Monday, 22 February 2016

Raspberry and White Chocolate Brownies

It was a Friday night, I was home alone (I do live alone after all) and I got a craving for white chocolate brownies.  So I decided to make some.  That's what every twenty five year old dreams of.  Spending a Friday night at home alone baking.  Actually it was perfect.

I had never made white chocolate and raspberry brownies before so sort of made up the recipe as I went along.  They sort of turned into cakes.  Well, cake brownies.  But they were perfect.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Marathon Training: My first half marathon experience

For me, running a half marathon is a big thing.  A couple of months ago I could barely run two miles.  So to reach the target of running 13.1 miles, in a race.  I saw this as an unachievable target.  But I believe that if you really want to do something, you can achieve it, no matter what it takes.  After all, in April I will be running a full marathon.

Me on the right after completing the race

Monday, 8 February 2016

January Favourites

January.  It was a dull month.  It was a boring month.  And it was an expensive month.  I'm glad it's over.  During this first month of the year I got back into running, I barely visited the gym, and I booked a big summer holiday.  That just about sums up my month.

Travel.  This month my brain has been full of 50% travel and 50% sleep.  In the second week of January I booked my summer holiday to the USA.  But that is half a year away!  So I got into researching where else I would like to go in the year.  I still haven't quite decided yet but I feel like 2016 is going to be the year of travel, it's going to be a good one!

Yes this is my bed and my favourite blanket, and yes I have been loving my bed in the month of January (and yes I do have a favourite blanket).  I felt so tired all month and it was a chilly one.  In the mornings I could not wait for it to be evening so I could get back into bed, in the mornings I couldn't get out of bed, and many a time I got into bed way too early on a Friday and Saturday evening, and I loved it!!

I guess this is my empties come beauty section of the post.  I have absolutely been LOVING this St Ives scrub.  I purchased this in the last week of December and have been loving it all month, it has completely changed my skin!  My face feels cleaner and my skin feels clearer.  I love this product and have already purchased my second bottle.  Also this Aussie body wash is AMAZING!  I love their hair products but did not realise they did soap as well until I spotted this in Tesco! It smells a little bit like the distinct smell of the Aussie hair products but not quite so potent and a little different.  The scent of this body wash is so nice and it leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean, I like to use this in the morning.

The foam roller.  Why have I not used one of these before?! My osteopath told me to get one of these and when I first used it, I was dubious.  But then I learn how to use it properly and oh boy does it hurt, but it's that good muscly sort of pain.  I mostly foam roller my legs and they feel so much better afterwards.  I love using this after a run or a workout.

The Hunger Games books.  I started on the first book in the first week of January, it was so good and I became so addicted to this book that before I knew it, I had completed the book.  I had to get more of the story, so I ordered the other two books and before the end of January I had finished reading them.  Best books I have read in a long time! I hated putting the book down and couldn't wait to get back to reading it!

Now on to February with bigger and better things!  How was your January?

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Marathon Training: Gale force winds and running playlists

I cannot run without music.  At first I would listen to music to drown out the sound of my breathing, and I also get ear pain from the cold without ear protection.  But most of all, music spurs me on.  It's what keeps me going throughout those long runs.  Over the weeks I have put together a running playlist that helps me through each mile.

Here are my top ten running tracks:
Metallica - Enter Sandman
Madness - Baggy Trousers
Bowling For Soup - Stacy's Mom
Armin van Buuren feat. Mr. Probz - Another You
Hadouken! - M.A.D
Martin Garrix & Tiƫsto - The Only Way Is Up
Hardwell & Armin van Buuren - Off The Hook
Calvin Harris - Outside ft. Ellie Goulding
Panic! At The Disco - Time To Dance
Sub Focus - Tidal Wave ft. Alpines

This week has been pretty good for running.  I am feeling motivated, I feel like my body is changing for the better and the cold weather doesn't phase me so much.

Monday 25th January
Monday was a rest day.  I booked my first half marathon for 2 weeks time.  Eeeeekkkkk!!!!

Tuesday 26th January
I was so pleased with my achievements on Tuesday.  I went for an early afternoon run.  I had to battle through gale force winds, rain, hills and my painful knee but I got through it and managed 8 miles.  The furthest I had ever ran.  I completed this a little slower than I would have liked, I ran the 8 miles in 1 hour 23 minutes.  But the main thing is, I did it.  I even had a one hour pole dancing session in the evening.  My knee was ok until it started playing up between the 6th to 8th mile, it is so annoying but it is so much better!!

Wednesday 27th January
Today was rest day, I was in between night shifts and I needed that rest!

Image Source

Thursday 28th January
On Thursday morning I finished my night shift at 8.30am, had some breakfast, went home.  By 9am I was dressed and ready to go for a run. Six months ago if you had asked me to go for a run after a twelve hour night shift I would have laughed in your face.  But I actually did it! I just did 3.35 miles in 31 minutes and 53 seconds.  I'll admit, it was difficult.  I was knackered and in the first mile I totally regretted going for that run.  After the third mile I felt great and was glad I did it!

Friday 29th - Sunday 31st January
I was supposed to go for a 10 mile run on Saturday, but I didn't get time in between my pay day shopping and having friends over in the evening.  On Sunday I was working all day and told myself I would go for a run in the evening.  But Saturday night ended up being a very late one, I got three hours sleep before work, and work was super busy.  I was exhausted when I got home so went straight to bed.  Oops.  It is difficult to balance all this training in between working and life.

I use the Nike Running app.

My feelings on running this week
I hate running.
Running in the rain isn't as bad as it looks.
Running in the ice isn't as bad as you think it will be.
Running in the wind is far worse than you can imagine.
I hate running.
I feel smug when I run past people huddled up in their warm coats waiting for the bus.
Running can be exhilarating.
I quite like running, sometimes.
Does running make your waist smaller?  I haven't lost any weight since I started this marathon training, however my waist has definitely shrunk.  It's flatter.  I am not complaining though... LIFE GOALS!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Payday Haul

Last week was the much awaited payday, it had been a long month.  I was so excited, I needed money and I needed new things!  So on Saturday I headed to the shops.  I only had two hours to spare, but spend I did!

Usually I avoid sales like the plague but I found a few great things in the sales this time!! First I headed to H&M.  I LOVE H&M.

I am building my summer holiday clothes collection already.  This top will look great with my new black, high-waisted shorts.

I found this jumper in the sale for £7.

Next I headed to Zara.  As much as I like H&M, Zara is my absolute favourite.

I love this skirt, it was £9.99, I wore it the other night with my long sleeved black shirt, tucked into the skirt.

This top was also in the sale for £9.99.

These trousers were full price but they are gorgeous!

I then headed to Primark where I bought some leggings and a kimono for my summer holiday.

I went into John Lewis looking for a new nail polish and purchased this OPI polish in Over The Taupe.  I had to get this lipgloss, in Autumn Haze, which was in the sale for £4.50, I LOVE Burt's Bees.

I was in need of a new candle holder and spotted this one in the Yankee Candle shop.  The Candle in this holder at the moment is Snow In Love which I bought in December, the scent is gorgeous!!

Lastly, I went into Homesense.  I ADORE this shop, I could buy the whole shop!! I settled on two items and bought this plate and jug.  The plate was £4 in the sale.

I cannot wait for payday so I can go shopping again!!  Have you found any good bargains in the sales recently?