Rants and Raves #5

And we’re mid-week! Hurrah! Can you believe it’s Christmas next week – as in next week? I’m pretty much in the “I love Christmas, it’s my favourite time ever” camp so I’m fairly excited right now. I know some people aren’t as keen on Christmas and it can be quite stressful, but I just really enjoy it – the atmosphere, family time, food (ALL THE FOODS), friends, music, films…I love it. Anyway, on to my rants and raves!

Rave: And on the theme of Christmas… Christmas jumpers! I’m a jumper lover and it really appeals to me on two levels: it’s Christmassy and it’s warm.

IMG_8781 From Matalan

Rant: Ben pretends he doesn’t like Christmas jumpers but I’m convinced there’s an excited little boy in there somewhere…

IMG_8789 From Tesco

I’m sure he loves wearing it really. But anyway, Christmas jumpers are amazing. It’s sad they’re only really socially acceptable around Christmas. And I lost my last jumper as I thoughtfully put it away last year…to an unknown location.

Rave: The gym! OK it is early days but I’m really enjoying the variety. I did (my gym’s version) of body pump, which isn’t the Les Mills one but is a very similar concept, at the weekend. The class worked on muscles that I had long been neglecting: shoulders, back, triceps, biceps, chest…it’s been a while. And my body made me full aware of that the next day as I was hobbling around like a 90 year old woman struggling with simple activities.

I also did a class called Pure Blast. It was 30 minutes of high intensity exercise. Basically you either sprinted on the treadmill or cycled madly on the bike for a set amount of time, then did a series of exercises like squats, burpees, sit ups, lunges, etc. before getting back on the bike. Non-stop for 25 minutes (5 minute cool down – or in my case, collapse on floor). This was followed by a core class which was run by the same monster guy. He did a very similar concept whereby you did a certain core move a set time and then moved quickly on to the next move. After peeling myself off the floor I realised I quite enjoyed it. My body didn’t know what had hit it – there was just so much variety!

Rant: My gym, I won’t lie, is one of the cheaper gyms (PureGym) but works brilliantly for me. It’s open 24 hours a day and has loads of different classes which are perfect for my schedule. It’s also massive so there’s never a chance of not getting a machine or set of weights. However it isn’t glamorous by anyone’s imagination and some people who go there (I am heavily generalising here as I know a lot of nice people who also go there) can be a bit intimidating and, for want of a better word, are a bit “rough” (I fully admit to to being a snob). This was proved as I came out of the gym and was cat-called by a bunch of guys also exiting. Me quickening up to get to my car just heightened their calling. Lovely.

Rave: Alfie. Need I say more?

IMG_8522 Alfie gives me hope that one day when I become a mother (*heart palpitations begin*) I will sink into the role easier than I think. I just love this fur ball more than words – even if he does decide to poo when his walk is 99% over and we’re well and truly past the poo bin.

Rant: OK this is something I’ve been meaning to post about. When Ben went to China (and Hong Kong) he asked me if there was anything I’d like him to bring back. I said some Chinese sweets as I was intrigued what they’d be like. Verdict?

IMG_8546 Not sweet at all. In fact, there were these so-called ginger sweets (actually I have no idea what they were called at all as the description is in another language) which blew my head off! The after burn was ridiculous. I was bitterly disappointed. You live and learn.

Rave: Hey check me out posting not one but two ‘outfit of the day’ photos in one post! I used to do this a while ago but then stopped because…well, I’m actually devoid of any style and my clothes are quite boring. But I was quite proud of this outfit. If you think it looks stupid/ugly, please don’t tell me as I want to continue to live in my fantasy world… 😉


Jumper from Matalan, skirt very old stolen from sister years ago, socks from River Island, necklace and boots I can’t remember (this is possibly another reason why I don’t post my outfit that often)

I much prefer summer to winter but winter does have the benefit of long boots and layering. And long socks! They were so toasty. Almost typed “tasty” (food is never far from my mind clearly).

Rant: Working from home is amazing. However deciding to “chance” doing an update on my computer in the morning before I started work was not wise.

IMG_8788 I started it at 8.30am and it didn’t finish until 1pm. I kid you not. I felt terrible because obviously I couldn’t do any work. My manager was aware and it had happened to someone else in the office the other day so it wasn’t really an issue. I pottered about doing chores and bits and bobs. I suppose you could say that’s a good thing – but I’m the type of person who when genuinely sick and can’t go to work is convinced they’ll think I’m lying or taking liberties. I hate people thinking I’m dossing about or not doing my job. I got what I needed to do done for the day though so it wasn’t too bad in the end.

Rave: I’ve done my one month free of Kindle Unlimited. I downloaded (for free) and read Thorn Birds (wowza is that an epic love saga or what! Slightly creepy as well) and the The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window (absolutely fantastic – very dry and sarcastic humour but this really appealed to me).

I also downloaded Life of Pi and Great Expectations as audio books and listened to these in the car on the way to and from work. I loved Life of Pi and really recommend it. I chose Great Expectations as I don’t think I’ve read a Charles Dickens before and thought I really probably should. It was over 11 hours long though!

I decided I was going to cancel my Kindle Unlimited account though as I didn’t think £7.99/month was worth it. I do read a lot of books but I usually aim for the cheaper ones and there wasn’t enough audio book selection to keep me interested there. This meant that I had to listen to Great Expectations quite often towards the end of the free month as when you cancel Kindle Unlimited they remove the Unlimited content from your devices. Though I’ve managed to duck this so far by not connecting my Kindle to WiFi (sneaky, sneaky), but for my phone (where I listen to the audio books) this was impossible.

Anyway long story short: I enjoyed Kindle Unlimited but I’d prefer to spend £7.99 a month at Audible where you get a free audio book from a huge selection every month. I did enjoy Great Expectations though – even if Dickens often decided to use 12 words when one would have sufficed.

Do you enjoy reading/listening to audio books? I love getting through twice as many books by using my ‘dead time’ when I’m commuting to listen to something.

Have you ever tried “foreign” sweets before? Generally I’ve had good experiences but I think this is because I’ve always had more “Westernised” sweets.

Are you a Christmas jumper lover or hater?

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]!