Chicken and chocolate

Well I am glad we’ve almost finished this week. It has definitely been a strange one! What with it being Easter and having Monday off, and then having Tuesday off because of my little episode (thank you all for your kind words by the way), it’s just been a bit crazy.

After Tuesday I felt a bit battered and bruised with a HUGE head ache, but otherwise I was OK. On a random note, when I had an ECG in the ambulance to check my heart they stuck these coin-sized sticker things (the things they attach the wires to to read your heart…or something *pretends to sound like she knows what she’s talking about*) on various places on my body. When I got back from the hospital I kept finding the stickers. I had no idea they put so many on me! When I thought I got them all I then found them on my legs! Crazy. And painful to unstick.

I’m now terrified to get up in the morning (or the middle of the night for my various pee trips, sorry TMI) for fear I may faint again. I’m like an old lady getting up in the morning, bracing myself and taking my time.

I went into work on Wednesday because the doctors told me I couldn’t be alone for the next 24 hours in case I fainted again and Ben couldn’t be off work again. But in all honestly, I was fine. And it was rather fun telling people what happened. I know that hospitals are not funny places and God forbid anyone needs to go there, but thankfully my episode was just sheer bad luck of the location of our stairs and nothing serious. If I’d have fainted on the bed I’d have been fine!

Anyway, so I wanted to recap a bit more of Easter (before I was rudely interrupted by my delicate disposition). After looking after Ellie, my niece, on Saturday Ben and I were definitely up for a more relaxed day. Our families had agreed to have a bit more of a quiet Easter and most of us aren’t religious, so Ben and me decided to have a nice relaxed meal on Sunday.

After inspiration from Sara and her Bucket List of recipes I decided to do what I’ve been meaning to do for ages. Roast my first ever whole chicken. I decided to keep things relatively simple so just put some Nando’s mild sauce on and under the skin, pop an onion and some garlic inside it and season before popping in the oven for an hour and a half.


I bought a whole brand new baking tray for this culinary adventure only to find I could cook it in it’s foil container *sighs*. But I’ve got it for next time!

We kept the meal simple as we wanted to maximise the chicken experience (…or I couldn’t be bothered to do all the trimmings).


I had broad beans (the king of all vegetables in my humble opinion), roasted vegetables and mashed cauliflower cheese. Ben declined the cauliflower and had potato waffles instead. Honestly I can’t get this boy away from cheese but if it’s near cauliflower he’s like “helllll no”.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I went back for thirds seconds of the chicken. It was so good.

And I was inspired by another blogger (I know, seriously I have no independent ideas) for using the chicken carcass to make stock. Laura always talks about the pros of respecting the meat you eat by using as much of it as you can and the health benefits involved in bone broth that I was really chuffed to finally try it myself. I felt like a proper housewife with my stock simmering away in the pot. It’s now safely stowed away in the freezer ready to be used in soups or sauces. Yum.

Then mums also popped over on Sunday and we had a nice catch up and coffee with them both. I only wanted one Easter Egg this year because honestly we have so much chocolate in the house it’s ridiculous, so my mum got me this AMAZING egg.


A dark chocolate egg with TWENTY-FOUR mini bars. There are loads of flavours like chocolate and almond, chocolate and raisin, white chocolate… Oh I am loving this. I might have eaten the entire egg in one sitting while watching Downton Abbey in the evening with these two dashing chaps…


…and felt very sick. But I find it so hard with Easter eggs because you keep wanting to ‘tidy up’ an edge and then suddenly you’re just left with a few chunks…and well, you can’t leave them…

Monday started with a 6 mile run:


That mile 5 was TOUGH. I had spotted another runner a distance ahead of me at mile three and I gradually began to gain on him. But he was clearly running just that tiny bit slower than me because it took forever to get to him. Then around mile 4-5 it became a bit uncomfortable because I was right at his heels and I didn’t want to be like a weird runner stalker. So I had to pick up my pace to get past him and then maintain that pace to make sure he didn’t feel like a weird runner stalker to me. Hence my 7.14min/mile pace for mile 5!

And then the rest of Monday was a day of chilling. I might have hoovered to liven things up, but otherwise we just relaxed. I spent some really nice lazy time on the couch watching more Downton Abbey and reading magazines…


I know my Easter weekend might not sound very exciting, but honestly, it was perfect. I got to spend it with the people I love and enjoy good food. What else could I want?

How was your Easter?

What can’t you help but keep eating once you start?

A few firsts

Well, my post for today was going to be very different from this one! It was going to be my standard WIAW post, but something a bit out of the ordinary happened.

Yesterday (Tuesday morning) I woke up, got up out of bed and headed to the other bathroom (which is just down the hall) while Ben was just finishing his shower in the en suite. The next thing I know I’m lying in a heap at the top of the stairs and Ben is shouting at me to wake up. I’d collapsed and fallen (part-way, thankfully) down the stairs! [Before I go on, I am fine and this story has a happy ending]


You can see the knock in the wall where I hit my head. Apparently I was lying face up and out cold. Ben had heard a bang and rushed out of the bathroom to find me in a bit of a crumpled heap. I woke up very confused and very dizzy, my vision all starry and feeling extremely sick. Ben called an ambulance and I went and sat on the bed. They were round in minutes – I am so impressed.

I’ve never fainted or been unconscious before. And I’ve never had an ambulance called for me before (thank goodness). It was all very dramatic!

The paramedics were amazing – I am so thankful for how quickly they got round and helped me. Because I had pain in my back, they got me onto a stretcher and took me downstairs to the ambulance. [I bet my neighbours loved this]. Then I had an ECG to check my heart, which was thankfully fine, and my blood pressure. My blood pressure is normally quite low but apparently it was very low.

Then we dashed off to hospital. At this point, Ben had rung my parents and my dad was on the way (my mum was already at work – she’s a nurse incidentally, but at a different hospital). And then the waiting game ensued. I’m honestly so grateful for all the hard work doctors and nurses and other hospital staff do, but honestly, the waiting does suck.

We soon found that essentially, I was OK. My back was just a bit sore, no x-ray needed, and I wasn’t critically ill. Whew. But they wanted to run some tests and ‘run some fluid through me’ to give me a bit of an MOT…their words not mine haha.


[Yep I am still in PJs!]

As you can see, by this point the panic was over and we were just waiting around to find out what had caused me to faint. Ben and my dad were playing on their Iphone games and I was just feeling a bit queasy from the concussion.

I was a bit excited by the fact that I had a drip. I asked the nurse if it was full of a magical powerhouse of ingredients to make me feel better. Nope, just saline solution. Clearly I don’t watch enough ER or Grey’s Anatomy.


[You can see my boredom from the random photos I was taking…]

In the end, the doctor concluded that I had simply woken up dehydrated and stood up too quickly and due to my low blood pressure, fainted and unfortunately fell down the stairs and hit my head. So essentially, I’m fine. If not a little on the pathetically weak side. To be honest, I think the wall got the raw end of the deal.


There’s a fun job for Ben at some point Winking smile

On to less dramatic but more fun things…food!

I won’t do much of a meal recap as I’ve blathered on a bit long already. So my WIAW post will be a bit disappointing on the food side I’m afraid.

On Monday night I finally made a recipe that I’ve had earmarked for ages ever since seeing it on Chelsey’s blog.


I made chicken pot pie calzones (originally based on THIS recipe). I followed the recipe pretty much exactly but left out the celery. I made the pizza dough using a simple recipe I had to hand but unfortunately ran out of normal flour and had to use half chickpea flour which incidentally worked very well.


I might have also been a bit greedy on the filling side and had to have a spill-over into some ramekins.


But it was very good none-the-less!

Snacks have obviously included a lot of this…


And a little of this…


Delicious frozen fruit. It’s nice to have frozen fruit for a change as I don’t tend to gobble it up quite as quickly.

Apologies for the abnormal WIAW, but I didn’t want to miss out completely! I’m feeling much better now, if not a little stiff. Obviously I haven’t been running!

Have you ever been to hospital? I hope for nothing serious!

What’s your favourite calzone flavour? I’ve never had calzone before but this was a great introduction.

What Easter egg(s) did you get this year? Normally I have a milk egg but I’ve been loving dark chocolate lately so this was a wonderful change.

Easter weekend

First and foremost, four day weekends are amazing. It was so lovely waking up on Friday knowing that I had three more lie-ins ahead of me. Bliss.

This Easter we kept it quite low-key and very relaxed. A perfect way to spend the time if you ask me! Thursday night we had a nice easy dinner which was inspired by Maria from Running Cupcake. I really fancied something warming, like soup, but also wanted something a bit more carby so this fitted perfectly. Home-made tomato soup with a chicken quesadilla.

Soup and q

The soup was ever so simple. Just a tin of cherry tomatoes (for soups this is perfect because they’re slightly sweeter than ordinary chopped tomatoes), some vegetable stock, a chopped small onion, herbs (like basil & thyme) and a tiny bit of sugar. I blitz it with a hand blender at the end but left it a bit ‘lumpy’ as I wanted a bit of texture to it rather than it to be completely smooth.

The quesadilla was just filled with chopped chicken, onion, mushrooms and zucchini that I’d fried with some spices (e.g. paprika & cumin) and garlic. I spread a fair amount of cream cheese on each tortilla and then popped one onto a frying pan, loaded it with the mixture and popped the other tortilla on top and fried, and then cooked the top under the grill.

On Friday I got all the housework done and dusted (pun intended). As sad as it sounds I like to get the house in order before anything else because then you can really chill knowing that the bulk of the jobs are done. To be honest, we didn’t do much else. We watched the last of Game of Thrones and had pizza for dinner. Perfect.

Saturday morning I went for my long run (10 miles).










To be honest it felt very tough and I felt very tired the majority of the time. But I’m glad I went. I love getting back from a long run and just feeling like I’ve accomplished something really great. In the great scheme of things of course I haven’t, but I just feel on top of the world and ready for anything.

And believe me, I needed to be ready for anything. Ben and me were going to help out my sister and brother-in-law by looking after Ellie, our niece. After my run I showered, ate, and we picked Ellie up to take her back to ours for an afternoon of fun.

Now, let me explain something first. I am not very good with babies/children. I freak out and have no idea what to do with them, how to speak with them, or anything really. So this was a HUGE step. Of course I’ve been around Ellie (who is just over three years old) loads of times, but never just Ben and me. Alone. No actual adults. So to say I was nervous was an understatement.

In my mind I had planned out the day in a regimented format and imagined we would drift from one planned event to another with gentle ease. Yes, I realise now how delusional and naive I was.

We had a day planned of an egg hunt, building towers with some blocks, colouring and episodes of Dora the Explorer. However, pretty much only the egg hunt happened. We had smallish eggs and one big egg hidden all over the house and it was really fun to watch her try to find them. I thought we’d put them in really obvious places but she still needed some hints from us, bless her.

After that she wanted to feed the eggs to Alfie. Quick intervention (much to Alfie’s disappointment) and all was well again. Then it was a whirlwind time of starting to do one thing and quickly wanting to do something else. I’d like to say organised chaos…but just chaos covers it. We started watching a film (Land Before time One million and Three IV) and I was getting quite into it when she decided nope she didn’t want to do that anymore.

Good luck to whoever marries this little lady one day Winking smile 

For lunch I made some egg mayonnaise sandwiches which in retrospect was probably a mistake (thank you, Nick, oh kind brother-in-law, to suggest such a meal). There was egg and mayo EVERYWHERE. I had to leave the room. It broke my soul.

As much as it sounds like it was a stressful time, we really had fun. It wasn’t at all like I had planned. But of course, you can’t plan things with a three year old. You just have to go with the flow.

My parents showed up to rescue help us and we all went to Manor farm, a local park and farm, to see some animals and have a nice walk.


It was freezing but it was great to see all the animals – especially the baby animals.


This lamb is four days old!

Manor Farm

I couldn’t get over the turkey though. It was HUGE and, honestly, it wasn’t winning any beauty contests (no offence, turkey). And Ellie saying “Christmas dinner” to him probably didn’t make him feel any better… Confused smile

Manor Farm1

My dad was there as well but he managed to dodge the photos.

We had a lovely cup of tea to warm us up and then parted ways. When Ben and I got home (Ellie-less) we realised how shattered we were. Kudos to anyone who has kids!

Right, I think I will leave it there! I have a few more adventures to recap but I will save them for the next post as this post is far too long as it is. Gold stars for anyone who read down this far Winking smile

What did you get up to over Easter?

Are you good with kids? Do you feel comfortable looking after them (plural? You’re crazy!)?

What’s your favourite farm animal? I think mine was definitely the lambs. They were just hopping around so happily. I was happy that I don’t eat lamb! Winking smile