Sunday, September 30, 2012

Summary on Sunday

Hello Clanettes. 
Its been a quiet week. I have been full of rest and re-couperation and I am looking forward to putting this week behind me, and moving forward into October.

We have had a busy weekend - here is a snap shot in photos!

A trip to the park on Saturday for Bebe to trial a new bike without stabilisers..

Lochie, just like his Daddy, loving any oportunity to get out on his bike
Niamhy New - she who strung the words 'more' and 'please' together this weekend.  Love this age.
Then, because you know cycling isn't enough for us Christies, a jog was the order of the day.  Lochie did 1km at the same pace I do..  Something needs work!

Beautiful Brenna Broc

Sisters having a jog
Turkey bolognaise, corn on the cob and brocolli went down a treat this lunch time!
Bebe starts having lunch at school tomorrow, so today we baked chocolate flap jack to go in their packed lunch. Thank you to Jo for passing on the recipe - it is delicious!

Its tradition for The Christies to swap Sabbat wreaths with The Tippers, and I mention it frequently - particularly in this post here.  Anyway, this week Lucy was her amazing and generous self and not only furnished my front door with an amazing autumnally perfect wreath for Mabon, but she also did her own because I was dis-organised, re-couperating and pathetic. Thank you Lucy x x
And then, because we all know I am on a quest to find the perfect cup of herbal tea (in a glass tankard!) - the lovely Vikki spoiled me this week with two new varieties.  Echinacea for healing and a chilli version of my usual chai - yummers!

I also wanted to give some mahoosive exercise related shout outs!! 

To Paul.  I am going to need you to motivate me round next week! I really want to do it as fast as I can.  No matter what I might say on the day - I can and I will.  Love you x x

To Lucy. For running 10 miles.  Mind blowing.  I am so very very proud of you x x

To Rachel. Here's to cycling, to hills, to turbo training and to glasses of wine. Here's to the 21st of October x x

Thursday, September 27, 2012


We are lucky enough to have private health care with Paul's work, so on Tuesday I was a day patient at the Gyne Choice Clinic, at the Nuffield Hospital in Chandlers Ford.  I have stayed in worse hotels!  From start to finish the care was amazing, and I can't think of a single negative about my experience - apart from maybe the compulsory bed socks and nightie!
We arrived at 7.30am and I was shown to my en suite bedroom, where a gown and mini wash bag lay waiting on the bed.  Stupidly I hadn't thought to take my piercings out or remove my nail varnish, so that when we arrived I had to spend some time de-metalling myself! We spent the morning hanging about and watching tv, whilst various nurses came in and checked my blood pressure etc.

I talked about the problems I have been having in this post here.  I was admitted for a general anaesthetic to have a rummage round my uterus.  I had two procedures - a Laparoscopy and a Hysteroscopy.  Both to check my internal workings, then I opted to have the Mirena Coil fitted. Everything has come back as normal, which is great news and I am waiting for a follow up appointment.

So that's the detail out of the way.  I am left with 2 small wounds - one in my belly button and the other in my bikini line - stomach ache and lots of pain in my shoulder, which I'm assured is just air from the inflation of my womb!

Lets move onto the good stuff!  Food! I got to select my afternoon meal and I don't know if you can see the menu above, but there was a lot to choose from.  Paul and I discussed my choices at length.. In the end I opted for Mushroom Soup with bread and a roll, and then a roasted veg and cream cheese chiabatta, all washed down with coffee. It was devine!

Paul and Niamh went to collect the biglets once I was back from recovery and my meal had been requested.  I was left in a warm cocoon and I ate my lunch/tea whilst watching 'Deal or No Deal'.  I hardly get the opportunity to watch it anymore, but it holds such a silly special place in my heart.  When I was pregnant with Lochie, so 6 years ago now, I got into the habit of watching it at 4pm when I went on maternity leave.  Then when I went over-due I remember watching it whilst cross stitching a baby name for him.  Then the afternoon I went into labour with him, the realisation I was in labour only dawned on me half way through 'Deal or No Deal'. So it was lovely to lie in a warm post anaesthetic haze and reminisce to myself through a tv programme :-) So that's why I took a photo of the view from my bed!
Fingers crossed that's the worst of it over now.  There is nothing sinister going on with my insides, everything has been thoroughly checked.  Now I have the mirena, I am hopeful that my periods will get less again and I can truly become the athlete I aspire to be - ALL OF THE TIME.

And speaking of being an athlete, I may not be up to training this week, but I am looking forward to my first session back!  A few weeks ago, Paul won a Motoactv Fitness Tracker through a magazine submission he wrote. He hasn't really used it - he is a garmin boy through and through! So today we restored the factory settings and it became mine.

Hello tracking my runs!!  Hello music!  Hello Moto :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Bit different this week Clanettes, this is what I like to call 'What we Prepped and Ate last Weekend!'

Saturday started with pancakes!  We always eat pancakes on 'special' days - and Saturday was special because it was our first Saturday with Paul home. Lie in, lounging, coffee and pancakes.  Bliss. Plus his gym had an open day so we got to take the children swimming for free.  A good day!
I got loads of dishes prepped today, first was cauliflower, brocolli and pasta cheese:
I chopped up cauli and brocolli, parboiled them with some pasta, whilst simmering an onion in some milk to flavour it.
Then I made a roux with butter and flour, added the onion infused milk, together with mustard and nutmeg, and of course a tonne of cheese.  Voila. 2 meals in the freezer.
Next was fishcakes. Really simple receipe - literally put the potatoes in the microwave in a bowl with seasoning and cover with clingfilm, cook til soft, then smash.  They have gone into the freezer as is and will be tipped onto a baking tray and crisped up when we are ready to eat them. The fish was a bag of tesco frozen fishpie mix, blended with lemon zest and seasoning, then rolled in breadcrumbs and fried.  These have gone into the freezer ready to be baked when they are required. All that is left to do is the guacamole on the day.
The one thing I always have a stash of in this house, and the one thing I have started prepping and giving to my Mum for them, is passata.  We use it in everything from pizza sauce, to pasta sauce, to the base for casseroles.  Its literally tinned value tomatoes, to which I add garlic, herbs, dash of ketchup and stock, then simmer til its reduced and thickend.  WE LOVE IT.  Today I have made a huge amount for sauces for kids pasta etc next week, and we made tortilla wrap pizzas for tea tonight.
Chicken Pie!!  My absolute fave - another Jamie 30 min receipe and we alternate between chicken or fish pie.  Just the ticket after a particularly wet cycle ride last Sunday!
I ordered a butternut squash in last weeks shop and randomly ended up with three.. so I have made three different squash dishes for the freezer today as well. This is a River Cottage soup recipe - Butternut and Nut Butter soup (recipe here) and it tastes amazing.  Very little effort required - win win!
This is a variation on a River Cottage recipe for 'Stuffed Butternut Squash' - original recipe found here. I roasted the squash, scooped it out, mixed it with cheese and bacon and re-filled the skins.. AMAZING!
This last one is my own recipe and is basically a squash and other veg ratatouille, with garam marsala seasoning, that I added my homemade passata to, and then made a savoury crumb topping for...  More amazingness! We had it with sausages and gravy.. Delish!
Its our friend Rachel's birthday today, so cake was the order of the day too!
 Chocolate cake, covered in milk chocolate and white chocolate..
 Whats not to love!!
And I have been treated so well with cake and tea myself over the last 2 days.  Being poorly and going to hospital definitely has its perks :-) Thank you Vikki and Lucy.  Thank you everyone who has helped with the children and who has checked in on my and been so lovely.  I will do a hospital post later in the week.
My gorgeous, beautiful and thoughtfully amazing sister (currently 34 weeks pregnant with my first nephew!) sent me a care package today to get me through hospital and re-cooperation!  I cried at the postie, obviously.  She had even thought to pack it separately so it wouldn't be too big for our letterbox.  A lovely card, two magazines, a cd, sweeties (you know I'm addicted to jelly sweets!), a beautiful note book, essential lip balm and pudding.  What can I say Emoose.  I love it, totally cheered my day. Thank you, love you x x x

Monday, September 24, 2012

Get Fit, Feel Epic - Week 4

Into week four already!!  Half way through our eight week challenge, hosted by Weight Wars!

Lets recap my goals and see how I'm doing after 3 :-

1) Cycle 300 miles during the 8 weeks - After 3 weeks I have cycled 56.6miles
I have had a much more focused week this week, and whilst I haven't achieved my mini target of 50 miles, I have cycled at every opportunity.  I did 2 great gym sessions this week, and both included 10k (6.3miles) on the bikes there, and then yesterday I went out on a sky-ride and did 24miles. 36.6 miles this week, added to the 20 miles I did in the first week and I'm at a grand total of 56.6miles in the last 3 weeks. I'm disappointed its not more, because riding Amy is my favorite way to exercise, but I haven't been able to get out.  I am pleased that I have utilised every opportunity though, and there is still a way to go until the end of the challenge.
As you have seen from last week, I love recording everything and I'm frustrated I have no tracks for my cycling this week - I have given up on Endomondo, and Map My Run this week was not very helpful and my bike garmin is not a quick job!

2) Run 60km (37 miles) in the next 8 weeks - After 3 weeks I have run 31km (19.4mi)
Another great week for running - I combined one of my gym sessions this week with a quick 2k sprint and did a 5k road run mid week.  I'm over half way to smashing my running targets - yay me!

3) Swim at least 12 times during the challenge - After 3 weeks I have swam 2 times
Eeek!  Not a lot I can say here, I haven't been able to swim more and after my surgery this week I'm not going to be able to swim either.  Perhaps I need to adjust my goal - is that even allowed?!

4) Yoga
I am so on track with yoga - I'll take another yay me..!
5) Eat right
I haven't thought about food this week - Paul is home and we are eating 'normally'.  As ever, I always faithfully and honestly track my intake on MFP and this week looked like this:

This weeks challenge was a home workout: Record your time for EACH ROUND. Go on. Surprise yourself.

3 rounds for time (time each round and rest at least 1 minute between rounds).

- 10 burpees
- 20 squats
- 30 push ups

This was tougher than I thought it would be - and a good lesson in fitness.  Just because I can cycle or run a bit, I can't necessarily do a beginners cross fit session in my lounge!

My times were 3:20.2 and 02:37.5 and 02:48.1 :The first round was tough because I was stiff from cycling, and for some reason I decided to do 10 squats and 20 burpees and 30 half push ups - and basically kill myself.  After I realised, and then did 10 burpees and 20 squats (sooo much easier!) and 30 pushups, round two and three were much better!!
So here I am doing said challenge - this is me in my lounge being photographed and timed by Paul..  I am loving how accidentally colour co-ordinated everything is!! (Even matches my blog!)
This week, if you've not guessed from the image up there, is do something new week. Do something you've never done before, take the plunge you may find it something great!
This week is going to be a tough week for me, because I am going in for day surgery on tuesday and I may not be up to much for the rest of the week - but I guess surgery counts towards doing something new... Right!?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cycling on Sunday

I have written about Skyride before, I talk about a great event at the end of this post here. Cept they don't just do rides for families, they also offer free rides for different cycling abilities, at locations all over the country and they offer different paces.

Emma and I went and had a go this morning, on this ride. I enjoyed it because I like following a leader, then I don't need to think about the route or other specifics - I can just get on and ride.  My friend Chez lead the ride, apart from Skyrides, he also runs Southern Cycle Coaching. He had a second with him, and then there were us 4 'punters'.

It was wet.  It was big, fat, sopping, heavy rain.  The kind of rain that makes you question if you actually want to go out and ride.  The kind of rain you just know is going to end in heaps of cold.  But still we went.  Emma came to my house, we loaded our bikes and drove to the meet up point.

Let me just give huge kudos to Paul here, who is not only brave, but also man enough, to look after 6 kidlets on a Sunday morning so two ladies can go and cycle.  Thank you Paul xx

Ahem, anyway.  My trainers were full of water even by the time we had unloaded the bikes! Its was a good route.  We did 24 miles, with a coffee stop in the middle, and I was pleased with how strong I felt.  If anything I could have gone a little faster - it felt so good to get back on my bike - and be on Amy!

So if my little old blog has ever inspired you to try anything, please please have a go at a Skyride local to you.  Find a ride with a pace and a distance you feel comfortable with and go and meet some new people. The rides are free, they are well planned and they are lead, so you don't have to worry about navigation. 

And no, I am not affiliated with Skyride.  I just love them!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dancing into the dark

. . . . . . . . .
Equinox is upon us
. . .
the time has come
. . .
to savor the slanted rays of Autumn’s Sun
to reap what we have sown
to harvest abundance to carry us through the spare season
to gather
to celebrate
to pull on our furry, wooly layers, and stave off the coming cold
to sit in stillness, to reflect
  to notice the moment of balance, of light and dark
 to give in to the shadow
. . .
to go dancing into the dark
. . .
. . .
Giuliana Serena || Autumnal Equinox 2012 || Originally posted here
. . .

Happy Mabon Clanettes - time for us to change the seasonal bunting on our fire place, The Bers are well and truly upon us!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday friday

Hey peeps, I am sorry I have been quiet this week!
But you know, we have been busy embracing 'normal' now that Paul is home.. It has been soo lovely to have him back and here and real.
We all know I'm a soppy old thing, and I love to cry over the drop of a hat, but I have cried over many little things this week - such as finally being able to change the bedding because Paul was home and I didn't need to worry that the bedding would never have been slept in by him, if he didn't come back...  And other such melodramatic and slightly odd/weird thoughts, that you know you love about me.
So, gushing over, its time for me to accept that Paul is back and that he needs to move his kit!!  It is no longer cute over the back of the chair in the kitchen!!  Normality resumes..  ha ha!

This message has really stayed with me this week and has kept me motivated - its so true! It came to mind when I didn't want to go for a run last night, and stayed with me once I had been for said run and was in and lounging on the sofa with Paul.  I got to run AND lounge.  Perfect!
Posted to Facebook this week, by Weight Wars.
Niamh and I went for my pre-op checks today, just height, weight, bloods, urine, endless form filling etc.  The nurse complimented me on my blood pressure and resting heart something or other and I was pleased to note that I was well under 100kgs on their scales - v v different from the last op I had a few years ago!
I am due in at 7.30am on Tuesday and Paul has two days off work.  My parents are on holiday, so I have roped in all and sundry for childcare.  I have written an hour by hour timetable of who is where and when, and then a separate column for who is taking them there.  Lochie is all day at school with an after school club, Bebe still comes home at lunchtime and Niamh, bless her, will come with us until its time for back up.  I have had to write to the school giving names and contacts, total palarva, but everyone has been so great - as they always are!! Thank you thank you thank you, we are so grateful for the help.

I have been trying to be mindful of the fact that I won't be able to exercise next week or, sob, take part in the triathlon I have been looking forward to next weekend, sob.  On Monday I cycled 10k and ran 2k, rested Tuesday and Wednesday whilst basking in Paul being home, last night I ran 5k, tonight I cycled 10k and swam 30 lengths, and I plan on two good bike rides this weekend.  The rest of the weekend is about food prepping!  I plan on cooking as many meals as I can to stick them in my massive (and still mostly empty!) new freezer so that next week is easy - in terms of thought and prep, and in terms of low fat and cal!!

(If you're like me and prefer working in miles, there is a good site for converting it all here)

Paul and his friend Adam are full of training plans to see them over the winter, and Paul has included (at my request) a good triathlon training plan for me.  But I am also giving consideration to maybe, just maybe, perhaps perhaps perhaps training for a half marathon in the spring..  Could I run, nay, could I limp through 13 miles or 20.9km? Three times what I can currently do.. Lucy's fault, as these things always are really.  The thought of running that far scares me.  The thought of training on a warm treadmill during a cold winter appeals (last winter on my bike was bitter!).  Did I mention that running that far scares me? Having a common training goal with Lucy again REALLY appeals. Its 50/50 right now.  I just don't know what I want to do - all I am sure of is that I need a goal to motivate me.

So there we have it.  Happy weekend Clanettes, have a good one x x

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Its what I ate Wednesday peeps :-) 
Bet you can't guess what I had for breakfast!!
Oh yes, the breakfast of champions - porridge, banana and apple juice!
Apple and Chai tea mid morning - today is that annoying day when the shopping is due tomorrow and you have plenty of 'dry' food in, but nothing fresh and I prowled around quite some time checking that no strawberries or other had appeared in the fridge!
For lunch, despite what it may look like,  I had a jacket potato with a teeny amount of left over turkey bolognaise sauce and some grated cheese.  I made the bolognaise kidlet friendly - i.e grated the carrot and onion, and effectively made a smooth texture-less sauce.. Weird to look at, but tasty nonetheless - and no, they still didn't eat it!
Followed by yogurt with honey and a granola bar and then that was followed by numerous jelly dummies...  Arrgghhhhh!  These things are more addictive than cocaine.  My Grandma gives the kidlets a packet or 2 every few weeks..  but guess who eats most of them!  Seriously, if they are in the house and the packet is open I have to dish them out pretty quick or I forget to share them..!!  
For Dinner we had stir fry - I grated carrot, sliced pepper and par boiled some green beans, together with chopped chicken breast and a peanut sauce.
Together with noodles, prawn crackers and chilli dipping sauce.  Paul always says I come up trumps with dinner the night before the shopping arrives - tonight I agree!
Vikki, the amazing baker of the gingerbread skulls last week had created chocolate dipped shortbread giraffes for their birthday trip to the zoo - we were the lucky recipients of a few of the herd - YUMMERS!  

And remember - ALL herbal tea should be served specifically in a glass cup/tankard, thus making the drink 'special'.  Herbal tea is 'special' because it makes you feel virtuous.  I like to drink out of a glass half pint tankard, so I get to feel like a warrior in a tavern - virtuously obv.!

And 3 things to finish - kind of like those last bits on the credits of films that you miss if you leave early...  Because you know I am just the coooolest Christie cat, here I am today, wearing a mask Brenna made me in school...
Some amazing stats Paul noted about his RAB experience..
My Ride Across Britain Garmin stats are finally uploaded, I...
cycled 982 miles
sat in the saddle for 64hrs 52 mins
climbed a total of 49078ft
averaged 15.1mph over the 9 days
burnt roughly 73000 calories
And that extra extra dull bit that those really annoying films have... My day surgery has been scheduled for next Tuesday the 25th - here's to getting it all over with!
Happy What I Ate Wednesday Clanettes x x x