Confession time

I have a confession. Actually I have a few confessions. Nothing major. I just feel the need to get it out there into the universe. Then let the universe judge me, or something or other.

I am becoming an old lady (I hasten to add that there is nothing wrong with elderly ladies, I hope to be one someday – just not at 24!) Consistently now I have started to get tired at 8.30pm. And then 9pm I’m in bed. Actually in bed, pyjamas, brushed teeth, ready for sleep in bed. Now I have every intention of having a good read of my book to chill me out. However, I begin reading and 10 minutes later I’m asleep.

And considering I don’t get in from work until 7pm, this is not very good. Ben is no longer surprised. Alfie no longer joins me as he knows lights off is quite soon.

But you know what the worst part is? I love it.

I get a full on 8 hours sleep. *Drops head in shame* I am an embarrassment to all those hip young twenty-year olds out there. Judge away. What can I say? I’m definitely a morning person. I start waking up from 5.30am onwards feeling nice and refreshed ready to hit the ground running (literally).

Next confession. Over Christmas I didn’t really go crazy on eating vast amounts of chocolate or biscuits. I just didn’t fancy it. Now January’s hit and it’s like BOOM I just can’t get enough. And all the chocolate from Bruges I got is just calling to me. And I just can’t get enough of my favourite chocolate (which I put in the fridge for that extra bite).IMG_2779

And I have since discovered the dark chocolate and mint flavour. This isn’t good people. Well, obviously it is! Winking smile

I’m fine throughout the day, it’s just when I’ve had dinner and I’m chilling on the sofa and I get that feeling. I’m sure you’ve all felt it (if you haven’t, tell me your secret!)…that “I NEED SOMETHING NOW!!” feeling. And it’s never savoury.

So most evenings I’ve been scoffing it and our supplies are dwindling…but I will be buying more. Life isn’t worth living if you deny yourself these pleasures! I just need to work out how to control the beast within.

My last confession is a dull one I’m afraid. I used to eat fish twice a week – proper oily, omega laced fish. Rainbow trout, salmon, mackerel….but now it’s somehow been forgotten. I’ve focused my energy on chicken. I’m not even sure how this even happened! So to remedy this sharply, I had sea bass.

IMG_3406 I dusted it with some ready-made seasoning (a fish-specific one) grilled it and had it alongside mashed cauliflower with goat’s cheese (heaven!), roasted root veg and my favourite veg, broad beans. What a meal! The lightness of the fish worked as there was quite a lot on my plate (maybe another confession of mine is that I’m a greedy eater – it’s all about volume with me! Stack is high and I’m good to go).

Whew, I feel better. The confessions were nothing major, I’m sure you’ll agree, but I do feel a bit lighter after holding in all of that Winking smile

What are your secret confessions?

What do you love having a naughty snack sesh on in an evening?

What I Ate Yesterday

OK, so we’re pretty much in the second week of December and I am already feeling myself winding down. Probably because I’ve got Thursday to Monday off as holiday…but then I still have to come back to work and continue until Christmas. But the Christmas atmosphere is so infectious. Everyone seems to be winding down. What’s it like where you work? Where I worked previously there was a huge amount of stress and panic to meet year end. It was non-stop. Even emails over Christmas and panicked phone calls. I hated it. I guess it’s just different businesses. Before I worked in supply chain which depends a lot on fulfilment of the last orders and getting the books nice and topped off before the next year.

But I digress…Though I’m winding down at work I’m winding up (does that work?) for Christmas. The plan has evolved from it’s original state. It was just going to be Ben and me with Ben’s mum coming over to spend the day and have lunch. Now Ben’s dad is over too (Ben’s parents are separated). I’m over the moon that we can have Ben’s dad over. I’m just now getting nervous about making lunch. Three people to feed doesn’t sound so bad…now four sounds scary. And Ben’s dad hates salad and vegetables. This changes things. I need to have a think about our Christmas menu…

Now on with the important stuff: WIAW(thank you Jenn).


Here’s what I ate yesterday and some added meals at the end that I enjoyed at the weekend.

Breakfast: are you surprised? I can’t be separated. Pancakes come and go but oats are for life. Fact.

Porridge 12.12

This lasts me until pretty much dead on midday, when it becomes socially acceptable to begin lunch. I’m one of those people who can’t eat before 12, no matter how much I’m gnawing at my own hand. I don’t tend to have a snack between breakfast and lunch. I have a black coffee when I get to work and then maybe a peppermint tea before lunch.

Peppermint tea

Lunch: Two days in the working week I have home-made chilli that I make on Sunday. It’s nothing terribly exciting. Mixed beans, onion, chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, zucchini and mushrooms.

lunch 26.11

Sometimes I add some Philadelphia into it to make it creamy but I didn’t both this week as I ran out. Bad times. I had two normal Baby Bells and an apple after this. I like the goat’s cheese Baby Bells usually but again I’d run out. *Sob* Therefore a sub par lunch. But it was filling nonetheless.

Then I tend to have a snack maybe an hour later. This week I had my graze box:Graze

I nibbled consumed all the olives. They were lovely and garlicky. Probably not ideal for work but food over friends, people. Haha I am so totally joking…Sort of. And then a bit later I had a banana and an apple.

A and bThis tides me nicely over until dinner. I arrive home at about 6.30-7pm depending on traffic (bare in mind I leave at 5pm!!! I hate my commute!! And breathe…).

Dinner: last night I whipped up a new meal heavily incorporating my favourite ingredient of the month (coconut). Tropical Nutty Baked Chicken; I used THIS recipe from Julie. But I didn’t have any lime so used lemon juice instead. I didn’t marinate for as long as I should have as I was hungry (hungry Anna = whole new personality and no friend to anyone).


I loved this recipe! The flavours were incredible and it was such a simple meal. If I was more organised I could have done a lot of prep beforehand (like pre-marinating the chicken and have it sat in the fridge waiting). I had this with steamed green beans and a lot of cauliflower mashed with mozzarella. Beasty portion.


At the weekend I’ve still been loving my lunch of sweet potato, butternut squash and coconut soup (with chickpeas).


I can’t get enough.

And I tried a new recipe Sunday night. I based it on THIS recipe.

Chicken and plum1

Chicken, Soy Sauce and Plum Bake (serves 2)

  • 2 chicken breasts, seasoned
  • 4 plums, stoned and quartered
  • Garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp. lazy ginger
  • 2 tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. fresh coriander, chopped

– Preheat oven 180C. Bake chicken in a little oil in a roasting tray for 10 mins.

– Take out tray and add garlic and ginger, then roast for another 10 mins.

– Take out tray again and add plums and soy sauce, roast for a final 10 mins.

– Serve with a sprinkling of coriander.

Chicken and plum

I served this will beans (again) and cauliflower mozzarella mash with added spinach. Heavenly.

And a quick update with the living room wall (after Ben’s accident with the wall and red wine). Ben spent mot of the weekend painting, bless him.


He first washed the wall (again) and then used two freebie magnolia samples to paint over the wine marks. Alfie was a big help.




And then painted the wall using a completely different colour for our brand new feature wall! Basically painting over the wall totally with magnolia wasn’t going to work as the red wine was so dark.IMG_3097

And finished! It really warms the room.


I went for a quick run yesterday morning…


In the absolute darkness that is 6am:

Dark morning

Terrible pic sorry, I just wanted to illustrate what my corner of the world looks like at the end of my run. And it was stupidly icy. Scary times.

I did plan to go today at lunch but I’ve been invited to the pub for lunch…ahh damn, what a shame… Winking smile I’ll just have to run another time instead!

What are you eating today?

Pub or run, is there a contest??

What’s your favourite way to eat coconut?

Also, check out Laura’s blog for her exciting giveaway and her new amazing new website Uniquely Healthy she’s just set up. It looks great and I’m very pleased for her! She’s worked very hard and I wish her all the best.

Week Catch-Up

Hi guys, hope you’re all having a great weekend. The rain has finally stopped, hurrah! Now it’s just very chilly. But dry, so I’m happy.

This week has been busy and long but I’m starting to feel Christmassy now. Might be because at work they have the radio on and every other song is a Christmas one…it wasn’t even December yet!! I loathe to think of what it’s going to be like now we’re actually in December…

At the start of the week I had a great (but very wet) 6 mile run, and on Wednesday I went for another run at lunchtime with one of the guys I went running with on Monday; the 6 min a mile guy. I was a bit nervous just running with him alone as I knew he was much faster than me. But actually it was great. Because he was naturally faster than me it pushed me to maintain a speedy pace. He was chatting away to me while I was on the verge of dying but it was good. Hard but good. We didn’t go off road this time due to it being a lot colder than Monday and we didn’t really fancy wading in the cold canal this time. In the end we did we did a nice 5 mile route along the roads.IMG_3065

I was shattered afterwards! Absolutely dead. But it was good to run at a good speed for a longer period of time. Just not something I’ll do many times in one week I think! I definitely felt it the next day.

Friday I ran with a woman who had a slower pace (9 min a mile) so it was a nice easy 4 mile run. Though very cold!


I never thought I’d enjoy running with other people as much as I do. I was always so focused on my own run and hitting certain targets, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a social run! The time flies by. Maybe every run won’t be pushing the absolute limit to my capability, but it still gets me out there and I still enjoy it. Can’t argue with that!

Instead of my usual strength routines, I’m now doing one mixed strength routine and two plyometric routines. When I researched some moves and planned a routine I think I was a bit over ambitious. I thought I could do the routine three times. I barely did it twice!! It killed me. I didn’t think it’d be so hard. But more on that another time!

On Thursday I was house sitting for my parents for the night as they went off and enjoyed an evening out in London. It really stresses me out not having my own things and the same routine so I really wasn’t looking forward to it. But it wasn’t too bad in the end. Ben and me just got an Indian take-away (chicken tikka mmmm – easier than bringing food and cooking) and enjoyed watching all the dogs together. Alfie came with us and my parents have three of their own dogs.

DogsLeft to right: Lexi, Dylan, Sam and Alfie

Alfie and Lexi are the same breed (Cavalier King Charles cross with a Westland Terrier) and they go crazy when they see each other.


They love to play fight with each other and run about the house like mad things. The other two aren’t so bothered…


My parents were so lovely. They left Ben and me a HUGE box of chocolates to say thank you.


Which obviously were a GREAT Friday night treat.


Honestly, these are AMAZING. Jam Roly Pudding, Bakewell Tart, Rhubarb Crumble, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Lemon Meringue…and more!! Though after a few you do start feeling a leeetle bit sick. But so worth it.

And my new favourite ‘go-to’ meal:

Balsamic chicken and cauliflower

Balsamic chicken (chicken fried in balsamic vinegar with a touch of sugar to caramelise it into a sticky sauce) with mashed cauliflower and mozzarella cheese. Heaven. And so simple.

Oh, and the other highlight of my week…getting in from work and getting started on dinner while Ben plays ball with Alfie. Ben kicks Alfie’s tennis ball, it hits his wine glass full of red wine, red wine sprays all over our living room wall, sofa and floor. I just love my husband.


Not sure why it went blue, but needless to say it STUNK. So we had to spend the next half an hour attempting to damage control. It needs repainting unfortunately. Though Ben loves the fact he gets to decorate. He loves doing manly things like painting and DIY. Well, there’s a silver lining for someone I guess…

What have you guys been up to?

Have you tried plyometrics before? Any tips?

Merry Christmas??

Brrrrr it is cold! Though it’s actually quite nice in a weird way. To be snuggled up inside nice and warm and for it to be chilly outside. Though getting out of bed in the morning is not fun – nor is taking Alfie out for a walk first thing. Winter coat: check, Uggs: check, gloves: check. Result = a happy Alfie but a cold Anna.

And Christmas seems to have suddenly appeared out of nowhere. One minute we’re all vigorously carving our pumpkins and admiring the autumnal colours of the trees when suddenly, boom! hello tinsel, hello Christmas adverts on the telly! Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas so as far as I’m concerned this is brilliant. HOWEVER, I have now been thrown into a state of stress. When am I going to bake our Christmas cake? When will I have time to go shopping? What do my friends and family even want??

And breathe. Anna, it’s the beginning of November. But I am getting excited. I love Christmas. I love the food (who doesn’t?), I love how everyone is just more merry than normal, I love the Christmas decorations, the time with the family…the never ending boxes of Celebration chocolates (I don’t love that Supermarkets seem to think that they’ve put them on offer at the moment…erm, weren’t they always that expensive??) It’s without doubt my favourite time of year. So the sooner the better! Smile

As usual as it’s Wednesday it’s WIAW. A big thanks to Jenn for hosting this as usual. I’ll show you a selection of different meals from the week as my best eats were spread rather than an individual day if that’s alright!


Breakfast: OK, OK you’ve seen pancakes a fair few times now if you’ve been reading my blog for some time…before you fall asleep, I did try a new topping to jazz things up a bit (and use some of the mass of fruit I have sitting in our freezer…)


As it was too difficult for me to work out how to defrost my pumpkin purée from the freezer (yep I’m that person) I decided just to stick with the standard recipe I use (find it HERE). The topping I decided to just have fun with.


I thawed some frozen blackberries, then sprinkled them with quite a generous amount of cinnamon and a few drops of Stevia. Then I zapped it in the microwave for maybe a minute. Basically so the fruit turns a bit mushy and is warm. Then I poured it over the pancakes. Bliss!

Lunch: During the week I always take food with me to save on costs. I used to have chilli using Quorn mince but I’ve gone off that mince a bit now and much prefer using mixed beans.


[Apologies for seriously bad photo]

I used a yellow bell pepper, onion, courgette, mushrooms, chopped tomatoes and mixed beans (like butterbeans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.). I also added chilli powder, paprika, cumin, a little bit of sugar and some mixed herbs. To spruce it up I added a large tablespoon of Philadelphia cheese. This made it so creamy and delicious – definitely adding this again! Along with this for lunch I have two Baby Bells and an apple. Maybe not the prettiest lunch, but it works for me!

I’ve set myself a little target for November to make a new recipe every week as I was finding myself in a bit of a food rut. You know what’s it like…getting in from work, being tired, you don’t want to whizz up some all singing and dancing dinner. But I’m pushing myself to try – at least on Friday and Saturday nights! So far this is going really well. I made coq au vin the other day and that was deeeelicious. But I also made another meal this week as well. And I probably say this about everything I cook I cook but it was such a good meal! Filling and sneakily nutritious.


I used THIS recipe. Basically it’s chicken coated in a ground almond coating and then baked in the oven. Crunchy and spicy!


And alongside that I cooked some cauliflower and then mashed it with some mozzarella cheese (well I blended it with a hand-blender).


I LOVED this. Seriously easy and a good alternative to mash potato if you fancy a lighter dinner. With all the ground almonds and chicken, this was a very filling dinner.

Snacks: I sponsored Maria for her Great North Run a while back and she very kindly sent me some baked goods (Swedish Apple Muffins) as a thank you. How sweet is that?? (Due to me going on my honeymoon she sent them to me now – I’m very chuffed):


[Please don’t judge the photo too harshly, they have travelled via post to get to me!]

So I have been happily tucking into these this week. They are so moist and yummy. Perfect evening snack. I thoroughly recommend Maria’s blog, she always has such yummy recipes and ideas!

Oooh and I’ve also been indulging in a few squares of these in the evening:


I can’t always be snacking on apples after all I guess!

Fitness: I’m still following my strength routines three times a week. It’s not quite as difficult as it was originally so I feel I’m making some progress. I’ve got my plank back to 3 minutes. Does anyone else get bored doing the plank? I mean, it’s tough and painful but so boring. I just end up staring at my stopwatch…

I’m thinking of getting a resistance band – has anyone tried this? Is it worth it?

Running is going well. The only problem I have at the moment is that now I’m running at work it means that if I have a busy day I can’t always run. I’m quite a structure, routine person (have you noticed??) so I find this really frustrating. I hate pushing workouts to a different day. But it’s one of those things I guess.

Outfit of the day:


[Can you spot Alfie hiding in the background?]

I can’t actually remember where I got this dress from, whoops. But the cardi is from New Look!

Have a great Wednesday!

Do you hate it when you have to postpone a workout?

Are you in a Christmassy mood yet?

Sweet Sunday and WIAW

So last post I mentioned that I had very busy Saturday with lots of wedding arrangements and having lunch out with my mum and sister. Sunday was equally busy as well. We had our ceremony rehearsal at the church in the morning after the Sunday service, and all the ‘main players’ (ushers, bridesmaids, etc.) met us there and we had a dry run-through.

It was quite surreal and we joked all the way through it. Like my dad and me did a funny walk together up the aisle. People objecting to our marriage. Then when Ben was repeating his vows I kept winking at him or pulling faces so he kept laughing. It was very funny and the vicar joined in as well. It made things a lot less scary!

Then from there we went straight to our reception venue to go through the final details and timings. So I feel a lot more ready now. I know what’s going on and that everything is pretty much sorted.

Then came the fun part of the day; buying our sweets for our candy buffet. We looked in old vintage-style sweet shops but it was all a but too expensive (but I enjoyed looking anyway – anyone else get excited by things like that??)


So then we went to more cheap shops to get better value for our money.


And we bought just a few things…


Hehe. Yum!

And then it was a case of deciding which jars which sweets would go into.

PicMonkey Collage1

This was fairly difficult as I didn’t want to open any sweets yet so they would keep fresh for as long as possible…so it might need tweaking on Friday when I’m sorting out last minute details.


The doilies are great! I love the vintage look. And the paper plates will be for cupcakes that my friend is baking me for the day.


So it’s going to be a plethora of sweet goodies…I’m so pleased with how it’s turning out! I’m absolutely the least creative person, so this is pretty good for me. I got all the jars from charity shops so the costs have been kept down.


And I’m chuffed with the table favours too. I bought the paper bags from Amazon for like next to nothing and got some ribbon from Hobbycraft. Each table has a sweet name (like Jelly Babies or Liquorice Allsorts) and then each person on that table gets a bag full of that sweet. Top table gets a mixture of everything (win!).


So that was Sunday! Now on to WIAW. Thank you Jenn for hosting as always. Check out her blog to view what other bloggers have been eating (all very interesting!!)


As always, I’ll show you a bit of a mix of meals as Wednesday isn’t usually that exciting in terms of meals…

Breakfast is usually the same every day (apart from random pancake days!):

18.09 porridge

I mix about 1/2 cup of oats with 1tsp of wheatgrass and a sprinkle of ground flaxseed (a new addition!) and then unsweetened almond milk. Nuke in the microwave for 3.30 mins (stirring half-way) and it’s good to go!


Fills me up really well until lunch time (which is like a good 4.5 hours later!).

Then lunchtime [at work I usually have a tuna salad or homemade veggie chilli that I batch make at the weekends]. But I’ll show you a lunch I had at the weekend which rocked my world. Home-made hummus:


Chickpeas, lots of herbs (mixed and coriander), lots of minced garlic, lemon juice and a big dollop of tahini paste.


Then whizzed up in a food processor.


I had this with salad, chicken and one of my new favourite chutneys (Cheeky Monkey – banana chutney!)


Lovely. Really sweet and flavoursome, which complimented the hummus perfectly!

Dinner (from Friday night) was hands down the best meal of the week! Cauliflower pizza. The base was made with grated cauliflower, one egg and a big blob of goat’s cheese. I baked this for a few minutes, then added a tomato base…

14.09 pizza

Then I threw on lots of toppings (more goat’s cheese, chicken, mushrooms & courgette) and baked for about 8 mins.

14.09 pizza1

Doesn’t look like pizza, granted (except that it’s round) but it tasted gooood and I was stuffed.

Snacks…well I thought I’d show you my every day dessert after dinner:


Two chopped apples (always chopped, never whole).

With the wedding coming up I’ve not been that adventurous with my cooking (there are quite a lot of repeat offenders) but during my honeymoon I hope to have some very exciting eats!!

Workouts have been fairly standard. I did manage a quick interval run on Sunday (2 miles) despite not thinking I’d get anything in. And then yesterday I ran another 2 miles and did some core workout. I can now hold a plank for 3 mins, woohoo! Abs of steel! *Cough* Well, moderately firm.

And outfit of the day [dress from Warehouse]:

19.09 outfit

Important meeting in London today, so the smart dress is out in full force!

Happy WIAW all! Happy eating [and viewing]!