100m. In the end it was four of us competing for the title. Three men (all either in or close to their fifties) and me.

Now, I love running (did you notice??). I pretty much thought I had this in the bag. These men weren’t terrible unfit, far from it for example, one of them does triathlons and one is a regular runner. But still, I’m practically half their ages, in the prime of my fitness and youth. I’ve got this.

I really didn’t.

I came last. Not even close to third. Within 10 seconds of the race (after Usain Bolt would have finished…) I realised I had lost. They were long gone. Yep, I was pretty embarrassed. Needless to say, the one who does neither triathlons nor regular running won. Jeeze.

Well, what can I say! I’m an endurance runner not a sprinter. Let’s leave it there shall we?

So I thought I’d do a review of a book I just finished called Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss.


I was hooked from the moment I started reading. It was so interesting and definitely enlightened me to ‘the stuff behind the scenes’ that we, as consumers, might not be aware of.

Why read it?

  • There was loads of information from interviews with food industry ‘insiders’/experts/scientists/etc. giving first-hand accounts of what actually goes on in places like Kellogg’s, General Mills etc. and some of the techniques they use to get us to buy and ultimately eat their food, which I found fascinating.
  • It makes you realise just how much influence these big businesses have over the government and nutritional advice. Scarily so.
  • It explains why salt, fat and sugar are used within processed food and what happens when they’re taken out.


  • I disliked how pretty much the whole way through it was emphasised how the food industry was pushing all this nutritionally defunct food to the consumer and that the consumer was purely the victim. It gave the impression that the food industry is making us obese through no fault of our own, which I disagree with. It’s all about choice. As consumers we are as much, certainly if not more, responsible for what we eat than the food industry. If we stopped buying the food the industry keeps churning out than they’d have to find a new way to make money, i.e. make nutritionally sound food.
  • Fat is demonised. In general, I disagree. Saturated fat is making a come-back and doesn’t seem to be as terrible as once assumed (check out THIS article). It seems the real bad guys are the hydrogenated oils, but within the book fat is mainly just scooped up under the saturated fat heading which I don’t think is justified.
  • You can get a bit lost in all the anecdotes and he sometimes strays from his points.

I’d definitely recommend it if you like this sort of stuff. I’m a big fan of these sort of things but you can get a bit bogged down with one side of the picture.

Anyway, it’s Friday – hurrah! This weekend is the Marwell Zoo 10k run (on Sunday) which both Ben and I are running so we’re quite excited. Ben’s mum and my parents are going to cheer us on and then we’re off for lunch somewhere nice. And Ben will finally be able to have a glass of wine after his 8 weeks of not drinking. He’s developed a nervous twitch Winking smile

And I get to wear my running club vest to this race, which is quite exciting!


I am proud to be a Hedgie! Smile

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

What have you got planned for this weekend?

What’s your next race (or sporting event)?

What good books have you read recently? I’m a huge fan of reading and don’t have any particular genres that I stick to so I’m always open for recommendations!

Old favourites

I know I begin pretty much every post talking about the weather but I’m British and it’s our small talk, what can I say. It is cold. Windy, freezing. Snowing (well, a slight smattering). This is not spring behaviour.

It is, however, What I ate Wednesday. Hurrah midweek already.

Thanks Jenn.

I have to say this week has been fairly quiet. Nothing exciting has occurred. Though I’ve found a programme on TV that I’m now inexplicably hooked on. 16 and Pregnant. It’s car crash telly. I only put it on when Ben was away so I could have some background noise while I chilled in the evening reading blogs and surfing the Internet. But I got drawn in and absorbed. It’s gripping. No judgement please Winking smile

Breakfast this week has been the obvious. Oatmeal, almond milk, done.

Porridge 12.12

Breakfast is one of my favourite times in the day. I eat it with my book. Currently I’m reading the Eragon series…yes I know, I’m a geek. I’m a very eclectic reader; I don‘t have a particular genre that I go for. I just read a blurb and if I like it I go for it. I read Michael Crichton, to James Patterson, to chic flics, to historical fiction, to classics, to non-fiction. Anything goes as long as it’s interesting. As soon as I finish one I’m on to the next.

I’m not a big talker in the morning so this time to myself munching and reading is bliss. Ben gets the Death Stare if he interrupts. And Alfie too.

I can’t say that lunch has been any more exciting than usual unfortunately. I’ve been loving my sandwiches. No more ravishing hunger towards the end of a working day.


Turkey and cream cheese sandwich with lettuce

And of course my side salad.


Lettuce, beets, random veggies (carrots, peas, broccoli and cauliflower)

After this I have a fruit salad (chopped melon, grapes, orange segments and peach).

Throughout the day I have a few snacks and drinks to keep me ticking over. Usually this is chopped carrots, a banana and an apple. Drinks are black coffees (usually one in the morning, one in the afternoon) and hundreds a few herbal teas.

Last night I had one of my favourite dinners. This is the main reason I stocked up on tinned pumpkin. I love this meal.


Chicken with pumpkin and cream cheese sauce

I made this ages ago and was desperate to recreate it but didn’t have any pumpkin. Unfortunately I didn’t have any tinned pineapple but it was still so good. Plate licking good.

Then my usual chopped apples. Nothing beats chopped apple as a pudding. OK obviously a lot of things beat chopped apples as a pudding (brownies, cookies, cake, ice cream, chocolate…). Nothing beats chopped apple as an everyday-eat-it-all-the-time-run-of-the-mill-working-week-healthy pudding.


And in the evening some Snack a Jacks and a hot chocolate. And maybe some Lindt chocolate…gotta get those important antioxidants from somewhere after all!

On Friday night I finally made something I’d been meaning to make for ages. Moussaka. As you might know, I’m not a big pasta fan. And big sheets of pasta do nothing for me. So I made a pasta-less (paleo/primal??) moussaka. The terminology escapes me.


Not the greatest picture I grant you (am I always saying this?? Whoops #mustdobetter)

I followed THIS recipe, though I omitted the kale and fill as I didn’t have any and I used beef mince as I prefer it to lamb.


Basically it uses aubergine/eggplant instead of the pasta. It made three good servings (one which is currently awaiting my consumption tonight). I know the recipe says 4-6 servings but it clearly hasn’t made the Anna Adjustment whereby I am a greedy hungry hector and require a lot of food.

Does anyone else find that recipes say a certain number of servings and then when you make it you’re like “OK that would serve a child”, or is that just me…?

Regardless, this was a good, hearty meal. But I will warn you, it took quite a while to make. What with salting a load of sliced aubergine, rinsing, frying, then making the filling, then making the topping. It’s not an easy mid-week meal. Fiddly and lengthy. But tasty.

In terms of my running…It is getting closer to the half marathon. I was frustrated to find on my five mile run Monday morning that I had a pain in my Achilles on the last mile. I thought I had gotten over this. However, I sensibly took the next day off of running and I’m taking it very easy for the rest of the week (probably two easy 3 mile runs). And I have my last session with the phsyio on Friday where she’s going to give me a good sports massage which she claims will give me wings for the race, or at least make me feel fresh. Here’s hoping.

What are your old favourites that you keep going back to in terms of meals/snacks?

What trashy TV can’t you give up? I’m all over any reality TV. Kardashians, Made in Chelsea, The Hills, Real Housewives…I draw the line at Big Brother though.

What’s your favourite book genre? Or do you read anything and everything?