Saturday, 8 March 2014

Holiday planning...

...So I am still planning my trip to the States with my Dad, as I have organised it all myself instead of using travel agents, its taking a little longer but it's soo much fun!  It's much more exciting when you plan each day yourself and sort how you will get from place to place.  More like travelling and less like a holiday!! Plus I have organised camping in some places, yes I am as shocked as you!!  Not sure how i'm going to cope with camping but never hurts to step out of your comfort zone once in a while!

So I created this whole map on Tripline to show where we will be going, then I lost it all, then I did it again!! Exhausting but it looks ace!!

If it ever bothers to save (it's being saying 'saving' for the last hour!) i should be able to put an interactive link on here as well!!

We will have a lot to do in 3 weeks and probably come back more tired than when we left but it will be worth every minute.  Plus I have 5 days in Dubai in November to recover!!

I will be setting up a seperate travel blog for this one, so Dad can contribute to it as well - but I will share the link on here once it's set up!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Am I a foodie or do I just love to eat???

I would like to believe I am a foodie, but I don't think I am creative enough to be considered as such!  I love my food and I love trying new things but I don't do it very often, I am very set in my ways when it comes to food (I get this from my Dad who is exactly the same!!).  So, I have intentions of trying a new food every week, whether it be in a recipe or just on it's own!!  Last week it was Mackrel, really good for you, high in protein and Omega 3 so perfect for my diet, however not good for my taste buds!!  Disgusting!! I won't be trying that again!! So this wasn't the best start to my 'try new things kick!'

However, with my attempts to increase my protein increase while keeping my calories down, I have been a little bit creative.  I made protein pancakes, which were really good with maple syrup, not too high in calories and satisfy that sweet craving that I get after dinner.  These are definitely an improvement on what I usually use to curb my sweet craving after dinner - GU!!  These are my Achilles heel when it comes to dieting, although their cheesecakes and soufflés are lovely, these melt in the middle chocolate cakes are to die for!  I recommend everyone try them at least once...

On the same night, I decided to make my own Protein bars to take to work, which were a success.  I included ground Flaxseed, Chia seed and blueberries to make sure they filled me up.  I also added cinnamon so they tastes a lot like gingerbread which made them much nicer - I wouldn't definitely recommend making your own as you can add whatever you want so they suit you perfectly.  I added white chocolate chips to this to make them a little sweeter but to reduce calories next time I may just add sweetner instead.

Over the last 12 months or so I have become a lot more daring with my food choices and I have tried foods I never would have tried a few years ago.  The main one being curry, which I have now grown to love (and crave!). I started easy with Chicken Tikka Massala and ate that religiously at curry houses, but in the last few months I have tried Curried Seabass, Paneer Saag, Mixed kebab meat (lamb and chicken), I even had a Chickpea curry from a street stall in Shoreditch which was possibly the nicest curry I have ever tasted!!  I think I am going to continue on my mission to love all Indian food, slowly but surely!!

I still love desserts as I always have, but i'm never very creative in my ordering! I'm too scared to order something new because dessert is a sacred thing and you only get one chance (and usually due to diets this is a once in a blue moon opportunity) it can't be wasted on something that isn't amazing!! Hence, my desired to head for something made with chocolate, drowned in custard (which is usually rare as everything chocolatey comes with ice cream and everything fruity comes with custard!) I always have to be the picky one 'Can I have the chocolate something or other but can I have custard instead of ice cream' I think they go so much better together!! And don't get me started on fruit, I am not a fan of fruit at the best of times but baked fruit is even worse, soggy, warm mush with some sort of pastry or crumb covering the horror that awaits beneath!  It's horrific and awful and that is one way I will never go when trying new desserts.  Fruit is for snacking (at a push) and making into smoothies, dessert is for chocolate and vanilla and other rich, sweet flavours.  So I think this is where I draw the line as a foodie because I do have some hang ups about certain food (which you may have noticed) that are so set in my thought process that the mere mention of them when ordering food makes my insides boil!!

However, where I will accept fruit (or fruit juice) is with my alcohol!  I have recently taken a liking to Pina Coladas and have found supermarkets now do Pineapple and Coconut juice which I can mix with Rum and avoid the higher sugar contents of Malibu and mixing this with crushed ice makes the most amazing adult slush puppy :-) Downside is when drunk, I want to be on a beach somewhere being fanned with a giant leaf and fed grapes!! (when I say grapes I mean burgers ;-))

My next attempt at 'expanding my foodie horizons' was prawns - I actually really liked them.  Not too fishy, although I do prefer them well done (I enjoyed the smaller chewier ones over the larger ones).  So I was feeling very proud of myself thinking I had a new food like that was something different and I could order it in restaurants and use them in stirfrys, it was all very exciting....until my throat started feeling abit scratchy, and it became a little bit harder to breath and I went all hot and sticky and I needed an anti-histamine to put me right.  Turns out i'm allergic to prawns - so that's that!!

This to the right, is a recipe that no self respecting foodie would be proud of, unless that foodie was me!!  This, my friends, is a Big Mac in a Bowl and it smells, looks and tastes 100% like the genuine thing.  This is my godsend when I am craving junk food (although it's fair to say that it's easier to go through the drive through!) but with a bit of patience this will do the job!! 

Finally, my latest creation! I eat a lot of stirfry and I usually use chicken and as I can no longer spread my wings and eat prawns I wanted to try something different.  So I baked a fillet of salmon with garlic and soy and stir fried some vegetable and rice noodles and this was the outcome - AMAZING!!  It was beautiful and a definite repeater (however, this may be me getting back into food rut habits!!)

So the real question is, am I a foodie or do I just love to eat? I personally think it's the latter but who knows where these plans to try new things will lead!


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

30 things to do before i'm 30 - UPDATE!!

Right so the 30/30 list has definitely had a chunk knocked out of it!!  Back when I last posted I had done 14 of the 30.  Now I have achieved 18 of the 30 and 4 are booked to do this year!! That means 8 left to achieve!!! Can I do it???

1.  Skydive
I did this 2 years ago and it was the scariest but best thing I have EVER done by far.  It was an amazing day and a time when I realised what a true friend was...someone who would jump out of plane for you in honour of the Mom you lost but she never met!!

2. Orbing
I did this with Louise as well a few years back, I found it realy funny but struggled with the lack of control shouting 'Lou, why are we speeding up, we're not slowing down!!!' panic!!  But it was fun nonetheless!
3.  Go to Blackpool
I have now done this more than once, in fact about 5 times!! I love the Pleasure Beach because I love Rollercoasters and I love the cheese of the Blackpool strip and lights, reminds me of being a kid again!!

4.  Route 66
I have now marked this as amber because it's booked!!!! I leave on 18th July for 3 weeks on the West Coast with my Dad which will include a section of route 66 and a photo with the famous sign!!  I am ridiculously excited!!

5.  Get my degree
I bloody did it!!! Finished my BA(Honours) in Business Studies and only went and got a First-Class Honours, by far the greatest achievement of my life so far and the moment I realised that I had done it was by far the greatest moment of my life (I was in my PJ's in the middle of the day recovering from Dubai induced jet-lag and I will never forget sliding down the wall on the landing of  my dads house and sobbing!)

6.  Comic Con
Well, I thought I wouldn't be able to do this before my 30th but it's booked!! Me and Dad have incorporated it into a 3 week trip around the West Coast of the States!!

7. Get a new piercing
I did this, I got my Tragus pierced (the inner bit of your ear!) but it wouldn't heal and got a little infected so I had to take it out - I will be getting it done again though!

8.  Go to a football match
I have finally got round to sorting this one, my friend Rachel has offered to take me and we can go drinking and dancing afterwards so it's not all bad!! Just need to get a date in the diary now!! have

9.  Paris
Finally got my trip to Paris, it was on my own but it was amazing!  I spent a day sightseeing and made some amazing friends and went up the Eiffel Tower at night and saw Paris all lit up!! A once in a lifetime experience!

10.  Hot air balloon
I had planned to book this for my birthday, however I am now going to be in Geneva taking in the breathtaking sights of Switzerland.  But I will book it soon!

11. Empire Top 500 Movies
 I haven't made a dent in this yet, however I am starting a Movie blog with my friend Allie (I will post the URL when I have it) so I will be forced to watch more movies, so this is probably where I will start!! 

12.  Buy a house
I have started saving and buying little bits and pieces for my house!  This IS going to happen before I'm 30!!!

13.  Go to Disneyworld, Orlando
I've done this and it was my faveourite holiday EVER.  I loved every minute and I can't wait to go back
again if I get to do my trip to the States.

14.  White Water Rafting
Again this quite easy to go about and not too expensive anymore so I don't know why I don't just do it!! Lazy bugger!!

15.  Plan a surprise party
This is what reminded me of my list and got me thinking about it again!!  Another item checked off!!

16.  Dress as sperm in public
There was a reason for this.  I used to have a group of friends and we wanted to dress as Sperm and have our friend Emma dress as an egg and we could just bump into her all night - it should have been hilarious, now it just seems silly!!  I think I may need to replace this one with something more feasible!!

17.  Sing Kareoke in public
I didn't think I would ever be able to do this - but I went to Turkey on holiday with my girlfriends and being in a foreign country gave me the confidence I needed!!  After that there was no stopping me and I did it in Blackpool as well!!

18.  Learn to Jive
Well, it was too expensive and time consuming to learn officially!  But I brought a Zumba DVD that had a jive routine in it, I have learnt that inside out so I think that will do for now!!!

19.  Talk to someone famous
I have NEVER had the guts to do this, I get so nervous that they will think i'm an idiot that I chicken out, that is until a few weeks ago when I met Henry Winkler AKA The Fonz and asked him for a photo - He was lovely!!

20.  Go to a festival
I stopped worrying about not having anyone to go with and decided to plan my own!! Instead of spending a fortune on Glastonbury tickets, I have instead decided to do my garden!!  Blast the tele out my patio windows, giant tent at the back of the garden, beer crates, garden chairs and a BBQ - Glastonbudget!!  Oh and not forgetting the festival outfits!! Plus Brogan Beau can experience her first festival at the tender age of 1!!

21.  Go to a casino
Thanks to my buddy Shola, who had a spare ticket to a Casino in Birmingham that she kindly took me along to :-)

22.  Adult Wacky Warehouse
The only one near where I live is one where you have to get so many people together and book the whole place out rather than just turning up with a few friends - I should have planned it for my birthday really! Doh!

23.  Climb Snowdon
This is not an easy one, maybe after I have completed Insanity it would be possible but at the minute my fitness levels are just not up to it.  Maybe I should plan do it in the Summer with my Dad - that way I will have to get fit in time for it!!

24.  Go to the Opera
Wish I hadn't - I was bored stupid and fell asleep in the second Act.  But I did do it so I can tick it off the list!!

25.  Photoshoot with the girls
This felt really worthwhile - had a great day lots of lovely photos.  Spent a fortune buying them and then we all stopped speaking, awesome!!

26.  Go on an all girls holiday
Turkey twice - loved it!

27.  Have a drastic haircut
FOOLISH!!!!  It looked awful but now I can say I did it!!

28.  Go to Japan
This may be the only one that I don't get to do - but I might get my photography friend Lou to help me do a Japanese inspired photoshoot as a compromise!!

29.  Tobogganing at the Snowdome
I took my Nephew for his birthday and we had a great time - so glad I have experienced it now!!

30.  Sightseeing in London
I have lived in England all my life and never taken advantage of the sites we have right on our doorstep - I went with Dad a few months back and we had a great weekend!!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Catch up and future plans for blogging!

By focusing on my diet as my reasoning to post I am hoping I will post more - I feel really sad that I haven't been keeping this up this year as it's already March! So here is a brief update:

Graduation Party
All booked!! Room is amazing just organising the invites with Allie so I can send them out :) I can't bloody wait!!

With just over a year (OMG!!) left to complete my 30/30 - I need to get a wriggle on!! There will be a separate blog post to confirm how I'm doing but graduating and planning my trip to the states has covered a fair few points and....

One of my 30/30 is to go to a festival!! I'm not sure a festival is for me, I like the idea of the beer and the outfits and the burger vans but no necessarily the camping - So instead I am organising my back garden... blasting the Glastonbury footage from the tele, put up a huge tent, get the Barbie on the go and a bin full of cans!!!  It's going to be AMAZING!! Plus is can be Brogan Beau's first festival experience ;-)

I have numerous trips booked this year to various places but these two are going to be my favourites - mainly because I have intentions of staying in Geneva for a few extra days so I can spend my Birthday in Switzerland and my Dad is going to fly out and meet me there.  I am also going to stay in Dubai for 5 extra nights as well to have a beach/chilled holiday.  I am going to go to the waterpark and may dune buggying but other than that I will lie by the pool with a book and work on my tan (in November!!).  With such a busy year ahead I am looking forward to a week of relaxing just before the chaos of Christmas!!

Lou's move
Great news!! My bestest buddy has returned to the land of Brum from Wolverhampton - meaning her and my little angel Brogan Beau are really close to me, I can pop in for tea and catch ups and cuddles with the bambino much more often now :-) exciting times!!

Ann Summers
Started a second job working for Ann Summers as a Party Ambassador - absolutely loving it!!  So much fun at the parties, I can't believe i'm making money out of it!!  Will keep you updated on my progress...

Diet/weigh in
So the diet - if this is anything to go by, it's definitely going well....

I have lost 9lb so far and I want it to be a stone by the end of March which is perfectly achievable (as I lost 6lb last week alone!!).  However, I am going to use my diet as a way to maintain my blog!!  By posting what I am eating everyday it will encourage me to post and as I can't stop talking, ever, it will inevitable ramble on into a post about my friends, work, travel etc!!

Starting tomorrow - let's see how this goes!!!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Not so healthy week...

Well, I was doing well with the diet and exercise, that is until Valentines Day!! I decided it was 'Fuck the Diet Friday' which is fairness was going to be fine because I would spend a fair few hours in the gym over the weekend, or so I thought.....

So Friday night I go out with my two cousins for a meal and a few drinks, unfortunately neither the meal nor the few drinks happened... It was no meal and copius amounts of alcohol in the form if wine, cider, jagarbombs, you name it!! Aaaand this is how we ended up at 2am after inhaling what I was told was chicken kebab but in all honest could have been pigeon for all I knew!!!

However, the problem was getting to this point! I wanted to be in the photo so I laughed myself over Heather to get in, Heather in self defense put her elbow up and it cracking right into my ribs! I can barely breath without it hurting, coughing, sneezing, laughing or yawning are all out of the equation and I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest!!

So... I can't go to the gym, as breathing is an issue I assume exercise would be a bigger issue!!

So.... Do I then rest up for the rest of the weekend to ensure I'm 100% for the gym on Sunday - do I fuckery...

And so it begins again.. Drink after drink, followed by cheese and more drink:

Pain in the ribs has gone - or so I thought! Que Sunday morning, sitting up is a 20 minute job with a ridiculous amount of pain and a spinning sensation that can only be attributed to the 7/8/9ish bottles of wine consumed the previous night!!

However, regardless of all that.. I had a cracking weekend!! Now I just need to be really good on my diet because I can't exercise :( no more junk food for me....

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Healthy week...

In trying to make up for my particularly drunk weekend last weekend I am having an extremely healthy week!! I will consume no alcohol this weekend and I have stuck to my diet really well all week... Now we just need to see if I've lost any weight!!

Anyway, to avoid drinking I am distracting myself with tele!! I am addicted to three new shows, Bitten (kind of a werewolf version of True Blood which I love!), Once Upon a Time (I have 4 seasons I catch up on) and Community (which I have 5 seasons to catch up on).  Therefore I should be kept busy enough to not want a drink :) fingers crossed!!

I have been stepping up my training with double Wobble sessions and Zumba classes, I'm aching from head to toe but it's a good thing and I feel great!!  I can see a different in the mirror and my stomach is soo much flatter than it was before and I'm not nearly as hungry as I usually get!! Finally, I found a brilliant range of food from M&S called Fuller Longer which are balanced carbs and high protein so they fit into my diet perfectly!! I had the Venison Meatballs with mash and braised red cabbage and it was amazing :) 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The New (Drunk) Me!!

Well so much for the promise 'I will do this every Sunday!!' in my defence it was my Nephews birthday and I had a rotten hangover :-/  Plus I was ill yesterday so Tuesday it is!!

So, The New (Drunk) Me - I bloody love her!!  She has confidence (even after only losing a few pounds), she enjoys having her photo taken, particularly when they come out like this:

She meets men (most of which she doesn't like) but she enjoys being approached (but not stroked on the arm which one bloke seemed to want to do a lot!!)  She laughs hysterically and dances like no one is watching.

If you hadn't guessed already, I had an amazing weekend!!  First was a well needed and muchly deserved night out with Louise, the highlight of which was this:

and the music and photo booth in Pop world  (sounds horrendous but the music was AMAZING, like being at a family party!!) which both prompted these:

This was followed by a second night out that included copius amounts of cocktails... Starting with homemade (very strong) piña coladas:

Chased by Prosecco and crisps:

Followed by more cocktails (cosmos and Long Island ice teas):

Plus apparently we made some new friends (I can't say I remember!):