I love cookies.

Hello lovelies! Smile

Ohmygoodness! I have just got back after not being in the house for over a day! Where has the weekend gone? I thought I was going to have a nice quiet weekend spent stalking all your amazing blogs and baking! But no…

A last minute concert came up (I never turn down money! Smile with tongue out) but it was an evening one not close to me, so a friend offered me a chance to crash at her place for the night.

Baggage overload!

I would never go to someone else’s place empty handed as you know!DSC05715

So I baked (and ate) vegan chocolate chip cookies! Smile Cookies are just plain amazing. I LOVE COOKIES!DSC05724

This recipe is SO almost perfect! Once I have perfected it, you’ll be the first to know, because you are special and deserve to eat amazing cookies.

Other eats included one of gorgeous Katie’s breakfast pizzerts. I make them in a sandwich tin though, so it’s more like breakfast cake. And man alive is it good! Cake for breakfast is the best thing ever!DSC05710

I made this one with unsweetened applesauce, chopped apple and cinnamon. Unbelievably divine.

To balance out all the cookie eating, I had a lovely salad from a salad bar.

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Coucous, rice salad, chickpeas, kidney beans, beets, sweetcorn, mixed peppers and cuke.

Followed up with a few cookies. You know, to balance things out.

I’m a little behind with posts now, so I’ll post about my blog giveaway later this week, and my Killer Abs post tomorrow! Don’t forget that my Tone-Up challenge starts tomorrow for those that are joining me with the strength training- I can’t wait! Open-mouthed smile

  

What is your favourite cookie recipe/s? Feel free to link to them if they’re online recipes!

So I’m off to eat more cookies. I love cookies. Have a great cookie-filled week friends!!

 

 P.S. If you’re lucky enough to be a Brit (kidding!), check out my girl Carrie’s awesome giveaway!

P.P.S. Noticed the blog change? Q+A page is UP, so check it out! If you have any more questions feel free to ask away! Smile

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Running, Shopping, Eating

Today was a busy busy day! I began the morning with a tempo run, with my fastest mile at 7.50 min/mile. I’m slowly getting faster! Open-mouthed smile But this little *something* screwed up my run a bit!DSC05113

The heart-rate monitor that comes with the Garmin. It was too big, even on the smallest adjustment, so I tried tucking it in to the band of my sports bra, but that failed too! So a lot of my run was spend hitching it back up until I gave up, stopped, took it off, and ran holding it! Smile with tongue out I’ve tied a knot in it now, so hopefully it’ll be okay next time!DSC05114

I also did 30mins on the elliptical/cross-trainer at the gym, and wore my new top that I bought yesterday in the sales:

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I bought the white version a while back, and I love it, so when I saw this blue one on sale I snapped it up! Smile 

Pre-exercise brekkie was my usual PB on toast, and post-workout breakfast was choco-banana oatmeal:DSC05100

And then my family hit Bluewater shopping centre…again! Although thankfully we got in and out easily, unlike yesterday! And I got some awesome purchases today! Open-mouthed smile

These boots were reduced to £20:DSC05123

Nike tempo shorts were half price! They came in tons of different colours (I have a black/green/white pair already) but I ended up going with simple black+white, because it’ll go with anything on top!DSC05137

And the most exciting purchase? Of the year/decade?DSC05127

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Asics Gel Cumulus 2 reduced to £30! Open-mouthed smile After trying on thousands of pairs of running shoes, I fell in love with these! Although I don’t need a new pair quite yet, I’m buying them in advance to save some money. But I don’t know if I’ll be able to resist the temptation of wearing them! They’re much better than my current Asics, and are cheaper than they were too!DSC05130

After all that bargain-hunting, dinner was consumed at Nando’s restaurant. I had a ‘portobello mushroom and grilled halloumi cheese burger’ without the halloumi and with a mixed leaf salad on the side.DSC05125

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The side salad was huge! It was perfect- I was really craving greens after eating so much junk recently!

So tell me, have you bought any sale bargains? And do you crave certain foods after eating a lot of junk?

Tomorrow I’m going to an early BodyPump class (I haven’t been in a couple of weeks, so it’s going to hurt!), and my post will be a recap of my 2010, which has certainly been a very eventful year!

Hope you’ve had a great day too! Smile

Buffet Monster

It’s Christmas Eve!! And that means…SANTA’S COMING! Can you tell I’m excited? Winking smile

I also had huge excitement over my purchases from yesterday! So as soon as I woke up,  I set to work ON Katie’s melties!

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Starry ice cube tray

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Coconut buttah! LOVE it already!

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One coconut meltie, one Dark Chocolate Dreams meltie!

They’re in the freezer now, and will be consumed soon! Open-mouthed smile

Breakfast was another one of my purchases:DSC04810DSC04817

Oh…cinnamonyness…mmm…. Loved this cereal! It couldn’t not be great though, since it had cinnamon in it! Smile with tongue out And it’s good for you!DSC04821

I didn’t have a humungous breakfast, as I was heading off to a friend’s party. I had planned to make chocolate vegan cupcakes to take along, but I ransacked the kitchen and couldn’t find any cocoa powder! Surprised smile All I could find was ‘light’ instant hot chocolate powder!DSC04874Thought about using this instead, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work very well! Smile with tongue out 

There was a huge buffet for lunch at the party, and bless her she provided vegan food (HOUMOUS!) and even told me at the start exactly what foods were and weren’t vegan! Smile  I am a Buffet Monster. All food is decimated by me.DSC04830

Looks alright doesn’t it? Well that was my innocent first plate. Numerous other helpings followed, then the plate was thrown aside, and I dived right in there! Smile with tongue out

As soon as I got back from that party, I went out for a dinner with old friends! We’ve known each other since we were kids, but don’t see each other as much any more sadly, so it was great to catch up today!36184_1671704756287_1347423739_31724938_6393186_n

It gave me an excuse to get a bit dressed up too! Smile

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We ate at Pizza Express, which is a lovely Italian restaurant if you’ve never heard of it.pizza_express_peter_street_manchester

We ordered doughballs to share for our appetizer, and since there weren’t any vegan mains on the menu,  I just ordered the huge ‘Bosco’ salad without the mozzarella:

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Warm garlic mushrooms, baby mozzarella, avocado, roasted tomatoes, baby spinach, rocket, balsalmic syrup and dressing

It was so big, I couldn’t finish! Trust me, that’s a rare occurrence! Smile with tongue out

There weren’t any vegan desserts either, but they did have an almost vegan ‘dolcetti’ (small dessert), which I ordered without the mascarpone. However, the waitress forgot that part, so I just ate around it:

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Baby figs with cinnamon & white wine spiced syrup with mascarpone

 

The baby figs were lovely! I’ve never had a whole fig before, but they were delicious! The whole meal was great, and I successfully proved to my sceptical friends that vegans can eat out at ‘normal’ restaurants! Smile

This morning, I’m off to the gym to get in a quick workout before starting the busy Christmas preparations! There’s my dish (Festive Squash Jalousie) to veganise+bake ahead and freeze:untitled

And of course, tons of presents to wrap and cards to write! Since this is technically Thursday’s (late) post, I might do another one later tonight for you lovelies…

So what are you hoping Santa will bring you tomorrow? I know one of the things he’s bringing me (he left his receipt lying around! Smile with tongue out) and can’t wait to show you tomorrow!! And how are you spending your Christmas tomorrow? With family, friends, or both? We’re having our usual of all the family round! And our family from New York our flying in today to spend Christmas with us, so I can’t wait to see them again!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Open-mouthed smile

Eat, Sleep, Run

Hello lovelies!
Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday- was getting paid £80 an hour at a last minute quartet job! Open-mouthed smile Also managed to get in a slow (avg 8.40) 4 mile run, but the ankle was feeling a bit tight afterwards, so I’m resting it today. Saying that, I did do aerobics…does that count? Smile with tongue out

Dinner was homemade shepherd’s pie (made with soya mince) with a side salad and beetroot:DSC04547

Ooh and breakfast was a good-un! Yesterday I’d used up the can of pumpkin I had been slowly working my way through every morning, so this morning I had something different: choco-banana-coconut oatmeal! And it was made on the stovetop! SmileDSC04565

Made exactly the same as before, but with shredded coconut stirred in and sprinkled on top. SO delicious! Open-mouthed smile

I also did a bit more shopping (story of my life! Smile with tongue out) and found some really cool running hoodies that were on sale! They had slogans like ‘Live to run’, ‘Born to run’, ‘Just been running’,etc and were in a ton of colours. (By the way, rubbish camera-phone photos alert!)DSC04571

This was my favourite slogan:DSC04574

Add ‘bake’ in there somewhere and you have my life in four words! So of course, I bought it! I thought I’d take the opportunity to show you my kick-ass modelling skills:DSC04588

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Haha- the attempted pout! Actually it just looks like I’m sucking a lemon, but I’ll work on it! Winking smile

I also started on my cupcake-making!DSC04578

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They are not yet frosted, so I will share the finished products with you tomorrow! But I highly doubt they are going to look quite as perfect as the picture above from the book…! Smile with tongue out

Much as I love baking, I hate the mess at the end!DSC04579

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I never clear up as I go; I pile it up into a mountain of dirty dishes to wash at the end! Are you organised and clean up as you go along, or are you messy like me?

And I’ll leave you all with the reminder that, as I write this, it is just 10 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS!

Does that make you excited/happy or make you panic? I’m experiencing both right now, as I still have all my family’s presents to get, so a bit panicky! But on the other hand, I know exactly what Santa is bringing me (he let slip by accident! Smile with tongue out) and I can’t wait! You’ll see 10 days from now! Open-mouthed smile

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Tempeh time!

Hello lovelies! Smile

Breakfast was a  delicious warming bowl of pumpkin-spiced-raisin oatmeal! It was: 3/4 cup oats, 3/4 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp pumpkin, and some cinnamon and mixed spice:DSC04425

I can’t believe I was ever a person who always skipped breakfast. It is my favourite meal of the day now! Can’t live without a good breakfast!

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I was going to go to a step class today, but seeing as I ran yesterday, I decided to play it safe with my ankle! But I might try another short treadmill run tomorrow, and am praying that it’s fine then! Smile

Lunch was a salad, with sweetcorn, avocado, tomato and a few other things:corn-avacado-tomato-salad-450x337

Funny about the avocado, because I’ve seen it all over blog posts today! Julie also had avocado in her lunch, and Angela’s chocolate tart that she posted the recipe for today has lots of avocado in it! Small world! Smile

I also rediscovered rice cakes today! I’d forgotten how much I love these! They made a big feature in my afternoon snackage! I started with one topped with PB and one with Marmite:DSC04399

And then went on to have a PB rice cake sandwich:DSC04430

x 2! Open-mouthed smile

Dinner featured a new food for me:DSC04437

I wasn’t sure quite what I wanted to do with it, but decided on simply frying it in EVOO spray then tossing in soy sauce, as this is what I usually do with tofu when I’m in a hurry. The pack says it serves two. Really?DSC04438

I served half the tempeh with two baked sweet potatoes and sautéed courgette/zucchini.DSC04443

Huh, one serving of tempeh! Hmm, not quite sure about tempeh to be honest. It grew on me the more I ate of it, but not sure whether I really like it or not! I prefer tofu at the moment, but I think I’ll try doing other things with tempeh and see if I like it better in a different way. Have you tried tempeh? Do you like it?

Dessert was, of course, dark choccie!DSC04363

In my book, there is no such thing as a bad day when dark chocolate is involved! Open-mouthed smile

This Saturday will involve some serious Christmas shopping. I am swapping presents with some friends on Monday, so I am slightly worried that I have no presents yet! Confused smile Can you imagine how busy  the shops are going to be this weekend? I actually like the mad Christmas shopping crush, but most people I know hate it! Do you love or hate Christmas shopping madness?

TGIF tomorrow! Have a good Friday! Smile

Christmas decorating!

I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I am SO excited- less than three weeks people! Seriously, Christmas makes me feel like a kid all over again! Open-mouthed smile

Yesterday night, we got to decorating! Our tree:DSC04385

Buddy helped.DSC04372

Actually, that’s a lie. He observed from his comfy chair for the most part. Lazy dog!DSC04377

We hung up our stockings, which are pretty big! Our mum made them for me and my brother when we were toddlers, and we still love them!DSC04389

Even Buddy gets (a little) one!DSC04386

His says ‘Yappy Christmas’! Witty, right? Smile with tongue out 

Food time! Lunch today was a lovely bean salad.IMG_9974

To satisfy my sweet tooth after dinner this evening, I ate my body weight in dark chocolate! As per usual! Smile with tongue outDSC04364

This Planet Organica dark chocolate is one of my favourites I think! I’ve gone through almost all of this in a few days! Smile with tongue out A good reason to revisit Whole Foods soon and stock up then I think! Winking smile

My ankle is feeling quite a lot better by the way, and thanks for your well wishes and comments/stories on yesterday’s post! I’m still going to probably not run for the rest of this week to be safe, but I have an aerobics class tomorrow, and a step class the day after that, then yoga on Friday! So keeping busy Smile

Are you excited about Christmas this year? I actually wasn’t very excited about it last year, so it does vary for me! And do you use Christmas stockings? Not quite sure if that’s just a family tradition or not…!

Have a great evening! Smile

Chocolate’s all gone.

It truly is a sad time. The last of my beloved Belgian dark chocolate is no more.DSC03814

That was all that was left when I dove into my food stash post-dinner. Sad smileDSC03815

Alas, now it is no more. Crying face What is a girl to do?

Answer: find a good recipe to bake tomorrow! Smile You’ll see tomorrow evening hopefully!

Breakfast was a lovely bowl of creamy oatmeal topped with raisins:DSC03807

And this was the star of lunch (a big salad monster)- the mother of all beans:DSC03813

I could quite easily write a love poem about the kidney bean. Red heart

Dinner was one of my favourites- Chana masala.

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I sadly cannot take the credit here- my mum is Indian and does all the Indian cooking around here! Smile with tongue out Really delicious; chickpeas are ALMOST as good as kidney beans to me, and trust me when I say that is very  high praise indeed! Open-mouthed smile

And before dinner, I embarked on a speedy 3 miler (avg pace 8.28) in the cold and dark:DSC03701

Such a cool look! Enjoyed it, despite the weather! Off to do a bit of yoga before bed. I WILL be able to do the Pose of a Crow someday! Smile

Brief post tonight, but expect a long recipe one tomorrow, I’m warning ya! Smile with tongue out

Favourite dinners? Chana Masala is definitely on my list Smile