Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Paperwork is power

Evening all my Chilli Chocolate Lovers. It was around this time last year that I made one of the biggest commitments of my life... No, not choosing between Kanye and the Arctic Monkeys. Not quite as big as that.

This time last year I bought my first home. Which means this time this year everything needs renewing, so I'm spending my evenings updating home insurance and other fun stuff and having to come up with new passwords because everything's online now. Joy. But, as my dear friend Paul likes to say, paperwork is power. I don't know what it means but it makes me feel a bit better.

After last week's crazy pace, it's been nice to have some normality this week. If you can call spending seven hours in one day on a train on the hottest day for seven years without aircon normal, that is.

On Sunday night we enjoyed a quiet end to a hectic few days of partying. We retreated to our garden oasis with some grilled pork chops, steamed Sweetheart cabbage, courgette and carrot and sweet potato. It was very peaceful in the 'hood and dinner was simple but delicious. Then we caught up on the last episode of The Apprentice and had an early night.

I had a long train ride to Cardiff on Monday morning that started at 7:13am, so time was of the essence. I ate my pre-prepped overnight 'oats', except I actually used ground almonds instead of oats for a change. I added 0% Greek yoghurt and a mix of fresh and frozen berries. It was good and kept me going until gone 1pm. Unheard of!

I was in Cardiff to do something rather fun - accompany an ice cream van our employees there won in a photo competition. I made sure the van was in the right place at the right time and watched lots of happy faces eating soft-serve ice cream cones. I've had worse days at the office! It was scorching hot, too, and both offices I visited were on high floors, so there was a lot of running around, meaning lots of steps. I actually didn't eat an ice cream myself as I was sick of the sight of them by the end of the day! I did manage to quickly wolf down my yummy mackerel salad, though.
After a meeting, I headed back home on the hottest train EVER. Luckily I had some colleagues to share the pain and we laughed our way through three and a half hours of torture. I also spotted someone gardening naked, which provided some light relief...
I finally made it home just after seven, very hot and bothered and ready for my dinner. We just can't get enough of this coriander, coconut and salmon recipe from Waitrose. It's really quick and easy, you just need a hand blender. Steamed sparagus and samphire accompanied. I really needed to stretch my legs, so we had a walk then caught up on weekend TV - a new programme called Top of the Lake. A bit bleak but quite compelling. Don't you find a lot of TV is so dark now?

Look what I noticed at breakfast on Tuesday - my Chinese orchid is growing a new stem! First time ever.

I went old school with a smoked mackerel frittata. I've missed them! I think I just needed a break to be honest, but am rediscovering my passion for their eggy goodness.

It was good to be back in the office after a day on the road. Plenty to do, but the day flew past. I chowed down a lovely baked salmon and avocado salad at lunch then went for a walk with Andy. The forecast was rain, but it was all good in the end. Endless summer!

I was all fired up and ready for Real Military Fitness after work. It was tough, but I loved it. Working out with a partner really pushes you to go that extra mile you just know you wouldn't if you were at home or the gym. I heart it. And I ache today! I checked out the rose garden on my way home. The red of these beauties just 'pops'.
Some of the girls at RMF were talking about a new seven day juice cleanse that's all the rage, which I'm quite intrigued by... I just can't stand the thought of cleaning a juicer all the time!
This salad for dinner was pretty juicy, though. Luann's Kale salad is back.

Served with grilled rib-eye steak. Perfect succulent summer supper.

Breakfast today was another mash up... 30g of ground almonds with some leftover coconut cream, heated in the microwave for two and a half minutes. I added blueberries and sweet, sweet raspberries and a big dollop for Greek yoghurt plus cinnamon.

I was a bit nervous this morning at work as I was delivering a training session, but it went really well, which was a great feeling. All the best things in life make you feel a little anxious! I celebrated after with lunch by the lake with Rach. You can see her funky shoes just below my prawn, avocado and kale salad. I accidentally ordered tiny prawns, but they were okay.

Tonight is jobs night - online food shop, paperwork, dinner, quick walk. Then relax with my blogs and the local guide that came through today - I love to see what's going on. Take it easy, peeps.
Do you keep up with what's going on locally?
I live in a really vibrant community, so like to make sure I'm not missing any cool stuff.

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