Thursday, 30 May 2013

How to make super healthy bran muffins...

As you would have seen from my day in photos the other day, I made Bran Muffins!! So, as promised, here is the recipe for you...

A perfect bite-sized snack

2 cups baking bran
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sultanas (or substitute)
1/2 cup mixed nuts and/or seeds

1/4 cup golden syrup
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl

Put milk and golden syrup in a jug and warm in microwave to just melt the syrup, then beat in egg and banana.

Fold wet ingredients in dry mix.
Spoon muffin mix into tins.

Bake at 190° for 10-15 mins or until lightly brown.

Here are some substitutions you can make if you like too...

  • You can substitute the banana for 1 cup of grated apple or pear - skin and all
  • Replace 1 cup of the bran with 1 cup of oats
  • Substitute the sultanas for some other dried fruit - I used chopped dates this time but you could use cranberries, apricots, or anything you like
  • I never use the full amount of golden syrup, if you don't want muffins too sweet then use less. I am also going to try substitute the golden syrup with apple puree/sauce next time I make them.
Recipe makes 24 mini muffins or 12 regular size, however this time I got 24 minis AND 6 regular. A regular sized muffin is 150 calories, if anyone cares about that.

They are super nice with some natural yoghurt and make a great, quick and healthy morning or afternoon snack.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

My Day in Photos...

Only 4 more days til winter and it's clear that we are almost there. Today was a reeeeeeallly crappy weather day so here are some pics of how it went for us...

This was the type of day we had today... Cold, wet and good for staying in

My mid morning snack of natural yoghurt, dried apricots and pumpkin seeds - yum!

Like the virtuous wife I am I had dinner cooking away in the slow cooker by 10am

I did some social networking and net surfing

Got to sit down with my feet up, homestyle and milo in hand while baby had a sleep

Made some super healthy bran muffins

Had to hold myself back from making delicious triple chocolate cookies and made these instead - will post recipe soon! Not as nice as cookies but better for you.
The slow cooker casserole - didn't look that great but tasted SO GOOD! Perfect winter's dinner

The best part of being inside all day was getting to hang with this little dude... So much fun!

I also went to visit my friend and her bub for lunch but didn't get any photos of that. 

What's your favourite way to spend a yucky wet and cold day??

Monday, 27 May 2013

My 100th Post and A Letter to my Dear Readers...

Guess what everyone, this is my...
YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! And in honour of my 100 blog posts I have done:
  • 100 crunches
  • 100 press ups
  • 100 squats
  • 100 lunges
  • 100 skips
That's 100% lame awesome - why don't you get in on the 100th post action too!!

I am rather happy to have today's Blog A Day post coincide with my 100th as I think it fits rather well...

Day 27, Monday: A letter to your readers

Dear Wonderful Curious Runner Girl Readers,

I am writing this letter to you to let you know how happy I am that you take the time to read my blog. Whether you have read all 100 posts or only 1, I am super thankful to you for even having the perseverance to read my blog at all :)
I know sometimes I say lame stuff and sometimes I think I am being funny, but I'm actually being hilarious not, yet you still come back for more. Thank you. I am so grateful.

I started my blog with the hopes of inspiring and encouraging you, my readers, with your own personal running, fitness and healthy living. Today my friend posted this on facebook in a conversation about running: 'Rachel is an inspiration to us all'. I felt so honoured to be an inspiration. This is what I aim to achieve! I don't post this comment to boast but simply because I believe that everyone can run and if I can inspire just one person to get out there and have a go, then I am achieving the goal I set out with for this blog. Happy days (Oh gosh, who actually says that!?)!!

I know (and hope you do too) that I am not a professional runner, nor am I anywhere near becoming one in the next gazillion years, but I do like to share my trials and tribulations with you, my struggles and my successes. I think these can be a source of encouragement to my readers knowing that we all go through ups and downs when it comes to fitness and diet. 

I also have this blog because I love running. This doesn't always mean I find it easy, definitely not, but I do (most of the time) love it. Running is my outlet, it is my way of keeping in shape and staying healthy. It is my 'me time', it's my reason to be able to have that giant piece of chocolate cake treat once in a while, and it's a way I achieve my goals and feel proud of my accomplishments. Also, if any of you know me well, when I am interested in things I research them. Then I share my findings on here with you. Sometimes I go a but overboard with this but I enjoy it. I have a balance of my own experiences, ideas and opinions and actual research.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog, if there is anything you would like me to talk a bit more (or less) about on here, please do let me know. I love hearing from my readers, and would love to hear your running successes and struggles too. We're all in this together *Cue High School Musical music*.

Once again, thanks for stopping by and reading my blog, you have no idea how much that means to me - you are all totes amazeballs!! 

Yours faithfully,

Curious Runner Girl.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The 30 day abs challenge...

Day 26: Something you read online. Leave a link and discuss...

I found this 30 day abs challenge from  Women's Health and thought that that sounds a bit like me. I have a serious mummy tummy thanks to growing a human and I NEED to get rid of it. Thankfully summer is still a way away but I need to gt rid of it ASAP. So if you are keen to have a go with me, I am going to start it next Saturday, 1st June and do it for the month. It has great tips and workouts for your abs, as well as nutritional info and eating strategies for a flatter stomach...


So who will be keen to do this with me? I will post each day's tips and exercises so you can get amongst it with me and you can also go and check out the link above to see what it entails. I totally suggest you do go here to check it out, so you know what you're getting yourself in for. it's going to be awesome!!

Who's going to join me in the challenge?

Saturday, 25 May 2013

A blog about running without the running...

So I have this blog right, and it's about running. But what can I talk about when I am not running?? Yikes! I have been for one run this week, about 7km and I did spin class yesterday which was great. Today was supposed to be the day I would try to run for an hour (that's long for me at the mo), but it did not happen... Here are the reasons why:

  • I was tired after having a few friends over last night and having a late(but super fun) night
  • It was crappy unmotivating weather
  • My toenail is half coming off, I think it has gotten infected and it's cray cray sore
  • I'm lazy and lame for having all the lame excuses... This is the only legit excuse that's not an excuse but just something lame!
So now I have to try and fit in the run tomorrow when the weather will prob be waaaaay worse. However, I have a goal and these are the things I must do to a achieve my goal. Also, I have a running blog and there's only so much I can write about without talking about running before I loose all my readers and start getting hate mail so WATCH THIS SPACE FOR NEWS ABOUT A RUN!!!

In other news, my blog a day challenge is getting seriously bad... I am missing some days. I have been a bit busy - not running though - oops!!

So here is today's post:
Day 25, Saturday: something someone told you about yourself that you will never forget...

I will never forget my husband telling me how beautiful I am when I am asleep (and even though he didn't say it then, he probably meant awake as well). He is such a. Charmer, I love that man!!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

GPS watch review

Day 22, Wednesday: Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel. (a pet peeve, a current event, a controversial topic, something your husband or roommate or neighbor or boss does that really ticks you off)

OK, so like I have said before, I am not a ranter. Well I am, but only to people who I know actually care and are happy to listen. I am definitely NOT a social media or blog ranter so I am turning this into something else... A review - not like a rant at all! 

As you may recall from past posts, I really REALLY want a GPS watch for running. However, they are sooo expensive that I think I'll be saving my pocket money for the next 43 years. And, because they are so expensive, I think it's important to do research to know exactly what you are getting and whether it will meet your needs or not. 

So here is a review of some GPS watches that I found on this blog. It's great as it lists the pros and cons for each watch. The prices are in pounds, however, so you would just need to convert that price to your currency, or find a stockist near you and see their price. 

Low- to mid-range running watches

Garmin Forerunner 10, £99
Pros: Good price, simple watch with good basic functionality. Ideal entry-level watch. Easy to use, nice and small, which is also good for women's smaller wrists. Waterproof.
Cons: Not many added extras, but hardly fair to gripe when that's clearly the aim of the watch
In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Nike+ Sportswatch GPS
Pros: Amazingly quick to find GPS signal – fastest of all watches tried. Stylish design. Waterproof. "Tap to lap" feature. Would suggest this, along with Garmin Forerunner 10, as good entry-level watches.
Cons: Can't change programme on the go, has to be done via computer. Fairly limited "in run" data or ability to change fields.
In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Higher end running watches

Garmin Forerunner 610, £279.99
Pros: Easy to use, with a great user interface. Touchscreen. Vibrate alerts (eg on autolap after one-mile intervals). Great features that can be used on the go, such as the ability to create an interval session. Small enough to wear as a normal watch all day. Wireless download. The Garmin Connect software is easy and helpful to use. Definitely my running watch of choice.
Cons: Fairly limited battery life. Apparently not fully waterproof but I have not tested this.
In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Polar RCX3 with GPS armband, £259.50
Pros: Great lightweight, thin design which makes it comfortable for all-day wearing. Finds GPS position pretty quickly. Fantastic battery life.
Cons: GPS is not integral, so you have to wear the armband. This would create some very odd tan lines if you ran a lot in summer wearing it – and yes I know that sounds a bit vain, but it would.
In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Timex Run Trainer 2.0, £274.99
Pros: Some unique features, eg eat/drink alerts, which no competitors have. Waterproof. Nice design, finds GPS quickly, though I had some problems with accuracy (tracked a half marathon at 10.6 miles, though this could have been my error as it was the first time I had used it). Easy to customise the display.
Cons: Odd interface: slightly old fashioned, and calls things by odd names ("Chrono" and "Blockers" for instance), which can make it a bit baffling at first to use.
In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

High-end multisport models

Garmin Forerunner 910XT, £359.99
Pros: Impressive features for a triathlon watch, boasts ability to record distance/speed and stroke while swimming, for instance. For running, has all the usual excellent Garmin features.
Cons: Chunky design makes it hard to wear as a normal watch. Battery life also limited (around 20 hours). Only one profile can be set up on each watch, so you can't share itwith a partner.
In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Suunto Ambit
Pros: Very nice simple, stylish design. Easy to use. Amazing list of sports it can be used with. (Disclaimer: the Guardian churlishly refused to send me mountain climbing or skiing to test these features. Spoilsports.)
Cons: Quite large and heavy, particularly for small wrists. Limited use for serious urban runners, definitely best for off-roaders, trail and fell runners.
In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Wearable heart-rate monitor

Mio Alpha, £179.99
Pros: First wrist-wearable heart rate monitor. Picks up heart rate quickly and displays it clearly. Easy to view while running. Also very easy to set up initially. Good battery life.
Cons: No other features – the unit doesn't claim to do anything other than display your heart rate. Expensive, therefore, for what it does. Doesn't record data – only displays an average heart rate for your last run/workout. Could do with smaller band for small wrists.

So there you have it. If anyone asks, I'd be happy with the Garmin Forerunner 10 or 610. I'm not fussy, and I'm happy to trial products too :)

I hope that was helpful, I certainly found it was, however it's made me rethink my 43 years of saving - maybe more like 62 years! YIKES! 

Do you have a GPS watch? If so, which brand and would you recommend it? 

Also, does anyone use fitbit? Would be really interested to find out more about that.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

A confession and How to Train your Brain and for a big event...

I have a confession before I get into my post for today... I ran... 6kms.... And I also walked... 2kms. I said I wouldn't because of a niggle in my hip/groin area that I want to get better before doing too much running. I couldn't resist! Oops! Ok, confession over, thanks for listening. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that.

Not going to lie, today's challenge for blog Every Day in May is kinda lame...

Day 21, Tuesday: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

It's lame because all my posts are my favourites! Just kidding. Most of them are lame anyway. But what I have actually decided to do instead is link in some posts from my archives to the topic which I am talking about in this post. And the topic is How to Train your Mind...

Creepy picture that I got from here
I have done a few posts which you can find over here about mental and physical challenges that I have faced with my running, as well as challenges that arise from time to time when training for a long distance run (whatever distance that may be - for some it's 5km, for others it's 50km).
Did you know that negative thoughts take 15-20% of your physical strength away? Hence it is important to train your brain to have a stronger, faster, more positive race eversource
So here are some great tips from, as per usual Runner's World, all about training your mind for the big event...

Mental toughness requires practise and consistency. Pair these tips with any training plan to get your mind and body in top racing shape.

1 Select a performance goal.
Decide what you want to achieve by the end of your training: a particular finish time, completing your first race, not walking mid-race.

2 ID your weaknesses.
Are you negative (you doubt your abilities and low-ball your goals)? Do you make mistakes you want to correct (going out too fast, losing focus)?

3 Set process goals.
These are the specific, measurable actions you do every week to help you reach your performance goal. Examples: do one speed session per week. Run a minimum of four days a week. Finish long runs (no shaving off kilometres).

4 Develop focus tools.
These are words and actions that help eliminate negativity, calm anxiety, build confidence, and keep your mind on task. Examples: mantras (strong, cruise, do it), focusing on your body (breath, footfalls) or environment (sunrise, mountains), visualisation (seeing yourself passing others), and positive self-talk (you’re doing fine, you can handle this). Use focus tools anytime you have negative thoughts, feel fatigue or anxiety, or catch yourself falling off pace.

5 Sync it up.
Train your brain as you train your body. In a diary, track your mileage and times as well as the self-talk and the mental-training tools employed.

6 Practise, practise, practise.
Repetition and consistency are key to building mental skills. Throughout your training, review and adjust (if necessary) your process goals. Recognise when a negative thought creeps in; refocus by applying your focus tool.

7 Reinforce process goals.
For example, if your weakness has been slowing at the end, finish the last 400 metres to three kilometres of every workout fast and write down what enabled you to do that.

8 Prep for race day.
During your taper, determine what you’ll wear and where you’ll park; look up the weather; learn where the water stations are. Completing these tasks reduces prerace anxiety.

9 Visualise executing your race plan.
Five minutes, every day while you taper. See yourself on the course, hitting your paces, taking in fuel, responding to challenges with your focus tool, and meeting your goal.

10 Stick with routine.
On race eve, have the same meal you had before long runs; race in the clothes and shoes you trained in. Routine offers a sense of control that calms nerves and boosts confidence.

Generally, people only train their body to prepare for a race. We neglect our mind and don't realize how important it is to have a strong mind to achieve our goals. That is why these are some great tips and things that I always will do.
I think all of these steps are sooo important, however the article talks a lot about self-talk and positivity. I know these can sound a bit lame (esp. the self-talk bizzo), but trust me, this is so necessary for success. I am not saying you need to chant out loud how great you are every time you are out running (no judgements if you actually do this though - whatever floats your boat!), but have positive mental thoughts and self-talk will really get you a long way in your training. See this post here for more info about what goes on in a runner's mind, or what should be going on.

So there are some links to some of my previous posts, and some great tips. Remember these tips when you are next considering training for a big event and they will definitely help you.

How do you train your mind for a big event? 

Anything you do that's not listed here? 

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Struggles of a Struggling Runner Girl

Day 20, Monday: Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now.

This is probably meaning emotional struggles, but I don't bother with stuff like that and since this is a Running blog, not an airy-fairy-share-your-emotions-and-I'll-share-mine blog, I thought I better talk about my running struggles.

After playing a whole game of hockey yesterday (70 mins) I am struggling with the fact that I have done something to some random muscle in my pelvis... Anyone know what this is? Suspecting it could be my illiopsoas... Never knew that existed before but thanks to a couple of friends who know their business, and Dr Google, I now do know! I have actually been feeling some twangs in there during my last few runs but tried to ignore it and after yesterday's game it just felt really bad. I suspect this is all down to growing and birthing a human, but I'm not a professional in this business so who really knows.

I am struggling with this as it means I may have to have a break from sports and running, which I never like at the best of times but especially when I am trying to get myself back to running fit and into marathon training mode... YIKES!!

Such a struggle but I KNOW the best thing to do when you have an injury is to look after it otherwise you will be out for even longer or do more damage. Not what I want. So for this week at least I will be stretching and strengthening and probably not much else.

What things do you struggle with regarding running?

Any random running injuries out there?  

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Blog Every Day in May - my fave blogs...

Day 19, Sunday: Five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them

These are a handful of the blogs I love, but there are a tonne more that I love and read (and they are in no particular order or ranking).

True that - even if they don't realise it!
  1. The very first blog I started to read after I had started my own... Skinny Runner, find her here. This blog is great because she has a good balance of posts about running, fitness and life in general. She is an amazing runner and has lots of great stories and advice about all things running. She inspires me. Thanks SR.
  2. This lady over here at Hungry Runner Girl has an awesome blog. She is an amazingly talented running, aiming to run a 3 hour marathon in the very near future. She has a beautiful baby girl who is 9 months old and is a huge fan of living a healthy and fit life even as a mother. She is very inspirational and encouraging and has some fun posts about running and fitness, food, her bubba and her life. Go check her out!
  3. I have mentioned this lady in other posts but Katy, over at Fit in Heels is one awesome blogger. She is a fitness instructor, she is a Mama, a blogger and just too funny for words. She gives you some food for thought regarding fitness and wellbeing and is well worth a read.
  4. Hanna has a beautiful blog over at Bouffe e Bambini and she has become a daily favourite read for me. She is seriously beautiful and wonderful. She is real about life, crafty, stylish, fit and a wonderful Mama to her three gorgeous children. Her third bubba is the same age as my wee man too which is very cool. Have a read, I dare you!
  5. This last blog, found here at Baking Makes Things Better is a wee bit different to the rest. It's actually my naughty blog. It's all about baking, which is one of my naughty hobbies. I love baking and this website has some awesome recipes as well as ideas for decorating, parties and the like. Super fun and oh so delicious recipes. Have a look if you like to bake and like a treat every now and then :)
That's about all for now, however I have a tonne of other awesome blogs that I follow. You can check them out over on my blog roll. They all have wonderful writers, great tips, advice, recipes and fun stories.

I hope you can go and check out some (or all) of these blogs here and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

What's your favourite blog?

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Blog every day in May - A blast from the past

Day 18, Saturday: Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.

Where to begin... I have so many great memories from my childhood, here's a fun little story though. 

I remember first learning to ride my bike. We had some sports grounds not far up the road from our house so Dad took my brother (who could already ride a bike) and I up there for me to have some practice. It was a tough slog and there were some tears shed, but we got there in the end. I think I must have been about four, I was definitely not older than 5. I loved riding my bike once I got the hang of it, and I thought I was pretty cool too!

I know, totes cute right??
My grandparents lived around the road from us then, about 800m or so (half a mile). One day we were around there and Dad said my brother and I could ride our bikes home... YUSSS! That was also before helmets were the law. Can you see where this is heading? So we started off on our bikes with Dad following slowly behind. There was a little down hill then an uphill and the we were home. Once Dad thought we were going ok he sped up a bit to meet us at home. My older brother was under strict instruction to stay close to me too. I was so excited to be riding on the road. As I was going down the hill I started to get the speed wobbles, however. I then got a bit scared and wobbled into the curb, sending me flying over my handle bars. My head hit the curb and cracked open. I can't remember the pain but I can remember the blood. Luckily my Dad hadn't got too far and he saw my brother stopped next to me and turned around. He rushed me back to Nanas where she then said to take me to the hospital. I got my head stitched up and I was right as rain.

I don't remember being scared or in pain but I remember my brother being so freaked out. I remember him calling my Mum and telling her he could see my brain... Haha!

When I got my stitches out I remember the Doctor saying he would give me a jelly bean for every stitch he took out and I didn't cry. I got all the jelly beans (I think there were about 17 up for grabs). He knew the way to my heart - lollies!

So that's a story from my childhood, very exciting! And I still love bike riding so it can't have been too traumatic for me - I think it was worse for my bro and my Dad. And can you guess what I got for my 5th birthday? That's right, a beautiful hi-lighter pink bike helmet. So cool!

Any fun/scary/crazy childhood memories of yours?

When did you first learn to ride a bike?

Friday, 17 May 2013

Blog every day catch up...

Oops, ok so I missed two days. This challenge is getting challenging. I have had a sick wee boy at home the last couple of days so haven't really had much time for blogging between taking care of him and catching up on some zzzzz's myself during the day. But here is my catch up post for the last two days, plus today :)

Day 15, Wednesday: A Day in the life (include photos from throughout your typical day - this could be "a photo an hour" if you'd like)

Well, I am thinking that I might do this one another day as the last couple of days have just pretty much consisted of me looking after bubs and doing the boring things around the home, so we'll leave this 'catch-up' post for a more interesting day.

Day 16, Thursday: Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it

Hmmmm, I never want to be the one to complain about things, especially not by using social media. Not going to lie I am not a fan of people using their blogs or facebook or twitter to let everyone know how suckful their life is. So I am not going to become that person now. Instead, I am going to tell you about my challenge with the fact that I am going to be running a marathon in almost 5 months time... Eek!

I know that 5 months is a long way away but I have been just going for runs of 6 or 7 kms and they are HARD!! I don't know if it's because I just had a baby or the fact that I am running with one arm while the other pushes the buggy or what (probably very legitimate reasons but I think I am more using them as excuses). But something has to change. To overcome this I am going to try to amp it up to three runs a week, currently been doing two, and then build my weekend run up to an hour and a half. I think this consistent running will make it a bit easier (I hope) to get going well with my training plan when it starts in 6 weeks. EEK! 

Motivation to run a marathon... Running Poster in Blue!
Too True!

To overcome this obstacle, which is actually mostly mental, I need to believe I can do it and start thinking positive. That is hard because I compare myself with how fit I used to be and how easy running used to be but I need to stop. 
Day 17, Friday: A favorite photo of yourself and why

24-3-07 - Our wedding day x
This is me on my wedding day when I was just putting on my wedding dress. I love this photo for two reasons...
1. I will probably never look that good again
2. It was the start of the best adventure of my life which just keeps getting better every day. I love being married to my best friend and doing this adventure called life with him.

What obstacles do you have to overcome? 

Best day of your life?
Definitely a tie with wedding day and birth of our boy

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

An apology and what makes me happy...

Playing catch ups - yesterday's and today's posts are here...

Day 13, Monday: Issue a public apology. This can be as funny or as serious or as creative as you want it to be.

I apologise to the girl who I cursed under my breath yesterday because she was running in a sports bra and short shorts. I only cursed you because I am jealous of you - nothing was jiggling. JEALOUS! So maybe I'm not sorry?? Or maybe I'm just sorry that my head wasn't on your body?
Day 14, Tuesday: Ten things that make you really happy:
The only hard thing about this is picking only 10 things, but here goes (and they are in no particular order/ranking)...
  1. These two guys definitely are top though:
    My two favourites - thanks for making me the happiest person alive!
  2.  Running - I love it, it makes me so happy (most of the time)

3. My friends - I have soooo many wonderful friends from all over the planet whom I just love and appreciate so much

4. Same goes for my family, I have a wonderful family and family in-law - love you all!

5. FOOD - Not going to lie, I love to eat - ice cream sends me to my happy place!

6. Jesus
Amen brother!
7. Getting new running gear - yip, geek! Happiness is new running kit

8. Achieving goals
True story!
9. People who read my blog - you guys make me happy, thanks!!

10. Summer and sun - these make me sooo happy. Nothing I love more than a beautiful sunny summer's day at the beach with great friends and food - that's pretty much everything from my list!!

What things make you happy?

Monday, 13 May 2013

My first Mothers' Day and what I miss...

I MISSED A POST... Oops! I missed yesterday from Blog every day as we were out from 10am-10pm so when we got home I was sooo ready for bed!

But here's my catch up after I talk about Mum's Day.

Yesterday was my first ever mothers day and it was wonderful. I got treated to breaky, a tear-jerker of a card from my two fave boys and some vouchers for Rebel Sports (what else do you get fitness Mum?? Haha!). Tim also made sure that I was not doing any more than I needed to all day and I also got to have a couple of lovely meals with my Mum, Step Mum and other wonderful Mums from Church. Treats all round!

I actually wanted to start the day with a run but ended up sleeping in so I think that was a nice treat. I do need to do a run today every day for the rest of my life to make up for all the treats I had yesterday, however, but that's another story! 

Yesterday's post for blog every day in May goes as follows...

Day 12, Sunday: What do you miss? (a person, a thing, a place, a time of your life...)

A time in my life that I miss are the years we spent living in Italy. We lived in a small city called Parma (where the Ham and cheese come from), in the North of Italy, for almost 2 years from 2007-2009 and LOVED it! 

Tim was playing rugby there and I was continuing on with my degree via distance learning.  We were so blessed to have been able to have this time there, if i could do it all over again I totally would. I think a part of me will always miss this time in our lives and Italy will forever have a special place in my heart and memories.

 We got to see lots of Italy and Europe:
The view over Florence

Pisa - 2 hours drive from us

The beautiful Cinque Terra (5 towns) - this is where we would take visitors - so much beauty!

Where I established my love of running

Nice, South of France

The view from our apartment after it had snowed - it never snows where we live in NZ so I LOVED this!
We had an amazing time learning the language, immersing ourselves in a new culture, making amazing friends from all over the world, eating all the amazing food, drinking good wine and seeing many of the wonderful places Europe has to offer. So blessed!

How was your Mothers Day (whether you are a Mum or not)?

What do you miss?

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Starting the day right and a little about me...

As winter is just around the corner I am really trying to make the most of any sunshine and warmth that we are getting now, so this morning a friend and I got up and went for a nice walk. Or maybe you could say a hike. We climbed up Parihaka which is a small mountain in our town. I left Bubs at home asleep in bed with Dad and took off in the chilly morning air to enjoy a nice climb up the mountain.

A small glimpse of my city
At the top, such a beautiful morning!
It was the perfect way to start the day. The air was cool and crisp but the sun was shining and it was a gorgeous morning to catch a view of the city. And about lunch time the rain set in so we were super glad we did go. Love early morning exercise, it's the best way to start the day! Now for my blog-a-day post...

Day 11, Saturday: Sell yourself in 10 words or less

Lover and follower of Christ, crazy, fun-loving, big aspirations, blessed!

How did you start your Saturday? 

How would you sum yourself up in one word?
Mine would definitely be blessed! 

Friday, 10 May 2013

Fitness Friday and an embarrassing moment...

I am joining up with some wonderful people from Running Bloggers to bring you Fitness Friday... Yaaaaaay!

Fitness Friday is all about talking about... Can you guess? Yip, fitness - one of my fave topics!

Anyway, today my workout was SPIN CLASS!! I love spin class and this was my first one since I was about 6 months preggers... Woohoo! It felt so good. Hard, but great at the same time. If you haven't tried a spin class before, here's why you should and what I love about it:
  • You work up a mean sweat
  • It's great for burning calories
  • It's an awesome fitness builder
  • It's a challenging cardio workout
  • It's a really great cross-training workout and a break from running
  • It's high intensity and you are doing it with a group
  • It'll help get you the strong legs and toned but that you've always wanted - I need to do about a gazillion more spin classes before I get these I think.
I forgot to get some happy snaps from the class (lucky for you!) so here's an ecard just for you:

True story!
Day 10, Friday: Most embarrassing moment. Spill.  

Well, for people that know me you probably think that my whole life is an embarrassing moment... I say and do some stupid things. However I just really don't seem to get that embarrassed. My husband says that I have foot in mouth disease as I am always putting my foot in it. I am also the 'One-Step-Too-Far Girl' - that one speaks for itself. But here's one story you might appreciate...

One time I was at a rugby game watching my friend (who is now my husband) play, it was an out of town game. I look across the stadium and see this guy that looks so familiar. I say to my friend 'Oh, there's that guy I have been telling you about, what a random place to see him, let's go chat to him'. So off we go to talk to him and I go to introduce him to my friend and when I say his name he kinda just laughs and says 'That's not my name'. I'm all like 'Good one buddy, yes it is'. His mates look at me like a crazy person, I spend far too long trying to convince him that yes, he is this guy I know, and after a ridiculous amount of time, I realise that actually I don't know this guy. Awesome. 

Can't remember if I even stayed to watch the game after that, it's was pretty embarrassing to say the least. Crazy alert! 

What's your most embarrassing moment? Do you have a tendency to get foot in mouth disease like me?

Thursday, 9 May 2013

the best part of my day

Day 9, Thursday: A moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words)

Today wasn't the most exciting day I've ever had, however, each day has it's best parts and this was the best part of today: Having cuddles with my boy as he sleeps on me... Blessed x

I promise he can breathe!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Some advice and encouragement...

Day 8, Wednesday: A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.

Here are some gems of advice that I have found from all over the show... Enjoy! x


creative-best-beautiful-typography-design  Do everything with so much love in your heart that you would never want to do it any other way


It's nice to be important but more important to be nice

God is making things happen

Happy Girls are the Prettiest

 Just a few gems, all from here. What's your favourite piece of advice?

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

My running fears...

Day 7, Tuesday: The thing(s) you're most afraid of...

There are lots of things that I am afraid of, such as being in a plane crash, car crash or sinking boat, losing loved ones, spiders, losing a limb, running someone over, etc. But the one thing I am most afraid of...

Hmmm, this is a really hard one so I am going to choose one particular area. I am going to talk about the one thing I am afraid of in the area of running, in particular, my upcoming marathon (in November)...

When I ran the Auckland Marathon for the first time in 2011, which was also my first marathon, it was terrible. I was ecstatic that I'd run a marathon but it was just really hard and the second half, in particular, was majorly unenjoyable. The running was mentally and physically challenging. Half of the course is there and back and this mentally kills me. Since then I have run, and loved running, another marathon, which is great. So my fear is that I will not be able to forget how hard and challenging the Auckland Marathon was last time and therefore struggle with training and running it again. I fear that I will run it and feel like I did last time I ran it, when really I want to nail it! But most importantly, enjoy it!

For this marathon, training and all, I am aiming to overcome those fears. This sums it up quite nicely I think...

Preach it brother!!
What's your biggest fear?

How have you overcome fears in the past?
I think if I train really well and know that I am physically prepared I will be mentally stronger and able to overcome my fear.

Monday, 6 May 2013

This is how I roll...

Day 6, Monday: If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question, 'what do you do'?

I think this day's question requires bullet points...

  • I feed
  • I clothe
  • I clean
  • I love
  • I cherish
  • I adore
  • I run
  • I play
  • I pray
  • I worship
  • I cook
  • I talk
  • I interact
  • I read
  • I blog
  • I teach
I could probably keep going but pretty much all of my days consist of most, if not all of these things :)

I'm a wife, a mum, a teacher, a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a friend, a team member, a runner, and a lover of Christ.

How would you describe what you do without using your job?

Saturday, 4 May 2013

I'm in love with a blogger...

Blog every day in May:

Day 5, Sunday: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great?

As you can see from my blog roll, I follow rather a lot of blogs. And pretty much all of them I love. I feel as if I have all these cool new friends from reading heaps of blogs, but unfortunately they probably don't even know I exist. Hopefully I do not creep out the person who this post is going to be about...

Her name is Katy and you can find her here at Fit in Heels.
Fit In Heels I absolutely love her and reading her blog - if you haven't already, go check it out. I love her because she is bad ass pretty much. She's a new Mama with a 5 month old son, she creates awesome at home workouts, she is a runner, she is a chocolate lover, she's real, and she is just hilarious! Pretty much she's a girl after my own heart.

I don't think she even knows I exist but she's actually my blogger BFF... Creepy much?

She also has a facebook page that you can find right hurrrr. Got it? Good.

Blog every day in May... Day 4

Ok, so I am jumping on the bandwagon 4 days late but I just found this link and thought I would do it. At the start of the year I set some goals and one of them was to do more and better blogging. To be honest, this has been a tricky goal for me as I have been finding it hard to even do one or two posts a week with all the busy-ness of life happening. So why the heck would I sign up for blog every day for a month?? Especially a month with 31 days in it?? Well, I guess it is to help me with achieving my goal, so let's so how I go.

So here goes. The Blog every day in May has a set topic every day and here is today's:

Day 4, Saturday: Favourite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it:

This is a hard one as I have so many quotes, scriptures, sayings, etc. that I just love and for several different reasons.

Probably one of my most favourite, however, has to come from the Bible. I love the verse Joshua 1:9 (NIV):

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

This is pretty much what I quote to myself every time I am running, particularly if it is a tough run I have to remind myself that I am strong and courageous. It seriously helps!

What's your favourite quote and why?

Friday, 3 May 2013

What I have been up to lately - running and the rest...

On Wednesday I ran... Woop! As I mentioned in probably several posts before I had my baby, I am going to blog my post partum journey to getting back into running and the Auckland marathon. The marathon is on November 3rd this year and I just bought my ticket the other day, thanks to Ruun for sponsoring me. No backing out now. I am going to do the plan from this post which I started last year, but then got pregnant. It is the FIRST plan from the book 'Run Less Run Faster'. Check it out in the post. It is a 16 week training plan so I need to officially start it in July. However, before I begin with the training plan I am just aiming to:
- Slowly rebuild my running fitness
- Strengthen myself for running again
- Slowly build up to long distance runs.

On Wednesday I went for a 6km run with Mr F in the buggy. Not going to lie, I'm not sure if it was me running with buggy in tow, or the buggy running with me in tow. It was somewhat painful towards the end but I loved it none the less. Yesterday I was a tad sore... Running sore, which is my favourite sore when I am getting back into it. It means things are happening and getting back into shape... Unless it's an injury.

Speaking of injuries, towards the end of my run when I was trying to run up a hill (when I say trying it's because I think I was running but I bet I didn't LOOK like I was running) I felt my IT Band reminding me that it had been a while since I had run properly. This means that I need to get back into my strength training and stretches to help get my IT Band set for running again. The Run Less Run Faster book also has some great stretches and exercises for IT Bands.

Unfortunately I didn't get a pic of myself with a beetroot face after the run, but here is one of me and Fletch before hand:
Running is a great way of getting an overtired baby to sleep - so glad he loves the buggy, definitely a runner's son!
 And here's what else I have been up to lately...

Tim had a long weekend last weekend so we spent some time out the family bach (that's a beach house for all you non-Kiwis).

Up at the lookout, was a bit windy that day.
View from the lookout
Getting in a bit of exercise with Fletch in the front pack.

Super Dad and husband babysitting and vacuuming - who said men can't multi task?!?
I am playing my second game of hockey tomorrow which will be fun so no running this weekend.

Also, just want to mention that I am trying to get to 100 like on my facebook page so I can have a giveaway. If you haven't already, go to my facebook page here and like it and share it so I can have another giveaway. The giveaway will be open to local and international readers and likers so GET ON IT! 

What are your plans for the weekend? 

Anyone have a running training plan they absolutely love and would recommend?
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