Friday, 27 February 2015

Winding Down February: A Goals, Birthday List, and Life Recap

February has been a pretty interesting month. Admittedly it's not over just yet, but the in-laws are visiting tomorrow, so I'll be too busy stressing out and panicking that they don't like me* to write this then.

So here's how the second month of 2015 has gone down for me...

*(apparently they do, it's just that I'm terminally terrified at all times) 

Life

Had my first supervision of the year; apparently my first paper might be ready to submit for publication soon(ish)! Plus the commute made for some pretty phone pics:



Saw Primordial in Manchester, who were ace. Also managed to acquire an epic hangover off 4 pints (over ten hours). So a mixed bag, all in all. No photos, but here's the title song off the album they were promoting:



Valentine's Day was lovely. Sam and I cooked for one another: he made my favourite pasta dish while I baked a creme egg brownie (pictured). We then downed some cider and read kids' books to one another. Because why not.
It was one of the best evenings of the year so far.



February was pretty decent pancake-wise. On pancake day I made American Pancakes (pictured... I may have gone overboard on the toppings) and of course I learned that recipe for flourless pancakes too.



I also visited the lovely Robyn in Leeds and discovered that, while espresso margheritas make me long for death, I don't entirely hate gin if its paired with cranberry juice. Further lessons included: sticky toffee pudding makes everything better, can't go wrong with BBQ chicken, boyfriends will always appreciate a selfie of your butt in £100 leggings from the changing rooms of some designer sports place, Trinity Kitchen closes pathetically early on a Monday, I'm not as good with Mocha as I seem to keep thinking I am, and Original Sin is still one of the best ciders ever.

Yeah, it was a pretty food-based day.


The next morning, I sacked off the gym in favour of the first hill of the year. It was hard graft as the snowmelt (see above for the before pic) meant that there was an obscene amount of mud in some places. Plus, it was half term. One of the things I love about hill walking is the tranquility; this tends to disappear when there seems to be a million children on the same hill. Nevertheless, it was still nice to get out there.



Fitness February

Well my attempts to be slightly less spherical have been a mixed bag this month. I have joined the gym and started varying my exercises (like including weight machines. Which I hate. And starting running. Which I hate slightly less but still hate) but my eating is beyond up and down. There's so much red and green on my target tracker for eating healthily that it's beginning to look like Christmas.

But I am trying to focus my efforts a bit more now. I've been following @thebodycoach on social media and that's encouraging me to cook more healthy meals (for instance, tonight I'm cooking his turkey meatballs). Plus Sadie is now coming up to visit me in April, so I have yet another reason to up the ante and try to be slightly less marshmallow-shaped than I am at the moment in time for her arrival. Plus it's also Sam's birthday and our anniversary that month, so it wouldn't hurt to be a bit fitter in time for those either.

So I guess the plan is to carry on carrying on with the workouts and focus a little more on not eating like a student. I mean, I still am one, but I'm no longer 19 anymore. (West Wing quote time! "You were 19 in college. You could eat Tupperware and your system would deal with it.")

If 7-mile hikes over 3 hills don't count towards FitFeb then I officially give up.


Birthday List

I'm not going to go through them all one by one, as that's just, well, long. Instead, here's where I've been ticking boxes:

As noted above, I watched Primordial at the start of Feb, meaning my quota for live gigs is already half-filled. Robyn and I visited a few new (to us) places in Leeds during my visit (namely: Graze and Black Swan) - both of which were pretty ace. I also went to an awful half-cafe-half-pub thing in Sheffield for my Mum's birthday, but I'm trying to forget that place.

My pancake obsession has covered cooking something from scratch, although I've been increasing my sweet potato repertoire as well. Plus, as I mentioned: turkey meatballs tonight. I joined a gym, have sort-of started couch-to-5k (I keep forgetting my iPod, so I've been free-styling the running a little), and my 1-line-a-day journal is fully up to date.

I've also been making particularly strong progress for 8 ("Read 10 Novels Not By Terry Pratchett") and 15 ("Take on More at Work"). I'll be doing something akin to a reading list (following a request from a colleague), but I've already got through 4 books this month and have just started number five. Bloody hell. As for work, I've apparently been making good progress with my thesis, I've been getting stuck in with marking, and I've even done two peer reviews for different journals this month.



So all in all, it's been a pretty decent month!

I hope your February has been a good one. Now I'm just hoping that my running injuries will calm down in time for Marching March.

XO

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Recipe: Flourless Pancakes

So I made some flourless pancakes today...


It was super simple to make and I rather enjoyed them (though how much the golden syrup had to do with that, I'm not sure).

My recipe was pretty much a bastardization of this picture that's been doing the rounds on Facebook and Instagram. I've no idea of the original source, so if anyone knows it I'd be happy to drop credit where it's due.

Ingredients...
  • 1 and 1/2 bananas (the half that's left does for a garnish)
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
  • Dash of cinnamon 
Method...
  • Whisk up the eggs and mash up the banana in separate bowls
  • Bring them together to mix until smooth... I have no patience, so I used my blender for this
  • Add vanilla essence and cinnamon to taste and mix them into the egg/banana mixture.
  • Pop the frying pan on with some oil and once it's heated up a bit, pour out about 2 tablespoons of mixture for each pancake
  • Do the usual flipping and whatnot til they're ready
  • Repeat until you've used up the mixture.
  • Garnish as desired (honey would probably be way healthier than golden syrup in all honesty)
  • Consume!