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Evening all! I am pleased to say that I got a lot done at work and feel like I’ve made a little more progress than the rest of the week. Thanks for all your well wishes, they really mean a lot. The good news is that it’s FRIDAY tomorrow! I am so looking forward to 5.30pm tomorrow – it’ll be the weekend. Tomorrow evening Tim and I are going over to his parents to watch the England vs Algeria match. His mum is doing a BBQ and I think it’s turning into a party. So I don’t think I’ll be blogging tomorrow evening – worry not, I will be taking loads of pictures for you which I’ll share on Saturday.

So onto my eats. Breakfast today was a repeat of Tuesday but with a twist – Oats with two Weetabix on top and a sprinkling of Cheerios.

This is fast becoming another cereal favourite of mine. I just love how the oats and Weetabix soak up all the milk and become creamy. Then the Cheerios give just the right amount of crunch. The only bad thing is that it doesn’t keep me filled up until lunchtime. Maybe because there isn’t enough oats – gotta get more oats!

I was absolutely starving by 1pm but wasn’t able to have my lunch as I went on a little shopping spree…..don’t worry bank account it wasn’t for me, it was for my best friend at home. It’s her birthday on Monday so I got her a few presents that I’m going to send to her in the post.

I got her the 3rd Twilight book (I know she loves Edward!), a card, some cute bracelets, a hairband and some cool socks. It doesn’t seem like much but I can at least send this in the post so she’ll have it to open on Monday. Not sure whether to wrap them though or as they will be in an envelope I don’t need to……

When I finally got back to work I devoured lunch – a chicken salad sandwich, a banana and a little pot of mixed nuts and raisins. Oh yes, a normal lunch for me!

After work today I went to the gym and once again it was heaving! All the treadmills and cross trainers were full so once again I did a bike workout. I was a bit disappointed as I was hoping to do some ellipticalising (if that’s a word!) for 45 mins. But my bike ride was actually knackering! I think it was because I rode on Tuesday so my legs were still a bit tired. I did 30 mins, alternating between level 4 and 3 (five mins on each) and covered 11.4km. I then jumped on the only free treadmill to do a five minute cool down. I ran at 8km/hr for 5 mins. My groin was actually ok which is good, it did twinge a bit but after the first minute I didn’t really notice it. I left the gym feeling very very sweaty and like I had done a good workout.

I then rushed home to a DELICIOUS dinner – half a Cornish pasty and half a Steak and Stilton pasty with mashed potato, roasted red onion, butternut squash and parsnips and onion gravy (god that was a mouthful!) All of this was lovingly prepared by Tim (thanks baby!). He did all the peeling of the veggies by himself as I was in the gym. He said he felt like he was a chef!! I am going to let the pictures tell the story of this delicious dinner!

Left: Steak and Stilton on left, Cornish Pasty on right / Right: My portion

I can’t get over how good this was! We were originally going to have vegetarian haggis with mashed potato and roast veg but there was none in the shops booo. So Tim decided on the next best thing. The pasties were truly delicious, especially the Steak and Stilton one as you could really taste the Stilton. Love the cheese! My portion was quite huge actually and I did leave some of the veggies so I had room to finish the pastry and mashed potato! Ok so pasties aren’t the most healthy of foods, and this isn’t the most healthy of meals, but I was so hungry after the gym I devoured it and loved every bite!

I am happy to report that today was a better day at work. I feel as if I have got a little further with the publication but there is still so much to do and there are other publications that need my focus now as well. Arggghhhhh, stress! Going to keep this post short today as I’ve had a pretty ordinary day so haven’t got much to report.

I started my day with a new sort of breakfast – 2 Weetabix on a bed of oats with chopped almonds and milk. I have bought yet another type of cereal as it enticed me in Tesco on Saturday! I love cereal so much, I love having the choice in the morning.

This was definitely a good choice. The oats soaked up the milk and stopped the Weetabix getting too soggy. They were just right. The nuts added a great crunch to the texture too.

When lunch rolled round I was sort of hungry, so decided to wait for a bit to make a phonecall. I have to get my car serviced and wanted to know how much the garage near me could do it for – £185 is the starting rate, it’s so expensive!

So lunch was leftover pasta from Sunday – Sausage Bake.

Tim did this portion for me and it was huge! I didn’t think I could eat it all but I powered through and manage to down the lot! I was quite full afterwards, so waited about half an hour before eating Part 2 of my lunch – a banana and a pot of mixed nuts and raisins.

After work I went to the gym – it was so busy! Maybe nobody went yesterday, they were definitely here today! I was hoping to get on the crosstrainer but they were all full so I jumped on a stand-up bike. Ever since my visit to Kew Gardens at the weekend I have had a pain in my right groin which gets worse when I’ve sat down for a while. I’ve decided not to do any running until Thursday as I don’t want to make it worse and I don’t want a disappointing run. I set the bike for 45 mins and powered away, covering 16.9km. I kept it at the same level (3) and pushed myself every 5 mins. It wasn’t the greatest of workouts but it was a workout none the less and it got my heart pumping. What sort of exercises do you do when you are ‘injured’? Do you like the change of workout or miss what you normally do?

When I got home I was greeted by the sight of dinner – Pasta Pancetta. This is one on Tim’s dishes and I don’t really know the recipe, I’ll have to get it from him for next time.

Basically it’s pasta mixed with a homemade sauce of cherry tomatoes, a yellow pepper, bacon and tomato puree. It’s delicious served with loads of Parmesan sprinkled on top. As you know, I love cheese and this is a great excuse to load up with cheese!! As I had pasta for lunch I only had one medium sized portion of this. I am feeling like an Italian with all this pasta I’ve eaten today! I really need some veggies tomorrow or something less heavy at least!

My dinner

I’ve had such a busy day today so am really looking forward to relaxing tomorrow. I started  my day with a yogurt bowl as I had the last of my fromage frais to use up. In the bowl was: a banana, 1/3 cup raw oatmeal, 3 tbsp fromage frais and 2 small handfuls of flaked almonds. This was the second time I’ve had this concoction and it was even more delicious this time! Raw oatmeal is so nice, you should definitely try it.

I then met my friend in London to visit Kew Gardens. She lives really near it and has been going there since she was small. I keep saying that I wanted to visit but everytime we decide to go the weather is always horrible. But today the weather was fab! It was a bit overcast this morning so I took my coat and scarf with me. I really didn’t need it come the afternoon as the sun was blazing. So I had to carry my coat, cardigan and scarf around with me all day! It’s better to be prepared right?! I really enjoyed looking round the gardens though, they were so tidy and beautiful. Here are a few of my favourite pictures I took today (I was such a tourist and took loads!)

The best part about today was our lunch – we had a picnic! Before we entered the gardens we popped to Tesco to get our supplies. Isn’t it great that they let you take your own food in?! It was a bit annoying having to carry it round but it was so nice eating outside. For our picnic we got: 4 bread rolls – two wholemeal, 2 seeded – a bag of Babybel Light, a tub of cherry tomatoes, two packets of crisps, a little pack of ham and a stack of three low fat hummus’.

Our lunch!

I had the Red Sky crisps – bacon and cheddar flavour, one wholemeal roll with ham and a babybel crumbled on, another babybel and about half the cherry tomatoes. I also dipped some of my bread in the hummus. It was just the right amount for me and I didn’t feel too full afterwards.

Then after a short break we had our dessert – strawberries. Oh I love them so much!

They were so fresh and delicious on their own. I had about half of these but they filled me up really quickly……odd! After the picnic we walked around a bit for another 2 hours enjoying the sights and talking. My friend had to meet her boyfriend at 6pm so I left at 4pm and took the long journey across London back home.

On the way back I got really hungry and really wanted food! Luckily we had already decided to get takeaway pizza so we wouldn’t have to cook this evening. A very important football match is taking place as I type – ENGLAND vs USA, there’s no time to cook! As soon as I got back we drove to Livetta’s Pizzaria (about 5 mins away) to get our dinner.

Got to get home quickly!

This is right next to a station and is so busy. We ordered the Polanetta pizza – tomato and mozzarella base with chicken and sweetcorn, and I asked them to put mushrooms on my half – got to get in the extra veggies and we also got a garlic bread pizza thing! Here’s my first portion:

Two slices of the pizza and 2 of the garlic bread, which was actually really garlicy! The pizza itself was delicious, I love sweetcorn on pizzas. I went back for another slice of the pizza, about the same size as the one on the right. I was stuffed afterwards! Now we are watching the football, well I’m half watching it whilst I blog! At the moment it’s half time and 1 – 1, I wonder what the final score will be????

I’m so glad it’s Friday and the end to another hectic week. Anyone else feel that there’s not enough hours in the day!! Work flew by today and before I knew it, it was time to go home. I’m looking forward to a weekend not thinking about work, filled with good company and good food.

Talking about food, my eats today were so good! I started the day off with a medium sized bowl of homemade muesli with a handful of Shreddies on top for added crunch – these actually got soggy in the milk so didn’t really crunch in the end!

I didn’t make as large a bowl as usual as I had to take Tim to the station but it actually filled me up and kept me sustained well. This obviously shows that I don’t need as big a bowl as I usually have. Recently I’ve noticed my breakfast portion getting bigger in size, maybe I should cut back….only a little though as breakfast is my favourite meal of the day!

Lunch was a triumph! As it was Friday I made another big salad (anyone else make one today??). As I talk about here, this is a great way to use up any leftover produce from the week. The STAR of this weeks salad was 2 boiled eggs! I boiled them last night whilst I cooked dinner, popped them in the fridge overnight, then made the salad this morning. OMG eggs are fab!

Delicious!

I will definitely be adding them to my future salads, they definitely added a different dimension to it and I devoured my whole pot. In the mix was: 4 romaine lettuce leaves, thin cucumber slices, 1 large tomato, 1 slice of cooked chicken, 2 boiled eggs and 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise. Actually the mayonnaise made this salad too, it is the secret ingredient for making lettuce interesting!!

The other parts of my lunch were a ripe banana, just right in flavour actually, and one custard cream! There were about 3 left in the tin but the other 2 were broken, I’ve left those for Tim!!

After work I went to the gym – a place I haven’t been during the week for ages! Tim and I were talking about this yesterday and he was saying that I should switch to pay-as-you-go membership in the summer as I run outside a lot. I know that this is a good idea as it saves me money but I don’t want the hassle / am too lazy to do it! So, with today being very overcast and grey I decided to make use of my membership and go to the gym!

Here is what I did:

I’m really pleased I went actually as it made me remember how great the gym is for a more varied workout. Running outside is great as you get to experience real hills and you actually feel like you are going somewhere, but in the gym I can really focus on training in a different way. The main thing is that I can use the weights to help tone my body and I can work on getting stronger. I can also use the treadmill to gain a different cardio workout -like today I did an interval workout I found on Tina’s workout section and the time / distance flew by. For some great tips on making treadmill runs interesting check out Lauren’s fab posts.

When I got home, Tim had made Chilli Con Carne for dinner – one of my favourite meals! I actually devoured my portion! Even though I try to take what looks to me like a small portion I always end up stuffed about halfway through. I think the combination of the beans and wraps really fill me up. Today I powered through and cleared my plate. I definitely needed it after the gym!

So onto my surprise….when I was at work this afternoon Tim messaged me to say that he had bought me a present. He had a half day today so went into town this afternoon. I was so excited to find out what it was that I couldn’t wait to get home! It was actually the best present ever – 2 sweat bands and a pair of 3/4 length capri pants.

Surprise!

He is so the best boyfriend ever! I really wanted both of these things before my Race for Life next Sunday but I can’t really afford to buy them right now. Tim did say that he was going to get them for my birthday in July but that is obviously after the race. So I resigned myself to the fact that I was just going to wear my normal gym stuff…..not anymore! I love the pants so much and the sweat bands are just what I need now I’m increasing my mileage. Thanks so much baby!

Have you had any nice surprises lately?

    For the 2nd time in a week I am all alone in our flat! Tim is out at a meeting for work and won’t be home until 9pm so I am entertaining myself……by catching up on all my blogs! I had NO time to do it at work today as I have been super busy. There was a lot of unnecessary drama today as I thought I had agreed to something we couldn’t do as it wasn’t in the other companies’ contract (make sense??!) but panic not, I had got my wires crossed and it was all ok. Before I knew it, it was 5.30pm and time to go home for the day. Fab!

    So before I tell you about the “thrilling” evening I have planned, here’s my eats for today. For breakfast I had my go-to cereal for exercise days: homemade muesli.I love the combination of soft oats with the crunchy almonds and plump raisins. This never fails to fill me up and as always it sustained me until lunch. I don’t know why I eat oats on exercise days, maybe because I think they give me extra fuel!

    For my lunch I had the usual chicken salad sandwich and then I tried a new find – a 9 Bar.

    Original flavour

    It was absolutely delicious!! I wasn’t too sure about it when I bought it  as it has a carob topping. My mum isn’t meant to eat chocolate as it is too sugary for her so often has carob bars instead. When I’ve tried these in the past I really didn’t like the taste as it was a bit bitter for me. But the carob on here was lovely – the whole thing was! This is what their website says about it:

    “9Bar has a distinct flavour created from a unique mix of seeds and enhanced with a carob topping. The basis of all 9Bar’s are Sunflower seeds but 9Bar’s celebrity seed is Hemp. The Original 9bar is one of a kind with an individually delicious taste, packed with nutritional goodness. More than 57% of an Original 9bar is seeds, with a richly thick carob layer accounting for another 15%.”

    If you can get these where you are DO IT! I can’t recommend them enough!

    So my fabulous evening actually started off really well. When I got home, I quickly changed into my running clothes and went for a great run. I normally do a loop from my house, down to the local shops then up a hill and round back to our flat – it’s about 1.65 miles. Today I was feeling ambitious and decided to do the loop twice. It was a hot evening and I forgot my water bottle so was struggling a bit. Even though I had a few walking breaks the second time round, I was so pleased to do the 3.3 miles in 31.57 mins. Thats quicker than my 5km / 3.1 mile run on Sunday! I have no idea how that is possible but I’m very pleased!

    After my run I dived straight into my dinner – a baked sweet potato with baked beans and feta cheese.

    OMG this was delicious! This was the first time I had eaten a baked sweet potato and I will definitely have it again. THe feta went really well with the beans and I’m glad I chose that over the normal cheese in the fridge. Whilst I was eating this my friend called me to talk about the arrangements for our meet-up on Saturday. I am so excited to see her as we are going to have a picnic – I hope the weather stays nice.

    After round one of my dinner I moved onto dessert – a banana muffin with peanut butter, fromage frais and walnuts.

    Nom!

    This too was lovely and just what I needed to give me a sweet treat after my run. I split the muffin in half and spread it with peanut butter. It was such a good combination and with the crunch of the walnuts against the creamy yogurt was delicious. I only have 3 left in the freezer, they are running out too quickly!

    For the rest of the evening I am going to catch up on your blogs, watch the new series of Big Brother (so excited!) and look for some cakes to bake for work. If you’ve read previous posts you’ll know that I was asked to bake a cake for our 20th birthday celebrations. In the end we didn’t really celebrate as our directors were stuck abroad due to the ash cloud but we still had the cake anyway! If you want to read about the baking process there is Part 1 and Part 2. This time I’m not going to make one big cake, I think I might chose 3 – 5 cakes to make so people have more of a selection.

    Hope you all have a great evening.

    Today has been quite an ordinary today for once! The only odd thing has been the weather – boiling hot and sunny one minute, chucking it down with torrential rain the next!! Anyone get caught in a random rain storm? I did at lunchtime running from the post office back to work. My shoes got absolutely soaked! So why was I at the post office….to post a parcel to Faith, the winner of my giveaway.

    I hope it gets to America in one piece and doesn’t get lost!! Let me know when it gets there!

    So onto my eats today, I feel like I’ve had a well balanced diet today. Still no exercise though as I decided to have 2 days off after the 5k I did on Sunday morning. For breakfast I wolfed down a massive bowl of Shreddies. Tim asked me to give him a lift into work as it was raining hard so I had about 20 mins to have breakfast and get myself ready, luckily I had already made my lunch! I have no idea why I had so many Shreddies but they did hold me over really well!

    There is just something about cold milk and cereal in the morning that I really love! I often go to bed thinking about breakfast and how great it will be – very similar to Hillary actually!! It’s good to know that someone else feels the same way about the greatest meal of them all!

    After my excursion to town and getting caught in the rain I was definitely ready for my lunch. As usual it was a chicken salad sandwich – mayo, chicken slice, cucumber, tomato and romaine lettuce on wholegrain seeded bread – a banana and a little pot of mixed nuts and raisins.

    I was actually not too hungry after this and managed to get through the afternoon without craving any chocolate! I was getting hungry as I was driving home and thought ‘it would be nice if Tim had dinner ready for me when I got in….oh that won’t happen as I’m sure he’ll be playing Fifa’!! But when I walked in the door I was pleasantly surprised, dinner was nearly ready! That was such a great thing to hear and it’s so sweet that he made it instead of spending time relaxing after work. Tim was making chicken curry – I love his homemade curry as it’s so much better for you than takeaway ones. Tonight he made chicken curry with chickpeas, tomatoes and pepper. But I really wanted to take some pictures of the process for you, alas he was too quick! So all I have of this meal is the massive Naan bread we bought and my portion.

    Even though I took quite a small portion I am so full afterwards! I think it’s because I ate most of the Naan bread and that really fills you up. Tim got the end of my Naan as I couldn’t finish it – he always sticks around for that!

    Before I go, here are a few more great things happening in blog world that you should definitely check out:

    • A fantastic giveaway on Lisa’s blog – there are so many great prizes to be won.
    • Anna and her husband are currently on holiday in Croatia – it is such a beautiful country and their fabulous pictures have really made me want to visit there.
    • Finally Emma has made a delicious Malteser Layer cake – you have to check out the gorgeous pictures and note down the recipe. She suggests that you should try to eat this cake within a day as it doesn’t keep well, this will be no problem for me!

    Have you heard of that game Hungry Hippos? It’s a children’s game where you have a stationary hippo that ‘eats’ marbles when you press the lever. The person with the most marbles at the end is the winner. Well today I have felt just like a hungry hippo!!! The combination of my 5k run, waking up early and domestic chores must have really taken it out of me and I have been feeling hungry all day.

    After my last post I was very busy, I cleaned our bathroom, changed the bed-sheets and dusted and tidied everywhere. This took about 1 and 1/2 hours so it was only 11.30am when I had finished. I spent the next hour catching up on all your blogs but the feeling of hunger was creeping up on me fast! I managed to make it to 12.30 before giving in and making lunch! It was so well needed. I made my first fried egg and cheese sandwich. These are BIG in the blog world and I have been wanting one for ages. Yesterday I bought some cheese slices (Danish ones to be exact – gotta love the Danes!) for the purpose of this very meal.

    I also had some English muffins left over from my Red Grape Pizzas so I used one of those along with 2 eggs that I had left in the fridge. I fried the eggs on both sides for a few minutes – unfortunately the yolks broke on both of them (maybe because I dropped them from a great height into the pan!!) I split the English muffin and toasted it before lightly spreading it with tomato ketchup (yum!) I then layered an egg, a slice of cheese and the other egg in the sandwich.

    It was absolutely DELICIOUS! I will definitely be having this again. And it is a great refuller after a run – protein from the eggs, carbs from the bread and dairy from the cheese (ok I know you aren’t meant to eat too much dairy but I love cheese so this was great!). As well as this lush sandwich, I also had a cup of coffee (love!) with some chocolate covered almonds. I made these with the remaining chocolate I melted yesterday for my muffin topping. They were so good – a little sweet treat!

    I then had a very relaxing afternoon (I so deserve it after my hot and busy weekend!) – I watched another episode of Dawson’s Creek (from my boxset), picked Tim up from the station and watched the Men’s French Open Final. I also played the flute.I have been playing the flute since I was 7 and really enjoy it. I passed my Grade 8 with Distinction in 2005 and it was my first instrument at uni. Since I left uni (in 2008) I haven’t played it as much as I would have liked. I am so worried that I will forget how to play (!) but today I feel I was ok. I played for about half an hour before stopping due to the heat. Flute playing is very hard work in the heat!

    For our dinner this evening Tim made French Onion Soup. It was absolutely delicious. This is the 2nd time that we’ve had it and it was even better this time! I helped out in the preparation process.I hope you like the pictures, I’ve just discovered a way I can put loads together! The best part about this meal is the toasted garlic cheese slices. You pop them in your bowl and they soak up all of the liquid. I had 2 portions of this as it was so good. Tim is such a great cook, I’ll have to feature his food more often!

    French Onion Soup - Thanks Tim!

    ***Just to let you know, my giveaway is now closed and I’ll be picking the winner this evening. Check back tomorrow to see who has won!***

    ***Don’t forget to enter my giveaway – it closes at 6pm TODAY***

    Morning! It’s only 9.50am and I’ve already had a very good morning. I didn’t really get up with the sun but I did wake up at 5.45am when it was light outside. I managed to get back to sleep until 7.45am but it was quite restless. I obviously don’t sleep well without Tim here! I was wanting to get up early anyway as I have a lot to do before he gets back today.

    Before I tell you about my morning, have a look at the delicious treat I had last night – a Banana Muffin with chocolate and flaked almonds.

    I had it with a cup of coffee in my new mug. Well it’s really my mum’s new mug as she was given it for Christmas but they have been sitting in my wardrobe at home ever since so when I was at home last weekend I stole them for my use! As well as this one there is a red spotty one too. They have been designed by Cath Kidson, a famous British designer. I think they are so cute and had to show them to you!

    Anyway onto my morning, when I got up I had a slice of seeded wholegrain toast with peanut butter and a mini glass of orange juice.

    This is the perfect breakfast to have before a run as it isn’t too heavy and I don’t feel sick whilst running (always good!). Half an hr after eating this I went for a 5k run (if you want to see the route it’s on this post) This was the first run where I could try out my new purchase – a wrist wallet.

    I got this from Amazon and it’s brilliant! It looks really big and I was worried that I would get annoyed that it was on my arm but after 5 mins I didn’t even notice it. I packed my keys and iPod into it this morning and set off for my run. The weather was so close again and the sky was really hazy. The sun is trying to break through the clouds but it is still very hot – I was sweating loads afterwards! I’ve already been for a run 3 times this week so was happy to take this one easy. I ran the majority of it, with a few walking breaks in between. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it took me 32.51 mins – I had set the stopwatch on my phone and left it at home whilst I ran. It was nice that I couldn’t check the time and was able to run really freely. This week I’ve upped my distance again and have run 13.15km / 8.17m (see my training here). I am so pleased with this, I LOVE RUNNING!!!

    After my run I jumped in the shower, then made my second breakfast of the day – 3 tbsp fromage frais, 1 banana and 1/2 cup raw oatmeal.

    This was the first time I’ve had raw oatmeal and it was actually delicious – try it it;s so good! I’ll definitely have it again. The Fromage Frais was delicious (thanks Debs) and it really good for you. This was so refreshing and has set me up for the rest of my day. I’m now off to clean the bathroom, change the bedding, tidy up and put a wash on!!

    ***Don’t forget to enter my fab giveaway – it closes at 6pm tomorow***

    It is so HUMID here, I am actually tired out from the heat! I think the temperature was meant to get up to 29C in London today and I’m sure it did! It was so sunny for most of the day except for about half an hour in the afternoon when the heat must have got too much and it started to chuck it down with rain – it was so loud! But I think it was needed as it’s a bit cooler now, yet still very warm!

    You can even see the rain!

    So what have I done on the hottest day of the year so far…..relax??? No! Today has been quite busy, no wonder I’m tired! This morning we went to the gym, probably not the best idea on a hot day. When we first got there we could tell the air conditioning was on but after 2 mins on the treadmill I was sweating loads! I upped the treadmill to 9.5km/hr (I usually do 9km) and was all set to bang out a 3km run….but I was too hot that I had to stop at 2.5km. I suppose it wouldn’t have been too much longer to do another 0.5km but I really couldn’t do it. For the rest of my time at the gym I was sweating continuously and really couldn’t wait to leave and get in the shower!

    For my lunch today I had the best sandwich ever – tuna and sweetcorn with cucumber and romaine lettuce on seeded wholegrain bread. But being as hungry as I was I finished eating it before I realised I hadn’t taken a picture! I’m such a bad food blogger – I promise I’ll do better from now on! (It was a great sandwich though!)

    After lunch I set out on my second hot task – food shopping. Tim didn’t come with me as he is going to Tooting for the evening so I had to do the shopping by myself. It wasn’t too bad and I managed to get round in about 20 mins. The hard part came when I had to get the shopping from my car to our flat…..up 2 flights of stairs and 2 heavy doors! I managed to get all the bags from the car to our building but had to take it up to our flat in two trips, I miss my strong man!

    Look at all this!

    I did get myself a little treat – on the recommendation of Debs I bought some Fromage Frais. It is such good value, 85p for 500g!! I am really looking forward to incorporating this into my meals and into my breakfasts especially. It will be so refreshing in the morning.

    After putting the shopping away I then started my third hot task – hoovering! This was such a stupid idea! Even though I had all the windows flung open, after hoovering the whole flat I was actually sweating. It is so true that cleaning is a great workout. As well as hoovering I cleaned our kitchen. I love it when the kitchen is clean and tidy as I just want to get in there and start cooking!

    Finally, after all that, I made my dinner – Pasta with Aubergines and Feta. I’ve had my eye on this recipe for ages now and as Tim’s away, tonight was a perfect time to make it – he hates aubergines with a passion!

    All that you need

    I really enjoyed this meal, the aubergines were really soft and went really well with the feta. I loved the fact that you add a can of chopped tomatoes to make the tomato sauce, it’s so quick and simple. But if you want you can easily add any homemade tomato sauce – in fact I’m sure it’ll add to the final dish. I didn’t finish the portion I took as it was way too big and very filing. It was really delicious though and such a great vegetarian dish.

    Pasta with Aubergine and Feta (Serves 4)

    • 1 red onion, sliced
    • 2 aubergines, cubed
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
    • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tbsp parsely
    • 350g pasta (any kind)
    • 100g feta, grated
    1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
    2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and saute the onions with a little salt for 5 mins.
    3. Add the aubergine and saute for 10 mins.
    4. Throw in the garlic and chilli flakes. After a quick stir, add in the chopped tomatoes and 100ml water. Simmer for 10 mins.
    5. Add in the parsely and a little black pepper.
    6. Drain the pasta, then add in the aubergine sauce.
    7. Serve with the feta sprinkled over the top. Enjoy!

    Its Friday, yay! I’m really excited as the sun is shining, I sent my publication to press this morning and the rest of the day at work will be very relaxed (I hope!) and I have a great giveaway for all of you to celebrate the weekend. This is my first ever giveaway so I’m really excited about it!

    But first, onto a new idea of mine – Big Salad Friday. On Friday I usually have a lot of salad stuff left in my fridge from the week. As we do our food shopping on a Saturday, I replenish my veg stock then and usually throw away the soft tomatoes / wilting lettuce / end of the cucumber / old chicken slices that’s left. This is such a waste of food, just because I won’t make a salad on Saturday doesn’t mean I should throw it away. So this morning, as I did last Friday, I did a good job of using up the ingredients I had left. The main star of this salad was tuna and sweetcorn, mixed with some mayonnaise.

    I also included a large tomato, some cucumber, four leaves of romaine lettuce (the best!) and extra sweetcorn in my salad. I really love the sweet crunch that sweetcorn has and it was a great addition to my lunch.

    Lunch

    So from today, every Friday shall be Big Salad Friday where I use up my ingredients of the week. This will be a great way to get myself eating salads and challenge myself to create different ones. A lot of people think that salads are really boring, just lettuce and nothing else, but as we all know, salads are delicious! There is a never ending list of ingredients that you can throw together – chicken, ham, tuna, salmon, egg, tofu, tempeh…etc… If you want to take part, email me your pictures of your Big Salad (hsims2807@yahoo.co.uk) and I’ll post them on here with a link to your blog!

    Other parts of my lunch were: a pot of red grapes (left over from my Red Grape Pizzas) and two Custard Creams as my Friday treat! These are typically English – two vanilla flavoured biscuits sandwiched together with a custard fondant. They are Tim’s favourite biscuit so I go thim a pack for his birthday (so imaginative of me!) I hope he doesn’t mind me eating them too!

    Ready for your close-up!

    Now, onto my giveaway. This is the first giveaway I’ve hosted on CB&L and I’m so excited about it! The theme of the giveaway is relaxation. something that I hope to do this weekend. So what can you win…..?

    Goodies!

    I’ve put together a package that is focused on you sitting back, relaxing and enjoying life – perfect!

    • A pack of Twinnings Green Tea [Green tea is know for it’s relaxation and health benefits]
    • A Spa Body Set (with seaweed extract) – includes Body Wash, Body Mist and Body Lotion
    • x2 9 Bars – one original and one flax [these are so good for you]
    • 125g bar of Galaxy chocolate [my favourite chocolate, so smooth and creamy!]

    To win this great prize, I would like to know how you relax after a long week at work. You can enter the giveaway two ways:

    1. Leave me a message on Twitter – @cookbakeandlive
    2. Comment on this post

    This giveaway is open to anyone wherever you live, UK / US / elsewhere. I will close the entries at 6pm UK time on Sunday 6th June, then collate all the replies, Twitter and comments. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator.

    Good Luck!

    Hi! I'm Helen, 23 and from the UK. I love food, keeping fit, going out with friends, wine, gin, having fun, laughing and living life to the max! Motto for this year is to say YES to everything and see what happens!

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