Pum update…Week 1 January DONE (again)

Having been forced back into routine very early on the 3rd of January I’ll admit it has actually been nice having some structure again after the festive madness.  I remember well the feeling of achievement getting through my first healthy week of 2016 by writing ‘Pum update…Week 1 January DONE’.

I’m at it again and while there has been a few stray Christmas chocolates, a sticky toffee pudding incident and a couple of glasses of wine consumed, for the most part I’ve gone into January with a healthy mind-set.

Fitness

Last week’s fitness rundown:

  • Tuesday (1st day back at work)
    • 5 mins cross trainer warm up
    • boxing sets of jabs, uppers, hooks and a squat combination
    • low-key for starting back but my legs felt it!
  • Wednesday
    • Insanity fitness test DVD
    • I piggybacked on my team-member’s workout, it was tough but I did feel great having done it.
  • Thursday
    • Weights circuit (deadlifts, squats, pull-downs, bench-press, tricep-curls and Russian twists)
    • I really like the weights circuit I follow, I start at the back of the gym and work my way towards the exit!
  • Friday
    • 30 mins cross trainer workout.
  • Saturday
    • 7 mile walk at Loch Katrine.

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Eating

I’m back on the oats wagon and have mainly been having porridge or overnight oats for breakfast.  They fill me up and are perfect if I’m going to the gym over lunchtime as I don’t ever feel weak or queasy (which I sometimes do if I’ve not had enough to eat).

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I’ve also been having soup every day for lunch.  Last week’s choice was a lovely homemade roast butternut squash and parsnip blended soup (roasted with plenty smoked paprika) – very yummy!  The only downside to this is that I don’t seem to be the only one making fresh healthy soups as the queue for the microwave in work has doubled!

Despite having a bit of a focus on healthy eating I’ve still managed to have some really nice dinners.  Josh was a star last week and pretty much had my dinner ready for me every night (due to year-end madness in work).  We had duck, chicken, and sea bass throughout the week.  I also got a chance to use my new Denby bowls (I already had the shallow ones but my mum got me the big deep ones for Christmas, perfect for stir-fry).

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All in all it has been a week of balance, no extreme January crash diets but getting back into a good routine!

 

Pum x

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Pum update…2016, What a year!

2016 has been quite a year and I’m going into 2017 feeling positive and with a big smile.

One of the great things about writing a blog is the constant reflection.  If I want to look back on 2016 I just have to revisit my favourite posts and remember some of the amazing things I’ve been up to.

Among my highlights are a fantastic birthday weekend to the Peat Inn, a great work trip to Denmark and Sweden (where I tried some local treats), going to London to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the big holiday to New Zealand and Singapore.

We rounded off the year with our lovely Christmas treat of a stay at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and we dined at Number One at the Balmoral, a wonderful restaurant holding a Michelin star for 13 years!

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I actually had a think about all the restaurants we’ve been to in 2016 and it’s quite a number (woops); Peat Inn, Number One at the Balmoral, Gleneagles, Porter & Rye, The Butcher Shop, The Gannet, Ship on the Shore, Ondine, Grill on the Corner, La Vigna, Cau, The Spiritualist, The Wee Lochan, The Bridge Inn, The Railway Bistro, Doghouse, Duck Bay Marina, Andiamo, Hard Rock, The Big Slope, Elliots…

 

2017 is already an exciting year with Josh’s birthday trip to London (and dining in another Michelin star restaurant…we’re fairly racking them up), our holiday to Mauritius at the end of January, our anniversary in February, a family holiday to Spain in July, 2 hen weekends with some amazing girls in August (one of which is in Berlin), and that’s just to name a few things coming up…!

 

I’m also excited about leaving the festive period behind and getting back into my fitness routine and hopefully cooking a bit more than I have done in recent months.  January is always such a motivational time, I don’t care if some make fun of the vulnerable people who buy into fitness trends and fool themselves into thinking they’ll be a better person in the new year…I think it’s fab!

 

So Happy New Year to you and yours when it comes,

 

Pum x

Pum reminiscing…The Peat Inn

Last week I mentioned that I would be dedicating a separate post to my birthday weekend at the Peat Inn, it was such a special weekend and is a place I would really recommend.  After much pestering, Josh finally told me what he was planning for my surprise birthday weekend which was an overnight stay at the Peat Inn, Michelin Star restaurant with rooms…needless to say on hearing this I was very excited!

The weekend started with a nice drive to South Queensferry for an early lunch and a short stretch of legs.  Despite being the start of October the weather was actually lovely, cold but bright.

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We then headed straight up to the Peat Inn (which is just 15 minutes drive from St Andrews).  The buildings and surrounding gardens were lovely and there’s something inviting about the ‘restaurant with rooms’ set-up, where everything felt quite exclusive.

 

 

The room was huge and all the little touches just made it extra special; sherry, coffee, brownies, champagne, Belgian chocolates…I definitely felt spoiled!

 

 

After a few hours of relaxing (and trying not to stuff our faces on all the goodies before dinner) we headed to the restaurant for our tasting menu.

Neither of us are fussy so we happily accepted the menu and welcomed trying some things we might not have ordinarily ordered.

 

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In addition to the menu were a couple of amuse-bouches to begin with (including a very delicious venison sausage roll) and petit fours to end the meal.  The highlights for me were the 2 middle dishes – the confit egg yolk and the partridge.

 

Picture quality is not great, possible due to inhaling my food…

I hope I’m not over-exaggerating but I enjoyed every part of the weekend at the Peat Inn; the staff were friendly but not overbearing, the bed was one of the most comfortable I’ve slept in and the modest continental breakfast served in the room was actually much needed after overindulging the night before!

We rounded off the perfect weekend with a trip to my childhood holiday location, Largo, and a wander round St Andrews.  If any foodies in Scotland are looking for a special weekend away this is somewhere I’d definitely recommend!

Pum x

Pum update…What’s been happening?

Hello, I’m back!  It’s been nearly 6 weeks since my last blogpost but for good reason, I’ve been very busy…

The start of October was taken up with birthday surprises and treats (I have definitely been spoiled).   Then I was off for the big trip to visit big sistas Keeks in New Zealand and Biff in Singapore.

I’ve just about shaken the jetlag and feeling almost back to normal.

The past month has been filled with sooooo much good food and drink.  I’ll need to do some specific posts on a couple of highlights (namely the Peat Inn where Josh took me for my birthday and Raffles in Singapore for brunch, treated by Biff).

 

In the meantime here’s a little taster of the amazing food I’ve been enjoying…

Beautiful Michelin star dinner at the Peat Inn in Scotland

Brunch in New Zealand (Lake Taupo)

Lovely lamb and beef shank dinner in New Zealand (Rotorua)

Incredible chilli crab in Singapore

Delicious desserts in Singapore (top of Marina Bay Sands)

Street food in Singapore

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg I’ve been so incredibly lucky to have experienced so much in the past 6 weeks.  2016 has been a good year!!

 

Pum x

Pumspiration…Monday Motivation

It’s the start of a new week and I’m forgetting the sins of the weekend (cough sticky peacan bourbon pudding!) and starting afresh.

My morning started in work with a cup of coffee and my breakfast of porridge with cashew butter.  I used a sachet of Moma Super Seeds with a tsp. of Pip & Nut’s Honey Cinnamon Cashew Butter (looooove this stuff).

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At around 11am I had a satsuma and a plum (from our garden, more plums to follow throughout the day!).  I also had around 1.5l water…I drink a lot!

At 12pm it was time for the gym and today I did a workout from Polish fitness goddess Ewa Chodakowska.  I went with my gym buddy Kasia and we just youtube’d her 40 min Skalpel workout on the big screen in the gym…now this one burned!  The video is in Polish but we just muted the sound, turned up the tunes and followed her moves.  If you’ve not heard about her I seriously recommend you check her out!

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Lunch was a green pepper stuffed with lentils and mixed veg (from our work canteen and pretty tasty) along with a banana, another plum and more water.

Around 3pm I had a cup of tea with milk and a granny smith apple.

En route home I did a big shop for the week.  Josh and I are going to try to be really good for the  next 2 weeks before our holidays (me to New Zealand and Singapore and him to America!) so I loaded up on fruit, veg and lean meats.

I put on a big batch of vegetable lentil soup and made a quick dinner of an easy tuna nicoise.

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I’ll probably have some more fruit before bed but all in all a good Monday.  Here’s hoping I can keep it up!

 

Pum x

 

 

Pum’s favourite recipes…Isabelita’s Larder Rocky Road

Following on from my Lemon Berry Cake post (check it out for the story behind the baking!) here’s the recipe for my 2nd creation for year 2 of The Great Thermo Fisher Bake Off.

Now, I’ve borrowed this recipe from the lovely Sarah on Isabelita’s Larder and, in my opinion, was INCREDIBLE!

You have to check our her Rocky Road recipe here.

What made this so good was the removal of the fruit and the addition of crunchie bars.  Mmmm I wish I still had some of this left but it went too quick!

Here’s my version, and a little dusting of icing sugar makes all the difference…

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Pum x

Pum’s favourite recipes…Lemon Berry Cake

Now this is not one for the dieters out there, sorry!

Last week I did some home-baking for my work to take part in the 2nd year of The Great Thermo Fisher Bake Off.  I thought I’d share the recipes I used in a 2-parter because they were both soooo easy and turned out really well! (See the 2nd part of this post and my recipe for an amazing Rocky Road here).

The first was a Lemon Berry Cake.  This sponge was super light and the berries were refreshing paired with the gorgeous buttery icing.

This was a goodfood recipe and the only change I made was to increase the cooking time from 25-30 mins to a full 35 mins.  I just judged based on look and feel (at the 25 min mark the cake was still very wobbly).  The sponge turned out perfect and I’d definitely recommend cooling it properly before icing.  I also followed my mum’s advice to bake it in a silver foil tray.  I then removed it to cool, ice and decorate before putting it back into the tray to transport.

See the full recipe here.

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If you’re looking for a failsafe sponge recipe I’d definitely recommend this recipe, delicious!  I can’t wait to recreate with different toppings and decoration!

 

Pum x

 

Pum update…Gymwear Wishlist

I feel in need of a workout wardrobe refresh and here’s what I’ve got my eye on.  Somebody pry the credit card from my hand!!

 

Gym Leggings

My favourite of all gymwear, I do love a good pair of leggings!  The best place for leggings IMHO is H&M.  Affordable, comfortable and fashionable with a great selection, I don’t tend to deviate from here.

I noticed a couple of newbies to the collection that I’m keen to acquire…

 

Sports Bras

Now these bras mentioned here are not only on my wish-list but on my must-have list.  Serena Williams has named and promoted the brand of sports bras that she has used throughout her career, Berlei.  I had never heard of this Australian brand before and was intrigued…but half expecting an ugly industrial strength crop top!

Well I couldn’t have been more wrong!

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Berlei has such pretty designs in a brilliant range of sizes, and delivers to the UK woo! 

These two are currently in my basket with my finger hovering over the ‘checkout’ button (must resist, holidays to pay for!)

 

 

Workout Tops

Now I know this is completely buying into a brand name but if these gorgeous tops make me feel even remotely like an angel while working out I’m in.

I’ve never bought anything from the Victoria Secret’s Sport range but I’m seriously tempted.

 

I’m still super happy with the Adidas Ultra Boost that I got for Christmas last year and the best thing about them is they go with pretty much all gymwear!

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Will keep you updated of any purchases!

 

Pum x

Pum update…How The Scandinavians Do It

Carrying on with my work travel series I’m recently back from a work trip to Sweden and Copenhagen.  My trips last year covered Italy, Portugal and Spain which were all brilliant, but it was really nice for me to get the opportunity to go to Scandinavia where I’ve never been before.

Food

Scandinavia is a fantastic place for seafood and I managed to try some delicious salmon, char and fish eggs while I was there.  We went to a great little restaurant Hambergs Fisk in Uppsala which I’d definitely recommend.

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In Copenhagen I had uhhhmazing thinly sliced duck with dark cherries.   Not a typically Scandinavian dish but excellent nonetheless.

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And a trip to Denmark isn’t complete without a Danish pastry…or three!!

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Sights

I was really impressed with both Uppsala and Copenhagen.  There was so much to see and the architecture was so interesting.  We took in some beautiful botanic gardens, lovely canals and of course a visit to the Little Mermaid!

 

Exercise

I packed my gym stuff with great intentions but lack of time and tiredness from the travelling prevented me from unpacking it.  We did manage to keep up the steps while we’re there as we were both in agreement that walking is the best way to take in a city.

 

All in all a fun and balanced trip!

 

Pum x

Pum update…Sunday Snapshots

Sorry to have been a bit MIA and haven’t put a post up in a couple of weeks but I’ve been a busy bee.  I was away with work to Sweden and Denmark (which I’ll blog about soon) and just catching up with things now on a perfect lazy Sunday.

So much has happened over the last couple of months that I’ve not yet put into blog-form so thought I’d do a quick roundup in pictures…

Trips and Events

  • Annual Harry Potter related trip with bezzi Vivi (WB Studios tour and the Cursed Child play)
  • Sarra and John’s wedding (red dress from ASOS)
  • Edinburgh Fringe (pictured with big sis Biff)
  • Sarah and Craig’s wedding (pictured with the handsome bf)

 

 

Eating Out

  • Amazing seafood at Ondine in Edinburgh (seabass with gnocchi, roasted shellfish platter and scallops)
  • Steak dinners at Grill on the Corner in Glasgow (rump steak with handcut chips, apple tart and after eight coffee cocktail)
  • Pies at Bridge Inn, Ratho (steak pie with chips and lovely coffees for afters)

 

 

It has certainly been a good summer!

 

Pum x