Wedding dreams and Breakfast muffins

Last night was the first time I’ve dreamt about my wedding. When I woke this morning, the app on my tablet informed me that there were just 200 days left between now and the big day. In the dream I had gone for a run on the morning of my wedding (likely) and it wasn’t until I had rushed around (very likely) and showered that I realised my makeup lady and hairdresser hadn’t arrived and that even if they did then turn up there would be no time for them to get me ready before I had to be at the church. The horse and carriage arrived late and I actually ended up being over an hour and a half late for my own wedding. Excellent. I hope the dreams,-nightmares don’t continue for the next 200 nights!
I feel as though we are relatively organised with the planning and luckily I do break up from school for the Summer a month before our ‘I dos’ so should have plenty of time to rectify last minute panics!
Over the Christmas holidays we booked our band, The Yow Yows. They were a little more money than we had budgeted for a band but Dan’s one luxury want was a decent band and my one luxury want was the horse and carriage so they will be our two luxury items for the day. Out last remaining big thing to organise is the suits for the guys. I’ve left that for Dan to organise. I can’t get over the fact that we have to pay approximately £90 to RENT each suit! We have seven to get. Dan’s, both Dad’s, the Best Man’s and the three ushers.

My run tonight was with running club – the website informed me that it was ‘tempo runs with exercises’.  This basically meant running for just over a mile to a hill on a business park where there aren’t any cars to get in our way.  There were more than 20 runners again tonight, so we took over that road!  We did two sets of jog to the bottom of the hill, ten deep squats then back to the top of the hill and deep squats then.  Then four sets of gentle jog to the bottom and push it to the top.  Followed by four sets of push it to the bottom and gentle jog back up.  (I turned these into gentle jogs, as I was worried about pounding on my recently recovered foot too hard on the way down the hill.)  We finished off with a team Indian fartlek to the bottom of the hill and back, getting quicker and quicker as each person made it to the front!  Then had a gentle mile jog back to base.  I used the cool down session to plan my long runs out with Hayley and catch up on the gossip!

This morning, as planned, I got a bit of a bake on and made these beauties, which should keep me going for breakfasts for the rest of the week!

protein breakfast muffinIngredients:
(makes approx 10 small muffins)

* Half a carrot
* Quarter of a pre-packaged broccoli
* 4 eggs
* A long splash of milk
* 50g grated cheese

I whisked all four eggs in with the milk, then set to work grating the carrot and cheese into small strips.  I cut the broccoli as small as I could manage and stirred all the ingredients together in a bowl.  I half poured and half scooped the mixture into the rubber muffin trays my Mum bought me for my birthday and placed them in the oven at 170C for about 25 minutes, although I was checking them from 20 minutes onwards until they looked ‘done’ and no longer wobbled in the trays.

To be honest I’m not one for really following recipes to the letter usually.  I like to look at tasty looking food on Pinterest, or now Instagram, glance over the ingredients and then try and muddle through with what I have in my cupboard and what I feel inspired to add!  I knew I wanted eggs for the next few days, and there was some broccoli and carrot going spare so they went in the bowl too!

They came out beautifully and smelt AMAZING!  I wolfed three of them up for a late breakfast this morning, and have rationed the rest for on-the-go breakfasts until the end of this week.

I was looking for something to get me out of the cereal rut I fall into occasionally and these might just do the trick!  I was a big fan of eggs on bread for breakfast a while back, as they really kept me full all day and I’m hoping I will be able to report back the same from these bad boys, as well as sneaking in a small amount of vegetables first thing in the morning!

On a roll from my morning success, I also cooked and stripped a chicken this afternoon ready for some quick dinners this week and used a lettuce, yellow pepper, carrot, tangerines, cranberries, grapes and a block of cheese to produce a beautiful colourful salad for my lunches.  I’m feeling nicely organised now!  :)

Jantastic Day 20

Sub 10mmI headed out on a three mile run this afternoon.  The three miles became 4.7 miles and it actually felt good the whole way.  I still felt slightly breathless, like it was a bit of an effort to keep my breathing regular but at the same time knew that getting round the almost five miles wouldn’t be an issue with my lungs.  I pushed it a little harder in the middle of the run and my breathing was no more strained.

I was pleased to see that some of my miles are now starting to slip back into the Sub 10mm.  I was regularly running 5 miles around the 9:15mm mark six months ago and I don’t like to think that what little speed I did have disappeared completely!

Tonight I attended the County Athletics Association meeting with our club team captain.  Meetings are much longer than our club committee meetings.  We were inside for just over two hours!  They have asked me to produce a website for them so I was invited to talk about my vision for the site.  I was last on the agenda and was feeling rather sleepy by the time it came round to my turn to talk and make sense for 15 minutes.  Luckily I don’t think I talked too much gibberish and they were all still smiling by the end!

Someone else that was invited to the meeting was Steve Adams, a member at our club and also founder and Race Director of Go Beyond – the people that run the Shires and Spires 35mile race.  Last year, Go Beyond held the first Northampton half marathon and this year the County would like it to be included as part of their Road Running League so Steve was asked to introduce those present to the idea behind Go Beyond and talk about how it first came about.  It evolved mainly from Steve’s desire to fundraise for poor education opportunities in Africa which is something he felt strongly about.

I’m going to have a bit of a baking day tomorrow inbetween marking and planning for the rest of the term events.  I want to regularly get in the habit of doing some baking on a Tuesday which can then become my work lunches for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  So preferably something that will keep nice and fresh and tasty in the fridge for two or three days.  I have a couple of recipes I’m eyeing up already but any other suggestions for meals I should consider?

Three days of busy

My new teaching job is incredibly draining!  Despite now only working three days a week in school, I teach solidly from 9-4, without a break, with my 40min lunch breaks taken up with patrolling the playground and being on constant child-watch!

Working full time in a state school was tiring, but I cannot get over how utterly draining working part time with just a handful of students in each class is.  I have to plan a resource for 2-3 people, rather than 90-100 people each time and I need to constantly keep the students fully engaged with the lesson.  I think they’re feeling drained this week too; the first full week back as my last two classes today barely uttered sentences at all and it took a lot of prompting from me to get responses from them.

Anyway, with so much on my mind I couldn’t sleep from 2:30am this morning, and instead used my early start to build a program the kids need to create as part of their Computer Science coursework.

To a non-ICT teacher, this will look pretty boring…


But to Me, this is what I slaved over for three long hours in the midde of the night, while Dan and Bella were both tucked up in bed upstairs.  As were probably most of the rest of the UK!

I had another great run last night.  Threshold sessions are becoming favourites of mine!  This one was a 60minute run to include 4 x 6 mins @ threshold pace with 90s seconds jog recovery inbetween each effort.

I’ve had my plan through for the weekend and as feared, I am down to run a 90 minute run at super easy pace before taking part in Bristol half marathon with the rest of the Operaton Ultra crew.  My pace for the race is down as 11mm.  It actually feels like some of the pressure to perform has been lifted now – I have been told to run slowly, therefore I am not a failure when I do so! I put too much pressure on myself to perform at my best every single time.  The lack of pressure will be quite nice this weekend!

On my days off at the start of the week I thought I had better make an effort to be a good Fiancée as Dan had picked me up some flowers for the first day at my new job last week and I hadn’t done anything nice for him in a while.  I decided to make him a Chocolate Chip Cookie cake after reading that Heather had just made one on Tuesday.  I was so impulsive in fact, that I don’t think I had even finished reading the blog post before I was checking my cupboard for ingredients!

Here is the beauty I created pre-baking…


…and this is how it turned out!


Unfortunately I never got a ‘cut’ picture as it disappeared from the fridge too quickly!  Despite the cake actually being quite sickly when too much was eaten at once.  Small slices were the way forward!

I searched for a few recipes online, but all of them seemed to be written in cups and with ingredients I didn’t have, so with a few tweaks I *loosely* threw the following into a big mixing bowl…

* 120g butter
* 100g caster sugar
* 260g plain flour
* 1 egg
* sprinkle of baking powder
* 3/4 bar of chocolate, chipped into pieces and stirred into the mix

Then popped into the oven for 20 minutes on 180º.  It was still a little squidgey on the top when I took it out so I quickly whipped up some buttercream icing, laid this out on the top of the cookie cake and placed in the fridge.  The fridge worked wonders for the texture and we were able to cut the cake after just an hour.  Dan clearly approved, as there is now none left!

I always find it super frustrating when my Pinned recipes are written in ‘cups’ and Farenheit and have been pulling up the Google convertor each time something pops up in a recipe I’m baking.  I decided to make a graphic to place on the background of my laptop – to hand for when I am next baking in the kitchen.  Hope it helps someone else!