Bank Holiday Weekend – Part 1

Hello lovely people! How good does a long weekend feel? And with such lovely sunny weather! Ben and me have been really enjoying the weather and have been fairly busy these past few days.

Saturday morning we both naturally woke up early. So nice to have the sun gently wake you up. We did a couple of chores and then headed out to our local Parkrun in the lovely Victoria Country Park.

This time I did not make the mistake of having breakfast beforehand!! I was quite nervous due to last time. When we got there we found out we were doing the ‘harder’ course which was three laps and had an incline in it. To be honest I wasn’t too bothered as I didn’t know what to expect as I haven’t done a proper 5k in ages. And there was a pacing event on as well so there were lots of volunteers pacing different times which was cool.

On the first lap I managed to get slapped in the face with a stinging nettle as I turned round a corner. I thought “ha, well I won’t make that mistake on the next lap!” But by the second lap I’d forgotten it and got slapped again. And you wouldn’t believe that it happened on the third as well… I clearly have the memory of a goldfish.


I was enormously pleased with this! It’s funny because I saw the ‘Sub 22 minute’ pacer on the second lap round and thought well I’ll just stick with him as I was happy with getting 22 minutes! But as we carried on running I felt myself have enough energy to get past him and carry on a bit faster.


And I came first girl! It also felt great to be cheered on by the volunteers and then to cheer on everyone else as I waited for Ben to finish (not that he was that much further behind me!)


He got 25.07, a new PB Smile

So we felt pretty good after that. We went home, had some much needed breakfast as by this point it was after 10am.

After showering and chores we were off to Chichester to have lunch with my family for my mum’s birthday. Between my dad, my sister and me we had decided to surprise my mum by not telling her that Rachel (my sis), Nick (brother-in-law), Ben and me would be there. She just thought it was her and my dad. So we zoomed to Chichester to get to the restaurant before her and waited there for her to arrive. We got her a glass of Prosecco as well ready and waiting.


We were sat in a window seat so I was worried she’d see us but when she walked past but she was completely oblivious. My dad did a discrete nod and then they headed inside. Honestly, her face was a picture. She was so surprised and over-the-moon it was just lovely.

Mum's bday

And the food was divine, as always. This restaurant is a big favourite of our family (it’s called Trents).

For starters Ben and me had our usual thing…


A ‘dipping board’ with olives, basil pesto, hummus, pittas and crudités.

And for main I had a chicken Caesar salad.


Really chunky croutons, anchovies and chicken. Yum. The dressing was so good as well.

Then we moseyed about and looked in some shops. We went into one of my favourite sweet shops (Ye Olde Sweet Shop):

Sweet shop

Look at that huge Sherbet Fountain (do you remember those?? I hate liquorice but I used to love dunking the liquorice stick into the sherbet and licking it off).

We also went to another of my favourite Chichester food-places: The Swallow Bakery.

Swallow Bakery

Wow word: AMAZING. Honestly I spent a good 10 minutes perusing what I wanted….marshmallow cupcakes, carrot cupcakes, rainbow cupcakes…and all these other cakes, brownies and flapjacks as well.


I’m not sure if that’s clear enough to see, but you can have a cupcake MILKSHAKE. A cupcake blended in a milkshake. Disappointed smile And they had gluten-free option cupcakes too which I thought was great.

Ben and me went for strawberry meringues and red velvet cupcakes. Then we parted ways with the family and went home. Such a lovely day out!

After dinner, we ate the meringues. We just couldn’t not. I mean seriously, it was a push waiting that long to tuck into these bad boys (we didn’t share; we had one each).


Sugar-induced coma occurred promptly after this. But it was so worth it. We still have the cupcakes (I’m not sure how we haven’t eaten them yet, but seriously they well be gone by the end of today).

We were shattered and so had another early night as we had yet another 10k the next day (yes, I know. We are official obsessed. You don’t want to know how many we’ve signed up to. Our bank account is not pleased with us).

Right, I will stop there as this is becoming a bit lengthy. Hope you’re having a great Monday off (if you have indeed got it off)!

What’s your favourite way to spend time with your family? Going for a meal is definitely one of my favourites. Or coffee and a cake with my mum. Can’t beat that mum-daughter time.

Are you doing any Parkruns? Or races in general? We’re completely hooked on both. I love the adrenaline and feeling of accomplishment of a race. It definitely beats solo runs! Also Parkruns are a great way to measure improvement/progress every week.

Cupcakes, brownies, cake…what’s your favourite baked sweet treat? Mine is cake. A big slab of cake. But I do love cupcakes. And brownies. And cookies. Oh and scones obviously Winking smile

Getting organised and Christmassy – WIAW

Not including today, there are only two Wednesdays left before Christmas. TWO. Very exciting! Starting to feel extremely Christmassy. You just can’t avoid it really at this point. It’s on the radio, the TV… Sparkling and colourful trees are popping up left right and centre around us – everyone’s uploading their tree to Facebook to proudly show off their work of art. And yes, I am guilty of doing the same. #noshame

So it’s WIAW again. This is when I get to show you guys the exciting food I’ve been eating. Thanks to Jenn for hosting. And it’s a Christmas themed WIAW!


This weekend I enjoyed some great eats, though not necessarily very Christmassy… Saturday morning I had my favourite oats and coconut flour mix:


I’m still loving this breakfast. My coconut flour is slowly running out which is quite upsetting considering how expensive it is and I can only get it online.

After this I dashed off to Pilates. I feel like I’ve got the hang of Pilates now. The breathing and neutral spine malarkey was a bit tough to get right to begin with but I feel much more confident with it now. I’m glad for all the strength training I’ve done because it means I can do a lot of the exercises quite easily in terms of execution. Its a nice small class as well with about six of us in total so it has a nice community feel to it. I’ll definitely be continuing with this class!

After Pilates I then had to race back home, shower and get dressed to then zoom off to my parent’s house with Ben. In the car I had a black coffee as I needed caffeine having not had any in the morning.


I love this coffee carrier! I might have stole in from my mum when I was round their house Thursday without her realising… Hey, it was dusty in their cupboard so I figured it wasn’t used that much…

My mum, sister and me then went to Chichester to enjoy a spot of lunch and shopping while my dad, Ben, and my brother-in-law had an XBox afternoon. A win-win situation for everyone I think you’ll agree.

We went to our favourite restaurant, Trents.


[Me, my sister and my mum]

We went there the last time we went to Chichester – before I got married!!

For starter I had a bit of a piggy portion of hummus dips and olives…


It was meant to be a sharing platter but no one would share it with me and it was the same price as a normal starter so I went for it anyway… It was beetroot hummus, watercress pesto and olives (I ate it all but all of the bread as it was quite a lot!)

For main I went for smoked salmon and king prawn Caesar salad with anchovies and an egg:


I decided to have the dressing on the side as I hate it when the salad is drenched. I’m not a massive dressing fan but this was actually really tasty. It was hands down the best salad I’ve had in ages (and considering I eat a lot of salads, that’s saying something!) I’m desperate to recreate this. The salmon was perfect. Ahh I want this again!

After lunch we quickly headed off to shop as it was already 3pm by this point.


Chichester is so beautiful with lots of high-street and independent shops. I love it. It was really Christmassy as well.Chichester

I did really well with my Christmas shopping. I got everything on my list. And I bought a different outfit for our work’s Christmas do…I had bought a lovely outfit from John Lewis but had a change of heart. It’s a jumpsuit but I got cold feet as I’m scared I can’t pull it off. So I got a beautiful dress from Monsoon for the same price. Fabulous!

I also saw lots of beautiful things that I wanted…and have explicitly told hinted to Ben of what I might like for Christmas.


I am loving the scarves that are around at the moment. So fingers crossed!

We had a lovely time mooching around and shopped until the shops closed.


Then we had to dash off to meet with our wedding photographer to finally see the professional photos. More on that another time Smile

After getting back quite late I whipped up a lovely filling and warm soup.


Sweet potato and butternut squash coconut chickpea soup (whew what a name) – large dinner portion for one (or two smaller portions)

  • 1 tbs. oil/coconut oil
  • Small onion, diced
  • Very small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • Cup of butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup hot vegetable stock
  • Little less than 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup of chickpeas
  • Garlic clove, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • Pepper

– Heat the oil in the pan, then fry the onion until soft (5mins), then add the squash and sweet potato and cook until soft (8-10mins). Add the spices, garlic and pepper (no salt due to the stock) and fry for another minute.

– Add the stock and coconut milk and allow to bubble for a few mins. Then turn off heat and cool to blend with a hand-blender/food processor until smooth.

– Add chickpeas and simmer for 5-10mins.

(You could make larger portions to save for another meal but I was limited by the volume of ingredients I had).

I guess you can make it as thick or thin as you like but adjusting the amount of stock you use, but I loved it being thick. And I like soup with bits in as it’s a bit more exciting. Yes, I said exciting.

Then Sunday we got our Christmas decorations up. We don’t have a huge amount of decorations as of yet as we’ve only been living together for just over a year but we’re slowly building it up.


Quite pleased with how it looks! Nothing massively fancy, but enough Smile

So that was the weekend! Busy busy but got lots ticked off my to-do list so I feel quite happy and content. Though I still have the Christmas cake to bake…next weekend!

And lastly, Monday’s run. I brought my stuff in to work but by 11am I had pretty much decided to not run as I honestly could not be bothered. But then the running group said they were going and I got roped in. This is another good reason why I love running in a group. You instantly feel motivated when others are going running. And it was a great run! So I’m so pleased I went.


I ran with the 6 min/mile guy again and honestly it was like having a personal trainer. He motivated me to run faster and do some intervals, and then some extra loops to meet up with the slower paced guys.

I really felt it on Tuesday morning though!!

And it looks like I’ll be in Reading until Christmas now which I have mixed feelings about (i.e. the commute sucks – one morning it took 2 hours and half) but it means I get to carry on running with these guys so there’s a silver lining!

Have a great Wednesday!

Are you feeling Christmassy? Are your decorations up?

What’s your favourite soup?

Almost there now…

What a busy weekend! Wow I can be super efficient when I want to be (an impending deadline looming ahead helps quick things I must say…W-Day is approaching sooooon!)

I got up early to rush off to my beauty appointment Saturday morning, then had to rush home and do some housework (yes I am that OCD). And then my sister, my mum and me rushed off to have lunch in Chichester. Chichester is such a lovely place and the weather was fabulous. There were all these little stalls about selling local foodie things which just made my day. I was like a kid in a sweet shop! [Apologies for the photos, it was very sunny and I was using my IPhone!]

PicMonkey Collage

So obviously I had to pick myself up a little something…or three…


I’m in love with these chutneys. I could have bought more than this to be honest but I had to restrain myself (well, my sister had to restrain me). Banana chutney sounds crazy, but it’s SO good. I cannot wait to start using these!

We then went to a lovely restaurant called Trents.


That’s my mum and me.


And my sister and my mum. We’re a very small family (with my dad) but we’re very close. I have such fun with my sister and mum, we all just have a lot of banter with each other and are always there for each other if we need them.


For starter we shared a platter of hummus-type dips and a baked camembert…


Divine. We dove into it and hoovered it all up like locusts. Very yummy.

For main I chose a lime and chilli chicken salad.


And I was STUFFED. Let’s be honest, I was quite full after the starter! But it a perfect lunch.

Then we ambled along Chichester high-street just moseying about really. We ended up in Lakeland Plastics which is one of my favourite shops (seriously, they have they answer for every chef’s problem!!) And similar to those mini-spatulas I found last week, I found this mini-frying pan:


I mean how cute is that! It’s to fry a solitary egg.

And we also found some random items that made us laugh. A tin for all of Ben’s essential items! Winking smile


You know what I mean though…all that random Man Stuff that get scattered about the house(batteries & screwdrivers…things like that). Hehe.

And this card made me giggle:


Now this might sound sappy, but there was a violinist playing outside as we were mooching about and while we walked along I realised he had started playing the music I’m going to walk down the aisle to!!


Canon in D Major (by Pachelbel). It was so lovely.

Hope you all had lovely weekends!