Monday, 18 November 2013

A moment of clarity.......

Hi there, hope you have all had smashing weekends. I had a great one.

I wanted to share with you about my day yesterday, which was truly lovely. I have an amazing group of friends and every once in a while we get together to meet and catch up, usually over food ( friends and food - heaven!).

On Sunday, we had a very important reason to all catch up, namely to meet the newest member of the 'wolf pack' - Alice. Alice was born 8 weeks ago to my gorgeous friends Mike and Em. They wanted to introduce her to all of us, cue lots and lots of cuddles. She was as good as gold. She didn't cry even when I held her! ( for some reason whenever I cuddle babies, I usually make them cry). She was so well behaved. Below is a picture of her with the lovely Chris. ( by the way, Chris is amazing with babies - they love him!). 

We enjoyed a lovely relaxed Sunday lunch, watching the day turn to twilight. At the end of the meal, as we said our farewells, I looked out to see my friends making their way to their cars and had a blissful moment where I felt so much love for all of my very lovely friends. 

As I say, I hope you all had great weekends and like me had a moment when you realise just how special the people that you love are.  (And no, before you ask, I haven't been at the port). 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

It's all about the food .....Part 2

Holy yum, my first Graze box has arrived! 

I had seen leaflets and adverts for a company called Graze who will deliver a free box of healthy goodies to your address as a sampler. I've been meaning to try these out for a while and finally got sorted and ordered one to try. If you have a leaflet or a code you can receive your first box for free! 

The website is very easy to use, you enter your details, the address you would like it delivering to and your account details. If you decide you just want the one free box, then it is easy to cancel, but if you decide to carry on receiving the boxes, then they will charge your account a couple of days before each delivery. My subsequent deliveries will cost me £3.89 for each box. If you are going away on holiday then you can pause your order or even have it delivered to a different address. 

And then comes the good bit,selecting the food!!! There are over 100 healthy snacks to choose from of all descriptions - sweet, savoury, little puds, nuts and popcorn. You can choose whether to try products or not. Once you have had your delivery you can rate each snack depending on whether you 'love it' or want to 'ditch it'. By ditching something, it means you won't receive it again. 

So on Wednesday morning, my box arrived at work. It had 4 compartments containing 4 different healthy snacks. I received the Graze healthy brownie, salted pistachios, Jaffa cake mix ( a blend of hazelnuts, raisins soaked in orange and dark chocolate buttons) and mango chutney with black pepper dippers. Nom Nom! 

After showing my colleagues, I decided to sample the Jaffa cake mix. It really did taste like a real Jaffa cake! Gorgeous stuff. Over the next few days I sampled the others. The brownie was lovely and moist, the mango chutney and black pepper dippers had some kick to them *disclaimer, I am a complete wuss when it comes to spicy food! And I am going to munch the pistachios on Monday. 

The Jaffa cake mix is a definite 'love it'. 

With each order you receive a mini brochure telling you all about the nutritional value of each item you have received. The whole box came to 500 calories. Result! 

Having sampled the snacks, I think I am going to keep receiving the boxes. It is a quick, easy way of receiving some delicious snacks in my life. And you all know I am all about delicious snacks. 

I hope you are all having a great weekend . I have had a week of catching up with lovely friends and am seeing my friend Cathy tonight for a bit of Strictly Come Dancing magic!!, 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

It's all about the food.......

Hey there, I hope your week is progressing nicely. I'm having a busy week, small prang in the car after someone reversed into me, which was instantly made better by going to see 'Thor' at the cinema.

Today I wanted to give you a recipe for a breakfast that I am currently loving! Chris and I have started going to the gym in a morning before work. I sometimes can't eat immediately and then exercise, so it is nice to have something to take into work to eat a bit later, but with limited cooking facilities it needs to be something quick and easy. So I prepare this the night before. (it takes 2 minutes)

Overnight Oats
In a tupperware container, mix together
  • 2 dessert spoons of porridge oats
  • 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds
  • 3 good dessert spoons of Greek Yogurt (I use flavoured yogurt)
  • a splash of milk
Mix it all together and it should look something like this:

Put in the fridge overnight and eat the next morning with fruit


Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Things I learnt from the Swiss

I hope you have all had a great weekend. I had a fab weekend with my in laws. We went to see England vs Ireland in the Rugby League World Cup. We had a great time. Recap soon!

Chris had me giggling this morning with our shopping list notice board. For those of you who might not know, Lovely Chris is fond of an egg or two (or six) and decided on our shopping list for the week. Haha. Mind you, the swine moved the pin on the chocolate and wine section of the board. Hmmm.......

I do hope that you have enjoyed hearing about our adventures in Switzerland. We had a fab time and it made me reflect, which I usually do after each holiday, on things that I love about the country I have just visited. My sister loves living in Switzerland and finds that she really enjoys the pace of life that this beautiful country has to offer. So in no particular order, here are my fave bits about Switzerland!

(1) Seeing my sis - I miss my sis lots, it's always wonderful to see her and a selfish part of me wishes she lived round the corner from me! 

(2) Solo Uno - I mean wow! What a place. I have never visited such an amazing spa. My favourite part were the jets under your feet. You felt like you were on a hover board, they were that powerful! 

(3) The sights and sounds of standing on top of a mountain - and no that isn't some kind of self help metaphor! Looking from the top of the mountain and seeing fields swathed in green velvet and the tinkling of cow bells. Some of the cows may have been doing Zumba, they were that noisy! 

(4) Emphasis on health and well being  - At the weekends there is a strong leaning to doing a whole range of activities such as mountain climbing, swimming, attending a spa and jogging. My goodness there were lots of joggers! On the Saturday night when we went to the spa, I couldn't believe how busy the pool was with people of all ages, couples and families, old and young. It was fab to see (and sure beat a night of heavy drinking and waking up feeling awful the next day!)

(5) French supermarkets - this is a bit of a cheat as it is not technically Switzerland, but I felt it deserved a special mention. French supermarkets are AWESOME! The range of produce, fish and wine is stunning. In France the farmer is king, not the supermarket, which means great quality fruit and veg at a fair price. (Steps off soap box).

(6) The chocolate  - need I say anymore! By the way this so has to be my perfect place of work! 

We had a fab time. If you get chance, do visit. It is an amazing place! 

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Adventures in Switzerland ....Part 3

When we awoke on Sunday it became apparent that we ached! Climbing a mountain had definitely taken its toll on Chris and me. We had an hours walk around Basel, which became more painful as the day went in. (I resembled Shaun the Sheep with my stiff legs!). The heavens opened and so we went back to Helen's apartment and made a cake and vegetable soup and curled up with a good movie. It was lovely to catch up and relax.

On the Monday, we went to Kolmar, a beautiful town in Alsace, which has strong French and German influences. We started out in 'Little Venice' which had lots of little houses, running alongside a beautiful green canal. Whilst walking around we saw a little train taking a tour round the town and so decided to hop on and find out all about the town. It would seem that the sculptor Bartholi had some kind of stranglehold over statues in the town, as we turned every corner there were all manner of sculptures, all  done by this prolific man. But joking aside they were very beautiful.

We indulged in a bit of French cafe people watching (always fascinating) and as usually happens, Chris ordered a beer that arrived and was 14 times bigger than the usual pint of beer! ( I swear waiters take pity on Chris or something!). Feeling refreshed we carried on exploring this beautiful town.

Soon it was time to head back to the airport and home. Feeling sad to say goodbye to my sister, we boarded the plane (after the obligatory security search of course and believe it or not, this time I was searched - The horror!). We arrrived back in Manchester in howling winds and rain and always happens each time I travel in Manchester...... I got lost. Gaaaahhhhh!