How does my garden grow?

Hello

So excuse my absence for a few days- it has been busy. So a min recap- Tuesday I had my last cup of chocolate tea, along with a 9 bar which I won in Lucy’s giveaway.

Yum! This gave me loads of energy for aerobics and I felt like I was leaping all over the place- love it!

Yesterday we attempted to go to the cinema- we had an early dinner and then walked up, but it was sold out. I wanted to see Bridesmaids as I feel we have seen so many serious films lately- (Shutter Island, The Black Swan to name two)- plus work has been busy so I wanted something light-hearted. Anyway, we walked back and I did some yoga later on.

Breakfasts have been lovely- porridge with strawberries.

One in a pb jar- yum :)

And one in a bowl. The bowl is not dirty, but for some reason it goes like that once it has been in the microwave- no idea what it is! Anyway, loving strawberries at the moment.

But, I wanted to show you my garden :)

I got this for my birthday (it is a Birthday Rose)- so pretty. The flowers are little and so delicate.

These are Hollyhocks which I grew from seed a couple of years ago. I did not think they had made it, as none of them flowered last year, but this year they are so tall (taller than the fence)- even though they are English flowers I think they look so tropical.

Some other pretty flowers (Laviteria- not sure how you spell it).

Clematis.

And my fave part of the garden (well, it will be soon).

My little veggie patch! We actually have some courgettes growing that will be big enough to be picked soon! Including some yellow ones! How exciting! I think the corn needs some sunshine though. There are also pumpkin, butternut squash and carrots. :) My strawberries, blueberries and blackcurrants are by my apple tree, and of course I love growing all that fruit.

So- how does your garden grow? And I count pots of basil on windowsills! What is your favourite thing to grow?

And I am off to body pump- fingers crossed that the music grows on me a little this week!

Dripping!!

So after work today (and my, it was sticky at work- 27C in my classroom when I remembered to look, and this was after the kids left so it would have been hotter) I decided to change my running route. I was going to do the 7ish mile loop, but a lot of this is in the sun, and I did not feel like going quite that far. I ended up going up to the lake, around the big lake (saw loads of goslings, some stuff fluffy and some with their adult feathers on), up a bit more and then doubled back on myself. After 4 miles I stopped and walked for about a minute just to try and cool myself down a bit. I had put a bottle of water in the fridge in the morning, and added a nuun tab to it, but it warmed up so quickly. Anyway, the run ended up being 6 miles, taking me 65 minutes, which in that heat was not too bad. I was totally pouring when I got home though- it is so sticky today!

Once home it was time for some lovely cold coconut water- lovely :)

As promised, some pictures of less baking and more healthy foods!

So breakfast- I could not face porridge in this heat!

This was lovely Rude Health crispy muesli, with a chopped apple and milk- so refreshing in the morning.

Dinner was version 2.0 of Saturday’s dinner. I cooked the rest of the quinoa (red and white stuff) with a little tomato puree, water, spinach and beetroot, and put some falafels on top. Then once cooked I served it on the rest of the spinach, drizzled with raspberry basil dressing (which is amazing by the way). Super tasty. I also had some cherries- hooray! They have been out of stock fot ages so I was so pleased to get some this week. Yum.

Now, I am not complaining about this weather, as it is lovely to have some warmth and sunshine. But, I wonder how people manage to keep going with workouts and stuff like that in this heat? Our gym occasionally has real air-con, but mostly it consists of wedging the fire exit open with a heavy weight. I know there is the standard advice of going out early/ late, drinking more, easing off a bit and so on. I did go slower, and took water with me today (and I did think that I should have got up early and gone before work, but anyway)- but this warm weather has leapt up, whereas normally it is more gradual so you get used to it more.

So, hot weather training tips?

:)

Giveaway winner!

The winner of the set of Bloom Teas, goes to:

Rachel- at Delicious and Nuts :)

I am afraid I have no idea how to do those random number generator thingies, so it was names on paper, and Andy picked one out! :)

Rachel- can you email (emailme at runningcupcake.co.uk) your address details to me and I will pass them on to Bloom Teas. Congrats :) Hope you enjoy the tea :)

Also, I realised I forgot to do my exercise recap for the week.

So:

Monday- 6.7ish mile run with Audiofuel intervals. Found it hard going slow enough in the recovery parts, and finished it tired a long way from home. Lesson learned- do them nearer home!

Tuesday- Aerobics- I had not been for weeks, and it was the replacement girl (but she was loads better than last time and turned up the speed so it was a great workout).

Wednesday- 3.5 mile run- more Audiofuel- this time I did the slightly faster one which was better. The fast bits were really hard but that is good. Then yoga for runners 25 mins.

Thursday- New body pump release.  Back to pretty much normal weights.

Friday- Rest (and waffle house :) )

Saturday- 9.5 mile run, including wardrobe malfunction. Very hot. And a walk before dinner.

Sunday- Rest day- I did yoga podcast this evening.

Verdict- pretty good week.

And Lara I apologise for the baking! I am going to try and take pictures of the healthy food this week. Except for Thursday as I am making a cheesecake to take to a friends’ on Friday. Consider yourself warned ;)

Busy bee

Hello! I trust you are all enjoying this beautiful weather (although I feel one day of sunshine cannot quite be a heatwave!).

I have been busy over the weekend in the kitchen (but I have been enjoying the weather- I had a walk yesterday evening and went round for a late breakfast in my parent’s garden this morning), so be prepared for many photos!

First up were some amazing chocolate crispy squares from Oh She Glows (I found them while looking for chia seed recipes!!)- I used Rude Health puffed oats as I had them, and did not have rice crispies. They are amazing. Seriously. The recipe is here.

Then I had this “problem” to deal with:

That is a lot of bananas! I have had some banana “pudding” (mashed up with pb and carob powder) and have some in the fridge. But I still had loads left and I did not want to put them in the freezer. Then I remembered seeing a recipe for banana brownies on Peanutnutterbutter’s blog- recipe here.

I added some peanut butter chips to it as well, as they need using up! This smells so good and will be going into work as everyone will approve of the fat free recipe. :)

I also tried one of my new salad dressings last night.

I was going to ask you to guess which one, but you can see it in the pic! Whoops! I had it with some falafel type things (chickpeas in the food processor with tomato puree, garlic, chilli, a little water and some gluten flour- then rolled into balls- it made 12), some red and white quinoa (I have run out of dried stuff and the pouches were on offer), beetroot and lettuce. Really I should have had it in a pasta bowl in layers, as the dressing made the qunioa lovely too. It was really summery, and reminded me of dressings we used to get when we went on holiday to France. Yum. Plus, look how pink it is!

Finally I made some hazelnut praline muffins, from my new Hummingbird book- these are for Sunday tea.

Not sure why they are not cupcakes? But basically it was a normal muffin/ cupcake batter, with some nutella (well, whole earth chocolate hazelnut spread) stirred in, then spoon batter into the cases, add a blob of spread and then more batter, and top with chopped hazelnuts. They smell amazing!

Running related news- (we have the Great South run booked which is a 10 miler in October) and today we signed up for the Silverstone half marathon. I think I need to do those sorts of races as I like going for longer than 6 miles at the weekend- they are a challenge and hopefully I can work on getting my times down a bit. And I got an email from the Olympics saying that so long as they take payment, we will have the tickets we bid for! Phew- the early start was worth it! :)

Finally, a random picture from the other day- I whizzed up 80g frozen raspberries and added some alpro chocolate. It does go just like sorbet. Then I had the rest of the alpro dessert underneath. Yummy.

And I will be back later to see who has won the Bloom Tea giveaway! Exciting stuff!

Right, I am off to the garden!

Questions- Any 10 mile/ half marathon distance races you have loved? I have all year so let me know :)

And what are you doing to enjoy this weather?

Ilovepeanutbutter.com

I was so excited today! I had to go to the post office to collect 2 packets, and guess what they were!!!

Parcel one was my bloggie food swap, from Britt at Britt fit! How amazing! Maple peanut butter!!!! And some amazing looking (and giant) Clif bars!!! Which flavour to try first? Or which one to save ’til last?  Thanks Britt- what a perfect package! (And also love the cute paper shapes- so pretty), and also thanks to Jemma for organising the US/UK swap partners. :)

Parcel two was from the lovely Lucy at Porridge and Parsnips! I won her giveaway, and she added some chia seeds to the parcel too- I am really looking forward to trying them. :) The Nature seed mix looks like a bit packet of Graze snacks- I love nuts and dried fruit. Mmm. And don’t you just love the cupcake card?? So pretty.

Sadly by the time I went to get them, I had already had my post run snack bar, so will save these for another day. Buuuuuuut I had not had lunch, so guess what I went for…..

Yum. Mighty Maple pb in a pitta. It was sooooooo good. It tasted like maple syrup (no Sh** Sherlock), and went all melty in the warm pitta. Yum. :) Any bets on how long I can make it last??

Onto the run. I wanted to go a little further than my last 2 weeks, as I have been totally fine. But with all the rain I did not want to add the park loop on as it would be so muddy, so I did my 8.5 mile route, and then added a little on the end (another mile ish). It was so overcast and windy that I thought I would be cold, but it was actually so muggy out there. And, how annoying, after less than a mile my bra strap pinged again. I am going to have to sew it up I think. After about a mile and a half there are public toilets, so I went in there to sort it out. This was easier said than done. I was all sweaty, my glasses steamed up (it was warmer in the toilets for some reason), and so getting it off was alright, but getting it back on again was not easy at all. You can imagine I am sure! Anyway, I carried on and luckily all stayed in place for the remainder. It was fairly uneventful, just so muggy that I was dripping when I got home. Seriously my ponytail was soggy- I could have wrung it out (sorry!). I should have taken a drink with me I think. The run took me 1hr47, but this included the bra strap stop- I think it was about 9.5 miles, so not too bad a pace really.

Home for some refreshing coconut water- this stuff has pomegranate and acai (some kind of berry) in it. I thought it would be quite tart, as pomegranate juice normally is, but it was lovely, so refreshing. :) They are 500ml bottles so I have half for another day, although I think I could have drank it all!

Now, to my weekend free of work! After work yesterday I went to the waffle house- most of the people going actually dropped out (a lot of people being ill sadly) but there were still two of us that managed to go! Alongside my tea I had a delicious waffle with banana, toffee sauce and chocolate shavings, but I did forgo the ice cream. Trying to remember my goals! I was shattered after that (had an early start) so at home we chilled out, listened to the Adam and Joe podcast and watched a little TV.

Today after my run and the trip to the post office, I watched some of the grand prix (while looking for chia seed recipes- and in fact came across a non chia seed recipe which I will post later on!). I was going to go and sit in the garden but it has been overcast all day. Then, while I was watching Wimbledon (the Federer match) I noticed my Dad on TV! He does the line judging (he does it for a lot of tournaments, and has been chair umpire before too) and it is very exciting for me when I see him! Trouble is then I stop watching the tennis. Also he got hawk-eyed (but luckily was right- oh the stress!!). Anyway, then I was surfing the net looking for apartments for a city break with some friends. I have successfully avoided housework so far,but I do not think that will last much longer! Anyway, I have some falafels to make for my dinner, bread rolls for Andy’s dinner and cupcakes for tomorrow- projects to keep me busy!

Right, off to make some falafels in my food processor! The novelty of this has not worn off yet, as you can see! :)

PS- Do not forget that the Bloom Tea giveaway ends tomorrow- click here to enter!