Bloggers, what was your first giveaway?
TGIF!! What a week, only 5 more weeks until half-term, yes I'm counting already maybe it's a bit soon but I'm tired of school already! Only another 6 years of it!
One random sentence of the day- running in the rain is liberating but walking in the rain is beyond annoying, so weird! Moving right along to our usual things I'm loving!
I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw this beauty. I WANT ONE!! Holy cow is this dog cute or what?!! I had actually never heard of a Bernedoodle in my life, but my favourite dog is a Bernese Mountain dog and this is just beyond cute!
I had my first burger the other day, although it was a salmon it was still a burger. You won't see me ever eat one with red meat (I only eat fish and chicken) but it was pretty cool experiencing my first true burger. < I really tried to not use the word burger every two words, boy that was hard!!
Baby carrots and peas with mayonnaise is the best snack ever!! I'm obsessed with these little jars, I eat at least like two a week, I figure one a day is a bit much ;)
Coffee mate, so delicious, wouldn't drink coffee without it! I'm almost done with the one I have and I'm hoping I can find something similar at Tescos! Only 5 weeks still I visit my dad, so I'll have to stock up!
I'm so happy that Awkward is back!! I'm sure season 4 started a couple months ago in the states but we're a bit behind. I just love this show so much and think it is so perfect for the teen years!
This will probably be the first and last time I'll say this but I am loving sociology at school at the moment. Loving and school are usually never in the same sentence ;) It is so much more interesting than I ever thought it would be. I want to go into social work so I'm so glad I took this course!!
I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. Lots of exciting things going on on the blog soon. Check back in on Monday for my first ever review and FIRST giveaway, I'm so excited to share this review with you!!! Then next week on Friday, I'll be joining some lovely ladies for a link-up party, I'll explain all of that next Friday, hopefully I'll understand it all by then ;)
What are somethings you've been loving?
Bloggers, what was your first giveaway?
Oreos. You either love em' or hate em', well I happen to be one of the few haters. Actually I take that back, dislike is a better word, my mum always taught me that hate was too strong of a word ;) But seriously, I just don't get the "Oreos are the best" thing, give me a chocolate chip cookie any day over an Oreo.
But my best friend, Delina loves Oreos, like looovvees them! So to welcome her back home in the summer holidays, I decided to make Oreo cupcakes and they were D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. Don't get me wrong you won't see me in front of the tv, munching on Oreos but I do like baking with them! Less oreoy (yes, I just made that up) than the Oreo Brownies I made so I preferred these a lot!!
What's even better is that they're so simple to make and the frosting is so easy and has NO butter!! Don't get me wrong, I love me some buttercream but I'd choose this whippped Oreo cream any day! Light and fluffy... Sweet but not too sweet, absolute perfection. I'm not kidding. Make it yourself then ask around.
How to make-
Prep time: 10 minutes + 5 minutes for the frosting Bake Time: 20 minute
I have to admit, I didn't like photographing these, the light was terrible and I didn't know how to make them look delicious but the ones I put were the best. Hey, I can't get every photo right and I'm still learning the whole lighting situation but looking back at my old Iphone recipes, it's a HUGE step up... P.S please don't go back and look, I'm in the process of redoing the recipes because it's just too embarrassing to have them on the blog ;), but I had to start somewhere!
Oreos love them or hate them?
What flavour is your favourite?
Do you have a favourite type of cookie to bake?
Happy Monday!! This weekend has been fabulous, best weekend in a long time! Lots of friend time, chill time and a little homework in between, not too bad.
Our friday evening started on a furry note! We're dog-sitting, Barney, for the next 2 weeks and suffice to say he's a lot more energetic and crazy than Lucy was but he's still a puppy, so I just have to keep my patience!
On Saturday morning, I went into town and meet Grace, at Costa for a good catch-up! I hadn't seen Grace since prom, so it was definitely time for a good ol' gossip!
Mum came to pick me up and we headed to Tescos for the weekly shop. Guess what they started selling already? I'm probably the 1% who is super excited about this, Christmas chocolates are so much better but I suppose before Halloween is a bit over the top ;)
Then it was finally time for the part of the weekend I was most excited for, going to dinner with Delina!! I haven't been able to spend more than 30 minutes with her for the last 2 weeks and it SUCKS!! So spending almost 5 hours with her was perfect :)
We took the train to Cambridge and walked to Pizza Hut. 3 reasons Pizza Hut is 1,000 times better than Pizza Express- one, they have free drink refills, two, they have free salad with a pizza, three, they have unlimited refills of ice-cream! Could you ask for anything more- nope don't think so!
Couscous + potato salad, weird combo but it worked! Chicken, pepper and onion pizza, totally hit the spot! Finally kicked that pizza craving to the curb!
Cherry + vanilla coke, weirdly delicious! Plus lots of yummy soft serve with caramel and chocolate buttons! Delina didn't even know they had this ice-cream, so she was happy! I think Pizza Hut is going to become our regular dinner spot!
Sunday, I finished all my homework, relaxed and managed to cook some pasta and get my lunches ready for the week! I'm officially getting back into the healthy eating after a very l-o-n-g summer with lots of scrummy food! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and have a great start to the week today :)
Did you do anything fun this weekend?
Do you prep your food for the week?
Hi all, how's it going? A-levels are WIPING ME OUT!! Every night, I'm falling asleep on the sofa by 8pm, pretty sad stuff! The learning is so different and a lot more intense, exhausting! I was having lots of trouble sleeping but since school started, it's been a breeze!
I've also had to take a bit of a break from running and 5k training because of terrible back pain, even walking more than 10 minutes is painful, so I'm going to go to the doctors and figure everything out, it kinda sucks a lot but I really want to avoid hurting myself anymore than I already am!! Comment about your runs, so I can live through your running for now ;)
Despite having a rough week, there have been things that have made it slightly better! It really is the little things!
One good thing about school starting again, is getting to eat these cookies! They're so gosh darn good!! I hated the ones in America, so I actually never wanted to try the ones here until the end of year 11, I finally decided to go for it. Well good thing I didn't try them earlier during the year because they're so yummy so I would've ended up buying one everyday!!
Cookie dough and sprinkles, need I say more!! No, didn't think so! These little ice-cream pots are so great, you have just enough to satisfy the sweet tooth and but not enough to have an ice-cream coma/binge, perfect!
You guys, this stuff is amazing and I can't rave about it enough. Most days this is the only thing I put on besides face cream. It makes my skin SO unbelievably soft and smooth, it really works. It makes putting foundation on a little bit more bearable! But most times, I just go with this, I'm very lucky to have pretty great skin but this stuff helps my pores go away!
This is a super cool new series! I love Come Dine With Me, but it can get a bit boring so this is really fun change up! 4 people go to 5 different celebrities houses for the course of a week and each celebrity cooks for them. If the group guesses the celebrity right (through clues & the name of the dishes), they get money and the celebrity does the dishes, if the group get it wrong, they do the dishes! Pretty awesome concept, don't you think? It's absolutely hilarious watching the people trying to guess who the celebrity could be!
Music has been great lately! I've been loving so many songs at the moment, it's hard to pick just one! I finally made the jump and bought the Sam Smith album 'In the Lonely Hour' and my favourite song is Lay me down, it's so catchy!! Definitely a must buy album, I think he's absolutely amazing!!
I managed to finish most of my homework today, so I'm actually looking forward to the weekend! Tomorrow I'm catching up with my blogging buddy, Grace and then going for a Pizza Hut date with the best friend, finally found someone who loves Pizza Hut more than Pizza Express, YES, one of the many reasons we're best friends!! Then Sunday will be my relaxing day! Have a great weekend :)
Don't forget to comment :)
What things have you been loving this week?
What fun plans do you have for this weekend?
Fellow runners, had any good runs this week?
Today when I read my daily blogs, I was shocked that none of them wrote a word about 9/11. I was shocked when nothing was said or done at school, not even a moment of silence. I was shocked when I didn't see much on the news. I was left feeling like a lot of people had be disrespected on the day they should be most respected. To me it should be something that is mentioned and honored, it's a day I always remember and I always carry the event with me throughout the day.
I think no matter where you live or how old you are (besides babies + toddlers), we all remember what we were doing when 9/11 happened. I was 4, but I remember it clearly. I was sat at my little kiddie table in the kitchen. I was playing with Magic Sand and my mum was cooking dinner and all of a sudden my mum just dropped everything and was standing in shock. Asking "mamma, are you okay, what's happening"! I of course had NO clue what was going on or how huge this was.
I have since then, seen countless documentaries on it and I still feel such sadness and such pain for these people. Maybe because it was always hugely remembered when I lived in America, I felt such sadness that England didn't pay the same respect but I guess that's the way things go. I highly doubt people in the US even remember the 7/7 attacks, but maybe they do, I just never heard anything about!!
I think I understand more than most because on 7/7, my mum was working in London. I knew she took the tube and she was coming to my school sports event to watch me run the relay. My mum is never late. That day she was over 2 hours late. When they announced there had been bombs in the London underground, my heart sank to the ground and I was so scared, as you would be at 8 years old. It's a feeling I wish no person to ever experience, the not knowing if your loved one has been hurt is brutal and I can imagine how people with family working in the towers felt that morning. When I saw my mum run across the field, it was one of the most relieving moments of my life. You can't imagine what it's like to be in that situation unless you're ever in it. Something I'll never every forget.
So perhaps I remember 9/11 more because I remember what it felt like for that to happen to me, unsure if your family were safe. America truly showed such patriotism and courage throughout. My thoughts and prayers are with every single person who was effected, every passerby that had to witness this horrific event and every single servicemen that willing put their life in danger to help others. You're all amazing and should be honored on this day!
Hug your family a little tighter today and remember how truly lucky we are to have them!!
Hi guys, I'm finally recapping my race that was a month ago, remember that one in Chicago? Yeah I know, it was a while ago! Thought I better recap it before my next race, that might be best ;)
Race day started bright and early! I woke up at 6 am, got dressed and got my bag ready! I was filled with anticipation, nerves, excitement and determination. I often thought about how I would feel on race day and honestly it was some of the best feelings I've ever had.
I grabbed a yoghurt and a couple slices of cinnamon bread. I didn't really know what to eat before because I usually get really bad stomach pains if I eat anything too heavy a couple hours before a run, so I kept it light.
We left the house around 6:50 ish and drove down Lake Shore Drive to Soldier Field, which is where the start was.
The atmosphere was amazing, there was a TON of people. At 7:30 am, the gun went off for the half marathoners. With half an hour left, we took pictures, walked to the booths selling things and then lots of stretches.
Those 30 minutes felt like forever and I was more than pumped to get started. Alexis and I, said bye to my dad, Laura and Lila, then headed to the starting line.
We chatted, I got my music ready, retied my shoes about 4 times and then almost kicked a little girl in the face whilst stretching, I was a mess ;)
My dad was a superstar and took pictures throughout the whole thing, I literally wanted pictures of every.single.thing!! I didn't want to forget anything about the race.
There was a TON of people at the starting line and before we knew it the first group were off. I think Alexis and I, were in the third group to go. When the gun went off and people in front of me started running, I got even more excited. Alexis and I started running together, then he said bye and zoomed off ahead.
All smiles to start, it kind of wore off into the race ;) I popped in my earphones, waved to my dad and then ran off. The below picture is one of my favourites, everything else is kind of blurry but I'm in focus, it really captures my happiness.
I knew this race would be hard, I hadn't run more than 2 miles since I had run those 4 miles a couple months ago (I can't for my life find the post I wrote about the 4 miles, I'm positive I did but it's disappeared!). I knew after those 4 miles, I had pushed way too much and then realised the 10% rule is very true. The Chicago summer heat, is no joke my friends, even at 8 am, running along the lake with the sun blaring down was TOUGH!
I stopped and walked a lot more than I wanted to. I got angry and felt annoyed at myself that I couldn't run even 1 mile without wanting to stop. At around the half way mark, I gave myself a little pep talk.
I stopped beating myself up because that's not going to speed me up. I said to myself this is my first race and you're going to make it. Walking is okay, it doesn't mean I'm giving up, I means I have the courage to keep going even though all I wanted to do was sit down. I thought about how far I have come in 4 months, I couldn't run 3 minutes, now I can run 3.1 miles and I will.
And just like that I put one sluggish foot in front of the other, over and over again. I went slowly, like SUPER slowly but I was still running and I was still proving to all the people who didn't think I could, that I would. I counted to 20 over and over again, to distract myself from the pain and tiredness I was feeling. It works, try it!
At around the 2 mile mark, I was HUNGRY!! I'm still learning what my stomach can and can't take before a run and I didn't want to risk having bad stomach pains during the race but boy was I starving. I think the thought of food was the only thing keeping me going. And I was SO thirsty, the race only had one water stop which is probably enough but with the heat I feel like there should have been a couple more!
The scenery was beyond beautiful and I wish I had focused on that more. The race course was a loop of down and back. Once I had turned a corner at around the 2.5 ish mark, I recognised that I was nearly there...Thank goodness!!
The last .5 took willpower and a lot of Michael Jackson music to keep me moving. I finally got onto the main road and saw the finish line, hallelujah!!! I saw Alexis run towards me and he ran by my side, saying you're almost there and you can do this!! It was so sweet of him and I appreciated the extra motivation. He's the best cousin and I'm not just saying that because he reads the blog ;)
I don't think I even need to tell you how I was feeling because the pictures speak for themselves. The feeling of crossing a finish line is like no other I have ever felt. You'll have to start running and do a race because it's such a rush of emotions that I can't even begin to explain.
I loved that there was someone from the Biggest Loser to congratulate us and give us a high five at the end! I finished in 44 minutes and 21 seconds. Not the best time and I am so determined to get it down in the future. But I finished and my gosh, that in itself is amazing!!
Not the best picture but posing for pictures was the furthest from my mind. I'm pretty sure in that picture I was eyeing up the bananas and bagels and thinking "Thank god, I can finally eat!!". I got my medal, grabbed some water (I actually chugged a whole bottle of water, I was that thirsty) then ate a banana! Best decision I made all day was to bring flip flops for after, holy crap did my feet appreciate that!
I don't think I've ever been more proud of myself. This race was such a big step/moment in my life. It symbolises so much for me. I truly thought 5 months ago that you had to be super fit and skinny to run, then I decided to try it. I was neither of those things but I kept going. I've wanted to quit so many times but I knew the reward would be so worth it and it definitely was.
I have overcome so many things while running and even though during every run, I'm exhausted and fed up, the next day I lace up again and do it all over. There's something about running that makes you come back and not give up.
Each time I accomplish something new with running, I know I can overcome anything. Running gives me the strength I need to do other things in my life. It's weird because it sounds crazy to someone who doesn't do this sport but the amazing thing with running, is anyone can do it! I used to think all these running quotes were absolute nonsense but now I truly understand each and every one of them. Running has given me so much zest for life.
I've already signed up for another 5k in London but it's the Colour run, so I may not try to take it too seriously since it looks like a lot of fun!! I'm falling more in love with it and I can't wait for the day I sign up for a half marathon and let me tell you that day will happen, slowly but surely I'll be at that starting line ready to run 13.1 miles and I can not wait for that day!
Tell me about your first race experience.....
Summer went by in a flash, I say that every year but it really did go quickly. Maybe it's because I'm never really at home, thanks to having family all around the world, every holiday is spent travelling and visiting them.
I love summer. The huge amounts of ice-cream, swimming, tanning, family time, maxi dresses and late nights. Oh summer I will miss you! What's not to like? Actually just one thing- the horrible humidity. England is starting to get more humid in the summer and let me tell you, these houses without air-conditioning, is NOT FUN!!
That's why I am ready to welcome September with open arms!!
September has to be one of my favourite months next to April and May. Temperatures start to cool down, the nights get a little darker, you can start wearing sweatshirts, candles make everything cosy and America goes into a bake-pumpkin-in-everything phase. P.S I have yet to bake with pumpkin, do they even sell pumpkin in a tin here in England? I'll have to check that one out after!
I just saw this on Pinterest and thought it was so cute!!
Today in our first 6th Form School assembly, my teacher said how she makes New Year's resolutions at the beginning of September when the school year starts. Although I prefer not to even make resolutions, I do want to make a list of 6 goals + wishes I have for September!
I'm excited for a new year and new beginnings. Starting A-levels is going to be a challenge but I'm eager to learn things that are focused on my interests. It's going to be a long two years but bring it on. September has started off to a great start and I'm ready to welcome in the Autumn (Fall) and all the adventures that come along with it. It'll be winter before I know it, which I shall not open with such big arms ;)
What's your favourite season?
Any wishes or goals for the month of September?
Gooey, fudgy, chocolately, soft brownies. These brownies will knock your socks off! Metaphorically, of course, but if your socks could fly off these brownies would be the reason why. They're so beyond moist and scrumptious, they're a crowd pleaser and won't last longer than 5 minutes at a party.
These brownies happen to be my favourite dessert I've photographed so far on the blog. The light was perfect and they looked delicious without any other props. These brownie sell themselves, they didn't need any fancy props or lots of editing, they just photographed perfectly!!
I'm not a hug Oreo fan, so I originally thought "why would you want to put Oreos in delicious brownies and ruin them". Well these Oreos definitely don't ruin the brownie, they make them SO much better. Soft brownie batter then you bite into the crunchiness of an Oreo, it's perfection.
Makes 9-12 brownies (depends on how big/small you cut them into)
How to make-
Takes 5 minutes to make Bakes in 20-25 minutes
These are so decadent and not to be eaten when on a diet, because it will derail it all. Once you've had one, you just want another. This is why I made them for someone else, I had one then boxed all the others. Temptation completely out of the way. But it was definitely necessary to taste one just in case they weren't good enough for someone else ;)
I made these for Delina's birthday and I found cute little boxes at Tescos, that are super super adorable. They're usually for cupcakes but I used them for these instead, beats putting them in a plastic container. You definitely need to make these for your next party, bbq or simply a movie night because they're so yummy!