Bank Holiday Weekend

Hi guys! If you live in Britain, I hope you’ve been enjoying the lovely weather (if you’ve been as fortunate as us in the South to have so much sunshine) and the Bank holiday weekend. I hope the weather is just as nice where you are!


Beautiful blossom tree on my walk with Alfie

This weekend has been a mixture of being busy and doing nothing. Perfect combination I’m sure you’ll agree!

Friday night Ben and me went over to my parents’ house to enjoy a sneaky Indian take-away. I much prefer the Indian take-away near their house than ours. They know us well which is rather embarrassing but makes it feel homey.

Since moving out (actually, since going to university) whenever I came home I’d always raid my parents’ cupboards for anything nice. I know it’s wrong. I don’t do it without them knowing (most of the time Winking smile). They just tend to buy stuff I’d never buy as it’s either too expensive or I don’t know if I’ll like it or not so won’t want to waste my money. So I steal borrow it from my loving parents. It’s a very similar situation with my mum’s nail varnish/handbag/shoe collection. She doesn’t mind…sort of.

Anyway, this time my mum seemed to have gone crazy with buying loads of different herbal and normal tea bags.


Sooo I did a bit of sampling to take home with me…as you do.


Only problem is when I got home I don’t know what is what. So it’s a bit of a tea adventure. Ben helped me sniff out the Chai ones as apparently he has a talent in identifying cinnamon. He’s a keeper! Winking smile


I think I enjoyed a Sunshine Grey Saturday morning, but who knows!!

Anyway so Saturday morning I got up and ran my usual long run (9 miles) which was a) tough in the warmer weather and b) tough after a spicy Indian take-away the night before. Pre-run food it is not.


Then I got back and did the housework. Not much different to most Saturdays! I went on a little adventure to Waitrose to have a mosey around. Does anyone else do that? Just go for a little trip to the supermarket just to have a look? It’s a fun activity for me. I can’t believe I’ve just admitted that.

I literally walked up and down every aisle just browsing around. I don’t get to go to Waitrose that often as it’s quite far away and expensive. I managed to spend a fair bit of money on nothing that we needed. You know how it is…you see stuff you don’t necessarily need but want… In the end I came away with several tins of tinned pumpkin, Ambrosia rice pudding and tapioca, a jelly with sweets in it for Ben as a pressie and a new porridge bowl for me. It could have been a lot worse. I was quite refrained. It’s a good job it’s not closer!

Saturday night we went out with our couple friend (you know, friends who are a couple – is there a better way to say that?). We went to a Brazil all-you-can eat (‘rodizio’) restaurant. Oh. My. God. It was good.

You sit down, order drinks, fill your plate high with salad from the salad buffet (though actually more than just salad really – they had meatballs, fries, fried banana things – which Ben adored; he had six of them).


Check out that bad boy of a selection platter. We’ve got refried beans, fried mushrooms, Greek salad, battered mackerel, black eyed peas and tuna salad mix, meatballs, green beans, broccoli and salad. And no, that is not the only plateful I got.

Then you turn over your magic card to the green side and the waiters bring round meat to your table to carve for you to add to your plate.


Sirloin steak, rump steak, venison, pork, gammon, chicken drumsticks, roast turkey, king prawns, ribs, sausages, chicken wrapped in bacon, and chicken hearts. Yes chicken hearts.

I pretty much had everything but the steaks, sausages and drumsticks. I even tried a heart. Small and chewy. We literally all tried one at the same time. It was the culinary equivalent of a shot. Tasted like chicken.

And I even had myself a strawberry capirinha cocktail.


And maybe a few jugs of Sangria were shared…


Honestly, I was STUFFED. Like uncomfortably full stuffed. We all were. It was just really hard to not keep going. They kept coming round with more meat that we hadn’t tried and well…we just kept eating. But it was good fun.

Needless to say I was looking after a hefty food baby when I got home and had to ‘sit and chill’ for a bit before going to bed.

Sunday morning I was surprised that I was actually hungry in the morning. My body is a strange thing. Ben’s mum came over and helped with some gardening. Now gardening is neither my forté nor my favourite thing to do. So I did some cupboard organising while they worked away like troopers and then I helped a bit at the end…I know where my talents lie Winking smile I am massively impressed at what they achieved and hugely grateful for my mother-in-law’s expertise and help.

This is what it looked like before.


But without the flowers. Basically we just had two main plants and then a barren wasteland of cracked soil because Ben and me are rubbish with anything that requires more than watering. One of those plants is a blueberry plant and honestly I have no idea how it survived. It’s a fighter.

And this is what it looks like now.


So much tidier and easier to deal with now. It looks rather posh, if I do say so myself!


My little blueberry plant is standing strong

And the cupboards are all nice and clean and organised as well Winking smile

Monday I got up and ran an even warmer 6 miles. Really, really tough. My legs felt like lead.


Not fun. Enough said.

Then I enjoyed a bit of solo shopping. Don’t get me wrong, I love going with my mum or friends or Ben (if I fancy enduring his sighs and not-so-subtle moaning), but sometimes it’s nice to whizz round on a mission by yourself. I stopped for a take-away coffee with hazelnut syrup and then speeded on.


The only tough thing is trying to decide if something looks nice. Which involves a lot of photo taking and sending the pictures to Ben to harass ask him for his opinion.


Lots of dresses were purchased (even though I told myself to buy something other than dresses). And a pair of wedges, yay!


And a few tops. A very good haul!

Now I’m just relaxing. All in all an entirely fabulous Bank holiday weekend.

What have you gotten up to this weekend? Have you had the Monday off?

Have you been to an all-you-can eat restaurant before? They are my nemesis…I just can’t stop myself.

Do you enjoy gardening?

Weekend Catch-Up

Helloooo. Another week and closer to summer!

And it’s my lovely husband’s birthday – happy birthday, Ben!!


(A photo from a couple of years ago, but one of my favourites)

So catching up from the weekend. We had a great one! Friday night was ice cream and movie night. We watched Looper and though there were several times Ben and me had to pause the film to discuss it as it was such a head warp, we really enjoyed it. And the ice cream was obviously AMAZING. I’ve successfully trained my body into being able to consume an entire litre of the chocolate brownie frozen yogurt Ben and Jerry’s. Not a talent I’m hugely proud of, but delicious none-the-less.

Saturday morning I got up early and did my 10 mile run. This time I started slowly, took it slowly and didn’t push it. Though I’m currently suffering from a cold at the moment which is highly irritating. [Ben keeps informing me that I sound really creepy because when I’m sat next to him and breathing through my nose I breathe really heavily because it’s slightly blocked – like I can help it!!] So the run wasn’t the easiest despite slowing the pace. I just can’t win!


And thankfully I had no issues from my Achilles and only slight pain in my knee at the end. But I’ve been doing lots of stretches to loosen my ‘hip flexor’ which has definitely helped. Funnily enough I listened to a Marathon Talk podcast on my run (one from a few weeks ago as I’m a bit behind) and they had a physiotherapist on and they literally talked about my exact issue. What a coincidence!

After the run I did lots of housework while Ben was out doing something-or-other to his car (installing a head-unit…I thought this was some strange technical device he had to wear on his head but it’s actually the CD player…who knew). As it was his birthday weekend he was allowed to forgo his housework duty. I try to be a good wife sometimes Winking smile

My outfit for the day:


Jeans from Republic (in the sale as they’re sadly closing down), top from New Look, scarf from Accessorize, necklace from Mango, shoes from Next.

Then we met up with a couple we’re friends with and went to Nando’s for lunch. It became a bit of a chicken eating competition as we ordered. The two guys went for WHOLE chickens and two sides and us two ladies went for half chickens and two sides. Now usually I’m the greedy one out of Ben and me so I was fairly impressed. Though Ben did cave at the last minute of ordering and gave me one of his sides. The embarrassing part is that when I ordered for us at the till the man asked me if I wanted three drinks because he thought there were three of us eating…

And we had a mezze board to start!! With the world’s worst photos I’m afraid. It was so dark in the restaurant!


And for my main, my half chicken with a corn on the cob and side salad (I wanted to maximise on the chicken experience):


Sorry that really is a terrible photo… I had mango and lime sauce on it and it was really good. After my run this was a truly appreciated meal. I finished this off and had Ben’s other side (another corn on the cob; I have a crazy obsession with them) and helped Ben with some of his chicken when he was struggling.

Literally could not move afterwards. Needless say I don’t want to see chicken for a while now.

Afterwards we all needed to get outside and walk a bit for fear of exploding. I managed to get a steal in French Connection – a lovely sparkly clutch down from £65 to £10!!! Crazy. Apologies no photo…but it’s very dainty and pretty. I also got some Estee Lauder BB cream. I love BB creams because they’re so lightweight. I don’t usually wear make-up but if I’m going out or having an ugly day I’ll slap some tinted moisturiser on so this is perfect.

~gpr v1 @ 7/13/2011 @ 4:26 PM~gpr v2 @ 7/18/2011 @ 6:45 PM~gpr v3 @ 7/18/2011 @ 8:00 PM~bt v4 @ 7/20/2011 @ 4:51 PM~bt v4 @ 7/20/2011 @ 6:41 PM~bt v4 @ 7/20/2011 @ 7:49 PM~bt v4 @ 7/20/2011 @ 8:02 PM~bt v4 @ 7/20/2011 @ 10:42 PM~jd v5 @ 7/22/2011 @ 11:49 AM~GPR v6 @ 7/27/2011 @ 4:40 PM~gpr v7 @ 7/28/2011 @ 4:43 PM~bt  v8 @ 8/1/2011 @ 4:07 PM~bt v8 @ 8/1/2011 @ 6:37 PM~JD  v9 @ 8/2/2011 @ 1:38 PM~TS v10 @ 8/8/2011 @ 3:42 PM~jd v11 @ 8/9/2011 @ 4:19 PM~JD v11 @ 8/10/2011 @ 9:54 AM~JD v12 @ 8/10/2011 @ 12:39 PM~TS v13 @ 8/11/2011 @ 6:39 PM~JD v14 @ 8/12/2011 @ 9:35 AM

And I also got some running leggings as well from Nike.


They’re perfect for when it gets a bit warmer. I have shorts for the summer, long leggings for the winter and capris for the in-between bits but I hated how they flared out at the bottom just under my knees. Also the new ones have a zip just above the bum where I can put my key. Perfect.

Then we had a drink at a little bar and then went home where Ben and I enjoyed a nice evening of Game of Thrones series one (watching again because series two is almost released). Dinner was porridge for me and toast for Ben. Seriously, nothing else would have fitted after all that chicken.

Sunday was a quiet day of family coming over to wish Ben a happy birthday and basically doing not much else (on my part, Ben was still doing his head unit thing – this was his birthday present, by the way). Though I did enjoy a truly delicious lunch.


Butternut squash and coconut milk soup. I forgot how much I loved this soup. It really hit the spot.

And a standard pudding at the weekend for me:


Melon! And do you know what, I’m embarrassed to say that I went back and had the other half a few hours later. So yeah, an entire melon was consumed. On a random note, melons really freak me out. Ben has to cut them for me because I honestly can’t stand the inside of them. All those seeds just make me feel really sick. I’m not sure why. The same happens with bell peppers. I’ll use a word that I really hate to describe it: clustering of seeds. GROSS.

I’ve also recently been thorough enjoying snacking on these bad boys:


I was sent these from Lord Poppington’s range of popcorns to review and honestly loved them. I did get the Four Cheese flavour as well but for some reason didn’t manage to photograph it. Probably because I gobbled it down too quickly.

I’m a big fan of popcorn so I was looking forward to trying these. They’re gluten free, low in fat and with no artificial flavours. And being a wholegrain product it means they’re a good source of fibre. And each pack contains between 94-128 calories. And you get a fair amount for this! Better than Snack a Jacks I have to say.


My favourite flavour by far was the Chilli and Lime. It was so flavoursome. My mouth was a little bit on fire, but in a good way. The Four Cheese was my second favourite. I just love the flavours.

But the only thing I will say is that they only seem to be available on Amazon and quite expensive. I’m a little bit devastated by this as I would honestly swap these for my Snack A Jacks. They’re probably a lot better for me than the God knows what they put in Snack A Jacks.

But, inspired by the above, I have since bought some plain popping kernels to make my own…watch this space.

What did you get up to this weekend?

Sweet or salty popcorn? I would have said sweet but after trying the savoury flavours I’ve changed sides for a bit.

Busy, busy!

Hi all! Well today Ben and me were off and won’t be back to work until Tuesday. Wheeee long weekend! Today was anything but relaxing though. We had a million things to do before we dash of to Bruges tomorrow for my work Christmas do. And, OK, we might have gone to see The Hobbit too…important things needed to be done obviously! [The Hobbit was amazing. I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan and was pleased how true it remained to the other films].

Anywho, before I go into my busy day… two lovely ladies nominated me for the Liebster award. Thank you Sandy (a great vegan blogger) and Elle (causes me to have massive food envy whenever I look at the amazing baking she does every week). liebster-blog-award

I know this is quite a late post for this as this was going a while here’s my 11 random facts about myself!

1) I eat at least four apples every day. Always chopped.


2) I have a secret love for movie music…I’m not talking about soundtrack songs, I’m talking actual original scores. Some of my favourites being Atonement, Jurassic Park, The Village, and Memoirs of a Geisha…. My favourite composers: John Williams, James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, James Horner… I am a film geek. And I am proud! I am a big believer that the music helps make the film.

3) I’m am always reading a book – I can’t remember a time when I’ve never not been reading something. I like to read with my breakfast – it’s my calming morning ritual.

4) When I’m alone in a public toilet and there’s music on I like to have a quick boogie while I’m washing my hands. I haven’t been caught in the act yet but I guess it’s only time…

5) Sometimes when I’m bored I daydream about end of the world scenarios. Not in a depressing way but in a ‘what would I do’ way. Like zombies attacking. What would be your first action? I’d get the family together (in my scenario we’d all be OK) and then head to the local supermarket and fill the car with tinned goods, then head to the docks, grab a boat and sail out – zombies can’t swim (or in my scenario they can’t)! These are important things to prepare yourself for.

6) I pluck my eyebrows every single night. It’s my night-time ritual.

7) I hate pasta. And not because of some faddy health reason. I hate the texture and I hate the taste. So you won’t find any pasta recipes here I’m afraid.

8) I will always wake up at least once in the night to pee. Apologies if this is TMI. I know this isn’t healthy, but I tend to have a hot chocolate before bed most nights…and well, you know.

9) I cry very easily. If Ben just mentions the Time Traveller’s Wife to me I will cry.

10) Mars Attacks caused me several months of trouble sleeping when I was younger. It scared the hell out of me.

11) If I could choose a superpower I’d be invisible. I’m so nosey, I’d love to know what celebs get up to away from the cameras!

Sooo, today. This morning I got up early and made some vegan cookies in my pyjamas. I have never made anything vegan in my life before so this was quite a challenge to a) find a recipe and that didn’t involve crazy ingredients which I didn’t have and b) to actually make them! They’re for the cookie exchange Tamzin is hosting and my partner (Sarah) is vegan. It was fun though!

Then I got dressed…


And then Ben and I dashed off to Southampton to take back my first unsuccessful outfit for the Christmas do. We had originally bought it from John Lewis using vouchers. When we returned it we assumed we’d just get store credit – but they gave us cash back!! Hurrah! Almost like free money. Sort of.

We also picked up Ben’s suit (proper penguin suit for the Christmas meal Saturday night). Then we had a quick early lunch. Originally we were going to have Nando’s but they weren’t serving until 11.30 and The Hobbit began at just after 12 so it was pushing it too close. So we settled for Cafe Giardino instead.


A chicken, bacon, spinach and basil ciabatta. Very filling. Then we dashed off to the cinema and watched The Hobbit sharing a large popcorn. I’m sorry but how expensive is popcorn at the cinema??!!! A nice treat regardless.

Three hours later we then zoomed home to post the cookies before the post office closes and then drop Alfie off at his dog-sitters while we’re away. He’s being looked after by a lovely old lady who’ll take great care of him…but it still hurt my soul to say goodbye to him. Those big furry eyes looking at me all accusingly…

Then Ben dashed off to get his hair cut while I packed. Then made dinner.IMG_3127

BBQ ribs from the freezer, roasted veg and salad that needed using up. Basically a ‘I don’t have any food and am going away the next day’ kinda meal. I love ribs though so this was a winner.

And now we’re chilling. Whew.

Oh was anyone else stupidly excited about yesterday’s date??


And…when I went out for lunch…


I love it when this happens! It is extremely likely that this won’t happen again in my lifetime.

And because I miss him…


I won’t see Alfie until Sunday night so I gave him lots of cuddles last night before he went to sleep.


So tomorrow is a very early start. The taxi is picking us up at 6.20am and then catch a train to London and then the Eurostar to Brussels. I’m so excited about the Christmas do and looking around the Christmas markets!

Have a great rest of the week and weekend and I will write a catch up as soon as I get back Smile

Are you going to see The Hobbit? Are you a big fan?

Do you have a Christmas party soon?

Have you been to Bruges?