Friday Round-Up: Winter is coming (and so is my cold)

Happy Friday everyone! With a fresh chill in the air, I’m on the brink of developing a full-on cold, complete with swollen glands, headaches and nausea, yuk! I’m trying my hardest to stave off the illness, with lots of fresh fruit & veg, but I might have to succumb and spend some time on the sofa this weekend!

I think it’s karma paying me back for a lack of fresh produce over the past few weeks! You know what they say #HealthIsWealth!

I’ve stocked up on winter fruit including conference pears and tangerines and am making a conscious effort to get more vegetables in my diet. Tonight I’ll be foregoing the take-away curry in favour of homemade stir-fry with red peppers, carrots, courgette and soy beans!

Here’s some pics of the tea I made last night, sautéed vegetables with eggs sunny-side up! That’s black pepper on the top!

Green vegetables
Asparagus and tenderstem with garlic butter
Eggs and Vegetables
Two eggs over sauteed asparagus and tenderstem broccoli

Last night Zumba was cancelled so I went on a run, my first since signing up for the Xmas Pudding 7 miler in December. I ran 6km in about 35 minutes (I stopped my Garmin too soon so just guessed the time for the last 0.5km). I felt good and am looking forward to getting in more miles!

My part of the world is looking truly splendid at the moment, as the leaves turn all shades of russet. Last weekend we went for a drive to the river, but the toddler fell asleep before we could get out and walk! Can’t think of a more beautiful spot to enjoy reading my kindle whilst the toddler naps though!

Bolton Abbey
Barden Tower in Bolton Abbey

What was I reading you ask? Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s based around the Nigerian Civil War and is a great read.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I first heard of Chimamanda through a cultural leadership course, and watched her TED Talk (The Danger of a Single Story). Whilst based on her own experience of growing up in Africa and then moving to the US, it’s extremely pertinent right now based on the sometimes hate-filled and divisive rhetoric of both the EU ‘leave’ referendum campaign in the UK and the Trump presidential campaign in the US. I haven’t watched her second TED Talk (We should all be feminists) but it’s on my to-do list!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday Round-Up: Winter Goals

Every mile is two in winter

Now that Autumn has well and truly kicked in, I find myself looking to these last months of 2016 with a renewed sense of excitement about exercise. I’ve been well and truly useless at following any consistent exercise plan during the summer, and I’m feeling sluggish because of it.

I actually really like running outside during the darker evenings and when it’s a bit colder. So long as you have the right gear, it’s a really peaceful time to get your miles in.

Running tights and asics
My Gap thermal running tights with reflective details!
  • I’ve signed up to run in the Longridge xMas Pudding Run – a 7 Mile race in Lancashire that features an incline up to mile 4 and then a downhill the rest of the way. The race is on December 11th so I’ll be putting a training plan together which I’ll share here.

My goal is to run the race in under 66 minutes – a totally arbitrary goal time, but I figured 7 miles is around 11km and I don’t want to run slower than 6 minute kilometres. I’ve got 8 weeks to kick my butt back into running shape!

  • I did clubbercise and zumba this week. #HipsDon’tLie
  • I made the lemon pasta from The Londoner’s recipe but made a rookie mistake by using a waxed lemon – it was a bit bitter, but I could get over it to enjoy the meal!
Lemon Pasta
Lemon Pasta with courgette
Lemon Pasta
Next time – get an un-waxed lemon!
  • Girl’s night with some other mums tonight and we’re heading to Pizza Express for carbs and wine!
  • I’m going to make an effort to not binge Friday, Saturday and Sunday so that I can see better results come Monday! Ali from @Inspiralized has some great advice in one of her recent blog posts about her inspiralized healthy journey.

Happy weekend everyone! TGIF xoxo

Eats of the Week(s)

I’ve been snap happy over the past few weeks and have taken pictures of quite a few of my meals. Here’s another edition of “Eats of the Week” and if you would like the recipe for any of them just let me know in the comments!

Chicken salad
Chicken salad with sesame seeds and potatoes
Chicken salad
Chicken salad with sesame seeds and potatoes

After we came back from Ibiza I was still craving fresh food with Mediterranean flavours so whipped up this chicken salad with lambs lettuce, cucumber, carrots and peppers with sesame seeds, black pepper and a simple olive oil/lemon juice dressing.

Beef casserole
Beef casserole loaded with veg and topped with dumplings
Beef casserole
Beef casserole loaded with veg and topped with dumplings

I had to buy a new casserole pan as the enamel had chipped off the bottom of my old one! This was a warm and comforting meal last Sunday as the first signs of Autumn/Winter started to show in the UK.

The Collective duple
The Collective black cherry duple over some Fuel 10k granola
The Collective Duple
The Collective black cherry duple over some Fuel 10k granola

I added some extra granola to this breakfast to fill me up a bit more.

Boursin Vegetable Pasta
Vegetable pasta with black pepper boursin
Perfect for leftovers!

This was soooo good! I’ve started using the black pepper version of Boursin in my vegetable pasta recipes and it adds a really lovely flavour!

rice noodles
Rice noodles, mangetout and tenderstem with a nut-free satay sauce!
rice noodles
rice noodles
Rice noodles, mangetout and tenderstem with a nut-free satay sauce!

This was such a quick meal and really tasty! I’d bought some nut-free satay sauce at the Yorkshire Food Festival and finally got around to trying it. I just soaked some rice noodles, dry-fried some green veg, drained the noodles and added them to the pan. Then I topped with sauce, stirred it for a minute and served!

On a decidedly less healthy note, have you tried the Ben & Jerry’s ‘One Sweet World’ ?

Caramel coffee ice cream with marshmallow (16%) & salted caramel (10%) swirls & chocolatey shaped ‘&’ signs (7%)

Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry’s One Sweet World

Oh my goodness, it’s amazing!

There we have it, some of the meals I’ve been enjoying in the past couple of weeks!
Happy Hump Day peeps xoxo

Review: Es Figueral, Ibiza

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

Experiencing new places, new people and new cultures is one of life’s greatest privileges. Anyone who is lucky enough to travel should. Whether it’s to the next village, another city, another country or another continent.

Here’s my review of our family holiday to Ibiza. (Two grown-ups and a 3 year old)

Invisa Es Figueral Invisa Es Figueral

We headed to Es Figueral in Ibiza, a tiny resort towards the North of the Island, near Es Cana and Santa Eulalia. There’s not much to do in the village (it was smaller than I expected based on reviews I’d read) but it was lovely.

Invisa Es Figueral

We stayed at the Invisa Figueral resort, which is made up of two hotels (Calla Blanca and Calla Verde) and we stayed in Calla Blanca. Hotels isn’t really the right word to explain, as the resort was made up of several smaller buildings dotted around the magnificent gardens, with 10-20 apartments in each building. This gave the resort a much less ‘package’ feel and nowhere was ever too busy.

Es Figueral

There are 8 pools spread around the resort, some adults, some kids and a massive pirate ship pool that was great for the older children. There was also an indoor pool which never got busy, perfect for the mornings when the sun had yet to burn away the clouds.

We pretty much spent 80% of our time in the water, and they were toy friendly which was great!

Es Figueral
The view from the children’s playground

The resort is right on the beach, and Playa Es Figueral is one of the nicest beaches in Europe. Perfect for snorkeling, and there was pedalos, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards available to hire.

Es Figueral

The Food!!! Oh my word the food! We stayed all inclusive, which we haven’t done before, and I was super impressed. the main restaurant was open pretty much all day with the main sittings for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner wit snacks in between. There was a kids corner which the toddler loved. For the grown-ups, each day was different and some nights were themed. The food was all fresh, plentiful and the restaurant was really clean. The desert buffet was amazing! There were some really healthy options and some not so healthy, just what holidays are about! I am not ashamed to admit that I had churros with molten chocolate sauce with nearly every breakfast!

I didn’t manage to take many pictures of the food, because I didn’t want to look like one of those wankers who takes pictures of their food:-) Here’s a couple I secretly snapped!

Invisa Es Figueral Invisa Es Figueral

Top Tip: If you’re visiting Es Figueral, or any part of Ibiza, I would recommend hiring a car. There are loads of beautiful beaches and charming villages and towns all within 30 minutes. We didn’t hire one, but we did get the miniature train from Es Figueral to the Es Cana Hippy market which was fun.

We booked with Jet2 Holidays via their website, it was a simple process and I would definitely recommend Jet2 package holidays to anyone looking for a getaway with their family. We paid for the trip ourselves, I don’t have that many followers that I get paid for content, yet;-)

The link to our hotel is here:

All in all, a brilliant week in Ibiza!


Friday Round-Up: Recharged

Hello internet family! After a week in sunny Ibiza I’m feeling recharged with renewed energy and ready to tackle life’s challenges, big and small!

There’s a lot to catch-up on, so grab a brew (or a glass of wine) and settle in!

The Holiday

Ahhhh, so relaxing! The three of us headed to Es Figueral in Ibiza for a week of family time in the sun. We spent most of our time in the water (either the pool or the lovely Playa Es Figueral) and the rest of the time eating! Just what a holiday should be:-)

Given the amount of ice cream, local cuisine and the occasional glass of cava and beer, I came home the same weight as I left, so wahoo! I’m doing a full holiday recap with photos this weekend, so keep an eye out!

Es Figueral
Sunset view over the beach
Es Figueral
The view from the children’s playground


During my second session of hypnotherapy, we delved deeper into stress release and I actually ended the session by bursting into tears. My therapist assured me this was common, and that it is a physical release of the stress you’re letting go of. Since then, I have been feeling much calmer in my mind. Firstly, my flying anxiety reduced significantly, and I even enjoyed the flight home (the prosecco helped, of course) and am now looking forward to more holidays abroad. I’m hoping to book Nerja in Spain next.

Generally, I felt my anxiety spike again when I returned to work, which signals that I need to stop talking about doing something and actually take some actions to reduce this stress. First, I’m going to arrange a 1-2-1 with my boss to discuss my unhappiness at work. I’m going to out more effort into creating my own business (marketing and business consulting for local SMBs – check out my website with the link below) and I’m going to keep my eye out for other jobs. Knowing that I’m taking these actions is helping me to avoid any high levels of anxiety.

SBC Marketing


My eating habits have been all over the place, partly because we didn’t do a ‘big shop’ after the holiday and partly because I’m still in holiday spirit! Whilst we were away I ate a mixture of fresh foods (lots of fruit and veg) and some naughty treats (think fresh Churros with chocolate sauce at EVERY breakfast) and I’m still craving the Mediterranean diet. I’ll do an ‘eats of the week’ post next week as I’ve taken loads of pictures recently, but here’s a slaad I made this week. Baked chicken with herbs, potatoes roasted with the chiken, lambs lettuce, carrots, cucumber, celery and peppers with EVOO and lemon juice, ground black pepper and sesame seeds!

Chicken Salad
Chicken Salad

ON the flip side, because life is all about balance, I ate 2/3 of a family size bag of chili heatwave Doritos after Zumba last night. #BALANCE


I was definitely much more active whilst on holiday and that undoubtedly helped me maintin my weight rather than add on the pounds. Since returning I’ve been for a short run (3.2 km, 19 mins) to ease myself back into running, and Zumba.

Colourful Activewear
Colourful Activewear – M7S leggings, Asics trainers

I’m now looking for a 10k race later this year or early in 2017 to aim towards. I think my lack of running has added to my anxiety, and I feel much less fit, so I’m keen to get back to it.

How have you all been? Any late Summer holidays?

Friday Round-Up: Has it been a week?

Hey Guys! It doesn’t seem like 5 minutes since last week’s Friday Round-Up. I feel like I haven’t done anything meaningful this week, but maybe I’m just waiting until next Saturday and our holiday!

Ice cream
At Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire a few weeks ago

It’s been 2 years since we last went on a holiday of more than 3 days, so I’m really looking forward to just spending time on the beach and by the pool with my family. Unplugging, ignoring emails, eating LOADS of ice cream and soaking up the Vitamin D!

I’ve been to both Clubbercise and Zumba this week, and they helped somewhat in easing up my work-related anxiety. I’m so unhappy at work at the moment, so I’ve put in a flexible working request and if that doesn’t pan out, I guess I’ll move onto plan B.

I wore my fancy new Marks and Spencer tights and still love them! They are thick without being hot, have a great pattern and a drawstring – 10/10!

M&S Tights
Marks and Spencer Tights!
Cauli Rice
Cauli Rice – good grain size, long shelf life and no nasty ingredients!
Sauteed Veg
Sauteed vegetables (pepper, courgette % carrot) with cauli rice, later topped with baked chicken in a spicy marinade.
Tiny pigtails as my hair is just too short for a pony tail but it’s too hot to leave down during Zumba!
Pop Works popcorn
POP Works & Co Peanut Butter and Caramel popcorn. I wanted to love it, but it wasn’t sweet enough for me!

Happy Friday Everyone!


So you all know how much I love my weekly Zumba classes, but what you might not know is that I also love a good 90s dance anthem! The local ‘disco’ played all the best 80s and 90s songs during the late 00s (when I was actually ‘clubbing’) and it was soooo cheesy, but so much fun to let loose at the weekend.

Fast forward a few years and a very cute toddler later, I don’t make it to the “After Dark” much anymore, so imagine my delight when Clubbercise came to town!

The official website describes it as…

Clubbercise® – simple, fun dance fitness routines using glow sticks to club anthems from 90′s classics to the latest chart hits taught in a darkened room with disco lights.



After just one introductory session, I knew I was hooked! The routines were really easy to follow and built in intensity so you could get to know the moves before going all out!

There were some classic 90s tunes and some current hits, and it was a good mix of basic aerobics (like grapevines) with some more choreographed moves – so it was perfect for all abilities.

I think that doing it in the dark (wink wink) let people be a little less nervous about the first class, which really helped to get everyone’s heart rates up, and the glow sticks were just so much fun!

You can find classes on the website, and I couldn’t recommend it enough!