Sunday, November 25, 2012

Elf for Health

Hey Guys

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

As you may have noticed I have a new badge on my blog.

I have signed up to be an Elf for Health. What's that? I hear you ask. 

Two bloggers Lindsay and Elle got together and decided to put on a six week challenge starting from tomorrow running all the way through Christmas into January. It's a buddy system so you get paired with someone and you get to encourage each other and there are daily challenges involved and prizes too. You get assigned an elf every two weeks, so you will get three pairings for the whole challenge - sounds fun doesn't it? The elf matches are being sent out today, so you are too late to sign up for the first pairings, but I believe you can sign up before the second pairing, if you want to join in the fun.

I wasn't going to sign up as I'm heading back home to England for a visit next week, but decided having a buddy should help me stay on track, and hopefully I can help someone out too.

I have also decided to start tracking using weight watchers again. So I will weigh in tomorrow morning and resume tracking, I still have  my online membership so will be tracking online.

Have a great week everyone and good luck to all the elves xxx

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My first ever 10k

WooHoo  - Today I did my first ever 10k and it rocked.

I'm not a runner and probably never will be so planned to walk the route along with my hubby (thanks babe for getting up early and walking with me). Plus lucky I did plan to walk as I ended up forgetting my inhaler - again!!

All week it has been raining here and we have eagerly been watching the weather forecast, and luckily the rain gods were on our side and it stayed dry and the sun even came out.

As you can see from the outfits it was definitely the Awesome 80's, with plenty of neon :)


I did do the full 6 miles, but for some reason we only had markers for miles one and two, that I saw anyway!


The medal is super awesome and very heavy too, and is now my new favorite medal on my medal display rack.

A special thank you to Marisol who took my finishing photos, she was much faster than me, so was able to wait at the finish line to catch my last dash (yes I did actually run that bit).
I was hoping to finish in under 2 hours and my official chip time was: 1:57:35.9 so I now have a record to beat for my next 10k. I did also plan to use my Nike running app, but some how managed to pause it after 1 mile and didn't realize.  Also pleased to report I wasn't last, 5 people finished after me (and we wont mention the people who cut out the last turnaround!!)


Friday, November 16, 2012

3 years on

The last three years have gone by so quick. Exactly three years ago we would have just landed at SFO. I was super stressed and worried about the dogs and eager to get through immigration and customs and go get them. Our immigration process was quick but felt like it took forever, and we then had to get various paperwork signed before we could pick the dogs up. They were so pleased to see us as we were to see they were alive and well (yes I did have moments on the flight where I imagined going to get them only to be told they didn't survive the flight!)

We are now living in our third house and third location since moving to USA. Our first house was in Burlingame, then we lived in San Francisco (well the outskirts of SF) and now we are living in North Oakland (the nice part!), I think the house we are living in now is probably my favorite and the area is really really nice too, even with all the hills!

When we moved here we were on 3 year visas with the option to renew them, so there was a slim chance that if things didn't go to plan I would have been writing this post from England. Luckily things have gone great and earlier on this year we both got our green cards and became Permanent US residents :) 

Now I am a GC holder I am allowed to work, but so far I have been keeping myself busy volunteering 4 days a week at various organizations.], and doing lots of baking.

A few questions I constantly seem to be asked.

What is different here than in England?  ironically I normally say the weather! but today it is cold and chucking it down just like in England! Yes the weather here is a lot nicer and I think people in general are a lot friendlier too. 

Would I ever move back to England? I'm not saying never, right now life is good here and we have no plans to go back, we have been back each year for a visit and had lots of people come to visit us too. In two weeks we are going back for a visit to celebrate an early Christmas.

Does the home sickness get easier with time? This is a good question, and it's this time of year that I normally feeling it the most, you associate Christmas with families and it is hard when we wake up Christmas morning and we know we won't be seeing anyone (except for on skype), I think that is a feeling that will probably never go away.

Do you consider here your home now? I guess the answer to this would be yes it does now feel like home here, but England will also always be my home too, I spent almost 33 years of my life there, and that accounts for a whole lot for sure. 

What do you miss the most about England? I definitely miss friends and family the most, and appreciate that people do spend time and money coming to visit us. It can be tough when we go back for a visit to see everyone, but we do try our best and we do stay in touch on facebook and skype with people. Yes we have made new friends here, but will never forget our friends back home :) and of course proper cadburys chocolate and Greggs sausage rolls!!

Here's to many more years here (well at least 9.5 as that is how long we have until our GC need renewing)

Love you all xxx

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We have a winner..

Congratulations to the latest winner on my blog giveaway.

The prize of a jar of coconut oil goes to:

Heather, there is an email on it's way to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered and to Tropical Traditions for supplying the awesome prize.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Another 5k done

Another 5k day and another medal on my board :)

I recently started following PumpkintoPrincess on twitter, and I must confess I'm a little jealous of her, as she does Disney races, and the medals are awesome. If I lived closer I would so be taking part on a regular basis. Maybe one day I'll get to participate in one.

Anyway...  Amy is currently raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (great job Amy) and is training to run the Nike Half Marathon in DC next April. As part of her fundraising she is hosting a virtual Turkey Trot - you get to choose the distance you want to run and for a small donation ($20) you get a medal. I've just checked and she still has some medals left so it's not too late to sign up and help a great cause, you can sign up here

I decided to make my a virtual 5k, so I got up early this morning and decided to do three laps of my neighborhood. What I was expecting was it to be so cold today - it was 8/46 degrees out, at first I thought this was good and would make me walk (yes im still not jogging) faster, how wrong I was. My body was too shocked by the cold and my lungs weren't too impressed. You would think being an asthmatic I was prepared, but alas no I left my inhaler at home. So the first lap of the neighborhood I was wheezing away and felt like I was dying, I thought about quitting and going home but instead I changed my route and stuck to the flat streets instead of the planned hills, it took me about 30 minutes to get my breathing back to normal, but I did it and I completed the 5k, and by the time I was home I didn't even need my inhaler.

It took me a whole hour to complete the 5k with a 19.21minute mile, so no records broken today, but I did also burn off 523 calories. Not sure what the scales will be showing tomorrow as I ate lots of food on the go again the last few days!


My medal rack is looking good now with 4 medals, and I look forward to adding my Awesome 80's one to it next weekend. Although not looking forward to the early morning start, I will definitely be wrapping up warm and taking my inhaler. Maybe I should have made my first ever 10k in the warmer months! I guess it's all training for my trip back home to England at the end of the month.

For those of you who haven't yet entered you still have 1 day left to enter my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil giveaway.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post Vacation Weigh In

Did you miss me?

I've had a very busy two weeks with my sister in law and two nieces. We did something everyday, and had so much fun. Especially at Disney - despite the fact my iphone managed to wipe most of my photos :( 

I was pleasantly surprised on Monday morning to only see a gain of 2.2lbs. I was expecting more. We did do lots of walking whilst they were here, but food choices weren't great. We ate out a lot and on the go, my body was certainly craving fruit and veg! I would say in the last two weeks I probably didn't even eat 10% clean. My eczema has also flared up really bad as a result of the bad food choices (far too much dairy). But I had lots of fun and made lots of fantastic memories so that's what matters the most.

I am now back on track and all the candy and unclean food has left my house. Salmon and roasted veg planned for tonight. This morning was protein pancakes with banana.

I signed up for another race the other day, its a virtual Turkey Trot race and you can chose the distance, I'm going to make it a 5k, and plan to do it this Sunday, will probably do it alone and see if I can make it a new PR, as the dogs slow me down too much. The virtual race is being hosted by Pumpkin to Princess and you can sign up here  There is even funky medals to go with it. I then have my Awesome 80's 10k (fingers crossed the weather is nice) the following Sunday - I think hubby has forgotten about it, so don't remind him!!

Only 23 more days until I fly to England which I am super excited about, which means only 3 more weigh ins. Monday I was back up to 271.8lbs, I would like to try and reach my 40lbs loss and be at 265lbs before I fly - so watch this space.

Oh yeah - nearly forgot. Yesterday I reached 100 days of being soda free - Go Me :) Bring on the next 100 days. I'm still thinking of what else I can give up, but haven't decided on anything yet.

Also you have 5 days left to enter my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil giveaway.

Have a great week
Sarah xxx

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil Review and Giveaway

I was recently lucky enough to receive a free jar of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. I have heard lots of friends talking about coconut oil and how they have used it  for a range of cooking needs. So I was excited to try it.

The first thing I did was made my eggs using it and they were so good and I was amazed how much nicer they were then when I normally make them. I then tried it when I roasted my veg, I roasted butternut squash, peppers, and zucchini. Again they tasted so good (sorry no photo as I forgot to take it before eating them!). I will definitely be making this my first choice when cooking from now on.

Tropical Traditions were also kind enough to sponsor a giveaway, and one of my lucky blog readers will win a 32oz jar of Virgin Coconut Oil.

The giveaway is open to US residents only, all entries must be submitted using the rafflecopter app below.

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz. 

Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!
Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Friday, November 2, 2012

We have a winner

We have a winner for the EatPastry cookie dough giveaway.

Congratulations to.....

You have an email coming your way.

A big thank you to everyone who took part and to EatPastry for providing the prize and for making awesome cookie dough :)

I have one more giveaway lined up which I hope to do in the next week, so keep checking back.