Sunday, 27 October 2013

The best hot chocolate in Southsea and other adventures

Hello there! It's been a busy week here, so I've not really had a chance to check in before today. Okay, so that's a slight fib... I did nothing on Wednesday night but was so exhausted after a busy Monday and Tuesday, I just couldn't bring myself to switch on the laptop.

All in all, it's been a pretty great week, despite the fact that I've come down with a cold. I've come over all chronological, so let's go back to Monday... We had some of Andy's friends over for dinner - Jodie and Jacko, who are visiting from Canada, and Martin and Kat, who live in Chichester.

When I knew we'd be catering for six people on a Monday night, I decided I didn't want to be slaving in the kitchen and missing all the fun, so we got an Indian takeaway. Such a good idea - all we needed to do was throw out the boxes and stick the dirty plates in the dishwasher, and I could focus on getting to know Andy's friends. Win win. I had a venison curry, which was nice, and a butternut squash side dish. It was a late night, though - 12am when the light went out. Crazy for me!

Tuesday evening I went to Real Military Fitness, which was good fun. The whole time we were working out we could see lightning flashing in the distance - I love a bit of drama in the weather! I'd made plans to meet my friend Alex at The Garage Lounge for a catch up after and was so lucky to make it there before the heavens opened and torrential rain poured down. It was even coming through the windows! I enjoyed a very tasty smoked chicken, papaya and mango salad while we caught up. The chicken portion was very generous and I lapped up the lovely bread and butter on the side, too. Afterwards I had my official favourite hot chocolate with soy milk. They do the best hot chocolate I've found in town.

Here's a lunch snapshot from Wednesday - sardines packed in chilli oil with salad. Very tasty, but I still found myself picking at office treats for the rest of the afternoon. Tiredness is my nemesis when it comes to snacking.

Here's a peak at the beautiful trees near work on my lunchtime walk with Rach.

And on my evening walk I literally bumped into our neighbourhood fox as I walked round a corner. He skitted away and hid behind these bushes. We've seen him hanging out quite a bit. It was still light when I saw him.

As I said, come Wednesday night I was worn out, and I let Andy look after me. This included making this maple sweet potato hash from an Iowa Girl Eats recipe I've been saving. With some spinach on the side it was a perfect midweek meal. Very, very good.

After dinner we settled down to watch the final of The Great British Bake Off that we had recorded from the night before. Because of the crazy weather, it hadn't recorded the whole show and it actually cut out just before they revealed the winner! To be honest, I'd been more interested in eating this carrot cake we'd bought to watch along with, and was falling asleep. Not the best finale, and not very good wedding cake efforts, but an excuse to eat cake on a Wednesday!

Thursday evening only two of us turned up at Real Military Fitness - there's a ten mile race on today (Sunday) so we figured people were saving themselves. Well, we had a great session and I worked much harder knowing all eyes were on me. Real push ups!
Friday morning dawned and I finished off the hash with some leftover broccoli. What a breakfast! Sweet and savoury. More please!

We left work early to head to Earls Court in London to see my favourite band, Arctic Monkeys. We grabbed some food from a local pizza place before. It was really good! It was called Pizza @ Home. I had their house special. Thin and crispy with olives, prosciutto and artichoke. I inhaled it. I'd started to feel rough on Friday, with a sore throat, so I also had a rum and coke when we got to the venue... to soothe it....

The Monkeys were amazing and Rach and I went crazy jumping around and singing. But the venue was terrible - I could hardly see a thing the whole time and the crowd were pretty rough and boisterous.

Beer was thrown and we were pushed around, but we made the best of it!

We ended up walking out round the back way. It was really quiet and Rach remarked how funny it would be if we saw the band getting in their cars... Well, we turned a corner and saw the lead singer, Alex Turner, getting in a car! He didn't say hello but we didn't care. We were 15 feet from our idol! What an end to the night!
We got home at 1am and I got to bed closer to 2am after a warm drink and a sit down. Saturday morning I really didn't feel great but ploughed on with the chores and got ready for the carpet cleaner to come. Later on we headed to the shops so I could try and spend some birthday vouchers. I found a new perfume I like, so it was all good. Then we went to Pie and Vinyl where I enjoyed a Lucy Rose tea - half Earl Grey, half black, and Andy had a very nice wild mushroom and aparagus pie.

Now it's Sunday, we gained an hour, and I'm about to go and cheer Andy and my friend Esther on in the Great South Run. Wish them luck!
Diet update
Just a quick one to say I did have a blip this week (erm, half a carrot cake, anyone?!) and ended up having a couple of bingey days in the week. I absolutely know this was down to tiredness but still struggle to know what to do to combat it, other than not getting tired in the first place, which can be hard to avoid. I've tried not to get too discouraged, though. All in all I'm so much happier when I'm not fixating on every morsel and the way I look at it is, if I was still being strict there's a very good chance I would have binged anyway. Baby steps!

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