Another race

So this time its the Southampton Half Marathon. Am i crazy?

I dont know what has happened but recently i feel like i have lost my running mojo. For some reason i just dont get the release i used to get from running.

Now the Southampton Half i decided to do just after i finished the Silverstone Half, it seeemed like a good idea at the time. As i was running around the Silverstone track i felt somewhat sad that all that i had trained for was over. All my runs, goals and training would be finished.  Nothing to motivate me and nothing to carry on for… Hello Southampton 😀 now 6 weeks on and like i said, mojo gone. Just 5 weeks ago i ran into a lamp post! and i must say, my knee isnt still 100% many of you may say that i shouldnt run, but hey. Its only 13.1 miles and Hubby is doing the Marathon!

This will be his first ever full marathon. Hes so ready for this. Im so proud of him, his dedication and determination is unreal and inspires me no end! I cant wait to be there to cheer him through the finish line!

His brother has also entered the half, ild like to think i would be running along side him but he is super speedy! Hes done so many races this will be a walk in the park for him. So really its just me with little faith that i can do it. Well, i know i can do it, ive done the distance but i feel recently i havent done the training needed to smash this the way i wanted.

Anyway, its time. The carb loaded dinner has been eaten, extra water has been drunk and now its just rest until the nice and early wake up call tomorrow!

Lets hope i wake up rested and with my mojo back!

See you the otherside,

Sparkle always,

A x


A well needed break

I didnt realise how much i needed this day off until it was here. Just on Wednesday i saw a deal on a local selling page for a spa day with 2 mini treatments and lunch. A friend of mine was well up for it so we booked it for today! Sunday 9th April, just 4 days after!

I had mostly forgotten in those short 4 days that we were having a spa day. I had done my usual exercising during the week, so far 2 runs, 2 gym sessions and a yoga class, lots of dogs walks too. I has been a real crazy week as my hubby has been working away so it was down to me to keep the house up together, the dog happy and still cook nutritious meals , even if they were just for 1! Yesterday after work as the weather was so nice, i thought i would have a break from running but cycle to my Nans for a visit. It was such a lovely ride, i think it will make a good running route too now the ground is dry and not too muddy. Its always nice to find a new route to run, i think hubby will really enjoy it, and probably the dog (perhaps its a bit long for him)

So my usual busy week with a little more todo. I woke up this morning realising i was short 7 miles of my 20 miles a week target. i laid there, in bed thinking how nice it would be just to stay there, but i knew if i didnt get up and do it i would regret it. so i thought, just do it. Just get ready and go, and just see how far i can do. I wasnt too fussed about hitting the target this week.

Shorts on, headphones ready and trainers laced. No breakfast needed as i wanted to get out there before it got too warm. I had chosen my route and off i went. For this run it was more about my heart rate, i wanted to try and keep it around 150. A nice relaxing run. And it was, i was so glad i went out. I ended up at Carisbrooke Castle. The views were beautiful. It was so fresh out! it was only about 8am, hardly anyone around but so warm already. I finished my run and managed my 7 miles in just over 1hr. I got back home ready to make my breakfast when my 2 best friends were already for their walk, it would of been rude for me not to join. Breakfast was just going to have to wait a bit longer! so of we went to our local park for Sams regular walk. Such a beautiful morning!

So far this isnt sounding like much of a day off… but im getting there. After my yummy omelette i had to do a quick food shop and then i had to get ready… SPA DAY!

As soon as we got there we were shown around and then left to our own devices. It was nice and quite. So lovely and peaceful. We went straight to the detox box, in for a swim and then to the relaxation room. Lunch was served outside by the pool. I cant believe how quick time was going, nor the fact i was sat outside in my bikini in April!

We quickly got into the hot tub and stayed put whilst we put the worlds to right! Back to the relaxation room were there was a selection of herbal teas and water on offer, the sun was getting really warm now and with out sun cream i did not want to risk getting sunburnt! It was so nice and quite in the spa, just like children we jumped from sauna to hot tub to pool up until it was time to go for our treatments. We both opted for back massages and facials. It wasnt until i was in the room and started to fully switch off that i realised, this is just what i needed. No pressure, no rush, no nothing. I had nothing to do but lie here and relax and enjoy, so that is what i did. After what felt like a lifetime of being pamper only to feel like it wasnt long enough as soon as it was over, we headed back to the relax room for herbal tea and more relaxing. I can honestly say i thought i could fall asleep! Not like me at all.

We headed home soon after. The spa day we brought on a wim has turned out to be exactly what we both needed. This has been the break i needed, it may only have been for a day, but the right company and the sun shining, it felt like we had been taken away to another country!

Now for a short week and then the Easter weekend ❤ I hope you have all had great weekends! and dont leave it as long as i have to go and have a well earnt break!

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!


  • 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,


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

Bournemouth Bay Run 2017

Lets quickly go back to April 2016, My first ever competitive race. Boy was i nervous, i had signed up for the Great South run in Oct and thought this would be a good opportunity to see what i could do in a race. There was 1056 competitors, my fab hubby came 14th with an amazing time of 39.28! I was a little further behind, i was the 370th person to cross the line in 55.56. I was the 125th women. Not to bad for my first race i thought.

Flash forward to today, Sunday April 3rd 2017.

I cannot believe this time last year i was about to run my first 10k, little did i know it be the start of my love for racing ❤ This year i was super excited to see how much i could improve my time by, and now knowing the course, the sneaky zig zac that is strategically placed in the middle of the course was no surprise for me. I knew how to pace myself, when to push and when to hold back. This year, my big sister was racing too! I was more excited than she was! My sis was my inspo and got me into running. My fitness journey started and unfortunately hers slowed and stopped, over the last few months though, she has dusted off her trainers and started running again. Im so pleased i was able to encourage her at the start of the race and cheer her through the finishing line! She did AMAZINGLY at 1.06.05! shes only done the distance just a few times! Im so pleased for her! Im really hoping now she has done her first race she might get the bug and run alongside me again!

Now back to my run. I have done a few races since my first BBR getting some lovely PS’s along the way, doing all new distances including 10 miles and even a half marathon. I have well and truly caught the racing bug. A few weeks ago (you may know if you follow my blog) i ran in to a lamp post… yes, ran into a lamp post!! I can laugh about it now, luckily i sort of sore it in my preferential vision and was able to protect my face! but my knee collided nicely with the steel shell of the lamp post. I couldn’t carry on running, hugely embarrassed, i walked home. I rested for a few days and then i was stuck down with an ear infection, in BOTH ears 😦 Not a great week for me! So my training has been a little off, and with the BBR creeping up i was starting to realise i may not be in for a PB, but i would still run anyway. Sadly this is not what my body had planned. Thursday night after an 8 mile club run, my knee was a little sore, and then my ear infection came back with an vengeance! not good just a few days before the race.

Back on the antibiotics and resting my stupid knee, my excitement for the race was disappearing. I would still go and watch though. Mike has been training hard all year and i wanted to support my sis. We had a lovely evening in Bournemouth and with a good nights rest, i woke up not wanting to miss out and give in, i was going to run to my best ability’s and see what happens 🙂

As it happened, i felt rather good and although i didn’t get a PB, it was a course PB. It was quite an improvement from last years run. My chip time was 48.15 (7min course PB) i was overall 131st and the 24th woman over the finishing line! I was quite happy, everything considered and i knew i could carry on getting PB’s on every run!

Mike did incredible! and all his hard work is paying off! he came overall 4th with a stonking time of 36.05! a course PB of 3mins! Im so so SO proud of my hubby and my sis! they both have done so well and im glad we all got to do this race together!

The encouragement from the crowd was great, so supportive and it has been a truly terrific day. The sun was shining, not much wind and NO rain! Of course, i couldn’t wait to get to the finish line and get my BLING! its pretty much what i run for and I love that its slightly different to last years, we also got a nice tee shirt which again is slightly different.

Ah i just love a good run!! im more determined now to train the best i can and smash the Southampton Half Marathon in just a few weeks time!!

Thanks for reading ❤

Sparkle away,

A x



Post half marathon

Running progress: last week was a bit of a set back week after the Silverstone half marathon.

I walk my dog every morning 1.5 – 2 miles and then maybe the same again in the evening if my hubby cant, or maybe we go together.

So Monday started with a morning walk, busy work day and then a 3.1 mile run. I thought it was an okay run considering it was a day after the race.

Tuesday i had a gym session followed with a walk with Sam and again in the evening.

Wednesday is YOGA day! i love yoga day, a good old stretch after all my running and gym! and again on Wednesday Sam and I had 2 walks.

Thursday… well, morning walk with Sam to start, Thursdays is our day we run with the IOWRR’s. We were doing a 24 min out and back run were we should aim to run home quicker than on our way out. Not to bad i thought, it was a new route for me, a bit up hill to start but nice to run back down. I was happily running at the back of a small group of 5, easy pace. I thought i would just check my watch to see my states, when BANG, straight into a lamp post! Ive never been so embarrassed! i can NOT believe i ran clean in to a big black lamp post! luckily i sort of saw it and put my hands up to protect my face. I think i would of knocked myself out. My poor knee went straight into it. Lucky no one saw but heard the big bang. i tried to keep running but it was too painful. I managed to run 2.3 miles before i had to walk 1.4 home, this was definitely a ‘You’ve been framed’ moment. One i wont forget in a hurry. Although no one saw, i had to shamelessly walk past the rest of the road runners, who were all so lovely asking, if i was okay and condensed as to why i was walking in the wrong direction. I really wanted the ground to swallow me up! I was so angry! i couldnt run! what if i couldnt run for a long time? i have a race coming up in April!! i cant not run, and what if i couldnt go to yoga? I was mortified! Back at home, nursing my wounds, i started to notice i had a bit of an earache, just what i needed.

Friday, started with a dog walk, ended at my doctors. An ear infection in BOTH ears!!! NOT what i needed! Hubby treated me to a take away curry, i definitely needed a pick me up and this was sort of working, I was worried how long i wouldnt be able to run for, my ears were so sore and my knee was bruising nicely.

Saturday was a 2 dog walks. Oh man, i thought i was okay but just the motion of walking on the pavement caused my ears SUCH discomfort! I had to work and it was the worse day, I struggled to get up and down the stairs, my ears were throbbing. I wanted today to be over. Well, i wanted to be able to go out and run but i knew there was no chance. so i sulked. and walked my dog again!

Sunday started with a morning walk with hubby and pooch. Im feeling better, i’ve decided to not dwell. Im going to the gym and i will do what i can, not to push my self too hard but i needed to get out and do something. Luckily it worked. I came home feeling SSOO much better! So to celebrate i bakes, 10 hot cross buns and a lovely big Victoria Sponge cake with fresh raspberrys!

Im deteemind on having a good week this week! no more set backs and no more running in to lamp posts!!

Hope you all have good weeks, train hard but rest when needed!

Sparkle away,

A x

Silverstone Half Marathon

So here we are, my first ever 13.1 mile race. Sponsored by Adidas, the Silverstone half marathon. Wow, what a race. The most nervous i have been pre race to date! im not sure why, i’ve done the training and the distance, so why on race day do I feel the pressure?

I want to do well. Im so lucky i have the support from my husband, his belief in me is unreal and really pushes me through races. My whole family are a huge support as well as my new running family, the Isle of Wight road runners ❤ running, knowing they are all behind me, encourages me to do well for them as well as myself. So maybe this is why i feel the pressure, Silverstone is and iconic location and i think it was perfect for my first half. My dad is really into his bike racing and has been to Silverstone on many occations. Its been great to run round the track i know he has ridden around many times and although im not quite at the speed of him and his R1, i thought of him ‘knee down’ enjoying these sharp bends and fast straights. I wonder if its the same adrenaline enjoyed on this track.

We were able to stay with friends the night before the race as it was a bit of a way from home, with a 12 noon start we had plenty of time to get ready. We were super organised and even packed our proven pre race breakies with us 🙂 i had a yummy porridge with nuts and cinnamon and hubby opted for weetabix and nuts. We left with plenty of time but did not expect the traffic we were hit by! it took us 1hr 20mins to drive 20miles!! honeslty another 10mins and we would of missed the race! The weather wasnt great, so im glad we didnt have to spent to much time standing in the rain, we litrally had to jog from the car to the bag drop area. A quick bathroom break and then we had to head straight to the start line!

The course was good, it was so busy full of detemind runners, all with their own storys. I love looking around and seeing all the amazing organinstions and charitys that are being supported. Its such a great atmosphere. The Adidas team were amazing! so friendly and encouraging, shouting supportive quotes and messages to us all, giving out water, lucozades and hi-fives were they could. The support was overwhelming! Just when i felt a lull in the run, just round the corner supporters cheered us on further.

The last 3 miles i found hard. I wish i had my music to help as the bands that were playing werent always clear, i like a good beat to help my tempo, but then i would of missed out on the guy sinning frozen at the beginning! In my head i could hear my fellow IOWRR’s ‘Its just a park run now!’ now ive never competed in a park run before, and im not sure i want to! its HARD!! The finish was great, i could now hear the crowds and the music. It was such a lovely feeling. Finishing. I couldnt wait to see my hubby. I knew he was in for a great time and i could wait to hear all about his run and share my time with him.

As i took of my time chip, jogged to get my goody bad (best bit!!) i found him! ❤

Mike ran a 4 min PB! an astonishing 1hr 19mins! he came over all 31st! im so ridiculously proud of him! such an incredible time and achievement!! I was a bit slower at 1hr 44mins, still a PB for me as this was my first!! i dont think i have ever asked my dad his time on the bike!!!  Im pleased with my time and my run. Im glad i did it, not sure why i got so nervous before. Races are so fun! we werent able to stay long after the run to soak up more of this incredible atmosphere as we had lunch plans. A well earnt Sunday Lunch with our friends!

The race was really great, i love being able to say i have ran around the track and got an awesome medal!! Full of post race joy, i have now entered ANOTHER half marathon!!! I will be joining Mike in April in Southampton. He will be doing the full and im doing the half! It seems rude not to participate now 😂

I have defiantly caught the running bug!!

Now, to continue the training.. lets see if i can get a PB!!

Sparkle away,

A x




Fiji has landed!

I am crazy for this spring summer 2017 collection. It seems like it has been a long winter and these BEAUTIFUL colours are just what i need to pick me up! These colours have gone down a STORM with my ladies and we are all enjoying the much needed pick me up these fun colours bring.


OPI’s new Fiji collection s/s 17 is available in all 3 GelColor, Infinite Shine and Regular Lacquer.


So i have purchased 11 of these fabulous colours, ‘Exotic birds do not tweet’ (yellow) didnt make it in to my shopping bag this time as honestly i felt it was to similar too one i already have and yellow is not a massively popular colour.

These colours are really lovely and i felt they needed to be shown of on hands rather than a colour pop. Lucky i had a few volunteers happy to help ❤

 These are my models nails pre mani.

 as you can see we had great fun creating this multi coloured mani 😀


All super gorgeous colours. The index finger has a beautiful silvery shimmer and the pinki has a lovely green iridescence to it. As beautiful as this green gray is, i reall wish OPI would bring out a solid grey shade! The other 3 are a real solid creme.


All 5 of these are creme colours, they apply and cover beautifully. These all have 2 coat except *NO TAN LINES which had 3. These really arnt like these other OPI colours, they are more vibrant than the other ranges i have.

 Stacey opted for *LIVING ON THE BULA-VARD as her final colour to show of to the world! and what a great choice! its a really sassy colour and screams summer fun!

Now as i couldnt fit this colour on *COCONUTS OVER OPI here it is on another clients hand. This colour has probably been the most popular so far. Nudes have really been the trend so far this year, but with Spring round the corner i have a feeling this new collection is really going to take off!

Thank you all for reading! let me know your thought on the collection, if you have used it and what colours your loving!

Sparkle away,

A x