July Challenge week 2

Week 2 of my July challenge and im still going! I must admit i thought i would have given up by now, i have surprised myself. I started this week tired from last and the long run i had done yesterday. Im now dreading next week when yesterdays long run will turn in to race day!

10-7-17 Forest run, i really really wasnt feeling this run this evening, but hubby took me and the pooch to the forest and we did a really lovely 3 miles. It was a prefect evening and my legs really needed the run, although a flat route would of been preferred!!

11-7-17 Gym run. Normally i would go to the gym in Mondays and track train on Tuesdays, but with running everyday and the race on Sunday i thought it would be best to skip track, especially as this evening they are doing a 5k Championships- im definitely not feeling that! So a little jog to the gym, a sort of all over work out and then i finished of running home and rounding my miles up to 3. A lot flatter than yesterday so much better for the legs! – squats not so 😀

12-7-17 Morning run with Sammy, today was okay, just a little 2 miles to start my day. Wednesday is yoga day and i have also decided to go to a 30min ab class… this was very good, i really enjoyed abs and will go again 🙂 today was my day off work, what better excuse do I need to bake? Sticky lemon tray bake 🤤 for 1 😂

13-7-17 Evening run. Today should of been a club run, i really wanted to go but as soon as i found out the route i knew i wasnt up for it. With the race not to long away i did not need those hills in my life!! So hubby and i had a lovely jog down by the river, a total of 6 mile. I really found this run hard, my legs are starting to feel really heavy and tired. I have a sore knee which flares up from time to time, now is the time 😦  I need a day off but i refuse to take it. A short 2 miles is the closest im getting to a rest!
14-7-17 2 miles – thats all i can do. First thing with Sam around our way before work. Im finding it hard – but i wont give in!

15-7-17 2 miles- its race day tomorrow, there is no need for me to go to crazy. My weekly mileage has already increased and i really dont want to over do it for tomorrow. I ran slightly quicker than yesterday, probably as i didnt have the pooch sniffing a weeing round every corner!

16-7-17 RACE DAY – the day i have been dreading all week. I have been so worried about today! St Georges 10 miles road race. This is our clubs race and they have done such a great job! this is the toughest run i have done to date! it may not be the longest distance but those hills!! the were so tough and the heat today! it started cloudy but the sun broke through and wow! it was a stonker! I worry so much and didnt think i would finish this run, with a stick at 6 miles and my knee choosing to pipe up around mile 8 – there were times i though i just couldnt finish. It may not of been a PB for me but it was a course record ( as i have only done it once previously!) i finished in 83 mins 30 sec, coming overall 43rd out of 147. I cant believe it but i was the first lady back for the road runners! getting myself a extra medal for being part of the second lady’s team! it was a struggle, but my 2 new medals make it all worth it!

A big well done to all the runners today! all the mashals and the IOW road runner committee for making today happen and making it such a sucess! You guys are the best and im so glad to be part of the best running club of all time!

 

So this week i really have gone through the running mill of emotions, but im finishing on a high! Ready to carry on my running next week – even with our holiday starting Thursday i still plan to run daily!! Lets hope its not to hot!!!

Sparkle away,

A x

Banana and Oat Loaf Recipe

I love to bake and make yummy treats for my hubby and family. So last week i had such a craving for banana bread and had a few bananas that needed to be used, perfect timing!


This loaf is so easy to make and so delicious and the best thing is its HEALTHY! no refined sugar or crap. Just yummy goodness that is super with a scoop of ice cream and a sprinkle of your favorite nuts!

Ingredient:

  • 100g Self Rasing Flour
  • 140g Rolled Oats
  • 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 300g Mashed Banana
  • 4tbsp Honey (Algarve)
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 150mls Natural Yoghart

Preheat the oven to 140-160 degrees fan, prepare your 2lb loaf tin with a little oil or butter of your choice. I use a coconut spray. Line the tin with your baking parchment and i use a liner too. Now the fun part!

  1. Mix your oats, Flour, Bi-Carb, Baking Powder, Cinnamon with a pinch of Salt in a bowl
  2. In a separate bowl with your mashed bananas, add the eggs, honey and natural yoghart.
  3. Add your dry mix now into the wet bowl, keep scraping down the sides and mix until you see no flour streaks. You can if you like now add extras into the mix- i.e chocolate chunks – nuts – seeds)
  4. Pop your mix into the loaf tin and into the oven on the middle shelf for 1hr – 1hr 15mins,

DONE!

This easy peasy loaf is done! Enjoy the lovely aroma as this bakes ❤ it tastes great with a smidge of your fave nut butter fresh out of the oven!

Hope you enjoy! tag me in your remakes, i’ld love to see your creations!

Sparkle away,

A x

90th Birthday

My fabulous Nan turned 90 at the beginning of Febuary 2017 and i had the pleasure of making her CAKE!

Now i love cake, i love any reason to bake a cake and feed cake to everyone! It gave me great joy to be able to bake my nans cake as this very lady taught me all my baking skills and still encourages me to be creative and keep baking, even when i dont turn out a great bake. She truly believes i will be the next Mary Berry and i wonder if TGBBO was still showing she would have me signed up in a heart beat!

I finally decided on 2 flavours for this masterpiece, a light classic vanilla sponge and a dark chocolate truffle cake, both covered in a dark chocolate ganache. It took me a ridiculous amount of time to decide what type, flavour and style of cake i would bake for my nan, although i knew she would be happy with a classic sponge i wanted it to be more special for her.

img_1682So here is my finished cake. I went to a local cake shop and hired the numbered tins, they were a little tricky to get used to but i got the hang of them in the end. funny little things, i mean they didnt have a bottom so i had to line them with foil – which was not as easy as it sounds, as place them on a baking tray. ( i prayed at this point the cake mixture wouldnt just pour out!)

I firstly baked the chocolate truffle cake, and unusual recipe, more of a brownie texture. I had my doubts about this as it had alot of egg and not much flour and took over an hour to bake! I didnt rush it though and i think it came out rather well. Next was the vanilla sponge. Nice and easy, just a larger about than a normal. i dont think i really appricaited how the tins would effect the bake of the cake, this started to worry me as i hadnt bakes a sponge for an hour before. i was so worried it would be hard and crispy! Thankfully i stuck to the recipe and checked the cake regularly and took it out just on time. I always myself stressing when i bake for others that when they cut into the cakes they will either be raw in the center or hard as a brick! luckily i havent had this happen but i do like to worry!

So after having a day to stress, i needn’t of worried, i was able to slice these in half perfectly and check out the centers before covering them in the dark chocolate ganache i made and cooled.

The ganche took AGES to cool down to the right temperature! i all most left it too long as i decided to go for a quick gym session to help get rid of my nervous energy!! It didnt take me too long to get in to the swing of icing, i was so worried i would get the ganache everywhere and make a right mess of things! After the whole cake was iced i realised it still looked a bit bare and plain. Not quite how i had imagined. I had brought some gold glitter and shimmer powder as i wanted the cake to be simple and effective rather than to fussy.

I had alot of fun with the glitter powder! how it changes the look of the cake!

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I added a few chocolate swirls and that completed the cake. Once we got to the hall, I added a 9 and a heart sparkler and a few candles for when we sang Happy Birthday to her.

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Here she is looks all beautiful and fantastic! i was even able to get a birthday selfie with her. She was ever so happy with the cake, it all got eaten and i was even asked to bake cakes for the WI my nan attends! not sure i could quite deal with the pressure but i took it as a big compliment. My nan even phoned several times after to tell me how much everyone had enjoyed it, and the party of course. My nan did a super job organising every and the fabulous buffet lunch.

It really ment so much to me being able to do this for her, it was a bonus that it was enjoyed and even though element of this cake were tricky, i loved making it and i cant wait to bake more!

Thanks for reading my little blog about my nan’s 90th cake. Hope you enjoyed it ❤

Sparkle away,

A x

Love cake?

I have a slight obsession with baking. being in the kitchen is another very relaxing thing for me. well, until I try and the time manage and whilst my cake is cooking with also whip up a batch or brownies and maybe a few oat cookies too! I’ve started to be unable to just bake 1 item!

Baking started with cupcakes and brownies. can’t go wrong, a good crowd pleaser.

I’m no professional baker, but I’ve come to learn I am a professional feeder! I love to feed my guest. You can’t have a cuppa without a slice of cake or a biscuit!

I really enjoyed making this cake for my nans birthday recently. it a lemon sponge with butter cream and lemon curd filling.

i like to make a celebration cakes 3 layers, I feel it looks more dramatic. I had no idea how I was going to decorate this cake until I started. tell a lie. I wanted to make a French butter cream which uses raw eggs. I tried but I wasn’t happy with the finish, so I scrapped it and went back to basics. which I feel went in my favour on this occasion.

The cake went down so well with may nan as she’s a fan of a lemon sponge 🙂

I pipped the butter cream and lemon curd around the edge and then swirled them together in the middle so it wasn’t to sweet.

The worst thing about a 3 layered cake is its so hard to travel with! I drove so carefully to my nans,but it did look a bit like the leaning tower of piza!! lucky there wasn’t to much damage done!

Oohh all this reminiscening makes me want to go and bake! I have a lot of christmas baking to do. this year is the first year I have ever attempted a Christmas cake! I can’t wait to ice and decorated it them!

Sparkle away!

A x