Weddings.

Firstly, as mentioned on my post the other day, pictures of my new piece of bedroom furniture:

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A narrow dress table with 5 draws!

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I now have a proper home for my gym clothes Open-mouthed smile

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Back to the topic of weddings then.

I’ve been catching up with Pirates of the Caribbean tonight. I love the films so much but haven’t watched them in ages, so the new film coming out in a few weeks seemed like a good excuse to watch them. There are also so many good quotes from the movie, and this one seemed fairly appropriate for the current week’s events:

“I love weddings, drinks all around!”

Friday.

As we all know, yesterday was the big Royal Wedding Day. I was called in to work and therefore missed most of it, but I wasn’t really too fussed about it. On saying that, I did think that Kate looked beautiful and that they make a good couple.

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I was happier about receiving double pay for my shift to be honest Winking smile.

For dinner, Gary and I went to Nando’s for the first time and had a nice evening Smile

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We both ordered 5 Chicken wings, with sides of fries and coleslaw. Although the chicken was really tasty, (with a sort of BBQ flavour) there wasn’t really very much chicken on the wing. Next time we both agreed we would opt for something else.

The atmosphere in the restaurant was fun and their service makes for an interesting evening dining out.

Go to the counter to order (giving your table number) and pay.

Collect the sauces and dressings you fancy and any
cutlery you need.

As neither of us had been, we didn’t realise the way they serve is slightly different, instead of waiters taking your order at a table, you order at the till. Interesting!

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I was very impressed with desert! I ordered a mango sorbet. It was absolutely delicious. So fruity, refreshing and light. Love, love, love. Note to self: try sorbet more often! Open-mouthed smile

Saturday.

After all the wedding frenzy from the past 24 hours, today was your average Saturday at work. After swapping my normal 9-5 with somebody at work, I should add ‘reluctantly’ swapping, I finished work at 7pm. Mum and Dad were out for the evening so the majority of the evening has been spent alone, oh but I did have Captain Jack Sparrow to keep me company for some of it! Winking smile

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I can hear my bed calling my name. Tomorrow I am going to the gym in the morning with my dad. I haven’t been to the gym on a Sunday for a while now so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

What did you think of the Royal Wedding on Friday?

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Home Workouts

Lately, I seem to be neglecting my home based workouts. I use a Pilates and Yoga DVD which, although I enjoy I just can’t seem to get into the swing of using recently.

I think that every little helps especially when it comes to exercise. So if I put a little bit more effort in, by exercising at home I could potentially see some pleasing results.

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Before my holiday last year, my form of home exercise was to watch a lot of online fitness videos on Youtube to get ideas of exercises I could do. Some of my favourite sources were SarahFit and Diethealth.

And honestly, I think that they did help me shape up! So I’ve been asking myself, why did I stop doing them when they were clearly working?

I know I’ve been slacking. But the good thing is I know that I want to correct this. I’ve got a few little problem areas I want to sort out: largely my hips if I’m honest.

We also have a kit of home dumbbells so I’ve got no excuse when it comes to shaping up!

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One its a waste of money to keep these stored away, unused. Two I will benefit by using them. So today I figured that I should actually use them. I browsed some videos that I’ve watched before to inspire my own little routine of exercises.

There are some really useful video clips which provide a short demonstration of how to do some basic exercises.

Example

You can scroll through and pick out clips to watch.

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From the video clips, I put together and did this routine:

Bicep curl
Cross body bicep curl
Deadlift with dumbbells
Over head triceps extension
Bent over row
Bent over rear fly
Side bend
(featured in the SarahFit Lady Gaga Inspired Workout)

I did each exercise in 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

I can already feel it working! Sometimes I think motivating yourself to exercise is the hardest part. And in the end I’m always glad when I do motivate myself. Smile Here’s to more home workouts!

Wednesday.

Yesterday I had a 30 minute gym session in the morning doing some resistance training and then had to go shopping to take back some jeans I got a month or so ago.

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I’ve only worn them twice and the other night, when I wore them to my grandparents for a curry, my Dad noticed a fault in them.

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I still had my receipt though and they were really great about it in the Levis shop and replaced them with a brand new pair, no problem. Open-mouthed smile

Thursday.

Today I waited in for my new piece of bedroom furniture to be delivered. (Picture coming soon.) Now, thanks to this new cabinet, I have a designated draw for my gym clothes Open-mouthed smile horrah! I’m very pleased with it. After waiting in I went to the gym with the boyfriend and did an hour on the bikes.

After a couple of days off from work I’m back to work again tomorrow. But in the evening Gary and I are going for a meal at Nando’s which will be fun Smile got to think of the money…

All Work, No Play.

The past few days haven’t been a lot of fun for me. Everywhere I seemed to be hearing about the ‘long weekend off’ everyone has been enjoying, more like a long weekend at work, in my case. And alas, my ‘weekend’ working turned into a full five days work on the trot. For a part timer, this amount of work is a big shock.

Wouldn’t it be nice to swap lives with your pets – they get it nice and easy I think Smile

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Easter Monday.

I did manage to get a walk in before I went to work so that was nice. I met some of my family for the walk and we set off. We did one by the river this time. Its not the most beautiful walk, in my opinion, but the scenery is unique in its own way I suppose.

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Coffee stop.

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2/3 of the way round everybody stopped off at a Nursery to buy flowers. I got a bit bored at this point.

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I worked 5-12 in the evening and it was a long, hot shift. Usually the first thing I do when I get home from work is to shower but because it was so late I ended up just taking a quick bath and then crashing out.

This morning I set my alarm for half 7 and took a nice early shower and automatically felt about ten times better.

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Funny how a shower can make you feel so much better sometimes isn’t it?

By the time I finished work today I was really craving a good long workout at the gym after it being shut the last few days.  But it turned out that I actually had a bit of a pants workout Sad smile 

I wanted to do at least 45 minutes cardio and some strength training but could only manage 30 minutes cardio. My legs were not responding today. Whenever I have a significant gap in exercise (more than 3/4 days) I always find it difficult to get back into the swing of things.

I’m going to put it down to physical and mental exhaustion from working all these extra hours Winking smile all I need is a good night’s kip and I should be back on track… (I hope.)

Easter Weekend.

Happy Easter everyone!

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Well mine wasn’t that ‘happy’ as I spent the majority of it at work! Sad smile It does mean lots of double pay which is good for the old bank account, this is what I keep reminding myself anyway.

I also had to get over the fact that I was without the gym for four days too!

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I suppose it was a good job that I was occupied with work after all Winking smile . Plus my shifts weren’t too bad either so I could make plans to spend time with my family while enjoying yummy food.

A non-family related event of the weekend was going out on Thursday evening.

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   The evening included: dressing up, putting on too much makeup (to cover up my coldsore obviously,) driving down a ditch in a car park due to poor visibility (woops!) being boiling hot in the crowd of drunken night clubbers and generally, soberly observing drunk shenanigans.

I decided to drive this time as the boyfriend always takes us out, although he doesn’t drink, its nice to give him the night off Smile. Plus it can be his turn to take us shopping in a few weeks time Winking smile.

Because of the bank holiday, I assume, the place was packed out! It wasn’t late when we decided to call it a night, the novelty of being sober in a crowded club of drunken people quickly wears off.

It was a pretty good night, and I’ve had far worse sober nights out believe me!

Good Friday.

I did a shift over lunch time till 3 and then went for a short walk in the woods afterwards.

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It was lovely and cool in the woods but as soon as we stepped out of the shade it was boiling hot, and even though we took it easy I was ready to stop at the end.

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It was a nice way to make the most of the sunny afternoon. For dinner we all went to my grandparents for a lovely curry. I make that my third curry in three weeks Winking smile

When we got home we caught the last half of Chocolat – love this film so much! Open-mouthed smile

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The music is so dramatic and beautiful! Perfect film to show on TV at Easter!

Easter Saturday.

Dad cooked a BBQ for the evening meal Open-mouthed smile. I haven’t had any Easter treats of chocolate/sweets for years now, but I made up for it by allowing myself some indulgences over dinner.

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We had a delicious BBQ feast Open-mouthed smile. I love BBQ’s!

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Plus strawberries for dessert!

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Strawberries are definitely up there on my list of favourite fruits (along with dark grapes and pineapples.)

Easter Sunday.

After work I mainly relaxed today and now I’m looking forward to a delicious roast dinner later on tonight Smile.

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I hope everybody else had a pleasant Easter weekend too!

It Feels And Looks Like Summer!

Not at all like the middle of April – I love it.

The weather has been beautiful the last few days! So, so warm Open-mouthed smile. The flip-flops have come out from under my bed and back on my feet after a long, cold winter!

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I spent some quality time in the sunshine purely relaxing yesterday. Ah bliss.

My essential items in the garden consisted of flip-flops, hand cream and sunnies! A magazine would have topped it off nicely but maybe next time Winking smile.

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That was me sorted for the afternoon Smile sit back, relax and feel the burn.

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After a lazy afternoon in the sun I was ready for a workout at the gym, but sensed it was going to be a hot one. I wasn’t proven wrong either! I wore my shorts for the first time to the gym and definitely needed them even though the air conditioning felt like it was on full blast!

I had planned on running but after just a few minutes in my knee began to hurt again Sad smile I swore it was better as it hasn’t hurt for the past few days! I was a bit gutted as I have rested it for a whole week. Looks like it still needs longer. Instead I did a 30 minute elliptical workout and set the levels to a higher intensity so I could feel the burn in my thighs!

Today we took the grandparents out to a beautiful little village for lunch for some more relaxation in the sunshine.

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Before lunch we took a stroll around the village – it was honestly all so pretty, every direction you looked in there was a picturesque view.

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It had a little stream, a mill, church and of course the pub.

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All of the houses were so grand and elegant!

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This one looked like a Doll’s House Smile.

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The church was also very splendid.

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And then the pub itself was also lovely Smile! We had lunch at The Rose Inn in the garden over looking the green.

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It was a really peaceful and lovely location to take a trip to on a day like this.

Our view from the table where we had lunch.

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Our food was delicious too. We all ordered a main meal to save Mum from having to spend time in the kitchen tonight cooking a meal. I had the lasagne and gave it two big thumbs up – so flavourful and I especially loved the fact that it was really cheesy! Open-mouthed smile

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Dear sun, please stay and give us more beautiful days like this!

Bikini Disaster = Eye Opener

Over the past week or so I seem to have had a few eye openers. My body shape is in that awkward stage where I’m in between sizes when it comes to bikinis. Size 12’s are too big as they’re droopy around the back and generally a bit loose. I don’t want to be sitting on a beach in a nice bikini that doesn’t fit me properly! Yet size 10’s are just that bit too small.

Especially this one that arrived yesterday.

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I ordered it online and went for the size 10. Ideally I want to lose some weight before my holiday anyway so if 12’s are too big now hopefully they will be too big when it comes to holiday time too.

BUT it arrived in the post yesterday and gave me a nasty shock – the bottoms are a tiny size 10. Don’t you just hate that? When a particular size is smaller than normal.

I don’t have a small bum by any means either, but I actually quite like that as you need shape somewhere! And I managed to get the bikini bottoms on, but boy did they look nasty. Its one of those low styled bikini bottoms anyway where they rest under your hips.

I have a love/hate relationship with my hips. Its my one body part I can’t seem to accept.

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I was pretty happy with how I felt last year on holiday though. This is my goal for the summer: to be Hip-Happy.

I’m pretty satisfied with the amount of exercise I’m doing at the moment which should definitely help me lose some pounds. But what I think I do need a closer think about is toning and diet.

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I’ve decided to make a personal note of what I’m eating each day, to see what is working and what isn’t working. Also sometimes when you actually write down everything you eat you realise just how much stuff you have you probably don’t need. This is an example of how I’m going to be keeping track of my diet.

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I want to make sure:

  • Everything I’m snacking on is low in fat/calories, so ideally a piece of fruit.
  • That I start sticking to portions.
  • That I cut down on my bread intake.
  • That I only allow myself one indulgence mealper week (lately I seem to be having loads?)
  • Everything I drink doesn’t have any sugar, so ideally lots of water.
  • That I learn to appreciate when I’ve eaten enough without getting full.
  • To have the will power to say no.

I’m determined to do this! Open-mouthed smile So this morning I weighed myself for the first time in months – Not that I’m worried about my weight but it will give me some idea where I need to be I think. I came in at a little under 9 stone. Even though I’m okay with this I want to set myself a goal that I can reach for. So I am aiming for 8.5 stone by July.

I have also measured my hips as this is my main target area:

Hips Measure – 34”. (19th April)

So in about a months time I will measure them again to see how I’m doing and note any changes I may (or may not) have noticed. Let’s do this!

Full Weekend.

 Calypso update: just an update from last week, Calypso wasn’t herself but thankfully seems to be doing a lot better now. We have kept a close watch on her and she is her normal cheery character, eating and acting as active as she normally does.

My weekend was mainly spent at work this week. Normally I only work Saturdays but today I covered somebody’s shift due to a severe lack of funds from my shop on Thursday. Time seems to be going very slowly at work at the moment though and I had a long weekend Disappointed smile.

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Last night, Gary and I spent the evening with his brother, Steve and his wife Caroline. We enjoyed an Indian take away together which was very nice indeed. However, I was very full by the end of the evening, almost to the point of feeling uncomfortable.

It wasn’t a late night due to the fact I was on an early at work today and needed to be up at the crack of dawn.  I was at work just before 7am. Usually I can’t go out of the door without having eaten something. But the thought of breakfast so early wasn’t really working for me today, plus I knew it would mess up my routine and make my hungry for the rest of the day. Then I had a bright idea.

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I made myself some porridge to take to work to eat on my break for breakfast. I was chuffed with my idea and rather enjoyed taking my own breakfast in with me.

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I popped it in the microwave in the staff room for a minute or so and was already to go! I will definitely be doing this again when I’m next on an early at work and want to have my own breakfast.

Luckily when  I finished work at 3 this afternoon the sun  was still out and the temperature was warm so I did a spot of sunbathing in the garden with Mum. While sunbathing we sorted out some old bikinis and underwear and I managed to get create two bags of stuff: one for charity and the other to sell on eBay.

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Hopefully I can make a bit of money from it Winking smile but I won’t hold my breath as eBay can be so unpredictable.

It was lovely to sit in the warm sunshine. I was also very happy to see the girls grazing as normal.

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How sweet! Oh and not to forget the tortoise too!

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We thought this picture of Rose next to a statue of a tortoise looked quite silly! Smile

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She is even less active than the guinea pigs though! What does that reflect on their owner I wonder ?! Winking smile 

I am really fatigued now and ready to sleep. Traditional sunday night roast was a perfect end to the week but has made me feel satisfied and sleepy. My early morning is starting to show plus the fact I have caught a sore throat so I’m feeling a bit rough. Despite the sore throat I am still going to have a productive upcoming week:

I am really going to become serious about my diet from now on in the build up to summer. I will enhance on this some more when I’m not so dreary though.

Good night for now!

One Sore Knee, Four Bags of Rubbish and A Couple of Hundred £’s Later.

The week has slipped by me again and here we are on Friday already!

Firstly, my outdoor run on Tuesday has landed me with a sore knee Sad smile. It isn’t intensely painful but there is a dull ache, so I’ve kept it in a support bandage and haven’t ran since.

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I don’t think my body was at all accepting towards the new surfaces. I had a feeling something like this could happen though, and I suppose this is just another part of running that I have yet to learn about.

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I know from my past errors that I have jumped back into action too quickly after an injury and made it worse for myself, so this time I am going to be patient and let my body do what it needs to do. This way, hopefully I will be up and ‘running’ in no time Winking smile.

Wednesday, I did a spot of clearing up at my Grandparents house. Now, there are no words that even scratch the surface when trying to explain their home. So to keep it simple I will just use one word: ‘Stuff’

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Lots and LOTS of stuff.

The back bedroom of the house is just completely full of junk that is in need of a big sort out. You can’t really see it but this is a picture before I started, you can just about open the door and get in the room, apart from that there is no space to even move – there is that much stuff.

To give you some idea:

Piles and piles of clothes, towels, blankets and bath mats, packets of toilet rolls, toys and teddy bears, books, coat hangers, paperwork,  random pieces of furniture – it goes on.

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By the time I was finished I had filled up four big bin bags of stuff. And when I showed my mum the room and what I had done she still didn’t even notice any difference! The clutter is just that bad. I had to point out to her what had been tidied Winking smile.

I managed to actually clear some space by moving bits and pieces around so now you can actually walk in the room.

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Behold the floor!

And I just put bits into some sort of order, placing old coat hangers in a box, stacking the toilet rolls neatly etc.

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Obviously there is still a long way to go. But gradual improvements are a good way of making a small start towards it.

Yesterday, I went shopping with Gary during the day and we had a ridiculous spend up! Open-mouthed smile Between us we must have spent a fortune.

I got about six bikinis for holiday and some trunks for Gary, beach flip-flops, a skirt, two dresses, a t-shirt and a pair of cute sandals. And Gary also bought himself a load of new t-shirts and shorts for the summer! It feels good to have a spend up. (Until you see your empty bank that is Winking smile)

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On the journey home I felt very satisfied with the afternoon’s outcomes.

And then in the evening we went to the theatre for my Nan’s birthday.

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We watched a play called My Boy Jack. It was a nice experience, but the play wasn’t exactly an uplifting one to go and watch. However the actors were all very good which made up for it.

Its been a busy few days and I am making up for it by having a relaxing day today.

Run, Run, Run!

More like run, walk, run, walk Sad smile!

Today I went on a run with Gary, (my first outside run!) And I found it quite hard work. I don’t know what it was, but I felt exhausted. It was a nice sunny morning though which was nice, and it was quite fun despite the hard work.

In hindsight, the route I picked probably wasn’t the wisest one for a first run. It is quite a hilly route, with a big hill at the start and one at the end. I felt defeated afterwards and slightly unfit, which makes me want to try outside running again to make some improvements.

For now though, I’m happy to stick to the treadmill. My legs feel shocked from the transition of a smooth treadmill to the uneven outdoor surfaces they underwent today. As soon as I got home I did some Yoga stretches.

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Tomorrow I am going to take it easy and rest my legs, but I will be sure to do a spot more of Yoga though.

Today has been very chilled out, not doing anything too strenuous after our run. We even took an afternoon nap, which was very pleasant Winking smile I could definitely get used to that! Then, in the evening we had a special meal booked. For Christmas Gary’s parents bought us a Red Letter Days Dining Pass.

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Our table was booked for 7pm at the Lakes Restaurant.

We dressed fairly smartly, Gary in a shirt and trousers and myself in a dress. I’m glad that we did too, it was all very formal. The exterior of the building is very classy, and the interior is of an equal standard too.

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The driveway leading up to the buildings.

You couldn’t really fault any of it – it was all top notch. We were very well attended to, the food came promptly, well presented and was of high quality. Yet Gary and I both felt a little bit uneasy from all the attention we were receiving. We are definitely not used to this type of service. Winking smile

I ordered:

Mackerel salad for starters,

Duck breast for main,

Apple and redcurrant crumble with vanilla ice cream for desert (this was my favourite dish!)

The dining pass was a memorable experience which I’m glad that Gary and I shared together. We actually booked it this particular week as a way to celebrate our 2 and half year anniversary which was on Sunday Smile.  On the whole, we much prefer our meals to take place in a more casual and fun environment.

Curry Night.

Turns out me and my mum didn’t murder each other in the kitchen together last night, surprisingly it was fairly stress free Winking smile. However a few circumstances did kind of spoil the traditional curry night buzz that we normally have. It was just one of those evenings, sadly. It didn’t stop the food being great though.

I made Kofta Meatballs with minced lamb. It was a fairly fiddly recipe we followed from Mum’s cookbook, I did the job of rolling the mince into tiny balls and then cooking them on the stove turning them over every now and then so they cooked.

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The chicken curry:

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Unfortunately I wasn’t a fan of my own product in the end Winking smile the Kofta just didn’t quite agree with my taste buds? I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. When we have curry we don’t normally make Kofta, and I don’t think we will be in a rush to do it again soon.

Another addition to the nights curry was a side dish of poppadoms with some delicious mango chutney dip.

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YUM Open-mouthed smile

Dinner is served:

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Such a brightly coloured plate of food!

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The final outcome of the Kofta meatballs:

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I was glad I tried them but they just weren’t for me.

After a weekends rest plus this indulgent dinner, I definitely needed a long workout at the gym today.

I did 45 minutes of cardio this morning. I programmed the elliptical to set me a 30 minute workout, but 25 minutes through the machine started making a terrible squeaking noise and everyone in the gym started staring at me! Not good. I got off the machine as quickly as I could, intending to get on another one just to finish off with 5 minutes but I was surprised to see all the other machines taken. I hoped on the treadmill and ran a fast 0.5 mile in 5 minutes then spent 15 minutes on the bike. Bit of a misshapen workout in the end but there you go.

I have a running-related announcement too:

Trainers 

Tomorrow I am braving the outdoor running world for the first time Open-mouthed smile. Gary and I are doing a run together in the countryside. I am really looking forward to it but I’m also quite nervous too for some reason! I feel like it is going to be a true test of my running abilities. I’ve checked the forecast and tomorrow looks promising with the prediction of sunshine.

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Fingers crossed and wish us luck! Smile