What I Ate in Mexico

Hello! So for this post I thought I’d show some of my very tasty eats from my Mexican holiday.

And as it’s Wednesday, I’m linking up with Jenn’s WIAW post:

Thanks Jenn!

Ben and me stayed in a fabulous all-inclusive hotel. I’d never been to one before! I was a little worried that the food would be rubbish, bulk-made and the options would be limited. But I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I was hugely surprised at the sheer volume of food and the amount of choice there was. There were several restaurants; some of them you had to book for, some you could just rock up to. We often went to the more casual one where we didn’t have to book. This was because it had the most choice and was a buffet rather than ordering off a menu.

Breakfast: I always get a bit worried about breakfast because I’m so particular about what I normally eat for breakfast (have you noticed??). I eat porridge (oatmeal) pretty much every single day. (Yes I know: snore!)

But on holiday I decided to push the boat out and go for something different. Seriously, I could have had anything. We’re talking cereals, yogurt, fruit, toast (huge variety of different breads!), crêpes, pancakes, doughnuts, smoothies, eggs in every way humanly possible, sausages, bacon, burritos, tortillas, guacamole, salad, cheese…honestly, it was quite overwhelming.

Hotel egg breakfast

I often went for an onion omelette (you basically requested whatever flavour you wanted and the chef made it in front of you), with different ham, tomatoes and guacamole.

Some mornings though the lure would be too hard to stay away…


Not quite to my strict requirements of stodginess but good nonetheless!

And one morning Ben and me got up early, took a walk along the beach (40 minutes in the sun – this was quite hard work even at 7am!) and had breakfast at a lovely little restaurant called 100% Natural in the town.


It was amazing. They had all fresh ingredients and organic options. And on the menu they gave you the nutritional benefits of the different meals. I went for a spinach, beetroot, carrot and celery smoothie. Maybe a crazy choice but it was very refreshing.


For breakfast I chose oats with chopped banana, raisins, nuts and amaranth. Deeelicious!

And we may have gone back there for more smoothies another day…


This was apple, carrot and beetroot (I like my beetroot!).

Lunch: Lunch tended to be a less of an elaborate affair than dinner. Usually it involved taking a break from sunbathing and going into the nearby restaurant for some quick food from the different buffets.


Fish paella

Towards the end we preferred going to the Italian restaurant for lunch as it was a bit cooler (the other place was more open and not air conditioned as it was right next to the pool).

The Italian restaurant had a great salad selection.

Italian lunch

Roasted vegetables, tomatoes with mozzarella, beef Carpaccio, smoked salmon, bruschettas, antipasti selections…and steak, buttered fish, chicken, meatloaf, pizza, pasta, soup… and you could still order of a menu as well for ‘mains’. We stuck to several trips to the salad bar as that was enough!

Dinner: This was by far my favourite meal of the day. The selection was phenomenal and some days they’d have themes. One night it was Japanese-inspired.


This was one part of the salad bar. Sushi! Honestly, this was like 1/10th of the options. They’d always have a range of salads, roast meat, Mexican selections (quesadillas, tortillas, fajitas, bean stews, guacamole, salsa…), fish, actual meals like curries and casseroles, pizza, chips, burgers, pasta… literally everything.

IMG_5086 Basically I’d pile my plate high with salads and vegetables and then choose a few different ‘main’ pieces that I liked the look of. Mainly I’d go for one serving of many different things, work out what I really liked, then go back for more of that.

Mexican dinners

So much tasty food…fish casserole, fish fillet, ribs, chicken skewers, ham and pineapple cocktail sticks…loads of fresh vegetables and salad.

For our anniversary dinner we booked to go to the Steakhouse. Steakhouse

For starters I had prawn cocktail. This was very tasty. In fact I loved being able to eat so many prawns (shrimps?) during the holiday. For main I had spiced chicken with corn on the cob, broccoli and roasted wedges. So good. For pudding I went for mango ice cream (this was almost like mango soft serve or sorbet – so fresh tasting) and fruit salad.

After finishing this I still had a bit of space (I know, as Ben says, I’m a machine) and because it was a special occasion I persuaded Ben to go to the main restaurant and have a second few more puddings…just because we could!

I mean, seriously, check out the selections! Mini puddings!

Mexico puddings

It was different every night

So I went for a mini selection Winking smile


I have no idea what I ate (I’m pretty sure the right-hand square was a brownie?) but it all tasted good! Hey, if you can’t be indulgent on holiday when can you be!?

Other puddings that were enjoyed…

Mexican puddings

That is a carrot on top of the cake!! Phallic-shaped puddings ahoy!

I had two of those churros in chocolate one night. I would have had three but Ben managed to drag me out in time. It was touch and go though. SO GOOD.

Chocolate fondue

They always had a chocolate fondue with fruit and marshmallows to dip. AND an ice cream bar. Oh I miss Mexico!! The first night I felt very saintly just having fruit for pudding…then the floodgates opened when I tried my first marshmallow with chocolate. Every night then involved melted chocolate and mini puddings haha.


Though the fruit selection was excellent. I ate a lot of fresh watermelon and pineapple!

I enjoyed some other tasty treats and drinks as well throughout.

Mexican treats

From left to right: my first ever snow cone (lemon flavoured – I loved this), a Baileys coffee, first ever pina colada, blue lagoon cocktail and ice coffee.

So I definitely had my culinary treats this holiday! These all fuelled some hot and taxing runs (OK, the cocktails didn’t obviously…).


I tried not to get despondent when I was running at least one minute slower than normal and still finding it really tough. Here’s a typical run:


[Please don’t be offended by me getting a bit miffed about these times – this is purely comparing against my normal times. It’s all relative. I’m not saying that people are ‘slow’ if they run this speed!]Morning Run

Sweaty, mid-run selfie

Despite finding it hard and typically running an average of 9 mins/mile, I enjoyed getting out there and being active. I can’t lie on a beach all day. That’s not me. I ran a few 7 miles as there was a perfect 7 mile route, one day I did a 4 mile with Ben and the first day I ran 10 miles because I got lost!! (This involved a panicked text to Ben and several awkward conversations with locals who had no idea what I was saying).

What I’m most pleased about is that I maintained my usual 30ish miles/week. I didn’t want to lose that on holiday. But speed was a different story!

Mexico running

Seriously, with views like that in the morning, it was so worth it.

I could go on… but I’ll stop! Basically, the food was amazing. The puddings were outstanding. And the running was sweaty.

Buffets or ‘proper’ restaurants on holiday? I would never normally say buffets, but when the selections are that good I’m definitely swayed!

On holiday do you usually stick to your usual breakfast or do you try something new?

What’s your favourite holiday treat? I loved the puddings. I dream about churros at night. It’s that crunch and the soft doughy insides…and the sugar Open-mouthed smile

Just Running

Howdy howdy! Ahh happy days: the sun is back and the weekend has been great!

On Friday night I rushed home from work to go out for dinner with our couple friends. I was a little bit later than I’d hoped but I thought I still had time. Wrong. Ben opened the door for me and I found my friends had already arrived! I dashed in to say hi and then headed upstairs, noting that my girlfriend, who was just chilling on the sofa, was wearing a really pretty dress. Ah ha! Dress time it is then Smile However, when I came down in my dress looking quite posh (if I do say so myself) I found, when my friend stood up, the dress I thought she was wearing was actually a top and she was wearing quite casual cut-off jeans. So back upstairs I ran to change. They thought it was a hilarious.

We went to the Brazilian all-you-can-eat ‘Rodízio’ restaurant again. This is where they bring round skewers of meat and carve it there and then at the table for you.


Why yes that is a glass of sangria you can see Winking smile

And this time, I had a food strategy. This time I was not going to be foolish and try everything. This time I knew the food I wanted to eat. Why waste valuable food space on meat I’d had last time and wasn’t massively fussed about? Not me!

I made careful selections at the salad bar buffet; nothing too heavy to fill me up. There were a couple of meats that I was dying to have again and wanted to fully enjoy without feeling so uncomfortably full like I did last time.


Some meatballs (which I remembered were amazing), corn on the cob, Greek salad, veggies and some random prawns. And BBQ sauce of course.

I turned down a lot of meat (sausages, steaks & lamb) in my patience to get what I wanted. I did however try wild boar which I didn’t get last time. And I am so glad I did because it was amazing and now one of my favourites. I had lots of gammon as well.

When I turned down consecutive meats in a row, the waiter looked at me and said “Is there something in particular you want?” I nodded and said “Ribs”. He smiled and said “I’ll be right back”.

And back he came with the pièce de résistance.


I made Ben get a couple of ribs as well so I could steal his! I am not ashamed to admit that I ate five large ribs. Finger-lickin’ good.


Unfortunately my food strategy wasn’t as good as I hoped as I still left feeling stuffed. But not as stuffed as last time. Progress.

Saturday morning Ben and me woke up feeling a little worse for wear. A few too many sangrias and a lot too many platefuls of food. I was not feeling particular ready for a 5k Parkrun. But we got ourselves together and headed out. The sun was shining and it looked to be a beautiful day.


I definitely was not feeling that it would be a good run. I started getting worried and stressed. I know, stupid pressure. Ben could tell I was getting nervous and he said “Just run with me. Help pace me to get a good time.” And I thought: do you know what, that’s a great idea.

Instantly I was less stressed and ready to enjoy the run. We got to the start line and instead of moving straight to the front like I always do in races, I headed to the middle with Ben. We had discussed the  ‘best case scenario’ (around 8mins/mile) and ‘worse case scenario’ (9mins/mile) paces if he wasn’t feeling it. I’ve never paced before so I was quite excited.

Ben did amazingly. He kept his pace up. I tried to take his mind of it by talking rubbish to him and tried to encourage him where I could. He didn’t quite get a PB (6 seconds off! 25.16) but he finished the race on a sprint. I mean, seriously, this is the guy who ate just as much, if not more, than me last night and had an extra beer to the jug of sangria we shared. Massive props to him!

I enjoyed my easier run so much so I even decided to run home. I was just really enjoying running without care for pace. I said goodbye to Ben, popped a podcast on and ran home (4 miles) at a lovely relaxed pace just enjoying the sunshine.

I’ve realised that with all the races I’ve been doing I’m missing out on my long runs at the weekend. And they’re my favourite runs. A completely chilled out, no care for pace, run. I loved it! All my runs lately are all about the times and pace and it’s been hard-going. So mentally, this was so refreshing.

I mean, I do love races. I love the adrenaline. I love pushing through when it’s tough. I love the stretch on my brain as I try and work out what times I need to do for a certain pace (this is a lie, I’m rubbish at maths). I love the sense of achievement.

But that’s not everything. Running to me is also a time to switch off and just run. When I’m racing I’m constantly thinking about the race, my strategy, and the people around me. Sometimes it’s just nice to put your trainers on and get outside and run without a target. Get lost in great music or a podcast. And come back physically and mentally fresh for the day.

For the rest of the day Ben and me got the jobs done around the house. Then my granddad came over (he’s staying with my parents while he’s down from Stoke-on-Trent). We don’t get to see him that often so it was nice to catch up.

My granddad is an amazing man. He goes up to Scotland twice a year to help with The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre as a volunteer. He takes his caravan and then spends his time helping out with any jobs they need doing. He built them a shed while he was up last! He used to be carpenter so he has a lot of skills to offer. My granddad is in his late seventies!!

So he popped over to talk to Ben about doing some work in our garden (like extending our patio). He’s just brilliant! For our wedding present he floored our loft (attic) and made shelves so we could use the space as storage as there was nothing up there when we moved in.

So I let the men discuss things like levelling and paving slabs…


My granddad also brought over some delicious treats for us that he’d whipped up.


Meringues with melted dark chocolate and strawberries. This is clearly a man of many talents!

So I had one of these bad boys after dinner. And let me tell you, it went down a treat Open-mouthed smile


Sunday was another race day, this time a 5mile race. I’ll do a recap on that soon but for now I’ll say it was a great race. And cake at the finish line!!

After the race, we came home and chilled. We walked Alfie in the lovely sunshine (we ambled along very slowly) and did not much else!

Hope you’ve been enjoying your weekend Open-mouthed smile

Meat-eaters: what meat would you choose out of all the meats in the world? I love chicken but nothing beats ribs for me. And I really enjoy gammon as well. I love the saltiness.

Vegetarians/vegans (or meat-eaters!): what non-meat protein-based food would you choose over everything else? I love chickpeas – hummus wins my heart as a dip every type.

What do you prefer: running/working out for a target in mind or just enjoying it without any goals? I need a balance in my life. I love the races but I need to have those ‘just running’ times too.

Do you see your grandparents as often as you’d like? I don’t get to see my grandparents nearly as much as I’d like as my granddad lives in Stoke and my other granddad and step-gran live in North Wales. So it’s always nice when they’re here.

Cake, cake, and, er, more cake?

Oh I do love Sundays. Once all the housework is done and everything sorted, it is just nice to put the kettle on, make a cup of tea and just relax. And the weather is beautiful today! The sun is shining and it’s not absolutely freezing.

So this week has been fairly tough in terms of running. Getting back into it after skiing was hard. But after the first run it eventually got back to normal.

Monday – 6 miles with an average pace 8mins20sec. Normally I find running at this speed quite easy but it was really tough.

Tuesday – 4 mile interval run. I did several intervals throughout this run and then ran slowly after each one so average pace doesn’t really mean much.

Wednesday – 3mile lunchtime run with a guy at work. I saw this as my easy recovery run as we were chatting and just enjoying the fresh air. Average pace of 8mins26sec.

Thursday – 5 mile tempo run. Between miles 2 to 4.5 I maintained a steady 7mins50sec (total time of 39mins56sec, which I think is my best 5 mile yet!).

Friday – rest day, and boy did I need it!

Saturday – this was my 10 mile long run. I got up early on Saturday, walked Alfie and then set off. During the first mile I wanted to go home as I just couldn’t be bothered. But I persevered and got into it as I hit the second mile. Here are my average paces for each mile:








I’m over the moon with this. The run was hard, don’t get me wrong, but not impossible and I wasn’t dead by the end (I was ready for home though!) This has really made me consider running the half marathon faster than 8mins/mile.

Best thing about this run? I got beeped by someone. TWICE. Once at the start of the run and then at mile 9! I mean seriously, I’m wearing glasses, looking sweaty, dishevelled and basically about to keel over. Fairly chuffed with that haha. There are some weird men in the world!

After the run I showered and then shovelled about a kilo of oatmeal into me (long run = Anna the Hungry Beast). Then Ben and me had to dash around to his mum’s house where we were helping to prepare for her birthday open house celebration.

Ben helped with sorting the drinks out and I took charge of the food (let’s stick with what we’re good at!) It was quite a casual affair to be held in the afternoon in her house with drinks and nibbles so there wasn’t masses to prepare but there was enough to keep us busy before 1pm! Ben’s mum and me had previously gotten together the week before to decide on what nibbles to go for and I think in the end we were very happy with our selection!

I made tomato mozzarella sticks:


These were basically mozzarella balls, a sliced cherry tomato and a bit of basil on a cocktail stick with salt and pepper. Simple! Thankfully simple considered I had to assemble a million of them haha.

Then there were smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis:


Again very easy. We bought pre-made blinis, put them in the oven for 5 minutes. Then smeared cream cheese on top, added a torn piece of smoked salmon and then sprinkled a garnish of dill on top.

I made hummus the night before so we had that with crudités and bread sticks:


I don’t think this was my best hummus ever. Because I made twice as much as usual it wasn’t as lemony and garlicky as before. But it was still OK!

The most tricky thing to prepare were the cheesey garlic mushrooms:


I used THIS recipe. It was quite fiddly cutting out stalks and preparing the filling. This was the most time-consuming nibble to make, but luckily we had enough time.

Along with these home-made pieces, we also had garlic bread, Doritos and salsa, cocktail sausages, and sausage rolls:


It went down very well I think. Almost all the garlic mushrooms went. They were so good – totally recommend! It was really relaxed and lovely with Ben’s mum’s friends milling around enjoying the food and drink and chatting with everyone. Ben and me tried to make sure that his mum had nothing to worry about, which meant we were dashing about a lot! But I loved it. I love doing things like this (like when we had the Boxing Day buffet round ours).

My parents also came and my dad shocked me once again by bringing round a home-made apple tart that HE had made. Well, that’s TWO baking adventures he’s had in one week.


French custard, home-made pastry…oh my goodness. The guests at the party went crazy for this. Luckily Ben and I even got to take a couple of slices home with us. Amazing! And yes, it tastes pretty darn good.

As much as I wanted to try the tart I thought I’d save myself for the birthday cake though (I have since munched on the tart at home though obviously).


The cake was made by the same lady who made our wedding cake. The cake is perfect because Ben’s mum loves the gym and goes all the time. I just love the dumbbells and towel! So cute. And it tasted AMAZING. It was vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream.

While the cake was being cut I luckily managed to reserve a corner piece (well, I had worked hard all day!) – losing out on the first corner to Ben’s uncle who got in there quicker (mental note: must improve my speed on these things). Corner piece = more icing. Then as there happened to be another normal piece floating about I had that too. Can I just clarify that they were little pieces? Like the size of an IPhone (and that is an official cake measurement just so you know Winking smile).

However, the third piece was just plain greedy, even I will admit. Ben and me were haggling over sharing this third piece but couldn’t find a fair enough way to split it so that both of us a) got enough icing and b) got enough buttercream. In the end Ben just said “Oh for goodness sake, I’m having my own piece”. Well…if I’m pushed to it!

I felt I had very successfully rewarded myself after my long run after all Open-mouthed smile

Then after all too soon Ben and me quickly tidied up so his mum didn’t have to and then collapsed onto the sofa to chill and reflect on such a good day before going home (with some leftovers in tow – hurrah!)

Such a good day and everyone looked like the had a good time. We were shattered in the evening and had a nice early night. So today we had a nice lie-in, did the housework and now we’re just relaxing. Perfect.

How has your weekend been?

What nibbles would you/have you made for a party? I think the best advice I can give is, don’t make everything. Make a few really nice things and then do more simple crowd pleasers alongside (i.e. cocktail sausages).

What do you hone in on at buffets? The savoury stuff or the sweet?

Up ‘North’ on business

Happy weekend all! I’m so glad it’s the weekend. This week has been fairly busy. I left the office on Wednesday afternoon to drive up to Derbyshire as we had a customer workshop Thursday and Friday. Now I live in the South (of England), Southampton to be exact. I would class myself, obviously, as a Southerner. And I know Derbyshire isn’t actually in the North, it’s in the Midlands. However, anywhere past Reading is pretty much North for a Southerner. So it felt quite northern to me! I love the northern (and midland!) charm that people have – the more-willing-to-help and polite people seem to be. Southerners can get swept up in the rat race and become a bit impersonal. So it was nice to be there.

But anyway, we got there around 7ish, checked in and then headed out to find some food. I Googled the area and found there just so happened to be a Jamie’s Italian nearby… After a nightmare of driving around trying to find a car park nearby (literally seeing the restaurant but not actually being able to get to it). Finally after parking and walking in the FREEZING cold (it’s colder up north Winking smile) we made it!


I straight away needed a hot drink so ordered a peppermint tea. It came in this beautiful heavy little tea pot. I asked the waitress where I could buy one but she couldn’t remember. Ahh well.


Sorry for the terrible photos, the lighting was terrible and I only had my IPhone.

And then we were seated. I ordered mini chilli’s stuffed with tuna and herbs with the starter.


Now call me boring but I already knew what I wanted for the main as I’ve already been to Jamie’s before for my hen do and I loved what I ate then. So I went for it again: the turkey Milanese.


Again, appalling photo. Basically it was turkey with a light crumb topping with mozzarella in the middle and an egg on top. Ohhh it was just as good, maybe even better, than I remembered!

Then we went back to the hotel and to our rooms.


Though the bed was lovely and comfortable I just couldn’t sleep. It’s really hard without Ben and without my usual home comforts. And what was really annoying was in the morning I could hear other people’s alarms going off, like the vibration and standard IPhone ringtones. I’m such a light sleeper it woke me up (30 mins before my own alarm). And what was worse was that one of the people was clearly having issues getting up as they kept snoozing it. I wasn’t happy.

The hotel had a gym so I thought I’d keep up with my running schedule and run on the treadmill.


I am hugely impressed with anyone who runs regularly on a the treadmill, and for long distances. I forgot how much I hate it. I like to zone out and just run, occasionally checking my Garmin for pacing and times. I hate having the stats right in front of me. I find myself counting down either seconds or 0.1 of miles. Seriously I couldn’t run further than 3 miles, and that was hard work.


So I pretty much ran 3 miles, starting at a pace of 8.30mins/mile and then jumping it up to 7.30min for around 1-2mins throughout to get some intervals in. Normally I find this absolutely fine outside, in fact I tend to run faster intervals. But honestly, I just couldn’t bear it.

Then it was shower and, because we were with a customer, time to look smart!


And then breakfast time.


No porridge for me. All they had was the makings for a full English, cereal, toast and fruit. So I had a plate of bacon, scrambled egg, tomatoes, mushrooms and a cheeky bit of black pudding. And then had a bowl of fruit salad afterwards. It was good but it definitely didn’t fill me up as well as oatmeal usually does.

Then on to our meeting in the world’s warmest room. I’d much rather be too warm than too cold but even I was starting to get a sweat on in this tiny room where 12 other people were crammed in. And then a buffet lunch. I hate buffets. I love them, but I hate them. I like to have a plate full of food and leave it there but with a buffet you go for a little bit and then a little bit more and before you know it you’ve had about two large platefuls! Well, maybe you have more restraint than me?


This is the only photo I could sneakily take without my fellow colleagues looking at me like I’d lost my mind. Believe me when I say this really wasn’t it…I said last post I’m more of a protein lover than a carb lover and I felt quite bloated and uncomfortable after eating so much bread as I’m just not that used to it. OK the above doesn’t really show much of a carb fest going on, but bare in mind this was one of the plates I had…

Then after a long afternoon of a continuation of the long, warm meeting we headed back to the hotel and decided to just eat there as it was a lot easier than venturing out into the cold again and going through that painful process of parking and walking miles.

For starter I had salt and pepper squid with a chilli jam sauce. Again poor photo due to trying to be inconspicuous.


And for main I had a Moroccan chickpea stew with couscous.


Both courses were really good, surprisingly good actually as I usually find restaurants at standard hotels aren’t that good. I was missing my normal food from home though. I know that sounds silly but though I enjoy eating out and eating different food from usual, I find it quite taxing (maybe not the right word) when it’s every single meal. I don’t usually eat a big meal in the evening and so when we parted to go to our rooms I needed to stay up to just digest. Which actually wasn’t an issue considering my room had Sky! What a luxury! Actually my room was pretty darn good. All the coffee and tea was Starbucks! So obviously I took some home with me…


How generous is that??

I wasn’t planning on doing another run at the gym the next morning but just wanted to mosey around at the weights and maybe do some rowing as I quite enjoy that and I never usually get the chance to go to a gym. However, I woke up raring to go and jumped on the treadmill (OK maybe not jumped) and did some really good intervals (7min/mile!) for three miles with a warm down. Still boring as hell but I had the energy to fuel me (all those carbs I expect).


Though I wasn’t in the gym mega early – only 7am, it was still a surprise to see so many people at that time in the morning. Normally in the week when I go out to run in the morning no one is about and it’s dark and quiet. It was a shock getting into the gym and it’s practically pulsating with all this energy and movement going on. I just wasn’t prepared. I barely say good morning to my husband at this time in the morning let alone have full on conversations about what I go up to last night.

I had some time so I thought I’d have a look around as it was quite a big gym with loads of equipment. I found myself a Power Plate! I’ve never used one before but had always been intrigued.


It was the strangest feeling, all that vibration going on and trying to do squats and lunges. Not entirely pleasant I must say. I managed two sets of squats and lunges and called it a day. Maybe I’ll try again some time but I just wasn’t sure about it.

Then another day of meetings (and another buffet) then a long drive home. I was so glad to be back home with Ben and Alfie. I just made myself a quick omelette for dinner and went to bed.

I do enjoy going away for business and staying in hotels and eating out but it gets tiring. You miss the comforts you’re so used to at home…that night-time hot chocolate, good night kiss from the husband and the furry dog lying on your chest in the morning staring you down waiting for his walk. You forget how lovely home until you’ve been away Smile

Do you go away on business a lot?

Do you enjoy staying in hotels?

What do you prefer: running outside or on the treadmill?

Christmas and Boxing Day

Well, doesn’t Christmas just zoom by? It’s sad how quickly it’s flies by. But I had such a lovely time! I feel so much better than I did thankfully. I still have a cough but my body no longer hates me!

Christmas morning I woke up early, got my running stuff on and went for a run. Hurrah! It had been far too long. And it definitely felt that way – it was really tough, like I hadn’t been running for months! How depressing. Also Christmas day was absolutely tipping it down so I only ran 2 miles – and definitely not a fast 2 miles! I started to get worried I was going to make myself ill again because I was soaked through. Luckily though I was fine.

Then I had a steaming hot shower and got dressed ready to face the day! Because I am quite boring and predictable, I just had my usual porridge for breakfast (sorry re-used photo).


The only sad thing is that I haven’t been eating my usual amount as I my stomach isn’t quite back to normal yet in terms of quantity food in the morning. So I had a smaller bowl, which I guess is a good thing considering there would be a lot of food later!

Then Ben’s mum came over to spend the day and my parents dropped by to give us some gifts. I got some brilliant presents. From my parents:


I am so pleased about the waffle maker!! I can’t wait to make some yummy fluffy waffles. And the Game of Thrones book is amazing. So many beautiful photos and behind the scenes information from the series. I am 75% of the way through the fifth book. It is EPIC. I need to read something lighter afterwards I think, it’s quite intense.

Then when my parents left I got into the kitchen and got things going. I put the two turkey joints that we were having in the oven, peeled carrots, washed parsnips, prepared the stuffing…and then when everything was in the oven I prepared our starter. I didn’t take a photo but we had little bite-sized cream cheeses wrapped in smoked salmon.


Because I had a fair amount to do I bought them ready made – don’t kill me!

Then the main event. My favourite meal of the year. I was so worried when I was ill that  wouldn’t fancy it or have an appetite for it, but there was no issue hehe.


Absolute heaven! I roasted the parsnips and carrots in a little oil, salt and pepper and a tiny bit of treacle to make them sticky. Devine!

Because we were all stuffed and Alfie was antsy, it seemed liked a perfect time for a post-Christmas meal walk! OK, maybe I was the only one excited about this. I just love being nosey and seeing through people’s windows and what they’re up to [OK, to clarify, I don’t actually go up to the windows and peer through like a stalker!!].


Ben wasn’t too keen on leaving his new Xbox games for a walk, but what can I say? We’re married and he is scared of loves his wife.


Then we came back and had some pudding. I had my standard apples as I’m not a fan of Christmas pudding. Listen to this, Ben had brandy butter, brandy cream and Courvoisier cream with his. He said he felt quite sick afterwards haha.

However, later I did treat myself to my most favourite cake in the world.


Christmas cake!! And a corner piece of course (most icing and marzipan! Ben and I fight over these pieces).

Xmas cake

It’s soo rich and delicious. That was supper!

Throughout the day we opened presents of course. I got some amazing gifts. Lots of running gear from Ben’s mum which I’m so pleased about as I never buy running stuff and it’s nice to have some brand new clothes!

I got a beautiful necklace stand, a couple of scarves and necklaces, some Next vouchers (amazing), DVDs and Jamie Oliver’s new cook book…and more!


I really am very lucky and very grateful. One of the best presents? ONESIES!!!


And then we played some cards and just chilled. It was perfect! Time well spent with the family.

Oh and Alfie for a few presents too Smile


Boxing day was a bit more mad. I had invited everyone over to ours for a Boxing Day buffet. I had set myself the task of making lots of bits and pieces for people to eat. So I spent the morning cooking and preparing for everyone (Ben’s mum, my parents, my granddad, my sister, brother-in-law, niece and obviously Ben & Ben’s dad who were already over).

I made hummus, tomato salsa, smoked mackerel pate, chopped some veg for crudités, sticky chicken bites, broad bean and courgette salad, normal salad, garlic bread, prawns with lemon mayo dip, and then some bits we bought like ham and sausage rolls. Ben was Mr Drinks when everyone arrived – which he does so well, bless him. So attentive! I just ran around like a headless chicken getting food together.


Nick, my brother-in-law, kindly made his very tasty pulled pork as well!


Then everyone got stuck in.IMG_3380

I was starving by the time we began eating. I guess cooking for like 5 hours does that to you!!

And obviously there was pudding. My parents brought over several things, bless them.Pudding

We obviously had the Christmas cake to share and I had made stollen on Christmas eve (the right photo).

And then we watched Ellie, my niece, open all her presents from my parents, Ben and I.


And obviously brought out the big kid in us all…


It was madness with so many people in our tiny house but it was such a lovely day. And I think everyone liked the food, which was such a relief as I was so worried.


And then after everyone had left, we washed up and hoovered, and then flopped on the couch.


Shattered! But a brilliant couple of days. And now we’re living off leftovers – which I personally think is the best thing ever.

How was your Christmas?

What did you eat?

Did you have a fun family-filled time?