Thursday, September 27, 2012

Running, running, running

Well more walking, walking, walking :)

So far this year I have taken part in four  5k races, all of which I walked.

June 20th I took part in the Summer Virtual 5k, which I did on my treadmill. My time was 59:57

July 11th I took part in the Do Life 5k in San Francisco. My time was 54:02.

July 14th I took part in the Color Run in San Francisco. My time was 1:02:42 

September 16th I took part in Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk virtual 5k which I did my walking around Lake Temescal. My time was 58:24

Today I signed up for two more races. So my racing calendar (which is also a nice purple widget to the side of my blog  >>>>>) is

October 27th Dirty Girl Mud Run which is a 5k with obstacles in San Jose

October 28th Virtual Zombie Run the Hood 5k which I plan to do around Lake Temescal

November 18th Awesome 80's 10k in San Francisco - this will be my first 10k.

December 29th Brazen New Years Eve 5k around Lake Chabot

January 1st Brazen New Years Day 5k around Lake Chabot - I think this will be a great way to start 2013. Also by completing the NYE and NY day runs we get this funky medal

At the moment I am walking all my 5ks, due to my slipped discs my Dr told me to avoid the impact of running, but I am hoping with some practice and training, that I will be able to start at least jogging part of my 5ks and hope to bring my time down considerably in 2013. I also plan to set myself a goal of completing a 5k each month in 2013.

Seeing as I am about to get a nice collection of medals, I have decided to order a bib and medal holder. I plan to purchase this one in purple or at least ask Santa or the birthday fairy for it :)

So far this year I have received one medal which was from the Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk race which looks pretty cool, but it also needs some friends.

I look forward to sharing my walking/jogging adventures with you all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Foster Farms House Party

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be selected to host a Foster Farms Always Natural Always Fresh House Party.

I got sent a very cool party pack, which included vouchers to spend up to $50 on Foster Farms chicken, $2.50 coupons to give to my guests, some really cool tote bags, a chefs jacket and some yummy recipes.

 I was sent six recipes and chose two of them to make for my guests. The first one we made was hoisin chicken thighs, they were served on a bed of jasmine rice (unfortunately the mango wasn't ripe enough so we had to skip adding that). This dish smelt and tasted so good. We had a lot of sauce leftover which I used the next day on some drumsticks.

The second dish we chose to cook was cumin chicken paillards  with grape tomatoes, scallions and wine (except we skipped the wine bit). This recipe was really quick to do and came out really nice also. It was very yummy, although not quite as nice as the hoisin chicken!!

Marlene (above) who blogs at Nosh my Way attended the party with her husband, and Deb who blogs at DebRoby and my husband attended the party. We were all extremely full by the end of the party, and discussed lots of other ways we can cook all the chicken we have, and making tweaks to some of the recipes we were given.

House Party host lots of parties each month, this is the second party I've hosted. You sign up and they will show you the upcoming parties and when you can apply, they are lots of fun and you get to try and share lots of cool things for free with your friends.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 37

*sigh* It's been one of those weeks! I had great intentions at the start of the week, not really sure what happened, I think I had a few days where I wasn't on track and then it just spiraled from there. I didn't work out because I felt like I had no energy, because I had been eating crap! So just ended up eating crap all week and didn't work out once. Part of me wants to say it's good to have an 'off week' once in a while but I don't truly believe that is true. All week I kept saying I'll start a fresh on Monday, but why couldn't I just start a fresh the next day? A few people this week have blogged about the whole self sabotage thing and not feeling worthy, and I think that's how I felt. At the start of the week I wore my new smaller size 20 jeans for the first time and felt great. 

Saturday night I was up in the night and I honestly felt like I was dying, I had stomach cramps and nausea. My first thought was I had food poisoning and I was really concerned as that day I had hosted the foster farms house party (which I still need to blog about), but the sickness and diarrhea never appeared and eventually I got back to sleep but felt rough Sunday morning, you would think that I would have taken it easy Sunday, but no! I went to a group picnic that was pot luck and basically ended up trying everything, then in the evening we went to the movies and I had popcorn and an icee, then we went for dinner and I had a buffalo burger (didn't taste as nice as the elk burger!). All was good until around midnight and I woke up with the sweats and shakes, and stomach cramps and honestly felt like I was dying again. I was nauseous and heaving but nothing came up, eventually after a few hours of tossing and turning and going in and out of the bathroom I managed to get comfy and go back to sleep. Today I have felt OK but not 100%.

I think basically my body is showing me that is is DESPERATE for me to go back to healthy eating and working out again. It's not hard, I have plenty of time, I love cooking - so I have no real excuse. The scales weren't pretty this morning, they showed a gain of 2.6lbs taking me back over 270lbs :( So far today is going well and I've been on track, I decided not to work out today as I'm not feeling 100%, but plan to work out tomorrow for sure. I know I can do it, so feel free to give me a helpful kick up the butt if needed.

This time next week I WILL be posting a loss

Thanks for reading and have a great week xxx
PS: Sorry for no pretty pictures/graphs this post

Friday, September 21, 2012

September BarkBox

I seem to be playing catchup with my blog posts this week.

Another month and another BarkBox, I received a similar size box the other week in the mail and Bluey assumed it was his and tried to open it, so I will have to make sure I don't leave any other boxes lying around. As you can see from video he certainly enjoys opening his box each month

There were lots of yummy edible treats in this months box, which maybe why Bluey was so eager to open it.

The first item we took out was the chewable toy that also floats from West Paw Design , my dogs aren't big fans of these type of toys, so we will be donating to one of their friends.

The Z bones from Zukes went down a treat and were the ideal size for my two, we got carrot crunch, apple crisp and cherry berry. They are great grain free dental bones for helping clean teeth and freshen breath. My two loved all three flavors. 

The treats from Whole Life Pet are organic freeze dried treats, my two loved the chicken ones, they haven't tried the sweet potato ones yet, but they have had sweet potato in the past and I know they love it, so I know they will love these when I give them to them.

The chew from Barkworthies is made from 100% natural grass fed Angus beef, at first my two weren't interested in this, so I left it on the floor for them, an hour later they devoured it. The only downside to this was Bluey had really bad gas after eating it :(

The bath wipes from LA Fresh are handy to keep around for when you don't want to give your dog a full bath, and just need to give them a quick freshen. They maybe handy to keep in the car.

We also received a $10 off coupon for, which is a site that sells everything you may need for your pets.

If you are thinking of signing up for a box for your dog, then use the following link and you will get $5 off your first box your dogs will love you for it :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Naturals VoxBox 2012

A few months back a friend on twitter mentioned she was receiving a box of free things from Influenster, well as soon as i heard the word free I wanted some of the action, so I signed up and filled in my profile and some surveys. I then forgot about it till last month when they sent me a survey saying they thought I would qualify for the next VoxBox, so I filled the survey in and waited... then last week my first box arrived :)

The first item is GEODEO, which retails for $5.99 for a 2.3oz stick.
Reach a new level of purity, keeping you fresh for 24 hour odor protection. GEODEO Natural Deodprant Plus Detox Complex is a naturally-derived, breakthrough eco-technology, specially formulated to be safe for your body and your world
I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but it smells so good - so am looking forward to trying it and seeing how it copes with my everyday use and also when I workout.

The second item is LypSyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer, which retails for $2.87 - $2.99
With pure Swedish beeswax, organic shea butter, and vitamins A and E, LypSyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer will give your lips long lasting, deep penetrating moisture and lip care protection to moisturize, soften and protect your lips naturally for a healthy pucker!
I used this item first, it is mint flavored and I was a bit apprehensive at first, but after the first two times I used it I have got used to the tingle and now I love it and I have noticed I'm applying it a lot less than my usual brand of lip balm.

The third item is CleanWell Individual Hand Sanitizer Wipes, which retail for $29.99 for 50 pouches.
CleanWell wipes clean up messes and kill germs with all natural ingredients that are easy on the earth. Their mild ingredients are great for hands and faces, and the one use packet is ideal for all your on-the-go activities!
I haven't use the wipe yet, but I have placed it in my purse so it is ready for when I next get in a sticky, dirty mess ;)

The fourth item is EBOOST, which retails for $28 for 20 effervescent powders, $39 for 30 effervescent powders or $39 for 12 shots.
EBOOST will boost your mood, focus and immunity with natural ingredients and no crash. As a shot or an easy to mix powder and in four flavors, you'll feel great whether you choose Orange, Pink Lemonade, Acai Pomegranate or Super Berry.
I received a sachet of the orange flavor and it was really nice, I took it Sunday morning before I completed my 5k and I seem to do really well energy wise, I love the extra immunity too especially as we are approaching flu season.

The fifth item is NECTRESSE which retails for $3.99 for 40 servings, or $6.99 for 140 servings.
NECTRESSE sweetener tastes like sugar but with zero calories per serving! 100% all natural, NECTRESSE is made primarily from monk fruit, combined with other natural sweetners.
I haven't tried this yet, but love the fact it is 100% natural.

The sixth item is Desert Essence Coconut Shine & Refine Lotion which retails for $9.99 for a 6.4fl oz bottle.
Bring out your hair's natural beauty and texture as you nourish it with Desert Essence Coconut Shine & Refine Lotion. Cactus, Agave, Vitamin E, Coconut Oil and Extract, work together to keep your hair looking it's best!
I love anything that makes my hair shine more, I haven't used this yet, but I opened the bottle and it smells gorgeous, can't wait to use it and hope my hair smells as good as the product too.

The final item is  The Original Dish Drying Mat which retails for $4.99
The Original Dish Drying Mate is a unique, laminated design that combines a thin layer of foam between two layers of high quality, super absorbent microfiber for a new dish washing experience that conserves energy and paper towels by air drying, and saves water by hand washing.
I used this item on the day it arrived and I love it, I often hand wash my items if I only have a few items, this takes up less space than a dish rack, and is super soft on the glasses too.

So my first VoxBox was awesome, and hopefully I will get selected to try another one and will get to share all the cool items with you again.

Week 36

Only 98 sleeps till Christmas :) I know you are loving my little updates each week.

I actually have quite a few countdowns on my phone:
37 sleeps till Lisa, Paige and Ebbie come to visit
39 sleeps until Lisa, Julia and I take part in the Dirty Girl run
40 sleeps until Dave, Lisa, Paige, Ebbie and I take part in the virtual 'run the hood' zombie dash
42 sleeps until Lisa, Paige, Ebbie and I go to Disneyland
61 sleeps until Dave and I take part in the 10k Awesome 80's run
73 sleeps until Dave and I fly to England for a visit
and 303 sleeps until Comic Con

As you can tell I love my countdowns, also it's been 50 days today since I drank soda :)

Talking of soda, since giving it up I have had no caffeine as the tea I drink is caffeine free, over the weekend I bought a Keurig brewer and I've been drinking a lot of iced tea and regular tea, it dawned on me this morning that this is the reason I haven't been sleeping well the last few nights, I've been awake at 4am each morning, clearly my body needs to adjust to the caffeine intake again.

So week 36, it was an OK week, here are the stats from my fitness pal

Yes Thursday I ate lots, although it wasn't as bad as I expected, I decided to order pizza, garlic bread and wings, normally I would eat the lot but this time I only had two slices of pizza and half the garlic bread, so that's a major improvement for me. I would say I ate 60% clean this week, I do need to work on trying harder with that, as I know the more clean I eat the better I feel and the more energy I have.

This week I worked out  four days. Monday I took the dogs on a 2.76 mile walk, it was a lot warmer than I expected, so was a tough walk. Wednesday I cycled 8 miles on my exercise bike, Friday I did 40 mins on my wii fit, and Sunday I took part  virtually in the Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk birthday 5k with Dave which we completed in 58 mins. I think the thing I need to focus on the most is drinking more water, as I've been slacking on that.

So the numbers for this week, just a small loss of 0.4lbs this week, but it's heading in the right direction and my total loss is now at 23lbs :) I would like to try and lose 2lbs this week to hit 25lbs next week.

Thanks for reading my blog and have a great week everyone
Sarah x

Friday, September 14, 2012

25 random question

I found this twenty-five question tag on and decided it would be a great way to get to know my followers and subscribers better. So, I’ll post my answers and then if you want go a head and copy and paste the questions to your blog and post the link in the comment below.

Let’s get started:

Question 1: Do you have any pets?
Answer 1: Yes, I have two west highland terriers - Jess and Bluey and two goldfish - Bangers and Beans

Question 2: Name three things that are physically close to you:
Answer 2: My MacBook, husband and Bluey

Question 3: What’s the weather like right now?
Answer 3: It's 1030pm and it's 62 degrees out.

Questions 4: Do you drive ? If so, have you crashed?
Answer 4: yes I drive, I've had three crashes in my time :( the third one was my fault the other two weren't

Question 5: What time did you wake up this morning?
Answer 5: alarm went off at 7 and I got out of bed around 730

Question 6: When was the last time you showered?
Answer 6: about 5 hours ago after I finished working out

Question 7: What was the last movie that you saw?
Answer 7: The Bachelorette - wasn't as good as I was expecting :(

Question 8: What does you last text message say?
Answer 8: No worries

Question 9: What is your ringtone?
Answer 9: According to my settings the ring tone is 'old phobe'

Question 10: Have you ever been to a different country?
Answer 10: I’m from the UK, I've been to France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Cuba and Canada

Question 11: Do you like sushi?
Answer 11: Kind of! The basic ones with the rice are nice, the fancier ones I don't want to try

Question 12: Where do you buy your groceries?
Answer 12: I shop at Safeway, Trader Joes and Whole Foods depending on what I need

Question 13: Have you ever taken any medication to help you fall asleep faster?
Answer 13: No

Question 14: How many siblings do you have?
Answer 14: One younger sister and one younger brother

Question 15: Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?
Answer 15: Laptop - MacBook Pro

Question 16: How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
Answer 16: I will be 36 this year

Question 17: Do you wear contacts or glasses?
Answer 17: contact lenses or glasses if I'm tired

Question 18: Do you colour your hair?
Answer 18: I have had highlights and lowlights before, wanting to have something bold done next time

Question 19: Tell me something you are planing to do today:
Question 19: Go to bed shortly as its 1030pm, tomorrow I'm going to see Wall-E at the drive in movies

Question 20: When was the last time you cried?
Answer 20: when I watched Parenthood last night

Question 21: What is your perfect pizza topping?
Answer 21: red onion, BBQ chicken, cilantro, mozzarella

Question 22: Which do you prefer, hamburger or cheeseburger?
Answer 22: Cheeseburgers

Question 23: Have you ever had an all nighter?
Answer 23: Yes, but not for a long long time

Question 24: What is your eye color?
Answer 24: Grey/green

Question 25: Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
Answer 25: Yes, coke is the better one. Although I no longer drink soda

Now it’s your turn. Don’t forget to link your answers down in the comments and read everyone else’s answers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Candy making and holiday gifts

A few weeks ago a fellow expat Sarah G who blogs at We have moved to USA posted that she was making candy, and two of my favorite kinds twix and crunchie. So of course I had to give it a go.

We attempted to make the crunchie first which was really to easy to make and as you can see from the recipe it only has three ingredients. Well four if you count the chocolate.

The messiest part was the coating in chocolate, I'm sure there must be an easier way to do it! They tasted so good, just like a proper crunchie. We ate a few then I sent the rest to Dave's office where they didn't last long!

Next was the twix, these took a lot longer to make as it was three longer stages, I purchased a cheap candy thermometer for making the caramel but it somehow managed to get water in it and stopped working, so I had to use guesswork and it turned out pretty well, although there was a lot more caramel than we needed. I have since been out and purchased a new candy thermometer that I plan to use soon.

Dave said the people in his office also enjoyed the twix. I think the biscuit could have been more crunchy, it had more of a shortbread consistency to it, but tasted nice all the same.

After making all of this it got me thinking about the upcoming holidays, halloween, thanksgiving and chritsmas. I love baking and often make cookies and other things for Dave's office and the neighbors, but they are always presented in a ziplock bag, which is fine, but I thought I wanted something nicer for holiday gifts. So I plan to buy some see through bags. This then got me thinking, how about some nice tags. As it turns out a friend on twitter Kelly happened to post about her etsy shop The Country Crab. I had never been on etsy before, and I love it. I purchased two sets of tags from Kelly's shop, some general baking ones and some halloween ones.

She then mentioned she can do custom made tags and other things too. I didn't need to be told twice and sent her to work making me some custom made holiday kitchen tags which arrived today. I also have her making my Christmas cards for me. Her prices are great and she ships really fast too. Those of you who are on my Christmas card list will get to see her wonderful Christmas card desing later in the year.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I've been meaning to blog about Postcrossing for the last month, then today I finally got round to buying something to display my cards in :)

I have been a member of the postcrossing community for almost 5 months now. In that time I have sent a total of 48 cards to 17 different countries and received 46 cards from 16 different countries. I also have 9 cards currently traveling to their destinations. I love how on the site you can see the stats for where you have sent and received cards from.

I do sadly have one expired card which I sent to Russia 71 days ago, the system expires them after 60 days :( Although I did receive a card from Russia recently that had been traveling for 67 days, so maybe my card will eventually get there. I also have three other cards I mailed on the same day to three different countries and none of them have arrived, so I'm wondering if something happened to the mail in my mailbox that day :( hopefully if it got lost at the sorting office it will get found and eventually delivered.

The whole community is really friendly and everyone sends you nice messages about themselves and lovely thank you messages when they receive your cards. If you love receiving nice mail (nor bills, or junk mail) then this project is definitely for you.

As you can see I have had a nice variety of cards from different places. I need to buy some more hangars to display them and also find a way of displaying the oversized ones too.

I will blog again in a few more months with some updated photos of my collection.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week 35

Hey everyone, hope you all had a great weekend. Only 15 weeks and it will be Christmas Eve :) I've already started thinking of my list of things for my letter to Santa.

I had another great week this week, I think I could soon be saying this new clean eating is becoming a habit :) I have been soda free for 42 days today and no longer miss it at all :) I have been eating clean for 6 weeks now, and only had one small gain (0.6lbs) in that time, and I have managed to go out for meals and to other events without feeling compromised.

The numbers for this week, I ended being 958 net calories under my weekly goal, I felt like I ate a lot this week so was surprised that I was under by so many. I ate a lot less fat this week also, but a lot more carbs. I had a few candy bars, so that is the cause of some of those carbs. I would say I ate clean 60% of the time this week. Need to work on the candy, doesn't help I bought a pack of 20 curly wurlys online!!

 This week I worked out 4 times, I used my wii fit, my exercise bike and one day I decided to take the dogs on a 5k walk, all was good, then I realized I had a rather steep hill to climb to get back to my house, I have walked up this hill before but both times I stopped two or three times on the way up. This time I walked up it without stopping, clearly this was pushing my body to its limits as my heart rate monitor shows! I now have a nice measurement to use as a guide, so hopefully next time I walk up it I will see an improvement.

On to the scales, this week I lost 2.2lbs taking my total loss to 22.6lbs and I am now in the 260's which is super exciting, and I am now 6.6lbs away from reaching my 10% lost goal. I also have 6 weeks to lose 19.6lbs to reach my 250lbs goal, which was my original plan, but as I mentioned previously I may move the goal date to my birthday instead.

Hope everyone has a great week and thanks for reading my blog

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Glade Expressions Collection


Ive been a busy little BzzAgent* again. This time it was the new Glade expressions collection and as a result my house is smelling extra lovely.

I tend to burn a lot of scented candles in my home, or use reed diffusers, so it was nice to try something new.  The first store I went to had limited items, so I was only able to buy the fragrance mist, the scent I purchased was cotton & Italian mandarin (Open your home with the bright, breezy blend of cotton and sparkling citrus, honeydew and sandalwood). This turned out to be a good option as it is the only fragrance that is only available in the mist. The scent is not too overpowering which is good, as sometimes you end up spraying and then spending the next ten minutes sneezing!! Also the smell lingers for a decent amount of time and travels well, I sprayed it in one room and walked to another room, and could still smell it. It is a really nice clean smell. I would use this in all rooms of the house as I think it is suitable for a selection of rooms. The design is also really nice and it doesn't stand out as much as other products, the handle is a squeeze mechanism to activate the spray which I really like. Also you buy refills that you place in the top, so you aren't having to dispose of the whole package each time.

The Glade expressions collection comes in four fragrances:

Cotton & Italian Mandarin - Open your home with the bright, breezy blend of cotton and sparkling citrus, honeydew and sandalwood*
Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice - A ripe, spicy blend of sweet pears and crisp apple with a dash of cinnamon and clove that warms and invigorates
Lavender & Juniper Berry - Lush lavender blends with fresh juniper berry, eucalyptus and rose to relax the senses and open your home
Pineapple & Mangosteen - Evoke a tropical paradise with the blend of freshly cut pineapples and hint of tangy mangosteen, creamy coconut and passionflower
*Available in Glade Expressions® Fragrance Mist only.

I also purchased the diffuser, this one I purchased in pineapple and mangosteen. The smell is very fruity, yet not overpowering. I have placed it in my dining room, so the smell greets you when you walk in. It reminds me of summer vacations and going to the beach. There is the bamboo design I purchased and also a white design too.



I love the fact the diffuser doesn't need batteries or to be plugged in, so you can place it anywhere in the house and move it as frequently as you want without being restricted, and you don't need to remember to replace any batteries either. Also like the fragrance mist it is refillable, so you don't need to throw the whole thing out every time. It says on the package it lasts 30 days, I've only just purchased it so can't comment on that.

*For those of you not aware, I am a BzzAgent and get sent products to try free of charge or for a small fee, in return I get to share my reviews (good and bad) about them with you guys.