Thursday, 29 March 2012

Intervals .....

When I first started running a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go and do some sprint training with her (intervals). We ran up to the track, stopped at the bottom of  the hill, this is where she told me we would be sprinting up the hill to the tree stump 8 times!  The idea is your sprint up the hill (maximum effort), then you walk back to where you started (recovery). We were sprinting about 50 metres. The first time I did it was hell on earth! This type of exercise uses completely different muscles, and I couldn't walk for a couple of days. I now incorporate a sprint training run in to my weekly training programme.

The hill we sprint up!



My training programme looks a bit like this:
- 5k quick run (try and run at a faster pace)
- 7-8 k hilly run
- 10- 12k long run
- sprint  training run.
I'm not actually training for anything particular at the moment, but I like to have a bit of structure, and diversity when I'm running. I run every second day, so on average about for times a week. On the days I don't run, I do 40 mins circuit training. I have one rest day a week.

    Yes there are even donkeys that watch!!

Anyhow back to  the matter at hand, interval training is a really valuable part of your training programme. Now I'm no health or sport professional, but what Ive learnt is that interval training is great to build up your speed and endurance. It boosts your metabolism, and aids weight loss. It also gives your muscles a bit of a break from the repetitive nature of running. Sounds pretty good right? I can vouch that it has done wonders for me. I always have the best runs after a sprint session, and I am slowly getting stronger and faster. I do have a tendency to try and avoid these sprint sessions (funny that), but really notice it after a couple of weeks and get back in to it.
The great thing about intervals is that you can do them anywhere, and at what ever level you are at. No matter what you do as long as you are doing short bursts of high intensity, and then a bit of recovery, you will be making a difference.

The last couple of weeks I've had some fairly heavy eating days, with birthdays, dinners out, glasses of wine, you know all the fun stuff! So to compensate I've eaten really clean this week and stuck to a strict calorie count. I find if I do this every so often it balances things out. I have to try extra hard this week as I have a Indian dinner to go to this weekend, and another birthday!!! Basically if you like food as much as I do, but want to be thin, exercise is your friend! Happy running xx

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Bargains ........

Every Sunday morning, I leave the house at 7.30am, and go to the flea market. I have been doing this for a long time, every so often having to bring children with me, but mostly on my own. Andy and I have an understanding, he gets to play football all Saturday afternoon, and I get to go to the market on Sunday morning, perfect!!
I love it all, walking in to town in the crisp morning air, meeting up with the girls and having a coffee, but most of all the bargains which is the reason I'm writing this post. I come home with a lot of things and I think my family are a bit beyond being interested anymore! Andy gives it a good go, but unless I find something amazing for for him he loses attention pretty quick. So since I always have a huge need to share all my bargains with people, I thought id make this a regular post and share them with you!

 Anyhow I got a great loot this Sunday gone. I'm always on the lookout for new clothes for me at the moment, since I have lost a lot of weight, my wardrobe is looking pretty scarce. I hit jackpot at one stall and ended up with two new pairs of jeans, a cute Witchery top, and a great faux leather Jacket stoked. I also got  three pairs of jeans for the kids, and a couple of tees. All in great condition I must add, ill only buy good labels second hand. Things that are not faded or pilled , and made out of good material. I got this lot for the good old sum of $10, that's right people $10 for EVERYTHING!!

Levis skinnys

Levis and witchery top.


Jacket Dotti

The other things I love getting at the markets are books and fabric. You can find the most amazing vintage fabric, at markets and car boot sales and usually you can get them for a great price. I didnt find any  lovely fabric that day, but I did however get a book that id been wanting to read for a long time, 'Toast' by Nigel Slater. Ive read a few reviews about this book and its meant to be fantastic, I'm really looking forward to reading it.

I only take $20 down to the market, I love the challenge of seeing what I can get with it. It appeals immensely to my need to get most out of my hard earned cash!! I also love the fact that a lot of the stuff you find, no one else has!!!

Well I could harp on for hours on this subject, but I wont bore you too much. The boys have soccer tonight, so I have to be extra organised on a Tuesday, dinners in the crock pot so that's  a good start. Alas there is still washing, tidying, homework .........

Monday, 26 March 2012

Weekend .......

This weekend we celebrated a birthday. Jack turned 8. Cliche I know, but wow where did that time go! He's getting so grown up now, a real little man.

We had cake, pizza and Italian doughnuts!!

We went to the Basket ball and watched the Giants win!!

We had our first sleepover with 2 friends and didn't got to sleep till 11pm, such good fun!! In the morning we scooted at home and at the skate park.

Then it rained, and we rested bliss. Boys played with the new birthday lego, I played in the sewing room, and we even painted some little toe nails.


We then watched Jack do the Aquathon, he did GREAT!! That night I went out for tea with my Mum, Thai yum yum, followed by a french film.

Phew what a weekend, it was pretty busy! Considering the amount of things that we did, it all went pretty well. Jack apparently had the best birthday ever, and loved the aquathon. Though the kids were pretty tired, and it rained a lot, it all ran smoothly! I sometimes find it hard to find a balance between letting the kids do all the things they want to do, and giving them the downtime they desperately need! I think we achieved that this weekend, and I even got to spend a couple of hours at the flea market but that's tomorrow's post xx

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Peaches ........

Well yes, two food posts in a row. You get the drift, we really do love our food round here!
The other day I was generously given a huge carrier a bag of Black Boy Peaches. Now funnily enough, I had never come across these beauties, in fact (laugh it up) I didn't even know the flesh was red!! If you are like me and want to learn more, check out this article here, its funny. 
So today I spotted said carrier bag , sitting on the kitchen floor and feeling very guilty of neglect decided I better do something with them!

Google was once again my friend, and apart from the many bottling recipes I found, I learnt that you could make Peach jam BINGO!!. Though I thought I had finished my jam making for the season, I couldn't resist making a few more jars, plus I had never tasted Peach Jam.
Whenever I need baking/ jam/ preserving advice I ring my Mother in law, without fail she will know the answer, or have the recipe, or whatever I need. She pulled through once again today with an easy to follow Peach Jam recipe, thanks Nana x

Peach Jam

2.7 kg's Peaches
600 mls of water
2 kg's Sugar

Stone fruit. Put into preserving pan with water. Cooked slowly till fruit is pulped. (I usually mash the fruit with the potato masher) Add sugar, stir well and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 20 mins (mine took about 30), then test.
I halved the recipe and got 3 and half jars of jam.

Jam was made, then eaten still warm (not sure if you are meant to do that) on spicy fruit muffins for afternoon tea. The children got caught in rain shower on their way home from school, so eagerly devoured their warm yummy treat.

In other non food related news. I have cut out a gorgeous, very girly hoodie, that I'm looking forward to stitching hopefully tomorrow. I have picked out Jacks birthday cake, thanks Pinterest, that I will be making tomorrow as well! Fun times xxxx

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


I have three boys, they eat alot!! So, I started making bread. I love it, I find it really therapeutic, its a great process! I have the best rye sourdough recipe, I will share this soon I promise!

Over the years I've searched the web, asked people, bought books and tried loads of different recipes. I seem to have narrowed it down to few favs now, one of them being the Artisan Bread in 5 mins. This bread is my 'go to'. when its a bring a plate, BBQ whatever really. A nice fresh loaf of bread, a bit of cheese and some hummus..... looks like you have gone to loads of effort, but really you haven't, great!

This is no traditional bread, though it certainly looks the part!! You basically put everything in a bowl, give it a mix, and let it do its thing. How easy is that!! The best bit is, you can then bake a loaf, and put the rest of the dough in the fridge. This will keep for up to 2 weeks, so those days where you feel like some yummy bread to go with that soup or some buns for school lunches, you literally pull the dough out, let it sit for an hour and bake simple I tell you!!
This recipe has been doing the rounds in the blog world for a few years, yet I still have lots of people ask me for the recipe,  so I thought id share :)

Artisan Bread

Adapted from ”Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons saltcoarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough (*you can replace about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of white flour with any whole grain flour with great results).
  • Cornmeal
  • 1. In a large bowl, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups warm water. Add flour, and stir to combine completely. Let dough rise in a warm place for at least two hours, until it rises and collapses (up to 5 hours – or even overnight won’t hurt it). The dough may be baked at this point, or refrigerated for later use.
    2. Cover dough, but make sure it is not airtight – gases need to escape – and place in fridge. When you are ready to use it, throw a small fistful of flour on the surface and use a serrated knife to cut off a piece of the size you desire. (The authors recommend a 1 pound loaf – which means cutting off grapefruit-sized piece of dough). Turning the dough in your hands, stretch the surface of the dough and tuck in under. The surface will be smooth, and the bottom with be bunched.
    3. Dust a pizza peel (or any flat surface – I use a rimless cookie sheet) with cornmeal. (This prevents sticking, and adds a nice, rustic crunch. You can use flour instead, but you’ll need to use a very generous dusting). Allow dough to rest in a warm place for 40 minutes – longer (up to an hour and a half) if you use some whole wheat flour in place of the white, or if you make a larger loaf.
    4. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees with baking stone (or overturned baking sheet) inside on the middle rack, plus a shallow pan on the top rack. Throw a small fistful of flour over the dough, slash it 2-4 times with a serrated knife (in a cross, a tic-tac-toe, or a fan), and slide it into the oven, onto the baking stone. Throw 1-2 cups of tap water into the shallow pan, and quickly shut the oven door to trap steam inside. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is well browned and bread sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom.
(I found this recipe here)
Dough from in the fridge ready to go!

Sprinkle some polenta....

Add dough, bit of flour....

Go on give it a go, you will love it xxx


Monday, 19 March 2012

13.7 km's ..............

Yesterday Andy and I ran from our place to his mum's place in Richmond. It took us 1hour and 40 mins, 1.7 km's. It was the longest run I've ever done, and just quietly I was pretty proud of myself! You see, I have only been running for just under 6 months, I started because I could burn twice the amount of calories in half the time. This appealed immensely to my lazy nature, and my want of needing to get exercise done as quick as possible! Little did I know that I would end up really liking it, and even dare I say it, get addicted to it!! Well it has happened and I'm embracing it!

The start....

The end YAY!!!

Well earned coffee.
So ive set myself running goals:

- Run up the centre of NZ
- Run to Richmond
- Run a 5k race
- Run a 10k race
- Run a half marathon (in nov)
- Run a 22 k trail race (april next year)

I'm happy to say that I have crossed off the first two, and the 5k race is booked for May. I still can not believe that I can go out and run without stopping, for hours sometimes! I have never been a runner, even when I was playing loads of sport in my younger days, I didn't run. I guess I just want to put it out there, that anyone can run, if you want to!!

The rest of the day was pretty chill. My brother came over and we went for a stroll around some beautiful historic homes in our neighbourhood.

I baked a Spiced Apple Cake for book club. This is a delicious cake, I found the recipe on Melissa's blog, a while back and have made it many times.

Just enjoyed these last few warm days. Hope you all had a lovely weekend xx

Saturday, 17 March 2012


Charlie my middle child started school late last year. I miss him, I really do. We really get each other, and he's a cool little dude to hang out with. Today I decided it was time we spent some quality time together, out of the house, with no interruptions. He wanted to go for a walk downtown and out for morning tea. I let him lead the way, and off we went......

Down the drive we go....

We stopped and watched the beginning of the Trolley Darby.

We played with the balls at Rebel.

We watched Steamboat Billy go round and round.

He bought a gemstone with his pocket money.

We watched the Mullet Man perform some very fancy tricks.

Pretty impressive!!

We had morning tea at this very old school cafe!


We were out for hours. I had time to listen and felt like we really reconnected, it was great! Charlie had a chance to talk his little head off and got to choose to go where ever he wanted. we didn't rush, just enjoyed each others company.He was happy, I was happy. It really is the small things, sometimes I think I need to remember that.

Now I'm sure there are some rooms round here that were meant to be re-organised today!