18. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Another weekend, another 10K done. I entered the Barra 10K in aid of Kayleigh's Wee Stars last month as my company was sponsoring the race. As the only main participant in the race from my company (except from the guy actually organising it) I think I did the company proud! The race took place on Barra Hill which was the site of the Barra Battle 700 years ago and by golly it was some hill! I got a pretty good time considering the terrain and the race being described as 'cross country'. I ended up relaxing the evening with some chilled cider and pizza. Well deserved.

No more races for me in the next month whilst I let my body recover as along with circuit training, weight training and running; my body has taken quite the beating. I will be focusing more on my circuit and weight training as I look towards my holiday to Barcelona next month

I've had a 'pick n mix' week. Nothing too exciting. I managed to almost break my quads mid-week at a Body Pump class after not going for more than a month. I was squatting with the heaviest weights and I couldn't walk without wincing in pain. A good foam roll rehab sesh with my chummy seems to have done the trick and got me back on the running road.

This week has just been filled with too much fitness related things! My aim for next week is to eat more healthily and start planning our itinerary for Barcelona. The amazing weather this weekend is making me more excited for holiday sun.

How are we all today Orchids? Looking forward to June rolling in next week?


17. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 22 May 2016

This has got to be the longest week ever! It's my first week 'on call' for work and I've been constantly on edge watching out for the flash of the red light on my Blackberry. I've been unlucky enough to have to spend all weekend in the office but it's almost over! Passing the buck over tomorrow thankfully.

I did manage to sneak out and have a Yo! Sushi session with my Brother Orchid and his girlfriend who is over from the States visiting. I don't tend to venture to Yo! outside of Mondays as it's so expensive otherwise but with my 25% discount the total wasn't so bad after all. California hand rolls are life.

I've also discovered 'Once Upon a Time' on Netflix and I am addicted. Am I years behind everyone else?

I've got another 10k race next week. A little tougher than the others as it's mainly done cross country and as I've been preoccupied with work, I have been unable to train this week but hopefully I'll get a couple of runs in before the actual day.

I hope you've all had a lovely week. Can't believe we're coming into our last week of May!



Recipe // Gluten Free Summer Cupcakes

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Don't you just love it when the weather warms up and all our favourite summer fruits are in season? Great for snacking on the go, in a picnic or even better, on a cupcake! I couldn't pass up these bright red strawberries when I was in the supermarket the other day so I snapped up a pack and whipped up a quick batch up cupcakes to share with my work colleagues.

One of my work colleagues can't have gluten - not by choice - so it's tough to watch her miss out on the scrummy baked goods people bring in. You can make these with self raising flour or gluten free flour so your celiac chums can join in with the baked delights too!


125g soft butter
175g golden caster sugar
2 large free range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g gluten free flour (or self raising flour if using)
3 tbsp milk


1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. The longer you do this for, the fluffier your cakes will be.
3. Beat the eggs together with the vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Add to the butter and sugar mix a little at a time until all incorporated
*tip: if your mixture starts to look a bit curdled at this stage, add a tablespoon of flour to the mix to bring it together again into a smooth mixture*
4. Add the flour in three batches alternating with the milk until well combined.
5. Divide your mixture into a prepared cupcake tin lined with papercases
*tip: I used an ice cream scoop to evenly distribute my mixture between the cases but you can use spoons if you don't have one*
5. Pop into the oven for around 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven) until golden brown and springs back when you press them slightly.
6. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for around 5-10 minutes. Remove thereafter onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Top with your favourite buttercream or fresh whipped cream and decorate with seasonal fruits, chocolates or sweets depending on your tastes.

Et voila! You have yourself some delicious cupcakes to devour and share amongst your friends and family. These are best eaten on the day they are made but if you magically have some left over, they will keep in an airtight box for a maximum of three days.

What are your favourite summer time treats to bake?



16. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Here's me...finished a 10k run with a personal best today. As a runner, the joy, relief and sense of achievement once you finish a race is a difficult one to replicate.

The Baker Hughes 10k is a yearly event in the city of Aberdeen where thousands of runners come together to run the race for various reasons; it could be for a charity or personal achievement. This is my second year running it and it's my first race that I ran without any music. The flat course makes it easy to try and beat that personal best and that I did. Although chilly at the beginning of the race it brightened up and the wind blew us along the course. Well deserved takeaway food tonight!

We had a little cousins' reunion this afternoon with food, nibbles and a good old catch up. I've got a very big family what with my dad having 5 siblings who all have kids so it's nice for all the cousins to get together. We have all either moved away, grown up and have had kids or just have a very busy schedule but it was a great Sunday afternoon catching up and playing with the kids and bunny rabbits! I really want one now!!

Other than that, I've had a calm week. Busy at work as usual! I've also been thinking about getting into a bit of freelancing. Have any of you had any experience in this or any tips in starting out? Are there any opportunities out there for a gal living in a small time city?



30 before 30 Challenge - See a Koala Bear

Friday, 13 May 2016

My first foray into YouTube! How exciting!

On our anniversary weekend, me, the boy and our friend planned to go to Edinburgh to tick off another item off my 30 before 30 challenges; to see a Koala Bear. They were all sleeping - like they do for 18 hours of the day but they were so adorable and worth the wait! I'm personally not a big fan of zoos as I don't like to see the animals locked up but I could see they were well kept and provided information on how some of the animals are mentally stimulated.

The zoo is located on a hillside so it was a steep climb to the top but we got to see some other animals along the way and was rewarded with an amazing view of Edinburgh. A nice short video for you all to enjoy...be nice :) Especially about my walking at the beginning of the video. If a jelly baby could walk...



Brand Loving: Kiko Cosmetics

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Ahhh, going back to my Parisian Orchid roots with a little make up post! It's been a while but why not mix things up?

I discovered Kiko Cosmetics by way of an accident. I was in London and one of my friends wanted to go into this make up store on Regent Street. I have never heard of them before and once I stepped into the store, I had assumed it was a bit like a MAC or Inglot. I was wrong of course. There was so much choice and the quality is incredible. What's even better is the price, we're talking about high street prices or even less!

We don't have a store like this in Scotland so when I encountered them again when I was in Warsaw, I picked up a few more pieces.

My favourite products are the creamy lipgloss and the long lasting stick eyeshadow. The creamy lipgloss is not sticky at all and the colour lasts the best part of the day. The eye shadow stick is a lazy girls' dream. One sweep and the colour stays on for the whole day! It's a really good base for building up colour as well but I tend to wear it by itself.

Make up that comes in boxes always make me feel like I'm buying something high end and the quality of the items really represent this even with a tiny price tag! Go check out the website here - this is not an affiliate link at all, just spreading the love!

Have you tried anything from Kiko Cosmetics at all? What else should I be trying out?



15. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 8 May 2016

We're well on the way into May now and the weather is finally starting to catch up.

This week, me and the boy celebrated our 2 year anniversary. Where does the time go eh? He took me to one of my favourite Turkish restaurants in the city and it was so delicious! Here's to another two years! Review of the restaurant to follow so keep a look out on Twitter so you know when it's up.

My running adventures are going well. I managed a 6k on the bank holiday Monday after work, a cheeky mid-week 5k and then a drizzly 7k today. My knee is starting to play up a bit now so it'll be a week of gentle runs before the big race next Sunday.

A bit of an unconventional anniversary weekend but me, the boy and one of our good friends took a drive down to Edinburgh to visit the zoo to primarily tick off another challenge on my 30 before 30 list. Can you guess what it is? Another blog post (or a video) to come. The zoo was amazing and we were blessed with NO RAIN!

Another week, another dolla. I hope you're all having an amazing Sunday and having the rest and chill you beautiful Orchids deserve! I'm off to see Captain America tonight, until next week!



14. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 1 May 2016

How about all this crazy weather we have been having huh? One afternoon is snowing a blizzard then in the evening it's bright and breezy! Are we not supposed to be in Spring?

This week I have been trying to train as much as I can for the Baker Hughes 10K in Aberdeen. But with the variable weather I've been finding myself frustrated at the lack of opportunities. The boy dragged me out of bed on Saturday morning and went for a nice gentle jog down the old railway line towards the park. It was so nice to have the sun beaming down on us and as we ran in the morning, we had the rest of the day to do our errands.

I finally finished the last of the painting in my flat. I repainted my kitchen as I grew to dislike the original colour I chose. I went for a bright lime green and I absolutely love it. Tiring Saturday but I'm so happy with the results.

If you're lucky to get tomorrow off work for the bank holiday weekend then I hope you enjoy your day and have something extra special planned! Think of us poor souls having to man the offices!