London fun and Gladstone parkrun

Friday night I headed to the Big Smoke (aka London) once again. This time for pleasure not business and to see two good friends of mine from university.

The train and tube journey were easy peasy (i.e. I didn’t get lost – who even am I??). My friend, Laura, lives in the very cool St. John’s Wood location which was home to that famous zebra crossing on Abbey Road near the Abbey Road Studios (where the Beatles, amongst others, recorded a lot of their albums). To be honest, I would never have known had my friend, Charlotte, not pointed this out to me. I obviously had to get a photo, though sadly I was walking the wrong way to recreate the iconic Beatles crossing! But with cars waiting, I did the best I could!

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That evening we went to a fantastic Lebanese restaurant, called Yalla Yalla (self-described as a “hip West End restaurant”). It felt very hip. In fact, the entire time I was in London (and this is always the case) I feel so uncool. Londoners seem to exude this effortless coolness that I can only admire from a distance.

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It was a great pick of a restaurant because Charlotte is veggie and they had such a range of vegetarian and meat-based dishes that everyone was happy. The two others went for three small plates each which looked delicious.

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Halloumi, falafels, salad and chicken and feta in filo pastries. Whereas I went for pomegranate and honey roasted chicken wings followed by a mixed grill.

Yalla Yalla

It was all divine. And I even got to help out Charlotte and Laura when their normal-sized stomachs became too full. I’m literally the dustbin of my group of friends.

From there we meandered around Soho, China Town and other very cool parts of London.

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It was incredible busy (as you can imagine, it being Friday night) and every pub was spilling out people.

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We were hunting for a bar where we could have a nice drink and chat. After walking a fair way I got the rumbles for something sweet… and lo! and behold a crêpe cafe appeared. I mean, what a find! It’s called Scoop and honestly I was in heaven.

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My only predicament was whether to have just scoops of gelato in a funky cone, a brownie and gelato, a slice of red velvet or a crêpe (pancakes and waffles were also available but not really my cup of tea).

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Not normally a crêpe person I quickly changed my mind having seen someone order one. I went for a white chocolate filled crêpe with a scoop of salted caramel gelato. I could have gone with multiple toppings and more than one scoop, but I decided to reign in the beast within and be sensible seen as how it was 10pm and I did have parkrun in the morning.

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Dear God, what have I been missing all these years of believing crêpes weren’t my thing? (I’m not a Nutella fan so this is probably why as you can’t move for Nutella crêpes). The gooey, oozy, sweet and moist (yes, moist) deliciousness sent me to heaven and back. And I cleaned up that bad boy easily.

We then headed to a bar across the road for more normal adult endeavours (me now floating along on a sugar high). It was a lovely evening and made me realise a) how very uncool I am by London standards (who am I kidding, by any standards!) and b) how much more ‘happening’ London is than Southampton. OK I knew this already but it just blew my mind how easy it was and just how much stuff there was to see (and eat). But, still, I would never like to live near or in London…as good as that all is, I’m a hermit by nature and think I’d be overwhelmed (and broke) if it was long-term. Plus I love the friendliness and greenness of the more country-based suburbs.

parkrun the next morning was going to be at Hampstead Heath but after (luckily) checking Twitter on Friday I realised they’d cancelled for some reason. The next best location was Gladstone parkrun which was really easy to get to via the tube.

From the tube station (Dollis Hill) it’s literally about 0.5 miles down one road (Anna-proof!) to get to the park. The park is actually quite big though (and hilly) so I did have to hike around for a fair while to find the start (mainly because I hadn’t actually researched further than “it’s in Gladstone Park”).

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Having arrived fairly early (8.20am) and the fact that it was cold and overcast meant me walking around a park for a fair while was actually quite good!

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The views were lovely and the park was very peaceful. There was a small pond with ducks and lots of interesting carvings of animals in tree logs about the place. It really was a very good location for a parkrun – besides the hills Winking smile

When I got to the start area I happily chatted away to the few runners there. It amazes me how in this sort of situation I can easily walk up to people I don’t know and just start talking and be at ease. But in any other scenario? That would terrify me and I’d stand to one side awkwardly. I met some lovely people. I also heard from some people who usually do the Hampstead Heath parkrun that Hampstead Heath is very hilly so I was quite glad not to have gone (that’s where Parliament Hill is sooo…bullet dodged!)

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The course was a two lapped course (which, by the way, is now my favourite type of course. Not quite as repetitive as a three lap course and seems to go a lot quicker!). There were some nasty short inclines and some long gradual inclines but also some declines. It was actually a very enjoyable course as it was so varied.

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How’s that for a negative split?? I got a new lease of life half-way through and felt far more at ease. The temperature was perfect (very chilly to start!) and I really got into it by the end. I really should do more of a warm-up…starting straight from nothing is not a great idea *sighs*. One day.

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I asked the event director to take a photo of me and he was more than happy to. He then turned it to selfie mode and said “but of course you also need one with the event director in it!”

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He was so friendly and funny – really made me feel welcome and he demanded I come back at some point: “you don’t get a PB unless you come back!”.

I got back to Laura’s flat, showered and we headed off for brunch (Charlotte had gone home last night). It actually worked out really well me going to parkrun as Laura likes a lie-in whereas I’m not great with sleeping in too late! She took me to the Maida Vale area which was also very cool (and where they did all the BBC music stuff!). We went to The Elgin which was the epitome of hipster.

The Elgin

Anywhere that uses a teapot to hold cutlery is far too cool Winking smile I had Bavette steak and eggs for my brunch and it was DELICIOUS.

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And then it was time for home! I had a fantastic time in London (guided carefully around by friends to make sure I didn’t wander off and get lost). And ticked off number 19 on my parkrun tourism list!

How many laps do you prefer for parkrun?

What would you choose: Crêpes, waffles, pancakes, cake or just gelato?

Do you like visiting London much?

Locked in a Room, ribs for days, a bloody long run and Mother’s Day

Whew, check that out for a title! This weekend was pretty damn awesome, if I do say so myself. On Friday I worked from home so when I was finished I popped Alfie in the car and drove to Bristol to meet up with my university friends. We stayed with Kate and her husband, who I went on holiday with last year to the US, as it was her birthday the other week.

Kate is a little obsessed with pugs and has her own pug, Doug, who’s adorable. For her birthday I bought her PugOpoly (a pug themed Monopoly) – how cool!?

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One of my other friends bought her a pug welcome mat.IMG_8978

Hehe, I think she was pleased! Alfie, though he didn’t enjoy the drive up (he’s a bit of a car wuss) did appreciate me taking his bed with us so he could chill out a bit when he got there.IMG_8953

Kate and Jamie had made us fajitas which were very tasty and we chatted and chilled before picking up another friend from the station. Then we were all there and ready to go with our usual tradition of making brownies…

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I’ve blogged about the epic brownie tradition previously, but basically we just make a huge brownie and then eat with spoons (we kind of cook it so it’s still quite gooey in the middle – a bit pudding-like). It’s a ridiculously indulgent tradition but we love it.

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The key is to crumble up some Milky bar and Mint Aero and mix through the mixture just before it goes into the oven. You won’t regret it Winking smile

The next morning I got up early and headed to the very nearby Little Stoke parkrun to quickly get in a parkrun (I’m now on 92! So close to 100!). IMG_8970

It looks rather wet and grey but it didn’t rain thankfully and actually wasn’t that cold. I did a lap warm-up and then headed to the start. It was a different start and finish to when I’ve previously done it. I’m presuming this was because it was briefly on the grass which was very wet so they sensibly kept it all on the path: three and a bit loops of the field on the pavement, nice and flat and barely any wind. I didn’t go crazy as I was conscious of doing a long run the next day (18-20 miles in the plan) but I still wanted to see what I could do. I know I wasn’t in the same shape I was in when I was last there where I got 20 something minutes but I wanted 21 something.

I was pleased to find out there was a pacing event on but disappointed when they only had 20 minutes and then 24 minutes and above. Hmm. So I kept a way behind 20 minutes but in front of 24 roughly.

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As I got to the final lap I saw a woman in the distance and planned to try and overtake her. Part of me wanted to sprint to do it straight away but I knew that would be stupid so I just patiently increased my pace slightly and caught her up. The advantage of overtaking is that they’re unaware of it happening until it happens. The over-taker has all the control. I finished in 21:35 and third lady so I was happy with that!IMG_8971

Then I rushed off to meet my friends at the very nearby Starbucks (her house is so well situated) as they’d gone to walk the dogs. I grabbed a quick coffee with them (outside with the dogs) and then dashed back to get showered and breakfasted so I wouldn’t be holding anyone up.

We left late morning to go to Kate’s main birthday event. It’s called Locked in a Room and basically you get locked in a room for an hour and have to solve a load of clues in order to get out. It was so much fun! Honestly, I fully recommend it.IMG_8983

There’s a whole backstory and theme and inside the room is full of different objects and boxes with locks on and combinations so you have to work out what the codes are to find more clues. There are other teams in other identical rooms doing the exact same thing so it’s a big race against the clock and against them. There’s also CCTV cameras watching you and if you start to get super stuck they give you more clues via a screen (otherwise I guess it would be rather rubbish to spend a huge chunk of time having no idea what to do).

It’s very frantic and you have to think carefully but you’re obviously keen to get it done quickly so to get out in time. You’re racing around the room looking at different objects, reading a clue you’ve got and trying to make sense of it. Really good fun. And we won! We escaped with seven minutes to go and before any of the other teams.IMG_8992

You come out into another holding room where you can then watch on the televisions the other teams trying to solve their clues. Quite amusing.

We then walked through Bristol to get to our restaurant of choice. We saw a couple of Banksy’s and we walked through the area that had been the race village for the Bristol half marathon (that I did a number of years ago).

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We then arrived at Spitfire for lunch.

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Spitfire is a restaurant that pretty much calls to my heart. My friend Kate is very much on the same page as me with food and meat so she had suggested this BBQ/meat smoking restaurant. IMG_9015

Bless my vegetarian friend, Charlotte. She took one for the team as there really wasn’t a huge veggie choice for her, but she did enjoy her halloumi burger she said!

Oh my god, the menu. Jamie’s husband (a huge rib and meat fan like myself) recommended the spare ribs so I was set on that. I’m quite glad for the recommendation as honestly I wouldn’t have known what to have gone for! So many tasty sounding things. For starters Kate, Shell and I shared some pork rashers to start.IMG_9017

And then we all (apart from Charlotte) had the spare ribs.IMG_9023

Good lord they were good. Literally heavenly. They came with a cranberry and apple glaze and were just so tasty. I had sweet potato fries with them (a superfluous item to be honest that probably wasn’t necessary… though of course I did have some of).Spitfire spare ribs

For my shame I was the only one who finished theirs (let’s be honest, I’ve had a fair bit of practice). I left some room for pudding of course though Winking smile (hence not finishing the sweet potato fries – pick you battles!)

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More brownie! It was very tasty but to be honest it wasn’t anything special. It wasn’t all that hot and not really that gooey but it was tasty nonetheless. I’d probably just been spoilt the night before…

Then I rolled myself out of the restaurant. Standing up I sudden’’ly felt extremely full (what a surprise eh). The problem was my friend needed to get to her train rather sharpish so I was required to walk slightly more quickly than the snail’s pace I wanted to. Ooooof that’ll teach me for being so greedy (but will it?? I never learn!).

Luckily she got to her train on time and it was time to part ways. It was lovely, as always, seeing my friends and I had a great time. I drove back to Southampton listening to the audiobook version of Room. Oh god that book. It is incredible – so good but also very unnerving.

Surprisingly I didn’t need dinner that evening… I woke up the next morning fairly early to meet my friend, Shantha, for another long run. I didn’t have anything before the run because I was pretty sure I had enough inside me to keep me going!

We had a lovely run around her area (Hamble and Netley) which was great. It’s nice to go somewhere different from the usual routes I always do on my long runs. It was quite cold but the sunshine was bright and I was warm fairly quickly. We chatted away about this and that and the miles flew by. I hadn’t been that worried about this run because I knew I’d get at least 10 with Shantha and that would break it up so it wasn’t such a huge mileage on my own.

Our pace was nicely matched (though I always do worry I’m slowing her down as she is quite speedy) and it was nice to leave the route-planning to her. I’m awful though as I have no sense of direction so she did have to keep guiding me as I’d randomly turn off or miss hear her directions! But I was grateful for a lovely route Smile

As Shantha had to get back for her Mother’s Day service fairly promptly we only ran 10 miles together before parting. My plan was to run 18-20 miles but I’d decided to run 18 unless I really felt the urge to go further or if my route ended up that way. I had a vague idea of where to go. I put my headphones on and listened to more of Room. It was actually quite stressful at points listening to it while running because the story got quite dramatic and I was so absorbed. But it did help the miles fly by.

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I didn’t feel like the run was that tough in terms of speed or pace but I could feel a tiny glimmer of my foot niggling so I stopped at 18 miles to be super safe. Happily my route also ended up back near the car then anyway and I only had to do a small run out and back from it to get up to 18 miles in total.

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I had a small casualty of a bramble attack during the run which had caused my leg to bleed. It looks worse than it is. I did have a few people give me worrying looks and one man tried to stop me and point to my leg. I patiently explained I was aware and it was OK thank you.

I quickly got back, had breakfast, got presentable then headed to my parent’s to celebrate Mother’s Day with them. My dad cooked steak (rib eye for me, rump for them), sweet potato wedges, roasted veg and salad. image

We were meant to have a baked camembert to start but my dad had put it in the oven but only turned the light on, whoops…so we had that after the steak. Still good though!

No pudding as my mum and dad are trying to eat sensibly and, let’s be honest, I didn’t need anymore pudding either. The whole meal was delicious. And I actually felt pretty good for the rest of the day in terms of tiredness and hunger. My body seems to be adjusting to the miles Smile

So a huge happy Mother’s Day to my lovely mum. She’s always there for me and she’s pretty damn special. And so the weekend was finished off nicely!

How did you spend Mother’s Day (for those celebrating it!)?

Can you eat more than your friends? Embarrassingly I just have the hugest appetite out of most people I know…

Would you enjoy the Locked in a Room game?

Rants and Raves #27

And I’m back on the Rants and Raves again! I actually have quite a full-house today, so let’s get going.

Rave: As I mentioned in the previous post, I treated myself to a new pair of trainers. Why is it that it always requires an injury or niggle to trigger me to do something sensible? The logic of a runner I suppose… or maybe just me!IMG_8516

They’re Mizuno Wave Paradoxes and I believe this could be my fourth pair. I did consider buying another pair of ASICs (the Luminus ones I reviewed a while ago) but they’re very expensive and my Luminuses haven’t actually worn out yet. So why don’t I just wear them? Well, Mizunos have always been my fail safe. I’ve worn them for several marathons now – possibly all of them and I always go back to them. They are quite ‘stiff’ but I find this works for my feet. For £57 as well you can’t go wrong (I got them from www.sportsshoes.com).

Rant: The colour of said trainers. It looks like they’ve gone through the wash with a pair of jeans. My last pair were pink which was a whole lot better than this light blue colour. But after a few parkrun visits I’m sure the colour will be unrecognisable.

Rave: Crisp cold mornings are far nicer than soggy mild ones in my opinion.IMG_8477Yes it’s cold but it’s just so beautiful. And Alfie doesn’t get anywhere near as muddy.

Rave: And on that note of coldness, I’ve been wanting a hat for ages to wear when I walk Alfie as putting my hood up feels a bit silly and antisocial (and isn’t actually that much warmer). I found this hat in Tesco for £2!IMG_8517

It’s so snug and lovely. I can’t believe their winter stuff is in the sale already.

Rant: Don’t put tissues in your FlipBelt and then wash it. IMG_8596

Big mistake. Little pieces of white tissue everywhere! Arggh. I rarely take tissue with me on a run but I did for my failed 18 miler just in case. Then I forgot and merrily went on my way to washing it *sighs*.

Rave: One of my close friends is getting married in July and I’m really excited. It should be a fantastic day as they’re such a lovely couple. I did have a little bit of fun on the RSVP though…IMG_8518

She found it amusing thankfully Winking smile

Rant: I’m an idiot (probably a good portion of my rants in general are down to my own stupidity I’m sure). I booked a holiday completely on a whim, paying for it and everything before realising it was the day after said wedding. I evenly smugly booked Southampton airport because “how easy would that be”. Not so easy considering the day before I’m in Gloucester and was intending on staying over in a hotel. It means no drinking for me now and a very late drive home after the wedding. Oh well.

Rave: And to segue nicely into my booked holiday (stupid timing aside)… I signed up to go on the Body Type Nutrition Retreat. It’s run by Ben Coomber, the nutritionist who’s podcast I’m obsessed with. Basically it’s six days of 3-4 hours of training and 1-2 hours of nutrition coaching (per day). There are workshops and training sessions focused on strength and conditioning so you can learn and progress in your fitness goals. It’s not running-focused, but rather overall health. As I’ve got so into the gym and lifting weights I wanted to gain better knowledge in the area, as well as nutrition in general. There’s also a lot of fun and games involved. I thought “hey you only live once!”. I’m in a stage in my life where I can do what the hell I want and this interested me. It’s also nice to know I’m going on holiday with a bunch of like-minded people.

Rave: Good food! I never used to eat much steak at all but I’ve suddenly had such a craving for it. Obviously I’ve always been a keen meat-eater so I guess this is hardly surprising.IMG_8642

This was a grass-fed Irish rump steak (from MuscleFood – use this code AS284829 for freebies!) with a steak seasoning, a load of veg with Saint-Félicien cheese. Very tasty and filling! Mid-week steak, can’t go wrong (unless your a veggie…).

Rant: Idiots on the road. This guy in the photo below wearing SHORTS. Not only is it FEBRUARY but shorts on a moped at any time during the year is a stupid move. If he fell off his bike he could lose half the skin on his leg at best. Rush hour on a Tuesday morning is not a good time to play dice with the traffic.IMG_8669

Speaking of idiots, there was another guy the other week on a motorbike zooming along the motorway with his hands OFF THE HANDLEBARS. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. He was just sat that with this ridiculous grin on his face with no hands, clearly showing off. After ranting on Facebook about it my policewoman friend questioned me about it and then later said they think they have him on camera so he’ll get done. Good! Because it isn’t just his life he’s risking.

And on that happy note…

What’s the worst thing you’ve seen someone do on the road?

Favourite type of steak and how do you like it? I really enjoy rib eye medium rare. I prefer the more fatty cuts just because they’re a bit more flavoursome.

Have you got any holidays planned this year?

Mexico – Part 2

Hi guys, so I thought I’d do Part 2 of my Mexican holiday. (Catch up HERE for Part I)

Ben and me did a few excursions while we were out there. I’m not one for just lying on the beach the entire time and this was a great way to see a bit more of Mexico. One of the things we decided to do was go parasailing.

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That’s not us, but it’s what we did!

I was so excited about this. We got to go on a jet ski as well! We were escorted at top speed to the boat where we’d be launched from. I jokingly said to Ben as we were whizzing along “We’re going to have to jump onto the boat while it’s still moving like James Bond, ha ha ha”. Yeah, we actually did. We had to stand up and jump onto the speeding boat and be grabbed by the guys on board. James Bond I was not.

After getting all harnessed up and sorted, three seconds before we were launched up the guy goes “if you want to come down move your arms like this…” and whoosh! we were up. I was left wondering what the hell the arm movement was!!

It was amazing. Looking out at the ocean, the hotels and beach. Incredible. But then I looked down. Jeeze I was scared. I remember saying to Ben “If we fall we’re going to break our legs and die!!” It was so high up. I thoroughly enjoyed it; it was so exhilarating, but I was terrified.

But we survived. Thankfully we didn’t die or break our legs. Hurrah.

One night we decided to go out and boogie a bit We went on a crazy night out to a club called Coco Bongo.

IMG_5345Basically it was a nightclub with a show that went on from 11pm to 3am. And what a show it was! So many different acts and performances by all these dancers. They did songs from Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge…they did recreations of the Batman and Tron fight scenes…songs from Madonna, Beyoncé, Elvis…

Coco Bongo

It was crazy! And we had our own bar waiter who supplied us with never-ending drinks all night!

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Pina colada

We got home at 3am…I was shattered. It was very good though. A feast for the eyes!

Another excursion was going for a romantic dinner on a boat from Cancun. P1000152

We both got all dressed up and set off in the afternoon. In retrospect, a longer maxi dress would have been more suitable. Damn it is windy on boats.

Mexican boat trip

There was a saxophone player on board to set the mood

The ladies were given a flower, drinks were on tap and the music was beautiful. But yes it did feel somewhat cheesy!Cheesey romanceBut the sunset was perfect.

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And so was the food!

Romantic boat meal

For starters it was Caesar salad. I love Caesar salads so this was perfect. Yum.

For mains, we had the surf and turf: lobster and steak. I’ve never had lobster proper before (I’ve had lobster bisque and lobster in things, but never on its own) so I was quite excited. This came with a jacket potato (in the foil), vegetables and a random bread roll. I ate everything but the bread roll. Though I must admit I finished off Ben’s steak (and vegetable). Amazing. Like I said previously, I am a machine when it comes to food. And for pudding it was cheesecake with raspberry sauce.

All in all, fabulous. And the best part was we saw it cooking on the boat!

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Such a lovely night out. If not a little windy! Winking smile

And some random photos that I just had to share:Holiday Extras

The free booze in our room//Elephant towel//Furry friends around the hotel//More towel fun

A truly brilliant holiday with lots of memories made Smile I’d definitely recommend it!

Now business as usual…the holidays (or ‘vacations’– I’m not giving up Christmas!) are officially done and dusted for this year!

What makes a holiday special for you?

What day-trips do you like to do on holiday? We had a bit of everything: thrill-seeking, cultural, bit of partying, food and romance Smile

What’s does romance mean to you? Ben and me are simple people. I don’t need flowers and candles (though that is nice, don’t get me wrong). I just need Ben to listen to me talk running for hours on end and me together, relaxed and having a giggle at something stupid, coming up with our own in-jokes and sayings.

Steak, chicken and peanut flour pancakes

Ah Monday. So we meet again.

Seems like just a few seconds ago it was Friday and I was leaving work. Ah well. And it seemed to rain from Friday until Saturday night.

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This is the dismal view from the window by my desk at work. It looks like February. It felt like February.

Friday night I decided to whip up a different meal from usual. You might have seen that I eat a lot of chicken and not much other meat. I don’t mind pork and I don’t mind beef mince but I can’t stand lamb. Not sure why but there we go. Anyway, I saw a recipe and knew I needed to try it. Main ingredient? Steak.

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Basically it’s steak with a honey marinade and goat’s cheese salad. I used THIS recipe but subbed the gorgonzola for goat’s cheese just because I love goat’s cheese. I also left out the walnuts and portabella mushroom as I thought I’d keep it simple.

The marinade was this:

  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 1 tbs. soy sauce
  • good splash of Worcestershire sauce

I used thin steaks (as the recipe says) which I was glad for as I’m not that adventurous to try a big old thick steak. They took next to no time to fry. So a very simple meal all in all. And very tasty. The goat’s cheese and steak went perfectly together.

Then we watched a whole lotta House of Cards (the new series we’ve gotten into as we signed up to Netflix). I love Kevin Spacey, there is something strangely attractive about him and his smooth talking. Am I alone in this?

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Saturday morning I managed to dodge the rain and get out for a 9 mile run before it started again with a vengeance about 30 mins after I got back. I knew that the run would be tough because of Thursday’s super charged run. Honestly, even if I wanted to run faster I couldn’t have. My legs were so fatigued.

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As soon as I started I knew it was going to be tough, so I kept the pace easy and just enjoyed being outside listening to my podcast. Sometimes it’s good to just let your mind wander and just relax into a nice pace.

And guess what I had for breakfast afterwards? You’ll be forgiven for guessing oatmeal, but I had something different. Yes. I know, shocking.

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I was going to have some basic pancakes but realised I didn’t actually have any regular flour. Ages ago I bought some peanut flour but have never used it so I thought I might as well give it a whirl.

Peanut Flour Pancakes (Serves 1)

  • 1/4 cup peanut flour
  • 1 tbs. oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbs. sugar/alternate preferred sweetener
  • 2 egg whites/1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
  • pinch of salt

– Basically, mix all the ingredients together, then heat a tsp. oil in a frying pan and pour in the mixture in batches to make about 4-5 pancakes.

– Then add your favourite topping! I served mine with some mango that needed using up.

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A random choice perhaps and not particularly beautiful but it tasted pretty good. To be honest, I couldn’t really taste the peanut flour. It tasted just like normal pancakes, but I guess the mango could have helped disguise any differences hehe.

Hurrah a different breakfast for once! Though I did miss my oatmeal…well, you can’t have everything Winking smile

After getting ready we then had to take Alfie to the vets for his booster injection.

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Bless him, he was all fine in the waiting room sniffing around but as soon as we got into the vet’s room he was not a happy bunny. And he really didn’t want his injection and tried as hard as he could to avoid it Sad smile But in the end it was fine. Honestly he’s a big girl’s blouse. Also, check out the crazy dog hair products you can buy.

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They were £9.99 for a spray to make your dog’s fur smell nice. I don’t even spend £10 on my own shampoo!! I think Alfie would be offended if we suddenly turned him into a pampered pooch. In his mind I’m sure he believes he’s a big scary Rottweiler (incidentally, one of my friends has a 2-1 shampoo and conditioner for her pug…).

Saturday evening we met up with Ben’s mum and went out for dinner at a local pub. Usually this pub is quite nice; we’ve been a fair few times. But it wasn’t amazing. Ben and me shared a mezze board for starters which was tasty but nothing spectacular (and we know our mezze boards!)

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The falafels were nice, as was the hummus and obviously the sweet potato was good if not a bit huge for a starter. But three olives? Hmmm. And the square pastry things were tasteless.

The main I was really excited about, but the portion was quite small considering it was one of the more expensive things on the menu and this isn’t a fine dinning restaurant, it’s just a regular pub!

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It was turbot steak with mango salsa and more sweet potato. The two bits of sweet potato at the top were actually from Ben as he had them with his meal and didn’t want them. They must have had a stupid amount of sweet potato in the that kitchen!!

It was tasty but just a bit small (I was grateful for Ben’s off casts – though I was feeling a bit sweet potato’ed out by this point). But the company was lovely and we had a good natter Smile

Sunday (today) we enjoyed another roast chicken, this time a bit bigger and I left it to roast without adding anything to it as I wanted some plain meat for other meals in the week.

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I love how the house smells when you’re cooking a roast! So warming.

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I had a whole lot of chicken with veg and, er, yeah more sweet potato…I obviously wasn’t put off too much last night! Deliciously simple. I could have made gravy to go with it but we just fancied something really fresh and simple. And Ben wanted to drown his with lots of garlic mayo sauce. Lovely.

Speaking of Ben…he was keen for me to mention that he’s still going well with not drinking alcohol (he gave up four weeks ago in effort to get more healthy, run more and be ready for the 10k which is in 4 weeks time). Unfortunately his running has had to stop for a bit as he’s had some knee and back issues but hopefully, after seeing the physio a few times, he’ll be raring to go again. Though he is counting down the days until he can have a glass of wine again haha.

*** I’m still waiting to hear back from SlimKicker regarding the giveaway, I’ll post the winner as soon as I  know***

What did you get up to this weekend?

What’s your favourite way to roast a chicken?

Do you have a dog? What’s his feelings on the vets?